Being a shepherd, a gardener, and a forager it was only a matter of time before this happened.
Foraged and home-grown dyes on yarn made from the wool of our sheep.
I grew this. All of it! The yarn, the dyes – even the kid who's arms they're in. This is a delight in so many ways.
And to cast on a project where you know not only the story-line of the fiber but the dyes as well? It's downright magical.
The dyes we used on these skeins are invasive garlic mustard and black hollyhock blossoms. The garlic mustard we pulled from a nearby roadside; the hollyhocks I have been dreaming of dying with for years and planted them in my garden three springs ago, collecting blooms all throughout last summer.
In the photo below the skeins are (top to bottom): garlic mustard, garlic mustard over-dyed in hollyhock, and hollyhock.
Inspired to dye your own? We love the book Harvesting Color. We used her process for hollyhock and adapted her basic instructions for the garlic mustard which was our own creative experiment. All fibers were pre-mordanted in alum.
And now I think I have another shawl to cast on!