My first attempt at natural dyeing – dyeing of any sort, actually – resulted in this skein of fingering/sport yarn (the blue bits are the skein ties).
I handspun the yarn (on two separate spindles) from Columbia/Dorset top purchased from Paradise Fibers, then plied the two singles (on yet another spindle) to make a four-ounce skein.
The rest was simple. Instead of plopping the skein into water for a 30-minute simmer bath, I mixed one ounce of tumeric with a gallon of water, simmered it for 30 minutes, then added the yarn for another 30-minute simmer. I let the dye bath cool a bit, rinsed the yarn in warm, then cool water until the water ran clear, then hung it to dry.
It was easy as could be, and I love the color – a most intriguing shade of golden honey brown with a hint of orange.
If you put it next to something red or yellow, the yarn looks quite orange.
But if you put it next to something that is truly orange – an orange, for instance – it looks golden brown.
I'm on the hunt now for other grocery store items that are equally easy to use for dyeing. So far, the leading contenders appear to be Kool-Aid, or similar store brand drink mixes, and food coloring. There is a wealth of information available on the Internet from people who have done this sort of dyeing and much, much more. Lanaset/Sabraset is a name that pops up often in discussions of simple dyeing processes. More research is clearly needed.
I can feel myself being sucked into the vortex of a new hobby. First knitting, then spinning, then . . . . aaiieeeeeeee . . .