Oct 12

I have the finalized list for Dye Day.  I have been working since early morning getting most of the dyes set up and, at least, started.


Weld – nice, bright sunny yellow with alum mordant.  It is now soaking in water and will be until tomorrow night when I get it jugged up.

juniper berries

Juniper Berries with alum – should give us some yellowy greens.  This is the first year I have tried these.


Annatto seeds with washing soda.  I am going to do this as a cold dye this year, rather than reheating it over the fire.

fustic sawdust

Fustic with alum – will give a nice, clear yellow, but with an iron modifier, will give a nice green color.

There have been some questions on Twitter about using Everclear and exactly what is Everclear.


Everclear is as close to pure grain alcohol that I can find – it’s 190 proof or 95% alcohol.  This bottle cost me $18, but the difference it makes with woody dyes makes it worth it.

osage orange sawdust

Osage Orange sawdust dry and ready for the Everclear.  Osage Orange with alum gives a nice slighty greenish yellow which overdyes with indigo to give a great grass green.

osage orange soaking

Osage Orange with 1/2 bottle of Everclear added.  It soaked up the liquid pretty quickly.

brazilwood sawdust

Brazilwood sawdust – this is pretty finely ground stuff.  With alum, it will give a pinky magenta down to salmons and with copper, it will give purples down to lavenders.


Look at that color change just by adding in the Everclear.  It, too, soaked up the liquid pretty quickly.


I’ve loosely covered them and will take the covers off tomorrow morning and stir several times during the day to thoroughly oxidize the dye materials.  Then, I’ll bag them up and let them soak tomorrow night in prep for Dye Day.

Others that are soaking and ready for the pots are: walnuts, Black Oak Bark, 2 bags of finely ground cochineal (one for scarlet and one for purple), and 2 bags of turmeric (one for yellow-orange and one for a deep olive).  That just leaves prepping the indigo vat tomorrow.

Because the weather is supposed to be so lovely on Monday (high of 71 and partly cloudy) Scott and I decided to forego putting up the canopies.  There are lots of shade trees, so we really won’t need them.  That will make clean-up much easier on Monday.

So, for those of you planning to come to Dye Day on Monday, you can use the list of dyes above to get your samples ready.  I’ve tried to give you lots of different colors to play with, but remember, there is always the choice of overdyeing parts of yarn skeins to give you an even better range of colors.

Tomorrow is going to be another busy day.  I am about half way finished with the dye set up, so tomorrow is going to be another early start.

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.