Monday, November 15, 2010

Black Walnut on the Wheel

The photos are a bit fuzzy but so is the wool. The Black Walnut dyed Cormo is doing what I expected it to on the wheel. It is becoming a giant tangle of lumps and bumps that will make a lovely rustic style stocking cap. I want to spin thin these days so to get something thicker I am using a 2 handed long draw and not looking at the wool as I spin. Sounds crazy, but it works for me. I don't want a fingering weight yarn and that's all I seem to be able to make these days. I am going to chain ply it to add even more thickness.

I am not so sure I like the addition of the black, but its too late to turn back now. I will spin up these batts and then make a few without the black since I still have a bag of the plain brown left. I did not get the rich brown like the author in the Spin Off issue did so next year I will gather the hulls earlier in the season when they are still bright green. That is when you get the strongest dye. I will also try to get them before the squirrels get to them. I don't want to disturb their harvest, but I am sure they can spare me a few.


  1. It might also have something to do with your method...I remember reading that you boiled (over-boiled?) the dye mixture...simmering is usually the hottest you EVER get with natural dyes.. I get a deep brown pretty easily with walnut and butternut - regardless of the condition of the nuts.

    Also, the greater amount of grease in your object to be dyed, the greater it will repel dye. A good, HOT cleansing with a grease-cutting detergent will certainly help...I struggle to dye fleece since I am used to the results I get with superwash yarn....(I'm just spoiled!)

  2. I did boil the heck out the dye as I had no idea what I was doing and just followed the directions. The Cormo was also still pretty greasy after 3 washings so it was a perfect storm for failure. It is actually not terrible, just not what I expected. I'll try again next year with different wool and see what happens.
    Thanks for the advice.
    It is certainly appreciated from those who know what they are doing!

  3. Remind me, and next year I can send you some butternuts if you want to try another nut brown/black...