Wednesday, September 30, 2009

~*Beauty Sometimes Come With A Good STINK!*~

Good Day Dear Friends! Did you read the title for this post? Kinda silly sounding... but today I proved it TRUE!

Normally when I dye wool (which isn't very often ~ I'm a total NEWBIE at it!), I use commercial dye... and, you have all known me to dye my finished works with stain made from walnut crystals. Well, today I did it the 'natural' way & dyed wool with dye made from the walnuts in our own yard. In the April 2009 issue of Wool Street Journal, Dawn Cody wrote a great article/tutorial ~ Natural Dyeing with Black Walnuts. The article has very clear 'step by step' directions with wonderful photos. I purchased Dawn's book, Colors From The Market, a few years ago... but haven't gotten the 'nerve' to try the natural process until now.

I do just LOVE the results ~ don't you?

(the wool on the far right is what it all looked like before)

Oh... and the title of the post? Well... black walnuts really STINK when they are boiling! I'm so thankful it was a nice, windy day so the windows could be open!

Wishing you all warm smiles...



  1. Your wool looks like it turned out great.

  2. Lots of nice variation on the color.
    I tried some natural dying, used goldenrod, that makes a really nice pale yellow, but you do need to keep out the leaves and stems or you get a green yellow. It is fun to experiment with natural things.


  3. Your wool turned out just beautiful. I think I may try to do this myself this weekend. You will have to post what you use the wool in. Happy Fall

  4. Betty ~
    Oh, you are so right! That smell is awful. Years ago I used to weave baskets and that is what I used to stain them. Nasty! I will have to dig out that issues of the WSJ and give it a try. I have some wool I need to tone down. You are ahead of me. I have NEVER dyed wool ~ in fact I have quite a few yards of new, off the bolt wool that I have not even felted. I need to get with the program.
    Thanks for sharing your results.
    Pug hugs :)

  5. Beautiful colored wool...would love to try dying with walnut shells some day. Susan

  6. great colors Betty. Don't you just love seeing the wonderful colors you achieve when dyeing? Maria

  7. Oh Wow! I love the effects of walnuts. I will have to try that. I have many many acorns, I wish I could use them, lol
    I love to dye with naturals.
    My favorite so far is beets.
    Thanks fo sharing!

  8. Betty
    I made the walnut dye bath last year. It did smell awful. But it did look great when I used it on fabrics. Two additional thoughts. I strained mine with cheescloth and let the cheesecloth dry. Instant prim cheesecloth. I also froze a container of it to use at another time. I did write all over the container that it is poison and hid it on the bottom of the freezer though. No one goes in there except me much. Just a couple extra tips.


  9. The wool is gorgeous! Natural dyes are so old and soft... I haven't tried it myself, but I did purchase a couple of pieces awhile back. Thoroughly enjoyed your tutorial on a couple of posts back. Thinking of trying it this weekend... Ohhh, I'm sooo far behind, I can see my butt waiving at me!!! LOL!

  10. Betty~
    What great shades you got with the walnuts!!! Love them!!! You'll have fun hooking prim rugs with them.

    Lori R

  11. Loving that wool Betty. YOu did a great prim looking :)

  12. The wool looks great. I have 6 black walnut trees around my house. Finally, a use for those pesty walnuts!!

  13. They're beautiful Betty, you did a wonderful job!

    P.S. I love black walnuts! You're so lucky to have a tree!

  14. So glad I visited your blog!
    Informative and Nice!
    I'll be back and thanks for sharing!


  15. The wool looks wonderful Betty!!

    ~wonder if you could do it outside using your gas grill...hmmm??? We have black walnuts everywhere around here but I've never tried to do anything with them.

    Have a great night, Joyous October! Doreen

  16. Oooooh the wool looks wonderful. Where do you buy your wool to dye?

    I am a new hooker this year but the dying process intrigues me.

  17. Beautiful wool! Wasn't it fun trying something new? Love your blog.


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