At the Burrow DyeTable # Six: Poke for Pia
My fiber friend, Pia, asked me to do a little experiment for her. She asked me to do a cold dye process with the pokeberries. And so I did. After all, far be it from me to ignore an opportunity to experiment, to leave our curiousity hanging. Thank you, Pia, for your request. I would not have thought to run a cold dyebath with pokeberries.
Dyestuff: Pokeweed (phytolacca americana)
Parts used: The berries
Source: My yard, the Haggencrone’s yard, a friend’s yard, and the farm
Yarn: Mountain Meadows Cody mordanted in vinegar as per the instructions in Harvesting Color by Rebecca Burgess.
Ratio of dyestuff to fiber: No clue. These were some of the pokeberries preserved in vinegar that wouldn’t fit in the original poke dyepot. So I left them in a Mason jar. I’d guess maybe 200g of berries. Maybe more, maybe less. Hard to tell. The little mini-skein of yarn weighs 6g.
Extraction: Mashed the berries in white distilled vinegar and left them for a month out of the sunlight.
Dyebath: Cold dyed in a Mason jar. No sunlight. Nine days.
The top of the dye liquid formed a white film. Some kind of funk. It didn’t really smell bad, though, nor did it seem to effect the colour below. The funk rinsed off easily and didn’t seem to do anything negative to the yarn.
Boy, is this yarn purple. I mean PURPLE, like whoa.
It only got a little bit lighter with rinsing in plain tapwater. It is a gorgeous colour. And I am thankful to Pia for asking me to do this little experiment so that I could learn about yet another colour from the poke’s most unredundant bounty.
This is my favourite yet.
Live happy, dye happy!