Ali called me from work the other day.
Ali: I just went to the bathroom!
And I'm thinking, you know, this hasn't been big news in, like, over 20 years!
Ali: While I was in there, I was looking out the window at the ivy growing on the wall next door and it's full of berries! Do you think you might like to try some of that for dyeing? I'll pick some and bring it home for you, if you do.
And I'm a very happy mother... with some Boston Ivy-dyed wool.
I'll have to take a more glamorous photo over the weekend. This is the result of almost 400g of Boston Ivy berries made into a dye bath. I simmered them for an hour, steeped them for an hour, and strained before adding the wool. I used Knit Picks Bare Palette Fingering Yarn (100% Peruvian Highland Wool) and simmered it for about a half-hour and then I left it in the dye bath to cool overnight (approx. 8 hours). Both the bath and the wool were quite red -- think a deep merlot (see below); the gray-green wool (mordanted with alum & cream of tartar) is the result after several rinses. Very pretty, but not what you'd expect after seeing the spoon. (I was not surprised, however, having read the book.) (Natural Dyeing.)
Ali said that she went outside between the buildings to pick the berries, but she'd been looking up from her vantage point in the bathroom and the berries were all too high to reach from the ground. The little darling leaned out an upstairs window to pick them for me!
Are you happy for the weekend? I am! Tomorrow, there's a crafty open house (three houses, actually) thing that I'll be going to, and I'm hoping to get over to Hidden Valley Farm & Woolen Mill for their open house before the weekend is over.