Wednesday, 9 September 2009

The Grantchester Walnuts.




One of my fellow Pilgrims has a tree in her garden. It's a walnut tree and it sheds many nuts. Now walnut hulls - the fleshy green outside part which decomposes gently into black mush if you leave it alone long enough, makes the most beautiful natural dye. You can imagine my glee when I came home one night last week after a long and tiring day, to find a box at the top of my stairs. I shook the box, the box rattled with a satifying walnut-like rattle. Sheer bliss.

I have commenced my dye experiments with this bounty and so far have discovered that walnuts dye skin a light brown, (bad idea) latex gloves go bright bright yellow, ( much safer ) and alum mordanted white fleece turns a glorious multi-layered dark brown, like a glamorous brunette.

Thank you Elspeth - I'll post photos of the yarn when the sun cooperates.

5 comments:

Cindy G said...

The title of this post sounds like it should be an offbeat children's story....

Trust a fiber artist. Most people would be excited about a box of walnuts for the, well the nuts.

Looking forward to seeing the results of the dye job.

heidi (Aponi) said...

Can't wait to see the yarn! I have a yard full of walnut trees - and yes, those husks really do stain your hands! Maybe I will try dyeing with them someday.

mary jane said...

Mad scientist in the kitchen! can't wait to see the pictures!

Karin said...

They also stain one's freshly painted front steps where a squirrel has brought his lunch, leaving walnut paw prints all over. :)

Can't wait to see the brunette!

wooly daisy said...

beautiful walnuts! can't wait to see pics of what you dye!!