Sunday, October 22, 2017

Follow the Leader

Also known as 'copy cat'.  Jo Wick posted her dyeing talents on Facebook recently.  It has been years since I dyed using black walnuts so thought it was about time for another.  The nuts are falling now and will soon be rotten or crushed by cars driving thru the development.  Yesterday's gathering provided me with 30 green/brown walnuts.
Above is the wool I started with and almost forgot to take a picture as the wool was being pushed in the pot to soak.  But at the last minute added another small piece of wool which you will see further down.  There was a little over 1 1/2 yards of wool in the pot soaking. 
 I put all 30 whole nuts in a pot of water and simmered.  As dinner time approached decided not to dye then but rather let the pot cool down overnight with the nuts soaking to extract more dye.
Above is what I woke up to and after breakfast took the pot outside to remove the nuts and strain the liquid (below).
There is no  need for a mordant with black walnuts as it will dye EVERYTHING.  I rinsed the wool numerous times until the squeezed wool water came out clear.  Then put the wet wool in my washer to spin out whatever moisture remained.   
Today's results are hanging on the line but tho dry still put them in the dryer with two fluffy towels (used only for wool projects) to fluff up on low. 
I'm not a pink person so have no idea why I purchased that pink wool above.  That is unless it was on sale for $5 per yard and thought I'd find a use for it.  I like the new look better.
Above is a before and after walnut dyeing today.  And yes.......
I also overdyed another piece of that wool using Old Patina.  Above and bottom is the result of the Old Patina recipe so there is just a smidgen of difference.
 Another before and after above.  I liked the pastel yellow/blue plaid thinking it would make a nice soft background and purchased 2 yards.  Just wanted to see how it would turn out with walnut dye.
Above on the left above was dyed with Old Patina and the one on the right from today's walnut dye.  Just a little difference.
That last minute added piece to the pot was the piece of wool on the right.  That piece on the left is the same wool but was from the Old Patina recipe posted on my BLOG.  The reason it is darker is because I was unhappy with the first Old Patina dye job so was dyed twice...thus  it is darker.  But I'm happy with the mellow color of today's walnut dye to the wool on the right so it won't go in a pot later.
 Above left is another 'bargain' just too good to pass up.  But never used it unless it was overdyed ~ too much white showing.  Even after today's walnut dye don't like that light showing thru so would use the darker side.
So the totality of my walnut dyeing for today is above.  OMG, I've still walnut dye in the pot so hopefully I'll get around to using it up soon before it goes bad.  Or perhaps I should freeze some to dab on rugs when hooking and they just need that little bit of ....dirty....for that olden look.

Take advantage of the black walnuts while they are falling.  Happy Sunday and happy hooking.  Weather is about to change.



  1. great results! I have some walnut dye I want to use one of these days...

  2. Love your result. We don't have black walnuts here but we have Butternuts. I wonder what kind of dye they would give, I wonder if anyone ever tried it.
    Hugs, Julia

  3. Do you still use the vinegar to set the dye? They all turned out great!

    1. Judy, you are a NO-REPLY blogger so you won't see this message unless you come back to look at the messages again. But No, I did NOT use vinegar to set this dye. No mordant needed with black walnuts. However I DO use vinegar to set the dye with other dye jobs.

  4. It's been years since I've dyed with black walnuts. When I was a basket weaver, I dyed all my baskets with it. I just HATE the smell of the simmering walnuts and don't have a burner to use outdoors.

  5. I like the results a lot. I have never used black walnuts but I have acorns very yellowy.

  6. This post is perfect timing for me. I have a dozen or so walnuts and can't wait to try this process. You can freeze the dye to use later?

    1. I have frozen some and then thawed it out to dab on a rug which I wanted to 'antique' up a little more.

  7. The results are awesome, ,,, but have never tryed that,,,, thanks for the tips,,,,

  8. I had another fun dyeing day yesterday but due to rain did my dyeing in the basement. Just a little smelly but ended up with some more beautiful drab colors. The walnuts are still falling in Ohio so will gather a few more on my walk today.


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