After testing different types of mushrooms, I decided to try some flowers! I drove by a big field of Canadian Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) when I was on my way to the woods to forage for mushrooms, so I stopped and gathered a bunch.
My Google-fu had told me that this plant would give a rich, yellow colors when the yarn was pre-mordanted with alum. I mordanted the yarn with alum and cream of tartar. Then I took all the Goldenrods I could fit into my big pot, and set it to boil. Hot tip! Don’t leave the lid on, put it on full heat, and then go help the kids with something (unless you like cleaning yellow water from the kitchen counter and floor).
This flower has a very sweet scent when boiled. I found it rather pleasant, but the kids certainly didn’t! They thought it was overwhelming and too sweet. If you’re not a fan of strong, sweet scents, do this outside! I left the pot boiling for well over an hour, to extract as much dye as I could. Then I sifted the dyebath into another big pot, to get rid of the flowers and plant residue.
The first yarn I dyed was left in the pot for about 2 hours. It come out beautiful! I adore the rich color this flower gives. I used pure wool yarn, non-superwash. The very light grey came out greenish yellow, and the white a vibrant yellow.
For the second bath I used handspun, grey wool. It turned out a nice, light green. Soft color in soft, fuzzy yarn. The third bath I used white wool, and got a light yellow. A bit lighter than I prefer, but still very nice. The colors compliments each other very well.
After finishing with the yellow dyebath, I decided to test some Ischnoderma benzoinum that I found earlier this week. I didn’t really know what to expect from it, but I’m in the experimenting mode, so that’s fine! Turned out a muted brown. Not something I find too interesting, so I don’t think I’ll pick this one again. But I am pleased at this weekend’s results!