Five Green Acres Mary Jo + Andrew Borchardt Poynette, WI
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Pulling from the Spring palette

Pulling from the Spring palette
May 13, 2009 Mary Jo

I’ve written before of my unabashed affinity for Sister Nettle, despite her bristling demeanor.  As one of the first ambassadors of spring, she’s back and growing into quite a presence.  This year, having a better feel for where she grows and how we need to use those areas, some culling is necessary.  Nettle in the garden, while a sign of good, fertile soil, makes for additional navigating challenges and we’ve come to see that we don’t need any additional challenges in the garden.  Out she comes.  I decided to try my hand at using the harvested leaves as a natural dye for a skein of natural-colored wool I had in my stash.

I followed the instructions rather liberally, and was surprised to find that the mix turned from greenish yellow to this amber color upon the addition of the alum and cream of tartar. (mordants – to set the dye and add permanence)

After soaking for the duration of Naptime, the wool had taken on a pale yellow hue.

Not incredibly dramatic, but a pretty decent result for my first go at it.

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