This morning started out as any typical sunny, Autumn, Sunday morning — yard work. With the 20+ trees in our yard, we have to stay ahead of the leaves otherwise we get inundated with piles and piles. Of course, it’s not just leaves we’re after:
Now, given how fat and happy the squirrels have been, we knew our smallish black walnut tree had a productive year. It wasn’t until we reached that part of the yard, did we realize how much of a bumper crop we had.
At about this point, our impulse control started to wane. We had sticks. We had walnuts. We had a fire pit that hadn’t been used in a while. And, we had some undyed yarn sitting in the house. Thus was born the great Black Walnut Project, conducted by two ambitious individuals (both recovering from colds – maybe that was affecting our judgement), who were quickly losing interest in the remaining chores around the yard.
So, we started a fire.
We gathered the juiciest walnuts and put them together in a cheesecloth wrap and steeped them in some boiling water.
We ate lunch.
Then, we fastened some cloth over another pot and strained out the dark, inky liquid.
Virginia did the honors, and dyed a couple of skeins of yarn, including some handspun stuff that had been languishing in the stash for a number of years.
The resulting yarn was pretty nice – maybe not as dark as it could have been, definitely more interesting than what it was before.
And, I’m happy to say, the rest of the chores got done. (Well, most of them — there will always be another day for that.)
4 Replies to “Black Walnut Project”
I did walnut once, from some I gathered at the nephew’s house. the yarn that I steeped in alum firt (I just use the same stuff you get for pickles) turned quite a pinkish tone.. very pretty!
My husband’s family had a lot of black walnut trees. They would gather them, dry them them on their gravel driveway and then drive over them with a tractor to break open the hulls.
I would do that for yarn dyeing but probably not just for the kernels. I have some flesh colored handspun dyed with madder to trade with you!
I’ve never seen yarn dyeing like this so it was a great joy to look at your pictures!
The yarn looks lovely and cozy, even if it’s not as dark as you were going for 🙂
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