Thursday, May 12, 2016

Heritage Arts and Crafts Days 2016

The Heritage Arts and Crafts Days festival for 2016 was held at the Aberdeen, Washington Museum of History on May 6th and 7th.  This was the 2nd year for this festival, which included craftspeople demonstrating spinning, weaving, natural dyeing, quilting, bobbin lace, doll-making, wood-carving, wood-burning, metal works, tying fishing flies, broom-making, hand-woven rugs, knitted items, hand-built looms and more.  My booth featured natural dyeing, where I had pots of the lichens Lobaria pulmanaria and Umbilicaria torrefacta, as well as a pot of scotchbroom simmering each day.

Twig yarn samples
My twig display caught the eye of many passers-by who stopped to look and inquire about natural dyeing.  Each twig was wrapped with a different shade of natural-dyed yarn, tagged with plant information, and hung on a branch which I suspended across the top of my display board.  For a closer look at the twig samples, just click on the photo.

Natural Dyed Samples 2016
Baskets filled with yarn samples, both mini-skeins and crocheted squares invited visitors to finger through them.  On the left are my plastic, sample cards with yarns showing the varied colors obtained by using different mordants.  Center back is a skein of yarn dyed with Eucalyptus globulus leaves.

Scotchbroom and lichen dyed yarns
Results from the day's dyeing are pictured here.  The olive-green on the left is from the scotchbroom plant,(shown), using both blossoms and stem, with a copper mordant.  The small deep mauve-colored skein in the center front is from Umbilicaria torrefacta, a black, flakey lichen scraped from rocks by a friend while hiking in the Pasayten Wilderness of Washington state.  No mordant was used.  The two brown skeins on the right are from the Lobaria pulmanaria lichen (pictured leaning against the front skein).  The skein in front was from a first bath, no mordant. The skein in back was from the 2nd bath, copper mordant,  along with two iron railroad spikes simmering in the dye pot to help sadden the color.

At the end of the festival there was still some color left in each of the dye pots, so I decided to combine the three, scotchbroom and the two lichens, into one pot.  This skein of yarn had been pre-mordanted with copper.  After simmering for a couple of hours in the combined color pot, this was the resulting color.


  1. What a brilliant way of displaying the colours, and encouraging people to look, touch, feel and get involved.

    1. Thanks, Janice. It was fun to watch people thumb through the samples and be amazed at the colors plants will yield.