Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Spring Dyeing

Spring is a great time to gather weeds that grow wild along the roadside to use for dyeing.  We are in the middle of a major kitchen remodel at my house, so I won't be doing much dyeing over the next couple of months, but I do hope others will be able to take advantage of a springtime harvest of some of the most prolific weeds the Pacific Northwest has to offer.


Scotchbroom  is at it's prime right now in the northwest, and will only last a few more weeks, so don't wait too long to harvest, or the blossoms will be gone.  The tender, green branches filled with deep, yellow blossoms chopped up into the dye pot will yield shades of light green on wool yarn. Check out the "Scotchbroom" post on the right to see the results from an experiment I did a few years ago where I achieved 25 subtle shades of green, using different mordants and modifiers.

Cow Parsnip

Late May is the time when the Cow Parsnip begins to blossom.  These flowers hang on through most of the summer, so you have a wider window to harvest.  The flower tops will yield lovely shades of yellow or gold, depending on the mordants used.  The "Cow Parsnip" link on the right will guide you through the process and show you my results.


  1. Thanks for the reminder on the Scotch Broom! I keep meaning to get over to the dog park and get a bunch. There certainly isn't any shortage of it around here.