by Erin Raymond
Happy New Year!
Now that you have mastered the mushroom dyeing process from the previous posts (part 1, 2, 3), you might be wondering what you will do with all your beautiful yarn. I have this problem too and have a tendency to hoard my yarn, waiting to come up with that ‘special’ project that I keep putting off. Since it’s a crafting time of year, I thought I would try and share some ideas of what I have done in the past with my dyed yarn.
One of the problems I have is figuring out what to do with small amounts of yarn I have dyed. This happens a lot, especially when I am doing a dye test with a new mushroom and want to see how saturated of a color I can get. But what do you do with 1/4 ounce of yarn? Tapestry is a great way to use these small bits.
I did not knit any of these beautiful items, but if you do knit, I hope you will consider adding mushrooms to everything because I think they are adorable. Knit mushrooms make me want to learn how to knit.
One thing that I have noticed about the yarn that I have dyed, is that all the colors seem to go well together. I have found this to be true for most natural dyes. The colors in the shawl below are not all mushroom dyes, but are all natural dyes. I would never have thought green and pink would go together, but this ended up being my favorite color combination in the whole pattern.
Over the years, I’ve started taking better notes about the dyeing I’ve done. I’ve found it the most useful when introducing and explaining the process to others. I have a notebook where I keep samples from each time I have a dye day. This has been really useful when I use a mushroom I have used before and it’s really great to have all my samples in one place.
I created this blanket to use as a display and during classes to show the huge range of colors possible from mushroom dyes. There are many different mushrooms used, and also many examples of the different shades that can be attained from the same mushroom. Many of the greens are from Phaeolus schweinitzii and most of the purples are from various Ramaria sp.
I hope you have enjoyed this series on mushroom dyes and if you have any interest in trying this yourself, don’t be afraid to experiment and enjoy the process!