She Had Me at Magenta

Workshop on the River The Midsouth Knitting Guild created a low key set of classes last weekend, . 

The classes I took:

Mosaic Sampler Hat taught by Lee Louise Slack. This must be the fastest way to create two color patterns. I finished a full size hat in one day. 


Mosaic Sample Hat

How to Personlize Your Color Choices taught by Edie Payton. I kind of knew what colors were best for me. Edie confirmed it. 

But what got me really excited…

Meeting Melissa Petersen, from the Weavers Guild. As I’m oohing and ahhing over all the beautiful looms and woven pieces and chatting about their craft, I find out Melissa is the instructor for next month’s workshop on natural dyeing. She happens to be the instructor for Harvesting Color, Dyeing with Local Plants workshop at the Memphis Botanucal Garden. (Link)

Oh oh…now I’m in trouble of falling into another deep rabbit hole. Any kind of dyeing has been on my bucket list. I happily played with acid dyes last month at SSK. But I’ve been hesitant to start playing with natural dyes. I just assumed they were all yellows, oranges and browns. Or faded blues and orangey reds. 

When Melissa said the word, MAGENTA. I didn’t need to hear anything else. I was IN.  I have plunged into the natural dye rabbit hole. 

Yarn dyed with coreopsis, fermented poke, fresh poke, cosmos. (photo by Melissa Petersen)

What do you materials do you need help gathering?  

Poke weed…I should be able to find it. 

Fresh poke berries dye wool magenta. Fermented poke berries dye wool blue. So guess what I’ve been doing every morning?

Day 1: gathered a cups worth and 7000 steps. 

Day 2: 3 quarts worth and 3000 steps

Day 3: 1 gallons worth and 1500 steps

Did you see me?  I was that crazy lady in boots, hubby’s thick and big clothes and bucket, you saw driving to work. Yep, that was me. Out stomping around fields at the early morning light. My happy place. 

Poke Berries

I left plenty of berries for the birds and next year’s seeds. Besides, I could only reach the low hanging fruit and saw no evidence of birds eating any.  And a second larger crop will be ripe in a month. Hah! A degree in horticulture does come in handy once in a while and Google of course.  

I found a second larger patch. But ran out of elbow grease and freezer space. 

I’ve passed the location information to another dyer. There is plenty for everyone.

I’ll be better prepared next year. 

  • Start back at kettle bell training to gain upper body strength. 
  • Make more room in the freezer. 
  • Find others to help. 

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