I’m also working on this beautiful sunflower afghan from the designer, Janie Crow. The flower part (except for the leaves) is pretty straight forward, but it has this lacy join I am so excited and nervous to try.
I also think I just about have my pattern figured out for the hand-dyed yarn, so now I’m just waiting on the pokeberries to ripen and walnut season to arrive.
After doing a bunch of research online, it seems like the thing about pokeberries is that, if you heat them up too hot in the dyeing process, you get brown, not pink or purple or red.
And, also, the trick seems to be to use just a fuck-ton of vinegar.
So, my plan is to harvest the berries and stems as they ripen (there’s color in the whole thing) and stick them in vinegar to start extracting color. Since we’re early in pokeberry season, I just have enough to fill a quart jar, but I bought a gallon jug this weekend to be ready. Once the color is exhausted from the plant material (i.e. when the stems turn white), I’m going to strain it out and put the yarn and the vinegar all back in the gallon jug. And let that sit… I haven’t decided where. Maybe in the fridge, maybe just on the counter.
In other words, just do a cold dye in an incredibly acid bath.
If it works, I’m just going to make this my go-to berry dyeing trick.