To Dye For
Final post on this years Lupin gathering and dyeing. We will continue with the collection for another week, until the plants go to seed.
Make sure you have time to process the Lupins on the same day that you cut them. It's fairly time consuming to manually strip each stalk and separate the bulk of the petals from the stems.
You don't have to do this but in doing so you can make one colour that is a concentration of petals and a second dye bath that is a mix of petals and stem.
It's also good to leave the petals and stems to sit for half an hour before you start to process them. This gives the various caterpillars and insects time to escape!
You can see that I focus my gathering on the dark blue and purple Lupins. These are the main colours that we have growing by the river.
If you are trying this at home you should work to concentrate one colour but it doesn't have to be blues.
If you have a huge stock of pinks and reds give those a try. The only ones that are not worth collecting are the white, but you can still work with the leaves if that is the only colour you have.
One of the things that might surprise you, as is so often the case with natural dyeing, is the difference between the colour of the dye bath and your final yarn colour.
Full directions for the dye process are included in my book My Colourful Garden.
Yarn from this dye process is available to purchase in my online shop at www.lochnessknitting.com