Ever since returning from the Gilead Dye weekend at Gilead Fiber Farm (Etsy shop here) in Vermont last month, I seek dye plant materials every time I venture outdoors. On my own road, I've discovered burdock (roots can be used for dyeing), stinging nettles, goldenrod, Queen Anne's lace and staghorn sumac (leaves and berries). I even have a dead apple tree on my land I am considering using for a dye bath.
My friend, Sissy, has a number of acres of land, abutting to land of both her brothers and her mom. I went there (with permission of course) and gathered Queen Anne's lace, tansy, jewel week, rose hips and goldenrod to make dye baths from. Sissy has been weeding out her jewel weed, but will now save it for me & dyeing. I am hoping to even do an experiment with the more abundant materials comparing freshly gathered vs frozen vs dried materials and the results. Kristen of Gilead Fiber Farm mentioned that one can cook down the plants in a dye bath as usual, but store the hot dye bath after straining out the plant matter, in canning jars in a dark closet away from light. Then when one is ready to dye or has the fiber ready, the dye bath can be used at that time for dyeing. She has had success storing the dye materials in that form. Some dyebaths she has had success with even after two years of such storage.
So, I splurged and bought myself a huge stainless steel pot for cooking dye materials, a big metal strainer, a large funnel (in the auto department at Wal-Mart), and canning jars in various sizes to use for dyeing. I was too over-eager to wait for a large stainless steel dye suitable pot to show up at Goodwill or Salvation Army (although I did go looking, but got too impatient). I am hoping to get these materials cooked, frozen or dried before I leave for my second annual camping/fiber week with fiber buddies Laila and NH Sara next week. Last year, we stayed in Acadia in my three room tent (a Sam's Club special a number of years ago - suitable only for car camping but perfect for this purpose) in early August. This year, we are dovetailing into Fiber College of Maine in Searsport, ME at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground. Still in the three room tent, which also made its appearance at the dye weekend in Vermont, we have the original three of us fiber nuts plus Laila's dog, Lily (a Yorkie) plus on the Fiber College weekend, we will have Krysta and the other Sara (Maine) joining us. I have a camp kitchen (to keep all the cooking stuff off the picnic table), a screen room (but no rain protection other than the roof there), and the tent. We have queen sized air mattresses (& a cigarette lighter adaptor pump), camp chairs, nesting cookware, an LED quad light from Coleman, and an outdoor extension cord (who can camp without cell phone chargers, laptops and a Kuerig?).... come by and chat or have a cuppa if you are there - we have an ocean view campsite and you can't miss the big red Tundra parked there!
Last year, Laila was warping her rigid heddle loom using her sideview mirror as a warping peg. Sara knit on socks we never thought would get done, but did. Laila worked on her socks that were knit one inside the other (but she hasn't finished them, he he he), and I worked on my Color-On-Color scarf that has been in progress for far too many years. I am finished now with the scarf but for a ton of iCord embellishments, so perhaps this year will see that project finally finished. If it does get completed, I am rewarding myself with a black winter jacket of some sort to show off the scarf!