Sunday, May 15, 2011

Searching for Witch's Hair and the color yellow


                                    Dodder or it's other common name witch's hair.


About a week and a half ago I sent my cub reporter for some pictures of some Dodder that I was going to post about.  Hubby took some great pictures on his hike with Maulie. I later went exploring didn’t hike as far as he did but found clumps of Witch’s Hair to do my natural dyeing. Next time I am going to get more then the little I used .

 Witch's hair is a parasitic plant that uses other plants as it’s host plant. You see it all over the place in the foothills of California.  Witch's hair is from the morning glory family of plants you'll notice that texture when your picking it out of the host plant.  Now that I have found a great supply I am going to have fun making the color yellow. I stick the Witch's hair in the enamel pot with some water let it  soak for a while and  then heat up the water and Witch's hair in the pot.  Next I add some pre soaked wool . After boiling it for an hour I add alum as the mordant. I then will let it sit for a couple days in the  pot.  Next step rinse it and hang it on the rosemary bush. 

              This was the original wool color and the bottom piece is the color I dyed it.
 
 

                                 Look at the top white wool and doesn't
                                 that color look like a sweet yellow
                                 after it's dyed.




                             Next time you see your fellow hookers you can brag
                             I have a pot of witch's hair soaking.  Lol. Cheri        

19 comments:

Courtney said...

Oooo, beautiful! I didn't even know about this plant! Your wool is so great.
Courtney

Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi Courtney, It was Heavens to Betsy wool and I over dyed it.

Julia said...

Great soft yellow. I love it. JB

Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi Julia, Loved your garden, I hope the flooding is getting better.Cheri

Farm Girl said...

Oh I will keep my eye out for that stuff. That is amazing and I always have wanted to use the stuff in nature to dye with. I never heard of witches hair what a cool name. I love it when I learn something. :)

Kim said...

Interesting stuff. At least you were not preparing it in a giant black cauldron! Lol

Rugs and Pugs said...

Cheri ~
What great results! I love Betsy's wool. I came home with several yards from yesterday's hook-in.
Pug hugs :)
Lauren

Larkrise garden girl said...

Lauren,Farm girl and Kim, It's fun to look for plants to use in dyeing. It's really common in California I even see witch's hair near highways. Kim I don't use a black cauldron but in High school I was in Macbeth and played one of the witch's in the play!Lucky Lauren a hook in and yards of wool what a good day! Cheri

Orange Sink said...

I love the way that Witches Hair looks growing in the wild! Interesting that you can dye with it too. The results look lovely. The Betsy wool helps too!
That Maulie is such a cutie!
Cathy G

Larkrise garden girl said...

Thanks Cathy, I do love my Maulie.Cheri

Anne's Original Hooked Rugs said...

The color is gorgeous...so mellow...

Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi Anne, I do think it makes a good yellow. Cheri

Joanne said...

Ooh that is a gorgeous yellow - prim looking - hard to get in a yellow! Love the witches hair - never heard of it! Cool - learned something new today

Jan said...

Oh.... that is wonderful. I love the color and I love using natural plants for dying. I have used red onion skins when dying pulp for paper making but haven't tried it on wool. Mater of fact, I haven't tired dying any wool yet, but that is coming. Is there anyway to get some of the witches hair sent or is that pretty much an impossibility?
I would be happy to pay you for your work and shipping if you could. Email me please if this is possible at primitivejan@gmail.com

Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi Jan, I can't right now. But maybe in the future , My daughter is in the hospital and I am going to be tied up for a while. I do love witch's hair. I am not sure if when you ship it how it would do . I am not sure if it would be a smelly mess.Cheri

Leontien said...

haha I don't have no fellow hookers... hahaha...

love the witch hair though!

Leontien

gail said...

The witches hair resembles mine after a summer and salt water have had it's fun with me! I love your ideas for using plants for dyes! I am going to have to do some experimenting this summer it looks like fun! wonder what seaweed would look like? I know it smells terrible though!Have a great day! Gail

Larkrise garden girl said...

Sewweed would probaby be a green. I think. Lol
All the natural dyes were used in basket making ,dyeing cloth and wool. There are all sorts of stuff you can use.Onions skins, cochineal, ect.Cheri

Larkrise garden girl said...

I know how to spell sea weed I am half asleep. LOl