The Walnuts are dropping… Time to dye!

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Yep, it’s time to put the helmets on the alpacas again! Those black walnuts crash down like little bombs.

Before & After

Much earlier than normal. The drought? Which reminded me of my natural dyeing experiment last fall. Here’s a recap …..

Since a billion black walnuts came crashing down this year I thought, maybe it’s time to try dyeing yarn with them. Walnuts are easy to use since they stain everything (EVERYTHING) and you don’t have to use a mordant to set the dye.

First you put on old clothes and gloves since they stain EVERYTHING and then smash the hulls open. It’s not necessary to crack the walnuts altho you can do that as well. Put the nuts and hulls in a mesh bag, place in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Simmer this for about an hour, remove the mesh bag and let the dyebath cool.

Meanwhile, soak your yarn in hot water (vinegar is optional). Once the dyebath and the yarn water have cooled, add your yarn to the dyebath. Simmer for 30 minutes up to an hour. Let cool.

Then you have to rinse rinse rinse and rinse some more! Unbelievable the amount of dye left in the yarn! Makes a beautiful, warm deep brown. The color will be much darker and deeper if you use the nuts without the hulls. Have fun!

In the hulls

Smashed Walnuts

Stewing in the pot

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  1. I brought back a couple walnuts from a recent outing with some friends. Only enough to test something. But this is a great photo tutorial!


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