Last night I demonstrated natural dying to the W. Mi. Herb Society. The meeting was held at PJ's fine arts studio. She is a professional artist and art teacher.
Her studio was a great place for the stoves and dye pots, no worry about spills, and plenty of room for the attendees.
I brought 6 dye pots fill with herbs and plants the attendees could have in their own gardens. Some I started ahead at home. I dyed wool yarn as a lot of the members are knitters, spinners, weavers and quilters. I thought they could share the yarn when it was finished. The plants I used were dill (it's the "Herb of the Year"), dried chamomile, beets (not really a great light fast dye), carrot tops, onion skins and black walnuts. (I did premordant all my yarn with alum at home).
This was a unexpected wonderful color, I chopped up carrot tops and simmered them in an iron pot on the wood stove (at home before the meeting) for a couple of days, adding the yarn after one day of simmering. The color is a beautiful "celery" green. Usually with the iron pot it turns out a saddened color.
The onion skins always give a rich color. The piece of wool fabric on the table I dyed with beets last winter. I didn't get a picture of the yarn dyed with the beets or dill, after I wash and dry them I will post the pictures.
This yarn was dyed with the dried chamomile flowers. Not only did the dye bath smell wonderful the yarn is a beautiful creamy yellow.