All that weld

…and nothing to do with it. That’s what I’ve been thinking every time I pass by my second year weld, lush, tall and proud. Because as I mentioned in the fennel post A. I don’t have a new dye yarn supply, B. I don’t really want to keep dyeing samples with cheap yarn, C. I don’t have any projects planned that require a large quantity of yellow yarn, and D. I just haven’t felt like it anyway. Which is a shame, because it is one of the plants I want to keep using in the more limited range that I’ve set out to use in the future (rather than try all the things).


Well, they look good, I have time, it’s just early summer, is what I also thought. Then I noticed last week they were going a bit bleak around the edges. OMG I have to do something! o_O

So I wound a bit of scruffy silk and mordanted while cooking up a sample of weld. Not impressed with the colour of the dye bath, so perhaps they can in fact get a bit old if you don’t harvest and renew. It’s been quite dry here, so that may have influenced them as well. Wikipedia says: “For the greatest production of coloring matter, the plant should be cut before the fruits show much development, otherwise the pigment diminishes.” Another lesson learned!


For this batch I did one in an iron pot with a horse shoe thrown in for good measure, and one in the clean dye bath. Turned out alright, but although I didn’t weigh anything (very unlike me), I’m sure the dye ratio was way higher than normal. After a heated dyebath I threw in another hank and left outside to “solar” dye a week or so.

This silk yarn is “raw silk”, not smooth and shiny, a single ply made from rather short fibers – possibly leftovers? At any rate it pulls apart quite easily, it can be knit and woven just fine but will not do for a warp. I’m contemplating whether I’d like to ply 2 strands of the different shades of green and yellow to make it a bit stronger.


Next I’ll cook up some more, possibly combining multiple batches, and soak some of those failed fabric dyeing experiments from yesteryear. Then at least I can say I’ve done something with it! I’ll let some go to seed and hope they take care of their own multiplication.

Weld 2013

11 thoughts on “All that weld

  1. it’s interesting what you say about not harvesting it early enough as I have heard it said that the best time to harvest it is when the seeds are ripe, so quite late – so completely the opposite of the advice you heard so who knows…. but you could always dry some in case you need it later? Or else just enjoy its beauty and keep some seeds for another year – I suspect that’s what’s going to happen with my weld, as there’s no dyeing going on here this year either, health is not great at the moment so dyeing is beyond my strength.

    I too feel like I’ve gone past the “using cheap yarn to try out lots of different colours” stage, so when I do get back to dyeing, I have decided to only dye decent quality yarn for specific purposes or if I want to experiment then use unspun fleece or top which is more multi-functional.

    1. It’s been quite dry here, the plants simply doesn’t have as lush a green colour as last year. So perhaps that too is contributing to the amount of dyestuff?

  2. Gul er fint – i begrænsede mængder, og der er mange planter der giver en smuk og intens gul. Det mest kedelige er den der fesent gul-khakigrønne. Jeg er stadig i gang med en slags “to-spors-farvning”: Billigt garn fra genbruget til forsøg. Det bliver bejdset straks ved indkøb, så det ligger klart når jeg falder over en interessant plante, eller bare lige må forsøge det her. Og så en mere seriøs “det her er mine standardplanter og yndlingsfarver-farvning” til produktionsformål. Men der er mine gule standardvalg altså lugtløs kamille og birk. Selvom vau nu ser ud til at være en smuk plante.

    1. Ja, selvom der skulle gå et år uden vau, er der jo heldigvis andre gode gule. Vau skulle være MEGET lysægte, bedre end birk og kamille. Blev bl.a. traditionelt brugt under vaid til at lave en grøn farve som kaldes “lincoln”, har jeg læst mig til, som åbenbart er noget meget fint.

      Lige nu ligger noget fejlfarvet “beige-skjoldet” stof i blød i en ny portion!

      1. “Lincoln” – får du ikke Robin Hood-associationer? Jeg gør. Det var jo netop lincoln-grønt klæde han og hans tapre svende gik klædt i 🙂
        Mere lysægte, jamen jeg regner dog ikke med at hverken jeg eller mit garn lever evigt.

        1. Lidt mindre end evigt kan nok gøre det. 😉 Men med alt det jeg gerne vil lære, bliver jeg nødt til at blive mindst 125!

      1. Nej, jeg har ikke pillet ved noget og WordPress staff påstår hårdnakket at det heller ikke er deres skyld.

  3. I agree with not wanting to dye cheap yarn anymore. In also curious to hear what base yarn people prefer dyeing. I have weld growing, but it’s only baby weld. I like yellow, so I hope I have your too much weld problem next year.

    1. I guess it would be easier if I settled on a craft. Do I want to weave tapestry or cloth for sewing (clothes or useful items?), do I want to knit? And what about embellishments in the form of stitchery?

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