Black Bean Soup & Pretty Yarn

It's started again, but a little bit early.  Every summer, my obsession with dyeing with herbs from my garden kicks in.  I experiment, I over dye, I fall in love, I knit.  Just a skein here and there as time and research on the best way to get the colors in my lovely plants leaves and roots to stick to my beloved yarn.  It all started with black beans, and I return to dyeing with them every year.  Plus, as a bonus, the beans themselves are discarded once you've soaked them for a day or two to extract their pigment, so you are free to use them for delicious soups or stews while dyeing your yarn.

Black bean collage

This go round, I wanted to do two things, I wanted to replicate (as much as is possible with this very imprecise mode of dyeing) the very soft gray I was able to get on this silk blend yarn on an all wool yarn.  I like how it's not quite white, but makes you think of snow and quiet woods.  It's dyed on Bulky Blue Faced Leicester in the photo on the left.  I also wanted to push the range of color I could extract from black beans.  They yield a little more color on super wash yarn, so I used Elliebelly's Pixie for this experiment, and was finally able to achieve a soft brown, to add to the range of grays, blues, and greens I've dyed with black beans over the last few years.

4 thoughts on “Black Bean Soup & Pretty Yarn

  1. It is colorfast.  Some of the silk blends will gently fade over time, but Im not sure its something you would really notice if you werent focusing on it (and taping strands to a window while keeping originals intact).
    I havent tried red beans, but I am in the process of drying some herbs and I have some bark.  Im planning on having a lot of fun this summer!

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