An experiment with yarn and my daylilies


I have extracted color from a certain flower called Buddy’s Black Jack, a red flower with a big black eye zone. I used alcohol to get the color out of the plant tissue. I took a few inches of some Knit Picks Swish DK I had left over from a project.I soaked the bare yarn(white) in some warm water with a teaspoon of vinegar. Then I set up y dye using a 1/4 cup of water and two teaspoons of the colored alcohol. I brought water/alcohol mixture to a boil, turned the burner down to simmer and put the wet yarn in the mixture. I let is sit until the water had cleared of the color. I then lI let the yarn cool till I could pick it up. Then I washed it with a little dish detergent and let it dry. It dried to a light pinkish lavender color. I repeated the experiment again using mor of the dye and got a beautiful purple yarn. Now that Iknow it works I intend to build up the amount of the alcohol dye till I have enough to dye 3 skeins of Knit Picks Gloss fingering weight. I plan to use it to knit a shawl I am going to knit and donate to an auction at the 2020 Nation Hemerocallis Convention in Savannha, Ga. next May. I have to ask if they will auction it off as a special daylily, seeing as it was dyed with daylily colors.


This is so clever of you, Daylily and so kind to donate the shawl for auction. I’m looking forward to seeing the shawl.


Thank you Salmonmac, someone on the Chemknits Facebook page told me that it might not work with out a mordant. So I said I would experiment with some yarn I could use with out using the project yarn, . So since I had enough of the alcohol built up I decide to do it. I know that the color will stay in the yarn now just using the vinegarand heat. Since the project yarn is 70 percent fine merino wool and 30 percent silk I knownow that my idea will work.


Good idea to test with the KP yarn. Can you also test a small bit of your project yarn just to see if both the silk and merino take up yarn in a similar way?


Wow! That is impressive!


You can say that again!


@Daylilydayzed, How very exciting!!! I’m very interested in ‘how’ you extracted the color from the daylily using the alcohol. Did you simply soak the petals in alcohol? Were the petals cut or shredded? Did you use a certain ratio of alcohol to petals?
I’ve only extracted natural dyes in water so this opens a new world for me!

I hope the convention planners will realize exactly what has gone into the shawl you are donating and it gets the recognition it deserves.


I used just plain over the counter alcohol, the petals were put in whole, not shredded. All I did was let the petals sit in the alcohol , shook it to make sure the alcohol covered all of the petal and then they sit until I can see just white petal tissue. I did not use a specific ratio, just poured in enough alcohol to cover the plant tissue.


I have some other gloss weight (A light gray) to try I will test ti tonight and post if it works on that also.


Thank you! I might try this with my dark iris that should be blooming soon.



This picture is of the yarns I used to test the alcohol color to see if it would dye yarn. The violet yarn started out as the white yarn. The lavender lace weight laying across to show the color started as light gray gloss lace weight


Wow. Just wow. That’s is so cool. And a lovely color.


The yarn is color fast but the gloss lavender faded when I did the the test. I left both yarns outside for 48 hours and the Gloss lace weight had faded back to the original gray color but the Swish stayed the same color as it was when I put it outside.