About Me

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I'm a mother of four grandmother of seven and great grandmother of one. I have many hobbies and interests but gardening and rug hooking are my main interest at the moment. I live with my husband in the house that we built with the help of my brothers and have been married for 51years.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


I just thought that I would post what I've been up to today. When I got back from the barn this morning I checked my emails to see how my daughter's flight to Ottawa went and instead,we got a phone call from her telling us that she was still in Fredericton and that she had been bumped. They checked her bag with a swab checking for explosive, can you believe?

So her plans for the week is ruined because she didn't checked online to confirm her seat last night.  She purchased her ticket from a travel agency. So her plans are on hold for another week.

Today I decided that I better start to shovel the roof on the sunroom.  There was about 2 feet of snow and the weather was warming up. My husband was busy working on the farm income statement so  I tried to set up my new folding ladder  by myself but it was a bit too heavy for me to set up so I asked my husband for help.  I was afraid to break my window with the heavy ladder. He took pity on me and came to help shovel. It works every time.... Sorry, no pictures.

Then I got into my dye pots and did my yellow. Well it's sort of yellow, I guess. All I know, I like the results.  This time I used Strawberry Red, Buttercup Yellow and Bronze Green. This is my third palette.

Since my canner only holds 7 jars, I use another small pot for my 8th palette.

Here is the results of my yellow palette.

 I decided to dye some skin color and boiled some onion skins.
This is the onion skins that were left after draining.  I could have used a third of it and it would have been plenty.

 I boiled quite a bit more than I needed. I wanted some skin color and thought that I would experiment  with  different strength.  I got quite a bit of dye solution from about two cups of onion skins. A quart plus a bit more in the pot. It doesn't take much to get some strong color.
I started with a very weak solution and added a bit more dye solution for each piece of wool and I believe that this was my third piece. Sorry, I didn't take a picture every time.

This was my last piece, just before I added the vinegar 

 Here is the result of my onion skin for tonight. I'll try some stronger solution tomorrow.

I hope that you enjoyed my little adventure into the dye pot.  Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment.  JB


  1. Hi Julia, It's all looking great! I have been gardening today and now I am going to transfer a drawing of a cow on to my rug I am doing.Wow airport security is crazy but we have to do it.Cheri

  2. Hi Julia,
    I'm just catching up on some of your past posts! What a great set up you have for dyeing! And your results are fabulous! It will be so nice to have all the great colors on hand for your rugs now!
    Be careful on that roof! Let's hope winter is soon over so all you have to do is hook and not worry about all that snow!
    Thank-you too for your encouragement and kind words on my teaching! Tomorrow night is going to be interesting!
    Cathy G

  3. Love the colors. Do you use red onion skins or yellow? I've been saving the yellow and want to try my hand at this. How many do you use? I'm sorry about all the questions, but I love the effect! Gosh I hope you get a break from the white stuff soon!

  4. Love your adventure into the dye pot. I never hook with a swatch so this is so interesting for me. I am primitive all the way or I may use a 3 value swatch. You are always so busy. So sorry about your daughters plans.

  5. You have become a master dyer. I never have seen it done in the canner, but it makes so much sense.
    Sorry your daughter didn't get there. Is that James mom or you have another daughter. I can't keep up with everyones children.
    Hope she makes it next week end.

  6. Wonderful job with the dyeing Julia! They are beautiful colors.

  7. Julia,
    You are becoming quite the accomplished dyer. Great job. I see sunflowers with the yellow palette.
    Good grief woman - be careful on that roof!! I hired someone to do mine. I would have probably got distracted up there and fallen off!

  8. Wow Julia...I am so impressed with your dying abilities!!! Almost makes me want to try it!

  9. Marie-Pierre SORINMarch 3, 2011 at 1:17 PM

    Hello, i am french, i like rug hooking and i like your blog, with fotos for dying the wool, cutting.Thank you very much

  10. Thanks everyone for all your positive comment on my attempt at dyeing wool. I'm pleased with the results and will continue to dye more of my palettes as time allows. Time I spend dyeing is keeping me away from hooking but I still get my 10 minutes a day in.

    Marie-Pierre, welcome to my blog and thank you for your comment
    Marie- Pierre, bienvenue a mom blog et merci pour ton commentaire. JB

  11. I like your dye pot and I like your palettes. I am such a fan of natural dyes that I like your onion dye very much.
    Thank you for your comment on ducks. I forgot about lice. That was why I stopped fishing because I had to clean my own fish. First one I caught was filled with eggs. I have never fished again unless it is catch and release. I don't think I would have cleaned a duck. :)

  12. I have tried onion dyes too during a Natural Dye class that I took at the school last year. My colours turned out completely different form the person that did them the year before and different again from the results in the class this year. So I think that it is safe to say that it would be hard to predict the exact shade and tone of yellow that you would get from one batch of onion skins to the next. We always do our dye measurements based on the amount of fibre that we are dyeing. A lot are 100% Weight Of Goods (WOG) but some are as low as 10%.

  13. What mordant are you using for the onion skin solution Jackie. I tried salt and didn't like the gray tone I was getting and I have much better results with vinegar. I was intending of doing some stronger swatches this evening but worked on the blue palette instead. Mom