I swoon every time late August arrives because it signals the return of my favorite plant dye flower.
The yellow it gives in fields and dye pots is by far my favorite. I thought I would lay out a few mordant and after dip combinations I have done. There isn't much a difference in yellows - the ammonia after dip warms it up considerably - but the iron after dip is quite significant. There is a difference in color depending on the wool/yarn you choose. Its always important to do your own tests. When you do your tests make sure you use to correct per portion of dye to weight of yarn. If you make up your "full" dye pot but dip in test yarns remember that the tests will produce a darker color than if you had put in your full amount of yarn.
When I make a pot of goldenrod dye I fill my pot full of blossom tips. The tips are fresh and barely open. The older the flower the saddened the color will be, but if your going to add iron anyway to get that great green it would be fine. Plus in November and the last flowers are blooming I grab them anyway. I have two frozen bags of fresh flowers in the freezer and plan on using them this winter - I'll post the results here in an update to see if they produce anything different.
I have over dyed goldenrod and indigo and receive the most gorgeous greens you ever have seen. I also have a great time achieving oranges with cochineal. Ill try to post that next.
Remember its not the lovely goldenrod that is making you sneeze but the ragweed that grows next to it - so marvel in the beauty of goldenrod and enjoy its splendor of color.
I am also happy to report that I am once again the Handwork Teacher for the Ithaca Waldorf School in Ithaca, NY. I start tomorrow and I will hopefully take up this blog to track my comings and goings of teaching this year and future years.