Butternut Chunky Lite

100% Wool – Indulgent Butternut Chunky Lite yarn dyed in small batches with Butternuts harvested from the forest right here on the farm

The Yarn

  • 100% Purebred Columbia Wool
  • 2 ply Chunky Lite
  • ~220 yards/4 oz (112g)

The Natural Dye

  • Nuts of the Butternut (Juglans cinerea) collects from the forest at the farm
  • Nuts simmered for few hours, then un-mordanted yarn added to pot with nuts and simmered until desired shade

Washing

  • Hand wash or gentle machine cycle
  • warm/warm small load
  • inside out in sized delicates bag is good practice (not too loose, not too snug)
  • no bleach
  • dry flat

This is Josh, one of the purebred Columbia sheep whose fleece forms the base of this Butternut Chunky Lite natural dyed yarn.

Josh is a Wether, so his only job is to grow beautiful fleece. The fleece is spun on an antique mule spinner, one of only a few left in North America. It is a mule as in a crossbred, but in this case instead of a cross between a horse and a donkey, its a cross between the new technology and the old. The resulting yarn is loftier and softer than the same fibre spun on modern draw frames. When the yarn is freshly spun it is more of a worsted or even worsted light weight. The process of dyeing, washing and rinsing relaxes its loftiness, and the finished yarn more closely resembles a chunky light weight.

Butternut trees are resident here and there in the forest and fence rows of the farm. Butternut is a member of the Walnut family. The nuts are more oblong than round like a Black Walnut, and the husks are sticky. They produce their nuts in late summer into early fall and I collect them while their husks are still green, as it is the husks that have the highest concentration of dye compounds. That means picking them directly off the tree where reachable, or racing the squirrels to collect them off the ground when the fall, and before the green hulls start to blacken.The nuts also contain tannin which means the dye compounds don’t need a mordant to fix it to the Butternut Chunky Lite yarn.

 

Purebred Columbia Wether Josh