Walnut Chunky Lite

100% Wool – Magnificent Walnut Chunky Lite yarn dyed in small batches with Black Walnuts 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 Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) collected 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 Walnut 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.

Black Walnut trees are resident here and there in the forest areas of the farm, particularly on the edges of ravines and gullies. The nuts are round rather than oblong like their Butternut cousins. 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