Pokeberry Therapy

I have an inordinate, unreasonable, and inexplicable affection for pokeberries.

I love their perfectly smooth, round, replete, purpleish-black berries.

I love the little click sound they make when you pull a perfectly ripe one off its stem.

I love the fuscia color they stain my hands, and how [relatively] easily it washes off.

Right now, my freezer looks sort of like this:


And the giant canning pot on our stove looks like this:


I might as well come out and announce it, as its probably obvious anyway from the freakish way in which I’ve been collecting natural dyestuffs. I’m starting my own yarn business, using only natural dyes. Right now I’m also only using recycled yarn from thrift store sweaters, but once I sell a few skeins, I’m hoping to branch out a bit. God willing, I’ll be selling yarn through Etsy, through Cloverhill, and through word of mouth. I’m pretty psyched.

Our decision to move in this direction was confirmed somewhat by a rather unusual event last week. A lady who comes by our store on occasion who is on the Sheep & Wool Festival planning committee got into a conversation with Jolene about natural dyes. I got in on the conversation, and over the course of a couple more visits, I talked her into trying black walnut dyeing (as it really is rather magically easy). She and her friend chatted about some indigo plants they had going, and she said she might pass on some of her product to me, as she didn’t have much use for it. I, of course, would be delighted at the prospect of indigo, which I didn’t expect to have on hand for a couple more seasons.

Imagine my surprise when, the next day, she stumbles into the store through the pouring rain in a bright, multi-colored raincoat with a giant pot in her hand. She proudly showed me the black walnut samples she’d done that day, and bequeathed upon me her giant pot of indigo plants, which looked rather unhappy, to be frank. I was bowled over and tickled many colors of pink, and took it as yet more confirmation that, yes, this is really a good time to pursue yarny dreams!

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