On my walk last week it was exciting to come across three old birch trees that had fallen. It was (and still is) my intention to collect a little of the bark for dyeing, so to find that I had a tree of my own at the weekend was lovely. Obviously taking bark from a healthy, living tree didn't seem like a good or nice idea, but there were a couple of dead branches knocked I think when the old tree that used to stand next to it came down in a storm.
The quest for a pinkish-red was an exciting one...but it didn't happen. Reading up a little, I should have been less impatient and let the bark steep in water for a few days before boiling, so I'll try that with the rest and have another go.
I do like the colour though, and it has a nice coral tone to it. Close!
20g birch bark (mostly inner bark), covered with water and boiled for one hour then left overnight to cool
25g wool yarn, pre-mordanted with alum and cream of tartar
simmer in the dyebath for one hour, leave to cool and rinse