I sparked a very concerned conversation on Facebook when I mentioned I was ditch-diving for Queen Anne’s Lace. Its cousins, Wild Parsnip and Poison Hemlock, are also out there and dangerous. Great to see people care! So after verifying my research, I took off well after the dew had dried to harvest some of the lacy blossoms. Amid birds scolding me for invading their space, I quickly harvested about 6 ounces of blossoms, and a handful of mixed wild flowers for my table.
Queen Anne’s Lace has a lovely smell to it. Some people say it is carroty – maybe. It’s sweetly green, I agree. I buried my nose in the bag before pulling them out to weigh them. Can you see the red dot? That is, according to legend, Queen Anne surrounded by courtiers, or her lace collar.
I know I can get a fairly nice yellow by simmering the blossoms, but I’m doing an experiment with cold water dyeing this year. As the jar sits in the sun, will the dye pigment release into the water? It will with some roots, like madder, and with tea and coffee. But I can’t find any information on line where people say “no, cold water dye does not work,” just lots of suggestions to use hot water dyeing methods. But that’s why it’s an experiment; even if someone else gets results, will I?
One of my new favorite ‘will this dye?’ sources is Leslie Hall Consulting’s natural dye table. She does mention dye methods on some of the sources, and some mention that they will work with cool dye methods. Queen Anne’s Lace does not mention cool – is this because it won’t work, or because she hasn’t tried it? Nevertheless, I’m going to try. Along side my traditional marigolds!