We have really been blessed this year with our harvest of beets. They did much better this year than ever before. They did so well that I have been canning beets day, after day, after day....Well you get the picture.
Last week I was at the thrift store and found an adorable skirt that was probably brand new for just a couple of dollars. It was a super buy and it fit. The one problem was that it was white. I do not like to wear white on the bottom half of my body. Don't know why, just have never liked to do it. Maybe it's just a one of those women things :) Of course I bought the skirt anyway because color is not a deterent, color is a challenge and I love a challenge.
What does a thrift store skirt have to do with beets, you ask? Ahhhh, now I saw the lights go on. Yep, I was pickling beets when I saw that beautiful red color and thought how wasteful it was to throw out that beet juice. It was then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw that skirt laying there awaiting my attention. I thought, why not any color is better than white.
I got online and did a little research on dying with beets and found that beets are a great dye for wool but not really recommended for cotton unless you want a tan skirt. Well now.....tan is exactly what I was wanting. I love the bright red color of beet juice but I don't necessarily want to yell "Hey, I am wearing a skirt the color of beets!" I figured what the heck there wasn't much to lose. If the color was that bad I would just wear it in the garden. I love to wear long skirts in the garden to protect my skin and still say cool.
The end results were a skirt that I love the color on, it is more of a tan color or maybe even a dusty rose color than it is pink or beet red. I will say there were a couple of points when I was "cooking" the skirt and saw that bright color that I was a little worried. Sure I could have gotten the tanish, dusty rose color by using tea as a dye but the beet juice was sitting there calling my name.
All worked well with the beet juice and the skirt, and I was still able to add the remainder of the beet juice to the compost pile. Now that is what I call using what you have to the fullest!
If you want to see a picture of the completed skirt and step by step instructions for dying with beet juice see the natural dying with beets article in our Fiber Arts section. visit our Fiber Arts section.