Sunday, June 13, 2010

Summer dyeing garden

The five foot plant to the left of the prayer stone is elecampane

A close up of the first elecampane blossom to open

Yes, I brought home mostly natural colored sheep so I would have wonderful shades of black, brown, and grey yarns to knit with BUT I love the yellows and oranges of calendula, coreopsis, elecampane, and the rudbeckias. And we do have two white sheep living with us. Also I should be able to get some wonderful colors with Mira's fleece and even Sarah's and Annie's. Must consider all options.

Besides what else do I have to do except wash many more fleeces, and card and spin them. Each day I try to either wash a batch of fleece, card at least one drumful or spin an equivalent. All processes are going well but there is just SO MUCH fleece and with the equipment I am using I can only do relatively small batches at a time.

When my friend Kathleen was visiting a few weeks ago, she weeded the dyeing garden with me and reminded me of a book on natural dyeing that she had sent me a review of. She suggested I try to get the book through interlibrary loan which I did. It is a great book.

The book is Indigo, Madder, & Marigold by Trudy Van Stralen. The author lives in Canada on a beautiful old farm and has a great set up for processing large quantities of fleece at one time. She has huge stainless vats that she can fit fifty pounds of wool in. She heats the water over a wood fire. Now all of you who know me-- doesn't that sound like something I should have. I wonder if I could just use my hot tub. I will have to think about that.

I have been giving some fleece to friends so some time I should start hearing about what they have done with it and hopefully they will send pictures.

I think things are going pretty much as I would like them to. The most important thing at this point is just getting around thirty to forty pounds of fleece washed. The hot tub is sounding better all the time. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

  1. Fabulous idea! I am starting to make my own organic soap colour this year too. I have some made but not yet used from my red hibiscus. I will be experimenting with other colours too.