A few days ago I was feeling a bit discouraged about my lack of mobility and didn't know what I wanted to do for the afternoon when there was a knock at my door. It was two of my young friends from fiber camp and their mom. M brought me a bouquet from her garden and her brother J brought me a big bag of chicory.
Here is what one chicory plant looks like that is growing near the fiber shed. Mostly though, you see it growing all along the roadside. A few weeks ago, I asked a couple of my young friends if they could pick some chicory for me, if they had time, because I wanted to dye some wool with the leaves.
It is reported in some old books, that the leaves of chicory make a beautiful blue dye, the color of the flower, and the flowers make a green dye. Others say that they have not gotten a blue dye from the leaves. The chicory plant has basal leaves that are large and lobed and stem leaves that are quite small and linear. The basal leaves seem to have more pigment in the veins.
I think that chicory is technically a biannual not a perennial, which would explain the rosettes that were mixed in with the tall plants. What I think are rosettes, are in the basket below. I separated them to see if they would produce a different color.
I decided to try the flowers too but they don't last long so I don't know how that will work out.
Stay tuned for part 2