Saturday, 31 December 2011

Dyeing with lichen

Now I know about dyeing with lichen, I see them everywhere in the garden. They simply drop off the trees! At first there seemed to be two kinds, but now I see more. I've been gathering them and put them nicely together in the dyepot. They are simmering at the moment, for at least one hour. The smell is getting stronger...

Later, when it has cooled down, I will take the lichen out and put the wool in. Then I will reheat until simmering (again for about one hour) and then leave it overnight. It doesn't need a mordant. Can hardly wait to see the result!

Dyeing wool with henna

Yesterday I've been dyeing fleece with henna. I bought a package of mahogany colored henna and made 30 grams of the powder into a paste with some boiling water. Then I added cold water and the soaked wool, 60 grams. This has been simmering for over an hour. I didn't use a mordant.
I'm quite happy with the result; so far I had mainly yellowish colors and this one is more orange. The picture shows a more yellow color then it actually is. By the way: this is what our shower often looks like!

Make your own tinctures

This afternoon I have been making tinctures from what is available in the garden at this time of the year. That is mostly roots and bark. I found roots of dandelion, meadowsweet, and lady's mantle and bark of willow and barberry. The procedure is dead simple. I strip the bark off the branches with a sharp knife. After digging up the roots I give them a good rinse and scrub and then I cut them up. Each plant root or bark goes in a different jam jar and then I pour vodka on. The first week I shake them every day, to make sure the material is covered in alcohol. Then I put the jars in a cupboard and leave them for a few weeks. When they're ready I pour out the jar in a sieve lined with a piece of fabric and the tincture is ready to use. I will tell you more about how to use it and what to use it for later!

Making a bag with my handspun

Just got into a creative space! (You should see my room now)
I've been learning how to spin at a spinning circle in Nairn and I'm enjoying it immensely. Now Patsy, our leading spinster, started off a competition. We all got some fleece (from the Welsh Lleyn sheep) and the idea is to make a bag. Now competitions scare the lot out of me AND I'm just a beginning spinster, so I decided I'll have to impress with something else then my spinning skills :) I have been experimenting dyeing with plants and am crocheting these bit together. I hope they will form a bag someday. The pattern I use is from attic24
The yellow is a second bath with onion skins and the brown is a lichen: Lungwort (Lobaria pulmonaria).
By the way: I switch to English. A bilingual blog is just too much fuss and most Dutch people read English quite well. Maybe I'll change the name of the blog too... Any suggestions?
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