We have wintered extremely easily this year. At first, it was so warm it could be taken for early autumn. When Yule came and the Earth bounced off the Sun so much, the heat could no longer hold to this place, the snow covered the vegetation thoroughly. Such prepared world and my gardens survived winter really well. It is true that I’ve suffered some losses, but these were plants annual in our climate. I didn’t loose however any of the plants with which I have plans for the upcoming season. Not even a single one. Something ends, but something begins at the same time – this year my dye garden will be much greater and in plural. Yes, I’ll be having two dye gardens!
For all the witches viewing this blog I will present today a spell that closes summer in wool. All you will need is free afternoon, basket of flowers, yarn, alum, water, fire and time. And joy of charming 😉
Everyone that has played The Witcher or used to spend summers in the countryside knows how to treat warts and what is the main ingredient of swallow potion 😉 When cut, a bright yellow sap comes out of the celandine stalk. After applying it on two moles on my face (just in case!) a thought came to my mind to try it on wool. The idea seemed to be quite interesting as the is sap rich in color and the lower part of the plant you take, the darker the sap is reaching deep orange in roots.
After a long wait for the first shoots and being worried that my dye garden will eventually become a desert, finally I am ready to show what I’ve got over there. Yet before I go further.. thank you Arek for digging the garden! 🙂
There are successes , but also failures. So far I can not see any madder shoots ( Rubia tinctorum ) nor weld ( Reseda luteola ). I do not think that I sowed them too late , I would rather put the blame on my further gardening mistakes or my impatience. Yet I am still hoping a bit they will show up.
When it comes to my spinning preferences , they were clear up to this day – I was making 2 ply and n-ply yarns all the time. Thus I ousted yarn singles from my workshop entirely. Enlightenment came when I got the tops of Wensleydale sheep, or rather sea waves! I made a dye mixture using primary colors to achieve orange and green (or at least I thought it did) and dyed it. In the pictures you can see that the colors haven’t been mixed perfectly, but this only added more beauty to it in my mind.
I was tempted to write “Lamia” here (my cat’s name 🙂 ).
I shyly cooked in a pot half of my llama wool supplies which was 50 grams. I was too fearful to risk whole lot that I have – the fiber is one of those luxury ones and in luxurious price as well, so.. everything is be clear now i suppose 😉 Fortunately altogether with its price come sensory experiences – the fiber was subjected to proces of removing thicker hair so what landed in my hands is like.. afterheader almost 🙂 The roving was more than soft (20 microns!) with a subtle shine and slightly slippery. I was a bit affraid of losing these properties during dyeing which always felts the wool a bit. Fortunately none of these happened 😀
Since this is my first entry where I’m going to show dyed top, I will try to put here a concise instruction on a dyeing method I know from Monika Kołątaj from our Spinners’ Club (link to her blog is here). To be exact I will add that I used Jacquard acid dyes.