Something ends, something begins – my dye garden after the winter

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!

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Dyeing with celandine

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.

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My dye garden

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.

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Colourful llama

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 😀

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Dyeing my Shetland in a pot

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.

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