Posts Tagged 'dye'

Woad Seeds, dye pots and more or less interesting messes


I’m still collecting Woad seeds. When the one plant that had started going to seed took off I wrapped it in a tomato cage and will continue collecting seeds as long as they appear. Also on the to-do list is to start sending out seed packets to various fellow-dyers.

  

My idea of an enjoyable weekend: dyed more yarn, Woad and Onion peel pots and made a batch of Plantine and Lavender salve.

Woad: Seeds

One of my favorite dye blogs is Rihivilla Dyeing with natural dyes. Wonderful pictures and good information. The current post: Riihivilla, Dyeing with natural dyes: Now in my garden Nyt puutarhassa has a good picture (scroll down a bit) of what Woad seeds look link when ready to harvest.

Pictures of my going-to-seed Woad plant below. (Hand in pictures to give an idea of the size of the seeds.)

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Woad and aphids


Woad flowers. What you don’t see in this picture are the aphids.


Up to now it seemed that nothing wanted to lunch on my dye plants, not even snails – and the latter are capable of tearing up a cactus.

At least until a couple of days ago. Went out to water the garden and found a herd of aphids parked on the Woad plant just below the flowering stems.

The plant seems ok, continues flowering and I’ve started spraying with my home brew ‘insecticidal soap’  (dish soap and water).

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Coaxing Blue: part 2 – got woad (powder)

My first batch of Woad sludge finally evaporated down to powder.  As soon as the order of Spectralite arrives I’ll test it out.

And the new Woad coming up.

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Rain, Sun and back to Rain Again



Did I mention that the weather here is volatile and often just plain weird? Rain coming down in buckets. Windy. Tomorrow noon it may be sunny and near 70°, unlikely as that seems right now.

 Good weather to say in and weave. I’m currently working on a small piece woven with the “deconstructed” or recycled Abercrombie & Fitch sweater wool from my local Out-of-the-Closet thrift shop. Project began as a local guild challenge (earlier dye posts) and I’m still weaving through the accumulated stash.
The wool is a natural off-white. It’s been dyed with onion skins, Hibiscus flower (dried), Woad (powdered), Fennel, miscellaneous yard trash and copper or iron mordants.  I don’t really have a good, reliable local blue so generally I use Woad powder or Indigo. I was trying as much as possible to use what’s locally available and go easy on the chemical mordants.


The cats deal with the weather by alternately hibernating and demanding the door to Spring. Not a bad plan.

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my idea of a good day

My idea of a really good day is getting things done. Winter solstice has passed and we are finally getting more daytime light. This weekend  I managed my usual weekend laundry, garden weeding and did a small woad vat.


[left to right: yellow #2 exhaust bath, cactus fruit, woad, woad over-dyed with fennel.]

I’ve been working on onion baths, first one for the darker color – tangerine-orange – and exhaust the remaining dye for lighter yellow. [The pinkish-orange was my previously mentioned cactus fruit attempt.


[upper left clockwise: onion with a 15 min copper after-bath, onion #1 bath, cactus fruit, onion #2 exhaust bath.]

I’ve tried 1:1 (fiber:dye stuff) but have found that 1:.5) works well too even if I have to let it sit longer. First bath simmers for an hour, sits over night and then the 2nd exhaust bath is another hour of simmering and again cooling over night.

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Seasons Greetings and all that

I have this theory that the  best to start a new year, or move to a new home, is with newly begun (or even unfinished) projects. Then there is something ready to work on immediately. My way of making myself feel at home while the cats no doubt are sniffing every corner.

That in mind there’s a dressed loom and a simmering dye pot waiting. Not a bad way to start the new year off.

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