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Thursday, 5 January 2012


Inspiration can come from many different places and people.  This week I was inspired by two of the websites I follow: firstly, the Italian Dish blog which you can find on my side bar (just click on the web address and it will take you to her site), and secondly from a fairly new dyeing and spinning blog that I've been looking at.

I'm tempted by lots of different recipes on the Italian Dish, and this week decided to make some of these :-

I'd never made any candied peel before and was really surprised at how easy these were to make.  The orange peel (including pith) is just cut into slices, blanched for 2 minutes in boiling water (3 times), and then cooked in a mixture of orange juice, sugar and water. After that they're rolled in sugar (I used caster sugar) and laid out to dry.  Next day they're simply dipped into melted chocolate and put onto greaseproof paper to solidify. They are delicious!  I'll definitely be making them again, especially as I made three baking sheets-worth and we've only got these left :-

Mind you, I did separate out a tubful for a gift.  On second thoughts, maybe it's not such a good idea to make them too often!!

The second bit of inspiration I had was really more of a reminder than anything.  I was looking at this site and when I saw that she was dyeing with lichen, I remembered I had two bags in my cupboard.  So today, out came the dye pots, in went the lichen, and hopefully out comes some really pretty wool.

I had two different types of lichen (they do look a bit the same, but one was green and one brown) so I kept them separate, but actually they looked pretty similar once I'd strained them and put in the wool.

The two pans are now cooling and I'll leave the wool in there until they're completely cold. Only when it's been rinsed will I know if there is any difference between the two.

I forgot to post the result of my dyeing experiment with the apricot bark.  It was a bit disappointing because, although there seemed to be plenty of colour in the dye, the wool just didn't seem to take up much of it.  The photos below don't do it justice really as it's a very pale peach with the tips a bit darker.

I put the pieces of bark back into some water to see if I could extract any more dye, so maybe I should just put this back in and have another go.  It's got the potential to be quite a pretty colour if only I could get some more dye into it.

I'll post the results of the lichen dyes in a day or two - I'm actually quite excited about these.

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