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Thursday, 1 March 2012

Update, Update, Update

That's three projects I have to report on.

Firstly, Sarah's sweater now has the neck finished.  I was a bit doubtful about this at first, because I used a ball of wool that I knew was a shade darker than the rest, but when I showed it to our neighbour, she couldn't tell the difference.  There are variations in colour all over the sweater, not from ball to ball, but there are variations in each ball.  I think it adds to the charm!  (Hopefully Sarah will too - they're her camels  who caused the colour differences after all!)

Anyway, here it is so far :-

Just the sleeves to go now.  I have one ball of wool left, so will probably need about two more.

Second project :-

Yesterday I mordanted some merino fleece and dyed it in the unknown fungi mix that I made the other day.  It came out a sort of muted yellow with orangey tips.  Quite nice, but nothing spectacular.  I pulled off a small piece and put it in a cup of vinegar to see if that altered the colour at all.  If anything it made the colours a little more yellow.  So then I tried another sample in a mix of ammonia and water and the difference was startling.  It immediately brightened and intensified the colour, especially the orangey tips.  This is it, what do you think?

Close up :-

This is still damp, but I don't think the colours will change much in drying.  I'm quite excited to see how this cards up and spins.

OK, third project.  This is actually an old project which I thought was dead and gone, failed miserably!  Well, not really as it did give some hope for having another go this year.

Remember the cotton I was trying to grow and ran out of sunshine and warm weather before it had matured?  I didn't take the plants out, I just left them as they were, covered with glass cloches.  Yesterday, I noticed that two of the seed heads had opened a little bit - one only just.  I picked them both and took the more open one to bits.  We have cotton, and we have seeds!!

The seed head on the right hadn't quite made it.  Those are the seeds in the middle on the piece of paper.

The cotton is extremely soft and very fine.  I think I would have a larger amount if the cotton bolls had been able to carry on growing and then mature in the sun, but I'm actually pretty proud of this!

Seeds will be sown in the greenhouse (which is almost finished) within the next week.

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