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Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The End of the Blues

My final woad dyeing session of the year.  This is probably the darkest blue I've managed with woad leaves (there were a lot).  The photo doesn't really show the full depth of colour as there's a bit too much light reflection on the skeins - they are darker in real life.

These are all merino, haven't worked out the yardage yet, but I'm planning to knit an Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief which is a free Ravelry pattern.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Postscript to "The Dye That Wouldn't Die"

Just to finish off my previous post on the pink dye, these are the final photos/weights of the wool I dyed.

Bearing in mind we weighed out just enough dye to dye the 200g cardigan, I think I did pretty well to dye all the above.  These come to 360g in total.

Starting with the two skeins on the left, these were the first two to be submerged in the dye - Alpaca/Silk, weighing 160g between them.  The third from the left is 80g of either Falkland/Silk or Merino/Silk (must write things down!) and went into the dyepot next. Surprisingly, the final skein to go in there turned out to be the darkest (work that one out!).  This is definitely Merino/Silk and weighs 40g.

Finally, 80g of Falkland fleece was stuffed in there and still came out a really nice pink.

Sorry about the quality of the photos - for some reason I find pink very difficult to photograph.  It aways comes out sort of fuzzy and shocking!

Monday, 18 November 2013

The Dye that Wouldn't Die

A few days ago Tammy came up to our house for a bit of help dyeing a child's cardigan. The wool was from her neighbours' sheep (Rob sheared them earlier in the year and they gave all the fleeces to Tammy).  She wanted to make something for them to say thank you, and decided it would be nice to make their little girl (2 years old) a cardigan.  She spun all the wool and then passed it on to another neighbour to knit.

The plan was to leave the cardigan the natural fleece colour and add some little wooden toggles as fasteners, but when it was knitted up it became apparent that the wool was two different shades and really didn't look good.  So the dyepot it was!  Tammy picked a really nice raspberry-coloured dye (Landscape Dyes) and we weighed out enough to dye the cardigan.  I don't have a photograph yet of this, but it did look really stunning when finished.

There was still quite a bit of colour left in the dyepot afterwards, and as Tammy had no further use for it, I just had to dye some skeins myself.  Couldn't waste it!  I put in two skeins of alpaca/silk and heated it through.  I was surprised at the depth of colour from this second dye session.  I was even more surprised that there was still a fair amount of colour left after I'd removed the skeins.  In went another one . . . and then another when that came out!

Here's the fourth skein (still very wet, but look at that colour!) :-

This one was merino/silk.

And there was still a decent amount of dye left in the pan.  Was this dye never going to die?  I'd run out of handspun skeins by then, so I stuffed in some Falkland fleece and gave that a go.  As you can see, it's not too shabby :-

By this time, the dye water was pale pink, so I decided to call it a day and throw the rest away.  I'm sure I'd still have achieved some colour from it though!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Shaggy Parasol

This, I think, is a Shaggy Parasol mushroom (Macrolepiota Rhacodes).  I've found it's relative, Macrolepiota Procera - Parasol Mushroom) occasionally in the countryside, but never anywhere near our house.  Both of these mushrooms are edible.

Can anyone tell me then, why this mushroom was found growing inside our house, albeit in an undeveloped part?  It was growing quite happily in the angle between the floor and a plastered wall.  I've since broken the cap into various small parts and distributed them around the garden, hoping in future years they may choose to grow here.

In the meantime, I've been busy spinning like mad for our Christmas sale on 1st December in the village hall.  There will be photos soon!