Knapweed continued

Well, that plant dye week, that just hasn’t happened yet. But I’m going to slowly start up the season by actually finishing some of my old halfdone posts from last year and see if that may get me going. At the very least, they’ll be out of my hair!

I’d read about saving the dyebath and use it once a week, first time I dyed with this plant. But couldn’t quite contain myself and did only 3-4 day intervals. This time I waited 3 weeks before dyeing another hank and had another surprise. Much stronger, much warmer in tone. The next one, 10 days later seemed pretty weak, so although the dyebath looked dark, I haven’t done any more.

But I think it’s interesting that it does not exhaust in the same way most plants do, but keep looking much the same after the first. I still have the jar with the leftover dyebath btw! It looks dark brown by now, who knows what’s growing in there! 😀

20th August & 1st Septemberknopurt4

I wrote last time that I wanted to do one with reeds, but although I had plenty of dye, I simply forgot. Instead one of them went in the Japanese indigo, with the intention of adding #3 to the woad, which I also forgot, having quite a handful of other yellows to try in there. Here they all are in their proper order #1 on the left:


Recently I read in an older book, that another knapweed “Centaurea scabiosa” is a better dye plant. She uses the leaves, not the flowers! Would be interesting to find and test. In fact, I didn’t know there was more than one!

So, googling this one, I’ve come to realise, that these flowers from my garden are also a type of knapweed (Centaurea montana?). Time to investigate!!! And definitely try out the leaves this year…. It has faithfully reproduced itself every year no matter how weedy or crowded that bed is, so I have high hopes for gathering seeds in case it’s good to dye, they should germinate easily in other locations too.


De sidste knopurtdanish

Siden jeg sidst havde gang i gryden, ventede jeg denne gang 3 uger inden jeg farvede igen, og pudsigt nok blev farven meget kraftigere igen og en del varmere i forhold til før. Jeg glemte både at putte et fed ned til tagrørene og til vaiden, det må blive en anden gang. Men det er pudsigt som farvebadet bare bliver ved og ved, hvor andre ret hurtigt bliver trætte.

Så læste jeg pludselig i en farvebog af Esther Nielsen, at STOR knopurt “Centaurea scabiosa” er den hun bruger, og ikke blomsterne men bladene. Da jeg så googlede for billeder, opdagede jeg at ovenstående blomster i min have nok også er en art knopurt (Centaurea montana), så nu skal der researches, og bladene ryger nok også i en gryde i år!!

brown knapweed
Centaurea jacea

Dyeing in 2014

plant dyed silk

A lot of readers come here while searching for posts on plant dyeing and some of you probably subscribed for that only. I realize that it’s been quiet on that front during the winter months, so I just wanted to make a service announcement that there will indeed be more posts about dyeing eventually. In fact I have several half done drafts I could begin with…

Soon I’ll be ordering seeds, this year I’m going to replace the coreopsis with orange cosmos to try out. There won’t be as many different plants as last year, rather new experiments with old ones. And I hope to be making things with my older dyed yarns to show. The first yarn I used felts really well but is very scratchy, so I’m looking for ideas for non-clothing. Baskets, bags, cushion covers, knit, crochet, woven, felted, pictures or pattern suggestions are welcome!

Some acid dyeing adventures are also likely to happen. I hope you’ll forgive me for skipping around between various topics, but that’s what real life is like here at the cottage.

I’ll try to make it easily accessible via the menu up top.

Farvning i 2014danish

Plantefarvningsindlæg har jo været lidt sparsomme her i vinter, men jeg kan se at de gamle stadig bliver læst ganske ofte, så jeg syntes lige jeg ville udsende en servicemeddelelse i den anledning. Der kommer helt sikkert mere farveri på programmet i år, ikke kun planter, men også pulverfarve.

Jeg bestiller snart frø og regner med at erstatte skønhedsøje med orange cosmos. Der bliver ikke så mange nye eller forskellige eksperimenter, jeg gentager heller ikke dem fra sidste år, men snarere nye eksperimenter med gamle kendinge.

Der skulle også være en chance for at få lavet lidt færdige ting med det plantefarvede garn, som jeg kan vise frem. Det garn jeg har brugt filter rigtig godt, men er ret krads, så hvis I har gode ideer til ting, frem for tøj, som man kan strikke, hækle, væve, filte, fx. tasker, puder, kurve osv, så del meget gerne billeder eller opskrifter! 🙂

Selvom jeg har opgivet at oversætte alle mine indlæg her på bloggen, vil jeg dog fortsætte med det når det gælder plantefarvningen, som minimum, evt. også andre garnrelaterede emner. Jeg håber I vil bære over med mig at jeg sådan springer i diverse emner hen over året, men det er sådan der ser ud her i farvehytten, både virtuelt og i virkeligheden.

Der er et særligt menupunkt i toppen til emnet, så jeg håber det er rimelig nemt at finde rundt.

Oddly enough, the old tea towel soaked up dye like a sponge


The shortest day yet
King Frost declines invitation
Green holidays ahead

A scent of Christmas
decorated forest floor
green tufts underfoot

Den korteste dag
Kong Frost takker nej til fest
Grøn jul i sigte

My interest in haiku a few weeks ago lasted exactly 2 days. Not that I don’t like them anymore, I just haven’t bothered. I think my brain simply thrives on new challenges? The thrill of firing untried combinations of neurons, no reason to go bungee jumping, you can get your kicks inside your own skull!

“Change all begins with thinking: we can immediately form new neurological connections and circuits that reflect our new thoughts. And nothing gets the brain more excited than when it’s learning – assimilating knowledge and experiences.” (“Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself” by Joe Dispenza)

It would seem, to stay alert and on your toes, learning new things is indeed the way to go. So I guess I’ll just carry on like I’ve always done, LOL. Multicraftual, multilingual, diving into all sorts of weird subjects just because. I read somewhere that bilingual people are less affected by Alzheimers and other forms of dementia because they have more word combinations to choose from. Well, I’ll have to get back to you on that one in 25-30 years, that is, if I remember to.

There will be more on this topic later as I hinted on Monday.

On a holiday note, well, I can eat good food and take a wee bit of time off (ok, the latter is untrue), but I don’t do holy days or anything ceremonial. I’m guessing most of you out there will be busy with your families the coming week, so I’m wishing you all the best and I hope to see everyone on the other side of xmas or in the new year! I’ll probably keep posting if I feel like it, regardless of a drop in readers, or I may not get enough uninterrupted time to do anything useful whatsoever.

I’m really looking forward to the afternoons getting longer, as my outside time is suffering, I go about my things in here and before I know it the sun is down. But outside things also wear me out physically, so it’s no use doing them in the morning, as I’ll then be napping most of the day.

Date night, a movie.
Off to see the bad dragon,
but not in 3D.


A cold afternoon
Fire crackles and warms the cat
inside – the wheel spins

I am no poet
Exercise in short writing
This is just a test


Kold eftermiddag
Ild knitrer, varmer katten
indenfor – rokken går

Når man vil øve
sig i at skrive koncist –
Jeg leger poet


Knitting this winter

reversible2Once again I’m going to contradict my own decisions, I guess it’s even becoming something of a rule. I said I’d knit small items rather than sweaters or begin to weave tapestries. Right. As it happens, all of a sudden I’ve become fat, no change in my diet and I’m moving more than last year, but still, here is the cold season and my closet is filled with sausage skins. So I have to do something about that, and I have yarn long ago dedicated to this anyway. It’s going to be much faster than losing the lard, even at my knitting rate, I’m not exactly from a family of fast metabolism.

Last year I began my reversible sweater, and made it all the way to starting the sleeves. But it was juuust an inch too tight all of a sudden, the neckline too, whereas the sleeves were too wide. The raglan method I’d invented worked in theory, it just didn’t look very good, and – the whole thing was a bit short too. So I decided to start over, change the design a bit accordingly and then it never happened. Well, now it has. I’m actually DONE! Sewing in the ends invisibly doesn’t count. I’m on it already. Needs a little wash to even out stitches too. And I suppose I need to get Mimi padded up to match my current proportions!

Drop's delight

Next up are two hopefully quickies in the same yarn from Drops, two colourways. One I’m knitting with a strand of slate coloured alpaca, it was destined to become a Forest Nymph dress, but I can’t wrap my head around cables and shortrows at the same time just now, so it’ll be another raglan and then I’ll just keep going until I run out of yarn. The other one will be a sideways garter thing real simple on large needles because I only have 6 skeins. Just for an over the top of everything else in the cold, could become a vest actually, I’ll have to swatch. Possibly I could knit with a natural Mulberry 6/1 single that I have stashed somewhere? Any other ideas how to stretch the yarn?


The remainder of the blue yarn I thought of using for a two sided hat, with some of my handspun on the outside, the blue is absolutely non-itchy but of course not as warm as wool and I have very delicate ears, so it needs to be fairly windproof.

Further projects I probably shouldn’t even begin to think about, knowing my track record of sticking to plans. Feel free to hold me accountable for these however! 😉

And to make it a WIP Wednesday too, here’s some of my current reading material.



På trods af min erklæring om ikke at strikke trøjer mere, er der alligevel hele 3 på pindene til denne vinter. Jeg er simpelthen blevet så fed i løbet af året, at det meste af mit tøj sidder som pølseskind, selvom jeg bevæger mig mere end året forinden og spiser det samme!

Den blå omvendesweater jeg begyndte sidste år er sådan set nærmest færdig, den måtte strikkes om, da den også var blevet stram. Og så improviserer jeg lige et par hurtige med noget Drops jeg har liggende, den ene farve skulle egentlig have været denne model, men jeg kan ikke koncentrere mig om at lave vendestrik og kabler på samme tid, så nu bliver det bare en top-down raglan indtil der ikke er mere garn.

Og så må jeg hellere lade være med at lave flere planer, for jeg overholder dem jo alligevel ikke.

Og så vil jeg strikke en dobbelthat af noget hjemmespundet udenpå og rester af det blå trøjegarn indeni, så mine sarte inderører er beskyttet og min sarte hud ikke bliver kradset af ulden.