More clothes changing

I’m having severe painting withdrawal symptoms (ie temper tantrums, surliness, self pity and alround discomfort), but I’m also too knackered to do anything really involved today. Napping a lot sounds fascinating! I’m only halfway through my house&garden chores, so it will perhaps be at least a week before I pick up my brushes again, depending on when I wake up from this fatigue, finish the chores, wake up from the next fatigue, yadda yadda more chores having arrived. 😉 I have taken some time this weekend to play a bit with my old macro lens and flowers, that helps in soothing my nerves and itchy fingers.

Today’s program got cut down to one physical assignment, needing perfect weather which will end tomorrow, and then I thought I could do little short sessions on my wardrobe situation. Not all necessarily, just a suggestion, mind.

  1. Fix those sleeves on the denim dress.
  2. Fix some other sleeves and then dye the offending sweater – see below.
  3. Cut my green saori fabric for assembly (knit piece to be done) – I’ll show you that when it’s done.
  4. Seam my blue woven tunic (which I haven’t shown you yet either)
  5. Hem a pair of pants that I had already done with an iron-in clever thing that glues the fabric together until it’s been washed…
  6. Wash my holey sweater before deciding if I want longer sleeves, YES, it is done, just need to weave in ends. When it’s dry. Unless I decide to shorten body and lengthen sleeves.
  7. OMG there must be rhubarb in the “jungle” now, I need to cook something with it. Yum. I also have some lactose free cream that expires next week, fresh vanilla…

All done in little increments, such as:messytable

  • Put holey sweater in really hot water in sink. Leave it until you can touch it.
  • Get the sewing machine from upstairs.
  • Have coffee with PC while boiling a very large pot of tea and red onion peels.
  • Measure and cut all your fabrics and do the zigzagging. Or one at a time.
  • Reheat coffee in microwave. Watch funny video.
  • Pin saori jacket together, try it on Mimi and determine whether the knit piece is really really going to be 15 cm wide.
  • Lunch
  • Nap in garden unless the wind picks up.
  • Dogwalk. No shopping on the way home, eat leftovers. Or corn flour pancakes with extra eggs. Or both.
  • Interwebs clicking
  • Sew the denim sleeves (in portions of drawing wedges, zz’ing wedges, attaching wedges, find ribbon edge for sleeves) and the side panels on the tunic. Perhaps. Oh well, the machine is out anyway.
  • Clear table in hopeful anticipation of some painting session or other. Put all the plants back that the kittens had knocked down.
  • Put up electric fence on all window sills Daydream.
  • Take pictures of projects with new broken pocket cam and post them on blog.
  • Garden walk sit and dig up offending dandelions and thistles.

orange3Anyway, on to my latest modification. Remember my orange sweater? While I love the pattern, I never really loved the sweater. I’d been too enthusiastic with my sleeve decreases AND it turned out the yarn is crazy itchy on the body. It’s cotton/alpaca and you’d never guess just touching it, on the contrary. And then there’s the colour. It just feels like an orange version of beige on me, not flattering. So all in all, I didn’t use it much.

So first I decided to frog the sleeves. Yes, I could have knit them again, wider, but I’m not in the mood, and it really looks best with nothing under = crazy itchy.

khakiAnd now it’s a vest, and it’s had a large pot of tea. I’m always cold, but too many layers of sleeves really get in the way when you’re working with either water or paint. What do you think? The onion peels were a stupid idea since the vest isn’t mordanted, in fact the tea didn’t take either except to activate the iron afterbath. I guess I can always add blue acid dye at some point, or woad. Or green, since it’s already khaki. Pocket cam has horrible colour balance fwiw.

It may be an ongoing theme however, this remodelling of old clothes! Btw I didn’t have to worry about the dress I wanted to change for a smaller size coming out too small, it appears the whole return package (5 items) has gone missing and never reached the company. So much for buying cheap stuff when you can’t get your money back. That’ll teach me. Or not, possibly. Now that I think about it, we haven’t had any mail this week either. Odd. I’m waiting for a very special package.

It’s 4 pm and I’ve at least done the napping and the PC part of my list! No dog walk I think. Picked the rhubarbs earlier, now I’ll consider cutting them up and throw them in a pot with a pod. And I’m going to see if I can cut, zigzag and clear the table before bedtime. At least when I’m this poorly there is a greater chance of painting because I have to back off completely on the harder work for a while. My hands need a bit of mending too! More on the wardrobe mods at a later date if anyone is interested. I’ll try to get a photo of the blue holey on me, so you can help me decide on lengths?

Common reed – tagrør

It’s time right now here in DK at least to harvest the “feathers” from Phragmites australis.siv3I haven’t used it before and only have time for this one experiment. Some say it can be frozen, others that the dye can be frozen, but nobody seems to be very sure.

The old recipes say to divide your fiber in 2 batches, dyeing one after the other and then dunking half of each portion in iron for 15 minutes (needs to be a warm bath it seems). Several have said that the 2nd bath doesn’t really give much though. One could perhaps dye the first portion for a shorter time? Dye ratio at least 3:1 I’d say for just the one bath.

Anyways, a lovely green. I dyed some birch skeins real quick and did one overdye, which is almost electric to look at.


Some people get a neon green, or like a granny smith apple. Could be the water, could  be that I use CoT and they only use alum? If I run into another batch I may try. I also put a small bunch in the freezer for testing if they keep.

Post on frozen reeds >>

Tid til at høste tagrørdanish

Hvis man er glad for grøn, sĂĽ er det nu man kan plukke “fjerene” af tagrør og koge dem et par timer. Mindst 3:1 forhold til et enkelt farvebad, de gamle opskrifter siger man kan smide en portion mere i, men det bliver lidt kedeligt. Muligvis skal man tage hold 1 op tidligere end 1 time? Man kan efterdyppe 15 minutter i et varmt bad med jernvitriol for at gøre farven mørk, eller man kan komme gult garn i, som det birkefarvede ovenfor.

Silken blev lidt fesen. Det hele er bejdset med alun. Nogen für mere neon/Ìblegrøn, om det er vandet eller om det er fordi jeg ogsü bejdser med vinsten vides pt. ikke. Hvis jeg render ind i flere, prøver jeg müske, ellers har jeg som test puttet et par duske i fryseren, for at se om de virker bagefter.


Dandelion 2013 mÌlkebøtte

dandelion / mÌlkebøtte
dandelion / mÌlkebøtte 2011

I’d already tried this 2 years ago and didn’t really think to repeat, but then again, one can always use yellow as a base for green or brown. I also wanted to break in the cast iron pot that I found in an “antique” shop.

So I did one hank in the iron pot, the others in a steel pot. And was quite disappointed. Even though I’d also cooked the flowers in the iron pot, it was no different from the others, I had to give it a bath with green vitriol to make it change.

So far I’ve only used flower heads because the leaves are hugging the ground mostly and are hard to pick, but I did want to do at least one skein before I abandon this plant. Not because there’s anything wrong with it, but because it’s not very remarkable compared to most wild plants that give yellow. If I need some, I can use it, but I’m not going to plan for it again.

It’s said that the leaves turn it more towards green than just the flowers. It didn’t BUT, the mordanted skein was ever so stronger yellow than the one with just flowers, so I definitely recommend going to the trouble of picking leaves as well. The two unmordanted hanks are almost identical, so I’ll probably be turning one into green with indigo or woad, unless I suddenly need a lot of pale yellow.

left to right: leaves no mordant, flowers no mordant, flowers + alum, flowers + alum + iron, leaves + alum


Now I just need to test it for lightfastness. Most of my yarns in fact. One of those tasks that I find less stimulating and leave off, like tax papers and such. 😉

Coming up next: Daffodils and Stinging nettle.


Da jeg lige ville teste min nye støbejernsgryde, har jeg vĂŚret en tur omkring mĂŚlkebøttefarvning igen – fordi det er de planter som er fremme nu. Jeg brugte et enkelt ubejset fed og ellers alun. Kun blomsterhoveder, da bladene mest ligger fladt pĂĽ jorden her, nede i grĂŚsset.

DesvÌrre fik jeg ikke rigtig noget anderledes resultat fra jerngryden, man für ellers tudet ørerne fulde af, at det dÌmper farven pü samme müde som decideret jernbejse. Sü jeg mütte have det tredje fed en tur i en balje med jernvitriol for at fü den olivengrønne farve jeg gik efter.

Og sü ville jeg alligevel teste et enkelt fed med kun blade, for at se om det er rigtigt at de bliver lidt mere grønlige. MÌlkebøtter er ikke bemÌrkelsesvÌrdige i forhold til andre planter i naturen som giver gul, de kan bruges hvis de lige er der og man mangler gult, men jeg har ikke tÌnkt mig at bruge den ür efter ür bare for at gøre det.

Jeg blev temmelig overrasket over den kraftige gule farve jeg fik fra bladene, ikke grøn, men helt klart mere farve end fra blomsterne. Sü det kan anbefales.

Lystestes skal det nok ogsü, jeg skal bare lige tage mig sammen til at lave papskiver og lister og halløj for at holde styr pü det.

NĂŚste punkt pĂĽ programmet er pĂĽskeliljer og brĂŚndenĂŚlde.