1/3 gone

This month seems hellbent on getting done! Ok, a third sounds a bit more than just over a week somehow, but still. Not sure I’ll be able to keep up!

So it’s not Wednesday for wips and reading, but here at the cottage it’s Fiber Friday, so there.

This is what I’ve got home from the library this month and my still not very advanced holey sweater. I think I’m getting to the beginning of the end of the first two skeins, though.


I managed to dye a bit with Japanese Indigo today, not a lot as my plants were pretty limp from the drought. I would like to do a couple of really dark blue, as well as remember to bring my silk outside too. If nature doesn’t water the garden soon I guess I’ll have to!


I also washed a tiny bit of fleece, the green stuff from the other day. Seems to have cleaned up well enough!


The weather forecast says this might be one of the last sunny, warm days. The coreopsis is running amock, there’s no way I can pick all of them!


Fun with coreopsis


Last time I tried to grow these, I got a few spindly stalks with hardly anything on them. Which means, this year I totally underestimated how far apart I should plant and now I have a waist high jungle of thick, thick plants with hardly a size 5 footprint anywhere for me to reach the middle for picking flowers. I’ve taken to wearing my Fivefingers, to make the footprint smaller than a pair of Crocs (I apologize to those of you who are fashion conscious, but they DO work well for zipping in and out of the house all day).

I know they work really well frozen, so this year I’ll try drying some and see if that works, because it’s easier to store anywhere. Whereas steak and peas don’t survive for very long on a wardrobe shelf…


And I’ll have enough to conduct a series of tests, as I’ve heard a rumour they are pH sensitive. If you just want a regular yellow, you need less than half your yarnweight in flowers, or you can start with plenty and dye one skein at a time from orange over turmeric to sunny yellow until it exhausts. It also doesn’t need a lot of heat once the dye is extracted from the flowers, it’s excellent for solar dyeing and on silk.


So the plan would be:

  1. alkaline for reds
  2. acid for yellows
  3. test skeins in neutral
  4. amounts – work my way from strong dyebath to an exhausted one
  5. if the reds come out – test them with tin, to see if it gets even redder
  6. iron and copper possibly


You can get a lot of different yellows from the exhaust, depending on amount of yarn, plants, temperature, how long you let each skein remain in the bath etc. Here’s the 2011 batch with some cold dyed Japanese Indigo:

Japanese Indigo


Coreopsis tinctoria er rigtig god at lege med fordi man kan få så mange forskellige nuancer. Hvis man starter med et kraftigt farvebad og kommer 1 fed i af gangen, kan man få fra kraftig orange over gurkemeje-gylden til frisk solgul.

I år ville jeg så også lige teste påstande om at den er pH følsom, rød fra basisk farvebad og gul fra surt. Det blev en helt anden slags gul end ellers, og pga en fejl fra min side (manglende base) lavede jeg også lige en variant med kobber.

Der skal meget lidt blomst til, til alm gul behøver man mindre end halvdelen af garnvægten. Også flot på silke og god at solfarve med.

Det fungerer også rigtig godt at fryse blomsterne, men i år vil jeg også forsøge at tørre, da det er lidt nemmere at opbevare. Bøf og ærter holder knap så godt i et garderobeskab. 😉


Fibery stuff this week

Pincushion progress:


First one felted and stitched up ready to fill, but I want to add icord loops or something to have the option of hanging them from a hook. (if I can find a suitable location away from cat paws) I decided to try out the dye with regular laundry detergent, twice. Original yarn included in the photo. It turned out rather larger than I expected after my blanket adventure, but I liked the fabric the way it was, so didn’t want to give it another go at a higher temp.


Second one felted and ready to be stitched. Yarn is dyed with madder exhaust and Dyer’s Chamomile. Also washed with the clothes and detergent.


Third one – yarn chosen but the shape hasn’t presented itself to me yet. Possibly a cube. Originally all three were going to be like the first, but then the second wanted to be different and I obliged. Apparently my inner self does not want to be classy, and for now I’m listening – as long as it’s actually saying something, fine! Even if it means the house will look like a cirkus… Skeins are dyed with Dyer’s Chamomile and Weld (the lighter one).

Suffolk preparation started:


I’ve decided to just finger pick everything to get rid of the tiny bits of vegetable matter, then loosely blend on hand cards, which I hate but really doesn’t take such a long time as I imagined. To be spun into yarn for the tapestry testing, and when I’m done I have a huge box of Dorset that I’ve plant dyed which needs the same treatment. I thought I said something about not production spinning?!

Sample loom 1 done:



Seems to be working fairly well, I’ll be testing various widths of warp, how many meters of yarn go into xx cm of weaving etc. I tried at first without nails, just wrapping around, but I think it will work better with nails on the front. Possibly because the frame is so small, pulling the warp up from the back really makes it very taut. As well as being fiddly to adjust the gaps.

danishUgens fiberprojekter


Nålepuder af plantefarvet garn undervejs: Første er klar til at blive fyldt, og så skal jeg lige have lavet en løkke i toppen til at hænge den op, inden jeg kan sy den sidste kant. Garnet er farvet med vaid.

Nr. 2 er filtet og klar til at blive syet sammen (kraprod og gåseurt), den sidste er der fundet garn frem til (gåseurt og vau). Jeg har vasket det sammen med tøjet og almindeligt vaskepulver, noget plantefarve kan ikke lide den behandling, men jeg ville lige prøve at se hvordan disse, normalt ret farveægte typer holdt sig.

Jeg er endelig gået i gang med den sidste klargøring af min Suffolk ham som jeg gik og sjatfarvede i sommer. Det bliver pillet fra hinanden med fingrene for at blive fri for plantefnuller og håndkartet løseligt (hvilket jeg er herredårlig til, men det går faktisk hurtigere end antaget.) Ja, og så er der naturligvis den kæmpe kasse Dorset jeg har plantefarvet, som skal samme vej…

Og så har jeg lavet en miniature væveramme til at lave lidt garn- og tekniktest på.


…is what my kitchen reeks of as we’re speaking.

perikum1From this jar which I prepared in August and then completely forgot about, filled with flowers of St. John’s Wort. I suppose technically they can’t rot infused with alcohol, but the colour is definitely not the brilliant red it was in September.

I know Rita Buchanan says you don’t get interesting colours with the alcohol solution, but I didn’t find enough flowers per day to make boiling worthwhile. I also didn’t have any mordanted yarn, so I did a reverse, first I entered an unmordanted skein and left on the woodstove for a few days, then I put mordant in the jar with another skein, left it on the stove, then decided to boil it in the oven for an hour or so.

And that is why my house stinks. Just wait until I pour it into the sink…. I guess it’s a good thing I’m home alone and not expecting company! (ok, the kitten in my lap just farted – that didn’t help any, but if he keeps it up perhaps nobody will suspect me of drinking at least)

Well, they’re not alike. That counts for something, right? First on top.


More witchy brews – all done!

Finally got the last of the Dorsets coloured up with madder and weld. Some of the chunks had previously been dyed with other plants, but I wanted to see what happened if they had another dip – without any kind of plan or registration of which is what. Some dyed at 50 C, then a new batch in the same bath at 80 C for both plants.

dorset01 dorset02 dorset03

Now to flick and then wait until I can card it. There’s a total of 1400 g so it’s going to take a while, since I also have that Suffolk fleece from the same source. I know I should practice using my handcarders, but argh!


And that’ll be all for a while, off to work on other stuff.



Endelig har jeg fået plantefarvet al min Dorset uld, så skal det bare renses for planterester og kartes en gang. Der er i alt 1400 g, så det kommer til at tage tid. Jeg har også en Suffolk ham som jeg har pletfarvet med syrefarver, den skal have samme behandling før jeg kan spinde.

Jeg har brugt kraprod og hjemmedyrket vau, første bad ved 50 grader, blandet bejset og ikke, derefter mere blandet og før-farvet uld i samme bad og op på 80 grader

Ikke mere plantefarvning i denne omgang, nu er der fokus på andre projekter.