Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Indigo natural dyes and gardening dyeplants

Last night I finished dressing the loom with the black shetland warp. Ohhh, what a nice fibre to play with! When hubby asked jokingly why it wasn't done yet, I couldn't see why I should hurry. However, even taking my time and enjoying it all, I had to finish. I even wove the header last night!
Today, I took the remainder of the woad blue handspun and started sampling. First the contrast was rather too much for my liking. Second, I totally love the way the fabric feels, at least while it is on the loom. Third, I didn't like the diamond twill pattern I'd chosen and liked much better the 2/2 point twill chevron - so may go with that.
Anyway, not wanting to weave a project I wouldn't love to wear, I dug out my dye supplies and started an indigo vat - not woad, but there was a ton of fibre and I realized I only had one ounce of woad pigment left.
This is the results so far - and I so love the colour difference. I still need to do a proper rinse and let the yarn dry. It's only 7C out today, so not likely it will dry today but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can start weaving off this shawl tomorrow. I hate when I want to wrap myself in a project that isn't even off the loom yet!
On the other side of things, my garden is almost ready to plant. A friend called today to offer me some Costmary that she was digging up! So one more thing to find a place for. The woad is mainly planted but I'm waiting for a bit more warmth before I plant the madder and Dyer's Knotweed. Finally I've got some weld this year as well. This spring I noticed that there were little divots in each spot that a weld plant was, as if some very hungry beastie had just plucked the whole plant from the soil. I had 4 come up, presumably from some seed I'd scattered last year and one of those didn't make it. However, I'd planted the last of my weld seed this spring inside and nothing started at all - until 4 days ago. So now I've an extra few weld plants that will hopefully establish. I'm tired of digging, but only one more raised bed to go and my youngest son has been digging up part of the overgrown weedfest the previous owners called an English Country Garden, so I've new space for goodies this year. Hmmmm I wonder what to plant?


Karen said...

Wow, is that ever a pretty blue! You almost make me want to weave again. :)

Nina said...

Thanks! It is a pretty colour and it looks amazingly perfect with the black shetland warp. Maybe if you aren't quite ready to start back to weaving, a dyeing session would be fun. I'm sure there's a few of us who would enjoy that.