Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day dyeing

Today is Christmas day.  Before we went out for lunch, I thought I would check on the hollyhocks, make sure they still have petals for me to pick.  They did but they were inhabited.

I couldn't bring myself to disturb the creatures and ended up picking up the dried up petals that have fallen to the ground.  I suspect they may not work as well but am not sure.  Ever the optimist, I have collected them and put them in the freezer for later experimentation.  I will try with some fresh petals too, once the wildlife has vacated the premises.

Off to lunch now.

Well, we've been out to lunch and it is such a beautiful day I decided that I still have the energy to fiddle around with the dyeing.  The frozen petals I had had to take out of the freezer had thawed and there was coloured liquid in their containers.  I don't know if they will work as well now that I have let them thaw but I will give it a go anyway.
Thawed oxalis flowers from 18 months ago.
My camellia petals aren't anywhere to be seen, one of life's little mysteries.  But I still have the oxalis and the mulberries.
By the way, the cheesecake was a great success!

I soaked the silk in an alum solution before we went out and now I have strained the plantstuff into little  muslin packets, squeezed out the liquid and put the silk in jars with the dyebath.  I have twisted some of the silk, folded and scrunched up other bits but I suspect that they may end up all one colour or only very subtly dyed.  Time will tell.

I won't do any heating of the water again, it is summer and the water will stay warm, just not hot.  It's that 'do it and see what happens' feeling again.

I had some silk left over. I also had some leftover eucalyptus bark dye.  The label on the jar has faded in the sun (it is in the glasshouse after all) but another similar jar has December 2011 on it, so I assume it is also a year old. Waste not, want not.  I had the silk, I had the dye.  So now there is another jar working its magic - hopefully.  I will leave them all for several days before I open them.  I don't think I will be able to wait till the new year but I will try.

Happy Christmas!

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