Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Looking on the bright side.

Summer is arriving with a blast.  It is going to be hot all week.  I have been celebrating the cool summer so far but now it appears to be gone, gone, gone.
Anyway, I was walking home from the shops when I found a smallish branch fallen off a eucalyptus tree.  I have been trying to get some natural dyeing to be green - in a not very methodical or persistent way.
Aha, I thought, green leaves that haven't been ripped untimely from the tree - by me anyway.  I think I have read somewhere in my meanderings around the web that you can get green dye from green eucalyptus leaves.
Waste not, want not.  I lugged the branch home and braved the glasshouse - it was HOT in there.  But waste not, want not, this hot weather should be good for something.
I now have some silk fabric soaking in glass jars, using all that lovely hot sunshine.

I strongly suspect that nothing much is going to happen, especially for bottom picture, it looks  a lot like clear water to me.

I also put some silk in a jar that has some dye bath I got when we decided to throw out the dandelions, after my disappointing result recently.  The gardener in the family boils them up to kill the seeds and then puts them in the compost.  Why waste all that energy, I thought?  I'll put all the flower heads in and boil them up, see what I get.
What I got was a brownish yellow.  But I decided not to throw it out yet, it might be useful.  I think it is much stronger than my previous sample because I jammed the flowers in, didn't think about just using some to see how it goes, so I can have some left if it goes well.
Then the solar dyeing frenzy came over me - as much frenzy as I can raise on such a hot day. So now there is some silk in that dye too, cooking in the glasshouse.
The hollyhocks are throwing their flowers down in the heat and the heat is desiccating them rather quickly, so I am thinking of trying some solar dyeing using the dried flowers - once I recover from being out there in the middle of the day. I have plenty of days to think about it, it doesn't have to happen today.  The heat will be here for a while now, I think. But, on the bright side, it is inspiring me to play with some more dyeing.
Wonder what I will ever do with all these bits of silk, so many of them brown.

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