Wool Pot holders


Undyed wool loops


Years ago, a dear friend shared a huge 5 pound bag of pure wool pot holder loops with me.. Little did I know at the time just how valuable and hard to find these would become. I dyed the loops with natural colors, and made potholders for gifts and for sale.

Hemp Yarn


Hemp is  oine of my favorite fibers to spin and dye. Of course it doesn;t drink up color like silk or wool, but I love the gentle shades of natural dyes on the yarn.



Indigo on 2 ply hemp yarn


 

I don't work in a very scientific or mathematical manner, so every skein is different. Some are more firmly spun.


Some skeins are soft and loose.

Pansy dye progress

The results of the pansy dye experiment have been interseting and a little suprising. The purple and blue pansies gave beautiful shades of green to the silk organza.


Silk organza soaking in purple pansy brew


The silk looks a little bluer in the jar. Maybe it's the reflection of the blue and purple flowers in the water.


The silk fabric dyed with yellow and orange pansies is a greenish yellow.


Yellow and orange pansy dye


 


Green and yellow silks from pansy dye


I like these shades, but I'll keep experimenting.

Pansy Dye

Since May, I've been picking pansy flowers and saving them in the freezer. At first I kept individual colors in their own bags - purples and blues together, yellows and oranges in their own bags, etc..Lately, I've just been stuffing them all together so now I have to separate them.


A few fresh blue pansies  for the brew


There are mostly purples  and blues in this jar, but since I wasn't very careful. there are a few bits and pieces of pinks and yellow flowers

Yellows and oranges

June Inspiration

II've been dyeing silk threads in colors inspired by the velvety shades of  petunias


Combinations of lac, logwood, madder and indigo


 The milkweed flowers have begun to bloom. The air is filled  with their heavy sweetmess. The tender, muted pinks seemed like the perfect color for some handspun wool yarn I've been saving.


Milkweed  (Asclepias syriaca)


Handspun wool yarn soaked overnight in alum.

Summer

Officially Summer today, though to me summer really begins on June 1st.


Ripe!


The squirrels and blackbirds keep knocking them down.


Raspberries beginning to ripen


Milkweed


Madder stars

 


Milkweed and madder in a friendly competion for sunshine

June morning

June morning


It's so fine to step outside barefoot,without a sweater, and get started right away. On most mornings,this means just wandering around in wonder and amazement.for awhile.


The backyard is not big, but the cherry tree doesn't seem to mind.



The blackbirds and squirrels .are ready to pounce!


A clothesline fiull of projects

 Silk organza after soaking overnight in alum water



 Another piece of organza dyed with indigo


Vintage linen napkins

Old fashioned


 Both of the Grand daughters have arrived!  Like flowers in the garden, they blossomed one at a time.


Their fresh new lives are a lovely unfolding of beauty, hope and mystery.


White peonies


The little ones have charming, old-fashioned names. Clara May and Ella Jane. This seems just right. The old-fashioned garden plants welcome them with soft perfume.


Magenta peonies (Paeonia officinalis)


Old peony bed


Dr, Huey (1914)


 Mock orange (Philadelphus virginalis)

Sarah van Fleet (1922)


Service-berries ripening (Amelanchier alnifolia)

Madder roots and silk

Madder patch May 2017 (rubia tinctorum)


I've used and re-used all of last years' home-grown madder roots so many times that now there's barely a whisper of pink left.  Although they still look rosy- red, I don't know if I can coax any more color from these roots. They're so pretty, I don't want to compost them yet. I might just dry them once more for a future experiment.



Old madder roots from last years' garden

Rain

Lately, the rain has been steady.. Explosive thunder, gushing downpours, then soft dripping from the branches.



Serviceberry



This weather isn't so good for taking pictures of textiles outdoors, but it's perfect for working in the garden if you don't mind being soaked.




 The water does wonders for the garden


The alley is a lot better after a good wash.


The houseplants are rejoicing in the rain after the long, dry winter indoors



The water encourages the seedlings.



Somniferum poppies



Reflecting the elm tree

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