Friday, September 26, 2008

I swear I'm not really a dyer, Part 1: Indigo, and Battling the Squirrels for Walnuts

Here is what the indigo vat looks like with things soaking in it. It is still going, with the aid of the heating pad and not-yet-freezing temps. I will feed it next week (probably some store-bought plums - our tree is finished for the season, but my vat really liked the plums), and then pack it off to a brave friend's house where it will sit and be cared for until our mid-October BYOP* Dye Madness Day.

I'll have to get a picture of the scarf once I've washed it out. It came out stunning.

In the meantime, I've been spinning some of my indigo-dyed fleece into a weight hopefully appropriate for cross-stitch in single ply, and satin-stitch embroidery in two-ply.

Indigo blue with a creamy white Dorset filling!

I've picked up some walnuts from the ground, but it looks like I missed most of them when they first fell. They're no longer green and ripe, but black. I certainly wouldn't eat the nuts from these - they sat on the ground in the rain for days and started to go a little moldy - but I've been told I can still use the husks for dying, so I picked them up anyhow.

The squirrels got all the good ones, believe me. If it's green and still lying on the ground and the squirrels haven't taken it, it's bad and already has bugs in it. They know these things. They've been kind enough to leave small piles of walnut husks on the stones and chair, so I've collected some of that, too. It's all currently soaking in water to make a brown "tea" for dyeing. I need a little bit of black, so I plan to overdye a handful of the teal.

Every time I go near the walnut tree, a voice above my head starts chattering and cursing at me in ... squirrel. Of course, I could probably score half a ton of good walnuts if I broke into their stash inside my front awning. They should admire my restraint.

Coming in Part 2 this weekend: Walnut experiments and the last cochineal dyebath.

*Bring Your Own Pee

1 comment:

Patti Blaine said...

I will not pass another fallen black walnut without hearing squirrel and thinking about pee. Thanks! :)