Sunday 27 February 2011

Having a Sale!

We are gradually working our way through all the boxes of "stuff" and sorting out - and I found a box of oddments! They are odd hanks - end of dyelots or even hanks I thought I might try and make something from - however they are sitting there doing nothing, so I thought I'd have a sale!

There are some really pretty colours and could be combined to make something stripey or different, Mainly there are just single 50g hanks but some colours have more than one. 

I have started listing them in the etsy shop under Sale Items - why not go and take a look at what's there?

There's more to add - so I'll keep them going up there over the next couple of days!

Wednesday 23 February 2011

Hope you haven't forgotten the walnuts!

Last Autumn I managed to collect some of the walnuts in their husks and put them to soak. Ethel Mairet recommends they soak for 12 months, however as I had a request for walnut dyed linen I thought I'd risk trying the "fresh" stuff out!

There were about 500g of the husks (many with their walnuts inside, it was easier at the time to just throw the whole thing in the pan to soak) the pan was filled with tap water a lid put on and then left under the bench to fester merrily. When I took the lid off they actually hadn't festered at all - no mould, no smell other than soggy walnut in fact I was quite impressed. I expect that they froze along with all the other dyebaths in December and January, but other than that they have been left to do their own thing.

I boiled them up and simmered them for about an hour, then left them to cool down overnight. Strained the liquor off and added 250g of mordanted linen plus 2 silk caps. Boiled and simmered again for about an hour and then left to cool. To me the yarn and caps look really dark an rich (picture left) , You can imagine how surprised I was to see how they dried! Not what I expected at all! Maybe Ethel has something in her idea of leaving them for 12 months! I have another pan soaking, which will definitely not be touched before October! (I should say that the very pale hank on the top of the pile was put into the exhaust liquor - so that was deliberate, it's the silk caps and hank underneath I thought would have stayed "chocolaty"!

What I also don't know of course is whether the water has had an effect on the walnut dyeing - it was tap water that was put in the pan, not rainwater.

Friday 18 February 2011

Spring in the Air?

I'm sorry to have abandoned the blog for so long - between a poorly computer and a holiday (yay!) I haven't managed to write about anything recently!
Today has been beautiful, the sun was so warm that we decided to have lunch outside, and then our afternoon cuppa....! I can't believe we have been here a year already!

We have done lots of things - like create a dyehouse and John's workshop (twice!), build stairs so there is a workroom above the dyehouse, build Mulberry Lodge. There's lots we still want to do obviously, but that is principally in the house to make it "ours". I have tried to keep tabs on what is growing in the garden over the year, it has been really interesting watching what was coming next, but this year I want to start making my own choices too!

At the moment the snowdrops are fabulous, the primroses have loved today's sunshine and the nettles and lady's bedstraw are definitely showing their faces. The biggest sign to me that spring is on its way though was the daisy just by the chair I was sitting on and the buds on the "unknown" tree out in the garden!

 So onwards! Spring cleaning time is approaching and I have decided to try and keep this blog to dyeing and VERY related topics I have a separate blog for life in France and the Walnut House. There are lots of things that I want to write about both, so it seems a good time to split them up. I hope you think it's a sensible idea too!