Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Busy, Busy but not a lot to show

Woolly Wednesday again and although May has been a busy month but I feel that there isn't a lot to show for all my hard work!

First the solar dyeing now one month on and really not a lot of change except that the dye stuff has lost colour so hopefully some colour has leached into the yarn.


Red cabbage has produced less colour than I had hoped for.  This is the yarn modified with iron is probably the best of the three so far....

The garden has taken up more of my time than spinning but hopefully the results will be well worth the effort...

This what I grandly call the 'veg plot' originally everything was sowed in nice straight rows, but Molly decided that she prefer the more random look - so the rocket and lettuce have spread over a much larger area than first envisaged!  Currently she is completely confused by the netting cage we have erected over the veg - she keeps pushing her head against the net and walks round and round looking for a way in!

Here is the fruit bed and where our first strawberries are plumping up nicely and finally the new Dyers Garden

In the left front corner I have sown Anthemis Tinctoria  (Dyers Camomile) and the other four corners will have Rubia tinctorum (Madder), Reseda luteola (Dyers Weld) and Coreopsis.  All are good for bees which is another plus as we have a steady stream of bees visiting our garden.  I am probably being over ambitious but my philosophy is to cram in the plants so as to not leave room for the weeds to grow!  The sticks are an attempt to stop Molly re-organising the seeds!  So far so good....... 

My new wheel Miss Bliss has been put to good use spinning up the natural dye samples and so far I am loving the wheel, it is very light to treadle and seems to cope well with what ever I have tried so far.... and a big bonus is that I can spin from my wheelchair comfortably.....

This was yesterday's production of samples, nettles, onion skins and cochineal.  Most of the red cabbage is still on the bobbin and will get plied later this afternoon.  When I have finished mordanting the next lot of fibre I shall be trying my luck with the colour I extracted from the leaves of Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' (Smoke Bush)!


I did finish my St Kilda Shawl in May, it is one of the biggest shawls I have knitted so far this year

and another view this time with the first shawl pin Mr S has made - American Cherry for the ring and Indian Rosewood for the pin

I also got a big surprise on Monday evening when I was presented with a very large Texel fleece - I vaguely remember saying how nice it was in comparison to some Texel I had spun and that I wouldn't mind trying some!  Note to self - do not to make encouraging noises when presented with lovely fluff! 

I am going to try dyeing fleece in the grease with this one - which will have to be done with Mr S out of the way as the method uses vinegar - not tried this method before, but the idea of getting a clean fleece ready dyed does appeal..................


  1. Your dyeing and dye garden look inspiring. Where did you find the seeds / plants?

  2. The red cabbage is a lovely pink. I do like the picture of your samples, a beautiful selection of colours and I love seeing fluff with spun yarn and knitted sample.

    1. Thank you - it is really amazing the variety of colours you get from one lot of dye stuff.

  3. Woah you've been v busy, love seeing the colour samples, great garden x

    1. Thanks - most of the hard work in the garden is down to Mr S.... I just do the easy bits!

  4. Beautiful garden!
    The colors of those samples are amazing. I am in total awe.

  5. Thank you - I bought the seeds at I ordered Friday and received them Monday morning - super service!


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