Friday, December 18, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Flax Processing by Hand

This flax has been retted. It was soaked in a wading pool for three or four weeks. Then dried for another two weeks on a rack in the garage. This meat tenderizer works okay but I'd like to have some more heavy duty tool for breaking up the pith.

I'm saving the seeds.

A lot of the pith has broken away and I'm pounding it some more.

This is one of the above four bundles that has been combed. I used a wool comb but a flax hackle would be faster.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Flax retting in the field.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Hand spun singles Mohair. Top to bottom: Japanese Indigo 1st vat (3 skeins), Dahlia & Marigold Flowers over final dip Japanese Indigo (2 skeins), Japanese Indigo 3rd vat (1 skein), Japanese Indigo third vat over Dahlia Flowers (1 skein).

Recycled yarn from thrift store. Left to right: Japanese Indigo 1st vat, Japanese Indigo 3rd vat, Dahlia Flowers, Peppergrass whole plant, Eucalyptus Leaves.

Millspun Merino left to right: Japanese Indigo 1st vat, Dahlia & Marigold Flowers, Dahlia Flowers, Perrergrass whole plant.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Indigo Works! From plant to yarn.

Continuing Japanese Indigo Dyeing

After heating in canning pot to 160˚F and then steeping overnight. It got late so I let it sit overnight.

Inside the jar.

The squeezed leaves. These get saved to boil and make a golden brown dye.

In the vat. I used washing soda as the alkali and then beat it with an electric mixer for about 5 minutes. Then added color remover as the reducing agent. Now it is waiting for an hour while slowly heating up to 100˚- 120˚F. I also have a small batch in a yogurt maker to try the yeast fermentation method of reduction.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Japanese Indigo

I picked two gallons of leaves. Here they are on the porch heating up on a hotplate in 1/2 gallon canning jars. The one in the middle is a quart jar.

These are the yarns to be dyed soaking. Most of these are commercial, but there is one small skein of Mohair I spun and a sample of Corriedale.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eucalyptus Leaves

Peppergrass: Lepidium sativum

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Harvest

I am not very happy with my first dyeing project using plants I grew. This is Peppergrass - Lepidium sativum - on some wool. While it is a bit more yellow than this photo shows, the color is not very exciting.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Monday, June 15, 2009

Making the Beds

Getting the garden beds ready for Japanese Indigo (blue), Peppergrass (yellow), Madder (red), and Flax. The Madder hasn't germinated yet; the Japanese Indigo is about 1/4" high in pots. The Peppergrass I'm going to sow directly into the bed once it's ready.

Finished Shetland Yarn

Here is 60 yards of the white Shetland that started out as raw fleece I purchased.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Katahdin -- My first really local fleece

I've been given a sampling of this fleece to try. It is from a "hair" sheep, bred for meat and sheds it's fleece instead of needing shearing.

The side that was attached to the sheep:

The outer coat:

Washed Shetland

Here is the Shetland fleece after two cold soaks and one hot with soap (Life Tree dish soap).

Combed with a flicker brush.

Yarn spun on Spindewood 1.25oz spindle.