2 weeks ago
I took some a side detour from my dye course to take advantage of the Goldenrod being in flower in my region (the course so far is dealing with dried materials and I got impatient to try some foraged live material from the farm).
This was my first kick at the can and, with meticulous(ish) notes did 4 small batches over the course of two weeks. It was quite time consuming, not just gathering the flowers, but scouring (+ rinse, dry) and mordanting (+rinse dry) making the dye brew (+steep overnight) to finally dye (+rinse, dry).
That was more time than necessary but I wanted to separate each step of the process first few times rather than skipping the dry stage between steps. Now that I see what's happening I'll start going from one step right into the next.
Here are some pic samples of my journey:
The first batch (first pic) I had a fair number of leaves left attached to the flowers and that yields the yarn that is a Dijon yellow. The subsequent batches I used virtually only the flowers, with only the bits of attached stems, as shown in the second pic.
The second batch with a long cook and an overnight 'steeping' gave me the bronze colour of the fingering weight yarn.
My third batch was the screaming Lemon/Sun yellow done with a much shorter brew time and higher weight flowers, and then the fourth batch I did in the exhaust remaining in the pot from the third batch, which gave me the buttery yellow.
This is fun... ... See MoreSee Less
Oh! I love them ! Isn’t that interesting? Good for you Doug!
3 weeks ago
Koigu KPPPM. 100% Merino. Heels and toes reinforced with Wooly Nylon.
First pic - colour P317. Second pic - colour P872 ... See MoreSee Less
Lots of fresh grass on the farm. The warm weather and plentiful rain has offered up bountiful pastures this year. (Besides flies and coyotes)
The pic is one of my North Country Cheviot yearling ewes. ... See MoreSee Less
I (finally) finished my first course in Natural Dyeing, that covered various methods of preparing fibers to be dyed. We covered historical methods, contemporary methods using commercial supplies, and contemporary methods using 'stuff from the kitchen cupboard'.
I had to prepare some additional fiber to use along with the results from the first course, and now am beginning the exciting part of actually dyeing.
Today, in my first exercise, I'm preparing a dye bath using madder root in powdered form. I've gently simmered the bath for a few hours and will let it sit overnight. Then I'll strain it, reheat it, and simmer sample squares of my wool, silk, cotton and linen fiber.
I bought this hotplate via Amazon, and it works fine, but a disappointment is that you can only change the heat in 20 degree increments. And my desired temperature for the madder bath was midpoint between two increments. So I had to stand there and turn it up/turn it down so as not to over or undercook the bath.Madder is apparently fussy and if you let it get to a boil from a simmer the 'red' will be muddied. ... See MoreSee Less
I naively thought, being digital, that I’d have infinite control of the temp. Have since looked further and this ‘step increments’ seems to be the norm in the newer models. Disappointed.
Very interesting and exciting Doug! A pain about the burner though!
2 months ago
Taking the flock out to pasture yesterday morning there was a doe and her twin fawns on the side of the opposite paddock.
The fawns are still in the spots and they seemed to me to be young for this time of year - maybe late born.
Early last year it was not uncommon to see 7 or 8 deer in a group while walking with Jonah out back. Late in the year, after hunting season, we regularly saw 4, and this was also the case in the spring.
About a month ago, one morning, I heard two rifle shots that sounded like there were coming from the back end of the property next door. Then I heard single shots, 30 all told, with a minute or so between shots. They sounded like they were getting closer.
Good, I thought. The coyote hunters are out. Nothing is in season for hunting and it sounded 'professional' - as in local. (In deer season I can tell local from city - one clean shot vs 200 rapid fire shots followed by a deer with a wounded foot running out of the bush).
The next day I heard the same, but not as many shots.
Anyway, after those two days I've only ever seen one deer at a time. It could be the other does were also fawning late, or it could be the shots I heard were poachers.
After the municipal valuer telling me last week that there were very few coyote hunters left, I fear poachers may be what was going on.
I hope the coyotes don't get any more of my lambs, but I hope these cute little fawns are safe. ... See MoreSee Less