Monday, January 14, 2008

Some Natural Dyeing

I'm getting ready to do some natural dyeing. I have a butter tub partially filled with the lichen from the downed branches in our yard - probably black walnut branches. I gathered the lichen last week and put some ammonia in with it. The liquid has turned a deep red color. The little reasearch I have done indicates that it should dye wool that same deep red color - I hope so. I'm not sure how to do it, I guess I will just add water, boil it, and then put the wool into the pot.

Today, I found some really nice moss. The moss was on rotted wood in the field behind my dog pen at the farm. I have no idea what kind of wood or what kind of moss, but I gathered a couple of really nice clumps. I don't feel bad about removing natural things from that field - if the new owner ever gets the right permits it's going to be fenced off and filled with hair sheep, so all the wild things will be removed. I am debating with myself about adding ammonia to the moss and letting it sit for a while - maybe I'll just boil the moss by itself.

I'm also not sure if I want to use alum and cream of tartar...

I have a cold sapping my energy right now, if I feel better, I'll do the dyeing tomorrow and post the results.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 Brought a Huge Snowstorm

My plans to hook today didn't work out. I fell asleep shortly after welcoming the new year in, woke up a few hours later because it was soooooo quiet. The power was out - no tv, no furnace noises, and no light. I took the dogs out and found a heavy fog, almost a complete white out - to hook it would be impossible. I went to bed and woke up when I could hear my mother's power wheelchair beeping - she was up and eating breakfast. Outside, everything was completely covered with snow - it was so deep the dogs had to jump instead of walk - over a foot deep. Instead of hooking, I spent the day getting my mother bundled into several layers of clothing and several blankets, and then trying to shovel out. My new snowblower wouldn't work - I bought electric instead of gas. I worried about going in and out of the house too much and letting all the heat out, but I had to keep on checking on my mother and I had to get enough snow cleared so I could get down the hill and out of the driveway in case we had to leave the house and go to friend's in Ann Arbor where the heat was on. Finally, I was rescued by a friend with a wonderful snow plow. Shortly after the driveway was opened, the power came back on. So, I drove down to the farm, with the snowblower, and found the power off down there. I gave up, will have to go back down in the morning and hope the power is back on - but we're supposed to have a couple more inches of snow. I won't be hooking for a while - my arms are totally worn out. I guess I'll have to read about hooking instead.