Monday, August 31, 2015

dyeing wool with reed flowers

A little while ago i was reading a topic in a natural dyeing group on ravelry. Someone from Sweden or Finland (if i remember correctly) showed a picture with 3 skeins, all dyed naturally. There was a  beautifull green one. She said she dyed it with reed flowers.   There aren't much ways to get green with plants, or you''ll need indigo or woad and overdye a yellow.

Common reed has red ''flowers''

So a few days later my girls and i took a walk, and while i cut off loads of reed flowers, the girls had an amazing time catching lots of small frogs and toads in the grass beside the pond.
They had more then 20!!!

At home i got my dyeing pan and put in the flowers... boiled them for a while.

The dyebad turned a dark reddish purple... a bit like red wine :)
after cooling it,  i added alum and roving and heated it again.  Actually the next day i put the flowers, fiber and alum all at once in the pan. Brought it to boil, and that worked just as good! Yep i'm actually a very lazy natural dyer ;)

I played a bit afterwards. Putting some pieces of fiber into a rusty nails in water afterbath, and other pieces in a ammonium afterbath. The last mentioned turned the fiber bright green!!!

The hardest part of it all was getting the greens show up right in de pictures... almost impossible!! 

So i had to play a bit with a photo edit app to show the greens as i see them.

offcourse i started spinning as soon as they were dry!


Allready have plans to knit a top with these yarns. But first i have a lot more spinning to do!

 great bowl isn't it! I found it during our summerholiday, the town we stayed had a shop where people could rent a table and sell stuff they made or didn't need anymore. So much fun, from fresh baked bread and jams to clothes and toys, books...  on the last day i found this wooden bowl. I'm not sure what kind of wood it is, but i loved the spalted pattern. Spalting in wood is discoloration made by fungi.

All this little skeins of handspun just scream to be to be knittend, but i really want to spin everything before a start knitting.

This reminds me of a moment on a big knitting event a few years ago, there was a booth that sold packages with different skeins of naturally dyed yarn. i LOVED them!!
 But back then i thought they were very expensive.... little did i know back then. But i never could have imagned dyeing such skeins myself one day :)

Enjoy your day!!

Saturday, August 29, 2015

it's been to long....

Well hello.... i know it's been way to long since i posted a blog.
A lot has happend since then and offcourse there was a fun filled summervacation.

We spend it at the house of my sister in law, who lives almost in the forest. Great fun for the girls. Because we live in the city, with a small garden, with no forests closeby... so we went to the forest almost every day!

Our youngest with her self  harvested rhubarb :)

The weather wasn't always sunny and warm but due to bad weather we found out our oldest really enjoys watching diving competitions on tv...

We went to the zoo, the pool, did enjoy a lot of outdoor activities in beautifull places! We found a great nature reserve, only 10 minutes on bike from the place we were staying. It's very big, heather growning everywhere, sheep walking around, lizards in the shrubs...  lovely to walk around a looking at all the beautifull nature!

It's called Heidestein, it used to belong to a family, who where living in India, but their daughter suffered from asthma, so they came back, bought this land and build a beautifull house and developed this land into a beautifull place. For my dutch readers here's a bit of the history with pictures.



On the creative part a lot has happend to, offcourse a big event was de Tour the Fleece, for the people who don't know what that is... during the Tour de France a lot of spinners worldwide try to spin every day... exciting enough was that the tour came trough our city!!

I spun a lot during the tour, even on vacation! I brought some spindles with me... enjoying the outdoor spinning a lot.


Just before the Tour de France a dream came trough... for a while i was looking around for another spinningwheel. I was hoping for a double drive norwegian wheel.  I found out you're not bound to find one for sale very often. So i tried my luck on a dutch spinning group on ravelry. Posting an in search off message. Soon enough i had a reply from a lady who was willing to sell hers, she bought another wheel and didn't use her ''Noortje'' (nickname) anymore. She was kind enough to bring it here, because we don't have a car!

She is a beauty, not made in Norway, it's probably handmade in the seventies. I thought i would take quite some time to get into the double drive spinning.. but we got along from the beginning! I just started and reluctantly left her at home during our vacation.

But, yes there's a but, i don't like this type of wood. But offcourse that can be changed easy with some paint!!

So here she is, my new colorful wheel!


I did some knitting, a shawl, 2 cute little dogs my girls really wanted, it's victoria a pattern of zij maakt het on ravelry!

Right now i'm knitting with a lovely sockyarn i got i think in a swap from Ineke on ravelry, she dyed it herself. It's a real autumnal yarn... i tried it in a shawl, but i didn't like it.
All the color nuances seem to dissapear. So i went browsing on ravelry and found these great mittens... so this afternoon i cast on. And allready 1 repeat is done!!

Actually a bit strange to start on such an autumnal project on a glorious summer day! Warm and sunny really lovely ''being outdoors weather''! 
Probably these warm tempratures will get the gladioluses to open up quite soon

Well from now on i'm going to blog more reguarly... for now it's time for my lunch.

Yes it's a juice, a cucumber,carrot, apple, celery juice! Homemade with our slowjuicer!
I'm back on the healthy journey again, i'm on day 5 now and feeling better already.

Cheers ;)