Monday, June 29, 2009


right outside my door: punica granatum, rodia, grenadine windfalls- their siblings are on the tree getting fat

persian berries, rhamnus, they are all over the place

diospyrus kaki, persimmon - these didn't make it. I love the colours. these are certainly going in a dyepot

planting our belated dyegarden. lots of basilicum ocimum, purple basil, they are already much taller

luka supervising the work. that is what she does- supervising with a wise look. except when she thinks what I'm doing might be edible- then she gets silly drooly waggy

fleece everywhere. I'm in love

the blue is from the unbelievably smelly fleece vat, the yellow is rose leaves, solar no mordant, the brown is from a mixed remnant- I think there was eucalyptus in it. :-). I keep on plonking bits of fleece in various liquids, various jars, tins, etc I leave them in the sun until they get a nice colour, if I don't post immediately I forget what is in there

Friday, June 19, 2009


I enjoy watching Luciano Ghersi weaving or just playing around. I like the way he seems to be having a wonderful time.. he blogs here and there are asects of work in the community in what he does that I respect

this film I watch repeatedly for the felting, but ultimately for the beauty of the felting dance...


can.t find combs, the folklore museum has 1 of a pair, ordered hand carders, combs-drum carder too expensive, will make combs diy
I have fleece in the bathroom, in the kitchen, on the balcony..I see fleece at all important moments of the day
my loom is warped, (in my bedroom) I see in my minds eye a woven- felted fleece pelt. thinking of making a mongolian dwelling, the pre- ger one, just sticks and skins. my skins will be woven, felted dyed, fleecy things..
I am getting very proficient at finding plants with red roots. will post
have been trying to make vats with purchased indigo. succesful with the fleece water one, utter failure with the more chemical one, have thoughts about that, will post
there are jars of leaves and wool and water all over the place
I see stiching in my dreams. never thought that would happen to me.
I look at the locks and find them beautiful
after june 21st the days will start getting shorter, yet the heat is not at its worst-best
have planted a very late provisional dye garden
haven't attempted "proper"madder yet
my dyebooks are getting a worn look
I jump out of bed every day eager
I am blessed

Monday, June 15, 2009

felt! homemade

this is what came from the wool I dog carded. I tried to make 3 designs-shapes: a spiral, a worm and an enclosed circle. the spiral disappeared! the light is harsh, the colours are lovely, the wool felted very easily tightly, fast and evenly- I am very very happy with my wool. it is good for rugs maybe cushions and maybe a day this is the backside and the poll at my home says it is the better side. I like it too. I really have to get proper tools, all day fluffing the wool out and this is sample sized!
old old eucalyptus

dye pots

Saturday, June 13, 2009

heh heh I know why crones I turning into one?

this is not going to get hammered tonight and tomorrow it will be gone

the pot is doing something. slooooowwwwly

these whisper at night telling me stories in my dreams

the first one on the left is from fresh walnut leaves, the second eucalyptus windfalls solar dyed, slooowwwwlllyyy with no mordant. the walnut is a very warm colour. both washed and rinsed. the net bags hold smaller bits of fleece
I spent the afternoon chuckling- carding with dog brushes!you can see before and after. I think what I need is combs- I'll have to find some and try them out.
and these are the colours. all are natural, the grey at the top is a combination of the other ones. the white was by far the easiest- fastest- softest. I have only rinsed them, they are great to touch and smell of wool. and they are much much cleaner than they were.
there is going to be felting tonight!
the boys are having boiled potatoes...

for T

these were taken in march, 3 months ago

I was excited about the design possibilities for weaving

then I started thinking about colour....

and now I am playing with fleeces and pots
It is all dried up now, and cut for fear of wildfires

Friday, June 12, 2009

yeah yeah yeah

some of the fleeces have been rinsed and are dryingnow I have to find combing and carding equipmentIlove the colours on this onethe first water was indescribably smelly and dirty, now I know what they use for dyeing leather in morocco. I saved a bucket for smelly vat no4 from Liles- also found references from many sources that the first water from rinsing a fleece was saved in many areas of Greece for indigo dyeing (but nothing on the process)
it is now covered, in the sun, with bits of fleece in it and indigo from lebanon- probably synthetic- but I beleive in beginners luck. if it doesn't make bubbles in a couple of days i'll try reducing with yeast etc just to see what happens
something is definitely going to happen, there is so much goo, gunk, gloop, organic matter, oily stuff, excrement, and other unnamable ingredients in there that it will probably give birth to previously unseen organisms
and now for some crowing:onion skins on silk -yeah!
eucalyptus on silk -yeah! this is the pyjama thingy prepared with lye water and yoghurt
double yeah!!

it was bundled up with eucalyptus leaves and rusty nails soaked in water from rose leaves for many days, left to dry a bit all in the hot sun

Thank you india for a wonderful book (scroll down to find eco colour)

:-) :-)) :-)))
the washing of fleece and the preparation of cloth is very hard work
the results are satisfying
and, as for the fleece, I already feel I know those fibers intimately
my fingers, hands have already been touching, stroking, holding, coaxing, cleaning, picking
in one word feeling
I have decided not to use soap since there will be lots when they are going to become felt, except to scour bits that I will dye with more delicate dyes
I am sure the oils protect the fibres
these have been rinsed in a lot of water in tubs standing in the sun, the last water stayed reasonably clear

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


I have been having loads of fun tossing stuff into dyepots, bundling cloth and subjecting it to undignified processes, unwinding, rinsing and joyfully crowing most of the time
the rush of inspiration, the oh too fast passing of the flowers do not allow for preparation
spontaneous, instantaneous, belly laughter joy it is still here, but now I want to "do something"with the products
I'm not very clear yet on what exactly that will be, but I would like a red or reddish colour from madder, or the neverending adventure of a good indigo vat
and some plant colours that will last for a few washings at least and leaf flower prints too
that, I have been told, in the naturaldyes yahoo group (thanks Helen)and in the books I'm reading means that fabric has to be properly prepared
so I read Liles (The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing)
and I read and re read and reread India Flint (eco colour)
and some John Marshall (
and decided, like a good bo...girl scout, to be prepared
I took all my cotton cloth that I havebeen cutting to pieces and dipped it in ash water made from the ashes of the last winter fire in the fireplace and hung it up to dry. ditto with the linen and some knitted cotton longsleeved pyjama things a friend gave me
in lieu of grass I let them dry on the cut weeds, they are like straw, but they were grasses once, not too long ago- nothing got dirty- they actually dried rather quickly
repeated a few times 3 or 4 it is hot over here
in the meantime I ground soya beans and soaked them in water emptying it into a bucket thus making soya milk
and I whipped yoghurt with water and put that into another bucket
those were my protein dips
some cloths went into one bucket, others into the other
I don;t think I mixed them up
and a few ash water dips in between, drying between every dip
it took all day
now they are "curing"while I take care of motherly + workly matters
I wil try for tannin when I feel confident about my tannin sources
that means reading up some more. and oak gall hunting. I am very grateful for the generosity of people who post their experience on dyeing on the web, that is why I'm posting here, even though I'm as new a newbie as can be
in the meantime my solar dye jars were very hot today, we had more than 35 in the shade, no one would call that cold dyeing, by midday liquids were too hot for my hand
it is good weather for an indigo vat, I have to get a ph meter of some sort
the fleeces are waiting dirty as can be for me to decide the best method, detergent etc for washing
I went to look at them again, I love the animal smell, and the colours are wonderful maybe I will photograph them tomorrow
I'm thinking that the first hand at least will be only water, left in the sun all day. I suppose the more excremental hanging bits should be cut away (maybe soaked for dye-mordant?) they could be called extremely dirty- I prefer animally
If I leave them much longer they will be walking away....

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


the kind people who gave me their coats

the breed is called karagouniko
the wool is classified as coarse carpet wool. If it is true that the water from the first washing can be used as a mordant for cellulose fabric I am going to get good colour on cotton from washing these. The owner said my best bet was to go to the sea to wash them..double mordant!
he seemed glad that someone finds them useful, usually they are left to rot. I got two sackfuls for free and an invitation to pass by whenever I want and take them all. I have years of work before me, starting from the washingIlove the colours, black, brown and white, as you can see on the little ones waiting for their mums
the fleeces have short hairs, long locks and some downy bits
some have a greyish hue, like silver, beautiful! but I will know more after they are washed
The mothers, here they come! the lambs running towards their mothers and the mothers greeting them, in the picture they are running .. the days are long, the grasses are dry and they eat dried food and drink a lot of water. Chief checking me out

yes, now I have fleece

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