This is my blog to share my adventures, misadventures, exploration, and experimentation with fibre- and as it turns out, with life as well. There is some of both. One thing leads to another. Collecting, spinning, weaving, dying, learning, building a web of relationships. Here we are: welcome.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Wild Carrot Flowers- and what else I did today

Remember this from my Learning to Spin post?

This is my first attempt on my wheel, what I called my "Random Overtwist", hanging to dry to set the twist, or so I hoped.  It seemed to work.

I found my decoction of wild carrot flowers, and to my delight, it was in excellent condition. I had decanted it after straining and reheating into a sterilized wine bottle, corked it, and stuck it in my pantry. 

So I decided to dye my Random Overtwist and see what kind of yellow I got. 

First I mordanted the small skein with alum.  That provided the first amusement of the day.  As soon as I dropped the skein in the cold mordant solution, it regained all its curl:

I use chopsticks as lifting and poking sticks, so I stuck this one right in the middle of the skein and left it there as it curled in on itself so I wouldn't lose where the opening was! 

Watching it curl up when it got wet gives me a clue to weave LOOSELY when I use in a project!

Simmered one hour, and then dropped it into the preheated dye bath.  What happened next happened too fast for me to take a picture...

The wild carrot decoction was so pale that I thought it would take some time for the wool to pick up color, and I was expecting a very pale shade of yellow.  Wrong!

I had turned around to clear some things off the counter, and when I glanced back at the pot a few minutes later, the wool had already turned a clear, strong yellow.  I pulled it and let it drip as it cooled: here it is hanging off the chopstick (thankfully NOT a tangled ball of twists!).  Then I washed and rinsed it, and hung it, weighted slightly, to dry. 

And here it is, dried and twisted into a little ball, next to the purple bean yarn.  Don't they look purty together?

I can do black bean dye this winter, every time I make black bean soup.  And late next summer I should have a lot of homespun to dye this marvelous clear yellow. 

By the way, the wild carrot flower decoction has a wonderful smell, a little fruity, a little flowery, with a touch of spice.  It made my house smell wonderful.


And now:  The other things I did today: FINALLY got my fall bulbs planted.  Yay

And I made a loaf of bread. Love, love, love my bread machine:

I've had this machine for over 10 years, and it is still going strong.  It's paid for itself many times over.  Hint: I take the paddle out before the last rising so there isn't a big hole in the bottom of the loaf. Much nicer. 

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