Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Dyeing -- First Attempt

Sunday -- Mitch and I went to the Cheese Factory to feed the geese. It was before lunch and was not crowded. It was beautiful.

There were no geese. Not even one. Piffle. The blackbirds and one gull were invited on a feast instead.

I had promised Mitch chocolate milk. The last time we were there, they had chocolate milk. This time, no milk of any kind. Ah, excuse me, but isn't this a cheese factory? Did you use up all the milk to make the cheeses?

And it was cold. Mitch didn't have a hat, and I didn't have a warm jacket.

But -- Eureka! There were lots of lichens on the lawn.

There was a big tree with the lichen-covered trunk (I didn't even look up to see what tree it was -- my eyes were glued to the lichens), and all around the tree, the lawn was littered with the pieces of the precious green schtuff. Mitch helped me collect them.

These are all "found" lichens, all about 15 grams of them. If you are wondering why I was excited to see the "found" lichens, read my post on Dec. 17.

We came home and then harvested the black-eyed susan flowers from our front yard. They were looking pretty sad, and the frost may take them soon anyway. I thought I'd experiment with dyeing my yarn with them.

After we were done with the flowers, we came inside -- and I found that Mitch had a fever. Oh dear. I felt terrible -- it must have been too cold. I was just telling my mom on the phone that we've been staying healthy this year, not even a sniffle. Apparently I spoke too soon, or I jinxed it.

Mitch's fever spiked up early evening, to 103F, but Ibuprofen finally worked and he went to bed. He stayed home from school on Monday and Tuesday. This is the first absense from school since he started last July.

The dying with black-eyed susans is not turning out the way I was hoping for. I thought I would be getting a pale, muted green -- right now it's brown. Not even pretty deep brown, it's just a palish tan shade. Like a faded Pepsi stain on your favorite white T-shirt type of brown. Peh.

This is the picture of the corriedale roving just placed in the dye bath. It was mordanted in Alum. Now after several simmering sessions, the fiber looks in the color of the dye bath. Stale coca-cola color. Or Pepsi.

Oh fine. Tomorrow, I will start the lichen fermentation process.

We (notice the Italicized 'we,' ladies?) are going to have to post some real knitting stuff soon, or the readers who visit us via the knitting ring will start to wonder. But my knitting is not very exciting lately! I need to find a good project.

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