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Monday, October 29, 2012

I've Been Dyeing to Show You

 Hello there! Until yesterday we were enjoying a wonderful fall with temperatures in the 60s or 70s by day and 50s by night.  Wonderful time of year.
 Morning glories are blooming on the chicken yard fence.  We like to keep our fence clear, but these aren't weeds; I didn't have the heart to pull them down. They're still blooming since we haven't had a frost yet.
 Our jalapeno peppers did very well in the garden this year. I saved some in jars, but we have literally stuffed ourselves with them more than once since I found the best recipe here that is amazingly similar to Cheddar Peppers @ Sonic, only better. ;)
 I made a batch of soap and defiantly cut a few of the bars fatter than usual. I'm just stubborn sometimes. ;)
 I prepared some off-white yarn to try dyeing with ...
 These lovely poke berries that I gathered in the pasture.
 I have wanted to do this for ages. Anyway, I used the directions in my book Harvesting Color to guide me. Here I pre-mordanted the wool in vinegar for two hours. This method as described in the book yielded better results than I'd had before. The book may be available at your local library, if not, you can request they get it. Wonderful book on natural dyes.
 Meantime, I squeezed the berries then strained them and brought the mixture to the correct temperature for the dyebath.
 As I lowered the wool in the bath it soaked up so much color I had a feeling it was going to work. The dyebath was kept at 170 degrees for two hours then I turned the heat off, covered it with a lid and let set overnight.
 Here's the finished result. The yarn is actually darker red than the pic, but my camera is defiant, too, so this is the as close to the true color shade as I could get.
 Goodman built some raised beds for my strawberry plants. I really enjoy working in raised beds as I can sit on the side and weed away without getting a backache. We filled them with regular topsoil mixed with mushroom compost. That's asparagus in the far back bed. Goodman found some asparagus plants growing along the back fenceline, and we put them in the bed. I'm pretty sure they grew from seeds of the plants I had several years ago, that were scattered by birds.
Hope you're having a wonderful fall, Y'all!
Linked with: Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Good Fences" target="_blank">
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