Archive | October, 2015

Dyers’ Fall Chores

24 Oct

In Texas we have finally gotten back to sane fall temps of 80 degrees. The garden is settling down and going to seed. We have some heavy rains forecasted so I harvested some indigo seed, gathered oak galls & acorns and took advantage of delayed rains to scour some wool for a November natural dye class.

The Japanese Indigo yielded its small flea like seeds. When the winter winds blow in I’ll winnow the chaff out.  The Indigo Suffruticosa is still teaching me how to harvest it. The bean like seeds ripen to brown black and split open.   When you pull a seed bunch a branchlet usually comes with it. Determined not to waste an opportunity I’ve put these branchlets plus some wind trimming into a white bucket and put it aside to see if my indigo makes a natural appearance. Look at this after just one day!So I plan to use the yeast recipe for woad in Jenny Dean’s newest book, A Heritage of Colour. Stay tuned for those results.

And the acorns and oak galls are making an appearance so I gathered some up to put aside to pull for tannin.  “Some” is the key word as the squirrels and deer have been very busy dining on fallen acorns.  And finally I am prepping some beautiful wool, silk and cotton for a November workshop I am giving. Scouring the Australian wool was today and winds permitting I will mordant tomorrow. Here’s my source link.


Meanwhile…over in Finland Freeze Dried Indigo

7 Oct

Actually, the term is more correctly frost bitten Japanese Indigo! I admire it so much I must share Riihivila’s efforts in Finland on more exploring with different variations of dried indigo based on John Marshall’s Dried Japanese Indigo recipe in his latest publication.

Riihivila takes advantage of a late freeze to explore here…

So, if you live somewhere early frosts are threatening your late season JI, consider this exploration.

No photos in my blog today but jump over to Riihivilla’s blog and enjoy her photos.

Fall Drought

3 Oct

There is good news & bad new….

The indigos are going to seed in the irrigated garden, more indigo for next year….

 My yarns from Georgia Yarn Company are here to prep for my November guild natural dye class.  Silk, wool & cotton!
I must be the only weaver to buy white wool from Southwest Weaving


Look at all her colors! 

We’ve cut over to well water as our cistern is down significantly. We usually just need a brief rain to refill but there had been none since the May floods.  Walking around you can see the summer drought impact on our land.

Minimum acorn crop this year, last year one could see an abundance, this year only singles on the branches.  

And you can see the lack of moisture around the trees… Only .42 of rain since early June…

So…we are hopeful the El Nino will bring some rains in November and repenish the ground AND our cistern!

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