Friday, 30 July 2010

the colour green

I know, I know, I missed last week's light blue.. but the week for green is nearly over as well - so I am going to drop the blue. here comes green:
I do like green - out in the garden or elsewhere in nature. I don't really own any garments in stronger green (very dark bottle green is the exception, but that's rare, too) - I don't have shoes in green, I don't have a lot of green inside the house apart from living plants. for some reason green and outside go together for me. so here are three greens from my garden for you. the one on the left is called Lithospermum erythrorhizon, what a mouthful, eh? it's not a very showy plant with the tiny white flowers, but it's a dye plant! unfortunately  the roots contain the dye, not the top. they dye purple (well, at least the plants in japan do - I still haven't harvested mine, because I don't want to destroy the plant).
the top right one shows the very fresh leaves of an Indian Horse Chestnut (they go pure green, when they're mature). we grew them from conkers that we collected in Dublin some years back. and the funny "snake" at the bottom is the branch of a monkeypuzzle tree (Araucaria araucana) - monkeypuzzle, because even a monkey would be puzzled if he had to climb that scaly tree:)) it looks a bit weird - not really like a tree. I don't find it very beautiful, it looks like a dinosaur to me - but I saw some handturned bowls a while back and they were stunning! because the branches all sprout out at the same height in a ring around the main stem, a bowl has a single colour lower part - and dark "eyes" all around the top, amazing. unfortunately the bowls were too expensive for me - so I am stuck with an ugly tree in the garden:))
nothing much has been happening on the solar dyeing front - due to lack of sunshine really. getting the jars wet in the rain doesn't do anything for the dye takeup, so I started by putting one of the jars into a pot with hot water - inside. it's not really solar dyeing anymore, I know, but we're expecting visitors the week after next and I don't think they'll appreciate dye jars all over the house/garden.... and it doesn't use extra energy, because we light the fire for heating anyway, so it can just sit and heat up over night.
and tomorrow I'll be gone for the day, because the Connacht Textile Crafters meet at the museum in castlebar again. I am showing how to knit socks on 1, 2, 4 or 5 needles (joking really, of course the 1 is a circular needle - with two ends:)) - and I hope for reasonable weather, so that maybe we can use the marquee in the grounds and sneak outside if the sun comes out.....
off to ply some chiengora with alpaca!
ps: I forgot one very green near-garment here: the 3/4 finished birch leaves scarf I am still knitting! might not be mine forever though - could be that I don't want that much green around my neck after all, we'll see:))


Delighted Hands said...

Never met a green I didn't like! Very pretty. Sorry about the solar dyeing....having it dyed it the important thing-not just the method! Chiengora and alpaca--it has to be soooo soft!

Birgit said...

Das ist eine super Idee, das Glas in dem Topf zu erhitzen. Heute soll die Sonne ja hier noch scheinen, aber dann....
Ich habe allerdings erstmal nur 1 Glas ausprobiert mit dunkelroten Geranienblüten. Es sieht schon ganz gut aus, aber ich hätte die Farbe gerne noch ein bisschen kräftiger.

Liebe Grüße aus Deutschland

Woolly Bits said...

I like greens too, it's just that most of them don't suit me that well.....

Birgit, ich hab wohl die paar waermeren wochen mit sonne hier verpasst - jetzt gibts dann kuenstliche sonne von unten:)) die geranienblueten haben bei mir scheinbar nicht viel farbe abgegeben, aber dahlien und faerberkamille sind sehr schoen geworden! danke fuer die gruesse - auch zurueck in die alte heimat:))


Janet said...

Green is one of my favourites too. A neighbour was clearing out his garden today and left a nice green shrub out on the pavement with a sign saying free for the taking. It will now reside in the back corner of my garden.
new grandson Sean Ian born this morning. Happy Day.

Helen said...

I love your greens and I like the idea of the birch leaf scarf too.Like you while I love greens I don't wear them as on the whole they don't suit me.
I was told by another dyer that she did all her dyeing in kilner jars by putting them in a large pan of water and heating. She said it was away to dye lots of colour in a small space which I thought sounded a really good idea.
I am still hoping for some sun for my pots :)

Woolly Bits said...

Helen, I've given up on the sun factor - the forecast for this week was greyish and damp again:(( I could kick myself because the loose brazilwood is a bitch to get out (lesson learned:)) - but the rest did ok. not terribly strong, but useable (the dahlia did great though as did the dyer's chamomile!)
good luck with your dye pots!