Sunday, 11 July 2010

More potions

Docken flowers/seeds (not sure what they are actually - the red bits on the plant anyway) this time. The stewed vegetable matter looked like diluted Ribena so I had hopes of maybe getting a pinkier colour this time.

Alas, once the yarn was done it looked pretty much like wholemeal spaghetti hanging on my washing-line. The folk over the back must think I'm a bit odd..

This is the end result with my previous two attempts - from top: onion skins (mordanted with alum),  2nd try onion skins (unmordanted), docken bits (mordanted with alum).

It's hard to see but there's actually more variety of colour in this skein than in the other two - hints of green and pink pop up now and then. So I'm quite pleased with this experiment - and it does look nice with the other two colours!

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

I've a little teapot

But calling it short and stout seems a bit unkind when it's such a gorgeous shape!

I've been wanting a teapot for a while now - a bit odd really as I don't drink that much tea, certainly not ordinary black tea, though I like green tea and chamomile tea.  But I like teapots! And I fancy knitting a tea-cosy.  So I looked around for a small teapot, something a bit different. I looked at the Emma Bridgewater and Susie Watson websites, but although I can admire their retro, cheerful stuff (much as I admire Attic24, Curlew Country and similar blogs) it's not quite me. Really I'm more neutral.  Dull, you might say!  And then one day I dropped into the National Museum of Rural Life, my old employer, and there in the shop was The Teapot.  Why I didn't think to look there before I have no idea - when I worked there I bought any number of gorgeous things in the shop with my staff discount.

So there it is - definitely pretty, but also very muted and neutral.

Sunday, 4 July 2010

What kind of name is Lousewort?

A side-effect of trying the natural dyeing is that I'm suddenly aware of how few plants and flowers I recognise - of course I do recognise them (well, some of them), I just can't name them which isn't that helpful when I'm looking at lists of plants that will produce some colour.

I'm okay at this sort of thing..

.. (that's my lawn by the way, *blush*) but anything less blindingly obvious than that and I'm stumped.

So I bought a little field guide to wildflowers and started flicking through it. And in passing discovered that the tiny flowers I knew in my childhood as honey flowers (or honey flooers) are more generally known as Lousewort. Lousewort? What kind of horrible name is that for such teeny, pretty purveyors of sweetness?