"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived" Henry David Thoreau, Walden (1854)

"Judge every day not by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you sow." - Robert Louis Stevenson

Monday, August 4, 2014

Drying and Dyeing

Well it sure has been a spell since I have blogged last.  Its been rather busy and well you know how things can get.  So I'll just jump back in like it was yesterday cuz it does seem like it was just yesterday.

Spring was great, summer wonderful.  Not to many really hot days so far.  Garden is doing very well with lots of grilling the veggies and canning to do and freezing as well.   Also drying , I love doing that, having dried herbs and others like peas and carrots for making soups when cooler weather comes around.

Went to the farmers market last weekend and picked up a bag of sweet corn, 5 dozen.   I did plant sweet corn but a mini micro burst or a neighbors cow walked through it plus the coons are having a great time with it as well, so nice and convenient for them when the corn is down.  So I'm hoping they will leave me just a few.   I do have some Indian Corn planted in another garden and so far it is being left alone.

Freezing some of the corn I bought on the cob after cutting both ends off leaving  the inner husk on in freezer bags. Also freeze some in foil (great for grilling)  We'll see if it tastes fresh in a few months.   The outer husk is drying outside in the sunshine to use for hot tamale wraps (it will be a new thing for me to do).  Using my mini greenhouse shelves to keep them from flying all over.  I think a screen will be even better to keep critters off the husk.

 Also drying the corn silks for tender (fire starters).  So nothing wasted, the ends will go in the compost.  Chickens love them too.  (I have not got my chickens yet).

Fiber Fun!
I've been having so much fun with my Ashford II spinning wheel.  Lots of fun wools I've spun all ready and also been experimenting with plant dyes.  I had good success  with black bean dyeing , food coloring and even Kool-Aid dyes .  But I'm most interested in plants in my gardens and woods that I can experiment with.  Making mordants for setting the dyes, from Alum,Tartar,salt,vinegar, copper,some plants and even rusty nails to change the colors of dyes, so many more.  There is so much to learn how each plant will react.  I have just begun. 

The jars that I have put some plants/flowers in are out in the sunshine for a week now and this coming weekend the spun wool will go in for the dyeing.

The darkest is Hopi Red dye which is an Amaranth and the lighter red is also an Amaranth.  There's Daylily (orange) and Marigolds (orange).  The light one in the back is sunflower. I hope it has a pretty yellow.   The mordant will make the difference.

My last bunch of wool had alot of vegetable debris, tiny bits of grass and such.  Most came out when spinning but still could not get it all out.  So I will be dyeing this yarn in these jars and weave place mats or small rugs with a Rigid Heddle loom that I can't wait to get next month.   The spinning has lead me into weaving that I have wanted to do for so many years as well.

Thank you for dropping by and if you dye fibers and blog please let me know , would love to see how you work with your fibers.
Also if you have a knock out Hot Tamale recipe sure would like that too : )

All take good care

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