July 12, 2010

The common daylily, genus Hemerocalis:

Actually, these are not quite so common, as they have a double flower.

These flowers have been in my yard a long time. When I was in high school, my best friend Susan and I were wildflower-crazy. There was huge field near a pond near my house and every summer, it was filled with daylilies. One spring, we took trowels and a bucket and dug up a batch of the newly-sprouting tuberous roots. We divided our take and planted them in our respective yards.

One thing about daylilies, you can’t get rid of them if they like you. That original handful of roots grew, spread, were divided, and spread again. Among them were occasional double-flowered ones and I managed over time to segregate them into one bed. A few years ago, we decided to put a ring of daylilies and a ring of green hostas around the oak tree in the front yard and used the double daylilies to show them off.

Every time the daylilies bloom, I get the urge to do some dyeing and try to capture their rich orange color mottled with yellows, dark red, and green. Previously, using only Kool-aide or food coloring, I never quite got the depth of color I was after. This year, armed with the Greener Shade Dyes and some roving from the Sheep Shed, I came pretty close to reaching my goal:

Spun up, the mottling of colors began to drop out:

And by the time it was double-plied, it did not have quite the speckling I was hoping for. However, I was pleased with the depth of the color and will make another venture in trying this one again.

In full sun, it is a lighter orange, but still a pretty shade:


Today’s Dose of “From This to This to This”

July 12, 2010

Today we have from this:

To this:

To this:

To this:

Those who know me, know I am not too much of a dye person. My kitchen is small, dyeing is smelly and messy. Plus, most dyes come with the provisos that family members and small animals will drop in their tracks if they ever make the mistake of using the utensils you dyed with.

Kool-aide and Wilton’s Icing Colors have been the safe alternatives and I have gotten some darned good results, too. However, I longed for adventure. That’s when I stumbled over Greener Shades dyes. I have added their link to the blog home page list of links. Basically, Greener Shades are low impact acid dyes without all the dire warnings of impending doom should a family member inadvertently use a utensil formerly used in dyeing. I am an inexpert dyer and was happy with the results.

The other thing to note (and new link on the list) is the Sheep Shed Studio in Montana. Fifteen pounds of white roving for around $100 with shipping. These are all the Brown Sheep Yarn mill ends. The one pictured above is the 75% wool and 25% mohair and you can see the vein of mohair running through it. All great roving and I doubt I will ever buy a plain white fleece again because, by the time I get through washing and processing, I have spent double what it would cost to just get it from Sheep Shed.

By the way, it took 4 days to make this post, thanks to WordPress suddenly going wonky on uploading photos. I finally had to go into Firefox to make it happen, but it has taken from around 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM to post 4 photos? There must be a better way!