The other day I spotted a wild flower area on the edge of Newhaven and discovered that it had been planted by local Brownies and others to celebrate the Jubilee. There are plans to mow the area once the flowers have died, but I've been promised a phone call to let me know when the strimming is about to happen so that I can harvest before it's too late.
I thought I should perhaps check that I would indeed achieve a good strong yellow from the flowers, so I harvested a bunch and simmered the fresh flower heads in some water.
The gorgeous yellow on the left is what I would expect from coreopsis, with the deeper hue on the right from fleece left to soak overnight. Above is the green I achieved from overdyeing the indigo dyed yarn at the top of the picture. The colours look signicantly different in the flesh and the deep dark green is stunning. I never cease to be surprised that something SO dark can be thus modified.
IWe need more green yarn for knitting the map, so I tried out the indigo/fructose/slaked lime recipe and ingredients that I got from the amazing Jenny Dean. Dianne and I are visiting her fairly regularly to explore various aspects of plant dyeing - you'll just have to wait for some of our more exciting news....
This is the deepest blue we achieved which would be a great disappointment if it weren't exactly the colour we want to get the green we need for the map.
IMy daughter gave me a hand so that I could photograph our session and naturally because indigo powder is SO precious, we spilt it repeatedly tee hee.
And this is the culprit that's almost destroyed our woad harvest - anyone know what it is? Apart from greedy...
The woad was looking really healthy before the really hungry caterpillar invasion.
These are the map colours that were dyed at the summer Festival in Manor Road (see below) using our own madder and woad, and weld collected from the side of the A270..
These are dahlia flowers drying out ready to yield another fab yellow...
...and these are dyer's chamomile from a couple of plants that Jenny Dean has donated to the Stanmer Dye Garden.
I have included the above image because it shows a little of the beautiful bunting Dianne had made, Carol and Brenda in the middle and I think you can spot Pete carding on the right.
As you might be able to see, we (I say we) tried to overdye a bit of yellow felt with the woad solution to add to the panel decorations for the Yurt.
Here are Dianne and Jennie hard at it - they spent ALL day dyeing, trying to match the pink, yellow and blue we need to have enough wool to start Knitting the Map.
This is the Hedgerow Dyers' stall at the summer Festival we staged in August. Jars of solar dyeing on the table with Jennie's fabulous woad and weld dyed scarf on the left (with the results of the 2010 Dyeing Art sessions at Stanmer in the background).
The really great news this month is that we have got seeds on our madder plants at the Green Centre Dye Garden.
I'm beginning to think the seeds only develop on 3 year old plants.