Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Walnutty Adventures

Last weekend, we went to the Woodlands Festival at the Harcourt Arboretum. It was our first visit to the arboretum, and I thought it was great! The Woodlands Festival was smallish, but very good. Every stall holder that we talked to was enthusiastic and friendly, and clearly passionate about what they did (even the icecream man!).

There was a display of owls - this Barn Owl was really something gorgeous!

This gorgeous horse was demonstrating how they use horses to harvest timber in a less destructive manner than using machinery. She was fantastic!

There was a stall by a spinning, weaving & dying guild ( think from Oxfordshire, but I can't find anything about them online). There was a lovely lady who was spinning, and we talked about natural dying. They had a display of fungus dyed yarn which was incredible! Anyway, I bought a little handspun white wool (unbelievable price of two pounds per 100g), and set to work!

I wanted to dye without a mordant to start with. We have a walnut tree in our shared back garden so I collected some of the nuts that were on the ground (including some of the pieces from where squirrels had raided them), and soaked them for a while, boiled them for a while, and then popped the wool in. It sat overnight, and I pulled it out this morning. The walnuts are English (obviously), not black walnuts, and most of the instructions I found were for black walnuts. I have ended up with a lovely colour (I think), but not the 'rich chocolately brown' that others seem to have obtained. Anyway, a few shots of the process:
I have had lots of fun doing this - more than I thought I would! I have no idea what I will do with it yet, but I can see how dying could become very addictive!

1 comment:

Claudia said...

Oh, wow! That is gorgeous. Did a lot of the dye come out when you rinsed it? You and S put us to shame in terms of getting out and seeing what England has to offer - I think we're a bit jaded.