Tuesday, November 27, 2007

ah the bounty of nature

Snowed a bit last night and then was frosty this morning, which for a shroomer can be a bit depressing, as all I could think was of those mushrooms turning to mush...so off we went again and surprise surprise chantrelles and hedgehogs still abound and so did manage to collect some and have a small feast. The northern red dyes were not so abundant, but thought I would show you the latest of the mushroom dyes...these are cuffs made from three mushroom dyes, polypores, sulphur tufts and dermocybe californicus...I love the dark brown from the polypores and that was an incredibly concentrated dye...I can see that after dyeing with washfast and kiton and gaywool, that my eyes have to settle down to the subtleties of mushroom dyes...and the differences are subtle but so soft and user friendly...still reticent of selling any mushroom dyed wool as I just want to use them all or at least have them around, as I realize it will be a long time before I can collect again...especially the sulphur tufts and red dyes, as they won;t be back until next fall...so I am hoarding for now...

Friday, November 23, 2007

northern red dye/ cortinarius sanguinea

Awoke this morning to frost on the roses, a sure sign that we had better go mushroom picking before they were all mush....pardon the pun...dh took the rose photo, so beautiful with that frosty edge...then off gathering for a couple of hours...didn't find much at first and were on our way back when we strolled into a field of chantrelles.Now that is sweet...
More dyeing and getting a slightly darker colour this time, need even more concentrated dye bath...these were cashmere silk, and silk/merino and the cashmere in the center and the silk/merino on right were put in a dye bath and left on the stove for about l5 minutes, then lifted and poured in alum and cream of tartar. The skeins had not been premordanted...after a half hour on the stove they were removed and the one on the left put in to exhaust the rest of the dye.. even though they are very muted the nice thing about natural dyes is they are all very cohesive shades and work well together...I love this feature.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

off the cuff and more

This is the latest mushroom dyeing, the silk really loves the dye doesn't it. I have polypores and western red, and some exhaust red.
What I am learning is more mushrooms less water if I want intense color, so will try again tomorrow with much less water. Still using only alum and cream of tartar, but I can appreciate the subtleness of it...

These are the latest off the needles, and on to the Xmas market on Saturday...all but the pale pink which I have claimed as they are the ones that are totally mushroom dyed...the others have some mushroom dyes in them but not much...I love the total mushroom cuffs...and so warm

Now I am making felt boas with wensleydale curls for the market also.

I am running out of wensleydale curls so if anyone has a sourse I would be grateful.

and more mushroom hunting this morning where we found a good feast of Chantrelle and hedgehog mushrooms.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

treasure hunting for mushrooms

Here are the latest colors hot off the stove. All mordanted last night, and cooked today...the two yellow in the front are sulfure tufts, one kid mohair and silk and the other 50/50 silk and merino, the greyish, is the hydnellum fungus thanks to dh who came home with a bagful which I was at work, sweet!!!! and the fleshy pinkish is the Western Red dye or cortinarius dermocybes ...sound like I know what I am talking about, big deception there...lol...
the orange is the western red dye, and a lovely warm orange, its lovely out there in the woods gathering and the whole process I love doing...out in the woods its like a treasure hunt, slow and in the miniscule world, very green and generous.
The only part I have to adapt to the the many pots for many different shrooms, all very busy to keep track of and then the mordanting too, what a pain, but the results so far are worth it, although I would be reticent to part with it yet as it is so labor intensive to me , although I am sure if I continue to do it, the process with the refined some making it easier...this even has me taking notes, which is a first and not really what I like to do, but there are so many part to it I need notes and samples, bleedy frightening, like I don't have enough to do already which I love doing , now I have to stop and take notes .....so off to take notes....