Monday, April 30, 2007


Spring has sprung, the grass has ris


And the dandelions, too. Commonplace little flowers, cause of much derision and hilarity amongst the young, at least. I have vivid memories of being chased around by somebody or other on numerous occasions to be assaulted with a dandelion to accompanying cries of "Now you'll wet the bed!" And nary a one of the Norfolk youth involved knew at that stage that the popular name in French was "pis-en-lit."

Commonplace, but of exceptional value - food, drink, medicine and multiple gleams of sunshine in the early spring. Not that there has been any lack of those in this most exceptional of seasons. Most unnatural, not British at all!

I wonder where dem boidies is?


Possibly - certainly - out there in the trees that have come in to leaf almost without me realising it.

Der little boids is on der wing - no, dat's absoid. Der little wings is on der boid!

Alternatively, there is the completely wingless and even more absoid low-flying siamese cat.....


(Look, there's an open window, a flat surface, and I'm a cat. Do you really expect anything else?

And then - in the spring, a woman's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of.....natural dyeing.

Ivy berries

Fibre in a dyebath made from very ripe ivy berries, prior to heating.

Ivy berries

Fibre in same, but after heating.

You can perhaps imagine that by this stage I am getting very excited!


Fibre removed from dyebath and rinsed....

Ivy berries


It is possible that if I had used a different mordant, I might have got a better result. It may not be apparent from the photograph, but there is (really!) a faint blue-green tinge to the fibre, and just possibly copper might accentuate that. Maybe.

In other news - a really enjoyable day at AH, the mohair seemed to go down well, there were three new people all of whom seemed to have a good time and one of whom was merrily spinning on her new wheel by the end of the day never having touched it before (gotta love 'em!)

And a really enjoyable trip to York to see the last Met broadcast - of Il Trittico, which I shall probably never get the opportunity to see again, and I am so glad to have had this one. It was wondrful - the first two are pretty ghastly stories, and the last a french-style farce, but the music in all is terrific and the performances superb.

And still the fine weather continues, although "they" are threatening us with a storm any time at all.

Better than an earthquake, anyway.


Sara said...

Earthquakes? Kinda fun, shakes things up a bit.

But then, I haven't felt a really strong one in, oh, 35 years or so.

Highly over-rated, but fear sells. (Now we will be treated to a massive one).

I would comment on the dyeing but then I might be accused of being mean.

Leigh said...

What a bummer about that dyepot, or rather its results. Such a gorgeous color..... before. Dandelions always make me think of bunny rabbits. Mine used to love the greens.

m said...

Carol, do you have a copy of "Verse and Worse" as well as the Mary Plain stories?
As I was reading the entry, I was thinking, "garden here I come!"
Now, I think that I'll have to do all the things that need doing, rather than getting sidetracked into more dyeing.
I think that all the books I have suggest that this just gives a range of greens.
However, Jenny Dean in "Wild colour" gets some good purply colours from mahonia berries, which we don't have.