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turkey tails and avocado

November 27, 2019

remember the turkey tail mushroom?

I chopped it into 1/2 inch bits and left it to soak for 2 weeks

it remained tough, like leather and started to smell nasty

alum mordanted wool simmered for 2 hours – and it really smelled BAD

gave a pale yellow/green

avocado are expensive here and the ones in the store now are not very good

still, they will be used for dyeing

I chop the pit before it hardens, as it dries you can see the dye potential

the samples are from last year

stitching in the evenings

I love the ripple patterns the kantha stitch makes

December will be busy so I got a jump start on the backstrap weaving

it will be the final piece for the year’s challenge

handspun wool in both warp and weft

indigo dyed, natural grey and brown

the grey is thicker so I will see how the different weights weave

planning to weave the weft like a tartan

now it is time to wind a warp for the floor loom

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Going Batty in Wales permalink
    November 28, 2019 9:23 am

    I love the stitching! I might use that as inspiration. I have done some dyeing with natural materials but am in awe of your expertise. And your weaving.


    • November 28, 2019 10:51 am

      “going batty” – sorry, I don’t know your name – one of the joys of electronic communication? My mother started me doing traditional embroidery at a very early age, she might not be too impressed with my more non-traditional wanderings but I do love kantha. Can no longer knit due to arthritis so stitching (or spinning) is my evening pastime. With all the wonderful wilderness surrounding you and your love of nature I’m surprised you haven’t tried natural dyeing. Lichen would be a good place to start, I only use windfalls and never pick growing plants but it is very easy – don’t need a mordant (assisting chemical) and gives lovely warm colours.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Going Batty in Wales permalink
        December 11, 2019 4:25 am

        I did try natural dyeing a few years ago and went on a couple of courses taught by my friend Susan Martin which included using lichen. She also taught me spinning and when she was given a wheel by a lady who was giving up spinning through old age with the instruction to lend it to a student she passed it to me. However I never seem to have time to use it! I too am developing arthritis in my fingers so maybe the day will come when I cannot knit or crochet and will turn to spinning instead. there are so many things I want to learn or improve at and so little time.


      • December 11, 2019 10:22 am

        Going Batty – time is so precious, we have to decide what matters the most and enjoy it. I spin mostly in the evening when I’m too tired to do much else, it’s like a working meditation for me.


  2. November 27, 2019 5:15 pm

    Oh my word, I wish I could send you some avocado pits from here. They’ve been traditionally used in Australia instead of butter, and there are many, many trees with fruit just lying on the ground. I wonder if you can dye with mango; I know they stain your hands if you’re preparing a lot of them, just like carrot and pumpkin…


    • November 27, 2019 9:24 pm

      Kate – the plants of Australia are so different from what we have here in the north, I am envious of your flowers and birds and their beautiful flamboyant colours. Mango and pumpkin don’t dye and carrot tops do but like so many other things the colour isn’t worth the effort.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. November 27, 2019 3:35 pm

    Turkey Tails are delightfully named, too bad they are so stinky. I am impressed you kept up with the backstrap challenge.


    • November 27, 2019 3:41 pm

      Kjerstin – I love the subtle colour patterns on the turkey tails. I’ve always wondered if the dyed, now I know the smell isn’t worth it – but I have heard you can use them to make paper, wonder what it smells like? I will be happy when all this backstrap weaving is finished.


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