February !

Helennews0 Comments

Hello all,

Well, it’s just turned the first of February.  Some of you may know it as Candlemas though it goes by other names too.  Officially it’s the first day of spring and my first reaction was to say “you’re joking!” but actually I can see the sense in it.  Already I have primroses in the garden and the buds are starting to form on the trees.  We don’t have snowdrops in the garden but there are masses in the woods nearby.

Urges to be outdoors had been pulling at me and I was drawn to use some fallen eucalyptus leaves to experiment with some “Eco printing”.  Cotton needs a protein mordant so the previous week I tried India Flint’s recipe for soaking in soya milk.  I promptly forgot about it.  Over a week later I deeply regret that!  Many expletives of disbelief and horror that anything could possibly smell so bad came out of my kitchen.  Three washes at 90 degrees, alternating with added bleach or added bicarb of soda, still didn’t get rid of the stench properly!  I did try the leaf printing eventually, bundling up layers of damp leaves and cloth.  As I unrolled my bundles I thought of my friends who have laughed at my natural dyeing experiments and found myself grinning at yet another “fantasy beige” outcome with not a leafy design in sight.  I’m glad to say that the logwood and dyers alkanet produced wonderful abstract designs of good colour when sprinkled on the cloth and steamed for a few hours.  I might just go back to old fashioned onion skins like we used to do on Easter eggs.

On another colour note we have Dornoch fibre festival coming up soon and we’d love help with some demonstrating over the two days it’s on.  If there are a good few of us there should be lots of time for exploring the show too, and of course I’m looking forward to the stalls!

all the best


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