Sunday, September 29, 2013


  Was so excited to see results, though still knowing it might not be fast after drying, or washing.
This is from making the dye bath acidic with vinegar and lemon juice, and crushing the Pokeberries, 
soaking for a day, 
presoaking wool and yarn in acidic water ( had some old pickle juice )
adding fiber to dyebath
heating for about an hour with can of sterno (use outside)
let cool overnight in dyebath
dry for a week in the shade ( yes, I forgot it )
Rinse and dry again
Dyepot after removed yarn, wonder why the purple wool piece.

After rinse and dry in shade 10 days.
These were from the ferment Pokeberry dyepot, cotton glove, wool fiber,wool embroidery thread, cotton yarn (upper right), noticed the purple and green colors on the yarns. Maybe from changing pH.

Also had some nutritional supplements that used for experimenting as after mordants, Copper, Zinc, and some epsom salts.
The copper and zinc lost the red and the epsom, faded some. Will take a photo later. Trying to find safe mordants.
Have a Eucalyptus cinerea bath soaking now (Silver Dollar Euc.) also Robinia pseudoacacia leaves, found on city lot. Did read that all parts are poisonous, so am leaving it outside.  Black bean soaking water that poured off into old pickle jar has cotton yarn waiting to take up color.
Was 52 degrees this morning at 6am , with a low of 52.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Acorns become Oak trees.

Was is a parking lot, walking from bus stop to grocery store and found an acorn. Then several more, some squashed on pavement from cars, others on landscaped area. Evan noticed a small oak tree seedling.
Wonder where the next very large oak trees will be coming from. Some of the Oaks dont look real healthy.
When I go for walks in public areas that left the old native White Oaks be, they seem to be healthier and see
some seedlings and young trees. If we collect acorns and find good places to plant them (not next to your house as grow so large ). I used to do this, collect some acorns and find crevices in hills to plant. Also tried a few times to  make acorn bread, it takes a lot of work to remove the excess tannins which are less in the white Oaks then the Black Oaks. It came out good, other time, forgot them in a bag and grew little grubs.
Acorns from Black Oak,Quercus agrifolia, See the prickly leaves.
The acorns usually come out around August to November, is different each year.
Acorns from Quercus lobata, Valley Oak. September

Maybe our cities would like the trees from local grown acorns for parks or landscaping in the city.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chasing Monarchs

  Saw a Monarch butterfly flying across the view of my window and hopped up to see where he/she went, but seemed to disappear. Dont have a new photo of a Monarch. Also saw a blue or maybe it was a hairstreak, it landed on a dried mustard stem and stayed till I walked closer to see. Tried with reading glasses and without, just couldnt tell what it was, except that it seemed to be in  rest mode and was sunning itself. Next time may just watch while it suns.
  What if we all (or most) had some native milkweed plants or community space where the Monarchs could go. Found a whole bag of milkweed silk and seed the other day while sorting through mothers "stuff" to find what my brothers and I want to keep or pass on. Mom had collected it when on a hike. She liked to walk and go bicycling and camping, so when I see this wrinkled paper bag of seeds and floss think of being loved and listened to. Had wondered if the silk could be spun into yarn.
Milkweed silk and seeds in a paper bag.

There was a large patch of milkweed in a field near my school when a child. Would show the kids how the insects really liked this plant. It had bees,wasps, some being a couple inches and blue with red wings, called tarantula hawks. And butterflies.
  Sometimes we need to move more, look up more, get up and notice whats right here.