Remember these? The test-dyes from the Battle of Wisby workshop in plant dyeing. We used madder and reseda and got shades of warm red, yellows and light green. I wanted to make a small Christmas gift out of them, and yesterday it was ready. But before I'll show you any pictures of how it turned out, I feel like losing myself among memories of this last summer.
|Plant dyed with madder and reseda.|
Today, snow falls outside my window and there is only a few more days before Christmas. But the colors and the faint smell of madder that still persists in my newly finished Christmas-gift makes me think back upon that workshopday in August. It was Friday, the day before the great battle outside the citywalls of Wisby. It was a really hot summers day, the air was completely still, not the slightest breeze. I came hurrying to the workshop straight from my last battletraining/rehearsal, sweaty and stinking and boyish-looking in my hose and helmet.
|Messenger in a hurry.|
|The workshop has begun.|
When I met the others in the camp they had already begun the workshop with some theory. When I saw how well dressed they all were, I felt that I had to go home and change. (To bad, since I then missed more of the workshop than I really had to.)
|Plant-dyeing in the heat.|
When I returned the dyeing had begun. I had changed into an old green dress with my new apron. I had also wisely changed the kettlehat for a nice strawhat, but still looked like I needed a shower.
|Working with scandalously bare arms.|
|The madder cauldron.|
Eventually, it was time to take the yarn up from the two cauldrons. First we took up half of the reseda yarn, and half of the madder. Those were bright yellow and red. Then we added some powdered iron salt in both of the pots. Instantly the dye-soups got much darker. The reseda turned a dramatic dark green color, the madder got a more brownish, bloody shade of red. The yarn was only in the iron mordant bath for a couple of minutes before we got them up to dry, as it makes the fibers fragile.
|So many colors, out of only two dyes!|
The day ended in a unusually quiet party gathering around the campfire, as none of the participants in the battle the next day was allowed to drink and a good nights sleep was recommended. I was so full of the experiences of the day that I didnt want to go to bed, but eventually I did.
And that was it. The next day changed everything.
(But, when I think about it, every day changes everything.)
|The end of a really good day.|
Now all of this, daydreaming of a summer long past, begun when I felt the faint smell of madder still persisting in the yarn of the Christmas gift I finished yesterday.
I did it again, another silly needlebound cellphone cover. I had no clear idea about how I wanted it to look, but I made this cover striped as I find it more stimulating and fun to work with two needles/colors. And as I followed my own advice and keept a playful approach to the project, it ended up as a cheerful tiger with a tablet woven cord for a tail.