Sunday, February 7, 2016

February Planting

I've had a rough go of it, the last couple of weeks. Some unknown allergic reaction has sent me to visit our health care professionals too many times of late. I feel tired, but I am hoping I am done with it now and I am ready to have fun again! So, today, I decided it was time to start a few seeds. Red Globe Onions, Black Prince Tomatoes, Silvery-Fir Tomatoes, Buckflats Wonder Tomatoes, and some Garden Asparagus. The asparagus seeds had to soak for 2 hours before planting. I've never grown asparagus before, but have wanted to for years. I should have started the seeds years ago- then I would be ready to harvest them already! This will be an exercise in patience.

I got some more lights on the weekend, so that means more space to start seeds inside. I love this time of year!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

My Store is Back Up!

I've got my Etsy shop back up and running! I am starting to sell my knitting patterns.  I've got two new ones up for sale. My old patterns will still be available on my blog. Please stop by my shop to check out the new patterns!

Pattern #2: Dandelion Wine- A Headband Pattern

 Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Lichen Dyeing- Peltigera aphthosa and Letharia vulpina

I've been starting to dye little skeins of yarn for the Icelandic sweater I am planning to knit using only lichen and mushroom dyed yarn. I started with Peltigera aphthosa (freckled pelt lichen). I collected about a cup of lichen and fermented it in ammonia for 4 months. It is important to collect lichen that has been detached from its substrate, so that you don't deplete the population. Lichens are slow growing and sensitive to being harvested. After the fermentation, I added 2 cups of the dye liquor to my dye pot, along with 10 cups of water and a half a cup of salt.
I added 1oz of wool to the dye bath and brought the temperature up to 180F for 10 min.
Then I took the temp down to 160F and simmered for an hour. I let it cool overnight and the next day I brought it back up to 160F and let it cool overnight again.
I let it drain for two days before I rinsed it in cold water, to make it more colour fast. The colour came out as a nice dusty rose.
Nest, I soaked about 2 cups of Letharia vulpina (wolf lichen) in water for 24 hours.
Then I boiled it for 30 min and simmered it for an hour. I strained out the liquid and saved it, then covered the lichen in fresh water and repeated the process. I didn't get much more colour out from the second time around, so I didn't bother to do it a third time. With all the strained liquid, I added a 1/2 cup of salt and 1oz of wool. I heated it to a just below a simmer for 2-4hours and let it cool overnight, before letting it drain for two days.
The wolf lichen smells heavenly!
I'm very happy with the colours and I am excited to try the Umbilicaria lichen I have fermenting. I need to wait 2 more months though!

Friday, January 1, 2016














2015. One full year! Let's hope that we can keep up with 2016!
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