Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday Lagniappe: Like I Need a New Hobby UPDATE

A few years ago I asked readers what topics they would like me to address and several mentioned crafts from the garden.  You might know that I am a needle felter (see www.needlinaround.blogspot.com) and that I am studying botanical illustration at Lewis Ginter Botanical gardens (http://www.lewisginter.org/adult-education/adult-educationhappeningnow.php) .  Well these hobbies have crashed together with a class I am taking "Painting Plants that Paint" on dye plants.  We will sketch a dye plant, learn about them and make a solar dye from some of them.  I thought it would be fun to dye some needle-felting wool using solar dyeing and here are my first three attempt using plants from my garden, left to right in the photo above: red hibiscus, fig and woad.  Mother Earth News has an article from 1983 (!) on one method to do this:  http://www.motherearthnews.com/Do-It-Yourself/1983-03-01/An-Easy-Solar-Dye-It.aspx which I am trying, and I will also try a more traditional method.  Stay tuned for another Wednesday lagniappe for the results in two weeks!

Update:  Three more solar dyes:  Left to right:  Hopi Red Dye Amaranth, Muscadine grape skins and turmeric!
Happy gardening!

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