Thursday, September 30, 2010

Fungi Fun!

The dye pots have been out again and this time we have a perfect excuse (not that we need one!) as we have been dyeing all sorts of textiles for Jane Southgate to use in her artwork.
Sam whose alter ego is Peg the Dyer at Kentwell Hall has been leading the dyeing and working with Jane to get the correct colours. We love to dye with plants at HH and are particularly fond of the purple feather reed heads that grow around here. They are ready to use in the summer but the season is so short that we have been experimenting with drying and freezing the heads so that we can dye with them all through the winter too!
The dyebath made from the reed heads looks just like Ribena!
We are extremely proud to be sponsoring Jane's latest projects at Thornham Walks and Lackford Lakes in Suffolk but we made it clear from the start that we would expect her to join in when we came to dye the yarns and fabrics...
Here she is supervising the madder dye bath, that fleece hanging on the line behind her is from the Gedgrave Flock a lovely curly fleece!
Even though the reed head dye bath is the colour of Ribena the shade you get at the end is this - actually my camera struggles with this and it's much greener in real life!

As well as the fleece and yarns from the Gedgrave sheep Jane is also making good use of the Colinette 'Point 5' yarn that we sell at Halfpenny Home and this is the shade 'Turquoise'. I'm pretty sure that it's not what the Colinette designers would have expected their gorgeous hand dyed yarn to be used for...
Jane is planning to make a hundred of these...can you imagine them all swaying in the breeze? The star of the show (so far) for me has to be this bracket fungus, the bottom part has been dyed with woad and the curly lid is the fleece that we dyed with madder. Everyone who meets it wants to hug it!
Jane is using natural fibres only as the artworks will stay in situ for a year while nature does it's own recycling...
The moss which is knitted in moss stitch!

Add ImageThe mushrooms knitted with Colinette 'Skye' in the colourway 'Star Anise', lovely! Jane wants us all to knit a mushroom for this and has written a pattern for them, so if you would like to knit one let us know and we'll send the pattern, yarn (and if you need them, some double pointed needles!) to you.


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