Brown cotton seeds starting to come up. Cotton is always interesting to watch. The plant starts elbowing up and as the leaves open up they push off the seed casing.
And the Woad. Woad is not a desert plant. (Pause for a moment of duh.) It requires some extra care when weather is hot and dry. These two are surviving but look a bit raggedy here due to snacking by bugs. Moved them to a different corner and mixed up some insecticidal soap. Hoping for the best here.
Not the most exotic sounding dye material but don’t underestimate the onions or the onion skin. For me it has been a reliable, versatile dye that I can use on both protein and plant fiber. So far I’ve dyed wool, cotton, and soy silk.
Above, pre-alumed wool dyed with onion skins. The green is indigo over-dyed in the same batch. The plant:fiber ratio was .5:1 but I believe that I could have used considerably less dye stuff. The onion skins and fiber had been simmered for an hour and left to soak over night. The next day the dye still wasn’t exhausted so I over-dyed some previously indigo-dyed wool.
Copper and Iron after-baths darkened the color but ended up with similar shades. The Ammonia after-bath brightened a bit.
Onion skins are easy to save up and store. When I am shopping produce I sometimes tidy up around the onion bin.
Today we had the kind of weather that inspired my parents to pull up stakes from Ohio and move to California. It may start raining sometime tonight but for today it was quite lovely. Becides the cats and bees I heard then saw a humming bird in the Orange tree. Also a couple of ladybugs.
My cotton shrub (below) kept going all through what passes out here for winter and is currently surrronded by the Oxalis that may dye some of it.
This last rather poorly lit picture is the Charkha I use for spinning cotton. That, and a portable Akha-style spindle. I was able to take a class from Eileen Hallman (New World Textiles) and purchased a Charkha from her. (Good instructor, good class.)