January is when the Oxalis starts it’s annual invasion. As annoying as it can be – taking over the garden – it’s still my staple for yellow dye and a favorite with local bees. I let the bees have at it in the morning and pick after. By the time it starts dying off I’ll have a good supply of dried oxalis, enough for myself and to give away to other dyers.
I had this project idea to see how the Woad would do in a planter vs yard. It started out well enough then one night something made its way to the porch ate most of the Woad in a pot – but not the yard. I guess the next few test plants will be wrapped in hardware cloth.
Woad plants in starter pot and the yard.
And the Weld. These are from last years Weld plants. Just starting to come up.
Weld seedlings just coming up.
Weld a few weeks later.
Weld under hardware cloth to discourage local beasties from rolling in it.
Weld section of the front yard, backed by Rosemary, White Sage and Valerian.
We passed the Vernal Equinox a week or two ago, which I think means beginning of Spring. Days are getting longer with a bit more light later into the evening. Some of the Weld and Woad that weren’t washed out of the flats in the last rain storm are nearly ready to move into the garden.
This one is neither Woad nor Weld, but one of the California Poppies blooming all around my street.
On the subject of weaving, one piece is off the loom and another one started
Lastly, an automotive postscript: My neighbors have taken to calling my AMC (aka: the-brain-that-wouldn’t-die) the “flaming amc”…
Did I mention that the weather here is volatile and often just plain weird? Rain coming down in buckets. Windy. Tomorrow noon it may be sunny and near 70°, unlikely as that seems right now.
Good weather to say in and weave. I’m currently working on a small piece woven with the “deconstructed” or recycled Abercrombie & Fitch sweater wool from my local Out-of-the-Closet thrift shop. Project began as a local guild challenge (earlier dye posts) and I’m still weaving through the accumulated stash. The wool is a natural off-white. It’s been dyed with onion skins, Hibiscus flower (dried), Woad (powdered), Fennel, miscellaneous yard trash and copper or iron mordants. I don’t really have a good, reliable local blue so generally I use Woad powder or Indigo. I was trying as much as possible to use what’s locally available and go easy on the chemical mordants.
The cats deal with the weather by alternately hibernating and demanding the door to Spring. Not a bad plan.
I have this theory that the best to start a new year, or move to a new home, is with newly begun (or even unfinished) projects. Then there is something ready to work on immediately. My way of making myself feel at home while the cats no doubt are sniffing every corner.
That in mind there’s a dressed loom and a simmering dye pot waiting. Not a bad way to start the new year off.