I received "The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes" by Sasha Duerr yesterday and looked through it last night. She equates natural dyeing with the Slow Food Movement. I fantasize for a moment that I could live the color-filled natural-dyed life that she describes. The idea of taking time to experience the natural world and the environment while going through the process of clothing my body with art producd by my own hands is infinitely more appealing that working under pressure to meet software project deadlines in a corporate setting. I know that my coworkers appreciate my efforts and that the software project will ultimately support a more efficient manufacturing process to meet the low-price needs of the consumer - but the end result of making my own clothing is so much more immediate and gratifying, not to mention relaxing. Is it practical? Not sure. Do I appreciate my job? Yes! Is it hypocritical to daydream about having the luxury of time to spin, dye, knit a single garment? If I paid myself at the my hourly rate, the resulting sweater would cost thousands of dollars. True, it would be a one-of-a kind work of art. Could I afford it, without the luxury of my corporate job? Probably NOT!
Once upon a time I caught the idea "Start to weave, and the universe will provide the yarn." It's probably a famous quotation, but right now I can't attribute it. I decided today that if I start to dye, the universe will provide the dyestuff. The goldenrod has been in bloom for the last several weeks and is starting to form seedheads. I thought today would be a great day to go and pick some for the dyepot. I had not been in the field for more than 10 minutes when VERY LARGE white-tail deer jumped out about 20 feet frm where I was picking and bounded across the field. It gave me a start. Amazing that I had not noticed it before it jumped up and leapt away.
When in the field, I found other flowers in bloom with the same color, so picked some of them as well. I'd like to identify the plant.
Once I came inside, and put the flowers into the dyepot and set it to simmer, I found other hitchhikers. There were a lot of spiders and some tiny black beetles. Maybe if I were a Buddhist I would have carefully set each one free outside my door, but I chose a more expedient method of crushing them in a paper towel as they climbed out of the water.
I set the dyepot to simmer while using the bread machine on the counter to knead some dough for hamburger buns for dinner.
The house is filling with a pleasant herbal aroma. I will let it simmer for several hours, then strain the resulting "tea" and use it. In the meantime I will measure out a few 100-yard skeins of undyed yarn using the niddy-noddy, to compare to my new yarn meter from Annie's Attic. I measured a purchased skein earlier and noticed that the label said 99 yards, the meter measured 109 yards. I'd prefer to use the meter instead of havng to count the rounds on the niddy noddy.