Thursday, March 5, 2009
I've been wanting to share these felt vessels ever since I finished them earlier this winter.The yarn is recycled from a thrift store sweater. All the colors were achieved using natural dyes from plants I grew or gathered myself.The pink is from a mushroom called Western Red Dye (Dermocybe phoenicea). These mushrooms are hard to come by (at least for me!), so I wasn't able to dye much pink.The yellows are from another mushroom called Dyer's Polypore (Phaeolus schweinitzii). This mushroom gives a lot of dye, so I was able to dye quite a bit of yellow fiber (way more than what I used for this project).The green is from a plant called Red Shiso, or Perilla. It's an edible herb that looks somewhat like basil and is used in Japanese cuisine. Very easy to grow. When I dyed the fiber, it at first was an interesting greyish lavender. But after felting, the ph of the soap changed the color to this lovely mossy green. I'm not sure if you can see it in the photos, but the green has a bit of a purplish haze to it.The pale orange (in the stripe above and in the fringed bowl), and also the blue, are both from the woad plant. Woad is commonly used to get blue. You have to use a special process to get the blue from woad leaves. Interestingly, when the leaves are merely boiled, they give a pale orange color. I like this plant, because I can get at least two very different colors from it. It's easy to grow, too! I used alum as a mordant for all the dyes except the woad blue.I used the patterns in Cat Bordhi's Second Treasury of Magical Knitting. Ever since I made my first knitted and fulled bowl, I've been wanting to play around with her patterns. The patterns are playfully written, and fairly easy to follow.I love how these came out! I think they are a nice showcase for the naturally dyed yarns. I use them in my display at craft shows, to hold smaller items for sale.As usual, I hope to make more of these!Until next time, explore!