I spent a little time outside in my yard yesterday enjoying a beautiful fall day - next week winter is supposed to arrive here in Utah! I noticed that the marigolds were still blooming like crazy and I rememberd that they can be used as a natural dye for wool, so I picked a bunch of the flower heads and went inside to give it a whirl. It actually turned out pretty good - I got a bright golden orangy color - the book I used says this dye is very stable and won't fade out like a lot of the other natural dyes are prone to do.
After treating the wet wool with alum and cream of tarter to mordant it, I layered it in my glass cassarole dish (used only for dyeing), sprinkling flower heads between each layer of fabric. Then I poured some boiling water to fill the dish halfway - covered it with foil - and put it in the oven for 30 minutes.
After letting it cool slowly for several hours, I pulled it out, washed it up and started oohing and aahing...... Now don't laugh at the shape of the finished product - I've mentioned before that all my wool comes from recycled clothing, so you can tell that I used the wool from a pair of thrift store pants! LOL Kinda pretty, huh? One interesting thing that I noticed is that it smelled like artichokes in the kitchen while this was cooking - yum! Much better than the normal smell of wet wool mixed with vinegar.
Last night was my quilt meeting. Jayna makes and sells her jewelry at a great local shop called Just a Bed of Roses. She taught us how to embellish an old skeleton key using wire & burlap & lace & ribbon & charms to wear as a necklace - so that was a fun activity.
Besides being a quilter, Jackie is an avid knitter also. In fact she has knitted over 100 pair of socks through the years. She recently found a pattern for an afghan that she's now knitting using all the little leftover bits and pieces of the socks she's knitted. The finished size will be 60" x 60" - the perfect size for snuggling under on the couch! It's just beautiful and all the yarn she used is wool, so it's going to be really warm. Each square is about 4".