Daily Reflections From My Window

June 22, 2021 Tuesday Dyeing Round 2


“We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn.”

Peter Drucker

I love to learn new things. Like making these pompous from what most would consider “junk” fiber. The straighter, coarser stuff is perfect for this. It helps it hold it’s shape. I researched making them for a while before I dove in and then experimented. There’s nothing like experience to cement into my brain how to do it. It all starts with sewing the fiber into wefts. From these strips of fiber, I can make the poms. Now to make a tutorial. Also yesterday I set about dyeing some fabric that will be made into cassette pouches for Madison. She’d like them to be natural fabric like cotton and dyed with plants and fruits. I just happened to have made avocado chocolate pudding the other night so I had some avocado pits and skins. First I set about extracting the color from the fruit and separated the pits into one pot and the skins into another. I have these induction burners that I like to use inside but they require a magnetic stainless steel pot and I only have one so I had to use an electric burner for the other. The pot is stainless steel, but not magnetic. It makes such a difference. The non induction kept turning off but the induction can be set to a timer. It takes about 2 hours until the color starts to show in the water and then overnight with no hear until it becomes dye worthy. The pits didn’t do well. I’ll have to do it again today and transfer them to the other pot. Here are pictures of the skins-they became darker and the pits. They should produce slightly different shades of dye. For the heck of it, I threw in a few pouches to see what color the skins would dye and they came out a splotchy-because the skins were still there-blush pink. Now to set the fabric with a mordant before doing anything else. I’ll wash these and start over because the dye will wash out if I don’t. Now to do the mordant. I’m all backwards. Should have done that first. Next we had a visitor. Our mailman, John, had had Covid for a month and a half and was concerned about how our mail service had been while he was gone. I love our mailman! I’m so glad that he’s back up and around because it developed into both of his lungs as pneumonia too and the doctors were so overwhelmed with patients that his doctor didn’t read his X-ray for over a week. He lost weight, has the Covid brain fog, but looks good and is happy to be back. We’re glad he’s back too. Now our mail is in great hands. I shared some of new socks with him to review. He’s a perfect tester. I am planning to change the fiber content and amount of nylon so there will be more. I only have a few pairs left and am looking for specific testers. That’s why these socks aren’t for sale. Next up, a former bee keeper came to visit and brought us some sweet gifts. She brought a book that she found helpful, some special honey from her own hive and homemade applesauce. Thank you Karen! The alpacas took to her right away as we talked about her goals. She wants to start a blog and a friend recommended mine to her. Even though I’ve been at this for over 10 years, there is still so much to learn. I know where to point her for help at least. I’ll keep you up to date on her story. She has a special one to share, but in her time and her words.

Our hummers are back. I think there has been so much for them to eat with all of the flowers and herbs that the supplemental feeding wasn’t necessary, but when it rains, they might need it. Here they are!

Here’s the recipe for the Avocado Pudding:

  • 3 avocados, scooped, pitted and mashed
    6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/4 cup of honey
    1 tsp vanilla extract (I use non alcoholic

Blend it all together with an immersion blender or in your blender. Yum! Here’s a picture. It really is rich.

Looks like another rainy day ahead. I’m headed to the doctor for an update on my tests today. I think we’re getting somewhere. I won’t belabor you with that info, but if I get back in time, plan to go hooping.

In the meantime, remember to wash your hands, don’t touch your face, get outside for some fresh air and keep the length of an alpaca cria (which is a baby alpaca and about 3 feet long) between you and the next person.

Have a blessed day!