I went into the city to hear a presentation the other week, and on the way back there were so many opportunities to harvest that I couldn’t help but pull my bike over and pick some E Sideroxylon (Red Ironbark) leaves. Yes, I did get a few looks… but I am reasonably impervious!
I picked a little on the main road out of the city beside the parklands, and a little more as I turned off onto my bike path. As I exited the bike path, there was a big branch lying underneath a nice specimen near the tram line. I have dyed from that specific tree before and the leaves were already dry. I went back for more later. So here is what I could get home on my bike rack, with my drum carder beside it for scale:
And here are some of the flowers. There is one of these trees in full bloom next door to my house and there are lorikeets and honeyeaters feasting on these flowers in next door’s back yard calling to each other all day long at the moment. I love it.
I decided to continue with the dye bath from earlier that week (the one in the post from September 18) rather than using fresh water. The wool I dyed in the previous incarnation of the dye bath was not a really impressive colour, so it has returned to the pot and I’ve added a little more. When I strained out the leaves and bark from the last pot, the water was a deep wine red. This is unusual and I wonder if it is a result of leaving iron pipe in that bath–but if it is, I can’t figure out why the wool in that dye bath was still orange and tan. The mystery continues…