Every time I think I can’t make another pair of Bev Galeskas’ Felted Clogs… I turn out to be wrong. I made two purple pairs and a blue pair… one purple pair were felted as dinner entertainment in order to be a good fit for the recipient. One blue pair await felting. And this pair await a recipient. I think the kicker is the number of people who speak to me about slipper love when it’s cold! And perhaps, how quickly I can whip out a pair of these nowadays. Long gone are the days when row 2 took me twenty minutes and I had to lie on the couch for the rest of the evening afterward. Have I said before that I hope Bev Galeskas is a rich woman? When I went to the web to get that link to the pattern, Ravelry said ‘Would you like to see 10525 projects made from this pattern and much more?’ I hope Bev did a great deal on royalties and that she isn’t facing the difficulty of some of those songwriters whose work only made other folk rich!
And, not to be deterred by the comedy of errors of my recent camellia experiment, I decided I may as well pick up the remaining fallen camellias and preservation dye with them (the first such jar is looking good). Some days, my goals have to be small!
It’s camellia season here. We have two camellias, a red flowering variety and a more compact white flowering variety. I put up a jar of camellia flowers a while back using the Stuff Steep and Store method… I couldn’t resist trying! For those who don’t know what I am talking about–this is a method of ‘preservation dyeing’ developed by India Flint and published in this book. There is also a rather wonderful online pantry of people’s dye jars to peruse and become inspired by, should you wish.
However, I had no idea whether camellia flowers give reliable dye when I stuffed those blooms in the jar. So I felt heartened when I found Aphee showing her camellia dyes on Ravelry. She has posted about them on her blog a few times, too. She was inspired by a Japanese blog. My French is not very good, but my Japanese is non-existent: I enjoyed the pictures though!!
Aphee’s posts suggest that camellia flowers give colour, that the contents of my jar are a promising combination, and that the nature of the dyestuff is exactly the kind India Flint says Stuff, Steep and Store works especially well for. This, I had hoped for, but not expected. I decided that while the camellias were blooming, I may as well try dyeing by more usual methods.
I gathered all the fallen blooms and tried to rinse the mud and mulch from them. Meanwhile, our chooks were out wandering the yard–and the camellias are their favourite dust bathing spot. The edge of the bed must be in the rain shadow of the verandah, so the soil there is still dry while the whole garden has been generously rain watered lately.
They left big circles of earth on the paving where they shook out the dust once they were finished! The camellias soon turned brown though I kept the heat low. This is one of the reasons the preservation dyeing method seems so promising for dyestuffs like these.
Well… the result in this case was not impressive. This test sample was barely nudged out of the cream and white it was before dyeing. Longer heating didn’t change that at all. So–let that be another example of the mysterious in natural dyeing for the time being. Aphee is doing something differently to me and I have no idea what it is! I’ll put the next clutch of fallen blooms in jars until I have a new thought… who knows what I might learn between now and next camellia season?