Saturday, August 07, 2004


This growing season has been exceptional. My Hopi Red Amaranth (pictured above) is almost ready to harvest. I have been trying to find information on how to prepare a dye bath for this, but so far, I have not found very much. There is more information avaliable about how it was used by the Hopi to color the corn bread, than there is for how to dye wool with it. I would imagine that I use the entire plant and just make a tea first. I will wait for a few more weeks before I harvest it. I am enjoying its bold presense in garden. I also grew a red beet (pictured below) that is used for dying wool. They are doing ok too, but I did not get very much seed.

Both the Hopi Red Amaranth and the Red Beet Seeds, were given to me this spring by a gardener/ spinner friend of mine, who ordered them from Pine Tree Seed Company. And both of these plants are in the Goosefoot Family, along with approximately 1298 other species. The seed from the Amaranth should be fairly easy to save, so I can grow more of it next year if I like the results of the dye. As for the Red Beet, I would have to try and "winter over" a plant or two. Beets are a biennial, and would not set seed until next spring. I have tried this before, and not been successful. I wonder what a beet flower looks like anyway?

On the fiber front, I have finished two triloom shawls. They are both off the loom and waiting to be fulled. And I am waiting for a nice drying day to full them! We have been having a good deal of rain and humidity I have put off doing this task. I am also working on spinning up skeins and skeins of plain white Finn wool. This has been sitting in my stash for over a year, and I want to have it ready to use when I do the dye bath. I am spinning singles of approx 26 wpi and plying them into skeins of about 380 yards.

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