Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Grumpy Christmas…& Festive Dyeing

I so love the festive season of grumpiness, otherwise known as Christmas.  I don’t celebrate Christmas for religious reasons.  I can’t square up the fighting, impending death, doom and mayhem (and that is just the experience those eating my home cooked Christmas dinner undertake!) with any spiritual energy of joyous noelling…..

I reluctantly decided this morning that the innovate family recipe designed with a flight of inspiration years ago when I discovered I could not cook turkey (forgot to buy it…) ought now be consigned to the history books…

This dish was creatively entitled
“salmon carpaccio a la Terry’s
en croute, served with al dente seasonable vegetables ”

You will note that this dish was conceived but never actually cooked as I forgot to put the salmon actually in the poacher.  The original concept was within rescue as I ingeniously added the carpaccio to the title, but then I discovered I hadn’t get around to buying the pastry – but this meant the sprouts … well it wouldn’t have been right to serve them up on their own…

Oh the Terry’s is a reference to the chocolate orange with a nod to the duck recipe, and as I had forgotten to buy the fresh variety, the ones Santa had left in the stockings was wiped into service -

It all ended happily we ate the chocolate oranges, and the cats had the fish… and nobody suffered any lasting nutritional damage. 

So back to the present - as this recipe will now be consigned to posterity, I can now use the salmon poacher for something else more useful (do you need any clues here? – just the right length for a couple of skeins of yarn me thinks…)

But could I find it?  so another good idea now back on hold…

So I have now decided to do some dyeing, abandoned the idea of the fish poacher and looked around for inspiration…

natural dyeing

Quebracho Red provided the perfect source, which then reduced to this subtle pinky peach..The wool is from John Arbon Textiles – lambswool which I bought from their shop last weekend.  I am assured from the link on John’s facebook page that it is difficult to process.  Well I am pleased they made the effort it is beautiful…

natural dyeing

So good I used it here as well in the Valonia Oak and here…

natural dyeing

Indigo… left hand side the 2nd dip from the frozen vat, and right hand side 1st dip (this wool though is English 56s).

All the above come from DT Crafts.

I have on the stove another two dyebaths quietly simmering – one in a stunning peach and the other also in red – lac this time.. These dyes are Pure Tinctoria from Jane Deane and I will photograph them tomorrow – or whenever I have another 10 minutes in the house – whichever comes sooner. 

So my quest for blood was successful – in a funny sort of way, and I shall leave you with my spinning project… madder..natural dyeing

and now I am working through the colour ways I have, so I can make a sampler project to display the differing shades…which are truly sumptuous.  There is a translucence and pleasure in using the wool, which hasn’t been there in the acid dye stuff – a tranquility which is not available anywhere else in my mind…

natural dyeing

and my sample cards are demonstrating a very workable pallet nowadays…

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