Welcome to the Secret Garden South of Bobber's Mill Bridge in Nottingham

Welcome to Windmill Community Gardens, home of the Climate Friendly Gardeners Project.

We are a group of local people, who are nurturing a wonderful community garden in the heart of the city. You'll find us just South of Bobbersmill Bridge, on the allotment site at the South end of Ascot Road. The Gardens are a great place where anyone can come to find out more about growing their own food in a changing climate. We cater for all abilities and welcome any nationality or age group.

Why not come and join us?

Thursday 4 April 2013

Dyeing to tell you what we've been doing at Windmill!

 For the last 2 afternoons, we've been trying something new at Windmill - dyeing and spinning wool.

You might remember that last year, some of our meadow plants turned out to be weld - a dye plant that produces a rather nice yellow dye. Apparently, combined with woad, weld was used to create Lincoln Green, so there are a lot of historical associations with it in this area. Knowing we had the weld, we contacted the Spinners, Weavers and Dyers Guild, and they put us in touch with Sue Routledge who happily agreed to help us find out what to do with it.

Sue gets set up - don't be fooled by the L plates
- she knows what she's doing!

The Wednesday group get ready to dye their wool.

So for the last 2 afternoons, Sue has been running workshops for us to show us dyeing techniques with weld. She has experimented with the dye and discovered that the effects can vary from a gold to an almost flourescent yellow, and we managed the same variety over the 2 days. We were given prepared wool (it needs to be treated so that the dye will be taken in), and we bound some of it with string to give a tie-dye effect. On the second day, we made our own "Lincoln Green", though we used artificial blue to simulate woad, by painting it on to the wool we had already dyed. With the string effect, we ended up with white, yellow and green wool. Sue kindly gave us some woad plants though, so hopefully next year we will be able to make our own woad blue too.

Tying string round parts of a wool skein for a tie-dye effect.

Pip placing the wool in the dyebath

Wednesday's gold wool

Thursday's dye batch - a few tweaks meant a stronger colour

Carrie shows us the 3 colour effect of adding
blue in patches and steaming in clingfilm

The final result - and Mary arrived ready colour co-ordinated

Sue is a skilled spinner too, so she provided us with drop spindles, made using old CDs and dowels, and showed us how to do it, and also got out her spinning wheel. The spinning was a big hit, with some of our visitors finding it almost addictive!

Sue shows us how to use a drop spindle.

Getting the hang of spinning by hand

Sibel with some of the woollen thread she made

Trying out knitting with some chunky wool and big needles

Sue shows us how to use a spinning wheel
it's not as simple as it looks!

If you missed the fun but would like to know more, keep an eye out for Sue and other spinners at the Sherwood visitor centre at their monthly visit there. We are also hoping that she will visit again soon. We'll keep you posted. 

More about weld and how to use it to make dye here.

No comments:

Post a Comment