Young coot ('cootlings'?) on the lake at Winterbourne.
Now on to the dyeing...
No flowers to dye with yet but lovely young copper beech leaves
and meadowsweet from the Woodland Walk:
Lovely subtle, warm tones. The copper beech leaves and young shoots were chopped, soaked for a couple of nights in cold water, brought to the boil and simmered for about an hour.
We used the thick, main stems rather than the leaves. The inner bark of mahonia is bright yellow:
and I had read that a clearer yellow dye is obtained if you peel the outer bark. This was easier than I expected - a potato peeler worked well!
I chopped - or rather sawed - the wood into lengths of about 5 or 6 cm (a shredder would have come in handy) and again, soaked it in cold water for a couple of nights before heating.
This gave a lovely bright yellow, the brightest yet, before any of the modifiers were used and the alkaline bath (washing soda) turned it a beautful bright gold.
The pale lemon is after a dip in the vinegar bath, the lovely green on the right is on a copper mordant and the one next to it (also a very pretty yellow-green 'in the flesh') was given a dip in the 'iron-water' bath.
I have saved the mahonia berries and may try dyeing with those:
Finally the meadowsweet
the roots of which can give a black dye, with iron.
Nothing remarkable here, but good strong golds and browns.