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Monday, 4 August 2008

The Hills Are Alive

There was a tinge of purple on the moors in the distance, as I came home from Bishop on Saturday, so I drove on up there to check out the state of the heather.
The heather was only just flowering in spots with a sheltered and southerly aspect, so I will return in a week or so and harvest some ripe heather flowers to see what colour they produce.

I was fortunate to find an old wall which was part of a sheep pen and it was covered in plates of grey lichen. I don't know my lichen species. Learning more about lichens is on my list of things to do but it comes below learning to ride a bike and play the kettle drums, so I won't be doing it for a while.

I parked by the side of the road with the new double CD set of rousing anthems from Classic FM disturbing the sheep, and scraped a few of the lichen scales into a plastic bag. I shall have to return for more to make up enough dyestuff for a dyebath but I don't want to harvest it all from the same spot.


The close-up shows the best lichen seen for a while. I'm also on the look-out, as I drive around, for a good spot to harvest some of the bright orange lichen that grows here-abouts.

Lichens dye quite well without mordants which makes me feel they are more natural in their colour production. They do, however, tend to produce a range of tans and not much else.

I need to spin some more skeins of wool to dye before I start on these new ventures.


Who on earth lifted these mighty stones on to the top of this wall?

Cheers for now
Gillian

4 comments:

Amongst The Oaks said...

I am enjoying your blog immensely. Thank you for posting about your lovely home, dying, and village life. I find it all fascinating; lichens, jam, forestry techniques, and even the Raby Blue doors.
Laura

Heide said...

I never knew that lichens produced tans. You don't ride bikes? I like to so long as hills aren't involved. The green rolling hills looks so inviting and refreshing.

Maari said...

You are an eco-goddess.

joco said...

I am sorry to wave a red flag, but using lichens for dying is a definite
NO-NO.

They take eons to grow and using them is not eco-friendly. I hope you will reconsider.