Just as soon as I gave myself permission to 'experiment' with my fleeces last week, a weight (that I didn't know was there) lifted, the fog cleared, and excitement settled in. I set to spinning with no expectation or pressure of the result. And it wasn't long before my eyes found their way to the bookshelf, and then the dried tansy still hanging from the library beams from last summer. If it's all an experiment, then why not go for it? What's to lose? Calling upon the handy reference of Wild Color by Jenny Dean, I soaked the fibers - both Charlotte's fleece and some un-dyed, unlabeled mill-spun something or other - in a mordant of allum and cream of tarter overnight. And in the morning, I made a dye bath from the dried tansy. The yarn stayed in there for another day, and the result spent the weekend drying by the fire. It's a lovely shade of yellow that I'm so pleased with. I have no idea what I'll do with the yarn, exactly...but that's really not important for now. The importance was in the process, and that, to be sure, was just delightful.
I think I've stumbled my way onto just the perfect word for me to hold onto this year. Experiment. Yes, yes...I could do with a little bit of that. And tansy - a favorite (weed) of mine - is just the way to kick things off.