Trees, plants, and rocks

So no weaving to show, but…read to the end and you’ll find out where I’m at with that. Meanwhile, more about nature – real and attempted recreations.

The oak trees in my neighborhood were HEAVY with pollen this year. Yellow sidewalks were the norm. Then I thought that issue was over, only to have oak droppings (aka male pollen structures) SO thick that I literally could have shoveled them. Of course they were light and easy to pick up by hand, but SO much of it!

oak male pollen structures

In my last post I shared a photo of some steps that had been painted. Here’s another way someone adorned their front steps, this time with potted plants. Isn’t that beautiful? Far more costly and short-lived than the painting, but so lovely!

beautiful steps with plants

In my garden…last year I planted a pink peony. I was pleased to see that I’d actually get flowers this year. And it is beautiful. BUT….

pink peony

And this is a big but…this peony has virtually no fragrance! WHAT?!?! Since when have they been developing peonies with no fragrance? And WHY? I have 2 rose bushes that came with the house, and they produce lovely looking roses, but no fragrance. And now a peony with no fragrance? That’s NUTS!!! I’ve even considered pulling out those roses and replacing them with roses that smell like roses, but never even considered the possibility that peonies wouldn’t smell!


Now for the attempted nature recreation. My daughter informed me that her son is enthralled with geode-dyed Tshirts, and she thought he’d like to make one with me for a project. I looked at some YouTube videos on them, and was clear that this was most definitely not a project he would enjoy doing. So perhaps I’d make him a geode T for his birthday? Sure, I said, why not?

Hah! Why not, indeed! I knew I’d have to do some testing before I ready to do a T for the boy. So I tied up a few face masks, a piece of fabric, and an old blouse from my closet. Unlike most dyeing, the fabric has to dry completely before applying the dye.

tied fabric for testing geode dyeing

Then I applied the dye – which was NOT easy – and the ice. I was not at all confident that the dye I’d put directly onto the fabric was where it needed to be, so I applied more dye on top of the ice.

attempted geode dyeing, iced

Wait overnight for the ice to melt. I could clearly see that I’d used WAY too much dye. Wait 24 hours for the dye to set. Untie, rinse, hang to dry. Epic fail. While the fabric looks sort of like a typical tie dye, the masks and blouse were ugly and awful.

results of geode dyeing attempt #1

Of course, I’m not one to give up so easily. I did learn things in that attempt. One being that it’s important to use sinew to tie, not string, another being to use less dye powder, a third that a blouse is nothing like a Tshirt in terms of fabric softness or thickness. And I watched another YouTube video by a different person with a few helpful hints.

So today I tied up a Tshirt of mine for geode attempt #2.

geode dyeing attempt #2, tied and drying

It’s drying now. Tomorrow I’ll buy another bag of ice and dye it. Then Saturday it’ll sit for a day. Sunday I’ll untie it and rinse it and see how it looks. Depending on these results, I’ll decide if I need another trial, if I can go directly to dyeing a shirt for the child, or if I’m done with this whole thing.


So. Weaving. Although it is true that I certainly don’t need any more clothes, I remain intrigued about weaving and then sewing garments. I bit the bullet and ordered some patterns from Sarah Howard at GetWeaving. Sarah specializes in making sewing patterns for handwoven fabric. Her patterns are generally simple and use narrow widths of plain weave fabrics, focusing more on color and texture than weave structure. And she’s been remarkably helpful and responsive to my emails.

That excited me. So I’m planning a cotton warp for lightweight crop pants. Yay! Time will tell, of course, how this will all work. I never claimed to be a seamstress. But at least I’m happy to be planning again, and using up some of my lightweight, mercerized cotton stash.

4 comments to Trees, plants, and rocks

  • Jennifer+Petschke

    OH MY GOSH! I’m glad you’ll be weaving fabric for yourself! Those geode t-shirts are interesting and I had to Google sinew!

    • Peg Cherre

      Geode Tshirts, dyed by people who know what they’re doing, are interesting for sure. I bought some artificial sinew at Dan’s Crafts. 😀

  • Alma

    Just looking at the tied items for the dye process, I marvel at the time sent in preparing before color ever enters the picture!

    Can you bleach or somehow remove excess oe unwanted color after the dye process?

    • Peg Cherre

      Yes, the tying is time consuming. I wouldn’t do it if it weren’t for the boy who wants it. His mom thought he could do the project with me. BIG NOPE!!

      Can an object be bleached after dyeing? Theoretically, yes, but bleach really weakens fiber/fabric, so it’s not worth it. These were just experiments. That blouse was stained and so not wearable anyway (so why was it still in my closet?!). I’m putting in my donation bag along with other clothes…it may turn someone on. Just not me.

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