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A little bit of colour alchemy!

Spring is such a great time to experiment with the fresh leaves and flowers that are appearing around me here on Arran. We have a late bluebell season this year - in fact in the Glenashdale forest the bluebells are pretty much at their best and we are in the first week of June. Just walking on the Glenashdale path is a sensory treat with the colours so rich and the heady scent of bluebells and wild garlic so strong.

Bluebells are everywhere - in the hedgerows, in fields and I am lucky to have some in my garden. Not wanting to pick wild bluebells I have been waiting patiently for the garden bluebells to pass their best and this week I collected a bunch to experiment with.

So having very gently heated the flowers to almost a simmer I left the flowers to soak overnight and strained them in the morning. A rich blue water was left behind. I popped some Blue Faced Leicester fleece in the dye bath and heated it gently, then left it for 24 hours. The next day I had an almost aqua blue fleece which I am very happy with:

I also experimented this week with some rich grass that was growing in some of the hedgerows. I was sure I would get a good green from the grass, but using my normal technique I only managed a gold fleece:

So this is where my little bit of alchemy came in.... I still had the bluebell dye bath and decided to pop the fleece that I had dyed with the grass into the blue dye bath. 24 hours later I had achieved an olive green ... a very useful addition to my coloured fleece palette ...

Lots more sources to experiment with as so many flowers and leaves are appearing almost daily. ...and with just a few months left to run with this project I will soon be planning my final felted picture produced with local fleece dyed with local plants. #naturalplantdye #naturaldyes #dyeingwool

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