We were over at my Mom’s over the weekend. Martin helped her prune her apple tree, and this is what I got out of the deal:

apple leaves and twigs  apple bark

Two batches of natural dye material! The left is what I got after simmering the crumbled leaves (it’s been HOT! and dry around here, and the leaves dried to a crisp in less than 24 hours) and twigs for a couple of hours. The right is a bucket of cool water with peeled bark from limbs. I left most of the pruning behind, because I just wanted a little batch.

All the instructions I had on extracting dye from apple leaves and bark say to leave it soaking for several days/weeks. Simmering at the end is optional. Well, I couldn’t wait, so I simmered the leaves/twigs batch. I’ll let the bark soak for as long as I can stand it. The same instructions also state that mordants are not necessary for protein fibers. Does anyone have experience with apple dye extract out there?

Here’s a vest that I’ve been wrestling with.


I mentioned earlier that I didn’t like the way the shoulders turned out, so I took paper and pencil and calculated what I really wanted in the armhole and neck shaping, triple and quadruple checked my math, and did it all again. I think it turned out pretty well. Unfortunately, I’m not thrilled with my cast on (not stretchy enough). So, I may take a pair of scissors and snip off the ribbing at the waist and do something different.

So much work for for such a simple vest. But I’m loving the result thus far! Unfortunately, I could only leave it on for less than 30 seconds when I tried it on last night. It’s been hitting the 100 mark for the past several days, and we have another day of it before the heat breaks.

Shameless plug: Tomorrow is the first meeting of the year for Black Sheep Handweavers’ Guild. This year the meetings will be held at Woodside Village Church. It’s on the second Thursday of the month, starting at 7:30 PM. Our speaker this month is Ana Lisa Hedstrom.