Even though I find it a bit hard to let go of summer, I still find that autumn perhaps is my favourite time of year. I find that autumn makes me sigh a bit more than usual, and more often my eyes seek the horizon, you know, with these long distance, lingering glances with a hand under the chin. A lovely bitter sweet feeling of letting go of something while change is forcing its way into your mind, and a last you have to surrender and focus on new possibilities and joys!
Perhaps this time of year corresponds with a (mostly hidden) melancholic part in me …
I tried dyeing with walnut hulls for the first time. So many lovely brownish colors, and as easy as pie! If you haven't tried natural dyeing before, this is the time to start!
You can use the hulls fresh and green (walnuts inside), and in every stage of decay from fresh to black and... well, rotten. You can even use some of the leaves as well.
Put the hulls in a large pot, cover with water and let it soak for a couple of days. Put the pot on the fire and bring it to a boil, let it simmer for an hour or so. Let it rest to the next day. Strain. If there's any dregs in the dye bath then strain again through a piece of old cotton fabric.
Now you can add yarn, silk scarves or wool fleece. To avoid blemishes, let it soak in cold water for a couple of hours before adding to the dye bath. Bring slowly to a simmer, and use a stick or similar to move the items gently in the dye bath to ensure even take-up of the dye.
Let it all cool. Now is the time to put on a pair of rubber/plastic gloves before you gently squeeze the fibres. Rince in cold water until the water is clear.
You can also make beautiful ink from the hulls, you can see how to here, at Quince & Quire.