Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Stonehenge in Michigan, yes we have one! Last week at herb society we had our annual summer picnic at a local garden, but none of the other gardens ever included Stonehenge. This home was owned by a wonderful couple who transformed a horse ranch into many tranquil meditation gardens. As we came into the driveway there was Stonehenge, looking like the real thing. The owners had it built approximately 1/3 the size of the real one using styrofoam and wire, then had it faux painted.

I think you can get some idea of the size by the trees lining it.

In there front yard they had this wonderful sculpture with a fountain in the middle. I don't remember the name of the artist who designed it.

In their Peace Orchard they had this rain tree, water slowly drips out of the bottom of the leaves.

They also created a labyrinth to stroll through and meditate.

I loved this sculpture on their garage roof.

And what was once a horse pasture now has a waterfall and stream running through with beach sand along the rocks.

Lily pads and water grasses growing throughout. In the back right corner is a gazebo tucked into a wild flower field.

A native medicine wheel garden.

Back to my own humble backyard and my dye planter, the eucalyptus is ready to pick and use in the dye pot.

I thought I'd try printing some wool and silk scarves with the leaves. I wrapped them up tightly and tied them with string. Then I took some wool yarn, (thought I might be able to print the yarn to match the scarf to use as an edging), I wrapped it around the eucalyptus stem with leaves layered around the yarn.

I placed the fabric and yarn in my dye pot, water in the bottom. With the lid on top I steamed the fabrics for a good hour. Left it over night to cool (without taking off the lid). The next day I put them in ziplock bags and left them in the sun for a week to process.

I also layered wool yarn in a jar, first layer was with cochineal bugs, the next layer was osage orange bark, ending with madder root, and a rock on top to hold it all down under the hot water. I placed this out in the sun for a good week also.

This is my solar dyed wool scarf (layered with the cochineal, osage orange, and madder root) with the solar dyed wool yarn. I think I will needle felt some swirly patterns with the yarn into the scarf and blanket stitch the edge with it also.

This is some of my solar dyed fabrics (I forgot to photograph the scarves, next week). The yarn turned out pretty good, it picked up a lot of the red and gold from the eucalyptus leaves. I have two more larger batches sitting in the sun processing. The indigo was not solar dyed, it just looked good with the fabrics, I can see a large sun pieced out of the three fabrics with the blue as the background, then quilted with the wool yarn.

1 comment:

Deb H said...

It's the end of Sept. here now, & I might have been able to do some solar dying in my kitchen window this week, if I had thought of it sooner.

I love my scarf & yarn. Thank you again!!

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo