Blog Archive

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

It's a weakness, I admit

I like colors.

Seriously, I don't sew and I find myself wanting to purchase pretty fabric. I already have over thirty different colors of embroidery thread at home that I don't do very much with. When I was a more active scribe, I bought a whole bunch of powdered pigments, intending to make my own paints but mostly just enjoying the colors. I don't actually know how many boxes of crayons I own, but considering I'm almost done being 36, I'm pretty sure that even one box counts as "a lot"... and I know I have at least four.

We won't discuss the garden overhaul I'm working on, except to say I'm finally giving myself permission to dig up the previous owner's mostly white or (very pale) pink or (very pale) lavender garden, and almost all the replacements I'm looking at are going to be pretty intense.

This week in Mississippi, I attended dyeing classes for lack of anything better to do.


I'm now considering plants for the garden based not just on what colors they are, but also on what colors they can make other things turn. Worse than that, I'm considering rounding up the neighborhood kids and teaching them to make colorful, semi-permanent messes too.


Did henna at Gulf Wars (Mississippi), first time in months, I don't seem to have lost much skill, and I really need to get my registration fee in to Parks and Recreation soon if I want to be included in their advertising for the Farmer's Market. I donated the leftover henna to the dyeing workshops, and played with some string samples with it also.


Also attended an embroidery class focusing on the "Bayeux stitch", as in, the main stitch used throughout the Bayeux tapestry. It goes fast - really, really fast. My stylized griffin from the tapestry margins is almost done, and I know have a pile of yarn in the three colors I needed for it.


On a completely unrelated note, does anyone know whether it's possible to get a permit to grow hemp? Yes, that plant, aka cannabis, aka marijuana. I could care less about the drug; that part concentrates in the leaf tips as far as I can recall. I want the stalks, for fiber - string, cloth, or paper, hemp has been used to make 'em for thousands of years. They're also a way more sustainable and renewable crop than trees (six times the paper-usable fiber per acre compared to trees), and I'm pretty sure they're better than cotton as well, though I can't find the stats on that just now.

I'm going to stay out of the "legalize marijuana" debate for now, but I would like to see the plant itself made legal to grow. Just as there are different varieties of grapes, or corn, or roses, there are different varieties of the cannabis plant - you can divide them into three loose categories, only one of which is intended as a drug crop. The other two main types are much lower in the drug content, and are cultivated for their fiber, or for the oil you can get out of their seeds. According to some federal agency or other - DEA, maybe? - 95% of the plants they find and destroy belong in those other two categories. In other words, the DEA wastes a heck of a lot of time and resources on plants that would be false alarms, if it were legal to cultivate them.

You could issue permits, and bring people around to inspect your operation, and only worry about the crops that are being grown without a license or whatever. The way I see it, one guy with a clipboard and some test tubes would be a lot easier on a department's resources than a dozen guys with bulletproof vests and jugs of kerosene. Ya know?

I bring this up in the interests of going green... and also to see what colors I can dye the fibers.


  1. It seems to me that growing hemp would be a good way to attract a bunch of creepy stoners to your yard.

    Try flax.


  2. I love color too. And now that we're here, I'm looking forward to having flowers in the garden. I've got some flax I'm going to try for myself, though I don't know if I'd try to make thread with it.