Lichen: Parmelia saxatilis - Obsession nr. 4
I came across this lichen by accident. Even if it is quite common here, I hadn't quite figured out where to go to look for it. But my husband and I were taking my mother in law for a drive to see a place where we sometimes take the dogs for a walk. It's a lovely place, only minutes from the city and there is this river and a few small summer cottages and there is also some lava rock that is covered in moss and also Parmelia saxatilis. I sat on the rocks and as I touched the rock to steady myself I felt that it wasn't actually a rock, but a lichen. It looks just like rock. That is so cool! I am always so grateful for these little gifts from nature and in that spirit of gratefulness I gathered a little bit. Just enough to cover my palm really. Because there wasn't that much of it in that place. I'm not dyeing large quantities, only about 20-25 grams of wool at a time (there are about 30 g to an oz). I'm just curious about what colours I can get and I want to document that.
I did the same with this lichen as I do with all the others. I first simmer it in water and coloured some wool. That gave me a mustard kind of yellow. It's very nice even if I'm not a fan of the curry yellows. There just simply doesn't seem to be a lichen colour that I don't like.
Then I tried to steep it in ammonia, but that didn't really do anything special. At least not yet. It's still sitting there and I'm still shaking it. This can go on for weeks. Up to 16 weeks I've read, so patience is needed. But, I'm not expecting purple from this one. It would be more of a maroon, or in the best case a burgundy colour. But we'll just have to wait and see.
I had rather high hopes for this in a soap. It somehow seems logical that a light yellow liquid will give much less colour than an orange one will. But... You'll have to wait for the next post. There was a bit of a mix up and I couldn't find my notes, so this soap you may have seen before in my Peltigera post. That was wrong. This soap, the one that I decorated with Gallium verum, is made with Parmelia water, not Peltigera as I thought. And it only produced a slight blush of a colour. And no mustard tone to the soap. It really amazes me how unrelated the yarn and soap colours are. I would have thought that there would be more of a correlation between the two. Because even if I have been using the exhaust baths to colour the soaps, there has been quite a bit of colour left in the water. But I'm sure I'll have to try the lichen decoctions fresh in soaps one of these days. For now this is just experimentation for fun. And I have a lot of soaps that smell of Vetiver and something. Oh, yes this one does have Orange Essential oil and Vetiver. At least I got that right.