I really wanted someone to stop and ask me what on earth I was doing riffling under a hedge collecting weeds. The straight-faced answer I had ready was "I'm a witch and need some alliaria petiolata for my cauldron".
That's not far from the truth. I read a few weeks ago that this plant (aka Jack-by-the-hedge or garlic mustard) can be used as a garlicky flavouring for lamb or salad. When I first spotted some, I excitedly rubbed some leaves but decided with some despondency that lots of imagination was needed to mistake it for garlic; it did have a distinctive flavour, not much scent, but what really grabbed my attention was that it really stained my fingers green.
That's why I've been spending some of my Easter holiday scrabbling around under hedges and boiling up leaves. Annoyingly, without much success, as it turns out. The corriedale has come out with hardly a hint of green in it.
I've not given up on this. I do have a lock that I dipped in early on which has dried out looking quite green. I'm going to try again another day.
While I had the mordanted fibre in my hands, I decided to try some cammomile. I've read that the flowers give a lovely yellow colour, and I have some in the kitchen (which I sometimes use in an infuser to make a drink).
The result: well, not very successful, but it is yellower than it appears in the picture. I deliberately only dipped it up to its waist in the dye, so that I'd get a mixture of the yellow, the natural white and any green which might be perceptible. When this is dry I'll spin it to see what it looks like.
I've also been playing with a turkish drop spindle (and videoing it). I've really enjoyed using it. It's nice to use - it's nice and light but spins well. The fun part is that it slips apart when you've finished spinning or plying, leaving your yarn in a neat ball.