Nuts

Yesterday afternoon Joel and I decided to go to the yarn shop so I could get two sets of needles I could use to finish my commission.  This shop is located some three blocks away from our house and there is no way I getting the car out to go there.  It was a nice afternoon, the street we live in is lovely so we walked.

On our way to the store we were enjoying looking at the old houses and nice gardens, then I saw a few fruits on the ground by the sidewalk.  In vain I search my memory trying to figure out what kind of fruit it is.  As usual, it takes a few moments for the conscious thought to come forth: “You don’t know, as these are most likely not native to your country”.  So I point them out to Joel:
Him: “Oh.  These are walnuts” and proceeds to walk
Me:”Walnuts you say?  I can dye with those!  In fact it gives a very nice brown color” and bent over to start picking them.

Joel helped me pick up all the green ones.  I was going to pick the ones that were black too, but after seeing the look of disgust on his face, I gave up on that idea (I’m glad I did, today I saw pictures of someone who did use black ones and they had – ugh – maggots inside).
Anyway, from that point on we kept our eyes glued to the sidewalks looking for more fallen nuts.  We collected a few more on our way back.  The yarn store?  It was closed 😛

As I was picking them up their smell triggered some obscure memory.  I knew I’ve encountered that smell before, but couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  I put the nuts inside my purse and when we got home I opened the flap and the smell hit me hard.  Maybe because I wasn’t expecting it to be so pungent, nor was trying to figure out where I’ve met the smell before, it did come to me:  they smell like furniture stores…possibly even some wood polish I’ve used in the past.  It isn’t a bad smell, but it’s quite strong.  If you’re planning to collect some, place them inside something that doesn’t have a lid 😉

Today I decided to take the flesh (hull) out.  I did read that walnut can stain your hands, but – silly me – thought it was only once the dye bath was ready…I now have very dark brown (with undertones of green) fingertips.
I’ve started by using a knife and cutting the flesh out, but soon realized that I’d have badly stained hands if I kept on going this way (and it would take a long time).  So I graduated to plastic bags and a hammer.
I found out that when you hit the fruits with a hammer, most of the hull comes out – better than with the knife.

I post photos after I dye something – from what I’ve read so far, I have to let the hulls sit in the water for at least a few weeks.