Thanks for your post and the compliments -- it's always encouraging, especially for someone like myself trying to learn as he goes.
This last book really raised my level, I never thought I'd be able to get this far without instruction. What I'm most happy with is getting a nice round for headbanding and pretty good caps:
I'm using calf so far, but would like to try some other grades for the sake of experimentation. I'd love to get some "cathedral" calf and plan on playing with it soon... see how well it takes dye.
So far I'm having good results with natural fermentation, especially oak bark, walnut and black plums. The plums make an amazing dye -- anywhere from lavender to deep purple.
I"m definitely in this for the long haul and will probably have some questions soon for members of the forum. Everyone here is a great resource. Maybe one of these days I'll be able to teach another member something.