Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I love Lucy!!

It has been some time since I wrote only because I have been so busy - and I am having a wonderful time being busy I must say. I will try to bring my blog up-to-date, so it may be somewhat longwinded.
I have been doing a fair amount of spinning and teaching spinning. The fleece I have been spinning most recently is Shetland and I am in love with Lucy's fleece. My friend Alberta, one of the best shepherds I know, has wonderful sheep with wonderful fleece. I have been spinning in the grease and it is like one long staple - it just doesn't end.

I plied it into a boucle and it looks very pretty - stockpiling for a future project. I have been combing different fibres together and getting some interesting yarns - will have to take some pictures.....

Then of course I have been talking about doing some natural dyeing, so I thought I had better stop talking about it and do solar dyeing came to mind, much like sun tea. I used to do it many many years ago, so now in the day where everything seems to be eco minded, I thought it would be fun. I picked St. John's Wort, bracken fern, yellow dock and sow thistle and put them in jars with water and let the sun do its work.
Ever the educator, I labeled and put examples of the plants next to the jars. I left them for about 5 days and then yesterday strained and put back into the jars along with some mohair/wool from Eastwin Farm. I used alum for them all and put some pennies into the dock and wort....they are quite beautiful already - lovely shades of green.

St. John's Wort - it looks yellow but it is quite green unless it changes tomorrow!!!

And Yellow Dock - which is my favourite - a lovely celery green. A fellow spinner came by and told me about buddlia being a great dyeing plant - so save your spent blooms for me!
Then there are marigolds, coreopsis, St. Anne's Lace, tansy, goldenrod, and on and on, never mind all the seaweeds and lichens - it is never ending and I want to dye it all. I have to look for my copy of natural dyeing by Jane Patrick - a very old publication that I contributed to, and it was full of different dyeplants that were tested for light and colourfastness.

Every day is rich with activity at the Studio and I meet many extraordinary people. Well I also meet other 'people'. I had a student of mine come by The Loom where I was working today and said she had to show me something...................

Yes, a couple of very pretty sheep came to visit - Clune Forest lambs all groomed and behaved as they had been at a 4H workshop for showing sheep. I did keep an eye on my roses that Karen gave me.....
One of the wonderful parts of my daily life at Whippletree is having coffee and goodies from Black Coffee - the best coffee on the island. And their soups are wonderful. My camera is always at the ready and I couldn't resist taking the following picture - Creamy carrot soup in the courtyard - nothing better under the cedar trees where so much happens on a daily basis - whether it be my Cowichan knitting sisters knitting on a Sunday, cool on a hot day because of the trees, to my spinning classes spinning in the rain but very dry under these dear cedars.

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