Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Dye another day

So it started with this, I carded some of the Ryeland and pulled off a roving, by far my favourite way to remove carded fibre from the drum carder as it happens.

From there I soaked the roving and dotted it with the silk paints I was dubious about....:(

I deliberately left spaces just to see how far capillary action would take the dye/paint answer is not that far really. It may  travel on silk but on my roving it didn't move a lot with out some additional squishing.

After a bit of wrapping and smooshing  the intestine like package got unceremoniously plonked in a steamer..

Now this is where I think I chicken out in the dying process. I dont know how long I dare or need to steam the wool? my failure could be a result of just not being brave enough to leave it long enough.

The final (still wet) result was after considerable rinsing and getting out lots and lots and lots of untaken dye .

The magenta was not too umm passable, but green and yellow were really rather a waste of time.

so there we are maybe I will dye another day and maybe I wont.

Saturday, 12 January 2013


The forecast is for snow and ice and all kinds of wintery weather, if all else fails I will tuck myself up under quilts and pillowcases stuffed full of fibre and have hot baths and generally stay warm.

right now I am about to make some bread, herb bread that should (if I dont burn it fill the house with the scent of baking and almost a positively healthy if not low calorie aroma. The machine will clunk because Im using the bread maker, in my nod to the 21st C, my father would be rolling his eyes at that. One of my earliest memories is of him baking bread at home. I must have been under 5, there was some kind of strike on and he was an army baker. I distinctly remember how his hands worked the dough, each hand rolling in opposite directions as he made perfect bread rolls. I remember thinking how the army issue flour canister must be exactly for bread making because it had its rounded domed lid that was just like a risen crust ..though to be fair the fact that it was green was a bit of a logical under five leap of imagination.

I remember with the awe of a daddies girl, a picture of him sent from Christmas Island during his stint as a nuclear test guinea-pig, of his sat on top of a loaf of bread, even though I knew he was far too big, some how magic had happened and there he was sat on top of a loaf of bread. 

Later as an adult he would bake bread at home for the small shop that my mother ran, loaves would line up to prove on the  big storage heaters. Customers would snap up those fresh baked loaves.

I admit, freely, to being a bit eccentric, and all the things I do turn my hand to, could be easier accomplished by sensible people in much more straightforward ways, quilts can be bought, wool yarn can be bought, heck if I could knit yet jumpers can be bought! but so can bread, and still my daddy made it....and that evening afternoon, what ever it was, is locked in my memory as precious, and as a moment in time when my under five year old self learned that if you want to you can make anything.

Friday, 11 January 2013


And now for something completely purple....actually I tell a lie as some of the sari silk in this isnt purple at all. but its jewel-like and very pretty.

Not an ounce of Ryeland in it I'm afraid, some one was destashing and so a mix of purple merino,  silk cocoons, vicuna, even some banana fibre in lovely bright colours cashmere and alpaca found its way to my house :D funny how that happens.....This merino I blended with a little wensleydale and some of the sari silk, it makes me think of the Jenny Joseph poem. Warning..


With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple

Now if only I could knit, having done a fair amount of lace making in the past and having a shawl/scarf obsession,  every thing I spin I want to make into a lacy day..... one day....

Thursday, 10 January 2013


Apparently he is "scary" you would be scary too if someone kept sticking a barbed needle into you :P

Now that Christmas is over and a fading memory it is time to get back to ..looking forward to spring of course....

At least the sun is shining today, which considering how wet and gloomy the weather has been over the last month is a relief, the down side is that the forecasters predict temps down to -20 ..and snow, snow snow and more snow.