Some images from this week.
(Im)patiently waiting to cast on my next hat with this hand-dyed yarn from Camellia Fiber Company.
I still haven’t figured out what kind of tree this is (some type of Hawthorn, maybe?) It produces these red berries every year. One of the big storms in recent years knocked it over. We cut most of it down and pushed the remaining part back in place. It looks awkward and oddly shaped but it’s settling and coming back. Being a perfect climbing tree, it was often filled with kids when I was younger.
Goldenrod gone to seed. (I hope to harvest a lot next year to dye with.)
Morning glory seed pods.
Garlic has been planted. It feels like it was just yesterday that I harvested it and thought: November’s so far off! I’m realizing that what we produce isn’t going to be enough for our family of five to eat and to plant for one year. So I may need to get some more to increase our yearly yields.
An oddly spring-like day inspired some much needed “spring” cleaning.
Been busy using up scraps—this is the first batch of simple zip pouches now in the shop.
My Dad has been working on new things for the Buckaloo View Shop for the holidays and I’ve been getting them photographed.
What things filled your week?
This was originally supposed to be a surprise holiday gift for my brother but I showed it to him halfway through and he didn’t seem too interested in it. (He has had his hopes set on a sweater from me.) For a while, I debated whether or not I should go ahead and finish it or rip it out and use the yarn elsewhere. I chose the former, which is a big deal because finishing things isn’t really my strong suit. I’m not a huge fan of it for myself but hopefully I’ll warm to it or gift it to someone else. The pattern originally calls for lightly felting but, from the beginning, I didn’t plan to. Now I’m wondering if I should? I’ve never felted before so if you have any tips, links or helpful advice, it’d be appreciated.
Pattern: Cabled Cowl
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes in Cobblestone
Needles: sz 9
Modifications: Didn’t felt it.
Final Verdict: Fun design to knit. It ends up bigger than you think.
Ravelry project link
A few weeks ago, the garden was officially cleared out…apart from a patch of parsley. Through the growing season, we harvested and froze as much as we need. What was left got frosted and limp so I cut it all back and mulched with leaves. (I’m trying to have it over winter because I’m supposed to save the seed next season—no idea if it’ll work or not.) The parsley was chopped up and dyed very similar to my other experiments, using alum and cream of tartar. So far all dye baths have given me yellows, golds or browns, so I kept my fingers crossed I’d get some form of a greenish shade but it ended up a buttery yellow. Actually, when I was rinsing it out, it reminded me exactly of spaghetti.
Here is a shot of all the dyes I’ve done so far. The far left walnut ball is from this lot. The third ball from the left was originally done with basil (another over-abundance we had in the garden.) I was rocking a low-grade fever that day and when the color change was very minor, I got frustrated and smashed some walnuts and put them in a pot with really hot tap water and tossed the yarn in. Not as impressive as the first attempt but still a lovely caramel brown.
I’ve been looking through Harvesting Color and finding a lot of inspiration. While it’s a beautifully done book, it does seem targeted more towards those on the West Coast, particularly Californians. I know I need to learn a lot more about the proper science of the dyeing process (like ph levels, etc) but for now, I’m enjoying the mystery and surprise.
Next year I hope to have a bit more of a “dyer’s garden.” (As well as a medicinal one.) I saved some hollyhock seed and hope to get some tansy and elderberry planted as well as scavenge for more things like goldenrod and pokeberries. The latter make a beautiful, rich magenta—not quite in my color palate but producing such an intense shade sounds like fun.
Do you have any suggestions on dye worthy plants that are easy to grow or forage for in the North East? (Particularly ones that produce grays, since that is my favorite color.)
Lately has been…busy.
I also started my November hat. And have been drinking lots of tea. Mostly Good Earth Sweet & Spicy during the day and mint, lemon or ginger at night.
Also, not pictured:
Dad limed the garden and tilled up the garlic patch. I hope to get them in the ground soon.
Been getting into Parks & Rec reruns.
And listening to a lot of Fiona Apple.
And reading a book about household spirits.
And loving the beauty, styling and inspirations in Gifts from the Garden.
I made split pea and ham soup for the first time.
Learned that parsley causes yarn to turn spaghetti yellow (more on that soon.)
I’ve also been sewing a lot. But no photos to share yet.
How has your lately been?
Slowly but surely, I’m working on cleaning up and organizing my studio. Someday soon I hope to share with you all the details about my plans for my sewing and my shop. But for the sake of brevity here now, I will say that for the longest time, I thought I needed a bigger studio. Then I realized I simply needed less stuff. I made many piles of fabrics and scraps and supplies and let them sit while I mulled over whether or not I could part with them. The trick was not to part with anything too quickly to avoid regretting it later. Some things were tucked back in my fabric cabinet, but most were sold. I still have a massive fabric stash that could use a little more culling but overall, I feel…lighter. I feel like I can think better and focus more clearly. Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to have been given so much fabric and supplies, that I thought I would pass this generosity on to you. So here is a 2+ pound box of fabric scraps—quilting and decor weights, cotton and blends, vintage and new, big scraps and little scraps.
Giveaway Rules and Specifics:
Giveaway is now closed and the winner is Andi!