Monday, 20 August 2018
Just a heads up that if you come to Westfield on Sept. 2nd, I'm currently planning to churn ice cream! Yay! That's a good way to end the summer.
When I got home, we had a campfire. I picked some of the drying Tigerlily (those orange ditch lilies) leaves and turned them into cordage. My sweetie thought it was a lot of work, but really, I was sitting around the campfire doing nothing otherwise. Now I have 2 metres of cordage suitable for basketry. I'm drying some of the still green leaves to see if they make a difference in workability. I wonder if bull rush leaves would work as well? There are a bunch in the ditch, up the road!
This is more ramie. The right skein I spun up in the past two days. It was a bit of roving which was perfect. All long staple lengths, with no short bit or neps. It flew out of my hands and onto the wheel. It was a joy to spin. The skein on the left is from a previous batch of this same colourway. What a difference in dye lots! Just a reminder to get enough of one dye lot if you need it for a particular project. I didn't believe they were the same colourway at first, but I'd been storing the skeins in their original packets, and sure enough - same colourway, just a different colour. It won't really matter for what I have in mind though, so I'm happy enough with it.
I've two projects to put on the loom, which I'd planned to do over the summer. I guess since summer is almost over, I should get started on those. :)
Tuesday, 14 August 2018
I had enough old dyes for two experiments. Then I took the time to mix up new dyes. This is fuchsia and turquoise. It is 100 g, which seems to be a good amount in my pan for this type of dyeing. It turned out quite lovely, with the bright but not glaring colours and gentle colour transitions. I lay the roving in the pan in a zig zag fashion, across the narrow end of the pan and back again. I poured the dyes on in layers or in rows, from lighter to darkest, in the pan, keeping the same back and forth motion with the dye application as I'd used with laying the fibre in the pan. This one was fun to see take up and set.
The one below used fuchsia, blue and black. It was also with the end lot of the old dyes. I left a bit of white fibre on purpose for mellowing down the colours. This is a blend which I'm betting looks awesome when spun. I love to see how some of the fibre colours appear to change once they are spun. The blending of the colours makes a lot of difference sometimes.
Today's experiment is solar dyeing. Really, our weather in July was the prime time for solar dyeing, but I'm doing this at Westfield on Sunday, so thought a few experiments to show would be nice. These two are using fibre reactive dyes. I've also got food colours and the Kool-Aid powder that we found when my daughter and I were out fabric hunting in July. I've lots of bits of fibre from random fleeces which I'm using.
Tuesday, 7 August 2018
Snapshots from a very short hike when it was way too hot.
It was interesting playing around with settings with the heat and the resulting haze. The grey sky and the background which looked misty were odd as it was fairly breezy and the sky was cloudless.
The breeze was bending these spent flowers around like crazy! I was happy to get to play with faster shutter speeds.
It was too hot for any wildlife. We saw one bird and a single butterfly. This was the turn back point, when the heat was starting to defeat us.
One last shot before we headed to a nearby town for wonderful ice cream. They had a gazillion flavours to choose from, including Moose Tracks. Yum!
Friday, 3 August 2018
I soaked the cakes of yarn in water for a good part of the morning. Having seen the results, next time I'd soak the cakes over night. When dyeing, I also forgot to give a nod to Loki, to whom I always acknowledge when I'm dyeing, just to be on the safe side. With all this going against me, despite the dyed balls looking promising, I ended up with this. There is a lot of white on this yarn, which I'm not sure I like. Luckily my not so brilliant outcomes are far less than the good ones.
My next experiment was using only blue and yellow dye. This is what it looked like in the pot while it was still getting started. It took a bit to get the green bits to exhaust, but after adding a touch more vinegar and more time heating, it all came together.
The finished roving is just lovely, with a wide range of greens, with a touch of yellow and blue. It should spin up nicely.
Thursday, 26 July 2018
Balls Falls is so named after the Ball family who ran a mill along the waterway. There are a number of historic buildings but they were all locked up, although we were told we could arrange a private tour if we wanted.
The Bruce Trail hooks winds through part of this conservation area, but not on the main trails. If you're looking for a long and arduous trail, this is not the place to go. The long trail is about 40 minutes round trip and the short is maybe 20 minutes there and back. It's fully groomed and manicured, with only a bit of rocky areas and slopes to contend with. However, for a hot and muggy day, lugging the loaded big girl camera bag, and a lunch bag, this was perfect.
This time of year, the water coming from the falls is groundwater. The volume is quite amazing to see. I think being able to see the run off, over the rocky ledge, in the spring time, would be quite awesome.
We took the alternate route back, but missed the switchback cut, and ended up heading right back to the building at the gate. We got to take the first part of the trail twice as we cut across a lawn to get to the little picnic area where the second trail begins.
It was a really nice couple of hours. The trails are beautifully maintained. The bathrooms are clean and bright. This was a lovely place for our picnic. Erm, also The Fibre Garden is about 7 minutes away, so we had to stop there. It is a great fibre supply store, with fabulous service. It is way too difficult not to spend too much money in there.
Tuesday, 10 July 2018
The difference between black raspberries and blackberries is the core and the ripening time. Blackberries have a core which stays with the berry, while black raspberries are hollow, like red raspberries. Blackberries ripen later in the summer and black raspberries ripen now!
Saturday, 7 July 2018
I 've been thinking though that I'd like to take a cutting and plant it elsewhere, then replace this bush with a newer cultivar that has larger, sweeter fruit. But then I wonder if I just pick half the berries off when it first starts fruiting, if I'd get larger fruit with less effort. Still, it would be nice to have sweeter berries and maybe more edible with less sugar. Does anyone know of good, reliable, hardy gooseberry cultivars?
We're still eating salads from the garden, although the spinach has gone to seed with the stinking hot weather we've had recently. The pumpkins and cucumbers are doing well. The powdery mildew seems to be held at bay with several sprinklings of sulfur and a change in weather. I've been spot watering them directly at the roots every day. They're growing and there are some tiny fruit on one of the pumpkin plants. The cucumber plants are flowering, the zucchini plants are about to flower and the beans plants are huge and this morning, the little buds finally opened. That means beans soon too. If we get some rain here soon, the potatoes will be happy. It rained on Friday, everywhere but here it seems.