Monday, 2 November 2009

Taking Stock of Things...

It sort of feels like I got nothing done over the past few days, but I think I actually did.

I finished weaving off the towels on Fanny. They came off at 9 pm so I couldn't wet finish them until the next day. I tossed them in the washer and dryer, then divided them up and actually started hemming them. I am notoriously bad at getting the tea towels hemmed - probably why I only have one or two and I end up giving most of them away. If I give them away, I have to hem them first! They washed up nicely, almost too nice and drapey. Enough to make me think that I had a bit of 10/2 cotton in there so that the sett might have been a tad loose. They are nice though. Two have new homes. One I gave away hemmed and the other I gave away unhemmed. I only felt a little bad about that.. no I didn't feel badly about giving her an unhemmed towel 'cause she enjoys hand sewing.

I finished making a Christmas ornament in a Crazy Quilt style. It's been a long while since I'd done any and I'd forgotten how much I'd enjoyed doing that fussy embroidery in the past. This one I kept really simple as I didn't want to overdo it on the first project in over 5 years. It is pretty easy to go overboard with fancy embroidery. I thought about the difference between embroidery with wool and this type of embroidery and figure it must be the Ooooh Shiney! factor. I think perhaps the size and simplicity made it easier to get right to finishing it as well.

I went to Ealdormere Crown Tourney. Thankfully I was able to car pool with friends so it made it a much nicer trip. I had to get to their house early though as it was a 2 hour drive from there. It was dark when I left for the 45 minute drive to their house. It was also Halloween. The backroads are pretty much deserted that time of the morning and did I mention it was still dark? It started to rain and the wind picked up. The leaves spiraled across the road and whipped around. The bare trees and their shadows seemed to loom in my headlights which seemed to be inadequate to cut through the darkness. An animal half the size of a large deer, but which ran more like a dog slunk across the road and into the ditch. My imagination started to run rampant. I put on the radio - CBC - 'cause early morning weekends they have cheerful program hosts with lots of chatter. What was the first thing I heard? "nope, I'm not really into Slasher and Chop 'em up horror movies, I prefer the Paranormal and Psychological Thrillers!" Like that was what I wanted to hear right then. It didn't take me nearly as long to get into town as I thought it would, hehehe.

Sunday we did more leaf collecting. My goal was to have one of the new raised beds ready this fall, but it seems we have far more leaves than I'd estimated. Both raised beds have their compost base beginnings done. The first one will be a tad better as there are layers of green and brown while the second one is mainly brown. I might have to add a bit of soil or purchased hummus in the spring, but still I've just doubled that growing space so I'm pretty happy about that. It's does require some physical labour to get it done though, using a mulching push mower with a bagger. Go Me!... because we have a really big yard!

Dyer's Greenweed is an easy to use and seemingly forgiving dye. I started the dye bath last week by cooking up the leaves and stems that I'd harvested both at Earendel Farm and from the two bushes I transplanted when we moved. I wasn't able to use it so left the leaves in the pot and only managed to heat them up a time or two again until yesterday. I strained out the leaves and then realized I'd not yet mordanted any wool, so out came a second pot and I mordanted spun wool skeins that I had. One for a friend, the embroidery wools which need to be dyed yellow and then some of those in turn green. I forgot to leave some to dye blue, so will have to spin up a few more. Takes forever to spin that thin! I left the ones out to dye red though so at least I don't have to make that many more.

Once I'm finished the dyeing, it will be back to leaf mulching duty. My sunshine just disappeared. I really hope it doesn't rain.


Leigh said...

I envy you the dyeing! I'm hoping by next summer I can have my dyepots unpacked and do a little of my own.

Regarding your comment about the sour, runny yogurt, I ran across something that may offer an answer. According to Joy of Cooking 1964 edition, the answer may be in the amount of starter used. It's one case where more isn't better, because the bacillus need room to grow and live. One of the problems associated with too much starter is a sour, watery product. So I say give it a try. Try one tablespoon of yogurt starter or culture and see what happens! I appreciated that comment because I learned something helpful. :)

Nina said...

I totally understand having the dyepots packed away. I ended up having to purchase a second set because I was teaching a seminar and couldn't find the packed away set. Now I have enough pots to do 7 different batches at once, should I so desire. hehehe

I appreciate your research on the yogourt front. I think I will try it.