It's hotting up work wise here in my rockpool and half of me is glad to say that there are not enough hours in the day to get artwork finished for people that want it, keeping me super busy (nice position to be in) and the other half would relish a lazy day, or 10, picking through my stash, pondering on what fibre to fiddle with.
Since getting back from Chicago, (ahhhh, 7 hours in the air with nothing to do but crochet....) I've been getting ready for the Belfast Vintage Fair next weekend, as well as to visit the Knitting and Stitching Show in Dublin. I know that's going to hurt my pocket and bloat my stash even further.
My 'Stitchies' are multiplying, growing in their Staffroominess; suede elbow patches and sideburns appear out of nowhere, as do stuffy history teachers and beardy blokes.
As well as all my work, I've been attending weekend workshops at the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum which is like stepping back in time. I'm learning all about dyeing and weaving and brushing up on the spinning skills I acquired as a kid. I have a wonderful teacher, Rosemary, who's accomplished and honest (she'll tell you that she doesn't know if she doesn't) and patient. Oh boy! How she's patient with me, asking question after question. I'm like the kid that sits in the back of the car constantly wanting to know "Why is blue?"
We had great fun dyeing up yarns with natural dyes. My favourite has to be the lichens.
They self mordant, so there's no other nasty chemicals to add.
Here I'm dyeing a hank of yarn with two different colours.
I found that a short boil brought about a range of beautiful soft greens, whilst a longer time in the dye changed the yarn to a brown, which whilst pleasant, was not as nice.
The resultant range of colours from all the dyes we used was extensive.
And has lead me to look at the natural world with a sense of "I wonder if I could boil that up?"
I only thank my lucky stars that it's the 21st Century. Only a few centuries ago, they'd have burned me at the stake!
We attached the dyed yarn to card, as a record.
Here are the lovely soft lichen colours.