Friday, November 23, 2012

To Start Anew

It has been far too long and I intend to make good on this long absence of posting. The thing is, I'm not a great writer. My grammer, spelling and lack of attention to detail is all wanting. I do have a lot to say on many things though. Like creating. Creating from textiles. And creating textiles in the most natural and long winded way possible. I love talking about natural dyes, how to extract them, where to get them, the quality of local fleeces, my most recent vintage linen find or gift, if it's from my grandmother. But there is always more to talk about too. Like how half and half is SOOO much better in my morning oatmeal then milk- though I love milk. How cream from my Dad's cows is like nothing else. That also goes for his maple syrup and honey too. Three things I feel eternally blessed to savor with each smidgen I manage to squeeze into some of my meals on a daily basis. And then there's living in my new home, on an island, with my sweetheart. I love talking about all these things and every thing in between.

The view at the end of our road a few weeks ago just after sunset. Looking at Portland and South Portland. 

A few months ago, one of my oldest friends commissioned me to make gifts for her family. This scarf was the beginning of a breakthrough with both my knitting and how I look at commissioned pieces. I probably started this scarf 4 different times and 4 different ways. I just wanted IT to be perfect but I had no idea what perfect was suppose to look like. I'd seen this idea of knitting scarves the long way about 8 years ago and always meant to try it. I'm so glad I did. It was so much fun to knit. I was able to incorporate all kinds of hues, but what I loved the best was reliving the story of each yarn and how it came to live with me. Some of it was hand dyed, some of it hand spun, some if it synthetic, and all of it was held on to because I loved it. While knitting this long river of a scarf, I thought a lot about the women it was for as I knew her well from another life. She was my mom's best friend when I was growing up. Our families spent a lot of time together and our mothers' spent a lot of time taking care of each others' kids. When they moved away (both times) it was heart breaking. Our family never connected with another family like this one. I am so happy I am still in contact with my good friend, Molly. No one could ever make me laugh like she did. I was honored to make her mother this gift. 

I also made these tiny socks for my friend's sister in law. They were great fun and very easy for me to do as I had already made a pair for Molly. Dyeing the wool is super easy and only takes a few things to be prepared. I used roving I had bought a long time ago from the Portland Fiber Gallery and Weaving Studio. It's a waste wool of alpaca and merino perhaps??? I really should keep track of what I purchase because I actually do forget easily. Anyway, because it was waste wool it was maybe.. .75c an ounce. I bought most of it. It's so wonderful, nubby and soft. I got into space dyeing a few years ago when I really wanted to figure out a way to make rainbow roving!! LOVE! See, I'm getting really excited:) I had done koolaid dyeing a lot with kids when I taught more often and they were always wowed and it's really fun watching others get wowed over colors:) I just filled each jar with a packet of the colors of the rainbow, except for yellow. For this I used yellow rit dye because lemonade does not dye well. It's so pale. I poured boiling water from the kettle into each jar half way, stirred it up and put in my pre soaked fiber. Then I filled it up the rest of the way. After a few minutes I shifted each section of wool over into the next jar so that the whole thing would be dyed. It's also great to set this outside on a warm day. However, I'm realizing, it's not the SUN that does the solar dyeing really- though it does help of course. It's the HEAT. However, to do this outside feels more fun to me.
If your interested in this process of space dyeing, let me know and I can post a tutorial. 

Peace to you and happy creating <3 div="div" nbsp="nbsp">