Sunday, August 19, 2012

What Can I say...Summer of 2012

Here I am past the middle of August 2012 and I am taking a few moments to take stock of what I have done this summer.

First I want to say what a crazy hot humid summer it has been this year...and dry until a week ago. Farmers have faced a dry (drought) summer & crops have suffered. The year of 2013 will include much higher prices for meat & all other food. What else is new(?)

This has got to have been the absolutely hottest summer I have experienced, but no I am not complaining because I prefer this to our cold winters when we spend days shivering because it costs too much $ to turn the heat up in the house.

I have kept busy as usual working in my full time job and spending spare moments preparing for my second son's & his fiancee's wedding which just happened last weekend. It was a beautiful wedding on the rocky shoreline at Killarney Mt. Lodge. A beautiful bride & a handsome groom making up a wonderful couple embarking on their marriage together.

I have neglected my gardens for the second year just because I don't have enough spare time to tend them & I strongly dislike mosquitoes & I'm prone to a sore back when gardening. My hubby has tended the tomatoes & onions, etc. and now we are reaping the benefits. I can no longer count how many tomato sandwiches we have consumed and the tomatoes are really tasty.

The woad this year has been good of course & I did a vat last weekend not using the stove at all. It was the most successful of any woad dyes I have ever done.
I gathered the leaves & placed in a 5 gal pail; then added hot tap water & steeped covered for 1 hour.
Then it was strained into another pail & I added 1 T. of soda ash to turn it alkaline. I used an immersion blender to oxidize the vat for 15 minutes\. I saw blue & then it turned very green. At this point I added 2 tsp. of thiourea dioxide & left it sit covered for half an hour, keeping it warm.

When I checked it next it was clear yellow & ready for the wool. I dyed about 200 g of Suffolk. Here is a pic of some Suffolk yarn I spun & dyed. This was 2 half hour dips with a half hour oxidizing in between. I did not rinse until after 24 hours. I added some vinegar to the last rinse water. The colour stayed the same.
Suffolk. Woad Dyed.
That Suffolk is destined for mitts for hubby & myself.

And more summertime activity: spinning, knitting, dyeing.
Thrummed mitts for shepherd.

Mitts for Shepherd

Toque for the shepherd who supplied the Suffolk & Friesian mix.

Cherie's mitts. Blue Faced Leicestershire & silk. All handspun & hand dyed. Silk hankies were used & purchased roving that I spun on the wheel my hubby made.

I also had to make a bag to match the silk dress I made for my son's wedding. There just happened to be a wee bit of warp on that I could use & I didn't have a spare moment to worry about the colour of the warp, so I was happy with the white warp and used wool & silk fabric I had left over. I received lots of nice compliments.
My shoulder bag for the wedding.

And I also had to find time yesterday to paint the entrance room that also serves as a catch all room. Big improvement!! Picture not needed.

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