And how are you today? Well I hope, wherever you are in the world! To begin today’s post I would like to say ****** THANK YOU ****** for the mind blowing amount of kind and sweet comments you left about my Gypsy Caravan Blanket, I felt ultra-spesh so thank you thank you thank you! Also, thank you for so many happy birthdays too! I had an awesome birthday, the sun was shining all day, there was no wind and best of all, I was better and over my cold that had taken me down for a good two and a half weeks. I had so much fun with KB and my Mum on Thursday, then on Saturday it was KB’s birthday, so the celebrations continued…. Now I’m in recovery mode, healthy eating and lots of water and herbal tea after three days of indulgence!
So I said that I would take lots of photos of the dyeing I did on my birthday…well, I lied, I took a few but ended up covered from head to toe with dye, and dyeing lots of sliver is actually a lot of work! Before we started dyeing we had some farmy sheepy things to do, so I took my camera into the paddock and took some pictures of the new arrivals on Mum and Dad’s farm so I could introduce you!
If you are a New Zealander and are wondering if Richie is named after THAT Richie, yes you are right, my Dad is a rugby fanatic, if you don’t have a clue who Ritchie is, I’m not going to explain, I find rugby totally snoozeworthy and don’t want to blog about it! Anyway, this Richie is totally sweet and lovely but has no Mum which KB was very sad about… My Mum breeds coloured sheep for their fleece so has quite a manageable flock, but every now and then a mother sheep isn’t interested in her baby, so now my Dad is Richie’s mum and feeds him a bottle every two hours.
Richie does have some friends, twins in fact who are also totally lovely and cute! For some reason he is a lot lighter than the twins who are pitch black, he is the one standing in the middle there. Later on in the evening there is no mistaking Richie as he has to wear something warm to bed because he has no mother to snuggle up to….
How cute is he? Very stylish in his little jersey. Another character living on my parent’s farm is Boy. Boy is my Mum’s ram and also my Dad’s arch-nemesis… Boy likes to terrorise my Dad which I have to admit is very hilarious…
Every time I visit my parents, Boy has done something naughty… a few weeks ago he trapped my Dad in the chook-house. Luckily for Dad he had his cell phone in his pocket so he could ring Mum to come and save him…. the other day Boy rammed him from behind and knocked him over which is very bad manners on Boy’s part.
So how about we talk about some dyeing now? As I said, I didn’t get a lot of photos as I was covered in dye for most of the day… I managed to dye the decking, the outside table, my opal socks (boo hoo!) my feet, my hands, my jeans and my cardigan… as well as fibre and some sock yarn. There was also an incident with Stanley the dog when he walked over my dyeing… “get off!” I shrieked so of course he ran inside, straight over the carpet leaving three little red paw prints, marking the day forever… oops….
I was a mess, for the whole day… I got so excited that I forgot to use gloves to begin with… but I ended up with this:
That’s 1kg of merino there, dyed in two different ways. I think we did reasonably well considering neither Mum nor I were 100% sure about what we were doing… the bottom middle and bottom left are cold water dyed, a method I will never ever use again! So much mess and hassle for not so fantastic results, I’m not thrilled with the colours and don’t like rinsing dyes down the drain, so that’s that with the cold water method. The rest is hot water dyeing, I used dyes from Ashford and I prefer this method so much more. For one, all of the dye is soaked into the fibre so there is no run-off at the end, also the colours are so much brighter and more beautiful. I have a LOT to learn about dyeing, it’s yet another thing to master not just a case of putting dye on fibre! I’ve got some white polwarth to dye next time and now I know kind of what I’m doing, I’m hoping to get better results!
The other dyeing we did was a skein of superwash merino sock yarn….
That’s it in the dye pot there, randomly covered in dye, I had no idea how it would turn out….
But there it is! I’m knitting it into socks right now and wowee, how fun is it to knit your own hand dyed yarn?! It looks so much better knitted up than I thought it would and I’m rather excited about them. More about that next time!
And one last thing for today, because I’ve finally grabbed time to finish this post I started three days ago (!)… Socks for my Mum, made from Opal in colourway ‘Gartner’ which means er… gardner, from the Opal hobby collection. I knit socks on the bus and on my breaks, they are my take anywhere project because I don’t need a pattern which may account for my enormous sock output! I knitted the first one weeks ago but wanted to finish the pair to give to my Mum on my birthday to say thank you for well, everything… I know how lucky I am to have a Mum who knows so much about fibrecrafts, who gives me spinning wheels and fibres and everything I need to fulfill my wildest woolly fantasies and I never take that for granted, and wanted to knit her some socks to start to say thank you.
I finished the second sock in this pair in two days when I was sick… I have never knit until my hands hurt but I was determined to get it done! And I have to say, she is quite a snazzy sock model and puts me to shame with her fab posing.
So that is my 9th pair! And to celebrate the occasion I made a wee sock mosaic for our enjoyment!
That’s approximately 180,000 stitches of love there! And lovely cozy, colourful toes too.
OK then, that’s quite enough from me for today! What a marathon of a post. Ooh, one more thing, my e-mail subscribers finally reached 1000 people this week which I find very exciting! 1004 crazy (lovely!) people who like Raymond and I delivered to their e-mails… a special hello to all the new people who have signed up lately who like to come and visit!
Wishing you lots of love and happy moments,
from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX