I created this post 2 years ago with the intention of writing a series devoted to different procedures. But my woad crops failed and other stuff happened, as per usual, and here we are. So while waiting for black paint to arrive some time in the distant future; in between holiday house chores, I have a bit of green for you.
Eager to try drum carding my Dorset fleeces (with a bit of Suffolk mixed in, they had not been separated) I decided last weekend to make a final raid on the dye garden to make it more fun than just white (I do still have a bag of white from last year of what I think is Suffolk). I know I said I was done, but I got two more fleeces, didn’t I. Same sheep – this time I only kept the best bit, perhaps a third of what I was given rather than 2 thirds. I haven’t weighed it though.
And it turned out both the weld and the woad were still fine to use, green and fresh. I had dried some bundles of tansy hanging them from the stable ceiling – and left them there, so they are now covered in “dust” – mold spores. I decided to boil one bundle anyway and put some fleece in. Giving out colour just fine, but I’m chucking the other three bundles.
The last batch went in with some onion skins that were sitting on the kitchen counter anyway and a few cochineal sprinkles on one side, which oddly enough didn’t do much besides turn the water red.
I used rather a lot of fleece in the woad vat, so apart from the green that didn’t turn out too interesting. But I can always dye the yarn again, or, if we don’t have any frost, go look for more plants in a few weeks.
Earlier this year I handcarded the part of the fleeces that I had acid dyed, and it took me FOREVER. My test bat on the drum carder last week took no time at all, no effort, no tired hands – so I’m very optimistic I can get spinnable fiber relatively easy. I’ll first card each shade on its own to straighten it out a bit, then I may blend.
Jeg har jo længe gerne ville karte alle mine gratishamme, som jeg har plantefarvet gennem de sidste par år i bundter, både fordi de fylder ret meget og fordi det er en stor opgave når de er så fyldt med fnidder og knuder. Og så sagde jeg ja til to hamme mere i år, dog blev de sorteret med ret kræsen hånd.
Det sidste uld ville jeg også lige have farvet, så det er lidt sjovere at arbejde med, så en tur i haven og hente både vaid og vau, som står fine, friske og grønne endnu. Jeg havde hængt bundter af rejnfan under staldloftet til tørring – og derefter ladet dem hænge så de nu i det fugtige vejr er blevet helt dækket af et fint lag støv, eller rettere mugsporer. Jeg proppede det ende bundt i en gryde, og det farver fint, men de andre ryger ud. Og en bunke uld røg i en gryde med gårsdagens løgskaller.
Jeg fik proppet lige lidt rigeligt i gryden med vaid, så bortset fra de grønne nuancer blev det lidt kedeligt – men enten kan jeg jo overfarve garnet eller også venter jeg med at karte den bunke og ser om det evt. holder frostfrit en måneds tid endnu og måske jeg kan finde flere planter? Ellers har jeg faktisk en spandfuld blå farve stående fra sidst.
Tidligere på året håndkartede jeg jo den del af hammene som jeg havde pulverfarvet, og det tog en evighed. Men det testbat jeg kartede på maskine sidste uge gik som en leg, så håber på jeg kan få de her kødfår i hæderlig stand rimelig nemt og hurtigt. Jeg tror jeg først karter hver nuance for sig og så kan jeg blande i anden omgang.
Still feeling a bit slow and tired here, I know it keeps cycling round like this, I just never cease to be baffled over it anyway. 😉 But I’ve managed to dye a little random hank of yarn now and again, all of which I’ll tell you about later, but for now I’ll just show them.
I’ve never actually tested whether uninterrupted quiet, a stressfree environment etc. would break the cycle if it went on long enough, life keeps interfering. I’m working hard on avoiding the guilt trips that others try to send me on, but there are still “duties” as well as “things that just need to get done”.
And of course taking every 3-4 weeks out of the calendar for migraine, nausea, severe pains and my thinking patterns completely distorted. Oh, dear perimenopause how we do not love you. And then the catching up of everything afterwards. One of the reasons I managed to get a lot done this summer is the one time I had a whopping 6 week break, yay! I’m still waiting for the progesterone cream and agnus castus drops to really really kick in noticably enough for me to continue. I’m thinking of looking into some kind of detox of “heavy metals” (no, I don’t mean Def Leppard) and such, but I know that won’t necessarily make me feel better in the short run…
So during the meanwhile, my brain feels as chirpy as ever, throwing a multitude of project suggestions my way daily, happily rattling on about yarn and paints and studio designing and on and on and on. It’s been a while since I updated my idea book, I better get up to speed and organize it, perhaps try the bullet journal system? (I already do/did something similar, but not that organized – and now of course I’ve already made up some additions/improvements for it…) I’m very happy that this IS HAPPENING to me, that my appetite for creating doesn’t go away almost ever, no matter how bad I feel. All I have to do is decide on a project waiting, pick it up and go. What’s missing in this equation of course is the physical drive to match the internal.
I’m also determined to learn to do one thing at a time, even if it means finishing some of the tedious practical tasks that go before or after the creating. I feel it’s essential to not getting sucked into the stress vortex again. Every time I feel well I can sense myself picking up speed automatically, it’s like a fast horse, if you just let it go, you may pass the point of control where no brakes apply, so you need to keep contact on the bit, rein in just a little bit regularly to remind it that someone is on top or you’ll crash. I’ve tried it – both metaphorically and with an actual horse, so I’m not making this up. 😉
It’s funny though how the monkey mind works. When I was in the shower earlier, I thought this post was going to be sligtly different, but dressing, letting the horses out to grass, walking the dog (ah, another sunny warm day after 3 rainystormy ones!) and back here something else comes out of my keyboard. G says I ought to have a taperecorder taped to my arm 24/7. But then, when do I actually listen to it to cull out the useful bits? No, I guess important stuff will float by again sometime. Or not. Perhaps it will flow to someone more prepared in the moment, LOL.
I’ve been pondering the subject of thought patterns as habits and how much that influences us. I may go more into detail at a later date, but it’s been an interesting journey. Not just reprogramming and weeding out of thought forms but also reliving briefly things long forgotten, react to them perhaps for the first time ever and then letting go. I don’t get to choose them, they just emerge and I try to go with the flow rather than fight them, which is also relatively new to me. “Ok, so today I’m bawling my eyes out over something that happened when I was 7, and it feels like I’m going to feel this forever but I know that I’ll probably not.”
Changing thought habits is a really tough job, and I’m not working on it all the time. It’s one of those things that run in a spiral, you go on and on and nothing much appears to happen, until suddenly you find that you’ve circled around and actually ended up at the same spot, but a step higher. And looking down on the previous contact point you see an amazing difference. Pretty cool is what I think. It’s when we believe we should be able to make instant transitions once we make a logical decision, that everything seems to lock up. It’s also one of the best ways to become exhausted!
And now my headache says to give it a break. I guess I’m either cycling round again or my new meditation cd is doing some weird sh*t. Only time will tell. I guess I’ll go sweep the floor and sort the
dog nest rumpled sofa covers. Naps don’t help with this thing unfortunately. I may have one anyway, I tend to forget when I’m busy.
Whaddaya know, I wrote all this on Tuesday and then got interrupted by, tada! a gallstone attack, before I could take proper pix. I’ve been having a bit of pain all summer (or longer? I don’t recall) like a belt under my ribs but I didn’t think it was anything serious. Going in for a scan this morning, that means no coffee, no breakfast!
When and whether anybody is going to do something about it remains to be seen…