Showing posts from July, 2016

More Experimental Dying

I got so excited about my dying exploits that I went a little mad.  You see I discovered that my food colourings were way out of date... I mean I used to bake a lot of birthday and celebration cakes when my kids were little and most of this is left over from that.  So we are talking ten years out of date at least.  So.  What better way to finish them off than dying some wool, decent wool this time. I used several colours including some turmeric which was also way out of date.  Arguably spices keep for much longer than the use by says, but eventually, everything gets old and stale so this too was destined for the dye pot! Steve arrived home from the workshop mid experiment only to smile and say 'curry for lunch?'... mmmm hope the turmeric smell fades! It all looked a bit bright but I've  been spinning off-white wool for more than a year and it really is nice to have some colours. And finally I got this...... I am delighted with it!  Although

Dying to Try It!

It's more than a year since I learned to spin and received my first raw fleeces from the local shepherd.  Of course I always had in mind the finished article, a jumper or a cardigan in wonderfully natural muted shades... from start to finish... all my own work (except the rearing of the sheep of course!).  Well.  yes I am still on that journey.  I had expected to be a little quicker at it but all in all things are on track. The latest steep learning curve is dying the wool.  I am not nearly ready with enough spun wool to make a jumper but I simply could not wait to start experimenting with natural dying.  So I decided to dye a few small sample skeins and perhaps some roving since a years spinning of white and off white wool has become a little monotonous... a change of colour might be fun. I decided to use the cochineal that I ordered from the Canaries (yes its Spanish so I am staying as local as I can!).  It's very time consuming.  And once I began I realised that w

Anticipation and Excitement!

There are many contradictions about our lives here.  We have access to the internet and so I do a lot of research and just general learning of stuff that interests me online.  This is instant.  But I also buy books for my library online and then I have to wait while they are delivered.  Sometimes quite a long time.  Invariably the books are sent from the UK, but sometimes from the USA too.  It can be anything from a week to a month for them to arrive and I wait patiently like a good Victorian housewife would have for her mail order purchases to arrive... actually the post during Victorian times was very good and very quick so perhaps it is exactly the same! Excitement and anticipation rise as the days pass and this morning Steve returned from the post office and spilled a whole pile of packages onto the bed.  Oooooh!  They all came together... only one book has been delayed.  Some days just start off brilliantly! It's now, nearly five pm and I am still in pj's on the co

Tidy Up!

I have noticed that I spend a great deal of time tidying up.  This is not a recent phenomena.  I am an untidy person for most of the time interspersed with bouts of manic tidying.  This has chategorised my life for years, maybe forever. I guess its a sign of an untidy mind.  But you know I think I am at my most creative when surrounded by my clutter.  And yet I crave a clear tidy space almost on a daily basis. We live in a small house and recently I have found myself day dreaming, more and more about having another bedroom.  There are only two of us and we already have a sleeping space on a mezanine floor and a summer/guest bedroom downstairs.  So why would I need another bedroom? I think its because I am accumulating clutter once again.  Clutter needs more and more space.  In particular, drawer or cupboard space.  So when I bought myself a couple of new items of clothing yesterday I decided to sort out the clothes storage issue once and for all.  This wont be the firs

The Heat

It's July and after a wet and reasonably cool spring, summer has well and truly hit.  It shouldn't be a surprise but every year when the scorching summer weather arrives we walk around puffing and panting and complaining about the heat that we were so desperate for just a month or so ago!  Human nature I guess. And truth be told it's uncomfortable but there are easy remedies to hand for us humans. Not so poor Fergus.  Life is difficult when you have to wear a fur coat and the temperature outside is 38C in the shade of the veranda. Fergus has been back to the vets.  After his bladder stones incident and wee operation, a change of food was recommended.  Sadly the new food causes a lot of gas.  And for whatever reason this gas seems unable to find its way out. We used to complain heartily about how bad such a little dog could smell but we take it all back.  The poor mite is suffering so much.  So it was back to the vet for some advice. We come away with fiv