Sunday, March 12, 2006

dyeing for springtime

Our weather predictions were for some big thunderstorms this weekend, and we did have a few--including some 70 mile an hour winds.


To keep myself amused indoors, I did some dyeing. I had 4 different dyepots going, with mixed success. My spring green wool colors worked very well, I think. The cotton candy pink/red alpaca is gorgeous. (and the alpaca, from Mythic Alpacas is lovely too.) My favorite stuff? The fluffy looking alpaca (also from Mythic)that looks like a bruise--everything from cherry red and purple to a gray purple color. The wool that looks gray and pink and just white--that's my only failure, and I'm not convinced yet it is a total failure. I may try blending it with my "bruise color" alpaca and see what we get. Maybe it will look like the Washington, D.C. cherry blossoms if I get the colors blended just right. If not, I'll throw it in the dyepot again to overdye things! There are always "do overs" in dyeing, thank goodness.

I'm keeping myself busy on the never ending Romney wool pea coat. I realized recently that I got the wool for this project in May of 2004 when I saw this ram shorn at a shearing day. Now I'm working on things like knitting the pocket linings and the button choices. Here are a couple button options. These are, in fact, the same buttons, but the dark almost shiny option is the backside of the buttons. I think I prefer that to the lighter brown, but I'm debating. Any thoughts? (btw, the first image is about the right color for the coat, the camera had a hard time catching this color.)
I admit, I am still hoping for a real snowstorm and a chance to thoroughly enjoy wearing my handmade coat... I doubt it will happen, but I can dream. I miss experiencing a real winter! I'll leave you with a photo of our backyard...see the daffodils? You'll note the husband hard at work in our new garden bed. This is what I look out on from my office. Originally, this garden space was an old shed. It was falling down and had to be removed. When we did this, and planned for a big garden, we found out that our huge yard is filled with lead pollution. We've got 60 to 300 times the legal limit for lead in our soil. I mourned about this a long time. Last year, we managed to create a special garden area--it took a lot of time and expense to make this work. There's a pond liner to keep out the polluted soil. Then a layer of stones for drainage. Then a special netting to hold down the stones and keep the good soil from draining off. On top, we've a layer of trucked-in, safe soil, and some leaf litter compost.
We're finally able to garden, after 3 years of frustration! We've planted lettuce, arugula, onions, Jerusalem artichokes, and radishes so far. Today, we started all our other seeds--tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, basil, sorrel, and lots of other yummy stuff. I'm excited! I'll try to keep you updated with photos of our little backyard kingdom later in the summer, too.

3 Comments:

Blogger jenknits said...

HI Joanne! I like the darker colored buttons, myself. How did you find out about the lead in your yard? Does this impact how you care for the dogs?

March 13, 2006 at 12:34 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

The alpaca looks yummy, and I love the colours! I really want to see the pea coat finished and modeled - hurryuphurryup! It's going to be a tough decision about the buttons since they look good either way. Happy gardening.

March 13, 2006 at 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Kerry said...

I'm voting for the dark brown only because where I'm sitting the light brown looks like baby blue, and that's just wrong.

So are you going to card the alpaca now or spin it from the lumps?

March 14, 2006 at 12:06 PM  

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