going for gold

creating meaningful celebrations without significant cash outlay is another piece of the lifestyle puzzle here for our family. 

sadly, it seems the cultural norm for all holidays, birthdays included, is to buy something, often buy a lot of somethings. lately it seems more and more folks are steering away from thoughtful investments in time that often result in gifts steeped in meaning, we find ourselves trying to do just the opposite. with most holidays here on the farm, we try to do things, we try to make things, we try to somehow capture the essence of the day without a lot of buying, without getting sucked into the consumerism that so defines these times.IMG_5777

so last week came my birthday. i knew there was a lot of baking and creating going on behind closed doors, but nothing could have prepared me for the delights of the day.


one year ago to celebrate my birthday we dyed our first yarn blue. it was a day full of glory, one that couldn’t be recreated.


this year, while still heavy in a dyeing frenzy, we decided to go for another shade. the anniversary of my birth dawned and on that foggy fall day we headed to the fields of goldenrod surrounding the farm and picked ourselves about 6 pounds of flowering heads. with book in hand and high hopes for nature’s best yellow, we  plunged into a celebratory day of dining and dyeing, laughing and working: celebrating my birthday.


the day, the yarn, it was all too perfect.



9 thoughts on “going for gold

  1. I agree–it’s a shame that people feel so compelled to buy, buy, buy on holidays and birthdays that they don’t take time to find significant gifts or, more importantly, do anything meaningful on these special days. I’m glad you had a good birthday!

    • just did another goldenrod bath yesterday and it was still lovely, despite the waning color in the flowers. and yes, it was a great day, now when do i get to see you…..

  2. could you share your dying process? The yarns are beautiful. What a reward for your efforts… Now, what will they become? for sale, or sweaters, hats, scarves????

    • with the goldenrod it is so easy, i packed the flower heads ( about a pound of material per gallon of water)in water and slowly brought to a simmer (around 160 degrees) strain the flower material and immersed the mordanted yarn for 15 minutes. more flowers, more yellow. longer soak, darker color, but you sacrifice clarity, a long soak gives you a “mudier” yellow. we went for clear, bright gold. i use an alum mordant, never have used any of the others. too bad the golden rod is passed here…watch out next autumn….thanks for commenting! oh, and the yarn is for sale and personal use. i have a green headband on the needles for my daughter and a golden cowl for me. we do sell all of our wool products at the nashville farmers market and on our etsy shop (hill and hollow farm).

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