the weather is changing. we have had a long, good soaking rain and what follows will be crisp and cool. i am ready. oh indeed.
It started out looking like this…And slowly but surely, became this…From sheep to baby blanket… It’s the first time I’ve ever accomplished the whole process from start to finish in many many years of wanting it to happen!
(The pattern is Concentric Squares Baby Blanket by Fiber Fiend, http://www.fiberfiend.com)
In between the beginning and the end, there was a whole slew of processes. If you’ve been following along with our stories in this space for some time now, you may recall the tending and shepherding of the sheep all through the cold winter months. Or even before that, my family’s trip to Pennsylvania to fetch my flock of Shetlands and then being crammed in the truck like sardines for the long haul. Then spring arrived and shearing needed to happen. Remember when the Hill and Hollow crew came to save the day with their electric sheep shears? And remember not quite as long ago when my family had an overnight stay in a hotel and as my luggage I took a dirty sheep’s fleece for scouring in the hotel bathtub? And the borrowed drum carder? And all of the spinning? And then the indigo dyeing? (Which was a whole process in and of itself with the seeding, weeding, growing and harvesting!) Finally, my favorite part of the process, the hours and hours of knitting… knitting while the kids swam in the creek, or in the early gray mornings, or while I waited for supper to cook, or while I accompanied Eric for chores (but not being able to walk and actually help out with chores because of my leg. Moral support is good too!). It is a long-winded process I will admit! But it’s also incredibly satisfying…(You can see the color change between dye lots… I wasn’t totally thrilled with this feature and did try to overdye the whole blanket to make the blue more consistent, but alas, there is still a definite line. Oh, well. Maybe next year when the indigo is ready, I will try again.)
When I finally finished the baby blanket, the kids asked me how much I would charge if I were to sell the blanket. I just had to laugh.
the indigo season is just about passed. we have discovered over the years that once the plants start going to seed the intensity of blue stored in it’s leaves diminishes. shed not a tear friends because this coincides with the goldenrod flowering! yellow is nice and we dye a fair bit of yellow yarn certainly. the excitement of goldenrod yellow paired with home grown kentucky blue however is the truest delight: all shades of green.