Monday, May 28, 2007


- Home Sweet Home -

Just wanted to say thank you to all who have wished us well, crossed their fingers, said prayers and kept a lookout for rentals. In a market for landlords at the moment, it's hard to find something that would suit our needs. We only needed one and now we have it. I'm looking forward to unpacking the crafting stuff and getting back to like as I use to know.
Except for the newness of everything and the children readjusting to new schools and friends, we're all ready for a new adventure.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What to Do While We Wait

This is one of the projects from the Dyeing Day. Brown and White Jacobs fleece, spun and dyed with Lemon-Lime Kool Aid. I think it looks kind of like spinach. Not the good kind, but the soggy stuff we use to get frozen as kids.
Despite the memories, I really like the effect. So while I'd rather be sewing (packed) or starting a new knitting project (packed) I decided to do what was available. Instead of pacing the floor, checking to see if the mobile phone is charged up, looking at the mess that now is the state of my home, I'll card one of the fleeces that is in the garage.

It's very clean. Not much veg in it and cards up beautifully. Pretty nice for 5 euro each or $7.50. Fleeces can be purchase really cheap in Ireland if you know the right farmer or friend of farmer.
I'm in the queue or line for a Wensleydale lamb fleece (free) from a lovely lady in the Felter's Guild. She has a small flock that she keeps to maintain the land around her house. She generously offered one to me, despite my attempts to buy one. Just need a few days without rain so they can dry out. Yippee!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Will We or Won't We

That is the question of the day. Will we or Won't we have a house. We were out scouting on Friday and saw a great house. Located across town from where we are now, but have found 2 schools that the kids could get into. It's close to the train and buses into town and is big enough for us with an office space too! The waiting is the hard part. Hopefully we'll know by this afternoon!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

Well today is Mother's Day in the US and since I will not be with my mother until late June, I will show her what will be coming. I felted a white wool bag with a silk hankie in the center. Nuno felt. I also incorporated silk carrier rods on either side.

I love the silk worm cocoons. I am always thinking of how I can use them in something, but haven't yet. Until now.

I have good memories as a child of raising silkworms. I'm not sure why we did, but I love the fat soft worms. They are similar in colour to the cocoons with a darker head. At one point they escaped from the box and climbed up into the drapes. The rest is vague. It's been 30+ years. We used to go and cut mulberry leaves for them to eat. The whole process was fascinating. Maybe it was a school project or just something we did for fun. Anyway, life was full of adventure growing up.

Happy Mother's Day to my mother and two sisters. Hope you have a great day. I love you all and think you've done a fantastic job of being mother's to your children.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Day to Dye For

Today was our Guild meeting for the Irish Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. Our location was at Kathleen's farm about an hours drive west of Dublin. Kathleen is a professional willow basket weaver, although I know she can weave most anything into lovely baskets. She grows her own willow as well as veg, ducks, chickens and a few horses. She's a transplanted pioneer from the US. She treated us all today by sharing her world of willow. The barn and weaving studio look as if they were staged for a photo shoot, although I know it wasn't. Stacks of willow reeds were in the studio drying, while the peat burning stove kept the room toasty warm.
Today was my day to discuss what little I know about chemical and acid dyes. My experience has been strictly self taught and by trial and error. I must say, you need to be flexible and willing to risk a bit of wool. I have had some bad dye jobs. (wool not hair) So with that in mind, I set to work showing our eager guild about how to mix and apply colour to hand spun yarn, roving and commercially spun yarn for the weavers in the crowd.
The problem with being the demonstrator is that you don't get many pictures. I did an over dye of Lemon-Lime Kool Aid over a brown and white Jacobs yarn. It turned out really kool! Roving was done in Cushing Bronze Green, Salmon, Aqua and Chartreuse. Juliet took that home before it had a chance to cool down and Maire bought the Galway cross Coils plyed with mohair. It was dyed in a bath of Magenta and jars of Orange, Pink Rose and Violet. They really suited her. I wish I had a bigger pot to have been able to spread the jars out a bit more, but it was a practice day and most of my things are packed.Kathleen also did some natural dyes outside. Onion skins, Logwood and something else with a couple different mordants to show us how the colours change. Really amazing. The weather was great and so was the day.