There was a point yesterday afternoon when I had that fleeting feeling of one-ness, of complete contentment and bliss. My sister had arrived the night before with her three children. I was immersed (pun intended) in indigo dyeing, the three youngest were playing camping and seasides with me as the campsite owner who obviously did some dyeing as a sideline. I had to stop periodically to tell them where to pitch up, help put up the tent although Raj, who we nicknamed Mr Boots (bossy boots) mostly told me what to do. They played from after lunch until 7 o'clock in the evening and they had such a great time. They went off to various neighbours to fruit pick from their laden plum trees, they lay in the tent, played a bit of football and even had supper outside, by their tent made by the nice lady owner of the campsite. It's a wonder that they actually got food instead of something from a dyepot!
The middle two, Rohan and his cousin spent most of the afternoon in their bedroom making up a Narnia version of Risk. Luckily Uncle John had taken them to the playing field in the morning for a game of cricket. Amber, read, baked and knitted and proclaimed that she was bored off and on. Poor thing she suddenly seems so much older than the other five. Last summer she played schools with the youngest three and they loved it. I asked he if she'd do it again in Wales but she said she didn't know if she felt like it. It's funny being age 12/13 isn't it? You don't feel like a child yet your'e not quite in the other camp either. It's the first summer holiday where she's been bored but not sure what she wants to do either.
It got me thinking last night about how different Raj would be if he didn't have Rohan above him but had a sister instead (in my household it's the two boys that are the closest in age and play together). So with Rohan there Raj is very boyish but what if Rohan had been a girl? Would Raj do more imaginery play, cook and bake maybe, play with dolls. Certainly when he's with his girl cousin who's 3 years older than him they play doctors, seasides, schools. Rohan didn't have an older brother but had Amber and his play in those days was very different. I'm not complaining just wondering.............
Anyway, I digress because I was going to tell you, quickly about my final dyeing session before we go on holiday tomorrow. I wanted to have an indigo session because I had so much stuff dyed in goldenrod and I wanted to make a green. Past experiments with fustic and weld had been disappointing although I think I had made a good green with onion skins and indigo a few years ago but in true Simmy fashion I hadn't kept a record. Anyhow, I wanted to see if goldenrod and indigo would make that shade of green that I have been yearning for. Well, I'm pleased to report that it was a complete success. See for yourselves:
On the left I dyed/dipped 800g of aran for Tom's tanktop, the green blanket and skeins are goldenrod/indigo, the yellow is goldenrod and the blue blankets are indigo. The blue skeins are a bit light because with only 30g of indigo I was a bit cautious of not having enough dye but I needn't have worried - I had plenty. I had so much that I kept dipping bits of coltswold fleece all evening so that this morning I had all this:
I wonder if that nice lady will spin it all up for me again? Oh, I don't think you know that story. I had so much dyed fleece that a lady in the village took pity on me and offered to spin it for me if I carded it. I was SO grateful. Here's what she handed me on Wednesday:
The left one is walnut/madder, then madder, goldenrod, madder (with citric acid), goldenrod and then madder/goldenrod. Aren't they gorgeous? It was so nice to see the end result. Can you see the skein in the middle well I dipped that in indigo yesterday and this is how it came out:
The yellow is the fifth skein in the previous photo. The green is so lovely. I wish you could see it in person (do I mean that?) or in skein!! It's to die for. I really have to keep trying with the spinning. I'm sure I'll get the hang of it eventually but one half of me is saying what are you going to do with all this spun stuff? Raj still wears handknitted woollens and Rohan just about. Amber definately not and I have enough Amano jumpers to sink a battleship. Tom's got plenty of knits too. What do you spinners out there do with all your wool? Do you still have people to knit for?
I have to just show you one more succes. During the last dyeing session back in July I had dipped about 400g of Aran in logwood and I didn't like the colour it came out - a pale heathery colour. I looked on google and found a way to remove the colour with thiox and washing soda. I followed their instructions and the wool came out a very light greeny aqua. Aha I thought if I dip it in goldenrod maybe it'll go green. Well I did but it didn't. It went a yellowy limey colour (it's draped over the back of the bench in my previous post) which I didn't like. So it too went into the indigo vat yesterday and this is how it came out:
Oh my goodness - it's so lovely. I feel like Daisy in The Great Gatsy (with the shirts) and I want to throw the skeins up in the air and shout how lovely they are but I daredn't incase they get tangled.
I really must sign off now. I do have a house ful of visitors believe it or not but thankfully sisters are so tolerant. I want to share details of how to make an indigo vat but I've been on the computer for long enough already. So I will bid you adieu, ja nay, chunga, chuss and bye till next week because we are all (ten of us) off to Wales on Saturday. We've rented a house in Pembrokeshire and I don't care if it rains or shines which is just aswell considering the weather because we have great company, food, books and games to take. I just hope it goes nice and slowly because I'm dyeing to get away.