Monday, May 21, 2007

Climbing, visiting, spinning, dyeing

The title pretty much sums up our weekend! We spent most of the day Saturday climbing Mt. Erie, or at least part of it. The day started out stormy but dried up as we arrived. What a view! We were able to see out over the Puget Sound and down the length of Whidbey Island from our perch on the mountain. Eagles kept soaring directly overhead. As I was climbing and rappelling off the walls, I could see plants and flowers growing in the pockets and cracks of the rock. It was a fantastic experience. We had to rush out to meet our visitors, our nephew Mike and his girlfriend, and now adopted niece, Elizabeth. We had a wonderful visit but one of the highlights was the fact that Elizabeth is a knitter! She was in the process of knitting the most lovely pair of socks. The yarn is a soft green alpaca or alpaca blend and she is knitting it in a delicate lacy pattern. The perfect socks for spring. Of course, I had to show Elizabeth how to spin. After all, she will be able to spin her own yarn then(!)...so here she is spinning her first yarn.

We had a wonderful visit all around. Thanks guys!
Elizabeth also has a knitting blog, www.castonacupcake.blogspot.com. I have added it to my fiber links list. Do take a look at her knitting projects when you have the chance.
In the meantime, the dyeing did happen. When we arrived home from climbing we found the canopy covering the dye area had blown over and knocked over one of the dyepots that had sat overnight. Thank goodness for the natural non-toxic dyes. I wasn't concerned to have the stuff all over the ground. The yarn was just fine. I washed and hung the skeins to dry. Chestnut dyes a light greeny-yellow. I used a bit of chestnut extract I had from a previous purchase. I didn't have enough to do a dark DOS. I ended up dyeing a batch of light and medium DOS. I will see if I can get my hands on a bit more chestnut as some of the color mixes I want to do call for it. I found the colors hard to photograph but here they are.
Chestnut makes a good base dye to overdye with other colors. I have a skein of each to use an iron modifier on and then the indigo.
Today my local spinning group meets so I will cut short this post and get going. I am bringing the dog fur and alpaca to card together to spin then it is back to dyeing. Cutch is next on the list. The question I will leave you with today is: What are the ways you have passed on the fiber tradition? Do you demonstrate your craft in public? Teach? I know so many of you do. We need to keep the knowledge and skill going and I always feel that passing it on is the best way to show my appreciation to those who have taught me. -Renee

4 comments:

Elizabeth said...

I'm so glad you put us in your blog! We had a wonderful weekend and I can't wait to spin again.

I'll even answer your question: I have taught many of my friends to knit, including a group of students at my college. I taught about 15 of them, and then we all knit squares of pink to send to Code Pink who were making an anti-war quilt with donated squares.

Renee said...

Thanks Elizabeth! Sorry for misspelling your name. I made the corrections in the post and link. It doesn't surprise me that you have taught in turn! -Renee

dana said...

Wow, your chestnut looks green! I like chestnut to knock the brilliant whiteness off bleached fabrics before I paint on them, but I usually get a yellowish tan on cotton or linen. I do have a lot of iron in my water and I like its effects on chestnut so that might make the difference. Your weekend sounds great; Mt. Erie is an awesome climbing spot, or so I am told. Congratulations on conquering your fear of heights.
To answer your question: I teach.

Renee said...

Ok Dana, I have a confession to make. I run my photos through photoshop. The picture I took did not show the greenish cast that my yarn had so I added a bit of green to the picture. There is a definite greenish cast though. The color looks like a yellowish tan with a green cast. Hard to explain in words! The iron modified skeins are definitely greenish. I really like the color on them.