This week's bucket from our Humble Flowers CSA share. I taught a knitting classes last spring in exchange for a whole summer of flowers, and this is my favorite week yet. Zinnias, marigolds, garden herbs and a mesmerizing dahlia that I didn't find until after taking these photographs. Stay, summer!!!!!
Manley and I picked hundreds of marigolds last night from my friend Susan's spectacularly kept garden. I boiled the petals and let them steep overnight: a fragrant, aurulent tea. This morning, I poured it over fifty-five skeins of yarn and set it outside to "cook". The heat of the sun sets the color, gently and slowly. It will be ready in about three days, but the waiting is--oddly--the most riveting part :)
This summer has been rolling along: steadily, quietly. I've finally managed to start knitting some things in my queue. These Tiny Pants by Megan Goodacre (Ravelried here) were made from about 1/3 a skein of my blackberry-dyed alpaca/merino/silk DK for my dear friend's baby niece, and oh, my, are they snuggly :) I love that yarn. I love that color. I won't be able to do another blackberry dye batch until next summer, but I'm going to try and approximate the color this fall with a cutch + logwood combination, which I think will be pretty close. I also started Orlane's textured shawl recipe in the same yarn, using Karen's instructions for getting started, which were incredibly helpful. I'm trying to catalogue and organize the different yarn bases I use in my shop, both hand-spun and mill-spun, so I can get things straight on my Ravelry page and hopefully start wholesaling in September. If there's a yarn store near you that you would like to see carry my yarns, do tell me about it, and I will reach out to them!
The next batch of yarn I'm planning to release (next week) will be all marigold dyed. Maybe fifty skeins? I just can't bear to let the summer end without preserving more of that sunshine gold :) After that, I'll probably do a big batch of pokeberry dye, and then maybe some indigo. Beth and I are gearing up for our big trip to Australia in September…we'll be gone for the first fifteen days of the month, and I'm realizing that summer will be dwindling down to nothing by the time we return. I am so looking forward to the trip, and to meeting all the workshop participants and partners. And I'm especially looking forward to all the eucalyptus dyeing we'll be doing…such vivid and surprising colors, from plum to rust to gold to silver-green!
- Love this beautifully photographed toe-up socks tutorial.
- This Tsubasa pattern by Michelle Wang, next on my to-knit list.
- Have you heard of the Stellar app? Oh gosh, so fun. Too fun. Beth and I drank too much coffee this weekend and made this one. She's made two other beautiful stories since then. Oh, the possibilities...
- If you are in or near Nashville, I'm teaming up with Allison of Shutters & Shuttles to do a relaxing Sunday afternoon branch weaving workshop in conjunction with Anna Maria Horner's latest project, Craft South! This is going to be so much fun…Allison is the expert weaver, and I'll be providing all the yarn. We will learn about different types of fibers and natural dyes, various weaving patterns, and everyone will go home with a beautiful and unique work of art. Tickets are available here if you're interested!
July 12, 2014: Gulf Shores, Alabama. Such a good time, but not enough time. Turns out you can go home again :)
Summers here are luscious, wild, honeyed, ripe. The wind is cool and unhurried at times, and at times it whips about with an unbridled fury. The mosquitoes are out bad now, in our backyard especially. Someone just loves to dump old tires in the alley behind our house, and they fill with water, and it's like mosquito Shangri-la. Our garden is tired and overgrown; it grew nearly twice as quickly as it did last year, and puckered out early too. We got about five thousand cucumbers and some pretty striped fairytale eggplants, and some fat green tomatoes that may or may not make it. My sweet, sweet friend Susan had my pal Evie and I over for dinner on Tuesday, and her garden is magnificent. A complete inspiration. Susan roasted a chicken, and everything else at our table was plucked from or dug out of the ground: purple carrots, tiny tomatoes, vermillion beets and nasturtium flowers. It was so truly wonderful.
I have a big batch of yarn to put in the shop that I'm going to have a hard time parting with. It's all mill-spun, in a variety of different weights and fibers. I mordanted and dyed it in the sun, in big glass-lidded pots, with crushed blackberries. The color is…oh, my word, it is my favorite color ever. It's like a pale, moon-silvered pink-lavender. Like dusk. Like spun sugar.
What are you up to this weekend? Manley's birthday is tomorrow and we are driving down to the Alabama Gulf coast to spend the weekend with my family, on Oyster Bay, a mile from the Gulf. I'm so happy…I have no plans except to 1. Bake a cherry pie and 2. Fall asleep on the beach. Hope all of you have a real sweet one. I'll send out a newsletter when the yarn goes up for sale. Good night! xx
Oh, hello! It’s been a little while! Time this summer has been whooshing by, not in a bad way, but in the very best of ways. This past year hasn’t been the easiest, but this summer has felt like one humble gift after another, packaged up and tied with a bow. Last week, Manley and I drove from Nashville to Birmingham to New Orleans to Houston to Austin to Texarkana and back to Nashville. It was a hurricane of a road trip: a veritable whirlwind of river floats, sofa beds, family, friends, new cities, old cities, long talks and late nights, early mornings and coffee and books and wandering. I had actually never been to Texas before. We had such a sweet time, and were so exhausted by the time we got home that we barely made it over the threshold of our front door.
On Saturday, Lisa and I hosted an open house in our studio which was a lot of fun. I debuted these little weaver’s yarn packs (that are in my shop here) and worked at a piece on my Board and Bread lap loom in between visitors. Weaving is still kind of mystifying to me...I can’t fully wrap my head around it the way I can knitting. Or crocheting, for that matter. I’m kind of single minded fury when it comes to fiber crafts. But I’m positively spellbound by the beautiful weavings I’m seeing everywhere these days, and I hope my little yarn kits will find themselves in some of those.
Hope you all are having a wonderful, rambling summer, or winter if you’re down under. Oh, and speaking of that, I should mention that we still have some tickets left for the workshop Beth, Luisa and I are doing in Sydney and Melbourne this September. You can read all about it here and the tickets are available here, on my website. I have never been to Australia and am still totally in shock that this trip is actually happening. So, so excited to see that beautiful country.
A few little behind-the-scenes snaps from the May Kinfolk Gathering that Beth and I hosted on Saturday. Big, big, monumental thank-yous to everyone who helped put this event together: The House Nashville, Twelve at the Table, Consider the Wildflowers, Handy Dandy Productions, Handmade Studio TN, The Farm on Eastland, Tara Hurst Design, The Solution Girl, Board and Bread, Hannah, Ruthie, Lisa, and my sweet husband: the oyster shucking champion of the universe. This thing was something else, I tell you what. We had so much fun. My feet still hurt from walking up and down a certain hill a bobillion times, and my belly still hurts from laughing. I loved meeting everyone that came…thank you for spending the evening with us! Our next Nashville event is planned for October, with tickets going on sale a month or so beforehand. We would love to see you there!
I'm off to the British Virgin Islands for a ten day sailing trip, which is literally my lifelong dream. Second star to the right, and straight on 'till morning!