Clover Earflap Hat

I don't know if I can actually survive the cuteness of these photos. This the the Clover Earflap Hat, by Dover and Madden, knitted in my marigold-dyed Alpaca Silk Sport. Came out a little big (I made the 6-12 month size) but it fit this 16 month old pumpkinhead perfectly. I'm a big fan of Dover and Madden and loved this pattern…it's so soft in the alpaca silk blend and the yarn lends a fuzzy, gentle halo to the texture of the hat. I could make a hundred more of these! 

Nashville is quiet and gray today, the clouds low and the ground soppy. Like much of the Eastern half of the country, we've had some big storms that have ushered in some chillier weather. It feels and looks like Fall. We are happy. Preparing to hunker down as the earth inhales one last mighty breath toward winter.  

Glenmore House

It’s been almost a month since Beth and I returned from Australia. How has it really...has it really? The whole experience was every thing I could have ever hoped or daydreamed it would be. Every single thing and a thousand more things. 

We spent the first week in and around Sydney, mostly trying to barrel through jet lag and prepare for the first workshop. It was barely spring in the southern hemisphere, so the sun was pale and languorous and the air was frosty and the waves rolling into the Sydney beaches were swollen and majestic and terrifying. And it was all beautiful, and we fell in love with all of it before we even had a chance to try.

Our first workshop was held at Glenmore House, a historic farmhouse and country property owned by Mickey and Larry Robertson. Sweet mercy, it was exquisite. So, so beautiful. Our classes were held in the cozy, once-upon-a-time dairy and our meals cooked in the adjacent kitchen, and we were able to wander the grounds to explore and photograph the gardens. Which were immaculate. Pink jasmine everywhere. Cabbages the size of basketballs. Lavender growing like pokeweed would here (why?!). It was a dream. 

The workshop was co-taught by Beth, Luisa Brimble, and me, and we had lots of help from our gorgeous friend Stacey Clark (That's her above: the smiling lady on the right. Luisa has an uncanny talent for being behind a camera while simultaneously managing to avoid walking in front of one). Our lovely participants were greeted each morning with tea and pastries made by The Floury Baker (her date tart!!!) and the first day's lunch was provided by Arthur Street Kitchen (she is moving to NYC! New Yorkers, you are so lucky.). Claire Dickson-Smith cooked all of us a stunning dinner on the first evening, to nourish us after a long day of natural dyeing (eucalyptus and acacia bark), learning about manual camera settings (Beth and Luisa are such good teachers), and cozying up in front of the fireplace. 

On the second day our participants were able to really delve into the practice of photography, working with Beth to style food scenes (she made the most beautiful rhubarb tart which...why do I not have a photo of?) and Luisa to experiment with manual settings outdoors. Each one of our guests were so dear and wonderful…I loved getting to know them all. Turns out all that stuff about Australians being so nice is true after all. I miss them! Ladies, if you're reading this, I miss you! I will forever be grateful to have had this experience with you. Y'all! 

After wrapping up the second day, Luisa, Beth, Stacey and I headed back to town for an incredibly memorable dinner cooked for us by Aaron of Studio Neon (who is our collective new best friend) and readied ourselves for the second half of our trip in Melbourne. Which, of course, is a whole 'nother story for a whole 'nother day :) 

Pluck the Day When It Is Ripe

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 :) 


Rolling Along...

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! 

Also...

  • 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!