Summers Here

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

Hi! And yarn packs!

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. 

Kinfolk May Gathering: L'esprit de la Mer

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!


Shutters & Shuttles

Here's a little preview of this project I've been working on with my friend (and neighbor!) Allison of Shutters & Shuttles. This girl, oh my word, she is so good. We live just a few houses down from one another, so I've been walking back and forth to her home studio a lot this past week, fistfuls of yarn in hand, ready to dye, ready to wind, ready to weave! I'm still completely mystified by the whole weaving process, but I'm beginning to understand it, slowly. Allison was trained at the Appalachian Center for Craft, which is like the greatest thing in the world as far as I'm concerned. This fabric she's making is really special…the yarn is super-soft North Carolina cotton, and we hand-dyed some of it with indigo in my backyard. I love what she's doing…weaving random stripes of the two shades of blue in no particular pattern, so each piece cut from this fabric will be completely unique. My plan is to make great big, roomy tote bags from those bad boys. I'm so excited! 

In other news, our garden is planted and my roses are opening, a new one each day. These few months, this whole season, has just gotten me: everything about it. It's been almost too beautiful to take in…my cup is filled to the brim, truly, truly. Heart-swelling birdsong, sleepy spring rainstorm, and the ever-shifting sky of this slow-spinning world. 

Quiet season

I counted thirty-six buds on my rosebush this morning. This is so very, very exciting to me as I have never grown roses before (unless you count the blooms that were already on the bush when I bought it last year) (which, of course, you don't!). Of all the things I haphazardly planted last summer, the roses were the one thing that I was really hoping would make it through the winter. They're antique, pale and milky, with a scant flush of coral. Old-fashioned. I'm so excited about them!!!

Lots of quiet around here. Quiet breakfasts, quiet early candlelit mornings. Quietly sitting by the window while it rains. Quiet kitties sleeping together on the down comforter, in a patch of sunlight. I've been drinking lots of yerba mate, lots of coffee, lots of lavender and peppermint tea. Our spring has felt long, and slow, and lovely. Some years there is no real intermission between winter and the blistering heat of summer, but this year we got a good one. 

I'm going into the studio this afternoon to seal our concrete floors, organize my packaging materials, and spin some merino roving that I dyed last night with copper and madder root. It's SO PRETTY! I'm thinking I might do a confetti-like skein...mostly white with little flecks of pale, pretty color. Knitting yarn like that is so fun to me...watching it all come together in random patterns as the fabric develops. I'm going to do a shop update on Monday with the yarn I make today, as well as some black and white alpaca. I'll send out a newsletter right before it goes on sale (subscription link is in the sidebar). Have the very best weekend!!!