playing with indigo

I am going to say I am still learning a lot when it comes to indigo.  I think it should be permanent and it is not.  I think it should dye with out anything added to it.  It does not.

But I am getting there.  I have blue hands to prove it.  Part of why I as working with the indigo was I had two shirts and one dress that were just too light.  Or white.  They needed to be another a color to be wearable.  My Beloved does not wear white because he gets it too dirty too fast.  I do the same. 

Two of these garments are further changing by me making the short sleeved.  I like to wear things out before I throw them out.  But the colors are such that they will become cool quilts if they still do not work when worn.

I was also trying to change a length of weld dyed silk into more of a green.  When it was on the line, it looked very aqua or ocean blue.  It has dried and washed more of a light green.  Someday I will figure out this color.

I have lots of fleece that I will wish to have a different color then the natural.  Especially the whites and greys.  I lean towards greens or blues naturally.  If it is not black or brown.

More playing with this does need to happen.  But maybe I will do a few other things first.  There are only so many hours in the day.  A corner shelf unit and a truck cabin may be soon!



I am still playing with plant dye.  Experimenting.  Playing.  Someday, probably on the mountain, I will grow more of my own but not yet.  I ordered a few plants to see what will happen.  This pale yellow is weld.  

I have had some luck with indigo and having wishing for a green.  A yellow is needed for a green and I have not had good luck with anything I have tried.  I did some research and decided weld was what I wished to try.  I only used a small bit with three yards of silk but it made a very pretty pale yellow.  It reminds me of a lemon ice.

I have to admit that I have gone down a bit of a rabbit hole with pigments.  I wish to go play outside, in rocks, to see what I can find.  But until then, I have actually done a subscription to have a small amount of pigment shipped to me each  month.  I am not big subscription person.  Yes, I do Imperfect Produce.  I love it but we also eat a lot of vegetables.  The pigment is just for me.

I will not be getting much.  But, I figured I could mix a little with soy milk and see how it paints paper and dyes a small bit of silk.  I am wishing to experiment more.  I am also going to be saving my pennies to take a pigment gathering workshop.  Talk about combing the geophysics and the artist.  It just sings to me.  Maybe I will plaster the Teahouse in all the little bits.  Or go collect my own.

Can you tell I am still excited about color?  Especially color in all its natural forms?  Part of the yellow is to find a way to make green yarn.  I have much fleece and need to not buy any.  I just laugh at myself.


the newest bread iteration

Bread is one of those things that I go along happily making the same recipe for months, years.  And then I read something.  Or see a picture.  The recent read was the Nordic Baking book (tome) by Magnus Nilsson.  I also listened to a BBC broadcast where he was being interviewed.

The main jist of the conversation was that Nordic baking was really quite good.  If not superior to say French baking because of all the hurdles that needed to be surmounted.  A lot of that baking never left the small regional area it started.  

There was also a lot of conversation about how Nordic baking could be used as our climate changed and there were less places wheat could grow.  Also, the grains that were and are being developed in that part of the world are much hardier to the changes in climate.  When the rock record is studied, it is actually quite interesting to see how even though there is an increase in global temperature, there are parts of the world where the microclimate gets colder.

I could get into a long discussion about climate change but the basics are I believe in climate change.  Climate has always changed and is very cyclic.  I do believe that humans have affected the rate of change and that is going to impact our children and grandchildren.  We need to do better for them.  But the Earth will be okay without us.  It will heal.  

What has this to do with bread?  After the conversations about Nordic baking and climate change, I was intrigued about how my oatmeal bread would taste with a cup rye added to it.  I have been making yogurt cheese so I replaced one cup of the two cups of water I normally use with one cup of whey.  A cup of rolled oats and a cup of rye were added to the batter.  The amount of wheat flour that was used was about four cups.  I kept the salt, sugar, and butter the same.  I have been kneading my butter in.  A little more work but a better loaf.  It helps develop the gluten because of the lower gluten levels with the oats and rye.

These changes made an exceptionally tasty loaf.  It went wonderfully with the honey my best friend has been sending me.  I get boxes of love which usually contain honey and yarn.  Someone who knows me well!  I am going to keep making this.  Especially since I have two quarts of whey in the refrigerator.  The last loaf I did I used two cups of whey and no water so there would be room in the refrigerator for the next batch of whey from the yogurt cheese.  Yes, I can be that frugal.  And if small boys only wish to eat bread for a day, I know they are getting good food.


breakfast nook and table

I have been having a difficult time figuring how to blog when I am working on a carpentry project.  I think there is a definite bit of I am not used to that energy being used that way.  I am also not used to being outside in Texas heat for hours.  By the end of the day, my brain cells do not rub together let alone what to make words.

But yesterday, all the benches were taken away an dthe table was finished.

The funny thing was that I was given the wrong dimensions by the boyo who I was building this for.  So, I built three storage benches instead of two.  And the new one was huge!

I never did get a chance to take a good picture of all three together.

But the storage works.  They work as seating.  Hopefully, they will survive two small boys.

Then, there was the table to build.

The whole thing took over 40 hours to build over about three weeks.  The original time estimate I saw was 20 hours.  But I put bottoms and backs on the benches which were not part of the original design. There were three instead of two.  The last bench was almost seven feet long.  And I do not think the original estimate included the table.  Basically, it was $100 and 10 hours per item.  It probably would have been more if I had done each individually.  Or used better wood.  This was just from Home Depot.  Which I may not go to anymore.  Bleah on the CEO!

I was still trying to do other work.  Other home stuff.  Coaching.

I did buy myself two new tools.  A new hammer and a new table saw.  The table saw is because I hurt myself on our old one and I keep thinking about small boys helping me.  This one has technology that will stop it from cutting flesh.  The hammer is because my old one needs to be rehandled and has not been yet.  

What else took time away from this project was I am learning to sharpen knives the way the boyos wish it done.  I am going to be runnin the  mobile sharpening truck.  After I build it.  Guess what I get to design and build next.  Ideas are welcome!


keeping between my shoulder blades warm

When I went to the fiber fair in Estes Park, one of the ladies I buy fleece from was wearing a small poncho.  Knitted of course.  I think of ponchos as something usually rather large.  That cover to your hands and possibly to your knees.  But this just went to her elbows.  It got me thinking.  It would keep the spot between my shoulder blades warm (which is where I get cold) in all of the summer air conditioning and would allow me to put my hands in bread dough with out worrying about where the poncho was.  Or the swearter sleeves.

I had some beautiful yarn that I came to the realization that I was not going to wear what I was making out of it.  Maybe someday I will wear a crocheted dress but not any time soon.  I pulled my cables apart and started a poncho.  I even worked on it in a coffee shop drinking tea!  Not very characteristic of me anymore.

I rarely go out for tea or coffee anymore though I used to.  It is a nice place.  A place where I do not know anyone so I can have solitude in a group of people.  I enjoy that.

It was a quick crochet.  I am almost wearing the same outfit currently.  I like short sleeves on shirts but need something to cover a bit of my arms.  This works. 

I may end up adding some more length over time.  The one Elena made was a bit bigger.  A different process in the making as well.  If I do add more length, I will probably end up dying some yarn with purple cabbage to complement but not match.  Or add some grey yarn made from one of Elena's fleeces.  I am washing some now and need to spin.

So many ideas.  All I know is I am currently wearing this poncho and loving it.  It may seem strange but it is a very old fashioned idea.  I like it!  I am planning to make something similar for my best friend.  Again, I am not going to use the yarn I have like I thought I was.  I will share more pictures as it changes over time.  Because I do believe it will!