All the November Clubs have been dyed, the tops are braided, the yarn is almost dry and ready to be skeined up and the fibre for the Art Journey Batts are ready to be carded over the weekend. It was a huge push to dye this batch because I used a lot of natural plant pigments which take a lot longer to cure and hold. The one thing to remember with any kind of dyeing is that it all takes time. Not only time to get all the pigments and colours planned out and mixed, not even all the painting and splashing and placing of the colours. It takes time for the pigments to hold on to the fibres.
Of course you can shove it all in a microwave and nuke it, but I have never been a fan of that method. Its too much of a shock to the fibres imho. So, I do it the slow way: steaming and gently letting the fibres and yarns bubble away for at least an hour and in the case of natural dyes used even longer; not taking the fibres and yarns out of their dyebath until the dyebath has totally cooled down. That way I am not stressing the fibres out and scaring the living daylights out of them going from hot to cold for example because that will give them a huge shock and they will felt. Not much good for spinning them into yarn then...lol So after all of that you are looking at approximately a few days at least of curing and gentle dyeing. It isn't called "slow fashion" for nothing !
I try my best not to panic or get stressed about the process, but I do stress about the pressure I am putting on myself. I do not take any time off at all. I am always blending, in the dye room,, schlepping huge amounts of wet fibres and yarns and standing at the dye bench wayyyy too long without a pause. In the same position...meaning a bit hunched over to get to all those bits and pieces everywhere. I hunch. I never hunched in my life! But now I feel like I could be easily cast as Igor, the assistant to Dr Frankenstein....lolol
It's funny but at the same time, it is not. It is all about posture and I have definitely let myself go. What all this pandemic and lockdown situation since 2020 has done to me is that I have become even more fanatical about working and trying to keep everything afloat. More hunching down in my case. If I keep this up I will shrink into a 4foot nothing human being and dragging my eh "assets" on the pavement (sorry about this image i just put into your head...lolol).
So, Paul has dragged me out of the dye room and made me stop work for a day. It's not enough but it is a start.
On Wednesday we went to Mt Baw Baw, which is relatively close by (I lived in Canada, where, when I grew up, my uncle there said "Let's go get Pizza, it's just around the corner" (and He meant a 4 hour drive) ...Anyway, I digress...
So this strange thing happened where Paul and myself hopped into the car and drove up to Mt Baw Baw where I saw gorgeous Snow Gums, hiked up the mountain to enjoy the view (view was awesome, hike was exhausting...but I have absolutely no stamina anymore...mental note to myself: I so gotta start walking again !!!!!) and even saw two cute dingos, the back end of a Mt Baw Baw green Frog AND SNOW!!! Yes, there was a bit left on the mountain: We had a bit of a snow ball throwing. The views were amazing and we had a ball !
The ramp you see there is part of the awesome Mountain bike track!
Snow Gums (Eucalyptus pauciflora) is magical !
While this iconic tree is often associated with the Alpine regions of Australia. The twists and turns in the trunks and limbs of these trees that makes them so identifiable is caused by the cold, windy, often harsh alpine conditions, with hundreds of years of environmental impact visible in the folds and forms of some of these trees
That little bit of change of scenery was much needed for both of us and we so have to do it more often.
The day after Paul went back to his shed to make some gorgeous new drop spindles AND new fabulous wrist distaffs , which you can see in the What's New section of the shop here ! Also there, some new fun colourways I have been working on in Gothic Tops plus a restock/re-dyeing of other Gothic Colourways, since thankfully so many people keep wanting more of that amazing blend.
Dark Secrets Colourway
Secret Garden Colourway
No real rest for the "wicked enablers" they say, because right now a new rare sheep breed blend is soaking and being prepared to get dyed today and over the weekend in between me carding the November clubs. The Rare sheep breed blend will debut next Friday and the November Clubs will all be shipped out on the 14th and 15th of November. The December Clubs will get their dyebath next week as well so they can be shipped end of November. This was the deadline for overseas shipments so everybody will receive their club parcels before Christmas. yeah !
If you are eager to be part of the Art Journey fibre, batt or sock yarn club, please sign up here. Want a combination of all? or would you like to have all your three month clubs sent out at once at the end of the cycle to save on shipping? Please contact me here.
I am still planning to do the 12 days of Christmas of course. I am still trying to figure out the technical things and more about that closer to the date. In short: it is all happening !!!
I hope you are all enjoying your craft time and please know that there are heaps of fun, fibery and yarny things in the works to make it all even more exciting ! More Fun to come before the end of the year !