You might say we have been in a spin around here. So many things to do, places to be and events to prepare for! These are just a few of the batts I have been dyeing. They went to the Fiber Frolic last weekend. There are boxes and baskets of yarns stacked up and waiting to jump into the dyepot.
Today it is just a bit too warm to even think of dyeing or turning on the stove! Only 96* and very, very humid. I was just out bringing in the laundry and thunder was rumbling over behind the mountain. We may be in for a drenching. Tomorrow is supposed to be 20* cooler - we can hope - and maybe bring out the dyepots. It is time to get busy - there is a whole summer full of events and lots of stock to replenish. It would be nice if I could squeeze in some time to try some new things and maybe even get in some knitting for myself.
After the New Hampshire Sheep & Wool weekend we had a real dry spell here in Maine and within one week of the tadpoles hatching the ditches were all dried up. I can't tell you how sad that made me - every year we watch the growth of those little froglets. Check them in the morning when we open the front door, check them again when the mail comes at noon, check them before we close the barn door for the night. They are gone for this year. I miss them and so will be looking for them even more eagerly next spring when we first hear the peepers.
One thing we didn't miss this spring was seeing the yellow lady slippers! This pair is hidden just off the road at the end of the mountain. Three years ago there were four flowers but the next year a hungry deer bit the heads off two of the flower stalks and they have never come back. I was surprised to see very close to the lady slippers some wild strawberry plants already in bloom. Not far away, too, was a clump of daisies all in bud!
These were not the only flowers making an appearance! The lilacs were out in their full glorious color and what a scent - the air was full of lilac scent - you knew it was 'that time of year'! Hiding next to the foundation out front by the steps was a tiny reminder of last spring - a single little viola provided a reason to smile when we discovered it sporting two lovely blue violet flowers!
It was so nice to take a little time to smell the flowers and to poke under leaves and around walls looking for other plants that I knew would be coming along. The baptisia is growing tall, the lemon yellow daylilies are beginning to bloom, and the lily of the valley is in flower! Soon we'll be looking for the red bee balm. Driving down the road the phlox at the neighbors is nodding its white and purple-headed stalks. You've got to love it!
In May I taught a couple of dye classes and enjoyed doing that, as always. Seeing the colors students produce never fails to make me feel really good. None of the dyes gets wasted either. I take home all the leftovers and use them to mix and match colors for my own dye projects. It is good timing when I teach classes just before getting ready for a big show. One of the skeins of sock yarn was just so unusual that I couldn't part with it. One of these days I'll make myself a pair of new socks with that yarn.
These skeins are just some of the lace weight yarn I packed to take to Fiber Frolic. Each one uses at least five different dyes to make its blended color. You might gather that I kind of like "playing" with color! Certainly not an overstatement of fact!
One of my new products is paired batts for spinning self-striping sock yarns. I made some for friends for birthday presents so I could see how they spun up. I really enjoyed creating these and will weigh out more roving tomorrow to make some more. They sold well on their first showing. Here's one I may spin up myself!
I love the way the colors blend but still retain so much of their personality. This morning when I was putting things away in the wool room I discovered a skein of lace weight yarn I thought was long buried and was surprised to notice it was very similar to these batts. Guess Tthat is why I especially liked this one. Problem with doing this dyeing is that so many excite me and I know I can't keep them all. Thank goodness I have a digital camera and can take lots of photographs - kind of instant gratification. One of the most rewarding aspects of dyeing yarns and doing shows is when someone rushes to my booth to show me the socks or the scarf or the shawl she made with my yarn. It doesn't get any better than that!
I think the great storms have passed us by but there are more coming through tonight according to the weatherman. A couple of weeks ago we had some big wind and heavy rain that took the apple blossoms. They are only a memory now but I did get a few pictures so I will close for today with one of them so you can see how lovely they were.