The Sound of Rain

by Cynthia

The rains returned yesterday and I will admit, I did feel a tad bit depressed by the thought of the wet season returning. I am one that definitely enjoys the sun. I try to remind myself though that the cold and damp weather up here keep my woolen knits in demand by members of my family. That is at least one good thing about the constant rain!

tea leaves cardigan in progresswith naturally dyed yarn

Last night, while enjoying the sound of the rain coming down, I curled up with yarn in hand and ended up casting on yet another pattern. I seriously have some kind of knitting commitment problem these days! I cannot seem to stay focused on just one pattern! I have wanted to make myself a Tea Leaves cardigan for well over a year now. Last night I stole some yarn that was destined for my yarn shop and began to cast on that pattern. {here’s the Ravelry link} This color is not at all what I would normally pick for myself. I tend to lean towards more cooler colors but I wanted to try something different this time. Maybe a nice warm yellowy-orange cardigan will help to brighten the dreary days that are ahead.

On another note, I wanted to share a quick pic of another fiber project I have currently in the works. A week or so ago I began spinning this:

hemp roving

A 4 ounce pile of undyed hemp roving. It is very interesting spinning a plant fiber after always having spun protein fibers. I am actually really enjoying the roughness of the fiber. It does not behave at all like wool when being spun! I love how it feels like a plant. I’m planning on plying this when it is finished and then will experiment with my natural dyes on it. I can’t wait to see what I come up with. I will be sure to share my results here.

spinning hemp roving

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

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by Cynthia

I have had a running blog post in my head for weeks now! It is starting to frustrate me more than a little how hard it is for me to get even a quick blog post published these days. I feel so completely scatterbrained anymore. So much has been going on. The kids have been sick twice in the last month. Somehow I managed to dodge the last one! I am crediting all the extra vitamin C I took coupled with cup after cup of rooibos tea for me staying well.

School is back in full swing for both my homeschooler and my public schooler. I’ve got Ariella on a modified kindergarten curriculum and she absolutely loves it. Then, to wrap up this past month, my oldest left the nest and is now living on his own. To think it was here, at this blog that I wrote about him starting high school and now he has graduated and moved on with his own life. I sometimes feel like time has just flown by in a blink of an eye.

Proof that I am feeling scatterbrained and a little out of sorts? I have begun waaay too many new knitting/spinning/weaving/dyeing projects! As of right now I have about 5 knitting projects that I started just in the past three weeks and they are all only about 10-25% complete. I was making some progress on my shawl with my handspun merino/silk yarn as the pictures below show. (I love how it is turning out too!)

Handspun Lace Shawl in progress
Handspun Lace Shawl in progress

But then I finished up the bamboo/merino yarn I was spinning and just had to cast on the scarf pattern I had been eyeing for it. I just began knitting it this week. I am a little concerned that the needles I am using might be a tad too big. I do not want it to be super airy and lacy.

Hanspun lace scarf in progress
I’m trying to stay focused on everything but a little voice keeps reminding me that if I am going to make any Christmas gifts this year than I should really get those projects going.

Until next time!

And here are the Ravelry notes for what I’m working on:

Handspun shawl

Handspun scarf

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yellow dock seed stalk
yellow dock in seed
golden harvest yarn

I had this post all written up in my head two weeks ago and then that horrible, nasty, evil stomach bug entered my home. Finally, finally I can now say everyone- all six of us are now feeling more normal. I am trying to return the home to life as it was before the nasty bug knocked us all down. I actually considered scrapping this post as I just lost so much steam after I became sick. But I have received such warm and lovely responses about this yarn after Ginny’s blog post on her experience using this natural dye and so I decided to go forward and type up what was in my head. I apologize to anyone that might have been waiting for this post. I know I had promised it to some of you.

Yellow dock is a rather common weed to some but a medicinal herb to others. I have long used the roots in my herbal teas and syrups to help with anemia and liver function. The leaves are also edible as this website states. That site also mentions how the seeds are viable for up to 80 years! No wonder this plant can be found growing all over!

Yellow Dock Seeds as a Natural Dye


  • 1- 4 ounce skein wool yarn that has a mordant of alum and cream of tartar applied to it
  • 4 ounces of dried and brown (see photo for what they looked like when I harvested mine) yellow dock seed stalks, chopped

Gently simmer your yellow dock seeds for approximately 60 minutes. Allow to cool completely before straining. I allowed mine to sit for an entire 24 hours before I strained my dye bath. Add your wet and premordanted yarn to your dye and simmer for approximately 60 minutes. Again, allow to cool before handling your yarn. Gently rinse in warm soapy water. Hang to dry and enjoy your yarn that was naturally dyed from a common “weed”!


Long Way Around

by Cynthia

Knitted pink sweater
Knitted pink sweater
Knitted pink sweater
Knitted pink sweater

{the little recipient of this sweater is still not feeling all that well after a nasty stomach bug and was not too happy to have her mama photographing her}

It took me awhile but I finally finished up Ariella’s sweater this week. A glance at my Ravelry notes shows I started it 8 months ago! Oh my, how time can slip on by! I had just a few rows of garter stitch left when I put it down weeks ago to pursue other knitting, spinning, and dyeing projects. I never meant for it to be forgotten.

I’m happy to finally finish it. It always feels so good to complete something- even if you did take the long road getting there. She requested this color and I dyed it up especially for her using my organic worsted merino yarn base. It looks super cute on her and this shade of pink just makes me think Ariella.

The pattern was simple and straight forward. LOTS of stockinette stitch but I sometimes actually enjoy that so I was happy. It is a tad bit too big which means growing room so I’m happy there too. And it is finished just in time for fall and the crisp mornings that are just around the corner.


Kina pattern

3 skeins Brambleberry Worsted by Brambleberry Yarns in Sweetness

US needles 4

Size 6

Ravelry notes found here

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