Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Dyeing to begin.

We've been here a short while, but already I need to start working, start planning. I have a little book about dyeing yarn naturally, using the plants that grow locally. I'm so thrilled that I have walnut trees and oak trees for their acorns. The walnuts give a variety of brown and gold colours and the acorns are for mordanting ,that is to fix the colour to the fibres. I've ordered some seeds to grow flowers and plants that will help me create a natural pallete so that my wool is a reflection of the land around me. I hope somehow to recreate this beautiful lilac of the heather that fills the woodland spaces between the trees.
 There are so many mosses and lichens among and on the trees. They produce such a variety of colours but as I'm not at all familiar with the different types, the colour results could be quite an adventure!
I read that there has been research into the properties of plants used for colouring wool and their ability to alter the health of the person wearing them. How lovely it would be to wear a colour that makes you feel happy while knowing that it is affecting your health beneficially. It's a lovely notion and one that I'm willing to indulge.

The ponies arrived at midnight a few nights ago. We waved the lorry into the field with torches and the silence was broken by the sounds of kicking from inside. The ramp was lowered and Bo had slipped his headcollar yet again! He was lose, but safely confined in his stall. Merlin came out first, fiery as ever and stamped around his new field, staking his boundary! Bo and then Toffee walked with restrained excitement until all three were together and then they lay down and rolled off the stress of their journey. Next came BF's horses, I think they were glad to be away from my rowdy boys! They were certainly a lot quieter!
Bo and Merlin, checking it all out.
 From left to right, Benson, Maggie, Jerry and Flash. New models for me to paint ;)
 My boys, Bo, Merlin and Toffee <3

My poor Manchee has been in the wars again. It doesn't seem fair sometimes that such a sweet dog should have such trials. We took him to the vet and I managed a passable amount of French to convey his problems. He is mending, slowly. It's funny, but the book he was named after, 'The Knife of never letting go' has been made into a film called 'Chaos Walking' after the Trilogy. I guess it was inevetable that such a literary wonder should be transferred to film. I doubt however the success of it. I'll watch it anyway and will no doubt complain bitterly about the treatment of it's characters. I wonder most about Manchee, will he be the hero I found in the book, or an interesting sidekick for Tom Holland's portrayal of Todd?

So, what next? Well, the Oakmoon Studio will be given a new name, the Website will be re-written and my new products will be tested over the long, silent winter months.
We are in a quiet little village so we can focus on our new goals. We have a 'Cave' (store room) full of food and supplies, lovely, friendly neighbours and a fire in our hearts to succeed. There is a long way yet to go until all is sorted, but we have a few months until everything is quiet and I only have my art and my knitting to while away the hours. It sounds like a peaceful winter to me :D


  1. Horses feel so pent up during a long distance move! Hoping they settle into their shared pasture. I was wondering if you are bi-lingual--years ago I could manage to read a bit of French, but speaking it was problematic. I look forward to seeing the results of your experimentation with plant dyes.

  2. Your life does sound nice, I'm so happy for you! So glad that the ponies are home too! I look forward to your dyeing journey! :)

  3. Thank you Rain, it's been fun so far :D
    MM, it would seem that my French is improving, finally :D

  4. Glad that all your animals are around you both now, what great adventure! Also will be interested to watch your natural dyes take place.

  5. I look forward to hearing all about your adventures into dyeing with what you find growing around you. I really love the idea of certain colours being health-giving and beneficial. I have read about colour therapy, so why not via wool too? Hoping you will share the oak mordant on here soon.

    You must be very relieved that the ponies have all arrived safely and for the first time, are right outside the back door. I know being able to look out of the kitchen window at mine in their stables was wonderful.

    Hope Manchee is on the mend again soon. Are there any craft groups in your area that you could join? I have just joined a patchwork group and the lady that teaches us is very skilled. It's nice to meet up with the other ladies, one of whom is the next door neighbour of one of our close friends from the Antiques circuit!