This is my secret garden it is my hidden corner where I can sit and contemplate the world. My neighbor’s driveway is only 20 feet away but unless I call out a hello they don’t even know I am here. Several years ago we started a pussy willow hedge on the lot line and every year it grows taller and thicker. It has made a nice shady haven for me and the birds and one very tame chipmonk who is missing its tail(but that is another story). It is quiet corner where I can sit and knit or work at my table. And speaking of knitting ….
Yep ….. I finished my Sheltie shawl from Anne Hanson’s Bare Naked Knitspot club . Doesn’t it look pretty draped across my chair and it isn’t even blocked yet. So I gave it a little soak and then spread it out on the hill to dry.
I love this shawl in all it’s naked beauty. the yarn is lovely It is 3 shades of Jared Flood’s Loft it is undyed and spun from home grown sheep. The yarn is lovely and soft and has that grabby texture that makes it wonderful for stranded knitting -which might be my next project. But it’s also just the right choice for this lace shawl.
Not content to leave well enough alone– as I knit my shawl I thought about dyeing it. The white yarn added too much contrast for my taste. So after I cast off I set up a dye pot of golden rod. Above are the yellows that I got from this pot. The first skein I threw in the pot is dark yellow and gold colored. Golden rod is very intense and vibrant. The second skien is much lighter. After 2 skeins I strained off some water to soak the shawl in a second pot. And I threw 2 skeins of indigo yarn my daughter sent me in the first pot with the flower buds and some water. I wish my camera took a better picture of the color on these blue skeins. They are blue with hints of green now and I can’t wait to ball the yarn and cast on for some socks with this surf colored yarn.
But this isn’t a post about future socks it is about my hap shawl.
I didn’t want a yellow band in my shawl but I knew I could first dye it with golden rod and then over dye it with walnut.
I have 2 buckets of walnuts that have been soaking in the shed since last fall. The first few dips in the walnut buckets yield the best and richest color I think. The first few skeins have red and oranges in the brown. Then the browns seem to get duller as the dye is used. Still brown but grayer or dull. So my solution is to dye first with yellows or orange and then over dye to get a more layered color. I loved how it turned out–it is more muted but still has a lovely contrast. I didn’t get a very dark brown -I think my walnut dye pot is almost exhausted- lucky for me I have already started picking up walnuts for this years dye pot.
This is my kind of shawl – a working shawl not too frilly and just a little lace.
Now I hope you aren’t cringing over my blocking in the above picture. I needed to rinse and hang the shawl. I didn’t want to leave it on the lawn and risk Meva rolling on it. And I knew that if I spread it out on the bed and pinned it that even though I rinsed it thoroughly it was sure to leach out brown dye onto my quilt.
So yes I pinned it.
And you know what –it dried beautifully – perfect in fact. This really is a work woman shawl. I will be able to throw it over my shoulders and go and if it gets dirty a quick wash and rinse and some time in the sunshine and it will be good to go!
Meva can’t quite understand what the big deal is. Her fur is growing out and she thinks if I would just grow some fur I wouldn’t need to worry about shawls and sweaters and could just worry about walking her.