Indigo before the Frost

As it turns out, I plucked a jar of leaves, worried about the possibility of frost, and my fear was unfounded. No frost. Temps dipped to about 38. But, I’m glad I didn’t take a chance.

Last night, after my pluck session, I weighed the leaves at just about 5 ounces. Timin’ was perfect – the plants are in bloom, only one settin’ seed. All I could think was, “What a shame. I’m not even going to get seed for next year.”

Since I was makin’ a thiox or spectralite pot of dye, I had to work fast. Hot water to cover the leaves. Double boiler til 160. Then, strain, raise the pH and oxygenate. And finally add the thioureadioxide which turns the fluid from dark greeny blue to light yellow over the course of an hour.

Finally, I soaked a couple special skeins – one of a worsted weight 2-ply spun from Curly and Bing fiber. And a fine 2-ply fingering from Holly. These are all memorial skeins. I knew the weight of the fiber was more than the pigment would cover, but, hell, I really wanted to dye both skeins. So, one at a time, they got a 20 minute soak, followed by a 20 minute hang, then a wash and a rinse. I overdyed some yellow silk/merino top as well, to see what green I could get.

Here’s the result:

indigo 4 oz.jpggawjus blues of homegrown indigo

Cezanne’s Old Speckled Hen

As y’all know, I have a thing for old speckled hens. And Provence. They go together like, well, peas and carrots. In all Cezanne’s landscapes of Provence, I don’t remember seeing a single chicken. I know, what a thing to dwell on. Anyway, I’ve been spinning throughout this crazy November heat wave, and thinking of Provence, and Cezanne, and listening to my chickens. I guess it was to be expected that I would spin Cezanne’s Old Speckled Hen.

Here is a link to my etsy listing: Cezanne’s Old Speckled Hen

Cezanne's Old Speckled Hen

Cezanne’s Old Speckled Hen

Renoir and Cassatt

The wheel has been workin’ overtime. Had to rebuild the footman twice, even yet. Here are two of the latest from the Impressionist Series, Renoir’s Raincoat and Cassatt’s Picnic. The Renoir yarn is 375 yd of fingering weight 2-ply CVM/Romney-Alpaca-Gulf Coast Native blend. The Cassatt yarn is 140 yd of naturally dyed fat singles spun from Gulf Coast Native.


Renoir’s Raincoat


Cassatt’s Picnic

Van Gogh’s Blue Jeans

If Vincent wore jeans, they’d be in the state of paint. You know it. Passionate painter that he was, I doubt he was immaculate in his work clothes. But, you never know. In my imagination, he’s as bad as me, wiping his fingers on his thighs after touching up a stroke. Any way, I named this skein for Vincent. Van Gogh’s Blue Jeans. It’s part of the Dove’s Roost Yarns Impressionist Fall Series. 2.4 oz of 100% Gulf Coast Native spun into 266 yards of a soft fingering weight 2-ply.

Dove’s Roost Etsy Listing – Van Gogh’s Blue Jeans


van gogh’s blue jeans


It’s that time of year. Clearin’ out the weeds and prickly pear – which grows into giant mounds that have to be dug out. Time to plant some winter grasses – rye at least, so the sheep have some thing green on their salad plates this winter. Tom has been the hero, doin’ the bush-hoggin’ and diggin’ and rakin’. My contribution was pickin’ up some chopped dog fennel, getting prickers in my fingers, and takin’ some pictures. Here’s one of my favorites…Ol’ Smitty boy, Fergie the tractor, and Raymond, who found the cart full of weeds and cactus, well, just irresistible.


the boys having a fun afternoon