Wool Maker Lane

knitting, spinning and life with alpacas

Autumn is coming

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Autumn is certainly upon us even if the BBC weatherman announced this morning that it doesn’t officially start for another two days.  The weather has definitely turned chillier and the nights are now drawing in.  Last night it was dark at about 9.15 p.m.  The word for autumn in Irish is fómhar (pronounced fo-war) which means gather or harvest.  The farmers have been busy bringing in the hay but as there is very little arable land around here there aren’t many other signs of autumn yet.

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Yesterday I bought two large bales of peat briquettes to start the fire going.

During my podcast fest in Bristol, I was watching Rosehip Knits where Hannah suggested a Dye a long.  This was like music to my ears.  I have always wanted to try my hand at dyeing wool and really just needed a ‘push’ to go ahead with it.  The dye a long  is open to all sorts of dyeing during the month of September and naturally I thought that there would be tonnes of blackberries on the bushes and I would have the end of Bert’s white fleece knocking around..what a great excuse to get myself some gorgeous purple wool.  I have hit a few stumbling blocks however but nothing that can’t be overcome.  I have been doing lots of homework courtesy of Shades of Lynx blog, Jenny Dean’s Wild Colour website and Wildcolours.co.uk.  I decided that I needed some alum.  I have been asking around locally in the wool shop in town and at chemists for it but it seems to be very hard to get in these parts without having to order it in the U.K.  I will keep trying though.   When I mentioned in the wool shop that I wanted it to dye wool with blackberries the lady gave me a grin and exclaimed, “Ooh that’s an awful waste of blackberries!”  And she might have a point.  However I went down to the field this afternoon and I don’t even know if the blackberries would be ready by the end of September, which is the dye a long cut off date.

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If I get no further I shall try another tack but I’ll give it another week to see about the alum and the berries.  I think that elderberries may be ripe in the next couple of weeks so that’s another possibility.

Liam’s hat

My friend mentioned to me the other day that her little baby doesn’t yet have a hat and naturally what could I do but offer to make him one and I was only delighted to.

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I used Katia Merino Aran Plus which is 52% wool and 48% acrylic.  It is incredibly soft to touch and the colours are so cheery for a little one.  I needed just under 50g which means that I have enough yarn to knit another one.  I didn’t use a pattern.  I knew the circumference of Liam’s head so I cast on sufficient stitches and the garment just evolved.  I love it.  Hopefully it will keep him warm and cosy as the weather cools down.

Pointy topped mitts

Thanks to the strict rules of the U.K. Airport Authority I left my green mitt knitting back in Bristol for me to get on with on my next trip over.

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I managed to complete one during my time there and finish the rib of the next one so that I can fire away as soon as I arrive next.  I experimented with the pointy top, as can be found on Eastern European type mitts, but I’m on the fence about this one really.  I may be too rooted in my own “round top mitt tradition” to embrace change.  Whatever the top they are beautifully soft and will keep somebody snuggly warm this Christmas … and beyond.

Alpacas

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The boys’ fleeces are starting to get a little longer and now that the weather is turning I have bought some haylage for them to eat along with their nuts.  They did a great job keeping the grass down all summer.

Author: woolmakerlane

I live in a small cottage in rural Ireland with my family. We care for two lively alpacas and two sedentary cats. I love all things "textile" but particularly knitting aran patterns and spinning my alpaca's wool.

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