"We live in a world where everything is connected to everything else...So whatever we do, from the food we eat, to the products we buy, use and throw away, has repercussions. And so the way we live carries huge responsibilities. Freedom carries with it responsibility and we are not isolated from everything else. We are exquisitely connected."
"We can all be part of something that can grow into a movement. What matters is, we try."
Harvested from the garden today.
Banana fiber yarn dyed with the leaves from an apple tree.
Tomatoes from the farmer's market. I suspect I will have my own by the 4th of July.
"I think anyone who travels knows that you're not really doing so in order to move around-you're traveling in order to be moved. And really what you are seeing is not just the Grand Canyon or the Great Wall but some moods or intimations or places inside yourself that your ordinarily never see when you are sleep walking through your daily life." From an interview with Pico Iyer at On Being.
My Dad says that I am the environmentalist in the family and he's not sure how that happened....
It's not a term that I would have used to describe myself; I tend to think in terms of sustainability and resiliency.
This summer I'll be experimenting with natural dyeing more than usual. I am taking a class from Ulrike and it is fabulous! The focus is on plant based fibers, such as cotton and linen. This is important to me as these are the fabrics that are most easily found used; whether in the closet, attic, or thrift store.
I think often of what I want my garden to be: a food source for myself, the bees, birds, butterflies; a source for medicines such as salves made of calendula or tinctures with hops, a sanctuary. Coloring cloth may not be necessary, but it adds more joy to life. That has value and so is another resource to be tapped into.
It's an amazing time in the garden. Everything is growing so quickly.
For the first time fruit set on my Orcas Pear.
The Highbush cranberry is covered in blossoms.
The lovage needs to be cut back and dehydrated.
There is volunteer Swiss Chard growing, also forget-me-nots and poppies. I let the Swiss Chard go to seed last year hoping this would happen.
On Saturday I went to one of the local garden sales. I bought goldenrod to add to the dye plant collection and a native honeysuckle (lonicera ciliosa). There are a variety of uses for the honeysuckle. Mostly I am hoping that it will someday be so prolific that I will be able to use it to make baskets.
I've been knitting on the bus during the morning. Eight inches = 20 miles traveled or 2 1/2 hours of travel time. Plus another 30 minutes of waiting time for an appointment. I'm making a headband with this. It's a cotton yarn made by Habu textiles.
I am thinking it would be nice to knit a white strip of fabric that could be plant dyed.
I also was able to visit the baby chicks at my parents. One of them is for me and will be added to my flock when she is full grown. She's a Welsummer and will lay dark brown eggs.
For some reason this all strikes me as practical. Sustainability and resiliency as the practical thing to do. And if that's the case, well...I learned that from my family.
Just the leaves of polygonum tinctorium + water + time. Amazing to me that someone was playing and discovered that the same leaves can dye fabric blue.
We need play for so many reasons.
Yesterday I went to a conference about the importance of play for children, presented by Bev Bos and Michael Leeman. I believe that it is just as important for adults. To be creative, to be problem solvers, to continue to learn and grow.
Little scraps of heart found their way into a stream of wool
carded and spun into yarn and then knitted,
another layer to the poncho
The little line curving from the dark towards the left is a piece of peacock feather, added by the woman I bought the yarn from (Schoonover farms).
I thought about how the layers are like strata and thought of bedrock.
From Home Ground, A Guide to the American Landscape:
"Strata are layers of sedimentary rock that form beds or bands of colored or textured material...Strata vary in thickness... Each bed contains fossils set down in a specific sequence with a definite mode of deposition-river silt, beach sand, coal swamp, sand dune, or lava." Defined by Mary Swander
"The rock that lies hidden deep beneath layers of topsoil and subsoil can be relied upon not to change its composition....It seems to lie immutable beneath our feet and serves as a foundation and parent material to the land, both structurally and chemically, since its mineral composition, permeability, and other characteristics may greatly influence the layer that forms above it." Defined by Barbara Kingsolver.
It may be hard to see the color, but the silk dyed in the indigo I harvested turned a pale aqua. The cottons and the wool didn't absorb much color.
My other wisp of silk blew away in the wind today. It was a darker aqua, perhaps because of the rust in the pot.
I found that the indigo that has been growing in the water was much easier to work with then the indigo that has been in the soil. It breaks down easier, which in turn, allows the color in the leaves to release better.
I have a theory that indigo that is grown in soil and well watered would likely be easier to work with as well. I have been stingy with the water this summer. Something to think about for next year.
I followed directions from here for this batch. I have more indigo so I'm going to try this and this.