I have been crazy busy getting all of the plants gathered, dried and packaged for my dye plant CSA, and just finished boxing up Shipment #2! There are still more plants to be gathered before the snow flies, and cuts off my access to the high country, but I have been on vacation from my 'regular' job this week - fall break in our district at the end of the first quarter. That has helped me get many small steps accomplished, so DH and I took off Tuesday afternoon and headed to our Forest City cabin. 25 miles can be a world away!
Autumn is definitely present there, with black locust and aspen leaves in various shades of yellows, though the black oaks haven't turned color yet. The weather has warmed back up during the day, but is chilly at night. I decided it was time to make a new hat for the coming cold season, and spent much of my time knitting.
I finished my hat by midafternoon yesterday, tried it on and then didn't want to take it off! It was just the extra warmth I needed while still getting to wear my crop pants and short sleeved shirt. I am especially pleased with this hat, an adaptation of the Slouchy Hat pattern in Harvesting Color. The yarn is some of the wonderfully squooshy Rambouillet I have been spinning at many public spin-ins for the past few years. I used a lot of my yarns to dye with this summer, and ended up with plenty of colors for the striping. The orange is from madder roots, the blue is indigo-dyed, the purple from logwood, and the gold is from a boiled-up pomegranate someone threw in a dyepot while we were working at Anni Redding's back in May.
The light olive color is a bit more complicated... I wanted to be able to demonstrate some dye processes while giving a talk at Ridgestock in August, so I set up a jar of zinnias and black-eyed susans in my solar oven. Meanwhile, I had yarn soaking in my rusty-object mordant jar. Later, when I got back home, I simmered the sun-mordanted yarn in the flower water.
As you can tell, my pre-dawn photo taken by myself with my phone won't win any photography awards, but you can see a detail I decided to add to the original pattern. I have been admiring the hats in the knitting mags that are trimmed with cute little buttons, and as I was knitting, I made a reverse stockinette placket for the buttons. This hat is worn inside-out, so that portion is flat stockinette. When we got home last night, I had a pot of elderberry dye to simmer and time to paw through my button collection and find five small wood buttons. Then, I used a nickel as a template and cut five circles from some felted wool that I threw into the last of the pokeberry dye baths a few weeks ago. The berry red is a bit different from the rest of the hat, but looks good against the light olive and with the wood. I am so delighted with this local hat, made by me from start to finish!
Now, to head off for a quickie vacation visiting the in-laws in Lake Tahoe for a few days... I've earned the rest and have a cozy, stylin' hat to wear too. Happy autumn weekend, dear ones!