Lichen dyeing

While walking in the park a couple weeks ago, the green of a clump of lichen on the ground caught my attention. I’d never noticed anything like it before. Had it been blown there during the wind? The next day at the Yarn n Yak group I showed the women pictures I’d taken in the hopes that one of them would recognize the type of lichen. Sure enough, Kathleen is an avid dyer who immediately identified it as Lungwort.

A google search of Lungwort brought up only flowers. No lichen in sight. So I queried my FB friends – last year the local spinning guild held a lichen dyeing workshop so someone was bound to know. Several names were given, but it was Oak Rag that lead me to the scientific name of Lobaria pulmonaria Bingo!

The next time my neighbor and I walked through the park we intently looked for more Tree Lungwort and gathered a bag full. It’s funny how we don’t notice something at our feet until we really see it then we realize that we just hadn’t paid attention before.

A few days later I finished spinning the 112 grams of Romeldale/CVM wool for the ACHG rare breed wool spin. It’s a beautiful grey color but I was eager to use the Lungwort for dyeing.
Impatient to dye I plyed the two turtles (one spun with my Phoenix, the other with an Egret) with my Victoria wheel.

Once again it was Yarn n Yak day. I took  a piece of the Tree Lungwort and was delighted that Kathleen brought her Tree Lungwort dyeing samples.  The  darkest  yarn  had soaked in the dye bath for eight hours, the other four were submerged for shorter periods of time.
Wednesday I brought a pot of water to a low simmer then lined the bottom with a layer of lichen, then the yarn on top, followed by another thick layer of lichen and pressed it all down so it was submerged in the hot bath where it rested for the next 8 hours.

The result:
I’m thrilled with the depth of the colors and the fact that there are variations. The dye bath was still very dark brown so the next day I rummaged through my stash and found the very long term project. About a year after I began spinning I embarked on what I call The Walking Sweater Project. Over the years I’ve spun about a pound of BFL with my spindles while walking. When two turtles are spun they’re plyed and stashed until that day when I’ve spun enough for a sweater.
I selected two skeins. The first bathed in the dye pot for 6.5 hours, the second skein was added half way through the day for a three hour duration.
I’m chuffed with the outcome!
There’s still a great deal of dark brown in the water so after I got home from church this afternoon I added yet another Walking Spindle skein. It will stay overnight on the wood stove. I’ll add another oak log and close the damper enough that it should keep going most of the night.

I think I’ve been bitten by the dyeing bug.

Feeling very thankful for the amazing creation that we live in!

And tickled by today’s date of 02-02-2020!


Weaving into 2020

2020 opened with three rugs started on the loom in time for the visiting grandchildren to try their hands at weaving.
Feathers was thrilled to continue weaving until supper time.
Wesley also loved it but, he was quite taken with my mountain dulcimer.He and Faith had fun playing some simple duets together.After supper we played Life. It’d been a couple of decades since Ed & I had played that game when our kids were still in their teens.
A fun thing for me was to watch when our daughter-in-law, Lacey, arrived after hanging out with Sarah all afternoon: as she walked in the door and saw Faith weaving, she stopped and stared at the loom then zoomed right to the backside to inspect the warp, the warping beam and heddles. She was absolutely fascinated with this thing that she’d barely noticed before. Instantaneous love! We could almost see her mind going hundreds of miles an hour as she took in all the possibilities with the harnesses, treadles, warp and weft. Before she even threw the shuttle she was dreaming of buying one. I really hope that she will be able to in the not to distant future. She has an engineer’s brain that loves solving problems, schematics, and being creative. Plus the kids like to weave. A win-win.

They went home with one green rug before I had the chance to photograph it so I have only the two others that were made between the last week of December and the 4th of January.
Pippin  on  the  rug  destined  for  the  hall. Unfortunately he loves chewing on it. Until we can thoroughly train him not to chew on it it’s in the office where I can keep an eye on him when he’s on it.

Sunday Rest

Grateful for Sunday afternoon rest!
The much needed pause at the beginning of the week. Down time.
Return to your rest, my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.
Psalm 116:7

I am grateful for the freedom to worship the One who created us for relationship. And deeply  grateful for the Holy Spirit who comforts, guides, and counsels!Grateful for the faithful who have prayed and worship in this building for 125 years.

Grateful to have finally finished the left side of Ed’s vest. Only the remaining upper right front to go and then the neck and arm hole ribbing.

Grateful that over half the fiber, shown on the spindle above, has been spun. It might become a scarf, or shawl depending on how the finished yarn turns out and the yardage.

What five things are you grateful for today?

Silver Falls

When I heard it was to be another beautiful day a week ago Thursday I  messaged a friend who recently moved to Oregon: did she want to go with me to the Silver Falls State Park?

It’s not often I take an entire day off from work so the day of fresh air, sunshine, exercise, and nature was a much needed change of pace and rejuvenation.

South Falls
The Canyon Trail taking us behind South Falls
The slant of sun on the moss and Autumn foliage.

A number of times I swim in that pool, below when I was young. Cold and  refreshing!A spindle and cotton accompanied the walk.
Except there was too much to see!

Approaching Lower South Falls. Stepping stones for dry passage behind L.South Falls. 
Someone in a white jacket easing their way across the stones behind the falling curtain.
Grateful for State Parks
Grateful for health to enjoy the walk
Grateful to live in an area with so much natural beauty!

Grateful that while the clock points to almost 10pm, it will be set back an hour so I’m really going to bed at 9.

Practicing Gratitude

November, the month of practicing gratitude, and blogging here. I almost forgot until checking gmail before shutting the computer down before bed and seeing the date remembered.

#1 Grateful for a beautiful Autumn so far.
Crisp days with lots of sunshine. This week temperatures dropped into the low 20s F before dawn to sprinkle frost on all exposed surfaces. The catalpa tree in front of our house held its leaves until the second morning in a row of 24F temps. To see a tree almost completely shed all of its leaves in the span of a few hours is to watch leaves plummeting, raining to the ground. One day. Yesterday Ed climbed onto the roof to sweep them off then we raked the leaves onto a large tarp and scattering them over the garden area out back. As we raked our little dog jumped and scurried through the leaves that were almost as deep as he is tall. His first experience with fallen leaves! I’d pick him up and gently throw him into a deep pile where he sank out of sight then exploded through the very dry leaves and charge back to me. “Again!” his body shouted.

#2 Grateful for pets! We got Pippin when he was 12 weeks old having spoken for a pup from the parents almost a year earlier. He’s chi/mini-pin, he’s more min-pin in attitude, appearance and the way he loves to jump and stand on his hind legs.
One Saturday morning in August Ed went to coffee at a friends. When he returned he was carrying Mack, the Siamese, informing me that he was now ours. The owners wanted to do some road tripping and needed to rehome him. Pippin and Mack celebrate their 7 month birthday today. Well, Pippin does. He truly was born on April fools day. We considered naming him Jester… We’re not sure the exact day that Mack was born, only how many weeks he was when he came to us which put him about the same day as the dog. They have endless fun together.

Our older cat, Ebo, was NOT thrilled to have either invade its space but he puts up with the youngsters tolerably well.
#3 A quiet evening, a snug warm house, and the time to contemplate the day and practice gratitude.
I will always love quiet solitude after a busy day! Ed enjoys reading awhile when he first goes to bed. I begin the day with prayer and scripture and in the evening I like to review the day, make a list for tomorrow then sit in quietness with God. Often I spin or knit as I think and pray then read a few more verses to have in my mind for mulling over as I fall to sleep.

I am grateful for all my blessings!


I simply can’t let slide at least one post during this week+ of great date palindrome.

How have past ten months have slipped past so quickly without one blog post?

Autumn is quickly overtaking summer. Soaking rains and wind gusts have already brushed the warmth and smell of summer from the air.  Summer in this area was brilliantly lovely this year. We had more temperate days with scattered days of refreshing rain but mostly sun, though only a handful of days where the thermometer climbed above 90F.
We didn’t take go anywhere for a vacation. Work has kept us busy but the pace slowed down enough to swim, even if only for 20 minutes, and sit in the back yard or under the apple tree and spin or knit for half an hour before it was time to fix supper.

The Idaho grandkids came to Oregon two back to back  weekends. The first was with their mom which mostly involved her Oregon family ending the week at our friend’s campout swimming, fishing, and roasted marshmallows together.
J & L decided to surprise Ed for his birthday the following weekend. The kids were up for another long trek to Oregon! They took off work shortly after noon, spent the night at Aurora’s and showed up here the next morning bearing donuts.

Thankful for family, and the good memories of a good summer!