Rhinebeck and the Brothers Zinzendorf

Last weekend, for the first time, I went to Rhinebeck (a.k.a. The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival). I am not a high-speed driver and I always take back roads, so via my route it was a three hour drive to get there. Two of those three hours involved a nerve-wracking creep through the foggy pre-dawn darkness, praying to St. Francis to keep all the small creatures away from my car. The last hour involved intense gratitude for the sunlight, eager glimpses of glorious foliage, and sorrow for the poor wee beasties on whose behalf, apparently, crepuscular New York drivers had neglected to invoke any animal protector. Continue reading “Rhinebeck and the Brothers Zinzendorf”

First Frost and Woad Thoughts

Where I live in Massachusetts, our first frost is usually the first or second week of October. I feel like it has been creeping later and later in recent years, but tonight (Friday October 12th) our forecasted low is 25 degrees. I always find the first frost to be a bitter-sweet moment in the gardening year. By the time it comes, Matthew and I are usually up to our eyeballs in chilis and tomatillos, there is no room in the fridge, and we are sick of watering and weeding and squishing bugs and trying to defend beets, corn, pumpkins, or what-have-you from unknown assailants…. Continue reading “First Frost and Woad Thoughts”

Recent Books

Back in September, I finished a custom order of 8 books, which was very satisfying. I used only naturally-dyed pattern weft, in linen, cottolin, and cotton (the warp and tabby wefts were commercial). I had a variety of weld-dyed yellow, madder-dyed pink and terra-cotta, and woad-dyed blue yarns to work with. They were all woven in an overshot pattern called Young Lovers Knot, which I have been using for my book cloth for about a year now.

You may recall my frustration earlier in the spring when I was weaving the cloth, and I was bored of weaving the same pattern over and over again. I complained about it at the time, and then got re-inspired when I bought some new tabby weft colors. I also switched from weaving the design star fashion, which creates boxes and distinct diagonal lines as you weave, to weaving rose fashion, which makes the motifs rounded and gives a sense of concentric circles rippling outward. Continue reading “Recent Books”