Digging up Madder Roots

After a glorious and fairly mild autumn, the colder weather arrived about a week and a half or two weeks ago. We have had at- or below-freezing temperatures every night since then. Fortunately it’s been warm and sunny in the day times, so the ground isn’t frozen. It has also been very dry, so the soil isn’t wet or heavy. Perfect weather for digging up the madder bed in my fiber and dye plant garden at Bramble Hill Farm. So, on Saturday I headed over there in the morning… a bright but cold and windy day. Continue reading “Digging up Madder Roots”

Smitten The Pippi Pie

Smitten, our beautiful and sweet Pippi, died last Monday, October 21st, 2013. Our hearts are sad and heavy, and we miss her in a million ways. Looking back through our photos of her, I found so many images that demonstrate how much her life with us was shaped by my fiber-related pursuits, and by the book-binding experiments of both Matthew and myself.

She fit into our lives so perfectly. She loved to be near us while we were working, and always seemed to find a way to make a project into a comfy bed or an exciting game. Since I started this blog, I have included many cute photos of her. In this post I tried to avoid duplicates and to dig back a little further into our lives together (there are a couple repeats, though, that I couldn’t resist). Here is a glimpse of the life of the Pippi as fiber-cat:

This one is from 2000 or 2001. It’s one of our oldest photos of her, when she was a tiny kitten. She is stretching in front of my spinning wheel (a recent gift from my mother and my Aunt Peggy).smitten kitten

Another early one of Smitten excited by the possibilities of milkweed bast fiber.

smitten and milkweed

Continue reading “Smitten The Pippi Pie”

Hemming and Hanging

Over the past week or two I tied half-damascus knots to secure the warp ends on my ryas and hemmed them all. It took a long time, and even though I was very careful, they’re more on the “organic” side of a straight line than the “geometric” side. But they are still awesome.

Our cat Smitten, also known as Pippi or The Pippi, has been very unwell lately and not at all up to her usual high jinks. So, it was a pleasant surprise when she jumped up on the desk to “help” me hem this rya. Pippi likes to help, even when she’s feeling poorly. Here she is looking comfy and not wanting to be moved. Continue reading “Hemming and Hanging”