Friday, May 23, 2008


More from my Shear Spirit knitted -but- not- shown sample vault, modeling by the visiting sister who was told she couldn't get on the road home until we'd shot all the samples. Glad you're not related to me?

patterns: The Noho Boho Hat and Berkshire Tote from Shear Spirit0508FamVar_257

yarn: Botanical Shades hemp blend from Jody MacKenzie in Mulberry and Bittersweet.

Here's the tricky thing: Jody's website is down :-(
You can buy her yarns this weekend at the Massachusetts Sheep & Woolcraft Fair , and at some yarn purveyors. It is worth tracking her down. She is a master natural dyer, using botanicals in the most intensely wonderful hues. Most of her yarns are wool or wool/mohair blends but she gave us patterns for the book in her wool/mohair/hemp blend so that is what I tested. It is worsted weight and a little stiffer than 100% wool yarns, but still comfy to touch..

needles: oh puh-lease, I knit these a year ago. I can tell you I swatched for the hat but not the bag.

notes: Matchy matchy = not usually me. I mean, shoes and bag? Never. Mittens , scarf and hat? Nope. I feel dressed to the nines having these at my ready. The tote is a perfect book & sandwich size.
Fun fact: In Shear Spirit , Jody is associated with Tregellys Farm in Massachusetts as their dyeing partner. Her studio was there until a move last winter to Maine. So you can still go to Tregellys and visit the fabulous animals, walk the labryinth, picnic by the stupa but no yarn for sale. They do have wonderful weavings for purchase in their shop in Shelburne Falls, so you don't have to leave the area empty handed!

This is a skein of sportweight Botanical Artisan Yarn I brought home from Jody at Maryland S&W, in Poppy, dyed with madder, osage & cochineal. I'm thinking socks, nice cheery , poppy red socks. Maybe with cables.
Just so you know I practice what I preach.


Carole Knits said...

I've bought yarn from her and I made socks for Dale. Love the hat and bag!

Mary Lou said...

I love red socks -- they seem warmer. nice color

twinsetellen said...

I so agree about not being matchy matchy - but these work together without being cloyingly cute. I love the shape on the bag, too.

craftivore said...

Your sister doesn't look too tortured. Love the hat and bag. Whenever anyone says "matchy matchy" the whiney voice of Michael Kors on Project Runway immediately echoes in my head.

Sunflowerfairy said...

Someday I'm going to have a labyrinth on my property. You know, when I have property...that's not bordered by a boat and overgrown half dead weeds.

Cristina said...

Jody's recipes for using the Earthues extracts I bought from her at the Maryland S&W two years ago are a great intro to plant dyeing, too.

Marsha said...

I'm nearly finished with the 3rd of my vacation projects. I've posted about the first two and only a hint of the 3rd. I'm sure you'll know what it

Cristina said...

You know, I got into plant dyeing because the person who encouraged me said it's no more difficult than making soup--she was right--except no taste-testing. You can dye paper, mother of pearl buttons, whole garments, afghan squares, mittens, etc--not just yarn that can feel unwieldy (but isn't if you take the time to make a few simple ties through the hank). Do it!!! Start with black walnuts in September. Apparently, there's a liqueur Hungarians distill from those, so maybe a little bootlegging on the side? Who knew?