Sunday, February 23, 2014


I may have learned when I was visited Iceland that there was such a thing as a traditional Icelandic shawl.

After I visited there, I found a book English title "Three Cornered and Long Shawls"by Sigríður Halldórsdóttir (that's my name in my next life).

It is available from those nice people at School House Press, with of course English translation.

Helene has translated it into French (yes, I was a French major…no…I won't be needing it in French)

I love the natural tones, and last year I found Kauni Effektgarn (yeah, Danish not Icelandic) in natural tones.  Lazy as I am, I thought, that this would work nicely for one of these Icelandic shawls.  I opted to not go with one of Sigurdur's documented patterns, rather, one of Evelyn's, the Icelandic Poppy Lace Shawl

It's large and I rather love it

So in exploring more about Kauni

I find this

and this

and this

Yep, there might be more Kauni in my future...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Lovely Gift

Having experienced joyful adventures in indigo dyeing, I felt the urge to do more natural dyeing. I love warm orange tones and bought some sandalwood dye powder from Dharma Trading. I also purchased some alum as a mordant, (although I did learn that one can make one's own alum using "tin" foil and a blender, no thanks…)

Simultaneous to this…I have lucky Sunday afternoons when I knit with J and S.   S  one day told us about a friend of hers.   Mary,  of Irish heritage, had purchased some lovely Irish wool and started a sweater. When  Mary became ill with cancer, she could not finish it.  S helped Mary to figure out what to do with her belongings (I mean really, can you imagine visiting your best friend in her last year and helping to determine the disposition the of all her precious belongings? What strength S has...).  Mary wanted something "good" done with the yarn.

S, fast to oblige, took the yarn and made the promise to her friend that she would knit up the yarn for good purpose.   Here's just a part of what she has from Mary's wool.  Unlabeled, soft and cozy

There is also a sweater fragment that we decided would make a fine hat with a bit of seaming

S has a place in her heart for Afghanistan. She wants to knit Mary's wool into items for Afghans for Afghans.  However the natural white of the wool won't do for this cause.

Clearly, a dying party is called for!

First step:

Clean the dye "studio"  lol  Before


second step:  find your respirator mask

(Yes, that would be me…reading glasses count as eye protection, no?)

Third step: setup dye pots of which there were three

Natural Sandalwood  (a lovely orange tone, I will do another post on this natural dyeing process)

Synthetic Acid Dye (a lovely Irish Hills green from Country Classic; used Key Lime with a little Teal thrown in to get a darker-than-lime green)

Natural leftover almost-exhausted indigo dyepot (a lovely ice blue)

here are some of the results

There's lots more yarn, will do again with different colors…now, on to knitting!