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Joy…

I don’t usually share too much about my kids.  That is not what this blog is about.  Yet last night I had a moment…  My oldest, who just turned 17 and is nearly grown and flown has started blacksmithing classes.  Yesterday was his second session.  These sessions are 3 or more hours long.  He is SOOOO excited.  Here is a picture of him his first time. imag1612.jpg Normally, I don’t share pics of my kiddos, but this was just so wonderful.  Yesterday, I picked him up from his second session.  I walked into the workshop (they apparently don’t call it a forge) and he and his teacher were the only ones still there.  So I walked up behind him while they were looking at some hand outs and I lay my head on my son’s shoulder.  (he just gained the last bit in meeting my height) anyway, his teacher who is always calm, happy and joyful greeted me and Iain said hi.  We continued talking for a bit and my son moved away towards the door and smiled.  I realized in that moment that he was just “happy”.  Happy in a way I had not seen in a while.  He is a positive kid, but he is in his junior year and as I have blogged, we are having our issues with school etc….  To see him so happy without any stress or baggage.  It was powerful.  I have been thinking about it all day.

It’s why I spin.  I am so very glad that my son has found his happy place.  The thing that feeds his soul.  That place he can go and just create and leave the world behind for a few hours.  I feel that way when I am deep into my spinning.  My ideas are whirling in my head like a river, my hands are drafting and my feet are treadling.  I can forget all the cares and concerns that bog me down.  I can stop being the adult for a minute and just play with the fiber and wonder “what if I?”

I finished my boneyard-ish shawl. (Based on the Boneyard shawl pattern by Steven West)  It turned out great. 20170118_085526.jpg It’s heavier than mine and maybe heavier than my husbands, but I don’t wear his enough to have a good comparison.  My original shawl is superwash Merino, nylon and bamboo.  this shawl is 50% Alpaca, 40% wool (combination of Merino and CVM) and 10% Bombyx silk.  It does not have the same number of stripes as the other two I knit.  I ended up playing chicken with the yarn ball at the end. imag1613.jpg Knowing that I did not have enough for a full 12 rows and 3 garter rows at bind off, I made the decision to just start garter rows (now the original pattern makes more sense) I think I did about 5 garter rows before binding off.

I dyed with snake weed on Monday.  I wanted to see if I could get the green my friend Ric always gets from it.  I only had a small amount so I only used one of my CVM Skeins.  I simmered the dried dye stuff in water for about an hour and then I added the skien.  I simmered that in the dye for about an hour and then I made a 2% iron solution (to dry weight of the skein) and took the skein out and added the iron to the dye pot, then I put the skein back in and simmered that.  It was not as green as I wanted.  I thought about it a bit and then sprinkled a bit more iron(not a ton, think adding spices to soup) into the pot.  Within just a few minutes, the skein turned a deeper green.  Because Iron can make wool brittle, once I got a color I liked, I removed the skein and allowed it to cool in a bowl for about 10-15 min and then I rinsed it in water of a similar temp.  I really liked the color I got.  20170118_085831.jpg

In the above pic, the top skein is the cota + iron I did over the weekend, the bottom is the snakeweed + iron.  as you can see it is more of a sage green with fewer yellow tones.  I now know where I can get more snakeweed when it blooms.  We camped there this fall and snakeweed was everywhere!  So I am planning a visit again to harvest some when It’s in bloom again.

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