Back in the middle of the year, I invested in possum wool sock yarn. I have been knitting away… though I must admit the experience of losing the last pair on public transport has had me fretful for my own carelessness! The second pair are blue. I clearly didn’t take any really early pictures.
But here we are on a houseboat, where friends have been working on (above) tea and treats and (below) a puzzle. I’ve finished the first sock and here is the ball that is to become the second sock.
The pattern is what my dear friend has named ‘whimsical cabling’.
To put it another way, I cable when I feel like it, in whichever direction seems like a good idea at the time.
And now these socks are off to Denmark, where it is heading into winter as we enter into summer. The world is a rather amazing place…
It had been a cool summer up to the point when I wrote this post. Quite unlike a usual December in these parts. So I have been making the most of it and planting away. This time, rhagodia (seaberry saltbush), enchylaena tomentosa (ruby saltbush) and two other varieties I have not identified–one upright silver leafed variety and one that scrambles on the ground.
I am gradually filling out spaces where the tree was recently felled as it looks like the trunk is there to stay.
Here’s one I planted earlier (foreground), in case you’re wondering if any ever grow!
Then over to the culvert. Ruby saltbush at the top edges.
There are some steep banks, so I am hoping the scrambling saltbush is up to the job.
Next, some serious weeding. There is one local patch where most of my losses are to the poisoner. And, I am trying to avoid the poisoner’s attention arriving at the culvert plantings. I think weeding is the answer for now. It is the best thing I can do to ensure these plants get big enough to make it. Once the low growing plants are established, I can consider putting in larger ones. or trees. I am having sheoak sprouting success right now.
And now for a gratuitous picture of two maned wood ducks with their ducklings, running downhill toward water as fast as those teeny legs can take them. Some days walking to the bus is the best part of the working day!
Now that everything is clean and dry, I thought I might show some outcome pictures. First there was a linen gauze scarf. I am hoping it might offer some portable sun protection for my neck over summer. Later there was some clamp action.
These are handkerchiefs I made some time back from a buttery yellow sheet that passed beyond being able to be used on a bed. I simply did not prepare for woad success and expected far less colour. Then I remembered that I had intended to stitch and ye them with indigo…
I do like the way they turned out! I am still figuring out whether multiple dips actually does give me deeper colour. If I am at the start of something and not having a – success experience with woad, I will experiment so I can make comparisons. So far I have not been convinced that multiple dips gives deeper colour. I am not sure whether my perception is incorrect, I have skipped a vital step, or I have prepared some of my vats in a way that means colour gets stripped out and re-deposited, which is how it seems to me. It will be simple enough to run a test and figure out whether it’s my own eye and mind. My technique will surely improve if I keep going.
And finally, as the Ph of the vats dropped into the zone more suitable for wool and there was still colour, in went grey merino locks. LOTS of woad dyed wool! So there is woad spinning yet to come. Happiness!
A guerilla gardener needs a propagation plan. Mine starts in the chook run, sieving compost and soil turned every day by our six little helpers.
Then to the endlessly recycled pots, on the potting bench my dad made from an old kitchen sink. It’s a great height and has a handy drain down into a bucket below. My bucket can sit in the sink with pots on the sideboards and everything is well.
This week I planted more saltbush seed, soaked these prostrate wattle seeds in boiling water and planted them, and pricked out the seafoam statice seedlings in the foreground above. Then, inspired by Rebecca from needleandspindle and PIP magazine, I made some gardener’s hand scrub! Just what a guerilla gardener needs…
Could I stop at … ahem… was it twelve? I lost count of the bags I had already made…and no, as usual, I couldn’t stop. I had one more piece of silk that started out a pale blue and ended up more like this.
There were a few pieces of cream or bronze fabric left and they were pieced in.
The first has already gone to a lovely friend I was lucky enough to visit with when I went to Brisbane, and the second to a house warming. And I love the buds, especially! Well. I am ready for any number of occasions for gifts now! In the meantime I am still trying to work out how to wind back the Christmas gifting obligations in my family. How to honour the ideas of generosity and reciprocity and love that perhaps moved this tradition to come into existence, but to detach from its wasteful and consumerist present. Maybe I have to begun by asking that I not be given gifts. Or perhaps talking about how my daughter has clearly decided that from now on she will only buy me second hand gifts. She reached this decision without discussing it with me specifically–and it has really made me feel that she sees me! Well. One step at a time.