Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Mayo, Teasels, Travelling Scarves and Easter Bunnies

Got back from the wilds of Mayo yesterday, long drive, with lots of happy, happy, lollipop singing with the toddler. The weather was great for the first few days, then it got cold and wet. We did very little, gardening, eating, and playing on the sunny days, eating and playing on the raining days. I do love my mama's cooking! My camera decided to act up, so for once I have little or no photos...

Back to Kerry, and I was shovelling gravel at the Community Garden this morning. The course is going well, a bit more theory than I was expecting, but after the shovelling I didn't mind. I also signed up to help build a clay pizza oven at the garden. I wonder do I get free pizza's for life... I had planned on robbing my folks garden for cuttings, but we weren't organised enough, and I came back with just a few teasel plants for my dye/fibre patch. But I did get a nice bag of last years teasel heads. Teasels are a real pre-historic looking plant, they have curled leaves which hold water, and lots of little bugs get caught in it. They are great fro birds, who eat the seeds throughout winter, (picture on gardening.ie). These were supposed to have been used in carding wool, but I can't see how, they seem too delicate. Then somewhere else I read they were used for fulling fabric . I have enough now to experiment doing both. (Will post photos some other day...)

Waiting for me when I got back home was my Travelling Scarf! I have mentioned this before, you do a small section then post it on, that person does a small section, etc, until you have a mish-mash scarf that has been all over Europe! It was my first travelling project, and it took months longer than expected, but it was worth it. Next on the travelling/swap theme is with the Dublin Knit Collective who are organising a Dublin Dishcloth and Fair trade Swap. You make a dishcloth out of organic/fair trade cotton, add some PC goodies and hey presto! As I've been meaning to try make some dishcloth and scrubbers before, so this is a great reason to motivate myself..

I'm trying to finish off several projects I have lying around before I start on any more. I've been busy today washing my hand spun silk/merino, and the last of the brown Kerry stuff. I will finally finish my hooded scarf. And for the Easter Weekend I plan on hanging round the streets of Tralee, where there is lots of entertainment (hopefully) on for the Samhlaoicht Bumble Bee Festival.


Anonymous said...

Glad you had a good trip.

I wouldn't have believed it myself, but there are some weaving factories (up in Scotland?) that still use a teasel machine to comb the nap on their cloth! If you imagine a wall of teasel heads, that's pretty much what it looks like. I seem to remember that the cloth is gently pulled down the wall, on a roller system, to brush the nap in finishing.
So you'd better get growing if you're going to have your own wall!
rockpool candy

Stitchlily said...

I'd love to see it in action, as I still can't get my head round it. Well, I have 3 now planted in my garden, and they take 2 years to take properly, but after that, they are pretty invasive, will pop up everywhere.So,giveme10 years I might have enough for a mini-wall!

Good luck with the Belfast Show, wish I could join you!!