Friday, 27 August 2010

Sunshine and Sailing?

Well there has been a lack of both sunshine and sailing for Skipper and me lately which we plan to put right from now on.

We started the month of August thoroughly enjoying the spectacle of Cowes Week, spending our time down on the seafront from the Parade to Gurnard watching the yachts enjoy the racing in the breezy conditions.
As our little yacht is not a "racer" we keep out of the Solent that week!

However it is still Dinghy racing evening every Wednesday in the River Medina, so we get our thrills and spills racing our Mirror against a competitive little group of Mirror dinghies.

Like all mirror dinghies of a certain age they all have their characters and plenty of leaks and creaks. These little old boats don't like to go out in more than a F4 or they will remind you of all their leaks and creaks in a very unnerving way!

But when there is Silverware to win, it is worth trying to get a few more points on the board and attempt the conditions.

Let's just say there has been a well earned drink or two in the pub afterwards with salty tales of bruised and broken bits on boats and crew and one particular evening some very muddy feet!!

Skipper and I are currently in 3rd position due to the fact that we missed two weeks racing while on holiday sailing the Greek Isles (well that what we say in the pub at the end of the evening, having a cider and banter with our fellow competitors!)

But the last two weeks racing has been cancelled due to awful weather conditions, so we haven't got many more races to try and make up the points.

That same weather has meant we haven't even been out on our little yacht for a while so we are hoping September will be a month of sunshine, sailing and silverware.

Photo of Skipper
sailing our Mirror Dinghy.

Friday, 13 August 2010

Natural Dyes

Recently a group of us got together for a wonderful day dyeing our handspun yarns with natural dyes. It was my first attempt at this process and I'm really pleased with the colours we achieved.

I always believe the best way to learn any craft is to have a go; be "hands on"and with the skills, experience and knowledge generously shared by the dyers in the group, I learnt so much.

I used some sample skeins of my own handspun Jacob fleece along with some grey fleece I spun earlier in the year and some Angora kid yarn.

The whole process was done outside on a charcoal and wood fire.

The natural material was various plant materials of bark, leaves eg. rosemary (which smelt wonderful while boiling!)

Mordants and assistants were used.

The colours are so lovely and as they are all natural they always sit well together - just as in nature, I can't wait to get my knitting needles clicking up a new design.