Sunday, January 16, 2011

14 days and counting...

I have been so busy in the last couple of weeks- so busy I have forgotten to post about woolly things that are happening!
In 14 days everything starts to happen! We become property owners on Salt Spring Island, and my new online wool shop, Kattikloo opens for business. Yay!

And with all these great events come lots of decisions (not that there haven't been multitudes already, just to get us here!).  On our property we'll be buidling a fibre arts and wood working studio, a spa house, and that order. It's quite practical really- we need to have the studio open to start earning a little more of a living. Then we need the spa house, so that our bodies can handle building our home. That part is clear, but we can't decide what kind of house to build....and we need to make up our minds pretty fast. We figure that a week on the land will tell us exactly what we need to do. We've built everything from stick frame, to brick, to cow dung/earth plastered straw we have a good idea of what we do want to do....and what we don't.  In the running at the moment are a lovely stick frame (but built to LEED specifications) 1920's style cottage, or a modern greenhouse with lots of glass. They almost couldn't be further apart. Every time we go to Foxglove Farm and Garden Supply we think greenhouse....with more walls...passive solar...local timbers...mmmmm...lots of plants, inside and out...

Then we sway back to the cottage....(sorry- no picture of that....but it is really, really nice!)

And I've been contacting all my woolly sources and searching out lovely organic and local wools; yarns, rovings, batts and locks, that I am dyeing with both plant and low impact dyes. And, like the houses,  I keep going back and forth between natural plant dyeing.....and the low impact acid dyes....each have their advantages. I have dreamt of having my own plant dyed textile company for years. In my twenties, I was used to call it Tartan Gardens, as it was going to be in Scotland, reproducing with local plants the original wool colours of the tartan cloths...not anymore.  We always come back to ideas, but in a different way...and that's a good thing! I have been dyeing with plant dyes for 15 years now, and once produced  plant dyed clothing line for women and children, in collaboration with a fair trade group in India. It truly is a passion of mine...but as I dye this week, I wonder if it should be something I keep for fun.  I also love color- I do love the soft tones of the plant dyes, but also the crisp brights of the acid dyes. They fit so well with my current favourite color palettes of whites with bright fresh splashes of colour, influenced by Scandinavian design.
I think for this decision I will compromise- or enjoy the best of both worlds, and dye tonal skeins with plant dyes and variegated skeins with the low impact acid dyes....letting each stand at their best...Everday I have been dyeing wool in huge vats of plant colours...and dreaming of doing so in my new studio space...

Lots of good, constructive work ahead...lots more decisions....and lots of woolly goodness!
Warm wishes,

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