Summer-y in Scotland

The last two weeks we had over our mum-in-law. We haven’ t seen each other for two years so there was a lot of excitement on both sides when she was to come and a lot of chatting and showing her around once she was with us. She wanted to see our “daily paths” so that she could visualize them better when we exchange phonecalls and e-mails. We took her for some day trips too since the weather was beautiful! During the whole two weeks it had been raining only once – in the night. The first two pictures are from the River Islands on the river Ness here in Inverness and the next two pictures are from the west coast, from the place called Ullapool. Gorgeous nature! 

Having a visitor I did’t want to embark on any big fibre project + because it has been so sunny and dry and almost summery + because we are going back to Slovakia for the whole July! I gave my summer wardrobe a thought or two. Usually I don’t need summer clothes as most of the year it is quite cool here and for those few warm days – ah, who would bother. But in Slovakia it can be pretty hot (over 30 degrees) – so I decided to alter some of the clothes I bought either in sales or charity shops over the last two years, mainly because I liked the fabric very much. In the evenings I was narrowing or shortening some of them and now I am ready for the fun and sun (which is far behind the clouds at the moment). 

I remember there was a talk on Sharon B’s blog if to alter/mend family clothes or not (using skills and time for something rather creative). I am one of those who do. I like to think about past days when craft was not (only) a hobby but necessity, people often had to learn different crafts to survive, to be warm, healthy and not hungry. What about you, do you mend/alter family clothes?


And I was dyeing too. (It is such an “here and there” activity and a  lot of very slow heating and very slow cooling and waiting…)

This time it was madder root which is a historical dye and produces colours ranging from red to pink salmon. The quality of the colour depends a lot on the quality of the root, the best red is obtained from the Turkish madder. The dyebath’s temperature has to stay bellow 60 degrees, otherwise the colour will get brownish. In the case of madder the longer the wool stays in the dyebath the stronger colour is achieved. The dyebath can be used 2-3 times, there is so much pigment in the root. Of course, the colour is paler,but still pretty. I still have the second batch of fibre in the madder dyebath. I have decided to keep it there for seven days and see what happens. Will let you know!


4 thoughts on “Summer-y in Scotland

  1. The wool looks wonderful! These shades are gorgeous.

    BTW, my daughter chose one of your cards to give to her Spanish teacher today, on her last day of class along with a felted scarf she made. Her teacher loved your card. She oohed and ahhed. One of her classmates has a Scot father and they talk about Scotland a lot, so Sophie was proud to tell everyone that the card came from a Slovakian in Scotland!

  2. You are right, Kneek! This natural dyeing is a lot of work, I haven´t done synthetic dyeing yet, so can´t compare. But these shades keep me up. Plus that connection with nature through not only the wool but also the dye plant.
    (card 🙂 )

  3. glad you’ve been doing nice things with your mum-in-law – I missed you! I wish I knew how to alter clothes, I do sometimes buy things from charity shops even when they don’t fit if the fabric is special – but I don’t really know what to do with them. I should just have a go! Your dyeings with the madder are lovely, like sunsets.

  4. “daily paths” – yes, this is how I like to visit places. I like to get the feeling of daily rhythms, the adaptations to season changes – the thought patterns that are built into a person by the effects of their locale.

    Mend/alter clothes, for the most part I don’t alter or mend, save perhaps a button or a small tear. I do reuse the fabrics! Can’t let them go.

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