Saturday, June 16, 2018

A Good Yarn

Another pair of socks has jumped off my needles. This time it’s a not-quite-plain sock using my usual Damselfly’s Basic Socks pattern but with a baby cable ribbed cuff and an Eye of Partridge heel stitch.

I apologise for the rather dismal quality of the photo - I really should have taken another better one - but I hope you get the idea anyway. The yarn was 2- 50g skeins of the sadly discontinued Phildar Preface that was originally white but I dyed it in an experiment with snow dyeing with acid dyes two winters ago. I thought it was kind of boring but in the end I kind of like the wee splashes of purple and orange and brown on a darker brown base. At least they’re pretty evenly distributed! I made the legs quite long so the cuffs would show above my Blundstone boots. I hate it when all my hard work knitting socks is hidden completely plus the wooly padding is nice to have on my shins. I’ve been reinvigorated with the idea of knitting more complex socks after a long run of plain-plain-plain and these ones are kind of a push in that direction. I already have the yarn and pattern picked out but I’m not ready to start them quite yet.

So I never finished the tales of the last yarn dyeing episode. (Unless you’ve seen my Instagram where I told part of the story.) Backing right up, at least a month or so ago, Thom pruned our purple smoke bush (Cotinus coggygria) and gave me some bark peelings to play with for dye. I soaked it in water with added soda ash to somewhere around pH 10, covered the bucket with a lid and just ignored it completely! When I finally decided it had been hanging about much too long, it was surprisingly not furry with mould but definitely somewhat slimy. And stinky! The pH had gone down to about 5 so I added soda ash water again to get it back up to neutral or just above and simmered it (outside, of course!) for awhile. After I seived out all the plant matter and sludge it didn’t look especially exciting but I dipped a skein of white previously alum-mordanted Cloudborn Highland Fingering wool into it. I didn’t leave it in the pot for more than a moment because I wanted a very light colour and it was turning a tan colour quite quickly! When I pulled it out of the pot the tan colour shifted quickly to yellow and I immediately rinsed it to keep it as light as possible. I’m sure it would have been considerably darker if I had let it simmer longer and left it to dry as usual before rinsing! I think the dye in smoke bush is similar to that in weld where the dyepot itself looks rather unprepossessing but it contains a strong fast colour anyway, especially with a slightly higher pH than usual.

The end result was pretty:

The colour is even and perfect for my intended use (along with a skein of the same yarn in Espresso Heather), the Study Hall shawl from the latest First Fall 2018 issue of Knitty. The only difficulty was I had to wash the skein several times in Orvus and rinse to try to get the foul stink of the well-fermented smoke bush out of it! Now that it’s aired and dry though it doesn’t smell any more. Whew!

But that’s not all I dyed. You’ll remember my pretty lac-dyed sock yarn from the last post. I decided that I wanted the other 5 skeins of that sock yarn (more about the brand later) to be a more muted brownish-purple. Also using lac but with the addition of my old friend cutch to tone it down. I didn’t realise how intense the lac can be however! Even with only 2% lac and 10% cutch it was definitely too bright so I threw in the rest of the stinky smoke bush pot as well. And then I used some iron modifier to tone it down even more. Better but the skeins are somewhat uneven though I suspect that might be my rather slap-dash mordanting. Anyway, those 5 skeins are now a pretty dark lavender:

I’ve already started a project using both purples, Veera Välimäki’s Laneway:

With the single burgundy skein for the stripes and the lavender skeins for the main colour, the yardage called-for is perfect! And of course I love the asymmetrical shape of this tunic. So nice when these things turn out, huh?

Plus there’s 2 more wee skeins of the Highland wool that I dyed in the exhaust pot after the sock yarn had sucked out nearly all the colour and before I added the iron modifier.

The top skein was pink before it too got an iron modification and now is a lavender grey. The lower skein shows that there wasn’t much lac left in the pot by that point. It’s a pretty light peach. Again they needed lots of washing and rinsing to get out the stink! These last 2 are destined for a yoke sweater project that I’ve been working on. Details to come eventually. I have a full palette now.

So I’d like to talk about the sock yarn I was dyeing in this latest round of dyepots. Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn is a 75% merino superwash/25% nylon put up in 100g skeins with 437yds/400m. Over the last few years the manufacturer has changed where this yarn is produced. I have a skein from 5 years ago that I haven’t yet used and it was labelled made in Peru. The feel is a little different from the recent skeins I purchased that are labelled made in China. The new yarn is slightly softer twist. But the reviews on Ravelry for the Chinese version are very uncomplimentary to say the least. I thought I’d made a big mistake when I ordered 6 skeins of white for dyeing. Perhaps the quality has improved again since the reviews were written because I thought these skeins held up really well to being scoured, rinsed, mordanted, rinsed some more, dyed, washed and finally rinsed at least 4 more times. Plus then I started knitting and made a major mistake so frogged and started again. The skeins haven’t fuzzed, pilled, shredded or anything else from all that. As you might see from the ribbing of my new sweater’s neckline, the twisted stitches are crisp and defined. There’s a pretty sheen too, probably from the nylon content, which doesn’t show in the photo. (No, I’m not getting into a debate on synthetics right now. I’m absolute death on any socks without nylon content. And yeah, I know this project isn’t socks.) Anyway I’m hoping there’s enough left from the Laneway tunic for a pair of socks so I can test them in wear but so far I’m not at all disappointed in this yarn. Believe me, I’ve seen worse and for a lot more than I paid for these from Craftsy, including exchange and postage. I’m always on the hunt for a good-quality sock yarn that comes in a solid dyeable colour: white, natural, light grey, or medium grey. Trust me, not that easy to find! And often, like the Preface I mentioned above, they disappear. Or you can’t get it undyed. And the Heritage already comes in skeins so I don’t have to rewind it.

Anyway, I’m good for yarn right now. Hopefully I can control my urge to buy more? I need to spin some! It’s not like I don’t have fibres waiting for me.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Tales From The Back Yard

It just started to rain but I’m not complaining. I really hope it actually rains enough to water the garden. It was starting to get dry. Again. Luckily it held off long enough for me to finish the dyeing I was playing with this morning. Though I had to hustle to get off the hammock (where I’d just relaxed) and take in all the equipment and the skeins off the closeline. I haven’t got a photo of the colours I got yet so I’ll hold off on my report until the skeins are dry. Which will definitely be a slower process in the basement.

However, that’s not all the dyeing I’ve been doing. At my guild’s monthly weave/spin/dye day on Saturday, we had a community pot of lac dye going. I included a skein of Cascade Heritage sock yarn (75% superwash merino/25% nylon) in the pot. When it came out I added it to a small bucket with 1/4 tsp copper and got this lovely deep burgundy:

Lac is one of the insect dyes, Kerria lacca, found in India and southeast Asia. It’s a scale insect that hosts on trees and exudes a resin that is ground up and the colourant extracted. It also is the source for shellac. Lac gives crimson, reds, burgundy and purples and is somewhat more muted than cochineal but still very pretty. It’s sensitive to pH (especially acid so we added 3% tartaric) and gives the best most colourfast results on protein fibres though it will also dye cellulose as well. Just not as dark or as washfast. To prove it I threw some gungy-looking handkerchiefs in at the end and they are a much more pleasant rose pink now. The sock yarn practically sucked up all the dye in the pot and was by far the darkest of the yarns we included. The superwash process somehow opens more area for the dyes to affix and nylon, although it’s a synthetic, is easy to dye with anything that works on protein fibres.

I also finished sewing the second tunic from my latest self-drafted pattern. The weather hasn’t been particularly conducive to photos until the sun came out finally yesterday and I got these pics:


I modified the original pattern slightly by adding 2” length to the peplum. I like it better! Also this version is sleeveless. The fabric is some of the black linen blend that I used for the Leafy Metamorphic Dress underlayer. It’s quite airy but not revealing and it doesn’t crease much thanks to the polyester content (I suspect that’s what it is anyhow). I also used some scraps of black cotton sateen leftover from the underlining of my Marcy Skirt to make the pocket bags and the armholes’ bias binding. I quite like this top and wore it several times before photographing it and it doesn’t look very crumpled at all. I suspect there will be more of these tunics in future.

So now I’ve been sewing on the same black linen blend but this time it will be a shirt for Thom. I was a little concerned that my white interfacing was going to show through the black fabric which is fairly loosely woven but it doesn’t. Yay. I bought a whole 10-yard bolt of my favourite Pellon SF101 fusible woven interfacing but I could only justify one colour so I went with white. I wish it came in more of a neutral but only white or black is available. If it hadn’t worked out I was tempted to use fabric paint on it to tone it down! It’s 100% cotton so chances are I could even use a cold-water dye if I was careful. But I’d rather not if I don’t have to. I plan to use it to make a lot of shirts for Thom and I’ve also used it on the collar and button placket on my Batik Alder Shirtdress. I love this stuff. No puckering, bubbling, curling or other shenanigans. Just nicely crisp results. Use it just on the top piece for a softer more casual effect or both top and bottom pieces for a more formal shirt. This one is getting the more casual treatment mostly because a) it’s quite a lightweight fabric and b) he just doesn’t do formal! More on this one soon.

Well I haven’t been keeping you informed on my knitting progress either. I have 3 projects on the go currently: one portable and easy (nearly-plain socks), one not-so-portable (Cholla Tank), and one complex (Kilimanjaro linen shawl). The socks are nearly done, just the toes left to knit. The Cholla Tank (pattern “Notched Hem Tank Top” from Purl Soho) is nearly up to the armholes. This is the one I’m knitting on while reading since it’s mostly plain. And the Kilimanjaro Shawl (pattern “Good Day Sunshine” by Amanda Bjoerge) is coming along slowly. Those Estonian star stitches (3 into 3, 3 into 4 etc.) are definitely not-so-fun to do in non-stretchy linen yarn! After putting it off for the better part of a year I’m determined to finish the darn thing. Scorpio stubborns for the win! I hope.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Moving Right Along

How did it get to be June? I swear it was just the beginning of May only yesterday. Obviously I’m having fun!

I’m still on a mad sewing kick and consequently I have another sewing FO:


I swear this has been one of my fastest pattern-to-garment makes ever! The York Pinafore is a brand new pattern by local indie designer Helen’s Closet.

Helen is modelling here. Isn’t she adorable? I think she has really hit it out of the park with this one. Beginner sewist simple; works with pretty much any fabric you throw at it, particularly the heavy bottom-weight stuff like denim and canvas; doesn’t take much yardage either; flatters a whole range of body types including potatoes like me; and is a truly practical as well as a stylishly modern garment! The instruction booklet has a whole lot of great information in it as well including sizing charts, fitting adjustments, bias binding info and detailed sewing steps. What’s not to love? Thank you, Helen!

The pattern was easy to print out and glue together. It has layers so I just printed it in size L and XL so I could morph between the narrower size at the top and wider at the waist and hip. I took 1/2” out of the bodice area divided between the lengthen/shorten lines and because the fabric was short I also took an inch out of the hem (which I will put back next time if possible). I tried to do my usual shoulder slope adjustments but this time it didn’t work very well. I ended up picking out the shoulder seams 3 times and repinning it until it hung properly. Otherwise the chest area kept folding up. I’m now not sure what exactly I did so the changes haven’t been transferred back to the pattern. The next pinafore will be a new adventure! Heh. I may need to reprint the shoulder pages and frankenstein them onto my pattern. Then I can compare them with the finished pinafore and hopefully get it right this time. At least I fixed it in the end for this one.

For fabric I used a wee remnant of soft but very heavy indigo blue denim that had been lurking in my stash ever since I rescued it from a neighbour’s free box. I was just able to squeeze out the pieces for the shorter View B but ended up with a small back yoke cut crosswise. Works just fine. Also there’s a faded fold line in the kangaroo pocket but that just adds to its jeans flavouring, don’t you think? I haven’t worn jeans in decades because they aren’t comfortable on me but this hangs from the shoulders and is loose in the waist so no restrictions. It’s even better than a skirt on my body because skirts want to ride up unless they are very loose and elastic.

For the bias binding I didn’t use purchased double-fold binding. Instead I cut my own out of a scrap of the blue/brown batik left from making my Batik Alder Shirtdress. I made the strip 1-1/4” wide and used it as a single-fold binding. It was less bulky on my thick denim. All the main seams in the pinafore were proper flat-fell seams and the pocket edges serged before folding under because this stuff frays like the dickens.


Iwill definitely be making more of these pinafores. I want a dress-length one next with the big side pockets. However, there are still quite a few garments already cut out that have first priority.

The weather has been somewhat cooler and cloudier over the last week or so. The garden is still doing very well. The garlic scapes are just starting to develop their curls, the peas are finally starting the flower, the tomato plants in the greenhouse are up to my chest in height and the beans are starting to climb up their poles. The Asian greens are finishing (though I have lots in the fridge!), the arugula and mizuna are bolting but the lettuce is coming on beautifully. I’m giving credit to the good weather we’ve had and all the manure and sea soil we’ve spread for the excellent results. We haven’t had much finished compost this year so the manure (from the Boy Scouts) was a very beneficial substitute.

We walked over to the local farmer’s market yesterday too. I can’t grow strawberries or root vegetables (except garlic and spuds) so there’s still goodies to be bought. We also had a yummy taco from the Brazilian Roots food truck made with gluten-free cassava bread and filled with smoked turkey and other delicious things. It was kind of like a cross between a taco and a pizza in flavour.

And that wasn’t the only yummy thing that happened yesterday. I got some absolutely the freshest beets and made a beet greens side dish for supper. Believe it or not, I’ve never cooked beet greens before. Only eaten the baby leaves in salads or roasted the beet roots. I didn’t used to like cooked greens or beets either come to think of it, but then we cook rather differently now than our parents’ generation did. I think my mom’s philosophy was “boil it until it’s completely dead”! Bleh. For these perfect greens, I chopped the stems and leaves separately in 1” pieces and steamed the stems for 3 or 4 minutes to tenderise them. Then I fried up some garlic (the last of my 2017 harvest) in bacon fat and added the greens and stems and cooked everything until just tender. A splash or two of balsamic vinegar and a little sea salt and pepper grated over and so...so...good! The leaves from just 4 beets made lots for the two of us but we ate every bite. And I still have another bunch in the fridge. Can you imagine just composting or worse, throwing away all that leafy goodness? Sacrilege.

Oh, and I almost forgot! I got new glasses:

Kind of owl-y huh? In a good way, of course. They remind me of some of the glasses I wore back in the ‘90’s. Heh. The frames are indigo and brown tortoiseshell, made in Italy and very lightweight. I really like that I can see through the lower section of my progressive prescription without interference from the frames. Very important when you do as much close-up work as I do. Unlike some people I can’t afford more than one pair of progressives at a time so I don’t have lots of stylish pairs to switch around. These will be my “look” for a year or two now.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Layers

Here’s the latest project out of the sweatshop atelier, the Leafy Metamorphic Dress:


The pattern is by Sew Liberated, the Metamorphic Dress. It’s two dresses in one, both with pockets - patch pockets on the top and inseam pockets on the under dress. The top layer is cut away front and back at the hem (I only did that to the front instead of both) to let the underlayer show. The two dresses are sewn together at the neckline and armholes using the burrito method. It’s an interesting way to assemble a lined bodice that I hadn’t tried before, though I’ve used burrito on shirt yokes and pantie gussets. The instructions supplied in the pattern were barely adequate but you might want to google a tutorial if you haven’t experienced the burrito method before, especially on something like this where you have to roll the dress up twice, once for each armhole seam. It would also be difficult to impossible with thick fabrics to pull the dress through the narrow shoulder so keep that in mind. My choices were fine if a little fiddly.

This dress is more like a jumper since it is too loose and low under the arms for bra coverage. I’m really glad I moved the shoulders inward however or they would have been much too wide on me. When I flip the dress over to the dark side, a sliver of the leafy layer shows at the shoulders and neckline as well as glimpses of the wrong side of it at the hem. It’s not a deal breaker but I wonder how often I’ll wear it this way. We’ll find out eventually, huh? BTW I originally wanted the leafy layer underneath but then the wrong side (which is obvious) would show at the front. I definitely like it better this way. The heavier and more stable underlayer supports the soft limp rayon very nicely. It was fun using the black for the patch pockets too.

It was really great to finally use up this rayon fabric that’s been lurking in the stash for a number of years now. I overdyed it at one of our Spectrum study group meetings using Procion MX dyes because the leaf pattern had glitches in the printing (manufacturer’s defect) and I didn’t want it to be quite so noticeable. I managed to cut around most of it but there’s still some ghosting on the back. Meh. Who cares? The black layer is some of that linen that I bought in March at Fibres West. I’m now suspecting that there’s something else mixed in with this. It doesn’t crease easily unlike pure linen and smells a little odd when ironed. A burn test was inconclusive so I’m going with a blend with synthetic. It feels ok and behaves nicely when sewn anyway. Just as well since I’ve already cut out a shirt for Thom and still have a little left for something else. Obviously it shouldn’t have been labelled 100% linen though.

So what’s next? Not sure yet. I saw the brand new pattern from Helen’s Closet, the York Pinafore:

Yes, I bought the pattern PDF already. I like both views! And I might have several fabrics in stash to choose from. I can see making quite a few Yorks.

However, I still have other things already cut out. If I jump the queue will I get back to them anytime soon? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, with gardening every morning, sewing every afternoon, reading and knitting every evening - no wonder I’ve been falling into bed every night exhausted! It’s a glorious time of year though so I’m making the most of it while it lasts. Green leaves, warm sun, cool breezes and flowers practically springing out of the earth on pogo sticks!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sew What?

As you’ve probably figured out, when not out battling with the weeds or watering everything in sight or hanging out on the hammock entirely exhausted, I’ve been in the studio sewing. Not as quickly as I would like but there has been progress. I was going to wait until I had better photos besides the quick and dirty ones I posted on Instagram. Then I was going to wait until I finished the next sewing project. And then...I realised that I’m running behind and if I don’t do this now I will completely forget about it entirely. So. Sew. Here we go.

This is the second and more elaborate garment using the Khadi Check fabric and the cotton jersey:

Marcy Tilton’s V8975. The pattern calls for 2-way stretch jersey but really only the bodice area is close-fitting. I had no trouble adding the lightweight woven fabric for the skirt. Apart from the fact that the khadi stretched a lot on the bias and actually needed the not-very-stretchy jersey to keep its shape. As always with Tilton patterns there were lots of wonky, cut-one right-side-up pieces, such as here on the back:

This actually results in a lot of waste fabric because the pieces don’t interlock in a close configuration when laid out to cut. But the designs are such fun that sometimes it’s worth all the fuss. I definitely like my version better than the pattern envelope, that’s for sure. Even if the skirt is semi-transparent so I have to wear something underneath! I’ve already worn it in public and gotten some nice compliments. It’s that kind of dress that’s hard to miss.

Next I wanted something easier to sew after all that fraying khadi but this was surprisingly not at all easier:

The fabric is an elderly linen jacquard tablecloth, not only well-worn but also put through not just one but two separate indigo vats. There was too much white left the first time so I scrunched it up in the opposite direction. Anyway, the fabric is very soft and the cloth had holes and stains that I had to cut around. Took all one afternoon to figure out. It was fun to use the original hems for the cuffs and hems though.

The pattern is my own self-drafted take on Grainline Studio’s Uniform Tunic. Jen collaborated with a knitter and they published a book together containing a sweater and a tunic with several variations. However, I would have had to do extensive fit alterations anyway so it was much easier to just spend a day and make my own version. There is nothing wrong with being inspired by a garment and copying the style lines for ourselves. Where an infringement occurs would be if I copied the pattern directly and marketed it as my own original. Or if I copied the sewing instructions word-for-word. But this is all my own pattern drafted from my own personal blocks and all I used was a photo for visual guidance. I sewed it with no written instructions, just experience. This kind of thing happens a zillion times of day in the fashion biz.

Anyway, the linen fabric was so soft it was difficult to keep in line. Any angle except straight grain stretched like Silly Putty. My seams were all over the place and I had to use my seam ripper more than a few times. The sewing resembled that of a rank beginner! Yoiks. I also had to repair a couple of holes that I couldn’t avoid but you can’t even see them now. The tunic ended up being really lovely to wear. I have no idea how long it will hold up but for now, I’m really happy with this wearable muslin. I have a couple more pieces of fabric that would make excellent tunics so this one won’t be the last you see of my Uniform-clone.

So now I’m about 2/3 of the way through sewing my Leafy Metamorphic Dress, pattern from Sew Liberated. It’s a two-layer dress, or actually more like an over-dress since I’ll probably only wear it wiith a t-shirt underneath. The cool thing is it’s reversible so more bang for your dress buck! Hopefully I’ll finally get around to a photo while actually wearing it for a change. Yeah, I know. Lazy blogger. Pftthhh...

This is where I’ll be if you’re looking for me. See ya later!

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Dyepot That Never Ends


Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been playing with a pot of cutch dye. Cutch is extracted from the heartwood of a leguminous tree Acacia catechu which is grown in India on plantations and is a very useful dyestuff. It contains tannin so is good on cellulose fibres like cotton and linen but also is fine on protein fibres including wool and silk. It doesn’t even need a mordant which makes it very easy to use and has quite good light- and wash-fastness. I’m very fond of the many shades of tans and browns it can produce alone or with modifiers such as soda ash and iron. Since it isn’t something I can grow in my garden and must instead be purchased, at least it’s a reasonably priced dye as these things go. My source is of course Maiwa Supply on Granville Island in Vancouver.

So in a previous post I showed you the first piece of fabric I dyed in this pot, the 4 yards of linen. After that I split just over 1.5 yards off that piece (including the part that had gotten stained) and soaked it in an alkaline soda ash solution for 20 minutes. It took on a more reddish cast but the stains are still evident.

You can see the difference in colour between the alkaline-treated linen (right) and the original fabric. Then I decided to throw in the leftover khadi check cloth and actually heat the bath for the first time.

Now that changed the pot’s colour entirely! If I’m correct there was quite a lot of iron mordant still in the khadi and possibly whatever else was used for the black dye affected the cutch. The result was a more grayed brown. And it looked like plenty of dye was left in there so I threw in a small skein of crochet cotton for later use in boro stitching and a very elderly tablecloth that was stained and had holes in it. The needlelace areas are still in pretty good shape though:

I’ll probably cut this up and use it in another project. Then, because I really liked the purplish brown, I scrounged up 1.5 metres of linen/rayon blend fabric and threw that in after the tablecloth came out. Just to recap (besides the first 4 yards of linen which didn’t get heat) each of these were in the pot individually, heated to barely a simmer over an hour or so, left in the pot to cool at least overnight and hung without rinsing to oxidise for another day or two. Only after all that did they get rinsed and dried again. Let me tell you, that rigged-up clothesline got a lot of use!

So here’s the final tally all washed and pressed and prettied up:

They are in order of dyeing from right to left. The total weight of dye to fibre was 250g of powdered cutch to a grand total of nearly 1600g of fabrics. They all are so pretty it’s going to be hard to cut them up! There’s still colour in it but now I am going to go Dump The Pot. Quick before I’m tempted to go hunt the stash some more. I’m done.

Guess the dyepot did finally have an end, eh?

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The State of the Garden

Hello! Hope those who celebrate Mother’s Day had a lovely one. I did! We were invited to my son’s for brunch along with the rest of the immediate family. Five moms in total in attendance! (And 4 generations.) It was great to catch up since we hadn’t seen everyone in person since Easter. I finally managed to capture photos of my three Grandbeasties, though they were of course action shots. These guys don’t hold still for long.

The biggest grandbeastie, aka The Wildling, who made us all delicious crepes for brunch:

She’ll be 14 in a couple of months and she’s already taller than me. Also a very accomplished artist and never without her sketch book. Then there’s her younger brother, aka Stargazer (though these days he might be called GameGazer instead):


He’s 11 and just starting to hit a growth spurt. Good thing since he’s the youngest in his 6th-grade year due to a December 29th birthday and he could use a little catching up. He’s been taking hapkido martial arts though so not so easy to pick on.

And lastly their cousin, the Littlest Grandbeastie, who is the hardest to capture since she’s always in motion:

She a whole 7 now and definitely the social butterfly. An extrovert in our family of mostly introverts, she has two cats for brothers and she thinks she is one of them!

I miss having babies to cuddle but it’s fun to watch another generation grow and learn and develop into interesting human beings.

In other news, the weather has been super glorious - warm to downright hot! The garden has been springing up like crazy and watering has become an everyday project. Although it’s not too bad yet in that we don’t have to spend hours watering every inch every day. That will come later this summer, I’m sure! Meanwhile, I’m getting this much greens every couple of days:

And the bed looks like this:


Yes, the Welsh poppies and other pathway plants are definitely getting a little...pushy. They’re rather pretty though so I try to keep them out of the actual growing area. If they get too annoying, they go bye-bye. The veggie garden and the dye garden are all planted now. There’s still a few bedding plants left for the front garden but not much space to put them in. And I still need to weed it first. However, I’ve been having some issues with dogs walking on my dye garden. Grrr... What is with people who are supposed to keep their critters on a leash and out of trouble? You can see how vulnerable this strip of garden is as it’s situated on the city property along the side of our yard:

Yup, totally don’t mind people walking there even though there’s no sidewalk. But even when I put some small fencing up (taking it from the front garden where we also have a dog problem) there’s still big doggie footprints all over. One indigo plant was even pulled out (again) this morning! Have some courtesy, please, dog people. At least let the little seedlings grow up enough to be a barrier themselves. Sheesh. Or give me your address so I can come over and stomp on your garden. OK, rant over. We also get lots of compliments on our garden. Probably not from the same people who walk their dogs.

Off to do some ironing and more sewing up in the sweatshop...er, Atelier. Before it gets too hot and I need to bring out the fan. The fan is not good where pattern pieces are being used. Just sayin’.