Dyeing with Black Walnuts

I've found that black walnuts are an excellent go-to dye. I can always count on them. They are easily foraged for, don't require any mordant and will always give me some shade of brown, from dark chocolate to caramel. The skeins shown above were dyed the same day I did the marigold and red cabbage.

The dark skeins are a merino/silk blend while the lighter skeins are an alpaca/wool blend. The lighter ones were unmordanted, a bit of an afterthought I threw in the pot later. As you can see the one didn't take up the color as evenly as the other. I love these variegated results I've been getting and am looking forward to seeing how it knits up this winter.

PS: Thank you all for following me over to this new space and taking the time to comment! I'm having some trouble getting Bloglovin' to recognize my RSS so I apologize to those of you who follow that way. (Any tips on how to fix it?) As I said earlier, I can only carve out short periods of time for "blog work." Have a great weekend!

Monthly Sock Challenge : 1 of 12

My Monthly Sock Challenge is off to a good start. Right now I'm working on Septmeber's pair and August's is all done and gifted. These Warm and Cozy Socks were made for my Aunt. I wanted a classic pattern that would offer lots of warmth. Since most people aren’t fond of caring for wool or having it against their skin, I went with an acrylic in a lovely blue-gray-lavender (depending on the light.) More project specifics can be found on Ravelry.

I’ve also upgraded the linky to be longer. As you can see, it runs for a full year. I’ll also be embedding it in my monthly post like I am here. As a better incentive, I’m thinking of doing the occasional giveaway, maybe every few months. Entries would be what is submitted in the linky. (Also, your linky submission doesn’t only have to be a finished object post. You can link to blog posts and even Instagram photos where you share photos of your WIP!)

Melissa and Kylie have joined in! Do you want to join us?


Starting Fresh

If you tried visiting the Liesl Made blog at all last week you obviously saw the lovely error message. I was busy working on things behind the scenes (ironically in an effort to make my blogging experience simpler) when something went terribly awry. Every time I tried to fix it I became so thoroughly frustrated that I just walked away and left it. I also read too deep into it and wondered if it was a sign that I should just walk away from blogging all together. (This year has been a tough one and I've been reevaluating a lot in my life.) But I've calmed down and returned to blogging. I still don't know the cause of or how to fix the problem with my old Wordpress blog but I think there is certain freedom in starting fresh. Well, almost fresh. Luckily I managed to import my tutorial and 2014 posts to this space before the old one went down.

As you can also see, Liesl Made is now Buckaloo View, the name of our family farm. Changing the name was just an idea I had been tossing around for a while but since the Liesl Made blog is lost in an internet wormhole, I figured now was as good a time as any to switch. As some of you may remember, before he passed away, my Dad had started up a shop called Buckaloo View where he sold his woodworking. It's not an easy decision to take on the name but I feel it's the best fit. My blog has always been a documentation and celebration of all things 'home.' I'll still be sharing the things I make and do around this place, the adventures I embark on as I try to turn it back into a working farm again. (There is a lot of talk about goats lately!)

My personal life is pretty hectic and emotional right now but I'll work on fixing up what was imported here the best I can in my spare time. In the meantime, I apologize for any broken links or lack of photos. And you may need to subscribe to this new blog rss to continue to get updates.

3 Questions : Anna

3 Questions is an interview-style series featuring some of my favorite bloggers. Every week, I ask one inspirational person 3 completely random questions and ask them to share three photos that represent Who they are, What they do or make and Where they feel the happiest.

Liesl Made : 3 Questions : Anna
Liesl Made : 3 Questions : Anna

Summer caught up with me and I had to put the 3 Questions series on the back burner. But I’m happy to say I’ve been in touch with some great women to feature and will get the series rolling again. Up first is the lovely Anna of Speckles. She is originally from Spain but currently living in Germany. Her posts, projects and the general way in which she captures and shares the simple beauties of the everyday always impress me. She has such a great eye for color and print, which shows in the things she knits and sews. Visiting her blog leaves me feeling warm and cozy, like I’m wrapped in handknits and having a cup of tea on an autumn day.

What is the last vacation you went on?

My last vacation was two years ago (now we live in Munich and this summer we’ve come back home to home, so they were “homevacation”). so two years ago my hubby and I drove to Provence , it is very close to home (barcelona). The car broke down, but this is another story. We stayed in a country house ,the owner was a lovely woman, every morning she prepared breakfast on the terrace. I remember the pleasant evening walks by fruit trees. It was wonderful, I would love to live there, I’d love to live in a house surrounded by wildflowers and ivy on the walls.

What was your favorite movie as a kid?

I remember that my parents recorded a movie from TV on VHS, it was a children’s film with great music. Also I had the cassette, so I had the full kit.. I remember seeing this movie all the time, any time was perfect for it. Now I’ve searched the link I have remembered my father saying, “Anna, again, don’t you think you could see other things?”

What is the thing you like best about your work?

Although now I’m not working, my career is design. I’m a creative person, perhaps a bit chaotic, I need to be doing many different things because I get bored with monotony. Define the idea, shape it and to be able to communicate, that’s what I like. obviously I hate the bureaucratic part ..

Be sure to check out Anna’s blog, shop and Instagram.

Click here to see all 3 Questions interviews.

Dyeing with Marigold and Red Cabbage

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Since my marigolds are still blooming like crazy around here and I was rather impressed with the results from last time, I decided to do another round with squishy soft Malabrigo. This one turned out a little less orange-y and instead is more of a classic yellow. Last time I only used the petals but this time I used the whole flower head, green bits and all. Next time I’m going to try with just the petals again.

This year I planted twelve red cabbage and only six or seven of them resulted in decent sized heads. The others were scrawny things that were refusing to get any bigger so I reserved them for dye experiments. Red cabbage is a notorious fugitive dye. The dye pot is rich and lovely but the color doesn’t always hold well to fiber. I was lucky. I used my standby alum and cream of tartar to prep the fiber. With certain dye materials, the pH of the bath can have a big effect on the color. With red cabbage, adding an acidic modifier, like vinegar, will result in more pink shades while an alkaline one will shift more towards blues. So I grabbed some baking soda and sprinkled it right in the pot and basically said “Whoa!” when I saw it transform from pink to blue. In the pot, it was the most perfect mermaid blue-green and even though it bled some of the richness out, it’s still a perfectly pale aquatic/mint blue-green. Definitely a nice break from the yellows and browns I’ve got from plant dyes. I only did this one skein since I wasn’t sure any color would stick but now I’m tempted to grow a garden full of red cabbage next year just so I can get more of these beautiful shades.

Next week I’ll share the results of the walnut dyes I did the same day.

The Web

As you can see by these photos, the spiders are at it. My mother always said August and September were cobweb months. The mornings have been amazing. I sit on the porch with a big bowl of hot oats topped with maple syrup and peaches, sip my coffee and watch the chickens. Some mornings the fog and light are magical, which makes for picture-perfect cobwebs.

In the spirit of being interwoven and the world wide web, I thought I’d share some of my recent finds with you:

~I never knew Ashley English had a blog. I’ve been binge reading past posts and soaking up the inspiration and beauty there. And looking forward to her upcoming book about drinks called Quench.

~These blog are pretty great too: Babes in Boyland and Woolful

~And speaking of tasty drinks this Sparkling Spiked Peach Lemonade seems like a perfect way to relish the rest of summer.

~So many of my favorite bloggers have been on grand adventures. Ine explored Norway. Margie also went to Norway, as well as Iceland. Lori went to the Shetland Islands. And Kristina went to British Columbia. Thank you women for letting us live vicariously through you!

~I love that Julie is now sharing photo shoot outtakes. I love seeing the behind-the-scenes.

~Favorite Ravelry finds: Slant, Precious and Sandbank

~Things to bake: GF Rosemary CrackersCoffee Walnut Loaf, Sweet Potato Almond Butter Muffins

What have you been finding on the web?

Gifting No. 2 - Pot Holders

Good morning,

I haven’t been the best of bloggers lately because life is so busy around here. This week, my Mother and I picked and froze about 200 ears of corn. (I don’t grow corn here but a family friend does and they are going through a hard time now so we agreed to do the work and split it with them.) Another friend was out-of-town for a few days and left me in charge of a dog, a cat, four chickens and seven pigs. (It was good practice if I get pigs myself.) Right now, between writing a few sentences here, I’m blanching the massive bowl of beans I was too tired to work on last night. (They got their second wind. And the tomatoes are ripening nicely.) These are just a couple of things that have taken up my days beyond the regular workload, inside and outside the home. I do have posts in mind and fun things to share here. In September I hope to start up the 3 Questions series again. (Summer is not only a super busy time for me but for others as well.)

But this post isn’t about all of that. It’s about gifting. Remember my Gifting series? I only partially forgot about it. OK, maybe completely forgot. These four pairs of pot holders were finished ages ago but, like many other things, have sat in an I’ll-deal-with-this-tomorrow pile. (I really should look through that pile—I fear there might be unpaid bills in it.) I finally got around to snapping a photo of them and even gifted the one. The other three will hopefully be gifted soon as well.

Want to make a pair yourself? Check out the tutorial here.