• Elisabeth/Tonya

Slow January

January is a time of slow.....slow living, slow projects, slow planning. We rang in the new year at lunch with some friends over to share 3 different kinds of soup, homemade bread, and a charcuterie board. As everyone talked and visited, I thought that this was how I hoped my year would be - friends, family, good food, and good conversation.

I lost my mother on November 27, three and a half years after her massive stroke and 2 months after some major health issues. Her funeral was just the way she would have liked it with my brother doing the service, my husband speaking, my two daughters singing, grandchildren and nephews as pall bearers, her casket covered with a quilt she had made, and a handkerchief from her collection in her hand. I have only sweet, happy memories of her. She was one of the truly sweet, generous, kind people the world needs more of. Her joys were simple. She liked being with family, quilting and sewing, helping her children, grandchildren, and others in any way she could, and cooking good food. It was an honor to help her and be around her each day.

I've spent some chilly days finishing the spinning of a fleece from our Icelandic ram, Magnus (who is no longer with us). His fiber was not the best quality nor was it easy to spin. I'm currently making a lovely bath mat from the yarn which I hope will not felt down to the size of a mug mat! Staying with my mother at the hospital and her assisted living home allowed me time to catch up on my sock darning. I now see why makers of sock yarn often add a little acrylic, 100% wool requires much more darning (unless there are other 100% wool brands that hold up better than what I have been using.) I've now moved on to spinning the fleece of Gudrun (one of our ewes), a much softer, better staple-length fiber and am finding more enjoyment from it. Being much whiter than Magnus' gray, it will lend itself to some dying experiments.

I have a tub filled with cards that my family and I have sent my parents through the years as well as my mother's handkerchief collection that I wanted to use in some way. I gathered all of the Valentine's Day cards from the tub and Elisabeth came up with the beautiful display you see above. I folded her Valentine handkerchiefs and displayed them on my dressing table where I see them each morning as I'm preparing for the day.

I recently did some Instagram posts on meal planning so if that interests you, check them out at @needle_and_quill, my personal account.

Now that the holidays are behind us, we turn our thoughts to preparing our materials for dyeing, using plants we have harvested and dried or some extracts and powder we have purchased. We're excited to see all of the new colors that will come from our dye vats and hope to share them with you soon.

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