larchbuds-close edited-2I spent one day last week dyeing a bunch of yarns and fiber in Mountain Bluebird Colorway (see the slideshow on my home page).  It was satisfying and productive, and by 4PM I was done. I headed out with our dogs for a walk in the Forest Service land behind our house. The sun was shining, the weather was a comfy 50F, and the clouds were gorgeous. 

I was looking for signs of spring. It took some looking, but I found a few.  The larches still aren’t in leaf, but their buds are swelling - if you look very closely, you can see the green of the needles at the tips of the buds.

dyed-fiber-dryingI recently finished reading a book (actually listening to the audiobook) called ‘The Demon Under the Microscope’ by Thomas Hagar. One of the many things I learned was that the dye industry was the source of the first antibiotic drug, a sulfa drug. The German scientists who were searching for a drug to combat bacterial infections were originally synthetic dye chemists. They reasoned that since dyes attach to things, they might find a dye that would attach to bacteria and also have anti-bacterial properties.

Hand spun hand knit horse puppetThe theme of the Montana Association of Weavers and Spinners (MAWS) 2012 Conference  held in Missoula, MT, was a Carousel of Color. For our guild booth we each chose to create something inspired by one the the carousel ponies in Missoula's carousel.  I chose Dispatch, a dappled gray Pony Express Pony (left).  

I wanted to use Montana-grown fibers for this Montana conference, and I had a lovely silver Cormo top, a deep black merino, and a medium-grey merino that fit the bill. I happily spun the soft fibers with a fairly firm twist so he would survive the loving play of so-far-non-existant-grandchildren.  

thin-leaved-owl-clover-bison-range 700pxFrom our home in western Montana, we are surrounded by beautiful places: Yellowstone National Park is five hours away by car, Glacier National Park is only about 4 hours.  The National Bison Range, next to the Mission Mountains is an easy day trip.  The images are from the National Bison Range. 

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