Of indigo and lessons learned.

I am so deeply in love with this fiber. Really. Perhaps I am biased because the majority of it is from my own goats, but seriously, I've been carrying these skeins around every day, everywhere I go, because I love to just be with them.  

These blends are everything I thought they would be, and more. But when all the skeins arrived smelling like cigarette smoke, I was heartbroken, to say the least. Luckily, the mill took the fiber right back to rewash it, and sent some sample skeins back for inspection before continuing on with the rest.

As we all like to believe, every negative experience we have is a chance to learn (someone said that, right?) And with this one, I actually came away with a bulleted list.

1. Ask your mill if anyone smokes, and if so, let them know you want the fiber stored well away from the source at all times. This seems kind of obvious, but I learned the hard way.

2. Ask if the mill has insurance. (This was brought up by a friend of mine, and makes a great deal of sense if you are dealing with larger batches of fiber!)

3. Visit the mill. I wish I had done this.

4. Ask for an itemized receipt. This did't seem necessary at the time, but I wish now I had a more detailed description of each item I was charged for. In this case, I feel certain that I was charged fairly, but when the fiber came back smelling as it did, my first thought was to sit down and make sure everything added up. 

And now, on to the fun stuff.

I did two batches (two different yarns), with an iron mordant. This resulted in two very different shades of indigo blue. Both with incredible depth and luster. This photo is from the first batch, which has a bit more green in it than the second. It's more muted, and when side-by-side with the second batch these colors are everything mysterious and dark and magical. Mostly, I am reminded of the deeper, darker parts of the ocean, where it is quiet and still. Whales calling, seaweed drifting, twilight.

So very, very lovely.