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Showing posts from May, 2011

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Lessons learnt from carrot tops

Last weekend we harvested some carrots from our allotment. We got more carrot tops (330g) than carrot roots (160g) and it seemed a shame to put the tops straight in the compost so I experimented with some dyeing.

After a quick search on Ravelry I found rough instructions on a blog post. I boiled the carrot tops til they started to face, then chopped them up in my blender to make a thick fibrous soup. I let the mix simmer for a while longer then strained the mixture through a sieve. While this was going on I skeined then soaked 100g of blue faced leicester 4ply and 100g superwash merino with 20g of mordant, which at the time I thought was similar to Alum.

Here's the carrot top soup with the soaked yarn.

I simmered the yarn for about 30min until the yarn looked the colour of the soup. I let it cool then rinsed it. Loads of the colour bled out resulting in a yellow superwash yarn which looks a little warmer and brighter than in the photo below and a very pale yellow BFL. It turns out th…

Egypt - Day 2

Day 2 was jam packed. We were up at the crack of dawn to visit Saqqara, the oldest stone monument/building on the planet, built around 5,000 years ago. As well as seeing the step pyramid we went inside a Mastaba and inside a tomb, both of which had fantastic carvings. The mastaba had scenes of fishing and hunting life and our guide really brought ancient Egyptian lifestyles to life.

New things are being found all the time at Saqqara and I expected to see Indiana Jones rummaging around the many archaeological digs.

After Saqqara we drove back into Cairo and vistited two mosques. The first mosque, the Mosque of Sultan Hassan, was beautiful, with it's bare walls and open central courtyard.

As our guide explained the prinicples of Islam and the history of the mosque I watched these three woman making their lunch time prayer. After they had finished they spent time chatting and were very friendly, waving and smiling at us. Our guide offered to translate for me but I couldn't think of …

Egypt Day 1

This was the first time I'd been on an organised tour. While it took me a few days to adjust to being on an itinerary rather than making things up as I go along I had a fantastic time and highly recommend Explore, the tour company we used. We had an excellent guide throughout our trip, as well as several good local guides to take us around the various temples and tombs. Big thank you to Wael Wanas our indefatigable guide. If you want to know more our tour details are here. Egypt is a fantastic country, both the people and the history are great and it deserves all the support it can get on the dawn of what will hopefully be a bright future.

We arrived in Egypt on Easter Saturday evening and went for a wander, trying to find Tahrir Square, the focal point of revolutionary activity in the recent Spring Uprising. We failed to find Tahrir Square as we didn't use our map, not wanting to look like tourists (durr) but the atmosphere was great. We were out at around 11pm and it seemed …

In denial?

There's been a bit of internet silence from me from the last few weeks as I've been on holiday in Egypt. The never ending Royal Wedding build up plus the winning combination of Bank holidays triggered a last minute get away and we booked a tour to Cairo and then from Luxor to Aswan, sailing down the Nile. It's been a fantastic trip and I'm feeling a little lost back in London without the hubbub, the sand, the soaring temperatures and great food.

I'm sorting through my photos which I'll post to flickr and I'll try and write a little about my trip here. I encountered some interesting textiles on our journey so I'll share those with you here.

Right, I'm going to brew a pot of Hibiscus tea, my favourite new beverage while I sort through my pictures in between loads of washing.