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yarn from the meadow - june

honey for tea – hither | sock(100g)
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#YarnFromTheMeadow takes inspiration from the small hay meadow that we live next to. A few acres of tussocky grass, grown to be cut for hay or silage, depending on the weather, and occasionally used as grazing for the cattle that are raised on the fields all around us. Bounded by an avenue of sweet chestnuts on one side, ancient oaks on the other and with a scruffy hedgerow bordering the lane, it's home to rabbits, mice, shrews, and voles; a hunting ground for a beautiful barn owl and untold kestrels and buzzards. Adjacent to fox earths, and badger setts, and criss-crossed with the well-worn tracks of the muntjac, fallow, and roe deer that pass through, I walk it with the dog, with Chris, and sometimes just to breath in the air and turn my face to the sun. And I take photos, endlessly. Of the views, the sky, the weather, the flora and fauna, the changing of the seasons.

I'll be using all of the above as inspiration for this year's limited-run series. Two shades each month throughout 2024, dyed on a variety of fingering weight yarn bases, using the dye technique that creates our gorgeous ~flash~ shades.

June – the midsummer solstice is here, and we're deep into my favourite season. The wet weather we've had sent the meadow into overdrive and the grass was too long to walk through by mid-May so it was no surprise to see the farmer trundling around, cutting, bobbing, and swiftly baling a bumper green crop for silage. So, the meadow is cropped and looking pretty bare of flora and fauna as I walk up and down with the dog and my camera. It's a bit early for the crickets, and the butterflies and bees are looking to the margins for their food sources – and so shall I! The footpaths, trails, and verges that lead to the marsh and the (slightly) more cultivated parts of our garden are full of wildflowers and self-seeded treasures, and the first shade this month was inspired by that familiar, poignant field staple, the poppy. It appears, briefly, in June, often on ground that has been disturbed, so the field margins and footpaths are the perfect place to find these gems. I've called this one in the margins. A fluid combination of soft grassy greens, sage, olive, and palest mint with a vivid flash of warm poppy red...

Our second shade focuses in on a busy pollinator. A cheeky bumblebee (possibly a carder bee?) flitting from flower to flower on a patch of comfrey, with the palest lavender and lilac contrasting beautifully with the warm gold and umber of the bee. It's called honey for tea (even though carder bees don't actually make honey!) and both shades are dyed on hither | sock this month.

We use professional acid dyes with good light and wash fastness and do our best to exhaust every dye bath and reuse water wherever possible to reduce any further environmental impact. Occasionally a small amount of 'loose' dye may remain in the yarn after rinsing (most likely with deeply saturated shades) and we always recommend hand washing in very cool water and pre-washing your yarn separately if you are intending to mix light and dark shades in a single garment/project. 

We recommend hand washing your finished projects in cool water to preserve the vibrancy of the dye and, as with all small-batch, hand-dyed yarn that doesn't have dye lots, we also recommend knitting alternate rows from two skeins when working on larger projects to avoid noticeable changes between skeins.