the weather has finally changed. after 10 lovely days, warm and sunny and dry, we are back to more normal irish autumn weather - it started raining this afternoon. it's not cold, but pretty windy and a lot of the leaves are already coming off the trees - mainly the maple leaves, as they suffer from blackspot disease over here and fall earlier than in germany. I just made it in time today to pick a small bucket of rhamnus frangula berries - not for eating (they cause severe diarrhoe) but for dyeing. on wool they give a lovely grey-green with a blueish tinge, but on silk they give a dove blue! and they seem to be pretty lightfast, there has been very little change on the dyed fibres from last year, even though they were kept in normal daylight with occasional sunlight on them. I stopped picking when the rain became heavier - but I hope I'll get a dry spell again tomorrow to pick more - there are plenty on our 3 small trees! they are odd really - the trees are full of unripe and ripe berries - and at the tips they start flowering again! they are easy enough to pick - if you don't mind the occasional spider running all over you in its attempts to get away from the rude picker:))
I also rinsed and dried about 200 g of a tussahsilk/wool blend I dyed with reed flowers yesterday - the green is difficult to catch in a photo, the real stuff looks less flat and livelier somehow, it's "greener", not as grey as this:
I also did a small cross stitch project - an insert for a birthday card, with a summery theme - but when I worked on it we still had lovely sunshine:)
the aida is white of course - but I took the photo inside and couldn't avoid a bit of shade on it. I hope it arrives ok; I put a piece of bubble wrap on top of the charms, which should really be enough to keep it from poking through the envelope....
I also finished the green spring leaves shawl - with a few problems at the end:(( I weighed the yarn into two equal balls - or so I thought. of course there might be a very slight difference in length - but I didn't expect it to be enough to work a whole pattern sequence! or rather not to work another sequence... I did 11 plus the last finishing pattern on the one side - but had to frog the 11th on the 2nd side, because I ran out of yarn. after finishing 10 repeats plus the finish on the 2nd side I am left with just 3 or 4 m of yarn! well, it might not be perfect, but it's quite a long piece and as long as the two sides aren't put exactly on top of each other nobody will see the difference (but me, which annoys me of course:)). I have to block it first though - a bit of a job with this long band - pix to follow.
and being sunday today - we had the first plumcake of the season. with our own plums! yummeeh - I tried a new recipe, where the base is made with quark (a kind of soft cheese) and oil instead of the usual yeast dough. and on top of the plums are lovely streusels (a topping like crumble) made with brown sugar, almonds and butter..... half of the baking sheet is already empty:))