Friday, November 26, 2010

Sometimes I'm a little slow...

I just found out that the Kindleboards forums over at have created profile pages for all of the kindleboards authors' books.

I have to say that the pages look really nice and I'm flabbergasted. They contain information about the book, a large cover photo, a link to the regular Amazon page where you can buy the book, and even an excerpt - all without the clutter that's usually found on the regular page.

Here are the links to the pages for my 2 books available through the Kindle store - downloadable not only to Kindle e-readers, but, with free Kindle apps, to your computer, iPhone, iPad, Droid, Blackberry, etc. :

My Twelfth Christmas

The Witch of Starmont

As the holidays approach, My Twelfth Christmas has begun to receive some notice. It's often ranked in the top 10 bestsellers for children's Christmas books, and it's often in the top 25 bestsellers for holiday/Christmas books in general. The rankings fluctuate a lot, but it's fun to watch. It's exciting to see that people are buying my book.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dyeing with Natural Dyes

I tried my hand at dyeing with natural dyes the other day. I had a few skeins of handspun on which to try it. What I had on hand were two hanks of corriedale cross yarn, one hank of merino, one small hank and knitted swatch of superwash Bluefaced Leicester, and one knitted swatch of a superwash wool + nylon blend sockyarn that I had spun.

For the dye, I used a mix of dried goldenrod, dried calendula, onion skins, dried yarrow, and fresh marjoram.

I mordanted the yarn with alum and cream of tartar while the dyebath was being prepared. When the yarn was mordanted, I plunked it in the dyebath and let it simmer for about 45 minutes or so.

The lightest-colored yarn below is the merino. It was actually an afterthought and I put it in the dyebath after other yarns had been taken out, and I only left it in for about 20 minutes.

The corriedale cross yarn came out with a nice yellow coloring, although not what I'd call vibrant:

The superwash yarns were the surprise. They came out colored with a glowing, golden-brown which I really like:

I was really pleased. I talked with a lady I know who dyes using natural dyes. She said that the superwash yarns usually do take up the dye really well. Here's the sock yarn:

I'm planning on using superwash BFL to make a sweater for my daughter. I found a really cute pattern in a book. I'll be spinning the yarn before I dye the fiber. I won't be using natural dyes for the sweater, though, I'll be using acid dyes for the colors she wants. I wouldn't mind having a sweater in that luscious golden-brown, though. Or even just socks : )

I can't wait until the next growing season when I can gather more plants with which to dye. Some of the plants I already have in my medicinal herb garden are also dye plants. Yea!

Monday, November 1, 2010