The first pair of thrummed mitts I made (the second link above) were for her 60th birthday. While knitting the mitts was not an issue for me, going to the farm store to get the kit was! OMG, it was only 3.5km, but it was the longest, iceyist drive on a country road that I've done. Totally outside my comfort zone. But for Auntie Pat, everything was INSIDE her comfort zone!
While cleaning out her laundry room, my cousin found a shoebox of dye materials of her mom's. Now, I remember gathering moss, flowers, walnuts, etc with my aunt and cousin, but the contents of this box were commercially sold natural dyes. Well, I do suppose a box of goldenrod would not have lasted long, nor survived the three moves since she had stopped dyeing yarn. LOL. I was the blessed recipient of the shoebox. I felt honoured to have her materials and knew I had to step outside my comfort zone and learn about dyeing and make something to honour her.
I came up with the idea of a pair of thrummed mittens again, which really were her signature pattern (along with thrummed slippers). This time though, I would dye the fleece myself! And then, I thought a bit more about how this could honour my aunt. What if I could do a raffle and raise money for her favourite charities in her memory?
I started searching around for a source of fleece. I needed only about 2oz, and thought I had found a seller on etsy.com from the Ottawa area (where my mom and her siblings spent the summers). But she fell through. I asked on Freecycle and was told there was some at a thrift store in Oshawa. Not too close, but Meg and I went. There was nothing (except Meg's figure skating dress!). Turns out the lady thought I wanted doll's hair. Finally, I asked in a group on Ravelry.com made up of people from this region. One kind-hearted lady responded and blew me away with her generosity!
This big ball of white fluffy roving is from Heidi, owner of "The Sheep and Spindle" a home based business of fleece and spinning stuff. It's 4oz of Corriedale, total softness, that Meg hugged all the way home. As soon as I opened Heidi's profile on Ravelry, I knew she would be the one....her profile picture is of her late dog and although she was part Border Collie and part unknown, I think the unknown part might just be some Golden Retriever!
The other items in the picture....POISON!!! OMG. There's a jar of cochineal! If you don't know what cochineal is, take a moment to check the link :) The other package I don't remember off hand...silver something I think. And at the bottom is madder and something else. There's also alum and a few other things. I think there's going to be a lot of red roving in my future ("Red Rover, Red Rover, we call Tracy over"....).
So, here's the deal. My aunt's favourite charity was Lion's Foundation of Canada, Canine Vision Guide Dogs. I also associate Golden Rescue with her, and if you're in the Bancroft area, Auntie Pat was a founding member of the Bancroft and Area Recreational Canine Club and I'm sure they'd appreciate donations too. If you donate ANY amount to these three groups in memory of Auntie Pat (that's her website), let me know by leaving a comment here or an email to me at tracykm at yahoo dot com. Please, if you leave a comment here, include your email address if you don't have a Blogger account. Please also include which charity, and an approximate range (ie...up to $25, $25-$50, $50-$75, more than $75). It doesn't matter if you did your donation at the memorial service, online in the summer, or right now. I'll put everyone's names in a hat, and draw a winner for a pair of brown thrummed mittens (if brown's not your thing, we can work something out). I would like to do the draw on her birthday, December 7.
Now, go hug your favourite dog, sheep, or aunt :)