Saturday, June 09, 2007

Midnight sky and beautiful yellow

The sun is still up although it is almost 11 pm. This must be the best time of the year up here. The amount of light is growing daily and the mosquitoes are not in full force yet. The two weeks after Midsummer are the worst ones and then the amount of mosquitoes slowly drops. Mornings are the best time of the day, usually one can enjoy outdoors without too many of them around until afternoon. My husband went canoeing with one of the girls today, they won’t be back until late tomorrow. The water in the lake is gradually warming and the kids have all been swimming already… me??? I’ll save my first dip when the water is really warm. The lake is quite shallow and by mid July the temperature of the water is nice.

As a child I was afraid of the dark as most kids are I guess. I enjoyed summer and sleeping in the summer was heaven, that was the time when I was never scared during the night. I never had any trouble sleeping and when the sun really hit my face in the wee hours I slept best. Now that I almost suffer (I’m not ready to admit it yet, but I think I’m slowly coming to that point) from lack of light during the winter months I find it very difficult to waste these precious light hours to sleeping. I sleep less and don’t seem to need very much sleep during the summer. I just took this picture. This is the colour of the sky… and it is almost midnight.

I love this country and this barren land but what I did not realize was that I live in a yellow dye pot. We have many birch trees around the house and this is the colour that came out when I boiled birch leaves… Not a pale and weak yellow, but strong and lively. This really calms my heart, I will never run out of yellow now.

39 comments:

  1. Your dyed yarn is beautiful. What will you make it into.

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  2. What a lovely color. I love your Monkey socks, too. It's light until about 9pm here in the Pacific Northwest--so nice to have light-filled days.

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  3. Did you dye that yarn with the birch leaves? How cool is that! Can you do that with different kinds of leaves? I've never heard of doing that before!

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  4. I'm very excited about the birch leaves. Until now all I could ever see from natural dyes were dull uninteresting shades of brown. This yellow is beautiful, and at this time of year I too yearn towards yellow. Would any birch leaves work, do you think, or do they have to be Lapland trees?

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  5. It would seem to me that leaves would produce dye of the color they turn in autumn. Reds, oranges, and yellows. Those colors are present in the leaves all along and only show up when the green chlorophyll breaks down and stops covering them.

    The birches that grow in the SoCal High Desert have yellow leaves in the fall, about the color of the yarn. Maybe that's an indication?

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  6. Anonymous03:49

    Your comments about the midsummers night sun bring back the best of memories from my youth. I went to Norway every summer to the cottage in Tjome. It is just south of Oslo on the ocean. I remember the energy that I would have in the summer unlike the winters in Oslo that are so dark that the street light never went off during the winter.
    I enjoy your blog and go to it every day to see if you have updated it. It is the highlight of my day to see the wonderful things that you have created, You have such a wonderful talent and a way with words.
    claire

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  7. Barb in Texas03:51

    Beautiful yellow! It looks buttery and rich on my monitor. I just love to have that color around me. It's supposed to stimulate the intellect.

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  8. oh thank you for that wonderful picture of the sky! the yellow dye pot is wonderful too, of course!

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  9. It was somewhat that way in Scotland, which is the furthest North I've been.

    That's a gorgeous yellow!

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  10. That is a beautiful yellow! My mom does a lot of dyeing with plants (or at least used to), and I think it´s so fascinating all the colors you can get. A lot of them you can´t even guess what color they will produce, if you don´t know.

    I have trouble sleeping in the light nights of Finland, and one thing I enjoy here in SD are the dark nights even in the summer. It is just as dark as it is in winter after 10 PM. Perfect for me. ;)

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  11. I love that yellow dye! I can only imagine how it would be to live with light that many hours a day and then dark for many hours a day. I have a friend that suffers when the days lack sunshine and she has a special light that she sits in front of during the overcast winter days here on Vancouver Island, BC.

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  12. kirsty12:10

    Wow! I had no idea birch trees could be so useful - I am also surrounded by them I must try a batch :-)It is a lovely natural colour.

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  13. Wow. That is a beautiful color from the natural dye.

    I don't think I could live without the light for so long. I find the winter difficult enough in Canada. Your people are a hardy stock.

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  14. Yes, that is a particularly lovely shade of yellow. It's a healing color for me, too. I wear silver, but I decorate with brass, and my bathroom is punctuated with bright reds and sunny yellows. (Are you familiar with Mary Engelbreit's artwork? Her "snap out of it" poster hangs facing the commode, where it cheers me every time I see it.) I deal with a mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder myself. Don't know if I could sleep at all with the sky as light as it is for you midsummer, but it sure is pretty. Looks like what I see during my 7am commute in Texas, after a good rain!

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  15. I find it quite amazing to see a sky photo such as yours taken near to midnight...although I KNOW this is what happens...
    That yellow yarn is gorgeous, a nice rich buttery yellow from here, not raucous at all, it's beautiful!

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  16. Thanks for sharing what it's like living in your area, very interesting. The color you got from the birch leaves is amazing.

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  17. Scotlynn16:38

    Such beauty to start my morning. I cannot even imagine having light like yours. And the yellow dye...your very own stash of summer light for those long dark winter hours.

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  18. Lene,
    Your post today (as usual) brought a peaceful smile to my face. Thank you so much for continuing to share with us all the way you do.

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  19. Ann in Montreal18:27

    What a good and useful tree the birch is! I have never tried to dye with the leaves, I will now though. I do use the leaves medicinally, when arthritis flares up in my neck I apply a poltice of fresh mashed birch leaves. They reduce the inflamation and relieve the pain. Perhaps my neck would like a scarf knit from a soft yarn dyed with birch leaves? I think so.

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  20. marjorie01:28

    I think that is so cool, that the birch leaf gives you the colour of the sun. You should dye enough that you have some left to knit on your darkest winter days. What a lovely thought. I have birch trees at my cottage. Perhaps I could pick and boil some.

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  21. marjorie01:31

    Just to clarify--I meant pick the leaves,not the whole tree.

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  22. Robin09:41

    That's a beautiful yellow! You never know what colors nature will yield. You mentioned being interested in soapmaking. I make soap in a crockpot - the hot process method (vs. cold process) and would highly recommend it. The saponification process of lye and oils is accomplished while in the crockpot. I can use the soap within a few days vs. weeks with cold process. If you are interested, I would recommend Handcrafted Soap by Delores Boone.

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  23. kris11:17

    aren't these long days fantastic! they are too easy to forget about in wintertime. do you have the midnight sun up there? bergen is too far south but it still doesn't get properly dark until way past midnight.

    the birch yellow yarn is absolutely beautiful. lovely, lovely colour.

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  24. I think it's amazing that you got that bright, beautiful shade of yellow from birch leaves. I never would have thought you'd get that from that natural dye. Amazing!

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  25. Toni K.17:40

    I've always loved the color yellow, and that is a gorgeous version. I suggest making something you can wear or see indoors in winter - then you'll never lose the sun. Seeing your picture & Stephanie's of the midnight sun makes me more determined to see it for myself someday.

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  26. Did you use a mordant on your wool or in your dyestock? Is your water naturally hard or soft there (minerals in hard water can effect the end results when natural dying).

    I will be trimming the birches along my back fence soon and want to see if I can get this same lovely yellow - not too bright, not too pale.

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  27. That is a warm welcoming yellow. It is like a hug from a friend. No wonder it makes you smile.

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  28. Boiled birch leaves...
    There's something so deeply pleasing about that instead of the usual synthetic chemicals.
    Beautiful result.

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  29. Fabulous yellow. You've peaked my curiousity to look for other natural dye colours :)

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  30. This year I appreciate yellows more than I have before -- yours is particularly nice :*)

    I, too, am almost ready to admit I suffer from the lesser light in winter, though our winter is not nearly as lesserly lighted as yours, so I know how you feel -- make the most of it, and save some of those photos... Looking at summer skies seemed to help just a bit for me...

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  31. Anonymous23:21

    HI Lene
    Thanks for the midnight sky picture. I checked your blog today, hoping that you would have night time photo and.....

    The color reminds me of the color of spring oak leaves when the sun is on them.

    Margie

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  32. Beautiful yellow!
    This made want to try dyeing with plants myself. I have planed so for several summers, but the day hasn't enough hours, right?

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  33. kmkat19:27

    I dyed my first yarn a couple days ago (so I'm no longer totally intimidated by the process), and I too have birch trees. And the yellow is beautiful. Hmmm.

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  34. Now I miss my birch tree (that had to be cut down because it was dead) that much more. It is a beautiful colour. I got a similar colour from elderberry leaves a few years ago but I think mine was lighter.

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  35. I don't stop by here often enough. Thoroughly enjoyed your last few posts.

    Beautiful dyed yarn. About the birch yellow? Someone once told me that the leaves of a tree will yield the color it turns in autumn. I have to experiment with that idea, now that I have seen your dyepot!

    And I am so glad you finally got to meet Jo!

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  36. Mokihana07:03

    I love seeing the photos of your country! It's not likely I will ever get to visit in person, so I am enjoying the photos. And that yellow yarn is to die for!!

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  37. I just read another post with dyed birch yarn, you may want to see her results too. She used copper.

    http://saga-i-farver.blogspot.com/

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