Showing posts with label Kent. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kent. Show all posts

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Yarn Dyeing with Lichen - Dyeing Handspun with Cladonia Mitis

Having read numerous 'how-tos' on the process of natural yarn dyeing utilising lichen, I felt the urge to experiment with a local variety of lichen and a small swatch sample of handspun.

Lichen on Apple Tree (West Kent, UK) 

Before investigating natural dyes, I was aware of the existence of lichen and their particular properties as fungi. Yet, I had no idea of the longstanding history of fabric dyeing with these mysterious organisms. And even though lichen are omnipresent in everyday life, I hardly took any notice of them. I subsequently had my first conscious encounter with a particularly impressive variety in an old orchard in West Kent (UK) back in August 2014. More on  this is available here. Shortly thereafter I came across several articles and selected blogs on lichen dyes and was naturally cursing myself for not having taken a small sample on the day to experiment.


Lichen on Apple Tree, West Kent (UK)

During a recent trip across Kent - this time to the Kent / Sussex border - I once again came up close and personal with another variety of lichen. This time I not only collected a very small sample (just enough to dye a swatch of homespun), I was also able to identify the variety: Cladonia Mitis. 

What follows is a brief description of my lichen dye experiment with 


You will require: 



  • 1 small swatch sample of undyed homespun yarn 12cm x 6cm (as pictured below)
  • 1 small sample of lichen (as pictured below)
  • 1 jam jar (to soak the lichen for one to two nights prior to simmering it together with the handspun swatch sample)
  • 1 saucepan

Homespun Swatch Sample

Cladonia Mitis

Friday, 17 July 2015

Just for a change...A Few Shots of Cycling Paraphernalia


Charity bike ride training weekend, Friends of the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment

It happened to be a sunny day in Kent and I had the pleasure of meeting the Tigers during their training weekend in Canterbury. They appear to be rather fond of their kit. 

To find out more, follow them on Twitter: #Tigersr2r /  and here.

Here are my impressions of the day: 

Monday, 25 May 2015

Kent Local Elections 2015: The Curious Case of the Missing Ballot Paper

Now that the dust on the UK General Elections 2015 is settling and we are slowly getting used to the idea of another five years of unfettered Tory rule, it's time to start turning our attention to the handling of election logistics in the county of Kent.


More here.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Damn Damsons: Foraging in Kent

I'm the victim of my own frugality. If the opportunity arises, I simply have to forage. The prospect of turning wild-growing, Kentish damsons into jam was just too tempting. 


Wild Kentish Damsons


About 20 minutes of intensive damson harvesting in the more affluent outskirts of Sittingbourne produced roughly 3 kilos of destoned damsons. Despite the presence of gloves in the house, I opted to destone the damsons with my bare hands. (I'm so hardcore.) 


Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Lichen and Musings on Yarn Dyeing



Lichen on Apple Tree (Kent, UK)

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of spending an entire day in an apple orchard somewhere in West Kent. For all those not familiar with the county of Kent, West Kent is commonly associated with Royal Tunbridge Wells. It is, as it were, the posh half of Kent. It offers textbook Kentish countryside combined with easy access to London: hops, oast houses, apples and a so-called "high-speed" rail link to the capital. 


Laxton Superb

Saturday, 22 March 2014

There and Back Again....

Gallery of a Public Transport Knitter





Some Vital Statistics

Excluding the London Underground network, 2.5 million people commute to work by rail in the United Kingdom every day. More than a third of those commute to work to and from London. With a population of 13,614,409, the London commuter belt, which is also defined as the Southeast Metropolitan Area, is the largest in the European Union. The geographical boundaries of the Southeast Metropolitan Area are in constant flux. As the urban sprawl continues ever on and transport links are improved or created, it is expected to further expand.

My stretch of the line is operated by Southeastern. 70% of Southeastern's services transport passengers from Kent and parts of East Sussex to the major London termini. On their website Southeastern claim to be transporting 570,000 commuters to the capital every weekday morning. I happen to be one of them.




Monday, 26 August 2013

Downtown Sheerness on a misty day...Let's hear it for Sheerness!

There I was, coming out of the station with no idea where to go next. Thankfully, help was at hand in the form of a sign giving directions to the most important sights:



Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sittingbourne - Sheerness: A ride on the Sheppey Express

As previously mentioned, I planned to visit Sheppey again, that mysterious island off the Kent coast. This time, I took the train and what follows is an account of my journey to Sheerness - on - Sea.

For all those who rely on public transport, getting on to the Isle by train is by far the most convenient method. The Sheppey Express, as I have named it, departs twice hourly from Sittingbourne railway station; and it is here where the journey starts. (Well, I had to come over from Faversham, but no incidents worthwhile reporting occurred during the eight minute ride.)

Upon arrival at Sittingbourne you cross over onto platform three, the platform that is entirely reserved for the train to Sheppey. The train model itself is one of those regional type trains, the ones that are being used across Greater London, the ones with the uncomfy seats, that call at all stations. I'm sure the model has a name, but who needs that kind of technical information in their lives?

The Sheppey Express, awaiting its departure from platform 3 at Sittingbourne


Friday, 16 August 2013

On the eve of boarding the Sheppey Express...


Today's top tip: 

If you feel under the weather, somewhat unhappy or even a little depressed ... Why not head for a location that's even more dreary than the state you are in? Coming face - to - face with all the grotty misery on offer, you will return sufficiently re - charged, and, perhaps, somewhat relieved that at least you can come back to a place that's marginally more inviting than the destination of your trip. If you are looking for a location of this kind, may I suggest a trip to the Isle of Sheppey, situated just off the East Kent Coast?


The Isle of Sheep: Sheepey (or Sceapige in ancient Saxon) 

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Inspired by Bluebells





Bluebells between Ashford and Faversham (Kent, UK)


The woods between Ashford and Faversham (Kent, UK) are widely known as bluebell country in the area. Earlier this month we ventured out to have a look at this magical spectacle and took a few pictures.

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