Tag Archives: Baby Camel

June Rolag Club: St. John’s Eve

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June Rolag Club: St. John’s Eve

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

This month we are celebrating St. John’s Eve on the 23rd of June.

St. John’s Eve is closely associated with midsummer celebrations and is celebrated in many countries around the world with the lighting of bonfires. Although named for a christian martyr, many of the traditions that survive to this day are pre-Christian in origin. The lighting of fires (and sometimes, the leaping of fires) relates to the belief in the cleansing properties of fire. It was also a time for the gathering of herbs to ward off spirits, especially witches, and chief amongst these herbs was St. John’s Wort, the pungent yellow bloom still in use today for its medicinal properties. St. John’s Day, or midsummer, was fixed as the 24th of June, despite the variation in date of the summer solstice. The saint in question was John the Baptist, born roughly 6 months before Jesus and so his feast day was set 6 months before Christmas Eve, making it one of the few saints days to celebrate the martyr’s birth, rather than death. St. John’s Day became one of the English Quarter Days, the others being Michaelmas, Christmas and Lady Day.

This month’s rolags are bonfire-inspired. You will also find a mini-skein in “charcoal” from Setting the Twist, a bit of heat from your three ginger tea and the gingins chew, soothing bedtime tea containing valerian, which was also collected at this time of year, stitch markers and a notions pouch from Forest Valley Designs to celebrate the solstice and the traditional herb-gathering, a tealight to have your own mini fire, a poem, and a recipe for the celebratory dish called “Goody” which was associated with this festival.

Happy midsummer!

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The “Bonfire” rolags were created as a reversible gradient set.

In this box you should find:

  • The story of St. John’s Eve
  • 10g of rolags in “No Smoke Without” – 50% Grey Suffolk, 20% Yak, 15% Rose, 15% Tussah Silk.
  • 20g of reversible-gradient rolags in “Bonfire” – 49% Merino, 21% Tussah Silk, 15% Baby Camel, 15% Faux Angora
  • A handspun mini skein in “Charcoal” by Setting The Twist
  • Tea in Three Ginger and Bedtime blends
  • Stitch markers in “Sun” and “St. John’s Wort” by Forest Valley Designs
  • “The Joyful Feast of St. John”
  • A recipe for “Goody”
  • A tealight
  • Gingins ginger chew
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A sun worthy of midsummer, from Forest Valley Designs

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St. John’s Wort by Forest Valley Designs

“The Joyful Feast of St. John”

Then doth the joyful feast of St. John the Baptist take his turne,

When bonfires great with loftie flame, in every towne doe burne;

And yong men round with maides, doe daunce in every streete,

With garlands wrought of Motherwort, or else with Vervain sweete,

And many other flowre faire, with Violets in their handes,

Whereas they all do fondly thinke, that whosoever standes,

And thorow the flowres beholds the flame, his eyes shall feele no paine.

When thus till night they daunced have, they through the fire amaine

With striving mindes doe runne, and all their hearbes they cast therein,

And then, with wordes devout and prayers, they solemnly begin,

Desiring God that all their illies may there consumed bee

Whereby they thinke through all that yeare from Augues to be free …

 

From a 16th Century poem by Thomas Kirchmeyer

Ref: Families, Festivals and Food, p.51

Recipe: “Goody”

Ingredients (all quantities approximate)

  • 350 ml milk
  • 8 slices of slightly stale bread
  • 35g sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon

 

  1. Heat the milk in a pan.
  2. Take the slightly stale bread and tear each slice into smaller pieces. Add the bread to the warm milk.
  3. Add 25g of the sugar and bring the mixture to the boil.
  4. Adjust the sugar to taste, and add more milk if needed during cooking.
  5. Pour the mixture into an oven-proof dish.
  6. Top with the remaining sugar, mixed with the cinnamon.
  7. Bake until browned and crispy on the top.
  8. Serve and enjoy.
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Unicorn Fluff

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Unicorn Fluff

Background:

This was spun for a themed project, and the inspiration was the character Uni the unicorn from the wonderful Dungeons and Dragons cartoon of the 80s. Now here’s something you may not know about me: I have a master in physics degree. So I have studied light and it fascinates me. Colour mixing is one of the interesting elements, working via colour addition for light and colour subtraction for inks. We perceive colours as a mixture of 3 primary colours of light. Broadly speaking these are red, green and blue and are derived from the 3 light-sensitive types of cone cell in our retinas which are activated by short, medium, and long wavelength photons in the visible light spectrum. A curious consequence of our biology is that when only the short- and long-wavelength cones are activated, the colour we see is one that doesn’t actually exist anywhere on the visible light spectrum.

Story:

How apt! To be crafting a mythical creature

From colours that shouldn’t exist.

Light’s a curious thing, and the colours therein

Are defined by our senses as three.

Fire red cones and blue, and magenta’s the hue,

With pink just a pale variation.

Yet green, in between, is not to be seen

So magenta’s nowhere on the spectrum.

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Information:

Title: Unicorn Fluff

Composition: 100% unicorn*

Weight: 100g / 15 WPI / Sports weight or ‘5-ply’

Length: 321yd / 294m approx

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: March 2015

Skein code: 0010

Fibre: 50g of Standard rainbow merino (70%) & silk (30%) and 50g of 50% baby camel & 50% tussah silk

Source: Wingham Wool Work – (RMS/BP) & (BCAMS)

Status: Gifted

Notes:

This yarn was ‘Z’-plied to improve crochet stitch definition.

* Just kidding! 40% silk, 35% merino & 25% baby camel