Tag Archives: 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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The Walk to Weyland’s

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The Walk to Weyland’s

Background:

This skein was created from divine fibre, handdyed by Hilltop Cloud. The luxury combed top came as a dyed rainbow gradient in beautiful harvest shades. I decided to spin it as a fractal yarn, so split the fibre lengthwise into halves, split one half into quarters, split one quarter into eighths and split one eighth into sixteenths. The fibre was spun finely in sequence from the half to the last sixteenth, and the single was navajo plied to preserve the colour changes. Combined with the luxury fibre, this was a very special skein indeed.

Story:

Crisp autumn day. Frost dances with sunbeams in a perfect pas de deux.

2.2 kilometers says the sign.

Set off up the hill, to the ancient trackway, passing the signs of autumn, harvest just around the corner.

Leaves give up their vibrant green life and mellow to chestnut shades. Showers of red hawthorns peek through and purple sloes gather in abundance.

The sky shifts – from clear, bright blue to purple-grey clouds rolling in.

We pass the abundance of the hedgerow – leaves, trees, berries, shrubs, flowers, fruit, crab apples.

The hedgerow parts, allowing views across the farmland. A copse of trees in the distance surrounds our destination.

More than five-and-a-half thousand years old and still revered today.

The path comes to an end and the trees form the entrance. I lay eyes on the long barrow, and wonder at my ancestors.

I shall rest a while at Weyland’s Smithy.

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Information:

Title: The Walk to Weyland’s

Composition: 33% Camel, 33% Seacell, 33% Faux Cashmere.

Weight: 100g / 16 WPI / Sports weight

Length: 265m / 290yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: October 2015

Skein code: 0069

Fibre: Combed blend of camel, seacell, and faux cashmere.

Source: Hilltop Cloud

Status: Sold