A Midwinter Night’s Dream is a favorite collection of my customers, so much so that I’ve made a sister collection, Midsummer. Both feature naturally grey wool that has been over dyed for two different effects. Midwinter starts as a dark grey and I dye it to achieve a rich depth of color. While Midsummer starts as a light grey and I dye it to achieve a soft heather look.
I purchased these fibers from RH Lindsay, a family owned wool merchant business in Boston. RH Lindsay opened up shop in the 1930s and has continued doing business through all the textile industries ups and downs. Today it is run by Phil and his daughter, Grace. Grace’s “Day in the Life Of” and “Festival Vlogs” are some of my favorite Instagram content.
But this fiber story doesn't begin at RH Lindsay, it begins with a wool pool. A wool pool is a market that receives wool from many different farms then groups them by color and micron to sell in bulk to factories and mills. This allows farms to receive a fair price for their wool without having to market and negotiate prices on their own. Supporting American sheep farming is a core value here at Green Goat Ranch.
When I ordered my first small batch of dark grey carded sliver from RH Lindsay I wanted to create a collection that celebrated nature in winter. In Celtic lore the winter and summer solstice are claimed to be the power struggle between the Oak King and Holly King. With the arrival of winter, the Oak King takes center stage, embodying the dark half of the year. Cloaked in mystery and wisdom, he symbolizes the dormancy of nature, the shedding of leaves, and the quietude of hibernation.
This winter collection was always destined to have a summer sister. In Celtic lore as the warm sun casts its golden glow upon the earth, the Holly King emerges as the embodiment of life's vitality and abundance. The light grey carded sliver from RH Linsday is the perfect base tone for this lighter, heather collection.
Instead of naming these collections after the Oak and Holly Kings I wanted a more whimsical fairy feeling to it. The essence of their story is about the solstice and changing of seasons. I decided on A Midwinter Night’s Dream and A Midsummer Night’s Dream bringing in the mischievous fae element.