Last October I spent a very happy week admiring the autumn colours of coastal Maine. I will always remember the wonderfully named Lake Megunticook – a lone canoeist paddling in the early morning mist, and later the spectacular reflections of the autumn foliage in the lake water. I was naturally drawn to the Swans Island store in Camden which sold beautiful locally woven blankets and scarves, inspired by the people and landscape of Maine. I bought a skein of their hand-dyed indigo ikat ‘firefly’ merino wool, so called as once worked, the dye resist marks create patterns of scattered white stitches, reminiscent of fireflies against the night sky.
The wool handled beautifully on the loom, and I made a scarf in simple plain weave to most clearly show the beauty of the naturally dyed ikat yarn. I was so pleased with the result that when my American friend from Maine returned a few months later, I asked her to bring some extra supplies! I have now made two more scarves, adding a supplementary weft of hand dyed merino in autumn colours to bring back memories of the reflections in Lake Megunticook. Rather than fireflies, I like to think of the ikat marks being the sunlight catching the lake water.