While we were busy dyeing yarn in Arachova, in 1987 (see previous blog post about natural dyeing), Frosso Haritou’s mother was sitting with us. She needed the company.
Like all women of her generation, she was never idle, her hands were always busy. Most days she was spinning, using her drop spindle, the traditional Greek way. The yarn she made was used by her daughter Frosso for her weaving.
This older woman had a smiling face that I still remember.
Arachova, a small town on the southern slopes of Parnassos mountain, is known today as a skiing resort. But in 1987 when a small group of weavers from Scotland, Finland, Zimbabwe and Greece headed north (from Athens) it was to learn how to naturally dye yarn the way Frosso Haritou had been doing all her life.
In Arachova, there were still a few traditional rug weavers and Frosso was one of them. She was dyeing all the wool she was weaving with, using plants from the area, except for the blues and reds which were dyed with chemical dyes.
When we arrived, all the plant material was already collected by Frosso, so after preparing the skeins of wool we started the dyeing procedure. We used walnut, broom, pomegranate, inula, onion skins, flowering ash and eucalyptus.
During the five days we stayed in Arachova we managed to dye a lot of yarn, to take with us and for Frosso to use in her weaving rugs for her shop. It was quite an experience because I had never participated in dyeing such big quantities of wool. My needs for coloured yarn were always more modest.
While we were dyeing the yarn, Frosso’s mother was sitting with us. She was not weaving anymore but she was still spinning. See the next blog post in a few days.