Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gathering My Thoughts.....

First of all, I want to thank everyone who has been in my corner over the last few weeks. Your support has been amazing, and such a comfort to me, so thank-you all, from every atom of my being ♥

Am back home with my boys now, after spending 3 weeks in Barrow with my Dad. Possibly the hardest 3 weeks of my life, for a multitude of reasons.
One question has been bouncing around my head, 'Now What?'...
This question has so many answers, and I am finding it extremely hard pinning down a definitive response, which is natural I guess.

Doesn't feel very natural though, trust me.

So for now, I have started knitting a very simple garter stitch shawl, 'Not Just a Triangle', a free pattern published by Chrissy at Stitched Together

Whilst in Cumbria, I visited Adrienne at Williams Wools in Kendal, and after a coffee, chat (mostly me talking actually, sorry, and thank-you so much for listening to my babble, Adrienne ♥) I became somewhat mesmerized with a ball of Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn. Don't ask me why, as I am not a huge fan of Noro yarns at all, and THERE.IS.PINK.IN.IT... but I went with it... I mean what is the worst that could happen :P

A plan for it came together in my head, involving the Noro and some Olive green semi~Precious out of my Bakewell stockpile. I was hoping to finish something else before casting on, as I am a serial 'finisher' (mostly), but I felt wholly compelled to start it...

And so I did...

After 2 unsuccessful attempts at casting it on, this is a picture from day 2 (yesterday)... growing in such a beautiful way, the green is truly sublime.

This is the story sofar, day 3... ♥

I am seeing this project as a time to think, reflect on my feelings, even the scary ones. 
I think I will reserve the scary reflections for the pink parts :P
I may finish it, with absolutely no resolutions whatsoever, as a lot of my questions cannot be answered, but at least something beautiful will have emerged from the insanity that is my head. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

.:: Tribute ::.

First of all, I'd like to extend a HUGE thankyou to everyone, for their heartfelt messages, and all the support and love both myself and my Dad have recieved over the last week or so. It has helped us both more than you could ever know, and boy have we needed it.

It's at times like these that true friends really show up and give you what you need.

It was a very great shock, to both myself and my Dad, to learn about the severity of my Mums condition, as we ourselves only found out she was seriously ill on Thursday the 2nd October.

She'd concealed and carried her burden alone... her final gift of Love.

She had experienced the unpleasantness of invasion and powerlessness for the patient and also the coldness of the institutions, at the end of the lives of both her parents, Norman and Millie.

This was something she definitely didn't want us to have to endure.

My Mum was a homebird. She wrapped her house around her like a protective shield from the world, and treasured it's comfort and order. The house was always spotless, and everything had a specific 'home'.

When I arrived home on Saturday 4th October, with my boys, the final jigsaw pieces had slipped into place. Her home was in order, and she was ready to let go of this incredibly heavy and latterly, corrosive, burden. My Boys had to return to Leicester for school and work later on that day, and all that was left, was us three...

We were here with her, every step of the way, telling her we loved her and that we'd keep her safe until she chose to move on to her next destination.

Her time arrived at 7.15pm on Sunday 5th October. She was exactly where she wanted to be, with the people she loved the most in the whole world and we were all protected by a home she had nurtured for over 40 years.

My Mum got exactly what she wanted ON HER TERMS, something she had fought so vehemently to achieve, and that makes me so happy. She hasn't left me, or my dad, ill equipped. In fact she's taught me how to endure something very painful with serenity, and most of all, dignity.

Another important lesson I have taken from this, is that if you want to achieve something important to you, you CAN make it happen, if you go about it the right way...

My Mum always believed in being the better person, turning the other cheek if you will, always putting others needs before her own...

This doctrine is also central to my role as a human being, and more importantly, as a Mother.


'I Sit Beside the Fire and Think' is a song found in J.R.R Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring. Bilbo Baggins sings it in Rivendell, a few days before Frodo leaves.

I sit beside the fire and think
of all that I have seen,
of meadow-flowers and butterflies
in summers that have been;

Of yellow leaves and gossamer
in autumns that there were,
with morning mist and silver sun
and wind upon my hair.

I sit beside the fire and think
of how the world will be
when winter comes without a spring
that I shall ever see

For still there are so many things
that I have never seen:
in every wood in every spring
there is a different green.

I sit beside the fire and think
of people long ago,
and people who will see a world
that I shall never know.

But all the while I sit and think
of times there were before,
I listen for returning feet
and voices at the door.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Important News

Due to tragic and unforseen circumstances, I have had to withdraw from exhibiting at both The Bakewell Wool Gathering, and Stitch Up 3 at Stitch Solihull. I am really sorry to disappoint anyone who was looking forward to seeing me at those shows, but as you all know, my family always come first in everything.

Much love to all

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Shake Your TailFeather

The inspiration for this yarn colour is Magpie tail feathers. Probably the only beautiful thing about the bird, in my opinion, is how the smokey colour of their tail feathers shimmer like oil on water in the sunlight.

The rest of the time they are big noisy bullies. I have 4 of them that live in the trees in my garden, so am surrounded by their cacophony pretty much all the time. 

I was unsure of how it would work out, but I shouldn't have worried... it turned out so much better than I could have hoped for!!

These pictures show both sides of the yarn. I dyed it on semi~Precious, the most favourite of all my base yarns to play with because of its construction and fibre mix ... 50% Silk and 50% SW Merino.
If you've never worked with it before, I highly recommend it, especially for shawls and anything you need to have 'drape' 
And at £14 per 100g skein, it's great value, without comprimising on luxury :)

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Out of the Black

Earlier this week, my friend Jill tagged me on Facebook in the comments for this picture, as she knew I think I would find it v. inspiring. 

I did indeed, and I worked hard on replicating the colours the following day, and making them play nicely together ... it turned out so well !!
I documented it on my Facebook page, and the responses to it were amazing, they gave me a real boost, so thankyou all SO MUCH for that :)
I've also been listening to a new album whilst working this week, the eponymously titled album from 'Royal Blood' ... a British 2 piece band, that sound like at least a 4 piece!! It has all the energy I need to just get on with creating... I really like it. They are definitely on my 'bands to see LIVE' list :)
The first track off the album is called 'Out of the Black', and it seems like a very apt name for this particular colourway, don't you think?

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Where did he get that Hat??

A few years ago, 6 to be precise ... I spun some wonderful rovings into a very ..ahem.. bright 3 ply, and called it 'Ode to Vincent' 

I kept one skein, and made a 'Dulcie'

I sent the other skein to my friend Woolly, and she made a reverse stocking stitch Chullo with it called Noma, because really, when you are knitting with handpun, an uncomplicated pattern lets the yarn do the talking, and boy, did it talk!! The pattern originally appeared in the KCG journal 'Slipknot' in 2010 (... haha I LOVE that name. Bizarrely it conjours up, for me, images of  masked ladies knitting and crocheting to Corey Taylor's growls :P) and today, she's re-released the pattern to the world, in freebie form..... and who doesn't love a freebie? 
Here's Tom, giving it some attitude :P

 (Both photographs reproduced with the permission of their owner, Woolly Wormhead)

To find more photos, please visit Woolly's Blog :)

Monday, September 01, 2014

Method in my Madness

You may have noticed recently (especially if you like my Facebook page ) that I have been quite.. ahem... 'prolific'... posting pictures etc
There are a few reasons for this, one being I am exhibiting at the Bakewell Wool Gathering in October, and that in itself needs exposure. It's a lovely show, friendly, easy to get to and also has a MASSIVE car park :P 
So yeah, need to motivate myself to do awesome things for this, as it's the only 'show' I am doing this year.
Another reason is that I have a new android phone, and it is brilliant, so it makes posting to Facebook/Twitter etc very easy...
But, the main reason, is that I have been feeling more creative and inspired recently, and I think being able to communicate that to everyone via social media is keeping me motivated :) 
The main reason though, is keeping the Black Dog at bay. 
So please bear with me as I clutter your lives with colour... but, in my defence, who doesn't like seeing happy colours pop up on their FB news/twitter feeds every now and then?
The last couple of days have seen me documenting my method (such as it is) of dyeing fibre...
First of all I use some inspiration. 
This is a picture Beast took on our recent holiday to Cornwall... he took it with his phone, and this picture was one of the reasons I got a new phone, for the camera... so I can take beautiful photos like this too!


Next, I formulate a 'colour plan' ...

... pre-soak the fibre, then mix my dyes and add the colour.


Then it gets cooked, left to completely cool, rinsed and then put on to an airer to dry. This is when I have to resist poking/picking at it, and let the top open out naturally as it dries.

 And when it is dried, I get to roll it up into a circle of wonderment and share the beautiful picture with you :)