Here's me thinking I was being *clever* by taking the last spot on Woolly's 10th Anniversary Blog Tour... I didn't anticipate sitting here feeling a little speechless, because everyone has covered a lot of the things that I was going to say :P
But , you know me right?
Never short of a few choice words :)
Woolly and I have been friends for around 7 years, but I know I bumped into her quite early on in our *online* lives, as we both started blogging in 2005.
I followed a lot of blogs around that time, being a stay at home Mum to two beautiful boys, and knitting woolly trousers and shorts to be used over cloth nappies to keep me creative.
I remember sending her these yarn oddments... and how completely *fangirl* I felt being mentioned on her blog... hahaha :P
Woolly's adventures with her dyeing and spinning inspired me to follow my own woolly dreams... and a few years later she was including my hand dyed and hand spun yarns in her patterns !
I loved reading about her life... feeling so closely connected to her through her words, as I struggled with my own darkness...
Her frankness about her feelings and how she made sense (or not) of it all always comforted me... and still does :)
We met 'for realz' in 2007, at Skipnorth, an annual get together of knitterly folk at Hawarth in Yorkshire and then again later in that year at Woolfest, where I got a sneak peak at the samples for her first book, 'Going Straight' ...
The move to 'Mutonia' in 2008 saw her really begin to blossom as a designer, and having such a beautiful son to inspire her has opened up a whole new world of playful constructions. Being a mother unlocks a whole new level of emotion (both good and bad) and these feelings are expressed by us sensitive, creative types in the only way we know. Living in such an artistic community has also encouraged so much wonderful work to emerge, and also allowed for a much simpler way of life for her and her Boys... something that wouldn't be possible to achieve within the stifling constraints of bricks and mortar.
On her returns to the UK, we always try to meet up at least once, if not a few times (Wool Shows, Teaching and Hat Clinic schedules permitting) and Summer family get togethers at my houze are fast becoming a tradition...
There's always a lot of laughter, always alcohol (in varying quantities) and ALWAYS some time to go clothes shopping :P
Over the last 4 or so years, we've been growing increasingly closer to each other in the dark times, the friendship becoming stronger because of it.
She's gently schooled me on ways to cope with the darkness, to embrace it and work through it.
You have to understand how it works to ever think of overcoming it, and that knowledge is a real gift, one that I am thankful for every day.
Without her unwavering guidance I would still be drowning, especially with the mess that is my head over losing my Mother so unexpectedly.
As you all know, I have an incurable Hat addiction... and for my 40th Birthday, she designed 'Sarahs Slouch' for me ... my very own WoollyWormhead design, from one of my very best friends in the world.
I feel unfaithful if I contemplate knitting any hat other than one of Woolly's *GRiNS*
The way I see it though, I have no need to look any further than Woolly's comprehensive inventory of 8 Books and over 150 single patterns to find something amazing to knit. Her written instructions are so simple to understand (that's perfect for me!) teaches me new techniques, and new ways of looking at construction.
A lot of the other Guest Bloggers have chosen their favourites, but I am afraid I cannot, because they are all awesome!
Now, you guys know how important Music is to me, I live for it and the way it wrenches feelings out of me ...
Woolly and I have shared a memorable kareoke moment or two, hehe, but over on the Instagram recently, she shared a fantastic song, 'Vagabonds' by the New Model Army.
I dunno if any of you have been to a NMA gig ? I have, and it was one of the most amazing experiences of my University years. The passion and absolute surrender to the music of the fans was astonishing to me at the time, being a newbie gig goer at the time... and it coloured my Live music appreciation forever.
So, Woolly, this one is for you, my soul sister.
Thankyou for being in my life, and for helping me to attend to my head, in more ways than one!
Sing it LOUD !
'We are old, we are young, we are in this together
Vagabonds and children, prisoners forever
With pulses a-raging and eyes full of wonder
Kicking out behind us again'
As per previous blog posts, you guys have the opportunity to win a totally, one of a kind, reversible project bag, sewn with love by Woolly....
Because I love ya :P
....just leave me and Woolly a comment here, telling us what you'd say to us, if you met us in the street... away from all the bluster the industry creates... and also what hat patten you'd like to receive!
... because at the end of the day, we both are just, as my youngest son says, Hoomans :)
Be excellent to each other... !