No-one would have wished to gain time in this way – but enforced isolation has its compensations…
Lots of yarn work. Custom orders for Etsy (some quite unusual!),
Spinning (bliss, still my very favourite).
Dyeing (acid dyes this time – less subtle than the eco stuff, but gloriously bright – definitely lifts the mood)
Maybe even the looms will make an appearance – long time since I was weaving….
We are fortunate to be hiding away healthily. This is not the case for everyone – and who knows what is to come. But for the moment I feel we should help out where we can – but also grab the opportunities so unexpectedly presented. Maybe a calm interval will stand us in good stead if we are seriously to be tested….
(And definitely no resolutions, either!)
But this is where the time went – late Autumn in the Auvergne, then a family wedding in the West (with another visit to Salisbury sneaked in). In the photos it all looks rather brown. The picture of the leaves on the black grass has recently evolved into a skein of tweedy speckled handspun – so I have been fitting in a bit of work….
December was much more urban.
Paris, the first week of the French strike….Eurostar cancelled, no metro, no buses – and no **** Opera, which had been booked since September!
The Orangerie was also closed – but they let tourists into the Monet waterlilies – AND they didn’t charge! The dramatic metal figures (outside, along the river) are free to view anyway – such upmarket street art and so French!
Then back to Christmas. Rather traditional this year – family, books, music, puzzles….ridiculous quantities of food…. The decorations have got to be the best bit – I spent a great deal of time staring into the depths of the tree and was fairly gutted to have to take it down!
Some silk dyeing has been going on too – but that is for next time.
Couldn’t resist a few more pictures of these splendid streets – jigsaw-worthy houses that seem to be scattered through every village in mid Suffolk. Most of these details came from buildings around Lavenham – oh, those doors!
I am fighting my own battles with an historic building, though on nothing like the grand scale of those above. More like Historic Damp, Historic Decay, and Historic Plumbing… After listening to an expert on Regency restoration, I was inspired to reject most modern techniques and return to using traditional materials….but this involves capturing a sympathetic builder who doesn’t fall about laughing….
So far I haven’t got past the email stage, but I’m on it!
After a marathon spate of blanket making recently I now need to turn to some smaller items for my SpinningStreak ETSY shop. The blankets are mostly for friends and family. They are great fun to make but not exactly cost effective to sell. I worked out that one of the larger ones took over 100 hours, so over £800 at minimum wage, not counting rather expensive materials…..! That is never going to work.
So cowls it is. And I do love the constant variety – knitted, crocheted, thick yarn, thin yarn, narrow, long, infinity twisted, ribbed, textured, lacy, modular, hand dyed…..I have hardly looked up from my needles and hooks this month!
Winter is coming – it might be leg warmers next week!
I don’t know a lot about clouds but I recognise an exciting bit of texture when I see it… Further inspiration from French skies.
I don’t do a lot of cute, but these squirrels in Taunton’s splendid Vivary Park last week were pretty irresistible! Not proper Alison Uttley colouring – but actually not totally grey either.
Twenty five years ago we were contemplating buying this one. But we couldn’t really justify it and it turned out the owner had no interest in selling anyway. Now it is far too late. Someone clearly did love it once (you can just see the hand stencilled trefoils below the roof and round the windows – unusual decoration for a modest locaterie) Nothing has been done to preserve it, though a few years back the vegetation (jungle) was cleared from the front and I got excited thinking maybe it would be rescued…I make a point of walking past it several times a year but I fear the structure doesn’t have much longer. And it is by no means alone round this area. There are several abandoned farm buildings, casualties of the rural exodus, which even now nobody seems to want. Such a pity.
This building, though, is in great shape – literally! It is part of what was a medieval Guild Hall in Suffolk. It apparently became a Free Grammar School in 1577 and has now morphed into a holiday cottage where we stayed for a peaceful week in September. I spent several days trying to fathom out the original architecture – very confusing and I’m sure I failed but the exposed wood is very exciting – lots of detail, carefully preserved. One of my daughters is in Canada for a year, so I’ll make sure I send her pictures of the timber framed houses we saw all over Suffolk – it seems so weird to me to be in a country where you just can’t see any!
Such fun! Lots of it, too. Still deciding what to do with it all – the lace weight I’ll probably make up as a shawl, the chunky as hats, then I expect I’ll list the sock yarn in SpinningStreak’s Etsy shop. Maybe it’s time for people to start knitting for Christmas…I’ll let you know!