France, Summer 2021, after all.

Discovering splendid municipal architecture in Évreux, and castles in Lapalisse and Châteldon (the home town of Pierre Laval, though that doesn’t get much of a mention in the tourist office!)

I am also quite a fan of the N7, but I think this rather large sign in Lapalisse is new:

Likewise this rather alarming roadside cross that has appeared right outside the front gate… I think over the last year European money has restored several of these 19th century calvaires which had disappeared during the late 20th century.

We’ll get used to it!

Reading, walking, eating….and several sessions with the dye pots, mostly sock yarn this time.

I also took some pictures of a corridor my daughter decided to decorate some years ago:

We are holding a memorial event to celebrate her life on Sunday. This is necessary, but not easy. I think I will take my late September tree pictures on the same day – still a really useful prop!

Playing with the dye pots again

(And I have the fingernails to prove it…)

Some dipped, some injected, some spattered, some painted with a brush…. no end of fun! The unwound skeins above are not yet finished, but they will end up as sock yarn and/or mini skeins. The samples at the top are on a new base of kid mohair lace weight. I like it, but it may be better suited to more pastel colours.

May in the UK has been utterly grim, weatherwise (at least in this corner of the South East – I haven’t travelled far). So indoor activities like the above are ideal. I use mostly acid dyes in England – much less messy than the natural plant materials or indigo that I prefer in France (where I can work outside, with proper SUN!)

I did get out walking today though – despite the chilly rain. I usually end up on the Downs or along the seafront but today I went Urban. I have been lucky enough to have lived in Brighton for my whole adult life – mostly right in the city centre – but there are still numerous back streets and little squares to discover. Because there are so many separate conservation areas, there is a lot of information online – so I set out like a proper tourist to explore. It is quite surprising how much you never notice till you actually look for it…I shall do more!

Progress! (But maybe not with the WordPress battles…)

I have been sorting out some base yarn for dyeing, and I am thinking along the lines of these colours. They are so excitingly vibrant – yet very subtle if you look closely. I have also finished a couple of Etsy items, and settled on the best way of knitting up the baby leg warmers without seaming. This afternoon I posted a hot water bottle to Portugal, thus scoring a new country for my Etsy sales. I have clocked up a fair few over the last 12 years!

Steps-wise I scored just over 5,000 today – so definitely on target, however unimpressive that target might be. Am I being kind to myself? Or, as I suspect, just pathetic…

I’m not going to tempt the Demons of WordPress by adding any more images today – this is just the point at which they usually scupper me. So I will hop out fast, while I think I am winning!

Indigo summer in France – sneak peek

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!

The Colour of Memory – Pierre Bonnard (plus some stormy blues…)

I have mis-timed this post. It is rather irritating to hear of an inspiring exhibition (at Tate Modern) when it has already closed – so I decided a couple of weeks ago not to mention it. But it has stayed with me. Colour painted from memory – fleeting moments captured and reworked till they sing.

I am less moved by the much reproduced bath pictures – this one, for example, seems to me plain weird.

The colours are not always bright and bold. These two, possibly my favourites, are softer, subtle and beautifully balanced:

The almond tree was Bonnard’s last painting, finished in 1947. Apparently, when he was too weak to paint, he asked his nephew to change the patch of green in the bottom left corner to the gold we see now – still pondering colour right to the last.

Before we left the building we nipped up to the viewing gallery and were met with this:

Moody skies and swirling winds – quite exciting!

Plenty of ideas for the dye pots – I am busy winding base yarns as I hope to get several days in soon.