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….
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!
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.
March has been a lot about babies – I’ve been knitting for family ones, plus adding stock to my Etsy shop. I got rather carried away by this little jacket – I think I have made eleven of them recently, and not much else. The pattern is adapted from a traditional old favourite that now seems to be known as the ‘five hour baby sweater’- lots of free versions out there, so do check it out! It is constructed in one piece from the neck down, SO HARDLY ANY SEAMS! Just thought I’d shout that bit out….
Otherwise it is music and buildings that stand out this month – especially music IN interesting buildings. This is St Paul’s church in Brighton – a really pretty Victorian church I had never set foot in till we chanced upon a performance of early music there – result!
We also saw “Cosí” at the Opera House. Still a grand building with a splendid interior, and some of the changes are very welcome – but what have they done to the long bar? Shuffled it away to ram in more seating… Hmm.
Music sublime though!
Next was The Magic Flute at the Coliseum in St. Martin’s Lane. An exuberant Edwardian theatre – much bigger than I remembered it. Not a great photo, I’m afraid.
The ENO’s production was spectacular, especially the Queen of the Night – more than enough to distract you from the crazy story which I always ignore.
Another London raid – walking along the Thames between Tate Modern and Covent Garden. Scowling skies and high winds – good job the Millenium bridge no longer wobbles.
Should I own up to seeing at least some of the paintings in the Tate as potential sock dyeing colours? It’s not an easy habit to break….
In the end I went for these two very different colour sets – off to poke the dye pots right now!
Over this weekend I have had to offer two sorts of sock yarn. (I think people must be starting to knit socks for Christmas, though it could be for summer shawls instead!) My first instinct is always to grab the dye pots and have some fun experimenting – but I peeped into my stocks and decided to get realistic. I fished out the first 20 skeins (probably about a third of the sock yarn ready to go) and spread it around.
The first choice was not too tricky – ‘luxury, soft and feminine’. So I went for some silk and alpaca in more pastel colours, and will probably end up with this top one, which is more subtle than it looks, especially when knitted up. It was a very successful batch, though I say it myself.
But choice number two is harder. It is for ‘something different’. Hmm. I assume that EVERYONE who orders Indie hand dyed yarn is looking for ‘something different’ – otherwise there are dozens of perfectly good commercial yarns out there….
Does it mean in-your-face, saturated colours, like these?
Or just unusual combinations – maybe these?
I’m really not sure. Any ideas?
The spinning bit! My favourite. Carding can be tedious, fighting the drum carder to make the art batts is usually interesting, dyeing the silk threads is always exciting – but nothing beats the actual spinning process on the wheel. Once you have decided on the effect you want, and how you are going to get there, you can sink into a sort of rhythmic trance, watching the magic spool out from under your fingers…
Then you have to decide whether to use it, stash it (!) – or toss it into the Etsy shop and hope for the best!
Maybe I’ve just spent too long contemplating my yarns. But as anyone with a serious Stash Beyond Life Expectancy will understand, I can be overcome by the idea that THIS is what I will leave behind – my ‘final blazon’.
So I’ll move on quickly – and the yarns had better be good!
I have finally finished three new batts and have just begun spinning them up. They were inspired by a recent visit to the Picasso 1932 exhibition currently at Tate Modern – but not by the actual Picassos, which I found only mildly interesting. For me, the smaller colour collections did the trick – Matisse, Gerhard Richter and Bridget Riley. The red and black batt (top left) is loosely based on the Mark Rothko Seagram murals – huge, and splendidly displayed in dim light. I eventually produced three versions of this one and with any luck they will all mix and match. When I’ve finished the spinning I will have to decide whether to make the yarn up myself, or put the skeins (‘slow suspended’ or not ) into my Etsy shop. Or I could just add them to my memorial….
With apologies to Philip Larkin.