Yarns and Words

We’re now in the second weekend of floods here in West Yorkshire. I am lucky to be out of harm’s way bar a few large puddles although travel becomes restricted as road and rail are disrupted..

I came across this knitwear designer and publisher based in the West of Scotland:

https://kddandco.com/about-kdd/

A rather lovely combination of knitting and publishing which is true to the Highlands and Islands styles. Professionally produced, KDD & Co is a delight to browse through and discover more of what is available in the world of yarns. There are books, kits, yarns, knitwear and tutorials in the online shop. So much to inspire a maker on a dreich day!

‘Kate now donates 20% of her time to volunteering, mentoring and consultancy, sharing her expertise with a wide range of organisations and individuals. She’s a champion of the MAKE manifesto and one of the twelve members of the Scottish Government’s Business Leadership Group, encouraging other businesses to commit to the ideals of fairness and equality behind the Scottish Business Pledge. From its beginnings in difficult circumstances, Kate is proud to have built a sustainable and successful creative business completely from scratch.’ (KDD website)

I am working on a shawl with a circular needle, combining two yarns simultaneously. I enjoy the marl and texture which mohair can give to an ordinary ball of wool. I’ve also approached felt with embroidery, experimenting with shrinking, presenting Mama Nature in Abstract. There has been exploration of further study in textiles too.

Recycled Sari Yarn

2019 – We bend, we do not break.

I have a saying, garnered from my ancestors – ‘we bend, we do not break.’

2019 was testing – ill health in the family, insecurity at home and work. Often it felt like walking along dimly-lit cobbled streets, slippery and mossy underfoot. Change and yet more change. A life in flux yet at the same time, a sense that good things would come, and by autumn, they did.

Family got better. Back on track. Thanks are given to those close and far for their support.

Despite the state of our nation, the world and some of its leaders refusing to accept good change, I still believe we can and will make a positive difference.

Every day, people help where they can. Knowing that certain actions can bring good things, using the skills we have, and knowledge, can help us to evolve.

At the end of 2019, I have completed assignments, submitted a piece of fiction to a publisher, got through Nano. Although my brain is still scrambled and I get fatigue, I come round.

And when my family needed me, I managed to be there.

All along, I repeated – ‘we bend, we do not break.’

Here’s to 2020 and the next decade of this new century we are in.

I still have faith in the universe, Mother Nature and all her little babies.

Onwards!

Counting Butterflies – A Day Off

A longer weekend. We have rain after what seems to have been weeks of heat. In fact, it’s only been three, or was it four. I wonder if the grass will grow again, will it be green and long. No hose pipe bans here as yet. I remember the summer of ’95 and syphoning off bath water to feed the greenhouse then.

We grew all kinds of fruits in that little space. Cucumbers, loved by us and the slugs that found their way in. Peppers and tomatoes, turning from green to yellow and red, like traffic lights. An aubergine plant, a melon plant which broke through to the outside, reaching for the sky – no fruit though.

I grow nothing right now. But hope to again. Instead I go in search of good fruit. The local grocer has a decent variety as do the market stalls. The difference between a large lemon with  thick skin and a puny think-skinned one is all about aroma, flavour, longevity.

Aldi offers decent avocados, in a relaxing, meditative green that you’d want to dive in to. Piccolo tomatoes which smell as if they are straight from the soil. Clusters of beets, radishes, carrots, all bundled.

Shopping around pays, but it doesn’t have to cost the earth either.

I have gotten through a fair amount of writing in recent weeks and achieved quite a bit. There is now a brief hiatus as I wait for autumn to bring fresh results. September tends to bring change for me year on year.

As I go walkabout, it is more and more apparent to me what my life *should* be hereon in.

In the meantime, I have reading. Ivo Andric’s Bosnian Chronicle, Collected Fictions – Jorge Luis Borge and to finish Pullman’s latest La Belle Sauvage, which is delightful. Three more shorter novels on the side thereafter with cuisine themes, and a reserve at the library waits for me – George Saunders’ Lincoln in the Bardo.

Someone once said all you need is a library and a garden and life’s just fine. Okay. I may have finally come to accept that. Except one needs yarns too.

Starting today for the next three weeks, Butterfly Conservation are asking us to count butterflies. Visit their website, download the app or chart. Spend 15 mins at a time counting. This can be done as often as you like over the next three weeks. I’ve noticed many butterflies recently in this hot summer, and bees. Just lovely, absolutely lovely.