Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Autumnal Colour

Autumn has come,
Nights growing cold,
Blackberries in the hedgerow
And leaves red and gold.

I didn't used to be a fan of autumn, I was more of a warm summery sort of person but things and people change. I'm not sure whether this reflects a shift in myself or whether it is the inevitable result of realising that summers are not made up of weeks and weeks of uninterrupted sunshine and carefree days like they used to be. Now, even in the middle of summer I find myself looking forward to beautiful autumnal days, the slight nip in the air, the earthy dampness in the woods and of course the wonderful colours in the trees.

So, in addition to knitting an autumnal pair of socks for a secret person (a birthday type deadline is very good for focusing not only the mind but also the knitting needles), I have been creating an autumnal yarn. 

It is 100% merino, a special autumn leaf blend of colours with bright red berries. 

The yarn has an interesting texture which has evened slightly in the plying process and is lovely and soft and cosy.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

The Fairy Woods

The children are studying local geography at the moment, so we have decided to take a closer look at things within a 7 mile radius of home (any wider than this and half of the area would be out at sea). Today I drew them a map which they had to follow to find some treasure. The walk took them down the lane and between the fields and ended a mile or two away at what we have always called the Fairy Woods.

This is a stand of blackthorn trees that are draped with the most amazing lichen ...

... and today's treasure was the sloes.

Despite my husband's protests and lengthy extolling of the virtues of sloe gin, I want to use them to dye 1.5kg of white alpaca that I have spun ready to actually knit something for myself - not something I have done before.

I am quite nervous about the dye process as the yarn took a long time to spin. I will blog the results in a week or two when it is all done and dusted so - watch this space!

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Spreading the Love.

Six years ago, when I was leading Periwinkles Steiner Parent and Child Group for the Kernow Steiner Project I invited parents who attended the group to come to Misty Cottage one evening a month for a craft night. The idea was that they would be able to make things for Periwinkles, for their own children or to learn new skills. Sometimes I think it could be renamed cake/flapjack/biscuit/general deliciousness night as the lovely people come bearing gifts to share with cups of tea.

So, six years on and craft night is still going despite that fact that I no longer lead Periwinkles and not all of the people who come are parents of children in either Periwinkles or the Kindergarten. Last night was this month's craft session and there were several different projects going on. The Kernow Steiner Project's Kindergarten has recently opened in this beautiful building so a couple of people were making Waldorf dolls which are urgently needed.

It is a wonderful feature of the Waldorf Steiner Early Years approach that parents are encouraged to make playthings for their children, it means that the toys are made with love and it helps parents to see that young children don't have to be hooked into our consumerist culture. It is often the first time that the parents have made anything since they were children themselves and can be quite a revelation to them. The healing and calming power of creative activity is especially helpful to those who are living with small children.

So, last night two Waldorf doll heads were begun and a visiting kindergarten teacher from Holland was working on some stick weaving to make a sail for a boat he was making for Kindergarten. Another lovely person had brought along a table loom that had been given to her by a neighbour and had clearly been home made by someone who knew what they were doing.

What about Misty Cottage Crafts? Well, I have been setting the twist in some yarn.

I love to see it hanging to dry, initially in the bathroom and then, when the drips have stopped, on the airer in the living room.

Pictured are the two 'Heathery Hedges' mentioned in my last blog entry, 'Pumpkin' a mixture of merino orange shades which, though beautiful, is too self explanatory to warrant a blog entry to itself and 'Blue Skies', also a one off merino mixture of blue shades.