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Transformed Tracks

Snow Jan 19 006Change has a unique beauty.

Snow Jan 19 049

Its change, so not always comfortable, but there is beauty to be found – sometimes in the details, and sometimes in the bigger picture.  Maybe both?

Snow Jan 19 024Change almost forces us to look differently

We reassess our familiar landscape

Snow Jan 19 037We can not do anything other than work with what now is.  The outlook will change again in a few days.

Snow Jan 19 057Cut off from normality, isolated in quiet, surrounded with unexpected beauty.  Shifting lines, tracks.  A new perspective.

An adjustment in attitude, methods, routine, clothes, light, thought, time, perspective.

Snow Jan 19 033A different light.  An altered horizon.

Winter

kilve jan 20th 050

Starlings in Winter
 
Chunky and noisy,
but with stars in their black feathers,
they spring from the telephone wire
and instantly,
they are acrobats
in the freezing wind.
And now, in the theater of air,
they swing over buildings,
dipping and rising;
they float like one stippled star
that opens,
becomes for a moment fragmented,
then closes again;
and you watch
and you try
but you simply can’t imagine
how they do it,
with no articulated instruction, no pause,
only the silent confirmation
that they are this notable thing,
this wheel of many parts, that can rise and spin
over and over again,
full of gorgeous life.
Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us,
even in the leafless winter,
even in the ashy city.
I am thinking now
of grief, and of getting past it;
I feel my boots
trying to leave the ground,
I feel my heart
pumping hard.  I want
to think again of dangerous and noble things.
I want to be light and frolicsome.
I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing,
as though I had wings.
Mary Oliverkilve jan 20th 012

kilve jan 20th 120

Happy New Year

Here is wishing you all a very happy new year!

Its always fasinating to think of what the year ahead might hold.  This time last year we did not know that our bonny adorable baby girl would join us.  So the beginning of this year is full of beautiful liquid smiles and occasional protests which state clearly that the available staff are simply not fulfilling their duties fast enough!  We try…………

Christmas was spent house sitting.  It was peaceful and a lovely change.  New walks for the dogs and us.  Evenings spent knitting in a different setting.  Refreshing.

We had a family meal when my son and his wife came down from the Isle of Skye, it was so good to see them.  Island life has fully infiltrated them, running through their blood in every sense.  Their remote croft on the north of the island sits next to the sea and re-defines the term ‘windy’.  They describe the boulders which have to be placed on absolutely everything to keep within walking distance!  The pictures of their life and views are the stuff that dreams are made of, it is simply stunning.

kilve new year 2019 006

To start the new year I decided to follow a tradition which I started when the children were young.  We went to one of my favorite places in Somerset, Kilve.  The rocks and contours of this landscape never fail to inspire.

I thought perhaps that this year I should try to revisit places which resonate with me deep down.  Places to revisit which touch me deeply for one reason or another.  All of these are not too far from where I live.  I have never yearned for far off places, I have never been on a plane, I just live and love the areas around me.

 

I have been using up my stock of wool in creative ways.  Finishing another batch of cardigans and dyeing them for a shop in London where they sell well.  Each individually handmade, dyed and finished.

I have plans afoot for smaller projects and very individual ‘art’ pouches and bags.  Landscapes, lines made by walking and a tribute to local, in every sense.

I do wish creative dreams being realised for everyone for 2019.  Let the journey continue!

Lost in Stitches

Lost in Stitches of every kind.

Knitting.  I have found my complete love of this craft again.  Not just in the mindless, habit formed repetitive actions, but the absolute joy of yarns, colours, and the slow making of stitches, one by one.  Combinations of colours or textures.  What can be achieved by two sticks and some lovely string.  Slow production made by repeating methodologies stitch by stitch.  Sensuous pleasure induced by making.  The shawl is made with my handspun and hand dyed fibre.

Sewing.  Autobiographical recordings of daily walks.  Again, the step by step repetition of a meditative action keeping pace with my steps and thoughts.  This series of textile recordings have become something of their own thing,  I simply have become the tool of their making.  I am fasinated to see the years work as a whole.  Currently I am working on number 46, so my year is almost up.  What then?

Somerset beaches?

Stitch.  Ummmmm……. Beautiful, elegant, bouncy, challenging, noisy, affectionate, and so on.  Equally driving me loopy and filling me with love.  Stitch is firing on ALL cylinders.  She is growing at a phenomenal rate.  When I bought her collar, I gave it 6 months.  Well lets just say that it possibly has just 2 weeks left.  Her age?  Oh, just 14 weeks yesterday!

We took a trip to Kilve.  Kilve is an absolute favorite place of mine.

Kilve August 17 057

Oh arr oh arr aay.

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I feel slightly aware of the fact that nearly every post on this blog begins with a short tale of how busy we are. I’m loathe to do it again, but I shall merely hint at the fact that we have been bee-like in our activity.

So… Glastonbury has been and gone, and what a lovely show it was.

Sadly, last year I was unable to attend due to the aforementioned bee tendencies, but this year I was up bright and early and even managed to drag my boy along with me. Surprisingly, he was keen to experience a wool show, and I thought Glastonbury was a nice one to ease him in.

A rather lovely Victorian sampler that captured our imaginations.

A rather lovely Victorian sampler that captured our imaginations.

We started out the day at the Museum of Rural Life. And when I say that, of course, I mean that we kicked off the day with a lovely cup of tea in the café. I mean, that’s what shows are all about –right?! We then pottered around the lovely museum which is free in case you were wondering. We learnt a lot about what things were like in Somerset in yesteryear, and, in a nutshell, people died in awful ways. Sad, but true. Oh, and they drank a LOT of cider. Seriously. They used to get paid in cider.

Please ring for cider I-Am-A-Cider-Drinker

Anyway, I digress.

THE SHOW.

The calibre of stallholders was marvellous, and I had great fun explaining to boy the difference between tops, roving, batts, art yarn, handspun etc. I don’t think he was listening intently, but hey, he permitted me to go and squish and sniff to my heart’s content.

It was the first time he had seen the JB stand, and needless to say, he was very impressed.  I was too, I have to admit. The colours this season are really striking, and every time we’re at a show I have to restrain myself to only one or two [or four or ten] skeins.

photo 3photo 3 (2)

It was a wonderful day out, full of the classic sights and sounds of the south west. The perfect way to spend a weekend.

photo 4 photo 5 (2) photo 2 photo 2 (2) photo 1 (2)

 

Yep... These are Somerset's FINEST strawberries. Devon, read 'em and WEEP.

Yep… These are Somerset’s FINEST strawberries. Devon, read ’em and WEEP.

Some summer.

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This morning I dressed for winter.

The skies were overcast, and rain was drizzling down, unrelenting. It was as if the weather had no regard for the fact that it is mid-August, and thus, on all counts, the middle of summer.

Alas, I pulled on jeans and a jumper and ambled off to work.

The day passed, and I gave no more thought to Britain’s cruel and taunting weather systems. I stepped out of work none the wiser, but ho, BLUE SKIES were there to meet me.

I dashed back out to our rural abode, and we did what we always do, and took the pack out for a walk.

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The only interruption to the tranquillity of the Somerset countryside was the determined parping of my mother’s wellies. With every second step, the most almighty farting noise would escape from what she claimed were her aged rain boots.

Birds were singing, grasses rustling, and lo, the trump of rubber on rubber.

 

The perfect way to unwind from work, no?