Thursday, May 30


I snapped up a sunny Sunday, had soaked yarns in readiness, dug out an extension lead for the electric ring and a decrepit garden table and had myself a dyeing day in the garden. 
The dyeing itself was fun - the delicious anticipation as you lift the yarn from the pot, the magical shading of green to deepening blue, the anxiety as you worry whether resist bindings and knots are tight enough, or then again maybe too tight. More experiments, more luscious shades, more discoveries.
And then the endless rinsing, the cleaning up, the drying - will the rain stay off? do I rush to rescue the skeins dripping on the line? do I keep calm and let nature take its course? 
Finally it's all safely indoors and nearly dry, airing for twenty four hours. 
bamboo dk
Inevitably some skeins are tangled and need to be rewound.
wool/nylon sock yarns
Labels are printed and punched and attached. 
sock yarn lying on merino dk
New stock. 
Wish I could keep it all......
little helper - note blur of wagging tail

Monday, May 20

Stitchery Saturday

Saturday was foggy and wet. Not great for Jedburgh Sevens admittedly, but a fine day to spend stitching Indian-inspired textiles. This was my last workshop in the spring series of Warped Weekends, and my happy participants were all seduced by the Kutchi pieces I showed them. 

Whether it was the bright and cheerful toran covered in elephants they studied or just the universal appeal of these lovely animals I am not sure, by everyone felt a need for one in their work!

I had my dyepot out last week too - indigo bubbled away as I dipped and dyed cotton scrim, linen, raw cotton, wool yarns and handmade paper. I was really pleased with the results and think there will be more of this going on through the next few months...

Wednesday, May 15

The Ides of May

 and still depressingly cold and wet. Escapism is the only answer.

Last week I finally made time to visit an inspiring exhibition in The Scott Gallery in Hawick Museum. 'A Woven Journey' is a wonderful collection of embroideries, tapestries and felt made by Jane Brunning and Louise Martin, two professional tapestry makers who took themselves off to the Gobi Desert. They lived with nomadic families and returned to produce a tremendous volume of work reflecting the desert landscape and its colourful people. Runs till 26th so get there if you can.
I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop I ran for the East Lothian Embroiderers' Guild. It's always fascinating to see how people's style and approach varies. Here are a few works-in-progress
The top image shows Mary's take on a recent trip to Venice. 
Rita combined painted bondaweb with selection of stamps illustrating different modes of travel. Jenny's travel images were particularly significant to her family. There were some great combinations of stitch and paper in everyone's work.
Another birthday in the house called for a wee celebratory trip oot to Myreton Motor Museum near Aberlady. We had the place to ourselves and pored over old bikes, cars, vans and toys and generally had a grand time.

Friday, May 10

Still blue..

 The weeks pass in a blur. Last weekend was Art@Ancrum, with sixteen artists and makers showing their work throughout the village. Hugh's space was a kindly donated living room, complete with wood burning stove which was a bonus! There was lots of interest and comment from visitors and village residents so let's hope it becomes an annual event and keeps on growing.  
I showed my face there on two afternoons, and sat in Hugh's mini gallery stitching away on the top one of these pieces. 

Although it all looks a bit piecemeal when I post images up, I am working through a series of banners which will ultimately be displayed together and make sense. There's a vast volume of work still to be done but I am throughly enjoying the slow process of stitching onto this beautiful indigo-dyed handwoven Indian cotton.

Last night I gave an illustrated talk to textile friends and showed off the stitched, printed and woven treasures I brought back from Gujarat. It was a throughly enjoyable evening spent with like minds.

Tomorrow I am off to Dunbar to run a workshop for the East Lothian branch of the Embroiderers Guild. We'll be making stitched paper collages. I have had a devil of a job choosing what not to take with me - the poor car is groaning under the weight of my poor decision making.

Wednesday, May 1

Hurray - the First of May!

Well, the sun's shining as I write this, I've been out early with the dogs and then made pancakes for breakfast so I am feeling all virtuous for a little while...

We spent last week exploring Galloway, in an assortment of weathers. It's such a lovely part of the country that it was great to have time to wander through woods, along a deserted beach and over moors. That's in between sampling coffee, scones and the wonderful Cream o' Galloway ice cream of course. (I can recommend gingerbread flavour and the cardamom is very fine too). We enjoyed a trip to the Mull of Galloway, watching a little bird life and lots of army/navy offshore manouevres from the lighthouse. Dogs strictly at home for that trip - too scary for us having them on leads anywhere near the cliffs.

It's ok, they still managed to have a great time, what with all that water to muck about in and a warm stove to return to.