Tuesday, 19 April 2011

More inspiration

I have been doing a bit of  'wool gathering' lately.  That state of relaxation where you let your thoughts collect and ramble wherever they choose, linking new plans to old events.  And as I  lay in bed in that no-man's-land between sleep and wake fullness this morning my first thought was I had no idea what I would blog about today and the second was about wool gathering

It's not that I haven't been knitting fast enough over the last few days to contribute power to the national grid.  I am roaring up the straight bit of my caftan but for the time being I'm thinking you would not be too interested in 20cm of stocking stitch (although it is showing off the wonderful texture of the yarn nicely).  But JTH and I have also had a wonderful few days staying with my lovely brother and sister-in-law in Northamptonshire, walking in the sunshine, taking photographs of interesting places and chatting.  In particular SIL and I chatting about woolly stuff and I have been admiring what she has made, envying her books and raiding her stash.

The sharp eyed (and knowledgeable) among you will know this is not spun-ready-to-knit-yarn but roving.  More of this later...

When I take photographs of buildings I like to take shots from odd angles and close ups of some intricate brickwork or decoration.  For no particular reason - it just pleases me.  Rushton Triangular lodge is a gift.  The triangular theme is carried over in nearly every detail when seen from,


and in

Triangles and local russet toned bricks, made of clay richly infused with iron ore and etched by ivy (carefully removed by English Heritage) might inspire a new stitch pattern.

The photograph at the top of this post was not of sunlight on my bedroom wall as I lay gathering wool but from the bottom of the stone staircase at Kirby Hall.  It was built in the grandest style by a courtier of Queen Elizabeth I in the expectation that she would come to stay and further improved by another hopeful loyal subject.  Vain hopes, she never came and by the 19th c the great house was practically a ruin with a Shepherd and his family living in one wing while their sheep grazed in the great courtyard.

Rescued and restored (slightly) its only residents a population of peacocks it is a wonderful place to let the imagination run riot.  Peacock feathers such as these have inspired generations of crafters and artists, why not me too?

I don't know yet what beautiful organic shapes like this

and this

will lead to, photographed along the green road from Geddington to Brigstock - but surely no reason for leaving them out of my inspiration file.

And back to the roving.  When I blogged about spinning silk I mentioned needing to get a drop spindle.  My SIL has all my mother's old spinning equipment so I asked her if I could borrow one of the drop spindles. I didn't remember how much roving had come along with two spinning wheels, carders, drop spindles and other bits of spinning hard wear - absolutely loads of it.  The white (cheviot) and brown (jacob) is wound into coils as large as beer barrels.  My mother was 91 when she died and had been spinning well into her eighties- she must have thought she would be spinning for ever.

It seemed a good idea to have some of the wool roving to practice with before embarking on the silk.  Here it is - I am already seeing a connection between it and Triangular lodge...

SIL asked me if I would like to take one of the wheels home too.  Not yet I think, but one day I would love to learn how.



PS  for those lovely people who leave comments, please come back for another visit as I do try and respond before I put the next post up


Vandy Massey said...

We're working on setting up some small spinning workshops in our new studio. We found a tutor this week. I'm really loving reading about your silk exploration.
I think I'll have to have a go in the workshops myself. I

jun said...

Thank you for your comment on my "grandma's yarn" post:)

It's true that the nature gives us lots of inspirations. I like thinking about how to apply nature's beauty to my knitting or other crafts, though I haven't made a success of it yet:)

Kristyn Knits said...

I love to take building photos at unique angles as well. What great captures! Looking forward to adventuring with you through spinning.