Friday, 23 September 2011

Q is for....Quiet

In a bid to catch up on matters blog/IT-related I've come along to the new Manchester Jelly. Mostly I'm very happy working at home but just occasionally I need to be taken away from the distractions of housework and gardening (not doing them you understand, just looking at them and thinking I should be doing them).

So here I am, armed with laptop, patterns to type up and photos to upload. Free tea and coffee, whizzy wifi and no distractions. Nice. I could get used to this.....

This week's (even later than normal) Q is brought to you by the ABC meme

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

"Photo-story" - or a catch up in photos

(pic-heavy post - you have been warned!)

Anyone remember photo-stories in Jackie and Blue Jeans (erm, am I showing my age a bit here)? Well, as I'm so far behind with my blogging I thought I'd do a photo-story of my own...(no speech bubbles, dramatic expressions or dodgy 80's outfits you'll be pleased to hear). Oh, if you have no idea what I'm talking about (or want a sneaky reminder here you go (promise I won't tell anyone!).

So, the last few months there have been....

A fab dyeing workshop at Purl City Yarns- many thanks to the lovely students who attended and to PCY for inviting me to teach at their lovely venue : ) 

You may recall I joined The Textile Club at the Creative Recycling Gallery in Chorlton? It is such a lovely creative hideaway in the Sculpture Garden, a tranquil courtyard full of exciting art. And of course, being in Chorlton there's no shortage of yummy cafes to visit, as well as the essential shopping trip to Unicorn Grocery and the Barbakan Deli. Takes me back to being a student (sighs wistfully).

For the first meeting we made tassels....

The second meeting was a general gathering, sharing work in progress,

 and discussing projects (oh, and tea and homemade biscuits)

A spot of volunteering next at Creative Stitches in Liverpool....

No photos of us (that's Julia and I), but, far more interesting, some of the exhibits.

On the Beadworkers' Guild stand, one for the DH and Dr Who geeks fans everywhere...
A Dr Who scene made entirely in beadwork - how awesome is that?

Next up the knitted Above and Below the Waves exhibition, masterminded by creative genius Alison Murray.

Thank you to UKHandknitting and to KnittyFred for his hard work co-ordinating proceedings : )

And a very civilised "Ladies What Lunch" meet-up for shopping and lunch with Caroline and Tracey

We must do this again soon : ))

And this is one for Helen (aka My Heart Exposed). A braid of beautiful fibre I received from her in a Secret Santa Swap. I haven't forgotten it Helen, it will be socks, honest! It is proving lovely to spin and the colours are gorgeous.

Well, we'll call that episode one before you all keel over with boredom (or your iphones crash). Clubs, Summer School, workshops and more to come....!

My first dyeplant bed - part two - the plants!

Blog posts here are like buses - nothing for ages then three all at once! Well, this week is no exception. I've got so many part-completed posts and stacks of photos waiting to be uploaded that if I don't do it now, it will never happen.

Remember the dyeplant beds? This was early summer.....

And here they are at the height of the summer. I was amazed by how well they came along!

The feathery yellow flowers are lady's bedstraw - I highly recommend this one just for the smell - it is so fragrant especially in the early evening. A lovely plant to grow near a window where the smell will drift in on the evening breeze. I'll be using the roots from this plant for reds - it is similar to madder but not as strong in colour. I'll be letting it grow for at least another year or so before I attempt any harvesting.

The purple flowers are alkanet. This has exceeded all expectations so far! The bees love the flowers and it just keeps on flowering - it is still producing new flowers now in September. I'm growing this one for its roots also - pinky/purple/greys (hopefully). I'll let this one grow for another season too, just so I'm sure it is strong enough to survive the winter.

The thistle-y looking buds are safflower. These were a bit delicate so I need to plan how best to grow them next time as they need a bit of support.

There is also some meadowsweet in there although you can barely see it. I think I'll try this again and plant it somewhere where it has less competition!

Since these photo were taken there is also a newcomer - a large borage (I think). It came as root cuttings and I thought I'd killed it, but obviously not as it is looking very healthy. Might move that one too, as it is getting rather large!

Ooh, and an update on the woad plants - I have several new plants! Not very big yet but a good sign that they will re-seed. I shall be making space to sow some more seeds soon as I still have some from last year.
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