Jonathan & Denise >
It’s the two or three weeks that straddle Christmas and New Year when there is, here, the greatest probability – compared to the remainder of the winter months – of severe storms. And by that I mean wind strength Severe Storm – or even Hurricane Force. There could even be more than one.
But this year, whilst at times it has certainly been windy – too windy to do anything much outdoors, it’s mostly just been grey. As in grey skies, grey seas, grey rocks … even grey sheep! (That’s the white sheep like the Scottish Blackface – thank our black Hebrideans still look black.)
So, not so much because we’re trapped indoors, but rather that there’s little enthusiasm to be found for the great outdoors (the rare fine morning or afternoon only serving to prove the rule). It is, then, at this time of year that we are most productive in our craftwork. Thinking about it now, as we put this post together – perhaps that’s because thinking creatively with colours – applying our knowledge and skill to colours – provides a therapy that helps to banish the grey.
D > Today I’ve mostly worked on weaving some lambswool scarves, using a technique for combining two colours which adds another dimension to the weaving. Two yarns of complementary colours are threaded together through each heddle, and likewise at each weft. The random variability in the relative position of the two yarns gives the finished work a subtle ‘heathered’ appearance.
This evening I finished reading a book by Kate Humble (a well-known British TV presenter) on the joy of walking, which was on the whole an interesting and pleasant read, reinforcing what J and I have long known, that at walking speed we see more, and think better, though that doesn’t always result in a sense of joy, as Kate Humble would have us believe. I do also find it rather annoying that she seems to contradict herself somewhat, as much of the book is given over to her becoming more and more accustomed to running – as a form of exercise in the great outdoors, presumably resulting in her walking less. I’ve put that book on J’s pile of books to read, but he’d better get on with it, as I’ve already listed the book on ebay!
J > This morning I was working on the croft in Eriskay : There’s still a lot to do before the new fencing is fully complete. After lunch I helped my neighbour with the technical details of installing a fire hydrant for the new tourist hostel he is building on his croft – which is adjacent to the walled garden. (The hostel will complete the development of the site, which also includes the Kilbride Cafe and Kilbride Campsite.) But, as the light began to fade – grey giving way to black, I was at last free to continue spinning for the first two skeins of a new yarn I’ve designed, combining a naturally grey Shetland, which serves as a base colour over which four colours or pre-dyed merino are added, according to a predetermined plan that should result in a random but reasonably consistent variability. Yesterday I completed one bobbin (about 80g of single strand), and as this post is being finalized, I’ve completed the second bobbin. Tomorrow I will ply them together – to make a 2-plied DK yarn. As for tonight … [looks at the clock] … it seems I’ve run out of time for a read this evening. Kate Humble will have to wait until tomorrow!