What I have been up to

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Healing love sent out into the world

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The other side

Oh, there is just not enough time in my days! Yet I believe I have never put my days to better use than I do now… 

Rare is the day on which there is not a dye pot simmering on my stove, on which I do not take thread and needle to fabric, on which I do not put pen or brush to paper or find another way to express my soul-expanding joy at having unlocked the gate to my creativity and artistic expression. I had no idea how narrow my life had become until it opened up again.

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Boro stitching on denim, using Japanese sashiko thread and a piece of eucalyptus-printed silk

I seem to have stepped into a fractal labyrinth, where every step opens up an infinite number of new paths. Trouble is, I want to follow every one of them and preferably all at the same time – but there is just one of me. Which leads to another lesson: learning to pace myself, something at which I have never been very good. I keep telling myself: You don’t have to do all this now – there is a whole life ahead of you yet, you can do this next year or the year after. After having looked backwards and inwards for so long, I see the future opening up and presenting a joyful array of opportunities once again. I may be growing older (just a little) but inside I seem to have found the fountain of youth. 

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What can I say? I love feathers.

One thing I have decided for this blog is that I will post more often but spend less time on the individual posts. I tend to brush and polish and check and double-check and I post less often because I know how much time it takes me. So: more posts, less time.

I’ll leave you with these images of an old cotton T-shirt ecoprinted with eucalyptus, which I simmered in an iron bath for a while… 

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How it came out of the dye pot. The string has since been used to make iron marks on a piece of wool.

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Unwrapping the magic…

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Glowing…

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I love how the string resist shows up in flowing white lines on the heavily iron-marked fabric. This part of the tee was in direct contact with the iron bath, unfiltered by layers of fabric. It makes me think of seaweed floating in water.

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One of the things I most love about eco printing is the huge array of colours it produces. While you can influence the outcome, you have no absolute control over the results.

It may be raining cats and dogs outside but in here the sun is still shining…

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FO: A head-warming victory

This is the last you’ll hear of the Tuke hat (promise!) but I had to let you know I finished it, didn’t I? I solved the ‘few stitches on circular needles’ problem by figuring out how magic loop works (lots more fiddling but I’m pretty sure it beats double-pointed needles). I’m afraid I did not use the official method, since I was unable to get the working yarn on the back needle as the tutorials say. But it worked out anyway. See?

ImageFrom there I was just a few decreasing rows away from the finish. Tuke taught me (the beginnings of) round-knitting and magic loop knitting and is just about the best thing I have ever had on my head. When I picked up my five-year old from school wearing my pioneering feat of home-crafting, she liked it but felt it wasn’t a ‘proper’ hat because it did not have a pom pom. So we decided to add a small one using Eskimimi’s nifty pom pom fork technology. Check it out here.

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My new hat is soft and cushy, lovely and warm and I might not want to take it off for the rest of the day. I think my significant other would protest if I attempted to wear it to bed tonight, otherwise I just might have!

Both my daughters have already ‘ordered’ a smaller version of Tuke so I’ll cast on the next one using Opal Hundertwasser sock yarn and see if that scales down the pattern sufficiently to fit my eldest daughter.

Wartende Häuser by Friedensreich Hundertwasser

This extraordinary collection of sock yarn is based on several works by Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser (1928-2000). I knitted a rib stitch scarf for my daughter from the Wartende Häuser colourway (and I’ll never ever do that again, I can tell you, since I thought I was going to be a doddering old biddy before I finished it!).

It is funny how something as ‘grandmotherly’ as knitting can open a window to the rest of the world. I had never heard of Hundertwasser before I bought the sock yarn but now I am going to find out a lot more about him and share it with you in a future post. It turns out he is one of my favourite kind of people: an artist, visionary and eco warrior avant la lettre wholly determined to walk his own path. Wouldn’t you just love to live here?

Hundertwasser’s Waldspirale or ‘Forest Spiral’ in Darmstadt, Germany