A podcast for people who love knitting, Dorset Buttons, creativity & Scotland, especially the Highlands & Islands.
Welcome to the 28th episode of my podcast – All in a Month
Thank you for listening again or welcome if you are a first time listener.
I’m slightly delayed in sending this out as I had to make a few tweaks after everything in our world changed so suddenly.
I start off by acknowledging how different our lives are, since I last spoke to you, after the escalation of COVID-19.
The wind and rain have been a continual feature throughout February and early March. It’s certainly been a very wet winter for us. Fortunately the first day of Spring decided to be kind to us and the sunshine appeared giving us a stunning day. It was just one day though and then the rain returned. Now a high pressure is on the way which will be very welcome for our walks we are doing.
First day of Spring
I’ve been to 2 festivals since the last episode. The first was Unravel at Farnham Maltings in Surrey. I give a bit of background to the venue and how it came to be the arts and community centre it is today.
I go through my purchases which included planned purchases . . .
- gorgeous wool from Countess Ablaze which is 75% blue faced Leicester and 25% masham to make the Ama Sweater by Maddie Harvey.
- a set of leather soles for some wool slippers from Joe’s Toes
- a pin badge from BIPOC in Fiber
- 2 technique books from Arnall-Culliford Knitwear
. . . and some unplanned purchases
- The Journey Shawl & cards from Salina Jane Art
- Wrapping paper & cards from Tilly Flop The wrapping paper nearly didn’t make it back home as I forgot I was flying back & needed to get it into my hand baggage and back without getting damage.
Next up I chat about my visit to The Stitch Festival at the Business Design Centre in London. It was lovely to hear the familiar voice of Allison Decker Thistlewood as I arrived at a very wet Islington train station. I had only seen Allison the week before as she is now the Events Coordinator – Craft at the Farnham Maltings.
I didn’t have any pre planned purchase ideas for this show I was more interested to see what it was like having never been. However I did make some purchases . . .
- the first was a book by Louisa Harding with lots of beautiful shawls, wraps and scarfs in.
- an embroidery kit from Un Chat dans l’Aiguille. It was the first time I had seen this company and the selection of kits were beautiful. Apologies for my appalling attempt at trying to pronounce the name – French never was my strong point!
. . . thinking I did not have enough knitting projects with me to take on my trip to Spain I bought a ball of Schoppel Wolle Zauberball from Jen at Arnall-Culliford Knitwear to make the Hyacinthus Armwarmers.
Needless to say I didn’t even touch the yarn on my trip. Do you always take more knitting projects than you need away with you?
Beautiful display of made up kits – Un Chat dans l’aiguille
Jen Arnall-Culliford with me!
And finally I went to Spain at the beginning of March on a knitting retreat with Di Gilpin. We had a fantastic time staying in a very small village in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada region.
We did some amazing projects which I will tell you all about next month when there will be another interview with Di where we will hear about the region in Spain we were staying in and the inspiration she takes from it.
In the last couple of weeks we’ve seen many yarn festivals being cancelled or postponed in light of COVID-19 and while I was not booked to do any of them my private events are no longer and for the first time I had been due to attend H&H Cologne last weekend.
I discuss why my newsletter has been delayed to subscribers and the balance of continuing to have an online shop in the current climate.
At the moment I am doing UK shipping only although this is under constant review as my local shop and post office is temporarily housed in a portable cabin and only one person at a time is allowed in.
There will be some Dorset Button Brooches going up in the shop soon which were made using Shilasdair wool and should have been going in their bricks and mortar shop – one day!
I am still working away on the projects I had planned to do at this time as they mainly involve me and my TJFrog Staff! My first batch of wool is back from the dyers so there is much to do with that as well.
I had planned to tell you all about a cafe I recently visited on Skye – hopefully there will be a time again when I will be able to tell you about this lovely place.
In the meantime local is key right now and it is great to see how local communities are coming together to help one another as well as online communities being set up and growing.
I have set up an online group for crafters here on Skye and our first “meet up” included people from across the island and we were all very industrious with our various crafts.
If you want to set up a group and you don’t yet know about Zoom then do take a look at their package. Fay Daspher-Hughes has been using Zoom for some time now for her Global Hook Ups and you can find a post on her Provenance Craft Co website for other businesses wanting to set up something.
Across the Bridge
I recorded this episode while in Spain on a retreat with knitwear designer Di Gilpin and her production manager Sheila Greenwell.
We had a lot of fun recording it. Listen in to find out how Di & Sheila meet and how Sheila came to be working with Di. They have a wonderful friendship and business working relationship and it was great to learn more about this dynamic.
These are the Seol Gansey Mittens we talk about.