A podcast for people who love knitting, Dorset Buttons, creativity & Scotland, especially the Highlands & Islands.
Welcome to the 29th episode of my podcast – Time, Choice & Change
Thank you for listening again or welcome if you are a first time listener.
2020 is certainly not turning out to be quite how we all planned at the start of the year.
I talk about the “new normal” a phrase that seems to grate with me although I’m not sure why. I’d love to know what you think about this?
I touch on the anonymous poem that seems to be doing the rounds – “We’re not all in the same boat” It seems to be to be very apt for the situation we find ourselves in. We’re all in a storm, the pandemic, although we are all navigating through it in our own ships. All of our experiences and priorities are all unique to us.
Time, Choice & Change – I chose these key words as they seem to cover a lot of what is happening to us at the moment. Here in the UK we’re just entering our 6th week of lockdown and I talk about how I felt in the first week. I’ve also been thinking about the times we are in and how I use time, what choices have been taken away from us and what new ones we have and future ones and how change can be welcome or challenging. My head has been busy!
There is much uncertainty, despair and sadness especially with all the loss of life. The level of support I’ve seen though is great and I’ve found myself welling up a lot reading about human acts of kindness.
I hope the podcast gives you some escapism!
We’ve been very fortunate with the weather during lockdown so far. Starting with some cloudy days with few showers followed by a solid period of continuous sunshine.
Nature continues to pop up around us despite the world crisis.
At the moment lambing is the main focus of the community where I live and we are very grateful that we have such great open space we can go out and walk in and soak up all the changes of nature that are occurring at this time of year.
I am very conscious not everyone has outdoor space although the feedback I’ve been receiving seems to indicate you enjoy seeing the landscape photos of Skye with many requests to keep them up. I’m also enjoying seeing photos of your local area too learning much along the way.
It is very hilly where I live so my hips are feeling it a bit!
Geraint has found himself not through choice having more time to do photography which he’s enjoying.
The garden has had some attention and we await our success with seeds, tomato plants and and a blueberry bush.
Dolphins are back as well as an otter. Neither of which we’ve seen here for some time.
Our corner of Skye is always a quiet place although the lack of transatlantic flights is noticeable as well as the increase in bird song. This thrush is keeping us entertained daily.
I also talk about some of the other wildlife we’ve seen in the past few weeks which has included – dolphins, an otter, cuckoo, swallows, buzzards, white tailed eagles, lambs, frogs and hedgehogs! Springs continues all around us.
Many of you are delving into your stashes at the moment. I haven’t quite got there yet. What I have done is some blocking!
I chat about the project which made its way straight off the needles onto the blocking mat! It’s the Caress My Soul shawl, pattern by Melanie Berg and yarn by Larissa of Travel Knitter. Both pattern and yarn were bought earlier this year donating funds to the Australian wildfire relief projects. It drapes beautifully, is very light while incredibly warm and gives a great big snuggly hug.
As if blocking one shawl wasn’t enough I’ve blocked another one and a third one is ready to go on to the blocking mats.
I’m now working on finishing my projects from the knitting retreat in Spain and you can hear more about these in the interview with Di at the end of this episode.
Our online craft group on Skye is going well and it’s encouraging to see all the different crafts people have been doing.
I hope some of the online groups continue post the pandemic.
Thank you to everyone who has waited so patiently for my newsletter. It is finally written and will be sent out in the next few days!
If you would like to sign up for it you will find the link at the top of the website or on my Facebook page, this is a separate email list to the podcast / blog one.
I had a couple of very productive weeks with lots of energy which has meant I’ve continued to focus on the outstanding projects from last year and design work. One project which started with an idea in 2018 is going to be launching in the next few weeks which I’m very excited about.
I’ve now entered an energy dip phase – I hope it comes back soon!
I chat about what is happening here on Skye with regards to food supplies this includes The Misty Bottle, I interviewed Fiona in Episode 26, who have converted their Red Telephone Box to a Phood Box to provide food and toiletries for people in need.
The beauty spots around Skye are empty with many of those working in the tourist industry really suffering.
I hope that wherever you are you have good local support.
Across the Bridge
We are back in Spain with the second interview with Di Gilpin.
I received great feedback from the first interview with Di and her production manager Sheila Greenwell which you can find in Episode 28 if you haven’t yet listened to it.
Di’s strapline is “Croft to Couture” as her knitting design career started here on the Isle of Skye in a croft house and has taken her to top fashion houses around the world as well as the catwalk.
We hear about Di’s connection with Spain and the inspiration that led her there initially which centres around literature and social history and how she fell in love with this particular area we stayed in.
Di tells us about her friend Chris Stewart who wrote the book Driving Over Lemons who lives in the area and took us on a walk during the retreat.
We hear about Di’s winters spent on her farm and the produce they grew, life in the mountains including the water system that feeds the land, local artisans and the inspiration for our knitting projects.
Picasso provided the inspiration for the harlequin intarsia mittens and we spent a day at the Alhambra in Granada where Di took inspiration for the next piece, we made Dorset Buttons and finally we made some gansey samplers. I will show you my completed projects next episode.
Di talks about the benefits of the retreats from meeting new people, sharing, relaxing, making, learning as well as the lovely food we had at Casa Ana.
We hear a great insight into the care Di takes around each individual stitch when designing, the process of creating and the notion of translating from your external world to your knitting.
What another wonderful chat with Di!
I’ve just started reading Driving Over Lemons by Chris Stewart about this start in Spain buying a property and learning about the local people, the land and the animals.
Di has just released a new pattern after the artist Dora Carrington whom she mentioned in the interview.
To find out more about Di take a look at her interviews with Andrea of Fruity Knitting.
That’s it for this episode.
I wish you all the very best during these times. Stay home, keep well and reach out for support if you need it.
Til next time . . .
Music – the music is:
One Frog For a Prince, by Ron Patton & licensed from Melody Loops.
Bye for now.