Monthly Archives: November 2015

Eat Your Greens

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Eat Your Greens

Background:

This was another swap with a lovely and talented lady. She wanted a complete surprise so I thought I’d spoil her with a Hilltop Cloud gradient set. The fibre was called “Cabbage Leaf” and inspired the concept behind “Eat Your Greens.”

Story:

I saw a cabbage flower once, in the place I’d least expect it. Nestling, hiding its face, but placed at the centre of everything, radiating nature’s elegance.

It was in a flower display in a church. And it wasn’t even harvest! It had been picked for its subtle beauty.

Was this the cabbage I knew? From school dinners and uneaten meals. The two ideas didn’t go together. Incongruous was the word.

But now I have a new idea of what ‘cabbage’ is.

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Information:

Title: Eat Your Greens

Composition: 55% Merino, 30% Corriedale, 15% Bamboo.

Weight: 140g / 16 WPI / Sports weight

Length: 539m / 590yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: November 2015

Skein code: 0077

Fibre: Handblended Merino, Corriedale and Bamboo.

Source: Hilltop Cloud

Status: Swapped

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Magma

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Magma

Background:

I love spinning batts as singles yarn. This beautiful batt from Habetrot fibres was called “Darkness” and inspired this Magma yarn, which in turn inspired its owner to design and make this “Queen of Hearts” ponchette. You can see the gradient yarn worked up into the pattern on the ravelry link.

Story:

You think the earth is dark and cold under your feet? Not a bit of it.

We are clinging to the skin of a boiling sphere of rock.

Heavy elements swirl below, occasionally breaking the surface to remind us of their presence, and power.

Land, that we like to think of as so permanent. That we like to possess, that through history we have fought over again and again, is destroyed and created constantly.

We seek permanence. Yet the stuff of life is change.

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Information:

Title: Magma

Composition: Merino, bamboo, firestar, angelina, tussah silk.

Weight: 100g / 14 WPI / DK

Length: 223m / 244yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: July 2015

Skein code: 0056

Fibre: Handblended batt of merino, bamboo, firestar, angelina, tussah silk.

Source: Habetrot Fibres

Status: Sold

November Rolag Club: St. Clement’s Day

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November Rolag Club: St. Clement’s Day

Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club


I love marking the passage of the year, making sure the seasons don’t merge into bland anonymity. We all know the big festivals, but throughout the year there are hundreds of other celebrations which have been largely forgotten.

To celebrate these days I have picked a different festival each month and will create a rolag gift box fitting the theme.

The boxes are designed either as a spinning taster box, or to work together as a collection, spinning a little each month until you have enough of your own handspun yarn to create something really special, be it a scarf, a cushion, a set of boot cuffs, or whatever your imagination can conjure up.

 

This announcement was made on the 10th of October, allowing an introduction to a forgotten festival:

 

Devil’s Blackberry Day.

Although there is some debate over the date of this festival, the most agreed date is October the 10th. Legend has it that blackberries should never be gathered and eaten after this date. The story goes that this is the day St. Michael kicked the devil out of heaven. He fell to earth and landed ignominiously in a blackberry bush. This would probably rile the best of us and satan responded (rather mildly) by spitting on the blackberries. Satan’s spit is said to magically reappear each year to poison the berries. According to thepastonaplate.com there is some botanical truth here, as a species of fly appears around mid-October each year to lay its eggs on the remaining berries. So remember to enjoy your blackberries before October hits, and stick to the blackberry jam thereafter. x

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November 23rd: St. Clement’s Day

 

Welcome to the very first Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

This November we are celebrating St. Clement’s Day on November 23rd.

Although more well known from the traditional rhyme about London’s church bells, St Clement, a 4th century Christian martyr, is the patron saint of blacksmiths. His feast day was popular until relatively recently, and blacksmiths would parade with an effigy of “Old Clem” to beg for alms (which was called “clementing”), with the money donated to fund a local feast. Such feasts became known as Clem Suppers.

    If you’re familiar with the halloween game of apple-bobbing, you have St. Clement to thank! This game was traditionally played on November 23rd, and leads to the alternative name for St. Clement’s day of “Bite Apple Day”.

    Most appropriately for fibre fans, Clementide Sheep Fairs were held in certain counties at this time, and Clementing cakes were traditionally sold. In this box you will find fibre for spinning, a cake recipe, tea and more. I hope you enjoy rolag club, and I can’t wait until next time.

x

 

In this box you should find:

  • An introduction to St. Clement’s Day
  • 20g of rolags in “Oranges” 60% Merino, 40% Tussah silk and a bit of sparkle.
  • 10g of rolags in “And Lemons” 40% Merino, 40% Soya bean fibre, 20% Texel and a bit of sparkle.
  • A handspun mini skein in “Citrus leaves”
  • Stitch markers from Hooklicious
  • An organza bag to keep your working fibre safe and clean
  • Lemon and mandarin tea
  • A recipe for St. Clement’s Tartlets
  • The history of “Oranges and Lemons”

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St. Clement’s Tartlets

 

8oz/225g shortcrust pastry

1 orange

1 lemon

3oz/75g butter, softened

2 eggs, separated

¼ tsp vanilla essence

 

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
  2. Roll out the pastry and use it to line individual tartlet tins.
  3. carefully remove the rind from the orange and lemon and chop very finely.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Beat the egg yolks and gradually stir into the butter/sugar mixture.
  5. Juice the orange.
  6. Add 2 tbsp orange juice to the mixture. Stir in citrus rinds and vanilla essence.
  7. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the mixture.
  8. Pour into the pastry cases and bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Reference: Cattern Cakes and Lace by Julia Jones and Barbara Deer, Dorling Kindersley 1987

 

Oranges and Lemons

 

Oranges and lemons,

Say the bells of St. Clement’s.

 

You owe me five farthings,

Say the bells of St. Martin’s.

 

When will you pay me?

Say the bells of Old Bailey.

 

When I grow rich,

Say the bells of Shoreditch.

 

When will that be?

Say the bells of Stepney.

 

I do not know,

Says the great bell of Bow.

 

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,

And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

 

The first printed version of this nursery rhyme appeared in 1744, with quite different lyrics:

 

Two Sticks and Apple,

Ring ye Bells at Whitechapple,

Old Father Bald Pate,

Ring ye Bells Aldgate,

Maids in White Aprons,

Ring ye Bells a St. Catherines,

Oranges and Lemons,

Ring ye bells at St. Clements,

When will you pay me,

Ring ye Bells at ye Old Bailey,

When I am Rich,

Ring ye Bells at Fleetditch,

When will that be,

Ring ye Bells at Stepney,

When I am Old,

Ring ye Bells at Pauls

 

As you can imagine, there is variation, including regional variation, in the names of the churches, and the rhymes ascribed to the bells of each church. It is thought that this traditional rhyme would be sung on festival days, when the church bells would be ringing in celebration. So why “Oranges and Lemons”? There are two churches identified as the St. Clement’s church of the rhyme. Both are located near the wharf where merchants would have brought citrus fruits to London from warmer lands.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oranges_and_Lemons

Citrus Leaves

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Citrus Leaves

Background:

These mini skeins were spun as part of the first installment of my monthly rolag club. The theme was St. Clement’s Day, which was a great excuse for some fun, citrus-themed fibre.

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Story:

Waxy green leaves sit

Atop fresh astringent baubles

Hiding citrus zing!

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Information:

Title: Citrus Leaves

Composition: 100% Merino

Weight: 150g in total / 15 WPI / Spots weight.

Length: 40m per mini skein.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: November 2015

Skein code: 0076

Fibre: 21 micron merino.

Source: Wingham Wool Work.

Status: Sold

Arctic Equinox

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Arctic Equinox

Background:

Another chance to revel in the beauty of a Hilltop Cloud gradient pack, this yarn was commissioned as a gift for a new knitter.

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Story:

The fibre flows through my hands. Rippled and vivid, depths of colour for senses to dive into.

Clear turquoises and deep blues, like a river cutting the landscape, meandering to and fro.

Looking up from the landscape to the broad horizon. Sun dipping down, glowing deep, burnished gold. Soon to give way to the rich, dark night.

This equality happens but twice a year; time giving equal attention to its day and night children. Winter is on its way. And the arctic landscape embraces it.

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Information:

Title: Arctic Equinox

Composition: 50% Merino, 37.5% Shetland, 12.5% Mulberry Silk.

Weight: 140g / 16 WPI / Sports weight

Length: 523m / 572yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: November 2015

Skein code: 0078

Fibre: Handblended Merino, Shetland and Mulberry Silk

Source: Hilltop Cloud

Status: Sold

Rainbow Lace Shawl Kit

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Rainbow Lace Shawl Kit

Background:

This was my offering from a set of Nunoco “Chroma” tops. Each 10g mini skein is faux laceweight, consisting of a finely spun single plied with thread in a complementary colour. The kit was sold as the ten rainbow mini skeins, a crochet pattern for a feather and fan shawl and a beautiful rainbow crochet hook from Fleabubs by Lala.

Story:

The language of colour:

Blush, tint, hue, pigmentation.

And ‘Chroma’: a mass noun, meaning purity or intensity of colour.

Chroma excites the senses. Hits you with the full spectrum. Red to violet, the A to Z of visible tones. Nothing missing, none overlooked, working together to complete the picture.

An abundant language of colour.

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Information:

Title: Rainbow Lace Shawl Kit

Composition: Merino plyed with polyamide thread.

Weight: 100g / Heavy laceweight

Length: 740m / 810yd in total.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: May 2015

Skein code: 0044

Fibre: 100% Merino

Source: Nunoco

Status: Sold

Helluva Helix

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Helluva Helix

Background:

A first experiment in spiral plying.

Story:

Have you ever had one of those problems, that no matter how hard you try to solve, just keeps coming round again?

“Here I am again,” you think, as your previously-vanquished foe returns yet again.

“It’s a vicious circle,” you think. You think of going round and round and round, never escaping.

But what if that circle were actually a helix? And you’re not returning to the same spot, but climbing up, learning something new each time, gradually working your way to the surface.

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Information:

Title: Helluva Helix

Composition: Merino plied with polyamide thread.

Weight: 100g / 10 WPI / worsted or aran weight

Length: 233m / 255yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: July 2015

Skein code: 0054

Fibre: 100% merino

Source: Habetrot Fibres

Status: For Sale