Tag Archives: Alpaca

July Rolag Club: St. Swithun’s Day

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July Rolag Club: St. Swithun’s Day

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

This month we are celebrating St Swithun’s Day on the 15th of July.

St. Swithun was an Anglo-Saxon bishop, born around the year 800, who lived until approximately 862. His feast day is on the 15th of July, and in popular lore he is remembered for the famous weather myth:

St Swithun’s day if thou dost rain
For forty days it will remain
St Swithun’s day if thou be fair
For forty days ’twill rain nae mare

Swithun was appointed as bishop of Winchester by Æthelwulf, the Anglo Saxon King of Wessex. He was known as a pious and deeply spiritual man, preferring to share banquets with the poor rather than the rich. Upon his deathbed he begged to be buried not inside the church, as dictated by his place in society, but “outside the north wall of his cathedral where passers-by should pass over his grave and raindrops from the eaves drop upon it.” In 971 Swithun’s remains were moved to a new indoor shrine, and legend grew up that the heavy rain on that day demonstrated the saint’s displeasure at the move. So grew the idea that if it rains on St. Swithun’s day, it will rain for the next 40 days.

Funnily enough, there is some meteorological truth in the proverb. The jet stream that influences our summer weather is usually fixed by mid July and tends to remain steady throughout August. If this jet stream lies to our north, high pressure from the continent leads to a warmer, drier summer. Alternately, a jet stream lying to the south of our islands brings arctic and atlantic weather systems, possibly including 40 days of rain.

This month’s rolag club is themed around our changing weather. You have a set of rolags inspired by glimpses of rainbow colours in a cloudy sky. We have an abundance of guest makers: your mini skein from Setting the twist is based on summer showers, you have the most amazing stitch markers from All Wound Up, and to cope with all this weather, you have handmade lip balm from Lifebloom. I’ve thrown in a few extra treats, including your tea, which has a bit of a twist this month.

Enjoy!

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“Shy Rainbow” rolags were blended with white falkland and alpaca, and colourful silk.

In your box you should find:

  • The story of St. Swithun’s Day
  • 30g of striping rolags in “Shy Rainbow” – 50% Organic Falkland, 30% Mulberry Silk, 20% Baby Alpaca
  • A handspun mini skein in “Summer Shower” by Setting the Twist
  • Flower tea
  • Stitch markers by All Wound Up
  • Lip balm by Lifebloom
  • A mini umbrella (or parasol – you get to decide)
  • Silver-lined clear beads – beautiful little raindrops!
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Weather-based stitch markers from All Wound Up.

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Blooming Flower Tea from The Exotic Teapot.

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Handmade lip balm from Lifebloom.

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A handful of raindrops: clear, silver-lined beads.

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And a little umbrella (or parasol!) to match.

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A pair of rainbows!

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Abstract Expression

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Abstract Expression

Background:

I was given these rolags to spin for a swap. There was so much interesting texture hidden within, it was invariably expressed as an irregular textured single in the spinning. The commercial glitter thread sets it off perfectly.

Story:

Ideas, thoughts, concepts come or arrive or happen or were always there. Sometimes they are fleeting, sometimes more persistent. Some demand to be made. They care not that there is no vocabulary, no construction that can express them. They demand innovation to bring them to life. And the concept that revealed itself to you, which cannot be contrained by conventional lines, may appear differently to each observer. You brought it into being. Now it grows and changes with each interaction. Abstract expression is never static.

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Information:

Title: Abstract expression

Composition: Merino, Alpaca, Silk and Angelina

Weight: 100g / 10 WPI av. / Worsted thick and thin.

Length: 219m / 240yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: November 2015

Skein code: 0080

Fibre: Puni rolags of merino, mulberry silk, alpaca and angelina.

Source: Bits and Hobs

Status: Swapped

Jovian Joy

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Jovian Joy

Background:

Experimental yarn made from two spare singles, 2-plied together. Named by my daughter who thought it looked like one of our planetary neighbours.

Story:

Transported to a different world

Where red storms and yellow clouds roil over the surface.

Hostile? Or beautiful? Or both?

I am bound to remain a distant observer

And yet the sight fills me with awe.

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Information:

Title: Jovian Joy

Composition: 50% Alpaca 50% Merino

Weight: 86g / 14 WPI / DK

Length: 146m / 160yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: April 2015

Skein code: 0013

Fibre: Dyed Alpaca, Dyed Merino

Source: Alpaca from Wingham Wool Work, Merino from Woolyknit

Status: Gifted