Tag Archives: Falkland

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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Jack Frost

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Jack Frost

Background:

These minis were spun to accompany December’s rolag club, and are seen in action here:

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Story:

Wake to frosted land,

A world of washed-out colour.

It cracks under foot.

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Information:

Title: Jack Frost

Composition: Falkland plied with glitter thread.

Weight: Sports weight to heavy laceweight

Length: 40m per mini skein.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: December 2015

Skein code: 0081

Fibre: 100% Organic Falkland

Source: Wingham Wool Work

Status: Sold

January Rolag Club: Plough Monday

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January Rolag Club: Plough Monday

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

I hope you’ve all had a good break over the festive season. Now it’s a new month, a new year and time to get back to work.

This month we are celebrating Plough Monday on January 11th.

Plough Monday falls on the first Monday after Twelfth Night. The traditional Christmas celebration was a full twelve days of feasting, culminating in a huge and rowdy party on twelfth night, the 5th of January. So what better way to mark the return to work, when ploughing would begin for the next crop … than with a feast?

In villages around the country there were a variety of traditions. Leaping dances were held, with the young and fit encouraged to leap as high as possible because it was though the height they achieved marked the height of the forthcoming corn crop. In some places, a “fool plough” was decorated and dragged around the streets to encourage villagers to donate money, sometimes under threat of having their garden ploughed if they were less than generous!

Inspired by the theme of ‘back to work’, this month’s rolags reflect  January skies, and the box contains a mixture of extras to help you get going at the start of the working day, and help you relax at the end of it. I’m particularly thrilled to introduce our guest maker, Leanne from Solocro who has made one of your treats. I hope you enjoy all of it.

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In this box you will find:

  • 30g of gradient rolags in “Shifting Skies” – 42% Corriedale, 19% Falkland, 19% Gotland, 11% Rose fibre, 9% Milk protein fibre, and a hint of sparkle.
  • A mini skein in “Midnight Clear” – 70% Merino, 30% Trilobal.
  • The story of Plough Monday.
  • A set of stitch markers.
  • Tea in ‘Refresh’ and ‘Revitalise’ blends.
  • Bath, or foot bath, salts.
  • Handmade hand cream from Solocro.

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“Shifting skies” gradient rolags, inspired by the January weather.

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“Midnight Clear” mini skeins, inspired by the starry winter sky and spun as my favourite style of gently thick and thin singles.

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Bath salts from the old apothecary in Haworth.

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Handmade handcream from Solocro

Supernumeraries

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Supernumeraries

Background:

I’m a big fan of skill swapping. For me it’s a win-win. For this swap I received the yarn I needed for a project and in return I got to spin this wonderful fibre! The rainbow rolags were from Blue Barn Fiber, a new maker for me. I decided to spin them one after another to create a repeating rainbow pattern, which inspired the name ‘supernumeraries’. To bring out the rainbow colours I plied it with fine, soft, white Falkland wool.

Story:

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Sometimes seven stripes just isn’t enough.

Nature goes abundant – it gives us extra:

Supernumeraries – when the rainbow just doesn’t want to end.

It’s one of many sky stories. Like auras, sun dogs, halos and the northern lights.

Light dances with water

with ice

with dust.

Fields waltz together – electricity playing with magnetism to light the sky.

Nature is many things. But how often do we think of it as playful?

Maybe there’s a lesson to be learnt in that idea.

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Photo courtesy of Hutch at Dye Candy.

Information:

Title: Supernumeraries

Composition: Superwash merino and firestar plied with organic Falkland.

Weight: 156g / 19 WPI / sock weight or ‘4 ply’

Length: 644m / 705yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: September 2015

Skein code: 0068

Fibre: Organic Falkland, superwash merino, firestar.

Source: Falkland from Wingham Wool Work. Merino/firestar rolags from Blue Barn Fibers.

Status: Swapped

One Sky, Many Stories

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One Sky, Many Stories

Background:

One of the perks of working from home is seeing my children get enthused about the work I do, and ask to be taught the skills needed to create with fibre. These rolags were designed by my daughter, Imogen, whose inspiration was both the cloudy blue sky and the starry night sky. They were spun by me, and the story was written by Imogen.

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Story:

I gazed up at the mesmerising sky as it changes, and the clouds fade by.

I watch the sunset colour change from blue to pink to red, and finally to the black of night when the clouds no longer hide the silver, twinkling stars.

I realise: this sky has a story.

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Information:

Title: One sky, many stories

Composition: Merino, Falkland, Angelina, Ramie

Weight: 100g / 15 WPI / sports weight

Length: Cloudy sky – 146m / 160yd approx.; Starry sky – 134m / 146yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: July 2015

Skein code: 0051

Fibre: 21 micron merino, Organic Falkland, Angelina, Ramie

Source: Fibre from Wingham Wool Work. Blended by Story Skeins

Status: Sold

Cherry Blossom

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Cherry Blossom

Background:

This gorgeous, soft, squishy yarn was inspired by the May cherry blossom in the local park. It is a 3-ply yarn and each single has a different composition. Two singles were spun thickly and with lots of texture to reflect the ragged blossom and stamen seen in the cherry flowers. One is white organic Falkland with highlights of pale pink merino. The second is pink merino with highlights of cherry-coloured mulberry silk. The thinner, worsted spun single representing the dark cherry bark is made from 70/30 merino/silk blended tops in shades of brown.

Story:

Spring’s signature sight: the pinky-white clouds of the cherry tree. Delicate pastels cluster around the dark, twisting bark support. Get close up and the petals reveal all the deep colour and ragged texture of cherries-in-the-making. It won’t be long until they shed their coats, celebrating with nature’s own confetti the progression to summer.

Cherry Blossom
Information:

Title: Cherry Blossom

Composition:

Weight: 135g / 9 WPI average / Worsted to Bulky

Length: 135m / 148yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: May 2015

Skein code: 0025

Fibre: Organic Falkland, 21 micron pale pink merino, strawberry mulberry silk, 70/30 merino/silk in browns.

Source: Wingham Wool Work

Status: For Sale

Buttons Be Good!

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Buttons Be Good!

Background:

Spun for a friend, Kirsty of Buttons Be Good, this was another experimental art yarn. I had thought for a while that tiny, colourful buttons scattered through a yarn would be fun. I wanted to make the base a slightly thick’n’thin singles yarn and I had some beautiful falkland fibre to work with. This yarn became an experiment in how little I could do to the fibre in the creation of the finished yarn. It is very lightly spun in order to retain its softness, and lightly wrapped in a highlight thread which carries the buttons.

Story:

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When I was little, my granny’s button box was a treasure trove of adventure. I could dive my hand right into the well of shiny trinkets and feel the smoothness of them slipping past my fingers, making space for me. I could count them, sort them, arrange them according to colours and textures and sizes. I could build landscapes of imagination, and lose all time, lost in play.

I grew older. I bought my own button box! Excavated from a jumble sale, filled with another family’s memories.

Now it helps to create new stories, so maybe one day someone will look back and remember my button box, and all the places that it took them to.

Buttons Be Good!

Information:

Title: Buttons Be Good

Composition: Superwash Falkland, Polyamide Thread, Buttons

Weight: 138g / 9-10 WPI / Worsted thick’n’thin

Length: 133m / 146yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: July 2015

Skein code: 0058

Fibre: superwash falkland

Source: Wingham Wool Work

Status: Gifted