Tag Archives: Self-striping

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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April Rolag Club: All Fools’ Day

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April Rolag Club: All Fools’ Day

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

This month we are celebrating All Fools’ Day on the 1st April.

Now more commonly known as April Fools Day, the origin of All Fools’ Day and how it came to be celebrated by so many cultures remains a mystery.

One story dates the tradition to 16th century France. In 1582 France changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, meaning the new year was celebrated on the 1st of January. Those who persisted in celebrating the new year towards the end of march, up to April the first became the butt of jokes, including having a paper fish stuck to their backs and being called “poisson d’Avril” because the young, easily caught fish was a symbol of gullibility.

Other ideas tie this widely-celebrated festival to the start of spring, when nature frequently fools us with unpredictable weather. There may be links to the ancient Roman festival of Hilaria, celebrated at the end of March, which involved dressing up in disguises.

This month is a double celebration because it’s Story Skeins’ birthday! Story Skeins officially launched on the first of April last year. It’s been an amazing year of unexpected surprises and exciting projects, including this rolag club. Thank you all for being a part of it!

This month’s rolags are inspired by the traditional costume of the fool. We have bright and bold primary and secondary colours, and equally colourful accessories. The bells are also inspired by the fool’s costume and in addition to your stitch markers you have 6 extra bells to add into your yarn, or use for your own creative project. There’s a selection of April fool’s pranks, tea and a handspun mini skein from our guest maker, Sarah at Setting The Twist.

Have all the fun!

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Self-striping “Fool” rolags in a merino/silk/corn fibre blend.

In this box you should find:

  • The story of All Fools Day
  • 30g of rolags in “Fool” – 60% Merino, 20% Silk, 20% Corn
  • A handspun mini skein in “Harlequin” by Setting The Twist
  • Tea in blends of “Three Tulsi” and “Heart-warming”
  • Stitch markers and split rings for you to store your stitch marker collection
  • 6 bell charms
  • A “poisson d’Avril” – use at your own discretion!
  • And you can find your final treat at tinyurl.com/RolagRevellers
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Bright, bold colours were the theme for this month, inspired by the fool’s, or jester’s, costume.

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These are self-sriping rolags with ordered colours provided by stripes of merino, while the uniqueness and interest comes from a randomly arranged layer of silk colours.

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This month’s mini skeins in “Harlequin” were spun by Sarah at Setting The Twist

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Fitting with the jester theme, the stitch markers were a pair of colouful bells and I included a split ring to help club members store their increasing stitch marker collection. Six extra bells were included. Maybe some will even make it into people’s yarn!

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A “poisson d’Avril”, ready to be coloured and deployed at the owner’s discretion!

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Every rolag made this month was unique.

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And here are my rolags, spun as irregular worsted-weight singles.

Orchid Ripples

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Orchid Ripples

Background:

I was commissioned to make some thick ‘n’ thin yarn in hot pink, lime green and white. I decided to spin a long-striping yarn in these three colours. The fibre was split into 5g sections and an irregular single was spun in a repeating colour pattern. I then used navajo plying to create this thick and thin textured yarn.

Story:

There’s a slice of paradise that I choose not to share.

Where the wild orchids grow, immodest in their radient pinks, standing proud against verdant greens.

I approach – request an audience. Their bobbing flowers acquiesce.

The lake appears as I crest the brow of the hillock. At the lakeside I dip my toe, and the water answers with ripples.

The orchids’ reflection is broken, like the turn of a kaleidoscope. Rippling pinks, whites, and greens. The world responds to my presence, and yet I am at peace.

 

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Information:

Title: Orchid Ripples

Composition: 67% Merino, 33% Whitefaced Woodland

Weight: 100g / 12 WPI av. / Irregular DK

Length: 187m / 205yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: February 2016

Skein code: 0089

Fibre: 21 micron dyed merino and natural whitefaced woodland

Source: World of Wool

Status: Sold

Devon Memories

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Devon Memories

Background:

I ran a competition for one winner to receive a rolag set, with the offer to spin them if requested. The theme of the competition was food and drink. The entrants suggested their favourite teats as inspiration for their rolag sets. The lucky winner chose the theme of a traditional cream tea for her rolags, and asked me to spin them. I had such fun with this project.

Story:

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Long, lazy days in the precious summer break. Time to indulge: A famous cream tea.

Freshly baked scones, still soft and warm from the oven.

Made by hand as a labour of love, by hands that have worked the dough for a lifetime.

The same hands that took the time to pick, clean and boil the fruit into jam. To heat the cream, slowly and steadily until it gives up its richest, golden crust.

Exotic tea: not of this continent, but still picked by hands. Knowledgeable hands, searching out the tender leaves. Plucking, drying, roasting, packing.

To be brought back to life with freshly boiled Devon water.

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Information:

Title: Devon Memories

Composition: 50% Merino, 15% Milk protein fibre, 15% Soya bean fibre, 20% Ramie.

Weight: 100g / 17 WPI av. / irregular sports weight

Length: 224m / 245yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: October 2015

Skein code: 0073

Fibre: Merino, Milk Protein, Soya Bean, Ramie

Source: Wingham Wool Work

Status: Gifted/Won

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

Singularly Cheerful

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Singularly Cheerful

Background:

My daughter wanted to design a set of rolags, and chose simple, bright and bold colours with just a hint of purple sparkle. They became one of my favourite ever skeins.

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Story:

There’s something about those colours,

Those bold, bright, clear colours.

Primaries and secondaries.

Nothing else. Nothing in between.

No subtle hues, no delicate shades.

Just there. Bold. Shouting!

Shouting at you: “I’m here! Look at me!”

It seems to me the colours of childhood, the colours of play.

The bold inks of the nursery paint box, the pile of crayons, the picture books.

But above all else, what this happy palette brings to mind is an all-time favourite:

The upturned lego box!

Singularly Cheerful

Information:

Title: Singularly Cheerful

Composition: Merino with a hint of angelina

Weight: 100g / 14 WPI / DK

Length: 277m / 303yd approx.

Care: Hand wash only. Dry flat.

Details:

Date: July 2015

Skein code: 0060

Fibre: 21 micron merino and purple angelina

Source: Wingham Wool Work

Status: Sold