Right. Let’s. Get. Started.

Right. Let’s. Get. Started.

I’ve been saying these words for months with the idea of writing about my crafting life, without actually doing it, so, here goes.

Deep breath.
<<<sounds of toes being dipped into water>>>

It seems only fair that I should start my crafting blog life with a new craft. Well, if not actually completely new, then almost new. About a year ago, on a spur of the moment whim type thingy that I’m prone to, I signed up to and went on a yarn dyeing retreat run by Daisy at Devon Sun Yarns. I mostly did it so I could escape my children for the weekend and it was with some nervousness that I knocked on the door of the Arched House in Lyme Regis on a Friday evening and said hello to a group of women who have forever changed my life.

preparing to dye

It’s fair to say I’ve always been a crafter. I loved art at school and my mum taught me to knit when I was very small. But I’d mostly always done it in what felt like a crafting desert. A 20 year corporate career followed by a move to a commuter village and then twin babies, didn’t leave a huge amount of space for social crafting, so, apart from a brief foray into a quilting group, at which I always arrived late, in a suit and with my mind still on work, I’d never spent any real time with crafting folk.

So, the ladies I met on the retreat were, in every sense, a revelation. Their creativity astounded me (and still does) but what struck me most was their generosity of spirit and willingness to share their time and themselves. And I realised then how wonderful it is to share your crafting experiences with others. There is as much pleasure to be taken from sharing your love of a craft as actually undertaking the making.

crochet hooks made with Kuritumi

I came away from the retreat with lovely new friends, in a state of complete serenity (this might not have been entirely a good thing however, as the morning after the retreat ended, I managed to lose my mobile phone and lock myself out of my house!) and with a good understanding of the basics of yarn dying. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve been back to one of Daisy’s yarn dyeing workshops at the fabulous destination yarn store, A Yarn Story, in Bath (if you are ever in the area, you must visit), and on a crochet retreat with Daisy and Dedri Uys the lady behind the lovely blog Look At What I Made. My last trip to Lyme was on an Inspire a Retreat, again with Daisy, one of the results of which is this blog.

Given how much I enjoyed it, it is surprising that the one thing I haven’t done at home since that first retreat, is dye any yarn. Over the Christmas holidays I was really enthused with the idea of a temperature blanket where you record the maximum and minimum temperature in a row or square of a blanket, so the colour of your eventual blanket is driven by the weather. But I just don’t have the time for a daily row or square (besides which, I calculated this would make my blanket about 15 feet long) so I came up with the idea of doing a row for the maximum and minimum temperatures each week, with an extra row for the rare events of snow and thunderstorms. This would make the blanket a much more reasonable length. But my house really doesn’t need another crochet blanket. But I really wanted to do this. Then I hit upon an idea. I could dye my own colours for the blanket, then it would be really special to me. And this made the idea of yet another blanket, completely acceptable.



So, here I sit, with coffee, fear and trepidation, looking at 10 skeins of un-dyed super wash merino bamboo mix supplied by Daisy and wondering which colours I need to dye for my temperature ranges. I’m telling you this so I don’t wimp out and pop the skeins back in my stash. You are my conscience. I will now have to keep you posted.


11 thoughts on “Right. Let’s. Get. Started.

  1. I am happy to be a part of your conscience! After 2 lessons of crochet (to try & remember what my lovely Nan taught me when I was about 10), I’ve done a bit! Including the obligatory blanket for a newborn. You’ve inspired me to dig all my stuff out again. Hopefully we’ll catch up soon Alison x

  2. Go on you can do it, and once you do I may be asking you for advice as I would love to learn how to dye. Well done for starting your blog, I’ve recently taken the plunge too and it’s rather terrifying! Xx

  3. Hello! I am also a blogging ‘newbe’ and aside from Motherhood,it is easily the scariest ,but most exciting (ditto the above), thing I’ve ever done! Lol…but actually, it’s been lovely…I started mine for much the same reasons you talk about….sharing my passion with like minded people. I wish you the best of luck…and keep going!

  4. Hi, I’m a fellow Sockalonger and saw your link on the Facebook group. It’s always good to find new inspiring blogs such as yours.
    I’ve been blogging for several years though I’ve had a break for a couple of months.

  5. Hooray! Welcome to Blogland – the water’s always lovely! Looking forward to reading more about your dyeing adventures, it’s something that I keep threatening to do but have never quite got round to. I’m quite an expert at ignoring the dye and the yarn that’s all ready to go! xx

  6. Good luck wth your blog, I have been thinking of starting one myself and you may have just pushed me to actually do it. Looking forward to reading more from you and seeing the results or your dying experiences. x

  7. Well done great first post and lovely photo’s we (as in blog followers) will keep nagging you to see the progress you make on this new blanket lol. Look forward to keeping in touch with all your creative days. X

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