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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.

 

image

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.