Capturing nature

20160723_171515For most of last year I had a personal project to try and capture the colour and textures of my garden. It was a lovely change from the challenges of commercial design work and it made the contrast between my personal designs and my commission work even more obvious.

It’s been a difficult struggle, to reconcile my beliefs in sustainable textiles and natural processes with the commercial demand for “budget” makes that many of my clients have been asking for. Acrylic yarns in particular are not “environmentally friendly”, they aren’t biodegradeable, the process of making is energy intensive and the brightly coloured dyes are often harmful, chemical based products. So,  I’ve tried to separate my commercial design work from my personal projects.

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Dyeing yarn using plant materials (not extracts or commercial dye stuff) has been a challenge and a steep learning curve. But I am loving the results and the colours I’ve achieved. Inevitably this has led on to exploring other natural processes and rediscovering some of the techniques I used in my teaching days.

three plants fern box and tree

This year I’m exploring ways to capture different landscapes and locations that have a personal connection for me. It’s been good for me to learn new techniques and to spend time with other artists and practitioners who are willing to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for natural processes.

herdwick bag

Of course I’ll still be publishing knitting and crochet designs (which you can find over at Granny Cool) and in future issues of Inside crochet magazine I have some fantastic designs which make the best of British Wool including (finally!) the  pattern for this gorgeous crochet bag pictured here in my favourite Herdwick wool.

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  • another reason to love winter - this clematis has been flowering since December! 
#girlgardener #flowergarden #cuttinggarden Oat cookies. Not the prettiest I'll admit, but so tasty! If you fancy a bit of weekend baking there's a link to the recipe in my profile. Happy weekend everyone xxx Pak Choi seedlings looking for the light ...
#girlgardener #organicgardener #growyourownfood #permaculture #forestgarden #ediblegarden #forktofork Plants for free! This periwinkle started off in my neighbour's garden, but has slowly crept under the fence & made a home for itself. The wren loves to hide in it, darting out when she thinks I'm not watching. Not my favourite plant, but that vivid blue is most welcome on cold February days.
#girlgardener #growsomethinggreen #slowliving #naturelover #winterstories #fieldnotes #naturediary A throwback to one of my early designs for Craftseller magazine, one of my favourie photos,  mostly because that chair looks so soft and comfy!
Photo credit: Immediate Media 2012
#instacrochet #knittersofinstagram #homedecor #midcentury #haaktechniekenbijbel #uncinetto #crochetallday I am being scolded by the birds because I didn't refill the bird feeders earlier!
#badbirdwatcher #gardenbirds #urbangarden
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  • Engaging the Public with Climate Change (Co Author):

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  • Woman’s Weekly Guide to Crochet (Author):

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  • Dorling KIndersely Guide to Crochet (Contributor)

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