“SUNSHINE, NIGER SEEDS AND ISLANDS ON THE EDGE”
Watching the wonderful BBC series “Islands on the Edge” about life and wildlife on the Hebridean islands has been a very enjoyable experience. I learned a lot that I didn’t know about the birds and other creatures that migrate from Africa and Greenland, much like our tourist visitors from all over the world. Arran shares the history and the natural history of the islands, though we are much closer to the mainland, only a one-hour ferry journey away.
I was so pleased to see Alice Starmore featured in the programme. She is an amazing knitter and uses yarn colours which reflect the landscape around her to produce her work which is an echo of where she lives.
I like to think that I did this in my knitwear designs and in my weavings, reflecting the beautiful island where I live. The photo at the top is called “Beach Hut”. The instructions for weaving it will be in my book “Practical Weaving” to be published by Bloomsbury later this year.
One of my projects when I had my studio was to work towards producing a clear rainbow with natural dyes, not possible from the plants available round where I live. The goal was to produce a rainbow using non-toxic materials and processes that would not harm the environment. I spent a few weeks at the Art Center in California at Mendocino, learning about safe materials and procedures and incorporated the results into my knitwear. Totally the opposite of using the dyes and colours from round about, but equally exciting and satisfying
I had a lovely surprise this afternoon thanks to my friend and carer Fiona. Someone had done something lovely for her yesterday and as a thankyou that person said that she would love it if Fiona would do something for someone else. She knew that I had been looking for Niger seeds to attract the goldfinches to my bird feeder. Today she duly arrived with a packet of seeds which are now waiting enticingly to bring those gorgeous birds to my window. I’ve treated myself to “Bird Watching for Beginners” the beautifully illustrated book by Rob Hume. No excuse now for “finch confusion”. And something else to think about besides ongoing health issues.
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