Regular readers of my blog might have noticed that I haven’t solicited signups for my newsletter (see sidebar) in many many months. I write a piece of analogue email (a postcard !) to each sign up. Indeed I often felt like the only thing between me and the Royal Mail’s profits as I wrote prolifically every week. Often up to 10 or or so postcards a week. Sometimes to a friend having a bad time, sometimes just some friendly mail to welcome someone home from a trip or piece of mail for someone living through grief. Marathon postcard writing is my thing. I once wrote a postcard a day for 6 months to a friend diagnosed with a brian tumour many thousands of miles away. I used to write 2 or 3 times a week to my grandmother Sylvia in Sydney Australia. She was not a silver surfing grannie though out childhood was punctuated by blue air letters she wrote from Johannesburg and her writing so familiar. My mother wrote back of course. in those days phone calls were a once a year event at that.
My grannie was cool – really cool. Stylish and an artist though unacknowledged. She produced, weaving, ceramics, knitting all to a very high standard while being married to a very social Highlands North doctor. Having her kids hide their friends on the run from the authorities in her house. She was elegant and well dressed. There possibly were good outcomes for me the slovenly and unsylish granddaughter living many many thousands of miles from her.
Earlier this year my dad phoned and said that my grannie had died. That very afternoon I’d taken a card of a drawing and written to my grandmother.
And from that moment on I became an ex writer. I would look at postcards in a gallery and NOT buy them – for in my head what was the point without my grandmother to write to? My postal communication to friends dwindled to nothing. I’m not sure in this digital age they even noticed. For 5 months I’ve hardly put pen to paper. And strangely writing like planning, or thinking on paper has stopped as well – as if the act of writing these small pieces of communication tapped something else at the same time. Other things have taken the place of writing instead i’m thinking in yarn, the results of which burst out of plastic bags all over my living room but its a different form of thinking and one which has a concrete outcome which I like for a change.
However there are stirrings. I’m thinking of offering Postal Joy again as I recon we all need something to connect us and keep us going through winter. Do sign up for the newsletter if you would like to be kept informed and get special newsletter discounts.
This book was bought some months ago in Castle Douglas what a gem! Published by the National Federation of Women’s Institutes – edited by Mavis Fitzrandolph, features an introduction by the Countess of Abermale and a very trenchant essay on design by Hebe Cox.
“WE should always avoid dishonesty in our designs – wallpaper printed to resemble linen-folded panelling, celluosed cloth embossed to imitate the grain of leather, electric light fittings shaped like wax candles (sometimes even with a drip of wax running down the side!) or plastics coloured to look like wood veneer (which are frequently seen on the cases of wireless sets). That class of ornamentation which consists of making one material look like another is merely silly. Ornament should grow out of the form of the thing decorated and should emphasise rather than detract from its nature. For example the decoration on a plate should take account of its roundness. A plate with a square pattern put on it haphazardly, or with a design of horizontal stripes running right across it, would be rather worrying, would not look well, and would make it very easy to miss putting food squarely on it.”
Oh dear cannot but think its a good thing that Hebe has perhaps missed hipster ceramacists which I suspect somewhere on Etsy are committing many such design solecisms.
Pile of 22 squares made by Granny Greeners and brought to our gathering in the Red Squirrel. We’re trying to get local crafters to knit or crochet 8 inch squares to the height of Grayfriars Bobby. We hope that will be enough squares to make 12 blankets to warm AIDS orphans in South Africa – more information here at Knit-a-Square.
At the Glasgow School of Yarn I ordered a sushi roll for a shawl from Easyknit. Its a piece of machine knitted yarn (Bluefaced Leicester) which comes like this (see below) and is hand dyed. The pattern is by Olga Buraya-Kefelian -Aranimi.
Meanwhile I’ve been trying out new recipies – note left over dishes from supper party on table above. Walking and admiring the leaves in Edinburgh. Having my first haircut in 2 years. Appauled to discover that my hairdesser John had left hairdressing in the meanwhile.
On Monday Granny Greens Edinburgh craft group is going to have a session on crafting for charity at Central Hall. There will be plenty of tutors for crochet or knitting beginners if you have wanted to learn. Snacks will be provided. Granny Greens is looking for £2 donation to offset cost of room hire.
Yesterday I went with two other Granny Greeners to The Glasgow School of Yarn a yarn festival organised by The Yarn Cake. It was so nice to do the journey over with L & H. Both of which whipped out projects to while way the time on the train. It was PEEING down when we arrived so threw caution to the wind and blew £6 on a taxi out to St George’s Cross and the Macintosh Church were the event was held. What a lovely location! There were also classes on but they were all knitting ones and seemed a bit advanced (Design your own shawl) so didn’t sign up to any of them. However there were free carding demos. Lots of lovely chatting. Loved hearing about one lady’s flock of 35 sheep in Wales. The tempoary cafe served up yummy stews, and cakes. And when we had run out of oomph we settled into the Mackintosh pews and did a little light crafting. Of course I was green with envy with some of the handknits being modelled. My excuse is that most of my crafting goes towards the oprhans and I do almost nothing for myself. I did however order a sushi roll for making a shawl – so will have to bend my mind towards patterns. Something to keep me going in the dark days to come.