For those of you who are familiar with our work, you’ll know that I tend to have a theme every year to guide my colour choice for the yarns I dye. Last year it was Space, but this year I decided to go a little closer to home. Foz and I are both very interested in the environment, and Foz particularly has always been fascinated by the birds who share our countryside and townscapes with us. At the flock’s old home at Vowley Farm, we had an amazing population of wild birds, from buzzards all the way down to the disturbingly endangered sparrow, and our new grazing at Great Chaddington Farm is proving to be similarly well visited by birds. So we have decided that our 2015 theme will be British Birds.
Now, many craftsfolk choose this as a theme, and I’ve noticed that birds have been enjoying a bit of a ‘moment’ recently; they’re readily to be seen in home furnishing collections, pictures and on the television. But that’s the thing about them in real life, too – they’re always there, always around, and we often take them so much for granted. Think back to the last time you had a sighting of a wild mammal. I live and work in the countryside, so for me that’s not an infrequent thing, but they are shy and elusive creatures in comparison to the birds which are around us all the time. We don’t look at birds all that closely, we don’t appreciate their colours and forms and textures when we glimpse them from the window or see them in a field when we’re driving past. But a little closer examination brings intriguing results.
As a first step, I have started a Pinterest board on the subject, which you can find here. I like to surf fairly randomly to start with, finding great pictures and stuffing them onto the board in no particular order. Soon, a pattern will appear. I am already enjoying the pictures of magpies and starlings, birds which we think we know the colours of, but which can appear very different as the light changes. I’m pretty sure that wildfowl will be featuring strongly at some point (we are not all that far fromSlimbridge wildfowl reserve, and planning a visit this month!) I will soon be translating the pictures into formats I can work with, isolating colours and working out what I can do to create beautiful yarn colourways.
In the meantime, we’ll still have the Space 2014 collection on our stall, although that’s dwindling now. But if you like the fiery orange of the sun, or the mysterious sea-greens of the Orion Nebula, visit our stall – you’re bound to find something you like.