Painting It On




















A couple weeks ago, when I started the process of this latest yarn, we had reverted to actual winter in the UK. We were under dense, grey cloud, the mean temperature was bordering on wicked cold, and there was snow. Snow. I, who handles winter so terribly badly and only clings on by a thread knowing spring is around the corner, hit the doldrums and couldn’t shift it. This did not bode well. I was praying that this was not the start of a sucky summer (we’ve had them before), because in all seriousness, I didn’t know how I was going to cope.

Trying to stay positive (easier said than done with clinical depression, when everything from the food you eat to the daylight you get affects your ability to function) I tried to enjoy this brief delve back into winter. Hot chocolate, rice, pudding, days in front of the fire. It didn’t make up for the bone ache from continuous rain, but there is nothing to do be done but make the best of it. Then instead of waiting for the sun to make an appearance I decided to paint it on – out came the dye pot, some saffron and a smidgen of turmeric, and in the pot went some mordanted roving. It was a beautifully pastel lemony colour when it emerged, and it spun on and on without end; I couldn’t help but think of the Rumpelstiltskin story – spinning this dull wool into gold. Eventually I ran out of the roving and had a nice skein of 270 metres of new yarn to knit the sun back into our lives.

And would you believe it, the day the skein was finished the sun began to shine. First burning off that grey cloud, then bursting through to, finally, give us the spring we needed in our bones.

The eldest delighted in the blossom that is now appearing in our garden, and modelled the yarn beautifully with it – “it’s such a spring-y colour!”. It is. It really is. And from that grey day of desperation in my kitchen to the final display out in my sunny garden, this skein has managed to weave us a spring, both inside and out.


5 thoughts on “Painting It On

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