Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Drifting by my window, autumn leaves

I think this will be the last time I get to photograph the beautiful leaves from the cherry tree this autumn. Although it's a fine day today, the forecast is for lots of rain, even snow possibly on Saturday, but definitely a blast of real wintry weather.
Today the leaves off the silver birch are raining down like a golden shower, a pale honey colour and the other leaves lying around the garden, from hedging and shrubs and other trees and all waiting to be raked up after lunch are in shades of caramel, bitter lemon, oranges, duffle coat brown, some even a pale eau de nil green almost.
I love the leaves, the colours, the texture, scrunching them underfoot or in my hands, gathering handfuls to put on a green, leaf-shaped plate, just so I can admire the many different colours. It was looking at leaves that first got me interested in designing my own free hand tapestries, which I did when we lived in London before moving yet again and having a change of direction with my handicrafts and doing something else. Leaves and old brick and flint walls, with mosses and tiny plants growing out of them, which on first glance just seem to be made up of a few colours, red and grey and a bit of green maybe. But when looked at closer they are actually made up of many different shades of reds, and greys, and greens, with sometimes the odd pink or purple here and there, sometimes a sharp yellow to shock you. The textures too were varied, and this was easily translated on the canvas with different stitches. All very time consuming, all very satisfying though, and in the days when my eyesight was much better than it is now!

These days it's knitting that takes up most of my crafting time... the wool here is a fine four ply, handpainted wool, being used on chunky needles to create a loose knit shawl, perfect for wrapping around the shoulders as I sit and read in bed. And as you can see, I collect knitting needles, some are the ordinary plastic or steel, bamboo too, whilst others are in pale pastel colours, lemon, pink, lilac, pale blue, and made from a by-product of the dairy industry in Australia. There are some hand-painted wooden ones, some with lots of different colours dyed into the wood before it is cut and shaped into needles. There are fat sparkly ones, made of metal and too noisy to use in company or trying to listen to the radio, garish orange and yellow swirly ones in plastic, not as nice to look at but a whole lot quieter. I am also knitting hottie covers... some are for standard sized bottles, being knitted in a very soft, tweedy brown chunky wool, others in a variegated wool in shades of pinks and purples, all gathered at the top and tied with ribbon. Some are for mini hot water bottles, and knitted in blue chunky with cable patterns, or two balls of doubleknit worked together in plain stocking stitch or moss stitch. Some are properly shaped at the top and bottom, others are just a sack really, tied with pretty ribbons. All are comforting to use, and to knit, and perfect for these colder days.


Frances said...

Isn't knitting great? Well, come to think of it, actually making anything textile-related is very enjoyable for me, and I usually have way too many projects underway.

Please do post more pictures ... maybe some of the tapestries?


ChrisH said...

Absoutely beautiful descriptions of colours in your post. I spent some time living in Norwich and I know how cold it gets there! Quickly knit a jumper and stay warm!

pinkfairygran said...

If I had the tapestries, I would photo them and include them on a blog, but last year I had a cull of all my tapestry pictures and kept very few. The rest were all sold in aid of charity, along with cross stitch pictures, some of my teddy bear collection too.

Thank you for the nice comments ladies. They are much appreciated and encouraging. Sometimes you think you are talking to yourself, but then that's par for the course, being a woman!!

Calico Kate said...

Lovely leaf images PFG. When porridge cleared from brain and muscles returned to legs I am planning a jolly auntumal walk with the dogs just as soon as I can and before all the leaves have turned to brown sludge.

Lesley said...

I have some of those needles, from Australlia, that I bought when I was home last year. And the lady in the shop said they were made 'from a by-product of milk'. I never was able to work out what that might be — I mean, apart from the other substance cows produce from eating grass.
But they are very fine needles, I hasten to add. Very smooth and lovely to hold.

Arosebyanyothername said...

Casein is the by-product of milk used in the manufacture of knitting needles and other plastic items. Here is a quote from an arcticle in Wickipedia on "casein"
"In addition to being consumed in milk, casein is used in the manufacture of adhesives, binders, protective coatings, plastics (such as for knife handles and knitting needles), fabrics, food additives and many other products."

Anonymous said...

Wow, I never realised there were so many different and beautiful colours. Autumn has thrown many shades our way this year but as you say, the leaves are all but scattered and have been scooped up into dozens of bin bags.

I love tapestries. Especially the ones hung on walls of castles and stately homes.

CJ xx

Pipany said...

I love the autumn colours too and haven't they been just amazing this year? Don't think they will last mcuh longer here now either as the rain seems to have set in quite firmly.
I couldn't see the picture of your knitting for some reason - desperate to know what it looks like now!
Thank you for the lovely comments on my blog by the way xx

Anonymous said...

What a stunning colourful display those autumn leaves show. Simply gorgeous!

Mid Life Hopes said...

Wonderful Post, love your descriptions. Love the pictures!!
Nice collection of kniting needles, but you know, somehow, I think they just might be fairy wands!
We are recovering...Left some pics on the blog, hope to make a post tomorrow.
xoxo :)

Quilting Cat said...

Super photos as usual and love the knitting needle collection. Trying to track down some bamboo yarn for the pattern you sent me which was approved of by mother-to-be, so many thanks.

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