Category: studio tales

The last…and the first

A handmade linen rag doll, wearing a grey linen dress, hand knit cardigan and bobble hat
A tiny mohair bear sits cradled in Fran's hands

Last year ended with a sweet little rag doll named Poppy, cut and sewn from a remnant of calico naturally dyed with organic tea.

This new year has begun with the tiniest of bears, hand sewn from my all time favourite coffee coloured mohair.

After months of being kept away from my making for a variety of reasons, it feels so good to slowly ease myself back in.

On Packing Up & Moving On

a well loved antique mohair bear sits smiling on a threadbare armchair

A memory, from early December 2018

Today the sky is grey and the air thick with mist. The oak tree above the roof window has just a few solitary leaves still clinging to it’s otherwise bare branches. The flannelette sheets and woollen blankets have been on the bed for weeks. Back in the house, a fire is crackling merrily in the wood stove.

Here in the studio, there is no wood stove. So I’m staving off the cold as best I can. There are socks on my feet, a heavily cabled hat on my head and my favourite hand-spun shawl wrapped around my neck. There are so many woollen layers elsewhere that I’ve lost count. I’m also trying my best to stave off the runny nose and the prickling at the back of my throat hats been bothering me since yesterday. My boy has already succumbed so there is much soup sipping, eucalyptus balm rubbing, on the sofa cuddling, and nose wiping. We are in the waning days of late autumn, and here in Brittany they are mostly dark & damp.

Looking around my studio, cardboard boxes litter what I intend to become a usually tidy room. When packing up my old studio space a month ago, I had begun with the easy stuff, arranging my yarn neatly into boxes arranged by provenance, then moving onto my patterns, needles and notions, until I was left with all the more tricky things, the scraps of paper and notebooks. The half finished projects. The remnants and the scraps. If the early weeks of packing were easily dynamic and assertive, now things are a bit more tricky.

We leave this house in less than two weeks. Looking at the boxes and mess scattered around me, I am overwhelmed by how much is still left to do. And yet my heart is already yearning to be gone, to be flying south towards our new nest. Our year in Brittany has been such an enriching, wonderful experience. But the house we have called home these past months has been less than homely. And on a freezing, damp day like today, I am already aching to be elsewhere.