Whilst working on the borders of the meditation piece today I have found myself thinking about some familiar ideas – rhythm, repetition and the flow of deciding where to stitch – balance
I usually stitch in the quiet, but today I was entranced as I listened to a Radio 3 concert – a Hungarian musician – cello – Miklos Perenyi playing Kodaly’s Sonata for Solo Cello Op 8.
The scissors belonged to my maternal grandmother and were in the box of embroidery thread tucked into the last embroidered cloth she was working on when she died in 1965. I have posted about the cloth before – here
My mind has wandered around, making connections and exploring tangents and wondered about borders, outer edges, margins/marginal – in cloth with this work..but in our world, our societies, our cultures, peoples. It is giving me a frame (as borders do!) and a context which seems to relate to everything in my mind and heart as winter solstice approaches.
So many images to share..
the meditation piece I worked on from a scaffold at Walcot Chapel in September
the mandalas in chalk on the Chapel floor
So why the silence especially when I wish to share? I shall during November, but first this…
Knitting – that’s why… 3 intense bereavements in one year, and I have returned to regular, rhythmic, repetitive knitting alongside my other work. The colours of yarn, the texture of wool, an emerging structure or form. It has woven into the pattern of my days – special time which balances me, holds me together.
I find the constant counting patterns very supportive – I need to focus, to concentrate exclusively and this then, is for me like a counted meditation. No other thoughts can be held in my mind at the same time – my thoughts cannot wander for those precious moments. And look what flows from my hands! This for me is healing and the focus then continues into the day… The mistakes remind me when I lose concentration, and the fixing of these brings some measured self belief ..
A lace pattern shawl – this is the cast off picot edge – and for lace knitting SUCH concentration was needed! I made this for my beloved niece. I have one too and the lace part has some mistakes – I kept these in – they reflect my mind at the time!
Yoga socks next – and a first attempt at my own pattern. I wanted these to be snug and fit another dearly loved one in my family who gives healing aromatherapy massages and teaches yoga in a yurt.. they winged their way this weekend.
The shawl pattern is Nurmilintu by Heidi Alander and the socks are Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder
…new work, and yet a rhythm, a continuation… The leopards bane is full of energy, a golden buttercup and kingcup yellow – a ‘Leo’ colour and life….
Last year I was observing the bees visiting and thoroughly, carefully working over the flowers.
The cloth is the solar dandelion dyed from this post here
Playing with woad silk background… natural dye is so subtle, it changes in the light.. and a background that enhances it can be a challenge to find.. I will make squares, in a 9 patch and see what happens..
This year it is the butterflies I am watching – more of that later
it takes slow time to begin to see the cloth – the spaces between…
Emerging from hibernation – slowly, tentatively..
Playing with placement for a little kantha study. Watching the birds on the feeders outside, aware of an increasing chatter and song with earlier sunrise and seasonal shifts (if to and fro). This morning sharp frost, cold cleansing air, cracked ice, fragile white blossom, a wash of blue clear skies and a walk to awaken the senses
Gentle colour, sensing a quiet rhythm begin to flow, breathing some life into a piece that has been patiently waiting in the wings…
Between moons many things happen… my best beloved burmese passed away between these last 2. I stitch.. rhythmic, repetitive, flow of concentration, absorbing my mind, allowing for some much needed inner space.
The yellow thread was stitched blindfold – of which more some other time… and a thank you to Vicky for the silk and indigo moons..
Day 1 – Cloth layered and constructed – free piecing with herringbone and a long back stitch … Suspended in the space and ready to start stitching … Such an exciting moment raising the piece by stitching thread to 2 corners, throwing the ball of thread over the wire and pulling the work up and into place and space!
Day 2 – Opening the heavy door this morning and catching my breath at the sight of it …..the first line of stitch exploring for reach and rhythm – both hands working together to complete each stitch
..a gathering of flowers which by synchronicity echo the colours chosen
Working on a prayer flag at Walcot Chapel. Torn strips of turmeric and tea dyed silk organza hand stitched with french knots
In my stitch language french knots are thoughts – like a prayer bead felt between the fingers.
The flags – and there are now almost 100 including the blue woad ones – are stitched onto withies – so pliable and supple dancing in the breeze
We were brought a beautiful bunch of flowers including roses which filled the air with scent – what a gift to bring! And so – as the petals gently drifted onto the tablecloth I gathered them to stitch.
A handful of petals..
Drifting in the breeze – https://vimeo.com/131747643
rose petal prayer flag from Susi Bancroft on Vimeo.
This week a little flag in a posy with roses and rosemary – remembrance
My first experience of woad dye – breathtaking as the cloth emerged into the air and transformed into this ethereal blue (from The Woad Centre)
Drying gently in the sunshine
This cloth was dyed for my prayer flags work – of which more to come!