Next week is quite an important one for me. Two things are happening: a meeting in London and a meeting of sorts in my studio. Both require a mass of preparation and one may need a new frock so it's ever so slightly frantic round here. Writing, planting, pruning, spider rehoming, photographing and weeding have been going on for a couple of weeks. The need for the odd twenty minutes of down time is more important than ever. I'm thrilled that I'm able to turn to crochet for relaxation. It took me thirty years to become familiar enough with those intricate loops that it stopped being a source of frustration and is now like yarny meditation.
Crochet was my craft nemesis for decades and I've written about how it eventually became part of the everyday and a kind of woolly yoga for me in Standard Issue magazine. I made my first how-to video too. It's here if you'd like to learn how to make a foundation chain - it's the casting on of crochet.
Have you heard of Stitchlinks? Betsan Corkhill runs this excellent organisation, working with the medical profession to investigate the beneficial effects of yarncraft. There's no doubt that in recent months when my Mum in law was unwell and I was rather overwhelmed by the task of promoting the Comic Relief craft magazine crochet came to the rescue. The combination of hook and string seemed to drive down adrenaline.
Does cow parsley grow where you live? It lines every field and hedgerow here and the three or four plants that have found their way into out garden are about to flower. This photograph was taken last evening as the sun began to dip. I wondered whether I could make some with crochet for a friend's belated birthday. I think it worked (see top image) and this is the project I've been working on in between hacking at nettles, although I may try it on a smaller scale too. This will become a garland eventually. Do let me know if you'd like me to write out the pattern...