May Day in Stitches.

Happy May Day to you.


Do you celebrate? A quick browse on the interweb would have you believe everyone in England was currently out taking part in some ancient ritual, Morris dancing, cutting boughs of hawthorn blossom, lighting bonfires, singing madrigals from Magdalen Tower, dressing wells, eating cake and dancing round a Maypole…

Nothing quite so energetic happening here today (that was yesterday, when for some reason I decided it was just the right time for a big clear out and change round in the hidey-hole (aka studio/workroom/glorified cupboard). Surprising just how long that sort of thing can take, it’s the domino effect isn’t it – you decide to move one thing and that means having to move something else which means moving something else – ad infinitum…

But I must admit, I do like to have a walk along the lane on May Day making a mental note of what’s flowering in the hedgerow. It does feel like a special day. I’m one of those awkward people who tends to think of it as the start of summer – somehow for me the months of May, June and July feel more summery, whereas I’m never sure about August – sometimes it’s so hot, but often it feels to me like the month when the energy stops, and sometimes well before September you can sense a change in the air.

Everything seems a little late here this year. The cow parsley is nowhere near its frothy best yet and even the may is late blossoming, only the sunniest sections of the hedgerow are in full blossom, still lots more to come.

But mainly today I plan to get down to some stitching. I’m currently working two companion pieces based on a golden-reddy-orange palette. They’re quite vibrant, something of a change from the very blue pieces I’ve been making recently. I’m using more of the recycled sari silk ribbon which I just love. It has the most gorgeous texture, is really easy to stitch and best of all, it looks different from every angle – even more so once I stitch into it.

It’s at an early stage here, but you get some idea of the colours…


Any special traditions for May Day that you keep, I’d love to know?

If you signed up for ‘Loose Threads’ I hope it reached your inbox ok on Friday. I’ll distribute the next edition in a few weeks, so if you haven’t yet and want to join in, just fill in your email details next time you visit Dreaming In Stitches (I’m afraid I don’t think WordPress will let me put a box in the sidebar – or if it will, my techno-abilities aren’t up to it!). Thank you so much x

17 thoughts on “May Day in Stitches.

  1. Thought about going down to Magdalen Bridge to listen to the choristers (in fact you can’t hear anything, but there’s something rather special about a crowd of 25,000 people falling silent for a few minutes). Unfortunately this would have involved getting up at 5:15 and walking the mile down to The Plain. Either that or doing an all-nighter in some local hostelry. Does not, as they say,compute.

    In fact, the last (only) time I went to May Morning was when I was in the 6th form which, like everything else these days, was a very long time ago.

    Happy Mayday 🙂

    1. Sorry to be late replying – actually thought I had on my mobile, but apparently not – me and technology, not exactly a match made in heaven!

      I was thinking about you when I saw the little videos on Twitter from Oxford. We rang at Magdalen once which was fun but I don’t think I’d be getting up early to stand around with those crowds. x

  2. My May Day was spent unpacking, putting away and cleaning as we had just got back from a week away in Scotland. At least it was nice to have a day off work to do this. I think we are way behind you in the garden and hedgerows up here in the blustery North! Beautiful depth of colour in your new piece – a really vibrant seasonal piece. Have a lot of posts to catch up on again – I am excited to read your new history posts – need to find a quiet moment to savour them.

    1. Oh I do hope you manage to get everything sorted out in Scotland very soon – I’m waiting for you to let me know and I’m going to send you a piece of artwork if you’d still like (PFL) x

      1. I hadn’t forgotten and can think of nothing that would give me greater pleasure than owning one of your artistic pieces to look at everyday and hopefully one day meeting the talented maker. x

  3. Beautiful colours, Anny. One of the reasons I started a blog in the first place was so that it would help me keep track of what was going on at various times of the year. I have to say although I consider May to be summer, for me it carries on until the very end of September!

    1. Now then, that’s interesting, you’re definitely a long summer person! It’s funny isn’t it our feelings about the seasons, I wonder what it is that makes us feel these ways x

  4. Hastings – just down the coast from me – have the most wonderful Jack in the Green celebrations each May Day, though I’ve not been for the past couple of years. I failed to do anything May Day’ish – not even washing my face in the morning dew and making a wish!! Your May blossom looks lovely, ours isn’t quite out yet, but the hedgerows have been full of other blossom for weeks now and the bluebells are riotous, so a drive through the Sussex landscape is a great pleasure.

    Loved your post on Stokesay Castle – what an evocative space to wander through, and you describe it so delightfully, as ever 🙂

    1. I really really must have a trip to Hastings – it’s an area I know so little about and it’s so full of history isn’t it. The may blossom around here seemed to wait for an age and then after just one sunny day ta dah! it arrived…

      (I wonder if anyone would be brave enough to bath their faces in the dew anymore – certainly wouldn’t risk it around here!!! – the Delinquent Dog very much to blame…).

  5. oh, and your sari silk piece is scrumptious … i bought a happy hank of sari silk once, all lovely pinks and purples, and was foolish enough to put it through the wash (why? can’t remember, a moments madness). It came out a scruffy bundle of tortured thread and went straight in the bin!!

    1. Oh no!!! You need another one – it’s lovely stuff – sometimes I just pull out pieces and stroke them (not weird at all you understand) – I’ve seen them knitted and it’s gorgeous. It does last a long time though if you’re only stitching it. 🙂

    2. By the way, I’m having the devil’s own job trying to comment over at your blog – it seems that Blogger and WordPress won’t speak to each other and everything gets deleted. Is there another way I could reply? I have email if you would be willing to exchange addresses – your dyeing is brilliant and I’m so sorry not to be able to get the comments to you.

      1. Hi Anny, happy to correspond by e-mail (, but I did find this little snippet on a support forum which might help

        “The problem … seems to be that is sent for verification to the OpenId server. If you manually replace https with http it works.”.

        Not my solution, but I always Google things to see if I can find an answer- comes from running a reference library for many years!!

        Thank you for your lovely comments on my dyeing – I must do more, but the garden is taking my time at the moment – trying to restore some order to the chaos.

        There’s nothing weird about stroking fabrics, I do too, in fact I find it hard to do anything concrete with them other than stroking them – unlike you who make wonderful things. Perhaps I don’t need any more fabrics until I’ve used the ones I’ve got (said my mother in my ear)!! I hope the exhibition went well this weekend – wish I was closer and could come and see the light glinting on your lovely stitchery.

        Oh, and I was fascinated to learn the origins of the term “slighted” – poor Goodrich Castle. It’s still in better shape than the one in Hastings

It would be lovely to hear your thoughts...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s