On the starting blocks…

Not the Caribbean, Sandwood Bay, Sutherland.

It’s been a wonderful summer. I discovered years ago, that trying to work when the girls are at home just isn’t an option for me. Rather than worry about it, I now give up all ideas of stitching while the schools are out and instead try hard to give the girls a good time.

They’re growing up so fast. I don’t have to be chief entertainments officer anymore, they pretty much decide their own schedules these days, but they certainly do need a taxi service, and too often, they also need the Bank of Mum on hand.

So for the last five or six weeks, there’s been nothing happening on the canvas.

But up there in the brain, all kinds of ideas have been spiralling around.

Balvenie Castle

While we were in Scotland, we visited Balvenie Castle. It’s a beautiful gem which I’m sure gets missed by a lot of people because it nestles beside the Glenfiddich Distillery – a great tourist attraction (and well worth the visit).

There’s a distillery hiding behind the trees

But the castle has wonderful stone work, which has really made me tingle with desire to somehow recreate the colours and textures of the stone.

It was a very hot morning when we were there, so I sat in the shade, staring up at the masonry, whilst breathing in the delightful aroma from the distillery – and mulled over the stitching possibilities.

It’s on my list for the autumn.

Although I haven’t been sewing, I’ve had a bit of a go at sorting out the canvases. This autumn I’m going to give linen scrim a go. The hessian that I’ve been experimenting with is very enjoyable in lots of ways, but the hairiness plays havoc with my nose and I’m a tad concerned that I might be allergic to it – the eczema on my hands improves a lot when I stop using it.

I’ve just ordered a few metres of scrim, so when it arrives, I’ll have a little play and see how it feels.

The texture and weave of the canvas has become much more important to me over recent months and I realise that I tend to respond better to more pliable substrates.

I’ll keep you posted.

I’m craving some nice new yarns to sew with. Can anyone recommend sources of wools, silks, cottons or anything else that’s a bit out of the ordinary? I feel a trawl around the internet might be in order, but how much more lovely it would be have a shop nearby where I could touch and feel in person.

So, gearing up again now. Should be back in action soon.

Happy stitching.