November Favourites

I’m pretty late this month with a favourites post.  I’ve been distracted by dyeing (still waiting for my indicator strips to arrive) and writing the accessible patterns posts.  
I started these favourite posts with a daily email – Delancey Place.  This month I’m going to suggest another – The Conversation.  This is really for UK readers and it provides information similar to that of the main news channels.  The difference with this is that it is written by academics and not journalists or politicians.  As I browse over the current cover page it has a number of pieces about the UK General Election (I’ll leave that one), a piece on keeping your indoor cats happy, Omega 3 Fish oil being as effective as drugs for children with ADHD and a particular favourite of mine, the origin of the language and names in the ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy of books by Philip Pullman.  In the last piece we discover that most of the names have meanings but one of the names simply came out of the Finnish telephone book – any idea which character that might be? 

Screen shot showing Lin Manuel Miranda from His Dark Materials.
Lin Manuel Miranda from the trailer for His Dark Materials

Staying with the His Dark Materials, I am usually very sceptical about movie or TV adaptations of books.  I bought this trilogy for my girls when they were young teenagers and they and I loved it.  IT was easy to ignore the shiny and inconsequential ‘The Golden Compass’ film when it came out but was intrigued by the trailer for the current series on BBC 1 in the UK and HBO, wherever that is available.  This really has not disappointed at all.  Possibly because it’s giving each book 8 episodes it means that it can develop the story and the characters more than could be done in a single movie.  The special effects are so good and the look and feel is probably in keeping with my own idea of the world of daemons, the Gyptians, and the Magisterium.  There is also some great knitwear for the lead character, Lyra Belacqua along with a fabulous wardrobe for the evil Mrs Coulter played with such confidence and menace by Ruth Wilson.  Needless to say we are loving it. 

I have started a few tentative experiments with dyeing yarn using natural dyes. Some have been successful, others not so but I’m very much enjoying the process and am looking forward to working with the outcomes soon.  I though I’d use this to share a few of the inspirational accounts that have lead me to my current position.

On Instagram – Rebecca Desnos – I have actually bought her book, ‘Botanical colour at your fingertips’ and subsequently misplaced it!  I will be sensible and find it soon.  She also publishes a quarterly magazine Plants are Magic.  Rebecca is vegan so doesn’t use any protein fibres.  I really would like to be able to dye wool from sheep and from alpacas so tend to use other sources of advice for this.

One of the best websites for natural dyeing is Jenny Dean.  Her book Wild Colour is now 20 years old, but it is on my Christmas list!  I used her advice for my experiments with Safflower.  Some success and some failures – not a problem, failure is learning.

Finally, a quick note to remind anyone interested that Widening Gyre is now live on Ravelry.  It’s a lovely easy knit that looks just great.  


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