Sorting sheep

Grimwith ReservoirToday I went for a walkabout at Grimwith Reservoir with Karen and Catherine from the YDNPA. As you can see from the photo it was a little grey and what you can’t see is how windy it was. My face is glowing from wind burn but it’s such a beautiful spot that I don’t mind. We were lucky enough to see a couple of curlews but they flew off before I could get the camera out, however we did see a deer. A good walk.

So many ideas now. From a design perspective it would be great if the bird were bigger, from a felting perspective, I’ll probably be glad it’s not. I’m thinking about: mixing more colours into the greens to represent flowers, including structures from the locality e.g. the stone ditch border on the right and the crests whipped up by the wind on the water. I was surprised to discover that there’s been coal mining in the area. There are 17th Century buildings and even one with a heather thatch.

stoneThere are lots of ideas bouncing around in my head, it makes meI feel as though I have a large pen full of sheep in there and each time I try to sort them they dash off in different directions. Then I get sidetracked by one particularly interesting one and forget which sheep I was looking for. This is the point at which I need to take a deep breath and start reining it all back in or there’ll be so much on the curlew it’ll be in danger of being spoilt. It probably doesn’t help that I’m baking a cake, listening to my daughter recounting her day at school and writing this at the same time.

It is possible to obtain the fleece of a Swaledale sheep but time is marching on and I need to start dyeing so I’m going to use commercially available tops. I’ve also decided (as I write this) that much as I’d like to use this opportunity to learn more about natural dyes, the important aspect to me, on this project, is to use Swaledale wool and I will use chemical dyes if it becomes necessary to obtain the colours I need within the timescale.

Writing this is helping my brain to settle and focus, I’m off now to jot down a list of design ideas so I can start paring it down and refocusing on my original idea.

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