Monday 23 March 2015

Rats nests and rainbows

At the beginning of last week began with me deciding for the third time that book blanket number 8 was wrong and that I had to rethink the colours again!!
When I compared version 1 with version 2 I realised that it was the indigo rather than the other colours, it looked dirty against the other colours, like faded jeans and the darker background was what I liked best about version 1.
So more frogging ensued and then some new swatching, which I am 100% happier with.
I also added some extra colours, version 2 had 9 colours, version 3 has 19!
I'm beginning to realise removing colours from a blanket is a bad idea, when I'm not happy with a design I need to add rather than subtract colour.

I only had 3 skeins of background indigo, so I needed to dye more, which I did. 
Unfortunately I was being lazy and re-dyed some already indigo dyed skeins, I stupidly decided to just add 1 tie rather than the normal 4, the colour was perfect, but when I removed the 1 tie they ended up like this!! 
700 gms of rats nest

The rats nest is surprising satisfying to work with, luckily I make motifs, so I can just pull a strand until it stops moving, break it, make a motif and then pull another strand. I've already used one of the 100 gms nests and started the next nest.

On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we dyed the next 30 kgs and Tinks guarded the wool from potential wool burglars.

On Thursday I edited about 50 wool photo's, and I looked out the office window at the sun. 
Our Exmoor internet slug was chewing up the bandwidth and it took me all day to edit and load them onto the website before the Thursday night update.

Friday was a designing day, also the eclipse day, I knew I couldn't look at it and so there for was desperate to look, so I stayed inside, Tinks guarded the window to stop me being stupid and making myself blind.

I spent all day making these tiny circles for my "colour" page.

Then we went to the pub and looked at the really high tide, the tide kind of made up for the fact
I hadn't seen the eclipse. 
Tish brought her brand new puppy for his first Friday night and so there were lots of puppy snuggles.
Orion is Rottweiler/Great Dane cross, so is going to be gigantic


On Saturday I discovered someone had taken my tiny colour circles idea and posted it as their own.
I know this kind of thing happens all the time, but I find it incredibly upsetting, I put my heart and soul into what I do and would never copy anyone else without their permission or give them credit for doing it first.
I've blogged about being copied before and had numerous comments from people saying "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", which is probably true, but I find very difficult to accept. 
Its so difficult to explain how much it hurts, one comparison that might make sense is culture's who believe that having their photograph taken is stealing part of their soul.
I know I'm being a bit extreme, but this moment in time life is emotionally difficult for us, I am closing NDS which has been part of my life for so long and I already feel that I am losing part of myself, so losing an idea just makes it worse.

Anyway I decided to cheer myself up with a long walk up Hollerday Hill in the sun with Tinks and my Rainbow to take lots of photo's. 

Because however much you take from me I have this in my life which fills my heart and makes me happy.


  1. Beautiful work, love your blog!!!
    So sorry for the copy cat..
    You should post the name and blog of the person to expose her !!!!!!
    Please do it!!!!

    kind regards,.

  2. You live in an amazingly beautiful place!

    However much people claim your ideas, all they'll ever have is a stolen idea. You're an endless font of new ideas and inspiration and the ability to make those ideas real, decide they're not working, and fix the problem. I love to read about your process and your discoveries along the way, and am inspired by the way you wield detail and color- I've been wondering how intrinsic to your design process the fact that you're a dyer is- Whatever goes into the mix of your design mojo, it's very potent and is perceivable in every thing you make. I can't wait for your book.

    I'm sorry the idea thief has caused you pain, and glad you have the solace of place (and that you didn't look at the eclipse! I knew exactly what you meant)


  3. Expose the copy cat, it's the only way to prevent them from making a habit of it. You are so lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country. I live on a marsh, it's beautiful in it's own way but doesn't really make for grand vistas and views like yours :) Here in Kent we missed the eclipse completely as it was overcast so made absolutely no difference at all.

  4. You do live in a beautiful place :-)
    And your work is beautiful and inspiring.
    It is a shame that some people use copying techniques rather than absorbing the inspiration - but I feel sorry for her, she can't sleep well at night, and eventually she will take a dive. I know who she is but I won't name and shame as it gains nothing but more heartache - she seems to copy many famous designers, so you are not alone!

  5. Thank you everyone for your support, it means a lot to know people care.
    I will not name and shame the copycat this time, as she only copied an idea and not a finished design.
    She has done it before and no doubt will do it again, next time she does it I will name and shame and make a huge fuss about it when I do. :-)

  6. Hi Amanda, I don't know if you remember me but I was your last ever customer at Unravel. You showed me your rainbow bracelet on your wrist, and ever since I've been looking forward to seeing and hearing your ideas for colour design, to help us all find our yarn rainbows :-) I'm hoping to design my first ever shawl using the gorgeous yarn I bought from you, thank you for the inspiration, Jo xx

    1. How could I forget:-)
      You were NDS's last ever show customer, I'm sure I have photo's somewhere.
      Don't worry the colour page is in the pipeline, I've been working on it for a while, but its still not right, I promise as soon as we have got the final dyeing schedule under control I will publish, maybe even soon :-)

  7. Yes Daisy did take a pic :-) it was great to see you all and I was v happy to have some more of your yarn for my stash. Thank you for the patterns you gave me too. I'm v glad to hear that your colour page is going well, it's a great idea to carry tiny circles of our stash around so we can fill in the gaps. Wishing you and Daisy lots of luck with your new books and other dreams for the future too! Xx