Monday, March 12, 2007

Inspiration from Skye

This weekend I was reading “Things to make and Mend”, which sounds like one of those fabulous children’s craft books from the 1960’s with pressed leaf bookmarks and 1001 ways to use a Ski yoghurt pot. Actually it is an unassuming little novel which causes no great brainwaves and makes for a comfortable read in front of the fire on a chilly day. The main character is a woman who wins an embroidery competition and finds herself thinking over her schooldays and how she got to be where she is today. And it reminded me suddenly of my brief flirtation with embroidery when I was 16, 17.

I mentioned it to my First Love and he disappeared for a while, there was some clattering upstairs and then he came back with this:

This is Sligachan, Isle of Skye, as stitched by my youthful self and presented to my First Love about 25 years ago. Gulp. I went on a Youth Hostelling trip to Skye, all by myself, and sat around in misty landscapes and took photographs, made drawings and wrote bad poetry. When I returned, I made this.

Time has not been particularly kind to it. The moths have munched their way through the mountains, leaving bare rock where once there was heather. But I am amazed to see it again and to still be rather proud of it.

So when we went to Skye a few weeks ago, my love and I, I was remembering so much, and seeking new inspiration. The landscapes could not let me down.

Everywhere we went, we ran into a film crew making a “Scottish road movie” about two young men from Glasgow running away to Skye. My First Love walked or drove through the shot on an embarrassing number of occasions – we should have been paid as “extras”!

I was disappointed that the handspinner’s shop was closed until April, and that the hand-dyer was at the opposite end of the island and “by appointment” at this time of year. But I enjoyed looking round Ragamuffin at Armadale pier, and seeing so many beautiful bravely-coloured woollen coats and scarves and fingerless gloves – especially the fingerless gloves! I came home buzzing with ideas which have yet to make it to paper / yarn. But the inspiration is there, bubbling away!


gilraen said...

Your picture is lovely, I really like the different textures you used to create the landscape effects! :)

I remember doing silk embroidery minatures for my mum years ago. I have them put away safely now. :)

peterwatts said...

Just for you to remember things by (and, who knows, future inspiration for further needlework), here is a 360 panorama from Glen Sligachan on the Isles of Skye.