‘O ye, all ye that walk in Willowwood’

So no sooner has one scarf been cast off, than another is cast on… This time I’m working with the utterly divine Osiris silk 4ply from Solstice Yarns. With all the dyeing now going on at Fleece Cottage, my stash is getting rather out of control, so I’m vainly trying to reduce it somewhat…

This beautiful silk is called ‘Barley Moon’ and the colours are very appropriate, as I’m looking out across the garden at the cornfield ready to be harvested.

Progress on the Carlina scarf

The pattern, Carlina by Kitman Figueroa, is simple but effective and I love how it looks in this greeny-gold. I think I may add a crochet edging of some sort to the top and bottom as it strikes me as a little bare, after all the flowing leaves. I’ve also added in some tiny amber silver-lined beads (Matsuno, size 8) to pick out the points of the leaves – they should subtly catch the light once the scarf is blocked out and opened up.

Only after the first couple of repeats I realised that the combination of colourway and pattern is very reminiscent of one of my absolute favourite artists, Margaret Macdonald. She’s one of those artists whose style you can recognise a mile off – intricate, sinuous relief-work, golden tones, little embedded glass jewels, very dreamlike.

Detail from O ye, all ye that walk in Willowwood

Her striking work lies somewhere between Art Nouveau and Symbolism, and for all that her media are earthy, tactile and physical (gesso plaster, glass, twine, hessian etc), her images have a strangely evanescent, fleeting quality.

This detail from O ye, all ye that walk in Willowwood, her masterpiece inspired by a Rossetti poem, was actually a commission to decorate one of the salons at Miss Cranston’s Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow. I think all my cups of tea should be surrounded with such opulence, rather than Lego, toys and teddy bears!

Anyway, with the colours, glass beads and natural subject matter, I’m rather pleased with this accidental inspiration.

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