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February, Frogs and Unravelling
Greetings from Wales! It feels a little late for a ‘happy new year’, but I wish you one anyhow :)
Spring is starting to spring, though I am only just starting feel like I have arrived in 2023. I have re-opened my shop after my winter break, and had a fresh delivery of goodies including my British Sheep Breeds cushion covers, which had been out of stock for a while last year - I love these, and I’m so glad to be able to offer them again.
These cushions are made in the UK, with my illustrations screen printed on unbleached cotton and fitted with an invisible zip. The sheep are arranged in alphabetical order by breed, from Balwen to Kerry Hill on one cushion, and Leicester Longwool to Zwartbles on the other.
Creatively, I’ve been a bit all over the place, starting umpteen new projects in both my illustration work and my crafts. My desk is an ever growing pile, which includes - at quick glance - gouache painting, scratchboard, ink drawing, knitting, spinning and cross stitch. In the past I might have said some mean things to myself about not being able to focus on any one thing, but the more space I allow for my scatterbrained approach to just happen, the more I realise that all my creative endeavours inform and spill into one another, in a way I would not want to change.
This is perhaps extremely obvious in my most recent video, which I was able to centre around an emergent theme of frogs. I started by knitting a frog (pictured below), then a frog jumper (not pictured, because it doesn’t exist yet), then I was cross stitching frogs, then the next thing I knew there was a frog was on my painting table too. It goes without saying that none of these projects were' ‘on my list’, but that’s usually when my best work happens!
In more practical news, I will be venturing back to England for a show this month: Unravel, at Farnham Maltings in Surrey from February 24th - 26th. I’ll be there all weekend with my stand of illustrated goodies, knitwear samples and a first for this time, yarn kits for my Fairy Ring designs. I’m very excited to have teamed up with my friends at John Arbon Textiles and Daughter of a Shepherd to be able to offer these. If you’re at the show, please do come and say hi, I would love to meet you.
Sometimes people tell me they are nervous to come and say hello at a show. I understand - and I promise that however I might come across, I am nervous and socially awkward too. If in doubt, you can always just ask me about Jack, tell me about your dog, or come and show me the gorgeous yarn you’ve discovered - I could chat about any of those subjects all day long!
As always in these newsletters, I love to include some recent photos which you may not have seen on instagram - either because you don’t use it, or because the algorithm works in mysterious ways, or simply (usually) because I’ve fogotten to post them.
The weird holiday feeling of being in Wales is starting to fade, and it is almost beginning to feel real that this is where I live. And wow. I’m slowly falling in love with this new landscape, and the rocks and rivers and trees and lichens who are my new neighbours (the human neighbours are alright too). I’m pleased to say that Jack is also settling in really well, and has even climbed a couple of mountains recently!
I hope whatever creative projects you’re working on, they are bringing you some solace and joy. And if you’re in the greater London area, perhaps I’ll see you at Unravel next weekend? Thanks for reading, taking interest in and supporting my work!
Katie (and Jack)