Lilith Green, who many will know as Old Maiden Aunt is celebrating ten years as a yarn dyer. What better way to celebrate than to gather some clever women together to create a book of beautiful designs and cake. The finished book, called “Coming Home” will be released this March at Edinburgh Yarn Festival. As the book’s photographer, I spent a glorious few days in Dumfries and Galloway with Lilith, our model Jules ( aka Woollenflower, ) tech editor and all round organiser Amelia ( aka Woollenwords, ) Lilith’s wife Lesley who kept us fed and watered and finally, Finn the dog. I wrote a post for the Old Maiden Aunt blog which you can read here, and I thought you might like to see some of the images from the shoot. There will be copies for sale at EYF but numbers are limited so Lilith recommends pre-ordering. Details here. You can collect pre-orders at the Old Maiden Aunt booth in the marketplace.
I first met Anna Maltz on the internet, we were Instagram friends who met up in the real world and we haven’t stopped talking since. I love Anna’s collaborative spirit which suits my character and way of working very well indeed. Collaboration and friendship are the themes of Anna’s latest knitting pattern, PenPal and we shot the images for it last year in East London. Our fellow collaborators were Amelia, aka Woollenwords whose incredible production skills make my job so much easier, Helen, aka the Woolkitchen who was both model and yarn support, Anna from Wild and Woolly provided moral support and we were graced with the presence of Rey, a beautiful Scottish Fold kitten. You can find the pattern here but in the meantime, here are some images from behind the scenes.
It’s a glamorous life here at Small Window – one minute I’m in London photographing beautiful knitwear, the next I’m wearing waterproof trousers in a field full of piglets. No ordinary piglets mind you, this lot are rare breed pigs bred by Martin and Jackie Beard at Parkhill House in Angus. Martin and Jackie sell free range meat and weaner pigs for others to rear and I quickly found out just how free ranging the animals are. My first visit nearly ended in disaster when a great big sow took a shine to me and knocked me flat into the mud. My camera survived but my dignity and other parts were seriously dented. On the following visit I found myself being enthusiastically nibbled by the piglets in the photograph below, apparently this is one of the ways that piglets explore their environment although when there are twenty of the little blighters all exploring at once it can feel a bit sinister. I had great fun hanging out in the mud with all the animals and you can find out more about what goes on at Parkhill House on their website but in the meantime here are some images from my visit taken after I cleaned the mud from my lens.
I went to Leeds Wool Festival last weekend which was also my very first visit to Leeds although I saw very little of it except for the station and a taxi ride out to Armley Mills where the festival is held. Armley Mills is a fantastic place – originally a Fulling Mill for fulling (felting) cloth, it later became the world’s largest woollen mill. It was great to visit when the festival was on with lots of noise and bustle because every time I visit an industrial museum I think about the absence of sound and movement. In its heyday, a mill like Armley would have been unbearably noisy, busy and dusty and as much as I’d like to have that experience I’m not sure it’s something that can be properly conveyed in a museum without breaking every 21st century health and safety rule. Last Saturday though, the mill rang with the sound of enthusiastic fibre folk.
Anna Maltz was teaching, there were Morris Dancers leaping and you could take an alpaca for a walk. The sun shone bright and it was a joy to sit in the garden eating a cake or three with my travelling companions Louise Knit British Scollay and Lilith Old Maiden Aunt Green, catching up in person with the knitters and crafters I chat with online. I’m already making plans to come back next year.
Welcome to Small Window the new online home of Jeni Reid, photographer, knitter, spinner and seagull whisperer. The first in a series of postcard packs will be coming soon.