. . . only occasionally . . .


. . . it is very good to make things just for the sake of making them.


Tom was out with work last night, and, after enjoying making a couple of tiny pompoms for my new mittens, I got out my box of Appleton’s crewel wools and decided to make some more.


I thought about colour . . .


. . . I thought about palettes . . .

And I thought an awful lot about some work I had seen by Donna Smith at the Bonhoga Gallery during Shetland Wool Week.


Donna’s piece deserves a lot of thinking about, and I’ll perhaps say more about it another time.

I have no idea what I am going to do with these wee pompoms: probably nothing, but that really doesn’t matter. The point is that I enjoyed both the thinking and the making, and, though it has been several years since I’ve done any crewel embroidery, the beautiful muted hues of those Appleton’s skeins have really made me want to stitch something up again.

Now I really am off for a few days! See you shortly.

38 thoughts on “Sometimes . . .

  1. Hi Kate, Happy New Year! I am sitting this morning catching up on your blog (which is very inspirational by the way) after a very busy December and busy holidays- thanks so much for your kind comments about my Installation I did for the Bonhoga exhibition. I need to do a long overdue blog about it too!
    Hope you are feeling better now, I am in the house of ill at the moment, but a good excuse to sit and knit on a new Fair Isle jumper!
    Donna x


  2. Happy holiday! I wanted to check on the delivery of your newest book. I have not received it yet and wondered if there might be a problem I can address. Could you check on this for me.


  3. Hm, you should not be left alone for too long:) Lovely colours and now will take the opportunity to thank you for your blog and wish you Happy Holidays and a great New Year too come.


  4. oh, those wee little puffs are adorable! Your pompoms inspired me to add some to baby mitts, at the cuff. Cute doesn’t even begin to describe it! And wonderful doesn’t describe your book arriving in the mail, or my time spent reading your lovely essays while drinking my tea, or my dreams of what I’m going to knit first and how to justify the wool purchase!!!


  5. I want to make some pompoms to string onto a tree instead of tinsel. If I get any time before Christmas, after finishing all my gifts up, I will make some. Yours are so pretty, I can’t compete, but I do have some fabulous sock yarn scraps!


  6. I knew you would come around to the the pom pom addiction. I have a pom pom maker that makes heart shaped pom poms now. Oh and tassels are my new addiction. I LOVE tassels. Great colours in your work as always – and the embroidery was amazing! Merry Christmas!


  7. I absolutely love these! I’m now coveting a glass bowl filled with a rainbow of pompoms. I have quite a stash of Appletons crewel yarn and this looks a perfect accompaniment to Christmas TV watching with my daughter!


  8. Great Poms Kate ! Have a wonderful time off. Got my books today, wonderful , exceptional , I could go on and on !


  9. I was able to see Donna’s work at the Bonhoga when I was in Shetland at the beginning of November. It was great especially all the buttons(badges?) pinned to the wall. In fact I liked the whole idea of the swap box exhibition and returned to the gallery to look at all the exhibits a second time.


  10. Lovely! Using fine yarns such as crewel wool seems to give the most velvety, smooth pompoms.

    And happy birthday to Tom! I’m also turning 40 tomorrow and, though I know it is an arbitrary marker, it still feels like a time for reflection and celebration! My family is going through big stuff at the moment and it feels hard to find the space to acknowledge my own little milestone… but we will, even just with a walk on the beach! I wish you both a happy and peaceful break and a shining 2012!



  11. So pretty. It’s the size, I think. (Oh, and well, maybe your colors and background are beautiful, too!) They make me think of tiny snowballs, or chocolate truffles, or other nice small things. Also, I just had occasion to make a tiny Santa hat. It was a challenge to make a pompom tiny enough to top it! If I had to make more I would definitely try to find a delightful mini pompom maker like yours!


  12. Kate, I love everything about this post. The pom poms trigger childhood memories, the colours are gorgeous and yes, making something for the sheer joy of it and the headspace it offers should be celebrated!


  13. Have a good time, both of you (plus Bruce, I suppose) – you deserve the break. And of course happy birthday to Tom (I had also a milestone birthday this year – though a few years more ;)) – so have a lot of fun!


  14. How sweet they are ! Is that the same Appletons I remember reading about your getting on your birthday a few years ago ??? (I loved that post, your birthday splurge, intrigued with the palette you assembled on the floor) . I have just order’d shade cards from a bunch of companies, and am waiting until after the holidays to examine fully, but color, color, color is on my mind as well. I can’t wait to explode with ideas in January. Well, your post of the day reminds me of myself for some reason, I kind of digressed. :)


    1. I thought the same thing! Put them in a brandy glass and use them for decoration. They are so whimsical and cute :)
      Dearest Kate,
      I just had a look at your crewel work. Have you thought of designing patterns for crewel embroidery? You know in your spare time when you are not tempting us with your lovely knitwear designs ;). A lovely collection on Renaissance Dye Work embroidery wool turned me on to all tags sheepy! Have a lovely holiday.


  15. Garland! They’re adorable wherever they end up. Received my book(s) yesterday…speechless, so excited to spend time with it over the holidays, and to give the other one as a Christmas gift.


  16. Love the color palette. Inspires me! And love reading your book! Itching to start one of the patterns . . . just as soon as I finish weaving in the ends of my own Shetland Fair Isle cardi!
    Enjoy your vacation!


  17. You are seriously addicted to pompom making now :-) But they look really beautiful indeed. I wish you and Tom a nice and quiet time. Thank you so much for all your inspiration throughout the year. I wish I had more time now to knit up one of your designs – maybe during the holidays… Take care!


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