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time & tide - december

the grey below - pightle | fingering/4ply (100g)
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#timeandtideyarn takes inspiration from our beautiful Suffolk coastline. Whether we’re walking the dog in deepest midwinter, picnicking on an almost-warm-enough Spring afternoon, or taking a dip at the end of a long, hot, summer’s day, the sea is always beautiful and there’s always treasure to be found…

Two shades each month throughout 2023, dyed on a variety of yarn bases and using our favourite dye techniques - one inspired by the sea itself, and one by the beautiful things we find along the shore.

December – When I set out on my year of yarn inspired by the sea I did have a small concern that it might be dominated by shades of grey and brown – we do, after all, live adjacent to the North Sea, not renowned for its crystalline turquoise, or even 'sea green' water! I needn't have worried; looking back through the eleven-month archive there is a lot of green, aqua, jade – and even blue – because it turns out that the sea is just as nuanced and ever-changing as the sky it sits beneath. This month is grey though! We walked along the shore line at Walberswick as the clouds sat low and heavy and leaden grey and although there were also spectacular sunrises, wild windy days filled with scudding clouds and starlit calm seas to choose from this month, I decided to honour the true essence of the North Sea we know and love with this final instalment. Dyed on pightle | fingering/4ply I've called it the grey below.

I switched to hoo | sock for the second shade, and the inspiration came from a walk along Dunwich beach the day after one of the big storms we've had recently. Depending on the wind direction and the tides, a storm along this coast can either give or take away. Sometimes, the sand is scoured and washed away, and the beaches are bare after a big storm, other times they are strewn with treasure, and on a bright Sunday morning, we walked along a strand line strewn with brittle stars, star fish, and sea mice (I rescued all the ones that I could see were still alive, popping them back into the now-gentle waves, but it was a hopeless task!) after the storm takes all the shades of warm amber orange, the palest coral pink, sandy yellow and woody charcoal from a beautiful stranded star fish. It's called after the storm.

I've loved spending a year being inspired by the sea and the treasure we find near it as we've walked along our favourite stretches of the Suffolk coast. It's whizzed by in a blur, taking in all the seasons, weather conditions, and moods, but always a cobweb-clearing, inspirational, joyful balm for the three of us; Chris, myself, and Monty the Spaniel (as long as someone is throwing the Frisbee!)

We recommend hand washing your finished projects in cool water to preserve the vibrancy of the dye and, as with all small-batch, hand-dyed yarn that doesn't have dye lots, we also recommend knitting alternate rows from two skeins when working on larger projects to avoid noticeable changes between skeins.

We use professional acid dyes with good light and wash fastness and do our best to exhaust every dye bath and reuse water wherever possible to reduce any further environmental impact. Occasionally a small amount of 'loose' dye may remain in the yarn after rinsing (most likely with deeply saturated shades) and we always recommend hand washing in very cool water and pre-washing your yarn separately if you are intending to mix light and dark shades in a single garment/project.