Month: September 2016

welcome

spinsterI’m Fran, a slow yarn maker, knitter & natural dyer.

I live with my French sweetheart and our darling little baby in a mountain village in the Hautes Pyrénées – stick a pin in a map between Lourdes and Spain and you’ll find us somewhere in the mountains.

We are immersed in this landscape – these green mountains are what inspire and sustain us through the ups and downs of life.

They are also ultimately what steered the course of my life (back) towards craft, and specifically wool & natural fibres. It was whilst searching for a way to weave more meaningful connections with the natural world & pastoral traditions that surround us that I remembered a long held desire to hand spin & naturally dye my own yarn. One fleece led to another…and all of a sudden, I found myself involved in an incredibly rich & satisfying activity that just won’t seem to let me go!

When I became a mama in 2015, we knew it was now or never to embrace projects that fulfil and sustain us. And so both the name & intention of Spindrift were born in the same week as our son.

This coming year (2016), as our little man begins to take his first steps, we also hope to begin taking baby steps towards a more manageable & sustainable life as a family. One which will have us outside in the great wide open as much as possible. And ultimately one which will also enable me to work with wool, dye & fibre plants more closely.

We are interested in learning more about permaculture, self-sufficiency and off grid living. We hope very soon to have a patch of earth to call our own…a place where we can build a little (woolly) nest, grow our own fibre & dye plants…and maybe keep a few sheep.

Until then, this will remain a place to delight in slow & sustainable wool. Wool that’s been grown, gathered, spun & dyed in our mountains: hand-spun on spindle & wheel, dyed with plants, knitted on my needles.

Welcome.

fields

When I some day I am very old and very grey, I will perhaps sometimes close my eyes and think back to these days of early motherhood.
And when I do, perhaps these fields will be the landscape of my mothering: the contours of these mountains with endless sweeping skies. Walking slowly through long grass, swishing along secret paths through fields of wild flower, scrambling over fences, loitering along hedgerows whilst my love gathers berry treasures. The babe always on our backs.
These are the small adventures that I return to when I close my eyes. These are the treasures I gather in my heart for when I am old and grey. 

last day of summer

It’s here. The last day of summer. What a beautiful season we have had. This time last year, I remember feeling a little bittersweet somehow; happy, so very happy with the shape of our little life. But at the same time quite scared at what lay before us.
Now as we celebrate the end of our second summer as parents, we can see the path we can look back on the path we have trode together these past twelve months and feel reassured that we’ve made it here. More or less in one piece. Always, together.
Tommorow begins a whole new season and who knows, perhaps we’ll be slowly easing into a whole new season of our life as a family. We have many hopes & dreams for the coming months. They are exciting, but they could also be a little frightening, if I let them. Change is hard for us all. But our little one has taught us so many lessons about change this past year, that rather than worrying (or indeed aching) for what is to come, rather we shall seek to live fully in this beautiful time that we have right now.
Starting today, on this last day of summer.

picking apples

There’s something wonderfully therapeutic about picking fruit. Even on an especially slow day, when I’m not up to much more than sitting in the long grass, watching the babe and gently knitting a few rows whilst my love does all the hard work.

how it began

1998.

In the autumn, I moved up to Secondary School. I was starting a new chapter and my eagerness knew no bounds. In the classrooms where I forged new friendships, encountered new things and made new discoveries, I also unwittingly invited into my life a motley crew of germs. Coughs and colds, tummy bugs and sore throats were the waves of illness that battered my body in those first nine months in big school. I just about made it to the summer holidays by the skin of my teeth.

September came round again. We braced ourselves for the next bouts of illness that would inevitably crashed at our doorstep. We did everything we could to stave off the tide, but to no avail. I managed only six weeks. Unbeknownst to us, that was the first year of the sickness-wellness merry go round that would shape my adolescence, my adulthood…and now my motherhood.