Thursday 30 June 2016

Act of kindess

Let me start by saying this isn't a political blog and I'm not about to go off on a huge rant about every event of last week, this blog is more of a plea for sanity and good sense.

We all can admit that the aftermath of the leave vote is shaking us a bit, no matter what your vote was you can't  deny the worrying events that unfolded. While politicians play us like marionettes and have a shouting match while circling around the PM throne like a kettle of vultures, it's the little person that suffers, it's always the little person.

The vote has opened up a cesspit of hate and pure anger, it's seem like xenophobia, racism and homophobia have been given the green light. Don't get me wrong the anger and racism were always there but this is a new level and some feel they do not need to control it anymore.
We cannot go backwards to the hate crimes of the 70s and 80s, to the fear and inequality, we came too far to let this destroy us. It's more important than ever for kindness and good sense to win, because the alternative doesn't bear thinking about.

I'm an immigrant from Poland, I came here many years ago, in fact I've lived here far longer than in the country I was born in. This is my home, this is were I have build a life, contributed to the economy and tried to be a good citizen. Poland gave me my wonderful childhood and very difficult teenage-hood but Britain shaped me into the adult I'm today. When the vote to leave EU was announced I have to admit I took it very personally, it felt as if I was told to pack up bags and that I'm no longer welcome in my home. It hurt like hell and it still does. After crying sea worth of tears for the unknown to come, for the uncertainty of our future and I have to admit a bit of self pity I had to slap myself and snap out of it when I saw what this vote has unleashed.

The reports of attacks have started that very Friday. Polish, Muslim, Pakistani and any other person who looks ''different'' was told to go home by some neo Nazi. It now has been a week and  shops are being burned down , people beaten , children abused and scared. It seems that no one is safe unless you fall into ''normal'' category set by some far-right nut. Those incidents are just the tip of the iceberg, the next more horrific than the last. No one deserves this kind of treatment for being of a different race, sexuality or nationality. This cannot continue, otherwise the hate will overtake, let we forget the murder of MP Jo Cox whilst she was out campaigning for equality and freedom for us all.

We all know someone of different race, religion, nationality, whether it's our neighbor, friend, co-worker, post man, local shop keeper, please let them know how important they are to you and this country, don't let them feel that they are unwelcome in the country they call home. Be kind to your fellow man, I don't mean start hugging people on the train , because that's just weird and no one really appreciates a weirdo, just be kind. Please remember no country ever won a war by itself, we need each other. Our grandfathers stood shoulder to shoulder fighting for our freedom and countries, lets not destroy everything they gave their lives to protect.

Please do not stand by and watch hate crime happen, there's been some very helpful websites set up to guide you on how to help, this one for example is very good:

Thank you all for listening and normal programming shall be resumed very shortly!

Anna xx

Friday 24 June 2016


Last month saw the release of my Nerida shawl in issue 2 of Crochet Now Magazine. I have been overwhelmed at the wonderful response to Nerida and truly appreciate every comment and shared photo of your finished shawl. Please keep sending your pictures I love seeing them and would love to make a collage of them.

This is the first piece I have designed that is inspired by its name. I heard the name few good months back and fell in love with it, I just adored the sound of it. 

Name Nerida is taken from the Greek word – Nereids, which in Greek mythology were sea nymphs.
Nereids also known as the female spirits of sea waters, were the 50 daughters of Nereus (the old man of the sea) and Doris. The Nereides dwelt with their elderly father at the bottom of the Aegean Sea. They would also accompany Poseidon, the god of the sea. 
The Nereid Thetis was their unofficial leader and Amphitrite was Poseidon's queen. 

 Only Theits was ever described in any form and it is assumed that her sisters were similar in appearance – she was a beautiful young women. Nereids were protectors of sailors and fisherman, coming to the aid of those in distress. The melodious voices sang as they danced.  They symbolized everything that is beautiful and kind about sea.

The oldest mention of the Nereids comes from Plato. When Plato was describing the Temple of Poseidon on the island of Atlantis, he said that there was a golden statue of Poseidon with one hundred sculptured Nereids riding dolphins around the base of it. The number of Nereids given by Plato seems a rather off, as in the writing of Homer and Hesiod they both  stated that the Nereids were fifty in number, it must be assumed that Plato was well versed in the writings of Homer and Hesiod.

When designing Nerida I wanted to depict the sea, where Nereids dwelt, in all its forms. When choosing the shape there was no doubt in my mind that it had to be half circle as the soft curve depicts the gentleness of weaves. The shawl has sections of plain pattern and lace, the plain part represents the sea when calm and the lace symbolises the turbulent sea when the storm rages with the water beating on rocks shown by the sharp edging.

Then I came to the question of colour……
Sea isn’t just blue, it has many shade, depending on its state, depth, the weather, time of the day. I didn’t want the colour to be flat, but I also didn’t want to show the different shades by crocheting stripes. After looking at gradient, flecked, and all other sorts of yarns I have settled for Rowan Fine Art in Stoat sh. 03. 

The colour is just perfect is this gentle kind of middle blue with lighter shades running through it, and of course it didn’t hurt that it’s one of my favourite yarns. That’s the yarn I have chosen for my imagined vision of Nerida, but you can choose any 3-ply yarn and name the shawl by your favourite name :).
Crochet Now are running a special offer on subscription now, which is a great deal and to top it, Rowan Fine Art is on sale now as wel!! 

Anna xx

Friday 17 June 2016

New Forest

I can't believe that only now I'm writing this post, so much has happened since my lovely holiday in New Forest it now seems forever ago, But looking back at the pictures I'm reminded how special and much needed it was.

April and May are incredibly busy months for me. I know this every year and yet somehow I'm never prepared and it all just hits me like a ton of bricks, and I just walk around in a daze from lack of sleep, feeling like all I'm doing is playing catch up.

I have been teaching non-stop over those two months and any spare moment was spent on designing and answering emails, but it is all that I love doing so when the holiday came around I wasn't ready to go! Can you believe it! Even though I desperately to needed to get away, I had so much work to still finish I couldn't imagine leaving it, even only for a week! Totally mad! But get away we did :)

And boy, am I glad we did. The holiday was everything I could wish for and more. New Forest is our favourite place to be, we both feel so at home there, it has everything that appeals to us, lots of forest, wildlife, country charm and peace and quiet, it is a place we definitely see ourselves retiring to.

We stayed in a quaint little village in Woodlands, each cottage there was so idyllic, as if an artist come and painted all the thatched roofs and climbing wisterias. Our cottage wasn't any different, it oozed country charm with its old fireplaces and wooded beams. It a kind of place that as soon as you enter you relax instantly and forget about everything.

Our days were spent walking, picnicking and just generally having a fantastic time and i did work, but my work is knitting so that's ok, especially when you find the most amazing spot to work in :)

                                                                   Spooky forest

                                                               Not so spooky forest

Dave is a very keen amateur wildlife photographer and he took some amazing photos. I really love his work. 

But the best place of all was the Petlake Alpaca Farm which was situated just 5 min drive from our cottage. We were lucky enough to see some babies alpacas that were born just 3 week earlier, they were very shy and hiding behind their mums. There were also some ''toddlers'' born over Easter.

The farm has the most charming little shop with lots of alpaca related stuff including YARN!!!!! It is super soft DK weigh yarn that comes undyed, three very gorgeous natural colours, of course I had to buy all three, and even our local birds got some alpaca fleece for their nests :)

The farm is really charming and they offer Alpaca walking tours and even a chance to adopt an Alpaca. The website is: please check them out and if you are ever in the area go for a visit, it's so worth it.

I even met a lady called Georgia who works in Costa in Lyndhurst that knits toys for charity and even was a nominee for a fundraiser champion. These are some of her toys proudly on display. 


The holiday was absolutely wonderful and I have relaxed so much, unfortunately few days after coming back I had some bad news that I'm still recovering from. It a kinda news that changes everything and of course I don't know if the changes are for the better, time will tell, I suppose, but maybe it's time for a change and something had to happen for me to actually take the plunge and do what actually make me happy. Anyway, when I feel less upset I'll tell you about it.

Anna xx