The swallows have arrived! I saw two of them sitting on a telephone wire from my kitchen window. They usually arrive here in Fife sometime between the 15th and 17th April, having flown all the way up from West Africa. I thought they might be late this year because of the long winter we’ve had. But they made it here on time!
When I am away from Scotland, I am often asked where exactly Fife is. Unless you are a golfer and know about St Andrews, Fife is generally not as famous as other parts of Scotland. It’s the county just north of Edinburgh, on the East coast. It’s boarded by the Forth of Firth to the south, the River Tay and Dundee to the north and the Ochil Hills to the west. I moved here about 10 years ago from England.
For the last year or so I have been weaving with wool and alpaca which have lots of wonderful properties. They are sustainable resources with the animal growing a new fleece each year. Wool keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. It repels water away from the skin and is an excellent insulator. Alpaca fibre is extremely fine and soft to handle while at the same time strong and resilient. I have found that by combining these two fibres together in the weave, I can produce beautifully soft scarves and wraps that are also very durable.
Through teaching weaving in local schools, I have started to learn more about the history of weaving linen in Fife. I’ve started to research local libraries and museums looking for information. Hopefully this will lead me to interesting places, walks and on to doing some of my own linen weaving. Watch this space!