I was browsing Facebook the other evening, when I came across this post by Koliber Anna Droździoł. Freeform crochet landscape dresses. How beautiful?!
She’s done a stupendously brilliant job. I love the exuberance, the colours, the technical skill, everything about this. (Also, I would so wear this.) It got me thinking, and now I’m wondering whether I should make a dress or a skirt based on the landscape around here in Oxfordshire. If you’ve been here for any longer than it takes the twinnage to sniff out hidden chocolate, then you’ll know that a while ago, I knitted the panels below, each one depicting a different season in the local countryside. (Post here.)
They were surprisingly easy to make, so a skirt or a dress seems doable. I’m definitely not finished yet with using yarn to recreate the local scenery. The longer we live here, the more I get to know this rural landscape, and how its geology has shaped its human history and its wildlife. Believe me, I’ve had plenty of time to study the shapes and shades of the area, ‘thanks’ to the ****ing, ******ing, ****************ing, marathon training. At the time of writing, it’s sixteen days until I
hobble run this ****ing race. As I’ve trained, I reckon I’ve covered nearly every square mile of south Oxfordshire.
To be grudgingly fair, it’s been interesting and it’s been pretty, and I set off every single time without a clue where I’ll end up, which is a big part of the fun. There’s always another trail or track to be noticed and explored.*
Last Saturday, I managed my longest run to date, all 21 miles (34 km) of it. The downside to this experience was a whole load of aching, having run up and down (and up, and down) hills in the blazing midday sun. But the upsides were surprisingly plentiful – if badly phone-photographed because I don’t like to stop. There’s the history, for starters. I run a lot on the Ridgeway Trail, a 5000-year-old route along a chalk ridge over southern England. When you’re plodding along up there, you have plenty of time to think about the hundreds of thousands of folk who must have passed this way before. Often, there’s not another person or settlement within sight so you’re alone with the wildflowers growing on chalky soil, the birds of prey (no doubt anticipating carrion when I fall over, exhausted), your own maladaptive thoughts, and the occasional evidence of our ancient forebears, such as this ancient hill fort that I wrote about before. (Photo below taken ages ago, before the current heatwave/drought.)
I run lower down, too, through woodlands:-
Past some charming old timber-framed thatched cottages:-
Taking care not to frighten the baby kestrel that was just figuring out how to bird:-
And around a nuclear research facility:-
Ever onwards across this parched landscape:-
Where the sun blazes relentlessly down:-
And always, I think:-
(i) This hurts. WHY am I doing it? It’s far too hot and my ears are melting.
(ii) How beautiful is this place?! I wonder where on earth I am. Would I seem odd
er than usual if I asked this woman which village I’m in?
(iii) How has this landscape been shaped by its rocks and its water and its people?
(iv) I am never, ever, going to enter a marathon again. Ever. Definitely. No way.
So having had plenty of cause to study the landscape, I really do need to knit or crochet it a little more. I’m sure you’ll understand?
Anyway, that’s all for today, because I need to head up to Yorkshire for another Stylecraft Blogstars weekend. I’ll keep you posted.
∗ Publicly accessible ones, I mean: I’m not trespassing.
Carole Westbrook says
What divine photos of the countryside you are running in…. unbelievable with just your phone.
Thanks so much for sharing.
I hate running…I HATE running but even I might be tempted to do some kind of soft shoe shuffle in order to get out into that magnificence that you call “home”. I am not liking how your weather has been going as I see it as some kind of portent for more magnificently high temperatures and record breaking long hot dry spells here in Australia this summer o_O NOT looking forward to that. Have a good marathon Ms T and I reckon you should make a wall frieze of your neighbourhood. A BIG wall frieze. Maybe even a full sized wall frieze I mean “someone” should be saving its current beauty to share with future generations when it has turned into Australia in your neck of the woods and everyone is wearing akubra hats, drinking tinnies of larger and wearing king gee shorts.
Such beautiful scenery. Please do rest up a bit and make a dress based on all this beauty.
OMG … your pics are just so absolutely gorgeous …
good luck on your marathon.
It’s sooo beautiful! You can see for miles. Not so around here – too many hills. Good luck with the Marathon. X
Heather Tucker says
Why are you putting yourself through all that running when you could be sitting with your feet up making that beautiful dress? Haha! Lovely scenery and seriously- good luck for the marathon!
34 km? You are doing well! If you’v got the sense of making picture that marathon is going to be easy dear. About that dress, it’s going to be too hot to wear. It will be a musea piece though. So do make it. I watch you from here doing both. Encouraging you.
Lorna Shepherd says
Mrs C A Millard says
Hi, enjoying your pics and comments. Thanks very much. I don’t venture outside when it’s too hot, as I shrivel up and go all giddy! More than usual that is. Love knitting but my main passions are crochet and jewellery making. All the best with your marathon x coral
Rainbow Junkie says
You are so lucky to have all that beautiful countryside around you. Why not a meditative walk instead of a run ? Good luck with the marathon though. And a dress inspired by those fields would be beautiful.
That dress and your photos are so inspiring! As both running the marathon and taking your designs from creative spark to reality require the same mental fortitude, you’ll be wildly successful in both endeavors. Best of luck!
Your first 3 photos look so like where i live in Nebraska, but i’m hoping they lack the humidity. Good Luck in your marathon!
Ann P Wilson says
Well, this comment will be brief and to the point if not much fun for anyone to read but all I can think of is that I adore you – I absolutely love, love and love you. Keep it up – all of it – I’ll keep reading. Ann
Laura-Lee Fineman Karp says
My city, Seattle, is pretty close to idyllic in its own way: fresh water, salt water, mountain ranges both east and west, temperate climate. I’ve wondered at times why my friend Maylin is always carrying on about England, traveling there again and again. Your pix have made me understand. Thanx ever so much. Laura-Lee Fineman Karp
Joanne Hortensius says
You should try making a dress, your Oxfordshire scenery is beautiful. I’m tempted to try a Scottish version of your landscape pictures but I don’t think I have the patience.
I absolutely cannot wait to see what beautiful yarny landscape you create for yourself, your post is inspiring as ever. I think you are utterly bonkers (in a remarkable way) for running such distances. It blows my mind when I find walking a bit of a strain at times. good luck!!xxxxxxxxxxxxx
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