Wednesday, January 30, 2013

...the holy hill...

A few days ago, as a kind of ritual for Imbolc-Full-Moon-Celebration, I went up to what could very well be, a ancient Holy Hill here in Brittany: the "Montagne St Michel" formally known as the "Menez Kronan" (Mountain of Kronan: he was a Celtic god) and though it was freezing cold up there, it felt as a very energetic place. I felt the same thing on top of the Tor a couple of years ago when I was visiting Glastonbury.

What you see here is a relic of the Second World War: once a radio navigation tower for the bombers of the German army. It looks like a stone UFO, very bizarre. Bunkers were also built here but fortunately there were destroyed. Today this place is mainly visited by pilgrims, tourists and hikers.

The hill is 381 m high, located in a barren landscape where there is a constant strong wind blowing. It was 9°C warm but it felt like minus 9. Luckily I was wrapped up warmly. This hill was and is still called by the locals "the gates of the other world" - for some people meaning: Hell (les portes de l'Enfer). In the old days
 there probably was an ancient Celtic temple located here. In 1672 they build a church on top of it but it's more like a chapel. The Christians realised that the only way to counter the local Pagan believes, was to build monuments dedicated to their God in the precise location where the ancient rituals were taking place. They built this Church but it was abandoned. They rebuild it in the 19th century. 

Christians have renamed this place St Michel. Wherever one finds a church or place named Michel, Michiel, Michele, Mikael or Michael, it indicates that it previously was an energetic place where the old religion was celebrated. Where the serpent or dragon energy was active and maybe still is. Places like that are: St Michael Mount in the UK, the Mont St-Michel in Normandy, the Irish island Skellig Michael and St Michael's Tower on Glastonbury Tor, among many others. 

Michael is always described as the destroyer of the dragon.


Imbolc Blessings

Thanks for visiting

deze blogpost in het Nederlands, hier

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Bohemian Rhapsody Crochet Wrap

(I'm reposting this blogpost from my older blog) 

Bohemian Rhapsody - Crochet Kit - pattern and yarn - 75 colours

For more information about the kit, see here - link:
Renaissance Dyeing - Bohemian Rhapsody Crochet Wrap Kit

La description est également disponible en français. 
Uniquement sous forme de kit
Cette étole est composée de 75 couleurs différentes et de 144 carrés. Il y a trois différents carrés,
chacun a une combinaison de couleurs unique.
L’assemblage des carrés se fait en crochetant, ce qui permet de faire l’étole sans coutures.
Le fil utilisé est un mérinos très fin, teint à la main avec des colorants à base de plantes.

Het patroon in de kit is in het Engels geschreven, maar het is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar, op aanvraag.

The Bohemian Rhapsody is a crocheted wrap or shawl made from the most delicate and soft Lace Merino yarn, hand-dyed using plant-based dyes.
This design has 75 different colours and the 144 squares are crocheted and immediately joined thus creating a one piece wrap without seaming. Each square has its unique colour combination based on three different crochet motives.

The Bohemian Rhapsody design is only available as a kit because it is made for/with the 75 colour range of Renaissance Dyeing's basic Lace-weight Merino yarn.These colours are so exceptional, beautiful and hard to be compared to any other yarn. I wouldn't know where to find another yarn in a 75 colour range.That's why here wool and pattern unite!

Naturally plant dyed wool is vibrant, cheery and energetic in comparison to chemical dyed wool. The colours seem to match every time, even the more unusual the combination, the better it seems.

Some time ago, while I was knitting a scarf of 40 colours from the same yarn, the idea came to me to make a design with the entire 75 colour range. This eventually turned into a crochet project, because I felt that the colours flourished better in these "granny" crochet motives 

..Would it surprise anyone if I say that Klimt, Hundertwasser and Niki de Saint Phalle are my favourite artists..?

While I was crocheting this design, it felt like with each motif a new colour memory seem to surface....There was the square that brought me back to the Christmas atmosphere of my childhood, the square that revived my visit to Sweden, the square that reminded me of a sweater I used to have and cherished, etc..
This may sound weird but each colour-combination materialised intuitively, one can say that the colours picked me instead of me choosing them.

It was a truly magical project, not a fast one, as the wool is very thin, but it was a fantastic process all-together and to my surprise I was quite sad when it was finished. 
To be done again anytime!
But other projects await me first.

A while ago, when I discovered the website of Andie Luijk, the woman behind Renaissance Dyeing, I was immediately fascinated by her incredibly beautiful hand dyed wool. She manages to conjure 100 different colours from different plant dyes.
Everyone who likes to work, like me, with plant-based dyes, knows how hard it is to procure all these different tones. It's a real mystery to me how Andie succeeds and I'm secretly jealous on her for her skills.
I haven't had the chance yet to visit her colour farm in the French Pyrenees, but I hope to treat myself to this trip next summer and then I might get a glimpse and discover some of her secrets.
Besides dyeing and selling her magical wool, she also gives fun and interesting workshops.. please have a look on her website!

For me, working with plant dyes feels like a process of alchemy or even magic, to connect with the world of colours and plants has a healing power on the body and mind. I can recommend it to anyone.

This pattern is available only as part of a crochet kit.
For more information about the kit, see here:

The Kit includes:
- A 29 page crochet pattern with written and charted instructions.
- The 75 x 25m skein Main Range Pack.

The Wrap measures approximately190 cm to 200 cm (74.8in to 78.7in)by 34 cm to 38 cm (13.4in to 15in), depending on blocking
Crochet hook size 3mm ( US = C or D)

La description est également disponible en français. 
Uniquement sous forme de kit 
c'est ici:
l'étole en crochet Bohemian Rhapsody

Het patroon in de kit is in het Engels geschreven, maar het is ook in het Nederlands beschikbaar, op aanvraag.

With a big thank you, to the model: Ingrid Anna