I'm a bit miffed: I haven't been to any 5th November Fireworks displays this year. I've enjoyed odd glimpses of other people's in the days surrounding Bonfire Night last Saturday, mostly from a distance while travelling about in the car. But nothing beats a sparkler in the hand, and the smell of logs on the bonfire and fizzled gunpowder in the dark-night mist.
For anyone lucky enough to be in London this coming Saturday evening,12th November, there's a magnificent free fireworks display over the river Thames in central London - the closing display of the annual Lord Mayor's Show, a 785-year-old tradition well worth the watching. My Dad used to work for Reuters, which back then had its headquarters on Fleet Street, so as children we'd watch the parade from the office windows. I walked past the building at 85 Fleet Stret just this afternoon, coming home after a meeting for 'the day job'. It's prompted happy memories of many Lord Mayor's Shows and fireworks displays gone by.
This year I'll have to be content with the metaphorical fireworks going on inside and outside my abode. Inside, I'm spinning new mega yarns to take to the Sandringham Christmas Craft Fair on 26th & 27th November. Creator of 'Extreme Knitting', Rachel John, has most kindly invited me to join her and her daughter Carmen on their stand at the show. The fairs at Sandringham bring together an ecclectic but fascinating range of craftspeople from right across the disciplines. It's great to be amongst them and talk to people about spinning - and to watch Rachel's sheer artistry in action. Come along and say hello if you're at Sandringham: would be a pleasure to meet any Bobbin' Along readers! The 'fireworks' in progress in the yarn department include these amazing red Teeswater Wools locks I'm incorporating into this red flecked batt of Merino and silk.
Outside, the're are plenty of plant-colour 'fireworks' around the garden. I've chosen plants 'with attitude' that have special features at this dark time of year to to lift the spirits and encourage me out into the misty mornings. Even more than summer flowers I love the colours of autumn, from the lipstick pinks of Euonymus alatus, which are followed by its corky feature bark in winter, to the reds of Cotoneaster horizontalis, and the real autumn golds of Chrysanthemums. Reds and golds are to me the only proper colours for chrysanths - the manufactured greens and strained whites in the bunches you see at filling stations just don't do it for me!
There's one special set of woolly 'fireworks' I'm going to be missing out on this weekend, and that's the fashion show at Knit Expo in Exeter. The show is growing rapidly in stature and reputation and I hope to be a part of it one day in the future. Good luck to everyone in the exhibition and on the catwalk: I'm sure there will be many sparkling designs showing wool off to its very best. Talking of which, the generous ladies at 'Knit!' magazine have just published their first pattern for my mega yarns in issue 43, complete with interview. You can see the cover preview picture on their blog, at the top of the right hand picture column. It's certainly spurred me on: my Country Spinner now whizzing round as fast as a Catherine Wheel! Here's wishing you all a week of equally rocket-propelled creativity!