Postcards from St. Leonards-on-sea

Hello! Here in St. Leonards-on-sea, most of our house still looks like this…

a huge stack of disordered brown cardboard boxes in front of a fireplace

view of our dining room, completely rammed with boxes

…though here and there, as plans progress and ideas evolve, it’s beginning to look a bit more like this…

flowery wallpaper wall with paint colour options/tester areas painted on it

grey plaid wallpaper wall with paint colour options/tester areas painted on it

The way that timings worked out – and I’d never have planned it this way – as soon as we arrived here, it was necessary for me to work full-tilt on preparing four brand new classes for this year’s Shetland Wool Week.

a stack of handouts produced for a class at Shetland Wool Week

In my first weeks here, I designed THE ODDVENTURE HAT as part of a joint-class that my good friend Jeanette and I were teaching together at Wool Week. I made handouts and sorted wool out for classes wherever I could, between the boxes.

There was a certain feeling of having really arrived here when Mark took the first official KNITSONIK pattern pictures down on our favourite local beach…

Felix in the sunset wearing the ODDVENTURE hat, big gold hoop earrings and a purple/brown dress

…the first photoshoot here felt like a great milestone in the journey towards this being HOME, and I confess to being hugely pleased with this new design, and especially its delightful, starlike crown!

the glowy crown of the ODDVENTURE hat

It takes eleven minutes to walk to the sea from our new home, and we visit it most days (though today it is lashing rain and I have opted to lurk indoors with toast and avoid getting cold and wet!)

The sea is grey…

the sea being grey with grey light and grey clouds

…it is green and turquoise…

the sea being green and turquoise, with golden cliffs seen from Rock-A-Nore

…it is denim…

the denim blue sea on a moody, dark evening

…it is gold…

the golden light and the sea looking gold (two seagulls perched on the shingle make a silhouette against the light sky)

…it is silver, it is pink.

the sea being pink and silver and covered in seagulls

I love its many colours and the dramatic tides that rise and fall eight metres up and down, and many more metres than that in and out. We can see it from our house; learning its many moods and moves is like getting to know a new animal. It lives, it really lives, and I love its life. The boats that pass on its horizon, the way the sun and the sky interact with its surface, the movement of the tides going up and down, the way this is affected by the moon. The sea has birds, the sea has fish. How I love the sea.

paint chart from earthborn paints

Our new fun game is matching a paint shade card of a housepaint brand I love (Earthborn claypaint, for those who’ll want to know) with whatever colour the sea is today.

At the end of Wool Week I got COVID for the third time and was really unwell; Jeanette heroically did most of the 600-mile long drive to get us home safe and sound before undertaking her own stressful house move. I’m so grateful to be able to really land here now, and am not planning to go anywhere else for a while.

I’ve set up a small area for my stock and found the local Royal Mail Customer Service Point, so The KNITSONIK Shop is now fully open once again. I’m getting back to all my projects – to Yarnadelic Remixes and The KNITSONIK System – and working on an exciting collection of essays about colour together with my friend Kate of KDD&Co. I think it’s going to be a good winter.

Decorating and planning our new home have given me the urge to refresh my online shop as well, and this fresh start in a new place is making me feel like I want to change things up and take KNITSONIK in new creative directions, too. If you’re on my mailing list you’ll hear from me in coming weeks as I’m interested in hearing your thoughts on what you feel KNITSONIK should do next.

As the saying goes, you can do anything – but not everything. Moving house while building the Yarnadelic Remixes 0.1 course while preparing four new classes for Shetland Wool Week while trying to keep my shop going and also having COVID has felt a lot like trying to do everything. In the beautiful new light of St. Leonards-on-sea, I’m feeling I want to do everything less, and instead find that one special anything that is the right thing to do next.

Yours in the healing light of the sea,

Felix skipping in the sea in corduroy dress and new Oddventure hat

7 thoughts on “Postcards from St. Leonards-on-sea

  1. How lovely that you can see the ocean! I’ve only ever been able to do that on vacation, but I found the continual change of that view mesmerizing. (Here’s hoping your recovery from covid goes smoothly and well!)

  2. Beautiful writing as always. Looking forward to hearing about all your new, creative ventures in your lovely new home xx

  3. I’m so glad you’re finally moved in, I’m sorry about getting Covid omg for the 3rd time? And thrilled that you’re so close to the sea and I’m so excited to see what you create next. Take care of yourself first! When everything is so new and exciting I know it’s hard not to over-obligate onesself but you already know all this so I’ll stop. Your new home looks lovely and congratulations!

  4. I am reminded that moving house, and even more so, towns is a major lesson life event. But it is lovely to live by the sea. I just got Covid for the first time last month in Belfast. I am fortunate that there is a drug I got as soon as I got home (I flew home early) despite having asthma. I am not sure that there is an alternative to Paxlovid in the UK because a friend in Belfast who got it at the same time ( possibly a conference we were attending) couldn’t get medication to lessen the severity because she had asthma. I am now in Scotland on an organized tour for knitters but disappointed there have been few knitting related activities. I realized that these kinds of trips mean too little autonomy and control so I will travel differently going forward. So happy Jeannette was with you. A life saver. I am looking forward to the collaboration between you and KD! Abrazos.

  5. Hi! I had the pleasure of attending your Wirsit Inspo class the last Saturday of Wool Week. I like the Oddventure hat and was wondering if that pattern is available?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.