Is it strange to take wool for a walk? I keep finding myself doing it. Both roving and yarn. I usually have a pretty good idea of what I want to do with it as and when I buy it – the colour either reminding me of something, or the texture suggesting where on my body I would like to wear it.
Recently though I have found myself carrying bits around with me. Just in case a moment arrives to photograph it, or capture a mental image of what it looks like next to similar colours, textures or shapes that inspire.
Last Sunday for instance, we went on a hunt for some locally produced apple juice and ended up at Willington Fruit Farm in Tarporley, Cheshire. The farm has been growing apples for 50 years, and their shop really is home-grown. We bought two green glass bottles of juice; Spartan and Katy (the latter we grow in our garden too), both sweet, yet totally different in flavour. We also bought a bag of eating apples – Spartan, Pippin and Russet for a picnic in the woods, and a jar of honey made just down the road.
After our goodies were safely back in the car we went to look at their Orchard, just yards away from the shop. Old, gnarled trees pruned in such a way they had grown like giant, leafy parasols for easy picking and maximum light for the fruit. They were beautiful.
Anyway, back to the roving! I had already decided this super soft baby alpaca reminded me of Autumn Leaves, but, once in the Delamere Forest, I had the urge to place it in various spots around the woods – next to leaves, with the apples, on tree stumps, next to moss covered bark…
The light in the forest was beautiful, lighting up the canopy of leaves overhead like living stained glass. Hmm. I feel another leafy shawl a-calling. A shawl of leaves to wrap around my shoulders, keeping the colours of autumn with me year round.
After a lovely walk of spotting mushrooms, fairies, nuts and horses we headed home, an exhausted Emily only just catching the sunset before nodding off.
Home to tomato and basil soup, crusty hot buttered rolls and warm spiced apple juice.
Spiced apple juice
1 litre fresh apple juice
1 cinnamon stick
1 tsp vanilla essence
Place the juice, cloves and vanilla into a pan and heat slowly and gently allowing the cinnamon stick to stand in the juice, using it to stir frequently. Without allowing it to boil, heat until slightly warmer than drinking temperature and serve into your favourite mug adding honey to taste – about 1 tsp per mug. Garnish with a thin slice of apple dipped in lemon juice and a cinnamon stick. Works very well with roasted chestnuts, toasted seeds or warm raisins.
Willington Fruit Farm, Hillside Farm, Chapel Lane, Willington, Tarporley, Cheshire, CW6 OPH