faces and places: melanie hodgson

Part of a series introducing some of the places and people we’ve come across since moving to Scotland. Some you may already know but, more often than not, they will be new to you. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do…

Mel, Flamborough Head

Mel, Flamborough Head

Mel and I met through a few years ago through a lovely Melbourne friend who kept insisting that we’d get along beautifully because of our mutual appreciation for woolly wools. Turns out we have a lot of other things in common but fibre is definitely at the core of our friendship!

Mel is a Yorkshire lass who has recently moved back there after nine hot summers in Australia and she is as happy as can be to be back in her homeland! I think what I appreciate most about Mel is her commitment to integrity. She really gives herself 100% to whatever she is doing, whether that is baking sourdough, growing food plants, caring for her patients at work or working with fibre and yarn: it’s all or nothing and she gives her whole heart. I’ve been very fortunate to be on the receiving end of her care, both in helping me get my bearings and in finding wonderful, interesting people and movements happening here in the UK and I will be forever grateful for her care and support.

Not only does Mel knit very lovely things for herself, her loved ones and her home, she also prepares and spins her own fibre and yarn… Being a Yorkshire girl at heart, she has a strong affinity for local sheep breeds and has sourced fibre from all kinds of British and/ or rare and conservation breeds, like Masham, Swaledale and Whitefaced Woodland and, by blending fibres and colours to create tops, she spins the most lovely, heathered, tweedy yarns.

She combs or cards fibres….

Raw, combed fibre

Combed Jacob fibre

Whitefaced Woodland and coloured merino tops

Whitefaced Woodland and coloured merino

… and spins them into heavenly yarn…

Bluefaced Leicester

Bluefaced Leicester, with the most incredible lustre and definition

Yarn

Squishy Shetland

Pure angora yarn

Pure, spindle-spun angora yarn in all its fuzzy glory

Odds and ends, Navajo-plied

Odds and ends of singles plied into a beautiful, random yarn

… which she then knits into beautiful, sturdy, cosy knits that are all about enveloping and making one feel loved and held, the way Mel herself does.

Gradient-spun sock

Gradient-spun socks from Bluefaced Leicester fibre, dyed by the Thylacine, Tasmania

Mel's Follow Your Arrow in North Ronaldsay 4ply

Detail from Mel’s Follow Your Arrow in North Ronaldsay 4ply

Compared to Mel, I’m not much of a spinner, but I think that common grounding helps us really get each other and the way we see and feel fibre!  We certainly agree that fibre dyed in the fleece and then blended before spinning results in the most beautiful yarns and hope to one day collaborate in making yarn…

In the meantime, we’ve got Shetland Wool Week to look forward to, plus some dyeing with the avocado skins that Mel’s been stashing in her freezer for months (did I mention her dedication?!) and plenty of other adventure planned. I can’t wait!

(I wish I had more photos of her finished knits but my camera lens broke while I was visiting and photographing her work and so these are all I have for you- but do go and find Mel and her knits on Ravelry and at recipeforayarn)

3 thoughts on “faces and places: melanie hodgson

  1. Deborah Buckley

    A really lovely blog describing the most wonderfully creative lady – fantastic photos too!

    Reply

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