This week Debbie Orr, the Skein Queen, shines a light on her inspirations and loves.
What is your favourite colour?
That's a devastatingly hard question for a dyer. I truly like all colours, and each colour matches up to its own project in my head, but I think if you held a shotgun to me and MADE me choose, my current favourite would be an Eau de Nil. (But I'm already thinking what colours I'd put with it...)
What is your current favourite yarn/fibre?
Wah! You're asking me to choose between my babies. Again, each has its role in life - if I'm in the mood for knitting a colourwork cardigan, then it would be Voluptuous (Exmoor Blue/organic merino). For a shawl, then something luxurious like Luminosity (100% silk). For a hat, something woollen and cosy like the new Swedish yarn, Ullvärme. And for detailed socks, then a nice semi-solid Crush or for plain socks, a lovely spatter-dyed yarn like Entwine.
What is your favourite season?
Truly I love them all and feel so grateful that we live in a country that has changing seasons. Right now, I'm loving autumn. Getting all cosied up on the sofa with a blanket, some knitting and a hot chocolate makes the parties and sun of summer feel somewhat faded.
What is/was your current favourite knitting/crochet project?
I thoroughly enjoyed knitting the Wedding Mittens by Jorid Linvik for my friend, Rachel who got married in St Catherine's Chapel, Abbotsbury - an ancient chapel on a hill overlooking Chesil Beach, which I think is one of my favourite places on Earth. They didn't want any gifts so I thought the mittens for dog-walking would be a compromise and there was a chance in the pattern to knit in their initials and the year (although I was in such a rush to finish, I forgot to work the purl braid on the second glove!)
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
It would have to be someone who could keep up with the banter at our dinner parties, so I'm thinking Billy Connolly, Peter Kay or Dara O'Briain would be hilarious and keep us entertained. But as the night drew on and conversation turned to more serious issues, I'd be listening carefully to what Barack Obama would be saying. Then, for a bit of shallowness and because he seems a thoroughly nice bloke, let's throw in Jessie Pavelka. What? You only asked for one? Oops. Greedy.
Where do you feel most inspired or get most inspiration?
Always in bed, last thing at night, just before sleep. It's like all the ideas buzzing through my head, or patterns or colours I've seen through the day, amalgamate into something tangible at that time of night. But it helps if you've gone for a walk or visited a gallery or seen something interesting during the day. Apart from in bed, the place I always feel inspired is by the sea. My inland house is packed with paintings of boats, seaside houses and coastal scenes. One day I will be a painter, when I live by the sea.
Quick fire questions! What is your favourite:
Book? Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Film? Pulp Fiction
Quote? "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style." Maya Angelou
Cocktail/drink? Anything with midori and/or grenadine. Recently I had a champagne cocktail in a restaurant in Soho that had distinct layers of midori, triple sec, grenadine and champagne. It was so pretty and called a Touareg Bellini.
Cake? Coconut cake - I love everything with coconut mostly because my nut allergy kindly excludes coconut
Cheese? Epoisses - if you eat some, then take a sip of white wine, it tastes like honey. Heaven!
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