Earlier in the year I was contacted by Sarah Holmes, organiser of the Flower Power Fund initiative and palliative care doctor, to ask if I would dye a special colourway to raise money for Marie Curie. This organisation works hard to care for terminally ill people in the UK. To quote from their website:
"We offer free nursing care to people with all terminal illnesses across the UK, as well as support for family and friends. Our nurses generally provide one-to-one nursing care and support overnight in your home, usually for eight or nine hours. In some areas, we also offer care for a shorter period of time, or during the evening or daytime, as well as care at very short notice in a crisis."
Naturally I said "yes, of course" and almost immediately I knew which flower I wanted to represent in the yarn I would offer for sale in the fundraiser - the tiny, delicate marsh orchid which is found in abundance in the hills behind our home in Assynt when it flowers in May and June. It comes in a variety of shades, from almost white through to deep, dark pinky purple.
After a few trials (and errors!) I was finally happy with the colour to use for the Northern Marsh Orchid colourway.
My next mission was to head up into the hills behind our house, where we know they grow prolifically, with Stevan in tow to find a flowering example, and then video it for you to see it growing in its natural habitat. However there was a small fly in our planning ointment - only the paler versions are in flower this early in June. The darker colour ones don't flower until a wee bit later on in the month. But we did a video anyway, which you can see at the end of this post. I really wanted to give you an idea of the sort of landscape around the dye shed and the environment in which the orchid grows which is boggy heathland. After lying in the grass for numerous "takes" of the video I was somewhat soggy and midge bitten!
£5 from every hank sold will go to Marie Curie. The work Marie Curie does isn't easy work, as you can imagine, made even harder by the difficult days of COVID-19. So even if you don't want or need any yarn, if you wish to make a contribution to Marie Curie then please go to their donation page here