Waiting for a train…

“A small speckled visitor
Wearing a crimson cape
Brighter than a cherry
Smaller than a grape
A polka-dotted someone
Walking on my wall
A black-hooded lady
In a scarlet shawl.”
~Joan Walsh Anglund

The ladybirds have scuttled their way onto a pillar at Redland Station! I made the ladybirds a while ago now and have just been knitting up the fuzzy blue background for them to nestle upon. I was really pleased with the insects themselves, but the blue part was a nightmare to get sorted. Not only was it dead boring to do (constant rows of knitting a purling weren’t exciting me after a while) but the yarn was horrible to work with. It was scratchy, it malted on the carpets and it was so stretchy that it was impossible to work out if it was even the right size. We had to stretch it a bit at the top but luckily it did fit. It didn’t take too long to attach either which was a blessing given that we were trying to sew it on between trains when the platform was quiet. Ideally I’d have done the blue part a bit bigger but I couldn’t face doing any more so the other ladybird’s will have to find homes in other parts of Bristol. I’m sure that won’t be too tricky!

The idea of using the ladybird motif came from the conference I attended in New York back in February. During the session we were encouraged to craft and the organisers provided materials for us to play around with. One of these things was a big reusable shopping bag with little ladybirds pictured on it. The bags (one of which now comes on weekly trips to aldi with me) were part of the geographical project run by Ian Cook et al at Exeter called ‘follow the things‘. The project aims to trace the histories of commodities in order to get people to better understand, and appreciate, where the things which populate our lives come from. It’s a fascinating scheme and the website is well worth a visit. ¬†I also adore the emblem of the ladybird and so making my own 3d versions was the next logical step. I use trains to and from Bristol a lot and have been keen to get one up in a station somewhere for a long time.¬†Hopefully they’ll brighten up the day of some commuter – the sun certainly isn’t doing that at the moment!