…..'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'…..

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)


A little while ago I hinted that I would do a post about my mother.  I did think I would put it last Monday, that being her birthday and the usual spot for a bit of Menosukh.  However, I had not yet taken the necessary photograph and also thought that Mother's Day would be appropriate.

If you linked back and read that piece, you will know that memory was sparked due to finding a tiny piece of paper with mum's scribblings on.  It was in the form of point-form memory jogs for her to fill out her larger journal.

A gifted spinner, weaver, knitter (hardly surprising for a daughter of a shepherd), mother liked nothing better than to get her hands deep into wool.  She has even been known to shear a sheep or two.  The paper, though, was about a field trip with her local ladies' group in West Australia, where they had travelled to see Monkey Mia, the Pinnacles and round for a farm stay and to see spring flowers.

There were a hilarious few lines that was so clearly mum's voice:


...whinges from some re basic accom.  but clean enough & bed ok.  Snores next door really bad all night.  

...Had meant to walk to sea, but poor sleep kept me in bed till 06:10 - most people pretty groggy, but a wash helped.

...shorn sheep in paddock; shearing just finished. 12,000 acres mixed.  Went in shearing shed - loose wool still lying... found good fleece!!  Asked farmer if expensive - "TAKE SOME" - so filled two polybags & thought of sleeping bag case, so got that & after breakfast and talk about history of Lynton, I ran and filled it...

Not only did she think that past 6am was sinful, she was not about to pass on free fleece!!! 

Now, I got to handle some of that stuff before, during and after it was washed, carded, spun. Some of it was taken through to full process.  Some was left just a wee bit full of lanolin.  Partly because that was her plan.  Partly because it was that year the breast cancer was first diagnosed.

Mum carried on a full 12 years from that time, finally succumbing to an aggressive abdominal cancer.  Whilst we of course all feel her absence, none of us can remain maudlin for long about it. Elison Mary Clement MacLean was a strong, independent, creative, intelligent woman.  She knew how to empower her children, her husband and indeed many folk who came into her sphere.  For a little more (and new readers) you may like to view this post also, with photos.

The one photo I offer you here is of THAT fleece; well what it became.  The crochet design is made combining the grey from Lynton with some 'black' obtained from a NSW farmer.

The cardigan is the lanolin filled, less refined wool that was left over - you can see the colour variant and the 'heaviness' of it.  It is super-warm and will survive the Scottish Mist due to it's oily (hence damp-repellent) qualities.  I am blessed also to have inherited what remains of the spun, but unused wool from her stocks.  I intend to take up crochet again after too long a break.  I fear the spinning is beyond me.


  1. Wonderful post Yamini.

    Happy Mothering Sunday memories to much missed mums
    Hilary xx

  2. My mother never learned to spin, but was quite the knitter of my handspun. Mothers are the best.

  3. Happy Mother's Day.
    Your mum sounds like a truly remarkable woman.

  4. Past six is sinful? I believe before ten is sinful! Although I do start to wake up earlier now (I go to bed earlier as well, so it balances out) and then find that the weather is beautiful and it might be perfect for a long walk!

    Happy Mother's Day. I think they celebrated it in January some time here in Norway and I know it's not until May in the Netherlands!

  5. Happy Mother's Day ~ quite the spinner and is suppose to be quite meditative ~ xoxo

    artmusedog and carol


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