Blogging hiccup

Hi lovelies,

I’ve recently been trying to alter my email notifications as I was getting so so many but in the process I don’t think WordPress could cope. I know of one blogger that somehow got unfollowed and I didn’t realise until I came upon her blog again and saw the little button inviting me to follow. Oh dear, methinks, how many other people have been unfollowed unintentionally…?

The other problem is that the notifying via email is only working in part.

If you have not seen me visiting in the last couple of months please can you let me know? Thank you.

I shall have to go through each of my approx 800 follows slowly as to not confuse WordPress and check each one but that won’t bring back those blogs that I may somehow have unfollowed.

Please accept my apologies ❤


Get your leaves out!

Seaford Spinners and Weavers

silver dollar gum leaf dyesNatural dyeing stretches across history and culture. It is totally sustainable and environmentally friendly.  It’s a journey. Alexis walked in yesterday with a beautiful display of silver dollar gum leaf dyeing which she had done to support her invitation to us to try out this way of dyeing. Those new to this had an anchor on which to hang their learning. The longer you slow cook the skeins , the richer and deeper the colour becomes. The darker colours come from about an hour of slow cooking. In the end it’s about having faith in the journey and checking your skeins and pot so you see for yourself how it is progressing.

silver dollar gum leaves Cathy’s Border LeicesterX dyed with silver dollar gum leaves

You leave it to cool over night and then rinse it out. Silver gum leaves smells beautiful as they cook and they leave a wonderful perfume in the wool…

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Texts and Textiles: William Wordsworth

For my spinning friends and fibre enthusiasts 🙂

whole cloth

SWIFTLY turn the murmuring wheel!           

Night has brought the welcome hour,          

When the weary fingers feel

Help, as if from faery power;

Dewy night o’ershades the ground;          

Turn the swift wheel round and round!        

Now, beneath the starry sky,

Couch the widely-scattered sheep;—

Ply the pleasant labor, ply!    

For the spindle, while they sleep,             

Runs with speed more smooth and fine,      

Gathering up a trustier line.  

Short-lived likings may be bred         

By a glance from fickle eyes;

But true love is like the thread                  

Which the kindly wool supplies,        

When the flocks are all at rest          

Sleeping on the mountain’s breast.

Wordsworth, William. “Westmoreland Song for the Spinning Wheel.”

Happy Valentine’s Day from WholeCloth! May your love be as trusty, fine, and kindly as the thread from faithful hands.

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Autistic Women and The Courageous Act Of Being Not Okay

Queerly Autistic

As women, we are taught from a very young age that we have to be okay.

We are taught that we must shoulder the emotional burden of okayness, or face the wrath of societal judgement – ‘bitchy’, ‘waspish’, ‘nagging’or, that worst of all condemnations ‘overemotional and irrational’. We smile around the words, I’m fine, hoping that by twitching the right muscles we can fool the world and, maybe, ourselves as well.

As autistic women, the burden of okayness becomes even heavier.

Many of us have lived our lives desperately trying to cling to a semblance of neurotypicality, pushing down on what we really feel and how we are naturally compelled to act. We have learnt to wear a mask of ‘not autistic’ – forcing a smile, forcing socialisation, forcing everything else to bubble away below the surface facade of coping and quiet hands and culturally acceptable normality.

We are women…

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Meltdown Videos of Autistic Children – Awareness or Exploitation?

Neurodivergent Rebel

They’re not hard to find. You can dig them up on blogs, Youtube and even the news with a quick Google search – disturbing videos of autistic children in distress, while parents film.

Viral sympathy videos could quickly be viewed all over the world. Once a video is out there it is forever. The consequences of this are not always immediately aparent, but can be lifelong, impacting relationships with peers (kids are mean and bullies could easily use this footage), future employers, and others.

What is a meltdown? It looks a LOT like a tantrum, but there is a big difference. Tantrums are intended to manipulate a situation while meltdowns happen because of overload, often resulting in a loss of control for the autistic person. The brain has had too much, things have been building for a while and now the person in front of you can take no more…

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On meltdowns

The Misadventures of Mama Pineapple

Someone asked me on Twitter the other day – an autistic person who doesn’t experience them – what it feels like to have a meltdown. It’s not a subject I especially like talking about – I’ve attempted to write about it several times on this blog, got frustrated, and given up.

This past week, I had one of the most distressing, disorientating, debilitating meltdowns I’ve had for quite some years. Three days after it happened, I’m still exhausted. But the immediacy and severity of this recent experience gave me the language to tweet a thread about how it feels (for me at least), and it appeared to be something others found useful, so I’m expanding that string of tweets here, so it may reach a wider audience.

Bear in mind here, every autistic person’s experience is different. The following words do, however, give an illustration of what a meltdown is…

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Natural dyes

Are you like me and interested I natural dyeing? This post is about using avocado skins and stones…

Seaford Spinners and Weavers

silver dollar gum leavesWe had done our cold dye workshop on the 19th and that was enjoyable for everyone who was there and created a real sense of success for those new to dyeing. Alexis walked in this week with two big bags of silver dollar gum leaves and spoke a little about natural dyes. It altered the conversations and set up a challenge. One of the best gifts you can give someone is the gift of learning. From natural dyes you can learn a lot about culture, history , civilisations and plants. Natural dyes have been used through the ages, there is an art to it and it requires time and thought. You get better results if you don’t hurry and if you immerse yourself in the process. Any dyeing has a calming effect because you are working with fibre and colour in a methodical way. Natural dyes are sustainable, ecologically and…

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What a difference 1826 days makes..5 years of trying to change the world


Just under five years ago I started writing a book – the second time in my life that I had done this. The second book was driven by a passion to make a difference. I had recently met a young autistic man for whom – for a variety of reasons –  his diagnosis had been a means to limit him rather than empower him. I told him I was autistic and had written a book and worked in the public service. His response was ‘That is not possible. You are lying.’ I was quite affronted by this response until I realised that in his world my life really was impossible. Speaking to this young man I discovered that he thought working was for other people and education was unattainable.

The book which I began in early 2013 was about building understanding and confidence around employment for autistic teens. Writing it…

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