Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Scrap Happy August- 2019

This is Baby J playing with the fabric ball I made him in May last year.

And Baby J loved his ball and played with it a lot, until he took it to a wedding at which his brother and cousin lost it under a stage. So what to do but make another one.

But with different scraps. The Stanley dog was used in my first quilt this year.

And this was in the place mat I made For Baby J.

And does anyone remember where the camels went?

Apparently he hasn’t noticed its not the same ball.

I was inspired by Kate last month to dig out my hexie quilt from the gone into the cupboard pile of projects. As I already felt it was big enough I was now adding a blue border of many hues. Now Kate said taking out the paper shapes made it easier to work with , so I did.

That’s a lot of hexies.

I’ve added blue hexies to one long side and two corners.

So many memories in just this little corner, there’s fragments from a skirt for me, a picture frame, several cushions and wall hangings, three dresses for Little Miss F, a wall hanging for Master T, a mug rig for Ms J,wedding bunting and pieces from my dear MIL. I am determined to finish this one day.

Please visit the other blogs for more Scrap Happiness. Linking with Kate just in case the links below don’t work.



A yarny life is a strange one. You spot a project, fall in love with it, acquire pattern and yarn and realise you can’t start it just yet on account of all the Work In Progress and the Not Yet Started and the Relegated Things in the back of the cupboard because you just got fed up pile.

So you make some wonderful resolutions.

Number one- Use Stash (that’s the leftover yarn and the yarn you just had to have but have no idea what to make with it)

Number Two- Complete all work in Progress

Number Three- decide what to do with the Relegated Bags in the cupboard, because you could really use the space and they make you feel miserable.

Number Four- Make the Not Yet Started things.

Number Five- Reward self with lovely new things to make.

Only I discovered it doesn’t quite work that way. At least for me. I was very good at the leftover yarn pile- blankets etc for charity. However I hardly noticed the space I created.

Work in progress, was all right till I got to the Christmas project, who does Christmas at Easter- hid that in bag in Guest bedroom.

Relegated projects- one went to a charity shop, the rest remain hidden.

Which took me to the not yet started, and the realisation that what seemed like a top notch project had not been started for some very good reasons- like the yarn is weird or the pattern is hard. and a gradual realisation that the yarny mojo had just plain gone.

But emails from yarn companies continued to arrive. I looked at the little fellow who had popped up from the Knitting Network and followed the link last week.

I just have to make him! But wait there is a wonderful quite small crochet blanker kit too which I fancy, well it will make the postage more worthwhile if I order two projects.

I can hardly wait but if I am quick I can just finish the cushion which I have been slowly plodding with a row at a time. The thing with it was I could see that it was not going to look like the picture on the pattern. I had already frogged it once. ..Never mind I got to the end, and no it doesn’t look like the picture on the pattern at all.

But hey it’s a squashy cushion. And meantime my package has arrived. Hurrah. And oh my another eamil has popped into the inbox, another James Brett pattern for the party time yarn, the wonderful bright colours which Master T adores and look this pattern just goes up to a 30″ chest which he is now, Hurrah, order sent for this…

Is the mojo returning?

I start to crochet the granny squares, I dig out another project from the not yet started pile which I should do before the Polar bear. All is good again. It turns out this one is not weird at all, it’s rather nice. Yarn love has returned.


Have you ever decided to finish things and go on a yarn diet only to loose the love you feel for all things yarn? Or is it just me?

As it is Yarn Along time here is the book I just started, I think it’s going to be a good one.

Linking with Ginny for the

Yarn Along {August}




Finding Mary Anning

Earlier this year I read the wonderful book Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier. She tells the story of Mary Anning a pioneer in finding and understanding fossils on the Jurassic Coast.

She spent her life in Lyme Regis, so I knew I really wanted to visit her grave, and to see

The window dedicated to her achievements.

Linking to Wild Daffodils monthly Windows photo challenge- here

Bolton Abbey

We visited Bolton Abbey during the very hot spell for Mr E’s birthday treat.

Just stunning.

Looking down to the river and the stepping stones

So good to see everyone enjoying themselves.

I think what I liked best was that people had put away their phones and gadgets and were just enjoying fresh air and the river. Even world weary teenagers!

All Saints, Minstead

We spent a day in the New Forest on our recent little break. Mr E announced he wanted to visit the church of All Saints in Minstead. I love a rural church every bit as much as a local museum, so I was very happy at his request, and even happier with our destination, which may have a surprise for you.

The neat and tidy approach gave way to a most wonderfully atmospheric grave yard.

Fabulous graves, this one with an angel.

And this one , at the foot of which Mr E came to an abrupt halt. Can you read the inscription.

That really does say Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. We paid homage to the great man. Apparently he was originally buried in 1930 in the garden of his house in Crowborough, East Sussex, but his wife had always wanted them to be buried side by side together in Minstead. In 1955 his family fullfilled her wish and here they are. The Rector at the time was too not happy about this as Conan Doyle was very keen on spiritualism, so the grave is as far away from the church as he could possibly site it.


These most wonderful old pews and for the knees of the worshippers, some beautiful kneelers.

Aren’t they just fabulous? What a treat.

Hope you enjoyed the quick visit.

Books- July 2019

After all last months psychological thrillers and Who dun its , time for a change.

Elizabeth Von Arnim- The Enchanted April- written in the 1920s , by a new to me author, from the Penguin modern classics book range. Four women answer an advert  to rent a medieval castle on the Italian Riveria. They make an odd group, but gradually each succombs to the magic of “Wisteria and Sunshine”,  and blossom until they change in unexpected ways. I loved the language and sentence structure of the book. It was a delight, so gentle, so elegant and leisurely. Really enjoyed this book.

Muriel Spark- The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie- this was a re-read for me, and I can’t decide what I make of it. Miss Jean Brodie lost her sweetheart in the first world war and is now a school teacher, with dubious morals and political leanings. She selects a small group of her pupils to be the creme de la crème. They enjoy special treats- trips to the theatre , afternoon tea, and her approach to education is odd. They do well and pass their exams, but they are only 10 when they come under her wing. She falls in love with a married art teacher and sets about grooming one of the girls to be his lover. Meanwhile she starts an affair with the single music teacher. Certainly complex. Have you read it, what did you think?

Marian Keyes- The Break- I think someone recommended this one to me. It wasn’t what I expected, the plain white cover made me think it would be more challenging. In fact it was the perfect holiday read when we had a few days in  Weymouth. Hugh decides he needs to take a break from his marriage following the deaths of his father and brother, and off he goes on a six month vacation, feeling totally free to make new relationships. His wife Amy is first distraught at his departure, until she realises that she too is therefore on a break. family life for the children falls to bits. And when Hugh comes home,  will they reunite? As I said a good holiday read. The only thing I do wonder is do people really lead lives like this? All the characters seem to have jobs in journalism, PR, media, all are high flying or pretend to be, is that really what the world of work is like?

Jean Rhys-Voyage in the Dark- I had read her Wild Sargasso Sea, which tells the story of the first Mrs Rochester in Jane Eyre. I had found that very moving so was keen to read Voyage  in the Dark, which covers similar themes. Anna is the daughter of a white plantation owner and a white creole mother. She has a lovely childhood in the Caribbean, but returns to Edwardian England with her step mother when her father dies. Anna becomes a chorus girl, yearning for her childhood home. She is a friendless innocent, so the inevitable happens. The style is wonderful, simply told, so you feel as if you are living her life. I found it very poignant. Jean Rhys herself came from a similar background, and I am going to try to track down her biography.

Erin Kelly- The ties that bind- just couldn’t keep away from the thrillers!  Really enjoyed this one set in Brighton, covering the shady world of the 1960s, and the long shadow cast over the present day. I first went to Brighton in the 1970s, I recall the Lanes and surrounding streets as being quite hippy like, full of wholefood shops, the original Body Shop and lots and lots of fabric shops and not at all shady.

Denise Mina- Exile- the second book in the Garnethill  trilogy. You really do need to have read the first one, and even then I struggled to pick up the characters and threads , memory not what it was. It was an ok read, too many characters for me to hang onto. Will I read the third, maybe now I have got this far!

Libby Page- The Lido- the perfect book for this last week of July , which in the UK has been hot! The plot is the battle to save a Lido in London which is threatened with closure by the council and being turned into a private tennis court by an upmarket property developer. It has a wonderful feel good factor, which reminded me of Maeve Binchy’s books. There is the love story of Rosemary and George. There is grief and how it is experienced through place. I loved the line “George is in the way the mist sits on the water in the morning.” When you loose someone very dear to you, they are everywhere still. Above all there is the importance of community and identity. I am not sure I buy into parts of London being like villages, it always seems to be full of people pushing and shoving and not caring a d**n about anyone but themselves. But I do agree about the importance of keeping places open and available to the public. Rosemary used to work in a library and regrets not doing more when it was closed. As you know our library was threatened with closure and enough people came forward to keep it open and volunteer there. I am amazed at the number of people who do just come in for a coffee and a chat. The children’s reading scheme has started for the school holidays, we have to sign up at least 300 children. The council closed the local tourist information centre, so now the library volunteers provide their local knowledge instead, We have the only photocopier in town. We give computer lessons, host other events from holocaust remembrance days, to sing songs for the elderly, science days for children, Moorsbag sewing sessions, drumming lessons etc etc.. Biggest cheek of all is that the County Council who wanted to close the library now directs people to the library for help applying for their bus passes. So I am with the characters in this novel , if you value somewhere, use it or lose it.

Ok off my soapbox for now. Have you read  any of these books , what did you think ? Have you read anything good this month? I love the recommendations you all make, four of this month’s books came from your ideas. Thank you.

Doves on the roof!

Maybe this is getting ridiculous and maybe it shows I go around with my head in the clouds, but I just can’t help myself. We went out for the day on Tuesday to Bolton Abbey. It was hot. very hot indeed. We sat on a bench and my eye was drawn to the roof of the house  opposite.

And there hiding in the only bit of shade were three doves! Clever doves.

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