Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Scrap Happy May, 22

Time to join with Kate for Scrap Happy day- link to others here- https://talltalesfromchiconia.wordpress.com/2022/05/15/scraphappy-may-sorry-its-rather

I have been making Suffolk Puffs or yoyos if you prefer from my fabric scraps this month for my Stitchbook.

Very simple to make from circles of fabric, gathered on the wrong side and pulled up to form

Pretty little circles which can then be applied as you like

thus

This stitchbook is very much a work in progress. Some of the fabrics were included in the kit, but I have supplemented them with my own scraps. Here are the pages I am currently working on. Should add that although it came as a kit what you do with everything is left entirely to the maker.

So the finished pages will be attached to the pages of the book.

By no means finished any of these yet, there are 12 in all, so I think I’ll be doing monthly check ins here for quite a while.

Do please look at others work via the link at at the start of the post. People really are very talented.

Knit and Natter

And no laughing at the knit part later on. This week has gone all by itself. Do you have weeks like that where you wonder , just what did I do? I know I have cut the grass, and the garden isn’t looking too awful.

These tulips opened up and looked gorgeous.

The weather has been all over the place. Tuesday was cold enough for jumpers again, yesterday sunny and hot and out came the lightweight trousers and top. And we are predicted days hotter than the Med.

I have enjoyed the embroidery group this week. Third time now, and no longer the newbie. We met in a pub , cheap place to meet. Trouble was not enough table space to spread out on. I have started to stitch a stitchbook, materials purchased , well before we moved I think or shortly after.

I had done a lot of preparation at home. Constructed the book, and created basic layouts for all the pages.

Everything was pinned ready to go.

I hadn’t realised quite how much I wanted to change things around, and all the scraps of lace I’d like to add. Plus it’s a slow stitching mindful piece and a pub and chit chat didn’t really work. I’m trying a different project next time and we won’t be in a pub either. Worrying about sticky tables didn’t help. I’ll enjoy finishing this project at home .

Right the knitting. I have been knitting a soft toy. It’s a pattern using tinsel yarn and is for a Highland cow. You know, orange and horns and long hair and very pretty. I figured if I made it yellow it would look like the Oxford United Ox.

Like this.

Only it didn’t quite work out. I blame the pattern. The knitting instructions were fine, it was the construction part that went amiss. I didn’t know what was the front or back or top or bottom, or how the neck was supposed to fit and as for stuff head firmly before adding safety eyes, without telling you which way up the head was. All I can say is I did my best.

It does as my son said, look more like a pig!

Ah well, can’t win them all. I’ll stick to baby wear for a while now.

I hope you have nice things planned for the weekend. It’s Baby P’s christening on Sunday. Looking forward to it a lot, and tomorrow a plant sale!

Take care,

Cathy x

Felted Landscape#2

Following the workshop earlier in the year I decided to have a go at one at home, as I had all the necessary materials.

Roving a plenty

At the class we didn’t use the lethal needles I was familiar with, but a nifty gadget. Mr Amazon got one to me in a day.

Lots of needles in one, with protection from inadvertently stabbing oneself.
Piece of ordinary white acrylic felt.

Start to lay out the roving to form the landscape.

Add some more and commence stabbing
Add in more colours and start to create details like trees.

I swapped my tools at this point for the single needle. Care needed not to snap it. I did.

I used a card to frame it, to aid decision making.

Onto the final stage of embroidering it, with stem stitch, French knots and a button that was just right.

The sun ray is wrong, but otherwise reasonably content with my solo effort,

I’ve borrowed a book from the library with some useful ideas. Really enjoying this. Love to know if anyone has tried needlefelting, how do you get on? Or have you branched out recently to try something else new to you?

Silent Sunday

Bluebell wood, April 2022

Cotswold Woollen Weavers.

This was really another Tothe. On my way to Blenheim Palace recently I have gone the scenic route, through pretty Cotswold towns, such as Lechlade, Farringdon and Burford. I noted the sign indicating Cotswold Woollen Weavers. It doesn’t actually say Tothe, but it is one..

I googled it, here, https://www.cotswoldwoollenweavers.co.uk/ and it seemed worth a visit so I went last week. It was just lovely.

Actually that’s the Ladies to the left, but ignore that.

Basically it’s a museum and a shop. But wow what a museum and what a shop. Up until quite recently cloth was woven here, but various reasons, too small , no doubt Health and Safety , etc means that actually Cotswold cloth is now woven in Huddersfield. Hurrah for West Yorkshire. At least it’s not China or India or Wherever.

Just look at the blankets and cushions, I mean just yummy.
William Morris, tea towels, oven gloves, aprons, ok so yes I bought myself a new apron, actually the blue strawberry thief one hanging up there
Into the museum.

I wish I could describe the smell here, it was delicious, sort of hessiany and woody all in one .I’d bottle it for a room freshener myself. Bit weird? Well Mr E did warn everyone about my being a bit weird. Only a bit…

So much to look at, love these clay animals, the whole shelf was full of them.

Honestly the place was full of gorgeousness .

Upstairs now, fabulous shop for little people , plus local crafts, plus books plus, fossils all for sale

and look at those enormous books, full of samples and you can handle them…

Believe me everyone was blown away by this place, fellow visitors making mental notes for their Christmas shopping, and they do online.. just saying

Random weaving on the wall, thinking felted landscape.
Loved this depiction of spinning.

I wish I could tell you what a wonderful choice of affordable goods were for sale in the main shop. How I resisted a handbag I don’t know..

You can of course buy end of run fabric and off cuts. I did choose five small pieces for 50p each, had ideas of fabric books but should have bought an even number of pieces . Might have to go back…

Outside was just as gorgeous

Did I mention cafe, cake, coffee?
Games to play, newspapers and books to read

Stone Mason too and a Shepherd’s hut

Back in the day, Shepherds stayed in the fields with their flocks during lambing season, living for weeks, months at a time in a hut which could be moved from field to field.
Apple tree in full bloom, with picnic tables.

And this picture shows just why I have planted ten fruit trees in my garden. One day the formally forlon patch will look just like this.

Ok I have waxed lyrical quite enough about this place, free car parking, did I mention? Pretty village too? Local craftspeople? Gorgeousness ?

Hope you enjoyed it, and if you are ever between Burford and Lechlade, it’s worth the detour.

Books-April 22

Some good reads this month, the last one took me a while, so there aren’t many books this time.

Kate Atkinson- One Good Turn- part of me wonders why I have taken so long to read this book, the other part of me is glad I hadn’t read it before, because it was such a good read. How to entice anyone who hasn’t read it without giving the plot away? Well it’s set in Edinburgh during the festival. And basically there is a road rage incident, so there was a victim, and the chap that helped, and a witness and oh an ex policeman, ex private detective Jackson Brodie, and one good turn causes a lot of problems, until all the protagonist’s stories come together. I didn’t see the ending coming at all. Of course this book appears on multiple lists of books to be read of mine, so huge thanks to everyone who has ever recommended it, you were right, it’s good.

John Grisham-Calico Joe. So I went to the library to return my books with the intention then to have a month of reading my own books during April. A little look round would do no harm… Silly me. I borrowed books! My son Mr B pointed out a while since that John Grisham has two basic themes, the law and Baseball . Now to most Brits baseball is just American Rounders, in England at least in my day, considered to be a children’s or girls game played in schools. I am aware that this isn’t the case. The First few pages of this book explain baseball terms, I got lost a bit in them, reverting in my head to rounders. It doesn’t matter. Joe was a promising star from a town called Calico. The narrator, the son of of another player who injured Joe, wants to talk to Joe and his own Dad and find out the truth . It’s a lovely little book about hope, aspiration, parenting and reconciliation. Thought provoking,.. If you had unresolved issues and conversations you wish you’d had with your parents you might find it an interesting way in.

Kate Hamer- The Doll Funeral- what it’s not about is spooky dolls. A story of searching for family, and who after all is our family. The background to the novel is The Forest of Dean, which lies on the border between England and Wales. Two time periods, 1970 and 1983. One for the mother and one for the daughter. Now as it happens we spent quite a bit of time in the 1980s house hunting in the Forest of Dean before finally settling in Oxfordshire. The Forest then, less so now, was a place apart. Houses were in scattered communities and there was a sense of timelessness, a mystery even magic, of rules and laws being different. We liked it very much, just didn’t find the right house for our circumstances. Oddly the people we bought from moved to the Forest. So I don’t want to say anything to spoil the plot, but it could only really have been set when and where it was. Thoroughly good read, from the writer of The Girl inThe Red Coat.

Truman Capote- In Cold Blood. This one was on my TBR list, and took a while for my request from the library to come through. Now goodness knows why it was on the list to begin with as I don’t read True Crime, which this is. I gather it was the first of its kind when it appeared in 1965. A novel based on a crime, researched and written up first as a piece of journalism and later as a novel. Now something I didn’t know was that Capote and Harper Lee were childhood friends, and that the character of Dill Harris in To Kill a Mocking Bird was based on Capote. Harper Lee accompanied Capote when he interviewed people for his book, talking especially to the female witnesses. She was hugely upset that he gave her not even a mention let alone full credit for her work. He appears to have been very jealous of her Pulitzer prize and very miffed that he didn’t get one for this book. Their friendship never recovered.

That aside the novel tells of the murder of an entire family by strangers with no apparent motive. The back story of the family and the perpetrators is told , then that of the investigation and subsequent trial. The prose is excellent. I found the first part where you get to know the family hard going, mostly because I was waiting for the event, and they sounded such nice people. For anyone interested in criminology I would say it would be an interesting book to read. I am not certain I can say it was enjoyable but it was certainly interesting and very well written.

And that’s it for April. I still have two library books to read and am determined to have more will power when I return them so that I can read some of my own books from the pile on the landing.

Have you read any of the books I read this month, what did you think?

Balance-April

It’s the last Monday in the month, so time to review my one word I chose to guide me this year -Balance.

When you loose a lifelong partner, there is a need to rebuild a life full of meaning and joy. To let go of the past and continue to grow.

Over the last eleven months I have been extremely grateful to the local carers group for the activities they arrange for carers. The walk and talks, coffee mornings and craft sessions have been wonderful. My family have been amazing with trips to London, picnics, walks, help with stuff, cutting the grass, checking up on me , all so enjoyable, in short I couldn’t have had better support or love. Whilst the family fun will continue, I need to find replacement for the carers group, as their support will end in a short while now my caring days are over.

I am really thrilled that finally the local U3A group has opened up properly post Covid. I have been to an embroidery group twice, one poetry appreciation group session and made contact to join a walk group which focuses on learning the history of a town or village. First walk for me will be in May.

I stitched this twinchie at the last embroidery group. It’s gone off to Wild Daffodil as part of a group card for Helen who has suffered recent bereavement. Helen was our stitch book tutor.

I have also kept my eyes peeled for one off workshops.

Elephant stitched in a local library workshop.

These activities have all been enjoyable and I have learned that I can do several days of going out and about, having fun meeting new people, talking laughing, but afterwards I need days at home, being quiet, resting, sleeping, reading, doing the every day domestic jobs – cleaning, tidying, phone calls, letters, emails , or even as today, attending to my health – trip to the hygienist. Then I can be ready for what next…

I have got much better now at planning my meals and sticking to the plan. Where I still need to sort myself out is on regular exercise. I potter round the garden every day, but that is not the same as a regular walk… And I don’t know why I haven’t tackled this yet,

I am not even using my membership to the local gym/swimming pool, which I joined nearly a year ago. It is very close and I chose it because I could pop out for an hour to go there and safely leave Mr E for that amount of time. Maybe now my options are wider, it’s no longer so important to me. I don’t know. And it is expensive..,mmm

OK, so what for May? Various things to look forward too, Baby P’s Christening, a theatre trip and I have opted to have a meal before hand and Miss F is singing in a concert, plus aforementioned groups and hopefully the garden project will happen (awaiting delivery of materials).

And walking…..

I wonder if anyone has tips for keeping themselves healthy in mind and body please. Love to hear from you. Or do I just accept that my body knows best and if I sleep that’s what I need, and if I don’t fancy exercise then maybe my body still knows best?

Meantime do visit Carolyn for her link up for one word posts. Here, https://youronewordblog.wordpress.com/2022/04/24/one-word-april-twenty-two/

Wordless Wednesday

Telephone Box Library,Buckland, Oxfordshire.

Imperial War Museum

My son texted me. ‘We are going to London. T has asked to go to the war museum. He’s specifically asked that you come too. Do you want to?’ I’ll be honest , my first thought was no, not my sort of thing, plus I have a hair appointment and a visit to the hygienist. My second thought was, T is 11. How many more times will Nana’s company be requested. So I said yes. All appointments changed, no problems.

My son works in London, so it made sense to drive there and park at his work. It’s a university, students all back home so no issue. We had a wander round the grounds, gardens, a little stream.. Caught a bus, umpteen tubes (underground trains), finally emerging where we needed to be.

Impressive

Now it turns out to be pretty amazing place for textiles! You seriously didn’t think this post would be about guns and stuff did you? Amazing what can be found if you look carefully. Here’s what I found as we went around the World War Two gallery. Two children very engaged by the work sheet the museum gave them, find the answers have some chocolate. Genius on my mind ,of the museum. So they were happy to stop and looked very carefully.

Japanese child’s Chanchanko

The Japanese were very proud of their nation, the feeling shown in this children’s sleeveless jacket.

Scarf depicting Germany’s expansion across Europe and destruction of Czechoslovakia.
Handkerchief bought by a British Serviceman in Iceland.

Next up is a replica house owned by the Allpress family, to show how people lived during those years.

Interior
Exterior complete with Anderson Shelter.

There was also a full sized shelter to enter. Many of the museums visitors were like ours a multi generational family. Grandparents just like me, passing on family memories, what our Dad’s did, mine was put in charge of tanks in India and Burma, he was shot and injured. Mum was an evacuee, her brother was ground staff for the RAF. It keeps everything real. Most notable when we got to the blitz photo gallery, those images of bombed cities, well the atmosphere was very quiet and subdued. All visitors like you right now, thinking why have some politicians not learned a darned thing?

Many Jewish Austrians and Germans arrived in the Uk. In due course sent to internment camps. This knitting bag made and embroidered by women in a camp on the Isle of Man.
Poster encouraging thrift.

But had you ever heard of the Squander Bug?

Hmmm maybe we need the squander bug to make a reappearance ? But not fir the same reason , just because it makes sense.

And so three hours passed, the children answered the questions on the worksheet and had a chocolately reward. More tube trains, lunch, quick visit to Hamleys, big toy shop, no purchases, then onto Trafalgar Square to see the lions and glimpse Big Ben

And so ended an unexpected day in London. I’m glad I said yes.

I wonder if anyone else has said Yes, whilst thinking not really sure, and then Yes turned out to be the correct answer. Wonder if T will ever suggest I come too, again….

Happy Easter

Buckland, Oxfordshire

Wishing you a Happy Easter, filled with joy and chocolate.

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