Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for December, 2016

16 for 2016! The final countdown.

Sometimes it is hard to believe that a year has passed since I wrote my 16 for 2016. The theme if theme there was to challenge myself.  So how did I do?

16 swims- I achieved this in April and kept swimming every week until the Autumn.Then the water seemed too cold and I was busy with other things. But there is always 2017!

15 walks- This goal changed several times. I wanted to walk more. I tried various ways of wording it before just settling on 15 walks. Which I achieved, with some super walks.

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Can’t beat a moorland heather walk to my mind.

14 lbs lost. I started so well, but then came Easter, holidays and Christmas and well, it’s a fail. At a mere 3 lbs  .

13 outings- I visited some truly lovely places, but the one I keep coming back to was the Royal Yacht Britannia, which has featured many times in my pictures for the photo challenge.

Coffee, Britannia

12 cookery posts- I managed five, before realising that actually I don’t have anything much to say about cookery.

11 flower photographs achieved with ease , so many lovely flowers to photograph.

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10 handmade cards- achieved. I love making and sending handmade cards.

9 Garden posts- Achieved. I really enjoyed documenting our garden,the birds, the frogs, the plants and the produce. We are still enjoying the runner beans I froze and the leeks will be ready any day soon. So lucky to have a garden.

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Our favourite blackbird with white feathers enjoying a drink.

8 stash/kit busting projects. I had such a clear idea at the start of the year what I was going to do, and then I fell in love with my scraps and became scrap happy.

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and that is the joy of writing the goals for the year in the way I do. You just don’t know what will happen. Many thanks to Kate for encouraging me to fall in love with my fabric stash. Shame about the kits!

7 sewing/ embroidery projects- I was determined this year to master buttonholes on my scary not so new sewing machine. I made the same dress three times for my granddaughter. Oh yes I cracked buttonholes and completed 7 sewing projects.

Florrie and bag16.6.16 014wales May 16 131

6 acts of kindness- I recorded a couple of mine, two that I witnessed and two that I received. I think the one that moved me most was the lady who bought a pie for the Big Issue lady. But I also loved this.

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Re use of a phone box, and I gather that there are now a lot of phone boxes available for reuse by local communities.

5- Read five non fiction books-Achieved. I think my favourite was the book about Workhouses, as my Great Grandfather was the clerk to the Guardians of the Pickering workhouse. I later went onto visit the county records office where I read about his interview and appointment to the post and saw what work his job entailed.

4 projects to improve my knitting and crochet skills. Oh my was this the biggest challenge of all. I got to grips with lacy patterns, 4 ply wool and repaired a crochet blanket where the magic circles proved to have been not so magic at all. And then there were cables. I didn’t do so bad on the first cable cardigan I made for master T.

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Then I got over ambitious and started on the white cable cardigan for Miss F. Well there are cables and bobbles on the front , on the back and on the sleeves. I have at least stopped dropping stitches from the cable needle but oh I have to count every stitch and not lose my place in the pattern. And why on earth did I opt for white? The most useful part of all of this was discovering that I knit to relax and unwind. It’s therapeutic, it’s the way I settle down for the night. But not on cables. So I unearthed a knitting project to help me relax , and got on with the dreaded cables in afternoons when I could. First of my projects to relax by was the village I made been wanting to make for well over 30 years. Oh yes Miss F’s Dad should have played with this as a boy if only his Mum had pulled her finger out.


And hot on the tracks of this came the Tinsel obsession. Yarn by King Cole.


I think this might have played itself out to be replaced with an obsession for a yarn called Party Time by James Brett. And still I knit the cable cardigan. I have reached the raglan edge of sleeve number one.

3 things from my Bucket list- I achieved this, I visited Edinburgh, swam weekly for two months and made a cheese souffle, which I decapitated getting out of the oven! NB to self remove shelves above the souffle.

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2 Railway journeys- I achieved this and renewed my rail card. I visited my son in Reading and we went to Wembley by train. and I went to Edinburgh by train too.

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1 bus journey- we had a lot of bus travel around Edinburgh!

0 magazine purchases. Oh yes happy dance for this. Really really hard to resist. I love a craft magazine and a big pile of second-hand ones called out to me at the Whitby Quilt exhibition. I walked away from them…..

So that was the year that was. Will there be a 17 for 2017. Oh yes!

Hope you achieved some of what you wanted this year. Have a great last night for 2016, and all the best for a very Happy New Year 2017. Remember if you hit rock bottom in 2016, the only way is up!

And thank you all for reading my blog and making such encouraging comments. Without you I would not have achieved the things I did.






Christmas 2016

Thought I would share some of the family pictures from Christmas, which we spent with my son Mr T and his family. We won’t mention the plastic colander which melted, full of potatoes, ever again!


Father Christmas in his new home. Mr T said we will put him away with the decorations after Christmas. Master T burst into tears” But he’s my favourite toy!”. Oh some boys know how to make a Nana happy.


Enjoying a Christmas Eve party at NanaJo’s , my sons MIL.


It was a bit chilly away from the log fire.


Chocolate House cake., by Mrs T and elves


The Big Rip


Christmas feasting.


Master T


Miss F


Miss J

” I do love Christmas” says Master T, ” Everyone has presents!”

Hope you all had a fabulous Christmas, and made some happy memories.



Photo Challenge- Spirit

The last prompt for the 2016 Photo Challenge was Spirit.

In 2009 my husband Mr E had cancer. He had a gruelling six months of chemo and radiotherapy. He had been self-employed so we were dependent on my earnings and I had to keep working whilst supporting him. Our youngest had just started uni. My step-mother had a stroke and was in hospital too.  It was a question of heads down and keep going a day at a time.

And then it was all over. He had an all clear. Our eldest son got married and my lovely in-law family gave us a holiday in Crete.

What sustained us through all of this was our faith and our love of the natural world.


This church set amongst the trees and mountains of Crete, taken on that holiday in 2009, encompass this perfectly.

Next year Sandra and I have devised a new photo challenge and we very much hope you will take part. Once again here are the prompts.


Don’t forget to leave a link to your Spirit picture in the comments.

Happy Snapping 2017!




Yarn Along!


Well there’s the white cable cardigan, still on the first sleeve. Underneath is the jumper I started as an antidote to the counting on the cardigan, and that is now very nearly finished. Let’s face I was just not meant to cable.

I read a book by Sally Vickers for my V author. Didn’t like it. So am finishing my year by reading an old favourite which Ginny reminded me about last week. Love it.

Joining with Small Things for Yarn Along

Thank you Secret Santas.

But first a great big thank you to Sheila at Sewchet for once again organising the Secret Santas. I know it involves a lot of organising and Spreadsheets, oh my. Few minutes silence here of awe and thanks…

I was away for Christmas and saved my parcels till my return.

So now,  a great big thank you to Anne Lawson who sent me a parcel all the way from sunny Australia.


Oh my. Would you look at this.


Vintage fabric, lace, a bookmark, a beautiful shell drawing. Love, love,love them. Am wondering if I could get a dress for my granddaughter from the fabric, or a stocking or or or… Thank you Anne.

And then from Nikki at Sewing Nikki came this.


and inside this was a project bag


and inside the project bag was


all these goodies. Oh my, oh my. Thank you Nikki. I adore the robin and the the buttons. And those books, what shall I make first?

Thank you all so much. Now time for a cup of tea, some Christmas cake and a look through my bootie.

Yarn Along!


Happy Christmas!

U is for Lisa Unger, the only author in the library beginning with U and the the only book available. By golly it’s a good pyschological thriller.

Ordinary knitting will resume next week.

Have a fabulous Christmas, may it be quiet and joyful. May your handmade gifts be appreciated and your home made food devoured with gusto.


Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along

Photo Challenge- Music


Wind in the trees, nature’s own music.

Please leave a link in the comments to your music picture.

Next week’s prompt and the last for this challenge is Spirit or Spiritual .

Happy Snapping.

This week!

We are now in the countdown to Christmas. It’s a time of year when I really really wish I lived closer to my grandchildren. I do so love a Nativity play.

However a newspaper reviewer on Sky news reminded me the other day that you can’t just have  a simple nativity play, now every child must have a line to say and it takes forever. I remembered at that point the agony of sitting through the school productions that lasted nearly three hours. So easy to romanticise life!

Ah well, finally sent out all my Christmas cards. This is a different experience than it was even as little as 10 years ago. I used to write long letters to friends and family I didn’t see much. Now they are all on Facebook. I see the pictures of the little ones, the triumphs and the funny moments. So much more a part of people’s lives than we used to be. Facebook comes in for a lot of criticism and probably justified, but for staying in touch with distant relatives and friends who moved away, it is good. I still write letters but they are much shorter now!

Present buying is over. I am happy with the gifts I have for my family. A benefit of being retired is the time to think and research gifts thoroughly. Here’s hoping I got them right. My Secret Santa packages have been dispatched. I had such talented people to send to, it was a big challenge for me. The Guest room which was so full of stuff last week, is much emptier, but now I can see the projects I thought I would make this year and didn’t get round too. Oh dear.

I attended a wonderful monthly talk at the U3A entitled” Dickens, did he invent Christmas?” Course he didn’t but the talk was terrific. The best of the four I have attended so far. The speaker came from the local Dickens society in Malton. Malton having a connection to Dickens and the Christmas Carol. Dickens had a friend in Malton whose office provided the description for Scrooge’s office. Not certain that is something to boast about or not. The Speaker read extracts from the Christmas Carol , and did so jolly well, and she spoke of the origins of all our Christmas traditions. The only that really reflects Dickens being the christmas card images of Carol singers in Victorian Dress, oh and the consumption of turkeys instead of goose.

The talks are on Tuesday mornings and we get coffee and this time mince pies. Time for a chat with new people. It helps being from Yorkshire. People just bowl over to each other and introduce themselves. Anyway there is always a second-hand book stall. Three for a £1. I mean three for a POUND. So far I have bought three books at each meeting, that means twelve in total, and as I am still on my read through the alphabet challenge at the library, self-inflicted, I now have a very big heap of books on the bedroom floor.

These were my latest haul.


Talking of my reading challenge has anyone ever come across an author whose name begins with an X? Just asking, there must be one, surely.

Knitting has gone on too. I managed another 6 rows on the cable cardigan. And I finished the next 6 blocks of the crochet blanket.


And that is about my week. Next week, I have a Christmas cake to ice and a dentist check up which means shopping in York.

Hoping you all enjoy the last week before Christmas.

Take care.


Scrap Happy December!

Some little Christmas makes for the Secret Santa and friends.


These were very fiddly.


Heart shaped ornaments, and the other side


Joining with Kate for Scrap Happy

Have alook at these other Scrap Happy Posts too.

Usually has a scrappy post:

Gun at https://rutigt.wordpress.com (in Swedish and English)

Titti at http://tittisquiltlek.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)

Heléne at http://quiltochsom.blogspot.se (in Swedish only)

Sometimes has a scrappy post:

Eva at bambisyr-evaj.blogspot.com (in Swedish only)

Sue at sewingmagpie.blogspot.com (in English only)

Nanette at http://stitchandsow-homeandgarden.blogspot.com.au (in English only)

Lynn at https://thetialys.wordpress.com (in English only)

Lynn at https://thetialys.wordpress.com (in English only)

Norma at https://shesewsyouknow.wordpress.com (in English only)

Lynda at: https://pixilatedtoo.wordpress.com (in English only)

Birthe: http://birthesrom.blogspot.no (in Norwegian only)

Turid: http://densyendehimmel.blogspot.se (in English and Norwegian)

Debbierose: https://sewrosey.wordpress.com (in English only)

Tracy: https://itsatsweetsday.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Jill: http://nicepieceofwork.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Claire: https://knitnkwilt.wordpress.com/ (in English only)

Jan: http://thesnailofhappiness.com/ (in English only)

Yarn Along!


So T is for Anne Tyler. Just when I thought I had read the best book for this year ( John Steinbeck To a God Unknown) I start this one. And I love it. Such resonance with where I am in my life right now, ie getting older with grown up children and grandchildren, facing the trials and tribulations of life. Fantastic. Probably my second favourite book this year.

And who is that peeping out, at least it’s not tinsel yarn! From the 20 Twenty to make series, Mini Christmas knits. Should be 4ply but I don’t have any so it’s DK and bigger needles. he looks a fine snowman to me. Now where is he destined for I wonder?

Linking with Ginny for Yarn Along


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