Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for January, 2017

One a week photo challenge-Happy


Happy is- starting a new project!

Please leave a link to your Happy Pictures on Wild Daffodil and/or in the comments below.

Next week’s prompt is Artificial.

In the meantime, spread some happiness around blog land and do join us. xx

17 for 2017- January

January in my little part of North Yorkshire has been disappointing weather wise. No snow! Just two days with blue skies. That leaves the others as having grey skies , fog, and chilly.  Which might explain how I spent my days this month. Hunkered down with my knitting, books, the wood burning stove, cups of tea, and the odd chocolate biscuit. Don’t the Danish have a word for this? I just call it common sense.

17 swims- there were no swims.

16 hour long walks. Just one to the Bridestone rocks in Dalby Forest with our friends.


Dave and Claire.


See grey skies. Lunch was afterwards in a pub called the Fox and Rabbit on the road between Pickering and Whitby. In case you are passing. Just saying the pie was very good….

15 books read from the heap by my bed. Yes two read. There has been a lot of reading this month.

14 lbs lost- don’t know, well would you have looked after pie and chocolate cookies? Next month…

13 cards made- no

12 village photo posts- couple on their way

11 days out- 1 to Scarborough where I visited the Rotunda and Maritime Heritage museums and loved the fossils and Ganseys.

10 new things tried- nope

9 Crochet / Knitting Projects. Well this is where I have spent my time.  5. Yes FIVE. Come back on Yarn Along day and you will see why I will now be slowing down.

8 craft projects-none

7 Sewing/ embroidery projects. I have fished out one I barely started a couple of years ago or maybe it was just last year.


The closest to snow I will get this year I think. Plan to complete this in February. Hold me too it please. Oh and I have started a new sewing project too.

6 non fiction books read- I am half way through the John Steinbeck. Aiming to read one every two months.

5 – research 5 questions on my family history, no

4 good sort outs. Now I read someones’ 17 for 2017 and they were aiming for 15 minute sort outs, which seemed like a good idea.  Please leave a link if this was you. Anyway I have sorted through nearly all my clothes in this way, just got a wardrobe to do. And one bag has gone to a charity shop, and a further one is nearly full and ready to go. So some progress.

3 Interesting finds- none.

2 picnics- no

1 boat ride- no

0 craft supplies. No, nothing, all buttons etc from my supplies. Amazing.

So how have you done this month? Have you set any goals? Made any progress? Please feel free to leave a link to your posts.

Good Luck and have a most enjoyable February. And if life is tough, remember its darkest before the dawn. Things will get better.

This taken in five minutes of sunshine last week.


Keep smiling. xx




Yarn Along!

AND another finish.


Another one in James Brett Party Time Chunky. Available in your lys or Here

As you have gathered it knits up very quickly indeed on big needles. 5mm and 6mm I think. Anyway it has been very gratifying to have so many finishes already this year. Sadly I am at the end of my party time projects. Slower knitting will follow. Here is a close up of the lovely double moss stitch effect. I had my doubts when I began but it’s quite pretty don’t you reckon?


And there was enough  yarn left over for an improvised hat which may or may not fit Miss F.


There is a very small ball left over and I reckon with the other two leftover colours I can make something pretty from one the knitting books my Secret Santa gifted me.

Meantime I have started to crochet the 6 blocks for the middle of the blanket I am doing.


Oh that hat crept in again. Now I finished the A-Z challenge so have launched straight into Read 15 books I already own/ have borrowed, that reside in two heaps by our bed. The weekend being very dull and very dreary at least weather wise was perfect for a snuggle on the sofa and read time. I have read book number one , which was by Joanne Trollope- Parson Harding’s Daughter. It was a historical novel of the usual formula, but being by Ms Trollope was very well done and an enjoyable read.

Number two is by Jane Gardam and is called Bilgewater. Bilgewater being the nickname for one Marigold Green who lives with her Dad who’s  a schoolmaster at a boarding school. He is known to the boys as Bill, so Marigold becomes Bills daughter, hence bilgewater. I borrowed this one form a friend last year and its time I read and returned it to her. Its a good read, all the excruciating angst of a teenage girl sadly going through a prolonged ugly duck phase, which begins at 5 and goes on to now when she is doing A levels. It’s a humourous book but I feel too sorry for the character to laugh much. Too much identifying going on.

I know I have said no yarn purchases this year till I have knitted up the projects I have in the queue. Believe me the queue is very long! The wardrobe bulges too much.

Linking with Ginny as per- here

Chocolate cookies recipe

These have to be the best chocolate cookies I have ever made. And on the grounds that there can never be too many chocolate recipes out in cyberspace, here is one more.

Chocolate cookies

250 g plain flour

A pinch of bicarb of soda

A pinch of salt

170g unsalted butter melted

200g dark soft brown sugar

100g caster sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 egg and 1 egg yolk

200g milk chocolate broken into small pieces

100g white chocolate broken into small pieces I used a food processor for this part

170C preheated oven. Baking trays lined with greaseproof paper

Cream the melted butter, and brown and caster sugar, until well mixed. Beat in egg, egg yolk, vanilla until light and creamy. Sieve and fold in flour, salt and bicarb.

Add broken chocolate.

One dessertspoonful of the mix makes a nice sized cookie. Two dessert spoonfuls makes a big cookie.  Take the spoons of the mixture and place on the baking trays. Flatten slightly.

Bake for 15-20 minutes until turning golden at the sides.

Allow to cool on the tray before lifting onto a cooling rack.

Recipe is a Cadbury’s recipe, other chocolate is available. I used Lidls. The recipe said use 4 spoonfuls of mix, but that to my mind would be silly. I made 20 cookies. The recipe said makes 8.


The white is the chocolate by the way. And that is 4 cookies to one baking tray using two spoonfuls of mix. I mean would you really want them double that in size.

They are delicious.


My A-Z Reading Challenge.

In July last year I set myself the challenge of reading through the alphabet. Starting with a book by an author whose surname began with an A, then moving onto b, then c and so on, and in the correct order, and only going to the library for my books I read my way through the alphabet. There is no book in our library with an author whose name begins with an X, but other than that I have managed to read 25 books, from A-Z.

I wanted to do this to find new authors, rediscover favourite ones and to read outside my normal genres. In that I have been successful. Starting with the bad bits first, Henry James is never going to be an author I shall read again. It was the only book I abandoned. Chick lit and me are never going to get along either. Gruesome tales even by favourite authors such as Kate Mosse are not for me either. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguru was the biggest disappointment. I just didn’t get it and found the book boring.

Harlan Coben was a new author for me and I shall definitely be reading his books again.

The five best books I read were in reverse order:-

John Boyne- The Boy in the Striped pyjamas. A very moving story about a concentration camp, also a film

4 David Ebershoff- The Danish Girl- another moving story and I am sure one everyone has heard of, also a film

3 Sue Monk Kidd- The Secret Life of Bees– growing up with secrets is not a good idea- also a film

2 John Steinbeck- To a God Unknown– probably my favourite author, so maybe I surprise myself putting this book at number 2. A love of the land shines out from this book. It was a beautiful read. Not a book I had heard of before.

1 Lalin Paull- The Bees. I really loved this book. I mean really loved this book. A very interesting way to explore environmental issues through the eyes of a bee.

4 of these authors were new to me and one an old favourite.

Was the challenge worthwhile for me? Oh yes.

And my next challenge. To read through a heap of books I have acquired over the years and not read yet. At least 15 of them as part of my 17 for 2017 list.

Wish me luck.

Love to hear of your reading goals for this year.

Oh and Spring is on its way. The first snowdrops are coming out in the garden.




Yarn Along!

Thanks everyone for helping me decide the name of this little lady.


Selina Sheep has arrived.

Meantime I have another finish.


This is a size 26 inch and should fit my grandson straightaway. The colours haven’t photographed well. The yellow and green are more vivid than this picture.


So now using the last of my   yarn from James Brett I am making a jumper for my grand-daughter. The pink probably gave that one away. I have done the front and this is the back. The sleeves are double moss stitch. Not certain how that will look in self striping yarn. We will see.

And the book is my Z author for my read through the alphabet marathon. I like this author but this book is a rather macabre gothic tale with more than a nod to Mary Shelley. Supposedly for young adults! Well that would be me, wouldn’t it?

Joining with Ginny for Yarn Along


One a week photo challenge- Awkward

Do you know the feeling when you go into a room full of complete strangers? Joining the U3A poses no such problems as everyone is so friendly. Any feelings of awkwardness go very quickly. 11-1-17-001

Parking your car however is not so easy. The village hall we  meet in has a large car park which fills up completely. Getting out is pretty awkward.

Please join in the challenge at anytime. Links to your picture can be left at Wild daffodil or here.

Next weeks’ prompt is GATE.

Good luck and Happy Snapping!


Dartmoor Yarn Company- meet ?

I treated myself to one of Bekki’s sheep kits from her Dartmoor Yarn Company  as a Christmas present to myself.

I have spent a couple of afternoons knitting. And now it is time to introduce you to my Dartmoor sheep.


She has been a total delight. The kit contains everything and I mean everything. Pretty knitting needles, yarn, even the yarn for the facial features, real wool for stuffing ( I loved the faint aroma of sheep in the stuffing) and a needle to stitch your creation together. The kit has been a joy to knit.

Bekki invites you to name your sheep. All the time I was knitting her I thought she was  Ellie Ewe. Now she’s finsished it’s quite clear that she is Selina Sheep.


But what do you think? Ellie Ewe or Selina Sheep?

Yarn Along!

Drum Roll please. No really DRUM ROLL. Here it is finally finished, – the white cable cardigan. It may only be a 24″ chest, but believe me it was not easy.


Who would ever have thought that 12 rows of pattern could be so hard to remember. I certainly couldn’t remember them. I had to watch what I was doing row by row and stitch by stitch. I should feel a sense of achievement but all I feel is relief. I set out to improve my knitting skills last year and learn new stuff. Have a challenge. Mmm. Well Sirdar pattern 1477 was certainly all of that. Have a look at the back.


I completed it last night with the addition of 6 buttons which I think I bought last year from a vintage fair. They are sweet little cats I think.


Or maybe bears. I was not certain if they were too pink. But as I am trying not to spend money on new bits and bobs but to use things I already have, I went with them. Actually I think the bit of colour breaks up the white quite nicely.

And I have made great progress on my fun jumper.


I just have the front bands to do , sew up and add buttons. Should get that done tonight or maybe tomorrow. The book is the Y in my read through the alphabet challenge. Couldn’t find an X author in the library but have requested one from another branch. This book is a load of tosh!

Joining with Ginny for Yarn Along


One a week photo challenge- card


I found this card and this one in a local antique shop back in the Summer.


They cost me a £1. Although they look like postcards, same shape and size, there is no postcard on the back. The top one says lace making and the bottom is hand weaving. The writing reads Langdale Linen Industry, Coniston. Approved by Prof Ruskin. The writing to the right says Atkinson’s Series.

A little investigation was called for. Ruskin was part of the Arts and Crafts movement and indeed founded a Langdale Linen Industry in Coniston. More details Here .

So then I did a bit of research about Atkinson series. I have found the name connected to Canadian postcards but nothing for the UK.

Then I looked for images of the Langdale Linen industry and came up with a picture of a postcard depicting the hand weaving.

And that’s as far as I could get. If anyone knows anything at all about my cards I would love to know please.

Meantime if you have a photo for the challenge please leave a link here or at Wild Daffodil

Next week’s prompt is Awkward.

Happy Snapping!

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