Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

I saw an article in the paper about a Yarnbombing event in the nearby village of Appleton-le -Moors. The idea was to gather knitters and spinners together to create scarves to stretch end to end in the village. Scarves to be sold at the end of the weekend.Tea, coffee , cake and chatter were on offer and all were welcome. Proceeds to Macmillan Nurses.

Off I went.

When I arrived there was a shearing demonstration of Alpacas in the garden of the village hall.

The shorn and the waiting to be shorn.

All done!

Inside there was spinning. And there were knitters. But to be honest I don’t think there would be much yarn bombing going on. This is the sum of one and half hours knitting from me, and I was fast by comparison to others.

It’s the first time I have knitted with others and it was rather nice to knit and natter for real.ย  The experience reminded me that a good thing about life in a village is being part of a community project. The rather harder part is that feeling of awkwardness when you are the new person in a group of people. It set me thinking about the Stranger Within and how to set about making someone feel welcome and part of a group when everyone else is very well-known to each other. It seems especially relevant when we have refugees arriving in the UK and Europe. It’s one thing to say you are welcome here, but what do we actually do to help someone integrate into the wider community? I throw the thought out there.

Meantime I have finished the pink jumper with the cable heart for Little Miss F.

And started my next project, which is aย  4 ply cardigan for a yet to be born baby. Who by the way is another boy.

Time for another sheep picture, this one from Appleton-le-Moors where the sheep roam freely through the village.

Couldn’t go without a sheep picture, after all where would this post be without sheep?

Love to know your knitting plans for the weekend, please join in the chatter and natter.



Comments on: "Knit and Natter Friday!" (47)

  1. Loving that pink jumper – so girly ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Thank you Ali, I felt I knew you and cyber Mum a bit when we “met” in real life, no awkwardness there. Thanks for the pink jumper complement.

  3. Well I hope that they enjoyed your company as much as me n cyber mom did, and well fine for doing your bit fir smother village xx

  4. Love the shorn alpacas! I have to be able to talk to anyone as part of my job (a nurse) but socially I think it’s a lot harder. I still take a deep breath before I walk into a pub on my own, even when I’m meeting a big group inside. When I went to Denman on my own it was fine as we already had that WI link. It doesn’t help that I am hopeless with names, so if I meet them again a month later, I’ve forgotten it ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Ah names! Always hard to remember, I just use them a lot in conversation till they are lodged there for good! But it can go wrong. For ages I had it in my mind that Julie who cuts my hair is called Karen! WHY?

  5. So glad you raised the topic of people ‘fitting in’ to groups. I went to five different schools as a child and know how hard it is to be the one left out of the crowd. It has made me very conscious of the need to talk to people, however shy you might be feeling yourself. I do think that we all have a responsibility to make people feel welcome.

    • The change of schools must have been hard. I had three different ones, but the last one was perfect for me. I realised a long time ago that people are quite shy so I do tend to chat a lot to new people. It makes me very happy that you make the effort.

  6. My daughter would never have taken that jersey off when she was a little girl, it’s divine! You ARE clever ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. We had a new lady at Crafty Coffee today and she sat between me and another of the regulars and we both talked to her. I think she felt welcome.

  8. Gosh – it looks like they were dismantling that alpaca!!
    When I arrange crafting events, I always make an effort to say hello as people arrive, talk them through what’s going on and introduce them to at least one other person. I was debilitatingly shy as a child, but over the years I have forced myself to be sociable (even though there are times I just want to crawl into a hole!). These days, I just get on and do it… it seems silly to organise an event, invite people to come, and then not have the set-up to get them involved and made to feel welcome.

    • Exactly! It’s so annoying when you know you could have made a better fist of things. And I was sad that I couldn’t see how the yarnbombing would happen given the rate of knitting. But then maybe there was a secret stash of finished scarves. I think they may well have dismantled the alpaca

  9. I love the pink sweater. The heart came out really well. I am working on my welted cowl this weekend. Hoping to finish soon as the recipient will be here in the middle of June.

  10. I really enjoyed this post (and that pink sweater is gorgeous!)

    I’ve been thinking about what you say about joining in groups where many people know each other a lot because of my impending move to the UK. I’m a bit nervous — and as you say, I have nothing like the obstacles or baggage of refugees. I find the idea of going to a group where I know no one very scary — though I’ll have to get over that — then the idea of joining in on top of that is a lot! But it helps when you have something in common — like knitting. I’ve found the comments on this post so interesting too — I hadn’t thought about the fact that coming in a pair or couple makes it harder. I’m much more likely to try something new if I have one familiar person with me — but I see the commenters’ point!

    Glad you had a nice day out!!

    • I am sure you are going to make friends just fine, as you say having a common interest will help. I am pleased that everyone has joined in this debate and is making us all think a bit. As it happens i was in another group today, I think I have been7 times now. When we weren’t listening to the talk, I was chatting to an older lady with whom it turned out I had a lot in common. She had been a teacher at a school I had attended before she taught there, her son had been to the same college but after I had been, studying the same course and blow me down her grandaughter was at the same college my son had been at studying the same thing as him and staying in the same accomodation block.Helps being a chatter box I guess.

      • Isn’t it funny how small a world it can be? A few years ago, I was in New Zealand visiting my partner’s family, and we took a cooking class. It turned out the chef who ran the school – her brother lived a few blocks away from where we lived at the time in Baltimore, Maryland. Just goes to show that you can go very far, and still find things and even people in common! And the other good thing about putting yourself out there is — even if you yourself aren’t the best at striking up conversations, maybe the person sitting next to you will be!!! I have really been enjoying your virtual knit and natter series — but this has been a particularly excellent week!

    • Which part of the UK are you moving to Katherine? Maybe we could meet up with Cathy and have a Knit and Natter!

    • Let’s hold that thought – i predict a threesome on a Knit and Natter Friday – keep us posted!

      • Do you know I have never been to Lancaster, its just the other side of the Pennines. A real life knit and natter would be marvellous. Katherine thank you for saying that you have enjoyed the knit and natter. It means a lot to me.

  11. The sweater is awesome, Miss F will wear it out! Those alpacas might be a little chilly for a bit, but they seemed pretty docile. Being in a new group is so hard! I spent years being in charge, and it was much easier to welcome, connect and help people meet, than just being a regular guest or participant. Now, I find myself hanging back and not very brave about meeting people. How weird is that? Good for you Cathy, for jumping in a bit. I know that getting comfortable with a new group takes time, but it is so awkward at first!

    • I was a bit perturbed that the alpacas had to be tethered to be shorn, but they are very big. Its hard joining an established group, much easier when everyone is new and you are going to get together over a few weeks. Harder still if you are by nature shy, which I used to be.

      • I hear you! Don’t feel too sorry for the alpacas, they can be quite nasty if they don’t get their way, spitting and biting….๐Ÿ˜ฎ who would suspect something so soft could be so cranky!

  12. Sheep are nice but naked alpacas are the best! Actually, the real best is that pink sweater–I love the ruffle at the bottom!

  13. claire93 said:

    you’re going to get a big hug from Little Miss F for that pink sweater – it’s gorgeous!
    As for the fitting into new groups . . . I find it gets easier with age because I care less what people will think of me lol. Having an army husband, we moved around quite a bit and frequently had to settle into new home/make new friends, so it’s something I’ve had lots of practice at. Can’t say I enjoy it though, as I’m quite happy with my own company.

    • I joined the U3A in September and two groups through this which I attend on my own, and have always found a welcome. It was just sitting in this village hall that although I was joining in, I felt awkward. How someone with poor English could integrate just suddenly seem very hard if not impossible.

  14. I love the pink sweater! It is adorable:)

  15. It’s one of the best things with belonging to my local spinning guild that we regularly get times to knit and natter (or spin and natter) together …. but we all know that we don’t get an awful lot done. And I never take anything complicated to work on at the guild because I know I will be undoing it when I get home! Still a great pleasure. A pity this Yarnbombing event didn’t really take off because it’s such a lovely idea.

    • It was a lovely idea but probably needed more kntiing time before the event. On the other hand there may have been lots of scraves hidden away in boxes for the yarnbombing. It was nice to be with people who like doing what I like doing.

  16. I usually put my knitting away in the Spring/Summer because it gets too hot here to wrestle with the large, usually chunky projects I favour but if I translate ‘Knit and Natter’ as ‘Crochet and Chatter’, I’ll be here. Love the little pink jumper – so girly with the little frill.
    I used to live in a village in West Sussex which was very ‘cliquey’ and heaven help you if you fell into the wrong clique for then the others would have nothing to do with you. I used to do ‘drive by’ drop offs when I took my daughters to school so that I didn’t have to get embroiled in the gossip and scandal. There were certain women who only ever spoke to me when it was time for them to start organising the school fair and they wanted my help but, when I pointed this out to them on one occasion, seemed astonished.

  17. I’m between knitting projects at the moment but must find something soon as my fingers are beginning to twitch in the evenings! Maybe I shall follow your example and knit something tiny.
    What a pity the yarnbombing didn’t quite take off. Maybe next time. I like Wild Daffodil’s advice and will try to follow it. I find it difficult to include newcomers who come in pairs as they tend to stick together too much instead of joining in as you have to do if you’re alone.

    • I know what you mean about pairs, Anne. One of the reasons I like to travel on my own – I find i make more meaningful contacts that way. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Friends in pairs tend to just want to be with each other. I have noticed at U3A the married couples find seats together and sit and chat to each other, rarely bothering the people on either side.

  18. Lovely thought provoking post. I’m left wondering if you were made to feel welcome and if you got a lot of nattering done. Once I went to a party where I only knew the host. A woman came up to me and started chatting and said her Mum had told her to always go up to the person in a group who is on their own and start chatting to them to make them feel welcome. I’ve carried that practice on – and have had some wonderful encounters!
    That pink jumper is a triumph. Congratulations on the impending arrival. That cardi pattern looks like a nice one to knit.

    • I joined in the chatter because I am that sort of person.But no-one appeared to have a handle on the whole day or said hi when I walked in this is what you do, I had to ask. Then it became quite apparent that the vast majority were well known to each other, and were interested in each other.

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