Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for October, 2017

One a week Photo Challenge- Shop


All pictures taken yesterday ,Monday 30 October

What more do I need, butchers to the left, greengrocers to the right, and a yarn shop from where my Stylecraft yarn for the blanket I am crocheting comes from. Best button shop in Ryedale, btw.

And behind me


Please leave a link to your Shop pictures in the comments below.

Next weeks prompt is WALK.

Happy Snapping!


The Gloves.

The last time I shared these gloves they looked like this. I used Sirdar country Style double knitting yarn, and pattern number 9445. I don’t think it’s in print anymore, but any pattern for plain gloves , or even mittens, or ready-made will do for what I am writing about next.

About 18 years ago I studied for my Part one Creative Embroidery City and Guilds award. One of our final projects was to create some wearable embroidery. I decided to try gloves. I did lots of research, visiting museums and even writing up my own history of gloves booklet.

The one thing that struck me was that gloves were highly decorated on the cuffs, but not so much on the main part of the glove itself.

I took further inspiration from a child’s book called Teeny Tiny and the Witch Woman. I don’t have the book any more, but I do have the picture that caught my attention.

See the way the branches look like fingers.

I was also very drawn to ivy clad trees.

So I decided to elongate the fingers and decorate my gloves with ivy.

I knitted the gloves, and this was the final result.

Back of the gloves

Palm of the gloves complete with gnarly bits.

Turns out that elongated fingers and bumps in the palms are wholly impractical and so the gloves sat in my drawers all these years. I always thought that one day I would use the ivy leaf pattern on a more practical pair of gloves. Working out the pattern was hard and deserved to be used.

So this Autumn I finally got round to doing just this.

Ivy leaves only on the front of the gloves, but still embroidered.

with chain stitch. The leaves are four ply yarn and the veins are stitched in a contrasting yarn.

Now on the vaguest of chances that anyone would like a pattern for an ivy leaf, could be useful on an autumn wreath, I set about turning my scribbled notes into something resembling a pattern. Not easy, and I am now very respectful of everyone who regularly turns out patterns, it’s jolly hard. The lovely Snail of Happiness made me very happy by having a go at knitting my ivy leaf. Thank you so much for this.

The pattern is below and I will put it up above on a new Page for all time! If you have a go please let me know, it would make my day!


Knitted Ivy Leaf

4ply yarn and 2 ¾ mm knitting needles. Stocking Stitch throughout. Tension not important.

Increase K stitches by K in front then in the back of the stitch, P front and then back in the same stitch to increase in the P rows

Make a small ball of green yarn for use on the first two rows.

With the small ball cast on three stitches.

With the rest of the yarn cast on three stitches, on the same needle (6 sts in all)

K- increase one stitch and knit across the first group- 4 sts

Keeping the two sections quite separate at this stage, K across the second group of three with the small ball , inc in last st, 4 sts

P inc one stitch at start of the row, P2tog at the end of the first group- 4 sts

P 2tog one stitch at the start of the second group, inc one stitch at the end- 4 sts

This has created two small points at the base of the leaf. You can now cut the yarn on the smaller ball as you are only going to use the larger ball.

K- inc one stitch, k 2, k2 tog ( 1 stitch from each group, thus joining the two points), k2, inc in last st- 9 sts

P- inc 1 st at each end- 11 sts

Stocking stitch 4 rows starting with a K row

Decrease rows are worked on knit rows, Slip one, Knit one then pass slip stitch over, P are slip one , purl one and pass slipped stitch over.

K- Dec1 st at each end- 9 sts

P- inc 1 st at each end- 11 sts

K- inc 1 st, K1, K2 tog, turn- 4 sts

P2 tog twice, turn

k2 tog and fasten off

With right side facing rejoin the yarn as follows

Make 1 stitch by picking up the loop before the first st and knit into the back of the loop.

K3, make 1 stitch by knitting into the loop before the next stitch- 5 stitches, turn and work on these 5 stitches

Starting with a P row, stocking stitch 4 rows

P- Dec 1 stitch at each end- 3 sts. Turn

Slip one stitch K ways, K2 tog, PSSO and fasten off

With right side facing rejoin to the last group of 4 sts by K2 tog, K1, inc in last st- 4 sts Turn

P2 tog twice. Turn

K2 tog and fasten off.

Darn in all the ends

Using a contrasting yarn chain stitch the leaf veins to each of the leaf’’s points using a

small chain stitch.

This leaf can be used to decorate gloves, mittens, hats, as a brooch or as part of knitted


Who would think it took so many instructions for one tiny leaf!

October Books

October has been a good month for book choices. So glad I go to the library with a list of a 109 authors to look for. Here’s what I have read.

Ian McEwan- Atonement- I groaned a little when I saw it had been shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2001. I really am going to have to get over my prejudice against these books which get on prize lists, just because I read a couple I didn’t like is a very poor reason to condemn the lot. Especially as I can’t even remember which books they were.

Moving on then to Atonement. I do so wish that the blurb on the back didn’t give away so much. The title Atonement suggests that a book is going to be about someone atoning for something. I spent the first half of the novel wanting to know what so the atoning bit started. Page 166 before you find out the what. Which is a great shame because the lead up is brilliant, and if you haven’t read the book be patient. A single day begins on P18 and ends on P187, the tension builds slowly through a hot summers day in a very well to do household in 1935, the servants struggle with cooking Roast Beef which no-one wants, children squabble and young love blooms.

It’s not often the various Parts in a novel are so completely different from one another. Part two is all about a group of soldiers in the second world war trudging through Belgium, or it might be France, my geography is hopeless, anyway they are making their way to Dunkirk in an ignoble retreat. Only us Brits could turn a disaster of military failing into the triumph of grit and determination by the ordinary man.

Part three, is different again, and deals with the aftermath of Dunkirk in London hospital. And by golly this is a powerful bit of writing.

Part four is set in the present day.

It’s a jolly good book and I recommend it, but relish the first part, and don’t be in a rush as I was to find out what exactly happened. It’s a masterful build up. Parts 2 and 3 are brilliant too and for these two parts I have decided that this books makes it into my top 100 books! I liked the ending too, as the author doesn’t dodge a final confrontation by killing off the protagonists. When authors do that I get very cross.

John Boyne- A History of Loneliness- Oh my this book got to me. Tears were streaming down my face at the end. Plot is quite easily summed up for you- Irish Catholic Priest. Going to quote from the front cover” Boyne writes with compelling anger about the abuses of power and the dangers of submission”, Helen Dunmore, Guardian. There is another part which brought tears to my eyes too, the description of the Priest’s sisters illness as she moves into a care home. I read this in a couple of sittings, a compelling read.

Both these books are making it onto my Top 100 books.

John Grisham- The Whistler- time for a bit of easy reading, another cracking good thriller, corrupt judge, casinos, golf courses and scheming!

Andrew Taylor- The Silent Boy- Historical crime novel, set in England during the French Revolution. Boy becomes mute after witnessing the death of his mother, taken to safety in England, but there are rival claims to be his guardian. The book is a good read but ended a bit abruptly, can’t help wondering if there is a missing page from this library book. The best bit for me was the description of life in 18th century England. The fancy manor houses don’t sound so fancy when the money runs out , the damp and vermin get in and the decor goes. It made me very grateful for running hot water and central heating.

Hilary Mantel- The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher- collection of short stories. My favourite was Harley Street, most appropriate for the time of year.

Susan Hill- The Mist in the Mirror. A ghost story! Quite good, the build up is better than the ending which was a bit of an anti climax. Monmouth is haunted by ghosts, when he returns to England. Who are they? Why do his new friends warn him against finding out about Conrad Vane, an explorer?

So that’s what I read this month. Have you had any good reads, or bad ones to avoid? Please leave a link to any book post in the comments.



Knit and Natter Friday.

Home again after a lovely visit in which I managed to see three sons, two daughter in-laws, one son’s partner, four grandchildren and two step-grandchildren, eat too much and do some walking. Bliss.

The babe, known as Baby J. More on him in a later post I think.( Or, we only got back yesterday and I am still to make the best selection of pictures..)

Anyway you are here for some yarny chatter, so let’s go.

Delighted to see Mr J’s cat made immediate use of the blanket I made her.

Happy in the conservatory, away from dog, children and noise.

Talking of crochet blankets, I sewed up the centre section of the blanket I am crocheting and dealt with the ends. So it now looks like this.

Now I was following a blanket pattern from the 200 Crochet Blocks book, but I have already rearranged things a bit. I am happy so far. Then I made the next block that was suggested to go right round the centre block.

But the colours are too similar to my mind, so I made a completely different one.

The yellowy colour is called buttermilk and is too yellow to my mind, so it was onto plan C

Which is this, Block one to go against the nine patch granny square blocks, the marigold which is in the centre to be repeated by the block called Target, and the yellowy one to go right round them What do you think?

Meantime I have knitted the back of the latest matinée jacket for Baby J

And I have started to trawl through my magazines looking at Christmas patterns for gifts and for my secret santa package. Don’t you love this time of year when the seasonal plans begin.

On a different note, a friend gave me a jar last year of something called Boxing Day Chutney, thought I would make some myself and wondered if anyone had made it, and if so do you have a favourite recipe please?

I know this is a bit short this week, my brain is still full of the days away, the laundry to be done and the food we need, and a few other errands beside.

I’ll be back later on for a natter, but please jump right in with your weekend plans and dreams.

Be Happy





One a week Photo Challenge- Paint

I’ve taken real liberties with this prompt. Nature’s Paint..

Virginia Creeper

Fruit and veggies

Pansies. All three taken in Helmsley  when we were avoiding the war weekend in Pickering. The creeper on a private house and the last two outside Thomas the Bakers newly opened deli, by golly they have some good cheese there.

Please leave a link to your Paint photos in the comments below.

Next weeks prompt is SHOP

C’mon we can all do SHOP, give us a go for just this one week.

Happy Snapping!

Ivy’s Butterfly

In the garden this week enjoying a bit of tidying up in the sunshine, I heard a buzzing coming from the garage wall. Imagine my delight when I saw not only bees but butterflies too.

I had no idea that ivy flowered or that it had its own quite distinctive and almost pleasant scent. In a week when there was a report of less flying insects it was rather nice to see this.

Have a great weekend.


One a Week Photo Challenge- Muddle

My sort of Muddle.

Please leave a link in the comments below to your Muddle.

Next weeks prompt is Paint.

Happy Snapping.

Scrap Happy- October

Time again to share the lovely things that can be made from scraps. I am using leftover balls of yarn to make a little book for Baby J. Can’t start too early with books to my mind.

Front cover , followed by some of the pages

I just had to add a chimney!

Not a cockerel Claire, but the sun!

Three more motifs to go, should be done by Knit and Natter Friday.

Meantime do check out Kate’s post for lots more scrappy projects. I particularly like Kate’s green block this time round.

Knit and Natter Friday!

The Snail of Happiness re- blogged a post about the Smoothie Innocent campaign of little hats for Age UK, whereby they donate 25p for every smoothie bought wearing a hand knitted wooly hat. Last year I made some hats you may recall and I wondered whether it would have been simpler and easier to just give the money, and I think the consensus was that it did raise money and raised awareness of Age UK. This year a further point was added to the debate,- what happens to the hats afterwards , do they go into landfill and does the acrylic content of the yarn add to pollution. You can read the Snail’s post here https://thesnailofhappiness.com/2017/10/09/not-so-innocent-little-hats/.

Sorry word press is not playing ball with the links this morning.

Now of course all of the above is true. In my innocence I thought people would keep the hats for dolls or send them back for use again next year. Maybe that’s just me..

This year the campaign to knit for them passed me by completely. However last Friday found me in York at the station in need of lunch. So I went to WH Smith and choose a sandwich( egg and cress, ‘cos I know someone will want to know which I choose), and thence to find a beverage. nestling amongst extortionate bottled water and so-called fruit drinks were half a dozen Innocent Smoothies wearing little wooly hats. THEY MADE ME SMILE. So I bought one, and enjoyed my ad hoc picnic, whilst chatting to a lady who was catching a train to Nottingham to stay with her son and to see a musical, before he drove her home on Sunday, and we wondered at a girl taking several selfies of herself on York station under a sign saying Welcome to York.

Back home it was still making me smile and not for one second did I consider putting my hat in the bin. I found a home for it on my window cill on top of this.

Round the back it still has on its label which tells you about the Age Concern campaign to promote the health of older people in Winter.

So not all hats go into land fill. Some hats become the star of a blog post. And this hat makes me smile every time I see it, and I am officially a OAP, even if I don’t really think of myself that way.

Of course this hat doesn’t help older, even older people than me keep warm, but this blanket I have started to crochet, may.

Is it just me or is there something in the October air that says ever so subtly, c  r  o  c  h e  t  a b  l  a  n  k  e  t.

Seems to happen every year.


Nana for a fourth time to this little chap

Hence forward to be known as Baby J with my middle son , his Daddy Mr J.

So proud! So happy! He was late, and I have been like the proverbial cat on hot bricks for a month ( my babes were all early, so I start the grand child anticipation early too).

We will be hitting the motorways later this month. Can’t wait for my first cuddle.

Precious little knitting this week. I now have a heap of bits

to be turned into something super cute.

Ok time for me to come down to earth and go supermarket shopping. Groan. Normally a Saturday job, but this weekend it’s the Pickering war weekend, at which our little town gets turned into a theme park for 60,000 people. We shall be heading for the hills, metaphor for out for the day away from the hoards who dress up in uniforms, sport medals to which they are not entitled, but the worst are the women who wear dead things round their necks.

So, what is everyone else up to craft wise this weekend? Where do you stand on the Innocent Smoothie hats, or even on the tourist plagues that spoil the very thing they come to enjoy?

Have a great weekend, whatever you do, And Be Happy. I know I am..


One a week photo challenge-Regal

Wild Daffodil helped me choose the subject for the prompt this week as I didn’t have a clue. So here he is

My lovely lion.

Next week’s prompt is Muddle, virtually any room in the house would do for this!

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

Happy Snapping!

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