Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Knit and Natter Friday.

Good Morning. The Repair Cafe last Saturday was well attended again . Lots more volunteers on hand to help with the repairs and once again a wide variety of broken things saved from land fill. Two sewing machines and a overlocker, several lamps, a picture frame, a copper watering can, a bike, tablets, secateurs, an eider-down in need of a new back, a fabric shopping bag, a couple of radios, but you will note no darning yet for yours truly. Not to fret I did my stint on the welcome table and the teas, and crocheted a few more blanket squares and chatted.

Mr E at work, picture by June Emerson

People are asked to wait while their items are looked at so as to be on hand to see what is done and maybe learn some DIY skills. So they come and sit at the tea-table and munch sausage rolls ( Home-made)  or cake ( also home-made), and if there is a crochet lady sitting there available for a chat, out comes a life story, or something that is on their mind and needs talking through. And so I have come to think it’s not just things that get fixed at the Repair Cafe, sometimes ,maybe a little bit of a person is too.

What an interesting chat we had last week on providing the best that can be afforded materials for children to use and experiment with. In the course of which I was suddenly reminded of a toy piano and a toy typewriter I was given as a child. The piano was hopeless, but I do recall being able to sort of type, I think it had a dial for letters rather than a keyboard. It may explain why I don’t play the piano but I can sort of type! I loved the stories that were mentioned in our natter of toy sewing machines which didn’t sew and how people use real sewing machines with children under supervision and they turn out all sorts.

My best friend Jane, her grandmother taught us both embroidery and she gave us real embroidery floss and linen fabric, and now we both embroider. I  still have the floss she gave us, which we wrapped around bits of card to keep safe. Love to hear your stories of inspirational adults.

Moving on, I was surprised no-one could guess what I was knitting last week, maybe it was the colours which confused? But here it is all finished.

Now who do you think it might be for? And what might this be on the needles?

This one is for a very talented lady who has been a good girl this year. Her knitting is superb, so what could a Secret Santa do, but decide to go for some fun gifts, hoping she likes them. I plan to do some gloves to keep her warm, she does get chilly apparently, the yarn arrived yesterday, so I need to get this done at the weekend, ready for the bigger items I want to make.

Meantime I have bought this coin purse from The Sewing Nook. I think this will appeal to my step grand-daughter Ms J a lot. She is currently saving for driving lessons.  A perfect way to gift a contribution to the fund. I can’t believe that the little three-year old who entered our lives will be 17 next year. It doesn’t seem two minutes since she was Band Master in our sitting room , ordering us all to march whilst playing imaginary trumpets.

It’s the skull that drew me.

Last week Bekki at Dartmoor Yarns posted some crochet hook bags with dachshunds. I had to have one, as I too have been a good girl this year.

Crochet hooks old home.

Crochet hooks new home, I mean it is so cute.

So here is all my knitting and crochet paraphernalia in one picture.

That lovely big project bag which came from the Blenheim Palace craft show many moons ago, the knitting needle bag , a Christmas present a couple of years ago from my son Mr T, and the lovely needle case , a unbirthday present from Claire. I am so Happy.

Bekki bless her cotton socks also included her lovely

Now which should I knit first , this one do you think

Now who might that be for?

Meantime there has been crochet. I don’t how to thank you all so much for the help you have given me with this. Here’s where I am now

Nearly ready to join the next round and start the last one. You were all so right about the grey block, it has gone.

Plan C

Orange with a grey border and mustard and grey?

Now I think I am more or less happy, but should I make the centre grey too or stick with the buttermilk centre?

As it happens I have virtually run out of the grey and I have bought two more but they are a different dye lot to the first, so I might have to re-do this block again anyway. And maybe the orange isn’t right either. Oh decisions, decisions , please help folks….

Yikes is all I can say.

Right this morning’s expedition is to a Family History meeting and a talk about finding WW1 soldiers. Gonna be good. Tomorrow is Scarborough and the theatre.

Sunday will be knitting and sleep! What are your plans for the weekend.

Catch up with you all at lunch time, for the natter, please don’t be shy, join in.

Be Happy,


Comments on: "Knit and Natter Friday." (35)

  1. I love that people have to watch and learn from the repairs at the Repair Cafe – it makes absolute sense to pass on skills learned. Nice to see your Stitching Santa gifts are coming on and hope you’re enjoying making something personal to your recipient.

  2. Now I’m the one needing to lay down from just reading about all your busyness. Lots of lovely gifts and thanks for the mentions. Glad you ordered the Dachshunds when you did, I completely sold out of the small bags at the weekend.

  3. Oh my you have been busy. I am no help on the squares, I love orange so I would say orange all the time!!! The York walk looks like it was lovely, wish we had interesting walks here in my area. But no, we have to travel further afield to find places of interest. Unless it’s flat farmland you enjoy. LOL!

    • There is farmland and famrland I think. Plain boring fields of a single crop is dull, but rolling hills for sheep are very pretty. I have kept both orange and grey which was my intention but added in cream to give it some life, more on Friday…

  4. Love hearing how the Repair Cafe is going – what a wonderful thing you and Mr E are doing. I thought about the blanket, but feel as flummoxed as you – although The Contented Crafter makes such good sense of it.
    So much thought going into your Secret Santa gifts – I’m glad to hear you’ve been a good girl too and deserved such a cool crochet hook bag. Great links, I had a lovely time looking at the other blogs.
    Yesterday I was looking after Big Bro (7) and a poorly Little Bro (5) – to cheer us all up we “Walked the Dinosaur” Boom, Boom Akalakalaka Boom!

    Today it’s crochet all the way – recharging my batteries. Have a nice knit and slumber day. ❤

    • Never heard this before, did you get down to your undies to walk like the girls in the video? I think I may have cracked the blanket thanks to the Contented Crafter. I shall think twice before I come out of my comfort zone again with colours.

      • Ha!Ha! NO! the kids loved it though – I’ll try them with ‘Walk like an Egyptian’ next.
        Colour is so important isn’t it – at least you had a go.

  5. I am totally intrigued by the Repair Cafe! It makes so much sense and gives such a positive sense of community and mutual support–I want one here! And all your craft projects are coming long so well–I love the joy you convey when you write about all of your undertaking–it’s contagious! I plan to spend the weekend dressing loom for more kitchen towels, watching college football, and doing some hand sewing!

    • I think you have a first rate weekend lined up there. The repair cafe idea is really good, I mean what’s not to like, things are fixed for free by knowledgable skilled volunteers, the volunteers get to use skills and meet people, there is less stuff chucked away. I think I am very lucky to be involved.
      I just love to knit and crochet and make stuff, it’s like breathing to me, so glad you like my posts.

  6. It’s so good to hear how well the repair cafe is going and that the men are really getting involved!
    I’m really liking how your blanket is coming along. The way you are combining the colours looks lovely. Just the right amount of grey!

    • Thanks Catherine. The cafe raised £55 in donations for repairs and £22 for cups of tea and food. All funds go the environment group for more projects, such as Give and Take days and apple juicing days.
      This blanket has become a blogging community blanket, couldn’t have done it without input from everyone.

  7. Murtagh's Meadow said:

    Wow, all that fabilous creativity. So glad the repair cafe is going well. Such a great idea.

  8. The Repair Cafe is going to turn into a community institution, you’ll be able write a book about the lives you touch serving cake and sorting registrations, I am sure of it. People need their hearts repaired nearly as much as their stuff. A wonderful thing happening there!
    I think we have the same knitting needles…they look just like mine, and even the font on the numbers is the same, or maybe all knitting needles look like that! 😄
    Love the stocking for Baby J, he will treasure it. I think you are on the right track with the blanket, I was amazed by the contented crafter’s insight. I would never have thought of that, but it makes perfect sense!
    I am playing the piano all weekend at the fall workshop for The Black Hills Suzuki School. It has been a lot of new music, hope I don’t really mess up!

    • I think your workshop will be great, but the best of luck anyway.
      The cafe was much better with more repairers, quicker for people coming along and less pressured for the repairers. One lady who needed to talk at the teatable, her one and only grand child had been in hospital for the last week aged five months with some infection, she was home just the day before, and she was in need of support having given her all to her daughter.
      I made a similar stocking for Master T and was thrilled a coule of years ago to see it had become his sister Little Miss F’s stocking.
      The contented crafter was spot on, I had chosen the colours because they toned, with the cream for contrast, and her explanation of the effect of that really helped. I think I have worked out Plan E now.

  9. That is so cool that you fix more than just objects! I love the daschund crochet needle holder!!!

  10. I do like the repair cafe updates – keep them coming please! It’s interesting reading what people bring to be mended.

    • The next one is in January! The biggest surprise was two sewing machines and an overlocker. One of the sewing machines was ancient, an old Singer electric which had been kept in a cupboard under the stairs and had totally seized up. It has been WD40d and is coming back in January.

  11. thoughts36 said:

    I had one of those typewriters too. Can’t remember the make now possibly might have been tri-ang. With the dial (tsk) and a metal plate with just pictures of a keyboard on. I’d longed for a proper toy typewriter with keys that worked, in it’s own case. I remember rushing down to see if Santa had brought my yearned for pressie to discover the dial thing, I was sooo disappointed. I always wanted to learn to knit too as a child but there was absolutely no one in our family who could knit. That’s why I love following your blog, I sit in awe of such creativity that I could only ever dream of doing

    I’m a bit rubbish where practical skills are involved but my husband is another ‘fixer’. Whenever anything breaks at my daughters house my grandson always says Grandad will fix it – he’s Mr Fixit, aww bless.

    Have a lovely time in Scarborough – hope the sun shines for you.

    • Oh you must have been so disappointed to ask for a typewriter and be given the toy. Which was actually harder to use than the real thing.
      My Mum had a go at teaching me to knit but it was really at school that I learned. We were launched straight into knitting a jumper. My Mum got me 4ply wool. What was she thinking of . My friends all had double knitting wool. They finished theirs, I never did. But I did learn to knit. I still don’t like cabling though. It’s not hard, honest.
      Good for Grandad’s fixing skills. Children always know who to go for.
      Looking forward to the theatre tomorrow, and I am going again next week.

  12. So pleased the Repair Cafe is going well – and I love that you are doing some people mending too!

  13. I love reading about what people bring in to the Repair Café. I was telling my other half, that we could do with something like that in our village. It would keep him happy to be repairing other people’s stuff.

    • Claire it would be wonderful to do that. Pam the Tea said she thought it was turning into playgroup for men, with the wives dropping them off and popping back to “see if they were alright”. Has to be said the male repairers do like a good natter.

  14. Here I am – having a dreadful time of it – I’ve a blood clot in my leg so desperate not to be hospitalised with it I’m doing everything I’m told to do by my homeopath and other assorted alternative health practitioners ….. while house bound I’ve got my Secret Santa sorted 🙂 (See my halo) partly because I made and acquired little things during the year and stashed them away and it turns out many of them might just suit her. So today I wrapped and packaged and now have just the card and a nice note to compile. If the worst happens the SS is ready to go!

    I really like the centre square of your blanket. I like the buttermilk on the white background much more than when you team it with the orange – I think the orange is my least favourite colour here. Do you see how the colours become brighter when paired with the white, but when placed together they tend to become dull and heavy? It’s because they are all the same tone weight – which means there’s no light and shade to lift and move the eye across the pattern. Having lighter colours beside deeper shades makes it more interesting for our eyes. The orange, green and mustard are your same tone colours. Change any one of those up with a lighter brighter version of the same colour and magic will happen – or just insert a row of white between those colours and see what happens….. Or you could just choose your favourite colour and make the final squares and edge it all up in that same colour. Oh dear, I don’t think I’ve been any help at all really………. Good luck! Oh and good job at the cafe today too – I think an ear that listens is every bit as important as a hand that fixes! Maybe that is really your role at the cafe!!

    • So sorry to hear of your health problems. I am sure if you do exactly what you were told to do you will be fine. Your advice on the colours is so right, and I see just what you mean. The colours are all rather muted apart from the cream. On to plan D I think. Thank you so much for your thoughts.

  15. I have taken the day off today with a view to doing something creative, but Mr Snail has toothache and so I think I’ll have to go with him to the dentist (he’s terrified of dentists). I think the problem tooth is one that the dentist offered to sort out a few months ago before it started to cause pain and Mr S refused. Now we have a new dentist who Mr S doesn’t know or trust and so he’s doubly stressed about the whole experience. I’m trying to be sympathetic, I really am.
    I’m still pondering the secret Santa gifts. I have a work basket made and I have various ideas, but I’m dithering and there’s something that I think I’m going to have to order over the internet as I’m pretty sure I can’t get it locally.
    On the creativity front, it’s pretty much all Sophie at the moment.

    • Poor Mr Snail, sometimes these chaps are their own worst enemies. Mr E needs to go to the dentist too, but he needs to find one first. Bit of progress last night, he asked me to find him a list, so I did. He is supposed to ring them while I am out, bet he doesn’t. Anyway hope it all is sorted out for Mr S. They treat their cars a lot better than their mouths I reckon.
      I really like your Sophie, it looks both intricate and pretty.
      Yes Secret Santa gifts are fun to do, but not easy. I don’t like to just send random things, but to think carefully. I think the gloves I plan on making are a safe bet. Chocolate is a good stand by, and I want to spend the bulk of my £10 on some top notch wool.

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