Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for February, 2018

February Books, 2018.

I have had a lot of reading time this month and read all these ones I had from the library.

David Hanson- Children of the Mill- this book was written to accompany the TV programme The Mill based on the true stories of the children who worked in The Quarry Bank Mill at Styall. The book compares the real stories to the ones that were changed for the purposes of a good drama. It was a fascinating yet easy book to read. I really enjoyed it.

David Ebershoff- The 19th Wife- A story of two 19th wives. Ann Eliza Young trapped in an unhappy polygamous marriage to the Prophet Brigham Young, escapes and helps end the practice of polygamy within the Mormon religion. The second modern 19th wife is accused of the muder of her husband, they are part of a breakaway religion from the Mormons known as the Firsts. Her son sets about finding the truth. This was a jolly good read. Now I read this in quite a short space of time over several afternoons.  There are a lot of characters each telling their bit of two stories, and the two parts are interlinked throughout. So choose a time when you can settle down to just reading. Perfect holiday reading. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I agree with one of the reviews on the back “A big book, in every sense of the word…it does that thing, all good novels do: it entertains us”. Los Angles Times.

Toni Morrison- God Help the Child- how do you prepare a child for life’s slings and arrows? How can an adult overcome emotional abuse experienced as a child? How can children cope with bereavement? How do children survive sexual and physical abuse? What happens to the adults? God Help the Child indeed. Well written, thought provoking, distressing in places. Not for those in want of a fluffy read.

Ian McEwan- The Comfort of Strangers- or adults should think stranger danger too. Set in Venice, probably we are never told, a couple meet a local couple and are befriended. Enough said. There is such a feel of menace in this book, it draws you in and you race to the end. Absolotuely not for the faint hearted.

Kate Hamer- The Girl in the Red Coat- now did someone recommend this to me or did I hear about it on the radio, I don’t know. But by golly it grips you. Every parents nightmare, child disappears at a story telling festival. A very, very good thriller. Oh perfect holiday  reading , you are gripped. I read pretty much non stop to find out what happens. Go on, treat yourself to a good read, you know you want to….

Joanna Trollope-Second Honeymoon- as always a plot in step with our times. Edie is distraught when her youngest child, aged 22 moves out of the family home. She lacks purpose and mourns the empty nest. Russell her husband hopes they will return to the feeling of newly weds. Edie auditons for a part in Ibsen’s Ghost, and much to her surprise is offered a role. One of her co stars,  fresh out of drama school, becomes their lodger. Then her children’s lives fall apart and one by one they all return home. But having six adults under one roof does not equal happiness and a return to how life used to be. In the course of the novel everything is resolved through new jobs, new relationships, babies and greater understanding of what it means to be independent. Not a bad depiction of empty nest syndrome, and how life just goes its messy way on.

And for March I have these from the library

Now in case you think you have never heard of the book called Paul Clifford, I bet anything you have heard the opening line. What do you think it might be… honest you know it. I believe I may not actually get to the end of this one, I gather I will be in for some purple prose.

Any got any books they read this month to recommend?

 

February Scavenger Photo Hunt

Kate holds a monthly photo hunt, and I thought I might have a go at joining in.

White

Has to be snowdrops, these in the village of Scagglethorpe and these in York

Metal

White railings on the city wall at York

Camouflage

Fred the blackbird with white feathers in the snow!

Begins with J

 

My son Mr J ( this taken last year)

Bud

Daffodils in the garden and a single crocus

which is nearly not a bud.

My own choice

Stained glass window in The Holy Trinity church, Micklegate York.

I hope you liked these pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them. Do visit the other people’s pictures in the link up, won’t you.

Knit and Natter Friday!

I heard about an interesting project into loneliness this week. It is a survey that can be done online, link here  , to look into the causes, effects and ideas to help prevent and stop people from being lonely. Generally speaking I am perfectly content with my own company, my family , friends, the blogging community and acquaintances. I have lots of activities and hobbies I enjoy , but there have been times when I have been lonely. When we lived away from family and I was new to the area and there were  problems to be sorted, then I felt lonely, even if I was a just a phone call away from someone to talk too. Somehow I muddled through those days. So I felt I had something to contribute to this project. The survey was quite straight forward but did take about half an hour to complete. The more people who participate, the better the research will be.

Another wonderful scheme I heard of this week concerns, occupational therapy, craft work, combat stress and sawdust hearts to be decorated. I had hoped the postman would deliver me one in time for this post, but that was not to be. It is a project to raise funds to help combat stress in veterans AND to commemorate the end of the WW1. The wounded soldiers from WW1 and other wars were encouraged to use crafts to deal with what we know now as post traumatic stress disorder. One of the crafts for soldiers included decorating hearts  with pins and then they would send it to a loved one, wife, Mum, sister, sweetheart. Untangled Threads have made calico sawdust stuffed hearts for every day of WW1, and now they need help to decorate them by the end of July. The hearts will then tour the country before finally being returned to their makers. There will be a brochure to accompany the tour and the makers names will be included. The hearts cost £20 to buy and as I said come as a ready-made heart ready to be decorated in any way you like, and with some pins to start you off.  In memory of my relatives who fought and died in this war I decided to take part.

I had a sudden thought -I have seen one of those. And by golly on the front cover of a craft book from the 1980s I have a picture for you.

If you look on the link people have done all sorts already, wet felting, embroidery, pins and sequins in some quite wonderful designs. Now I am hoping I can rise to this challenge.

Meantime there has been a small amount of knitting here on the navy cardigan, and a lot of crocheting. I managed to get four motifs from the leftover weekend bag and they make a smallish lap blanket. Just need to finish this off now.

Bit late posting today, there are reasons including a much-needed trip to the tip with some ivy and a visit to the swimming pool.

Not much going on this weekend which is just a well with a wind from Siberia on its way to end the winter with. Hot chocolate, a log fire and some knitting I think for me. And what for you? A bit of hygge or out and about?

Be Happy!

Cathyx

 

Knit and Natter Friday.

Good Morning everyone. If this is your first visit or your umpteenth you are most welcome, and please join in with the natter in the comments. The Natter is the best bit.

Do you follow the Olympics, they are not my bag at all, but congratulations to all medalists, including the UKs one and only!

Thank you everyone for your really helpful comments yesterday. I have decided to make four motifs and then crochet them together, but first I will make one and weigh it and check there is enough yarn, thus avoiding yarn chicken.

So I went yarn shopping at the weekend and bought some yarn .

I am going to make the pattern with the mock pcokets, in navy. I shall go to town with the buttons. I think it meets the request from my son for Baby J!

Nice simple pattern which gives a lovely texture. I am enjoying making this, despite the colour.

So what is everyone up to at the weekend? Today I am off to the family history group, and if memory serves me correctly the snowdrops in the village we go too are rather spectacular. Hope that Mr E will be up for an outing in the next couple of weeks to see some snowdrops.

I heard on the news today that cleaning sprays are bad for you! Hurrah, does that mean no more cleaning? No?

Next questions, should I order the Eastern Jewels blanket kit which seems to be back in stock? Do I need another project?And should I enroll on a willow weaving day workshop? Decisions, decisions.

Are you thinking about new projects, maybe something for Easter? What are your plans for the weekend?

Love to hear from you.

Be Happy,

Cathyx

 

Scrap Happy February

I had a lot and I mean a lot of leftover chunky yarn from the Attic 24 crochet bag. This much..

Now one good thing about volunteering in the library is I get to spot lots of books, including crochet books , so this one came home with me.

I rather liked the look of the crochet cushion on the book cover. It is made using Aran on a 4.5mm hook, so I reckoned a 5mm and chunky yarn would be just fine.

Well it is and it isn’t. The result is very bulky and I don’t think will make a very nice cushion. I am thinking maybe a blanket with the motif I have made at the centre.

The yellow in the top right of the picture is to square the circle. Hoping it is going to work.

The instructions are quite good, but I would have liked more pictures of where I am supposed to be going with the hook. The second round confused me for a long time as did this squaring the corner bit. I think a lot of my problem is inexperience, followed by over thinking and maybe miss reading.

I am very tempted now to do lots of granny rounds but not certain how far the yarn will go. Or maybe I should do two smaller motifs to go either side, and then some granny rounds, the practise would be good. Thoughts anyone please?

Joining with Kate for ScrapHappy, do check out the others scrap happiness!

Susan Pinner the author of the book blogs here at Suz Place

Out and About.

I had a rather good walk last weekend. I did it backwards. Amazing how different it all looks when you come across a familiar landscape from another angle.

Bit of felling going on here for a fire break I reckon.

Sunlight catching the conifers. So many different greens when I stopped to look properly.

I will never tire of looking at the sky through tree branches. Something rather majestic  I think. The feeling of ” bigger than me”.

And finally a view over the valley to the moors beyond the forest, and if you kept going you would reach the sea at Whitby.

The sun is shining again today, where shall I go?

 

Yarn Along!

So glad Yarn Along is back.

I am really enjoying The 19th Wife. I will do a review at the end of the month. Having finished the dragon I am now knitting some small squares to make a cushion. I am trying different patterns so it a kind of a sampler cushion, and using cotton yarn which is not my favourite but maybe I will get used to it.

To see what others are knitting and reading have a look at Small Things.

Big day tomorrow with Mr E’s Op, hopefully I will have good news for my next Knit and Natter. Take care,xx

Warm

Wild Daffodil has a monthly photo meet up. Today’s word is Warm. Now Warm is quite hard to depict. It’s not

Hot and it  is certainly not

this. So how about this?

Does that look warm? Hope so!

It’s all about the Dragon!

So her she is in all her final glory. Pattern is by King Cole number 9051. Yarn is King Cole Tinsel and Stylecraft DK Colour Grape.

Her final length is 25 inches and wing span tip to tip is 26 inches.

And as for her name, well she quite likes the sound of Belinda , what do you reckon? I expect Little Miss F being a Princess with attitude will have quite her own views on the matter of names.

She isn’t waiting for a Prince to rescue her!

Linking with Ginny for Ginx Woolly Linz party. Do have a look over there.

Now I believe I have an Attic 24 weekend bag to finish crocheting.

PS Does anyone watch Death in Paradise, I can’t help feeling that the dragon’s face looks just like Harry the lizard.

 

 

Knit and Natter Friday!

Good Morning Everyone. February has arrived and with it the promise of Spring to come.

At least up here in the Northern Hemisphere. The snowdrops are popping up on almost a daily basis. Just lovely.

My lion is looking resplendent behind the tubs of primulas.

It’s been wonderful to read the posts from those who took part in the RSPB Garden Bird Count. I meant to include  a picture in my post of the rather ingenious feeder Mr E made from a plastic bottle.

The bottom part  he made on the 3D printer. Just as brillaint is the funnel he made from another plastic bottle with another 3D printed connector to the feeder. Clever chap all told.

He’s poorly still I am afraid with what turns out to be the late-term effects of the cancer treatment he received nine years ago. Long story short, he is due an operation next week to see what can be done to help improve things. Hoping it doesn’t get canceled at the last minute. We only found out the date 6 days ago , so trying to get our heads round it all. Meantime we soldier on.

I have enjoyed reading some posts recently about people who signed up to various craft/crochet boxes. Once a quarter or once a month through the post comes a box of goodies, a little project or two, a tea bag, something tasty to eat, maybe a picture. Oh they look nice thinks I , but I don’t need any more projects, but I can do the rest my self. So I found a nice picture postcard in the newsagents and some hyacinths in Morrisons and an ornament of Mums, so all I need is a mug of Earl Grey , a tasty biscuit and some small project and I am away.

Thanks for all the help with the crochet bag last week. I honestly don’t know where I would be without you. I have stitched in all the loose ends and although the joins are less noticeable I think I shall go with the Snails idea and crochet extra flowers to cover up the seam that isn’t.

Meantime the dragon progresses.

Left wing done. Right wing awaits construction, then back feet and claws front and back. Maybe I will get him/her finished this weekend. Stand by your beds for the big Tahdah moment.

I have been swimming three times in January and have so completed the 17 swims for 2017, just four weeks late. I am still working on 14, but I resolved the 15 books read from the heap by the bed. If you recall I had faltered after 12. I had a long hard look at the ones that remained and bagged them up for the charity shop. Result, no more heap by the bed. I know some brave souls are doing 18 for 2018, how are you getting on? No goals for me this year and that is good, no pressure!

Quiet weekend for once coming up. May get out in the garden. I had an hour outside on Wednesday and chopped down more ivy. The sun was shining but the wind was positively arctic so I gave up and came in.

This morning I am off to the hairdressers, I can’t see out from under my fringe, high time for a trim, and then who knows…..

What are your plans this weekend, do tell please.

I love your comments, please do join in with the natter love to hear from you all.

Have a good day, and Be Happy,

Cathyx

 

 

 

 

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