Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for August, 2018

Knit and Natter Friday.

It’s been a nice week. The sun has shone and late Summer is here. On Monday Mr E went to a car boot sale, and whilst he trawled the stalls for cheap bargains (none ), I had a walk round the village. Then we went onto a plant fair at Newburgh Priory

Turns out I had a lot of plants that were on sale already, so I was not tempted to buy. We had coffee and cake , homemade lemon cake,  super delicious, and then a walk round the gardens.

There were some quite lovely views across the fields.

Yesterday we went to the moors for a heather hunt. Too late in the season as the heather was well past its prime. But we were rewarded with a steam train at Grosmont on our way home.

Knitting has gone well this week. I have two finishes. A cardigan for Little Miss F, which I am sure is too small.

I think she will like the buttons.

And Morgana, who is turning out to be a fairy with attitude. I knew it.

She thinks she should feature in every post I do from now till the day she goes to live with Little Miss F.

She quite got the hump when she saw she didn’t make it onto the post about books, after all she said she started life in a book. She is trouble.

I have finished the 7th tile on my crochet blanket. If I can I will crochet tile 8 next week and will have the second row completed to show you.

The jumper for Master T is growing quickly. Not sure he is going to like the colours or the style, but I think a little sister might.

Front done and back nearly done. The colours are even brighter than in this picture.

The weekend looks promising for us with a traction engine rally. I do love traction engines.

Oh and I am off to the Quilt Show in Harrogate shortly. Just to look you understand. Absolutely no shopping. No , none, really, none, nothing, no not even thread, zilch.

So do you have any plans for the weekend? I so look forward to reading all the comments. I shall be back this afternoon, completely empty handed.

Have a great weekend,

Be Happy



August Books, 2018

Lots of good books this month, down to the weather and hanging around for various things.

Louis De Bernieres- The Dust that Falls from Dreams- first book of a trilogy. This one set in the wonderful years before the war, wonderful if you had money that is. An idyllic lifestyle is portrayed with gardens and picnics and security. Then comes WW1 , the young men go off to war and the women nurse and have their hearts broken. A lovely read, highly enjoyable. There are some interesting ideas to get your teeth into too, religion, the after life, psychology, death etc. My favourite bit was the war diary written by one of the young chaps. My Dad wrote a diary in WW2, and I know it was a different war, but the language, the phraseology, the mindless boredom was just like the diary in this book. There was a real ring of authenticity to it. My only negative thought was that the vast majority of characters were exceedingly nice. The exceptions were Rosie on the rebound ,married whilst still in grief, and her Mother who was truly obnoxious to Rosie’s husband, but apart from them everyone was lovely. I am especially fond of Rosie’s father with his golf balls and money-making schemes, he could so easily have tipped into being Mr Micawber. A perfect summer read for one who spent a long time this summer too drowsy in the heat for anything.

Kim Wilson-In the Garden with Jane Austin- fascinating book describing the role gardens play in Jane Austin’s books, the real gardens which inspired her, those you can visit and how to create your Austinesque garden. Lots of lovely illustrations, and a section on houses and gardens that featured in the various film and adaptations.

Joseph Conrad- The Secret Agent- Said to be the first book set in the political world of spies and terrorism. Verloc is the secret agent working for the Russian embassy, but as this is in 1906, the Russians are frightened of Communism and dissidents and malcontents who have come to live in England. Verloc keeps an eye on the group and feeds information to his embassy whilst also supplying information to the London police. The Embassy decides England does not take the threat seriously enough and orders Verloc to place a bomb. Verloc is not too happy about this, he leads a lazy life, with easy money.

Alongside this there is the story of his home life with wife, mother in law, and his brother-in-law who has learning difficulties. Verloc makes the mistake of believing his wife loves him for himself. She married him for the security for  her family and tries to be a model wife.

The language in the book I found quite hard going. It is a little archaic to begin with. Also Conrad is not English-born, and according to the Introduction in the book I read, his language reads like a translation, which adds to the foreignisms of the characters.

It was interesting to read the different political views of all the characters. Towards the end there are two versions of how life should be led. One ,the strong look after the weak, so life is like living in a hospital. Two, the strong are held back by the weak, so the weak should be destroyed.

There was a TV series maybe a couple of years ago. I think it was quite a good adaptation of the book, and I was glad I had seen it, as it helped me follow what was happening.

A struggle at times to read, but interesting. As I mention gaining an understanding of the politics of the day, and seeing the portrayal of the end of a marriage, gave me food for thought.

Camilla Way- the lies we told- I needed an easier read after the Secret Agent. Someone recommended this to me, was it you? Anyway it was a jolly good read.  Hannah, a girl who scares her Mum. Luke who is handsome, gorgeous and had every advantage from his parents and Clara his girlfriend who adores him. But lives built on lies are at risk. So many twists in this story. A corker of a thriller and I read it in almost one sitting, certainly in a 24 hour period.

Hari Kunzru- White Tears- You know you have a good book when you stop half way through to do some background research. In this case the research was into the early history of the blues in the 1920s. The novel revolves around a wealthy white chap and his geeky friend who mix an old blues song, make up a name for the singer and release it to the world.  The  plot is set mostly in New York and the lifestyle reminded me a lot of Donna Tarrt and Goldfinch, with the music obsession reminding me of High Fidelity by Nick Hornby, and then the action takes a road trip and I am thinking On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Then it takes a surreal turn and we have time slips and a ghost story. And none of this does justice to the whole. By golly it was a top-notch book. The best this year- so far.

Paula Hawkins- Into the Water- from the author of The Girl on the Train- this is her second novel. Very exciting, a bit predictable, or maybe I just read too much and spot the hints. Briefly a river with a past for drowning  troublesome women, or did they just commit suicide? A great read which I don’t want to spoil for you. Just read and enjoy.

Some great books this month, but I am always up for your recommendations please.

Knit and Natter Friday.

‘Fraid so, another Friday has arrived. Bank Holiday weekend for us in the UK. When I was at work that extra day at the weekend made such a difference. Now I hardly notice it, except to feel a little sad that I don’t have my library shift to do on Monday, which I love doing so much. Don’t get me wrong for the few hours I am there it is hard work, with computers, books, photocopying, tourist information and goodness knows what other queries to keep us busy, but gosh I do enjoy those hours.

Been a quiet week here. If you don’t have children the school holidays are quite empty in some ways. Normal life is in suspension. I have been using the cooler weather to catch up with things. Cleaning, sorting, tidying things, necessary and therapeutic in some ways. I assembled all the papers I need for this years self tax assessment, not that I trust myself to complete it, but everything is neatly filed for the accountant to complete it for me, only she is on holiday..

The theatre trip- The 39 Steps- was great. Very funny. The production goes on tour now to Wales.

Mr E had a good follow-up appointment yesterday, all is progressing fine. Such appointments exhaust us both.

I sorted out a book-case. I looked at the old paperbacks I had rescued from Dad’s home, over two years ago and decided it was silly to have them when it meant my own books were on the floor where I could never find them. I actually had to argue with myself that just because he had scribbled his initials on the front page of one with the words Newcastle 1976, didn’t mean it was worth keeping or that my sons would want the battered Alistair Maclean book just for the inscription.. Anyway those books have made it to a carrier bag and one day may get to a charity shop.  Meantime I have a wonderful shelf of knitting and craft books. Not all of the knitting and craft books I own, because I have two more shelves full, but at least there are no more on the floor.

But enough natter. Knitting is going well. The fairy, ah the fairy. Quite a going on getting her face right, it was the ears you see. One went beautifully, but the second ear was a disaster, nay a catastrophe. I decided to remove the ear and begin again. Only I had stitched it down so well I had to take scissors to it whilst being careful not to cut her face. Course I then had to make another ear.. All is well. Her hair though I say it myself is rather grand. All she needs is wings then she is done. She is a fairy with sass. Can’t wait to see show her, but she demands that she is not being photoed till she is ready.

I found myself on the way to the hospital yesterday noticing people. Look at that lady with the green hair and the black dress and leggings, she would make a great looking fairy, even down to her black and white trainers. And as for the lady with the red hat, pink dress and red shoes, she was crying out to be a model for a fairy.

Little Miss F’s short-sleeved cardy which looks far too small for her, just needs buttons.

Which means I have made a start on the this jumper for Master T.

The colours are even more vivid in real life.

When you have 17 projects in the pipeline all complete with yarn and pattern, how do you decide which to do first? I decided the best way was to start at the top of a bag of stash and just work down. Love to know how you decide which project to work on and when.

Right that is me done for today. I appear to have reserved no less than three books at the library, which are ready and waiting for collection, in addition to the three I  have already borrowed, so I may be reading rather a lot this weekend. As well as freezing plums. We have a good crop this year.

So, what is everyone up to this weekend? Do join in the natter. Last week was wonderful, we went off in so many directions, I loved it, especially as two of you found you lived in neighbouring states.

Have a wonderful weekend,

Be Happy,


Knit and Natter Friday.

The British Wool Festival I went to last week was small but utterly wonderful. Held in the Livestock Auction centre in York,  it was a good venue with lots of car parking spaces and some truly wonderful exhibitors.

Not only was there wool, there were  real live sheep too.

Aren’t they wonderful, and rabbits  too, Angora rabbits to be precise.

I had no idea how soft their fur was, no wonder Angora yarn is so gorgeous.

There were lots and lots of yarn stalls, but I kept clear of them as I did not want to be tempted to buy more yarn. However, there were so many other exhibitors to see I didn’t miss visiting yarn stalls, and plenty of opportunites to talk about wool.

The U3A, they had made twiddlemuffs and you got to choose your favourite and the one with most votes would receive a little prize. Look carefully at the middle row, right had side, the green one- it was a football pitch with a ball etc. So clever. Next door to them.

The Embroiders Guild, and some fabulous work in wool and mixed threads.

I loved this stall

Lone at Mad about Wool (It’s a facebook page , no website) .Lone told me she has three other chairs like this, only different, one was a seaside theme , but I forget the other two. She was knitting while we chatted, I have never seen anyone knit quite so fast.

Isn’t it wonderful?

In addition there was

rug making


spinning,a group called the Ludites and  another – the Vikings, demonstrating historical skills.

soaps, hand creams etc made from wool fat

the Rare Breeds  Association and the St Nicks recycling centre from York, and I am sure things I have forgotten to mention.  Whilst I was extremely good and didn’t buy any wool , there was a little retail therapy going on.

The pink fluff in the box is for a needlefelt fairy, the buttons for book marks and  some little pieces to embroider. All in all a very enjoyable outing.

Meantime my knitting is coming on again. The fairy is under construction

Next stage is a face and some hair, then the wings ,then all done.

The cardigan for Little Miss F is going well. I was shocked how once it cooled down and my brain was fully functional ( for me) the lacy pattern became a doddle. Now half way up the back. It may even be worthy of a picture to share next week.

The second tile on the second row of the Eastern Jewels blanket is done too. Ends still need tidying though.

And that is about it for the weekend.

We have a theatre trip tomorrow- The 39 Steps at Scarborough. I got the tickets as part of Mr E’s birthday, hope he enjoys it.

Other than that, not much happening for the rest of August. I have a place on the bookbinding workshop, but that’s not till September.

So, over to you, do tell us your plans for the weekend, how are you crafting in the heat/ cold/ just right temperatures?

One of my many paid jobs I had was to visit the elderly, stock question to ask was ” what do you know?” meaning tell us the news!

So what do you know? And thanks for dropping by,

Be happy,





Scrap Happy Day- August 2018

Once again linking with Kate  for Scrap Happy Day.

I think I have finally made my scrap happy hexie quilt long enough and wide enough to start thinking about borders.

King size bed, I had to close the curtains for the picture as the sun was shining onto it. Long enough?

Wide enough?

I reckon so. My plan is to make a border of blue hexies to go right round it.  I had to buy some fabric for this.

The lighter blue is a scrap as you can see, although there is a lot of it. The darker blue and yellow/ blue I bought. I have no idea how much I will need, so I bought them locally in Scarborough from rolls with a lot of fabric on them in case I need more. I really like the yellow/blue one, hope I have some left over…

The border will mostly be the darker blue with random highlights of the other two to give it a lift. The plan then is to back it onto a sheet. Winging this a bit. it’s a first for me, all hints, tips and comments really welcome.

There were some made up hexies left over. So I made  a bag decoration.

And a pin cushion.

Both of which may be gifts. The bag was bought from Hobbycraft otherwise everything else is scraps. I really like the bag, I may make more…

Now to go and see what others have made. Last month had a totally fantastic variety of scrap happiness I thought.


Knit and Natter Friday

Hurrah, the weather has cooled down, still summer, but nice. With it my energy levels have soared. I mean sky-high. Windows cleaned, drawers sorted, charity bags filled, and knitting mojo back.

Creativity is in overdrive, see what I mean.

I look for something, find it and something else appears, an idea resurfaces, so much choice,  cracking on. Happy again.

How are you? I don’t think I had any real idea how much the weather effected me. All I could do for almost a month was sleep and read. In the end I just went with the flow. Put the knitting away, and sat out the heat. Pleased to say the new wings are being knitted for the fairy, and construction may begin in the next week. The cardigan for Little Miss F has grown a bit, the second tile of the second row is being crocheted for the Eastern Jewels blanket, hexies are being sewn. And as I mentioned ideas are fermenting rather than stagnating.

Pleased to say Mr E is getting better by the day, light gardening is underway, although I expect I shall have to cut the grass this weekend.

We had a wedding anniversary (44 years).. It warranted a day in Scarborough and a meal in an Italian restaurant, which was most acceptable.

I have been jabbed, who knew the over 65s qualified for pneumonia and meningitis inoculations, I have a bruised and slightly stiff arm to prove it.

My eyes have passed their annual  scrutiny. Hurrah, no sign of the glaucoma which both my Gran and Dad had.

A walk has been arranged for September, bit nervous about leading a walk, but there will be coffee and cake in a cafe afterwards, so should go ok, don’t you think?

I have found an old book in a charity shop which is sufficiently battered and boring that I shall be able to cut it up , for a junk journal, and I have found a one day workshop in book binding to take the construction terrors away.

AND I have found someone who offers patchwork classes, to get me over the terrors of cutting fabric.

Some days I think I am a bit of a scaredy cat.

As for today, I am off to York to the British Wool festival, and I want it clearly understood that I shall buy no wool. Not even an ounce. No not even that. I know I have 15 /17/ 20/who knows projects in the pipeline, that is with pattern and yarn to the ready, so I don’t need any more yarn, not even wool. I am merely going to look and enjoy the vibe. Because I need to save my pennies as I am stopping off at Hobbycraft and the Range to pick up some bits and bobs to finish off other things, so definitely no yarn of any description, at all.

Next week looks quite nice and empty for once so lots of chance for Getting On, as my Dad used to say.

So what will you be Getting On with this weekend? Is there anything you won’t be buying? Love to know your plans?

Be back soon, totally empty handed of anything fibrous!

Be happy,



Flake-photo challenge

It’s time for the photo challenge over at Wild Daffodil

All from my archives this time.

Flaky paint on a  gate, Santorini, 2013

Flaky meringue- June 2013

Flaky wall paint and olive tree bark, Greece 2016

Do pop over to Wild Daffodil for some wonderful flakiness!


Yarn Along- August 2018

The heat has subsided here a little. So I have been able to make a start on the fifth tile of my Eastern Jewels blanket.

Heading on to the round with the double trebles round the posts of the stitches in round eleven, two rounds before. Finally it occurred to me to mark the relevant stitches as I made them rather than afterwards when it was so much harder. Doh! Sometimes I wonder at myself. Love the blanket though.

I was given this marvelous book by Rachel.

Thank you so much. It is set in WW1, is very well written and highly enjoyable. So that is me set up for the week with a book and yarn. Life is good.

Love to know what your yarny project and current read is today. Linking with Ginny  for the first time in ages, here

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