Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for October, 2018

Halloween Dare.

Count Dracula took the form of a dog as he landed and raced up the stairs to Whitby Abbey and disappeared into the night.

At Armley Mill, Leeds there is the most wonderful old cinema tucked away at the end of a gallery, where last week they were showing the 1931 Dracula film.

It was the perfect film for Halloween in the perfect setting, an old cinema within an old mill…..

We just had to get a copy when we came home… dare you watch it?


Autumn and Art in the Forest

The colours in Dalby Forest have been simply wonderful , but I found hard to capture in a photograph, The larches were especially hard, but their golden colour was breath taking.

So no larches, but trees, light and colour.

And sunlight and shade

blue skies and golden leaves

and silver birches.

As to art

I love this sculpture and have been meaning to take a picture for ages, the land army girls at work in the forest, although I expect they were called land forestry girls.

However the forest now boasts and art installation by a Turner prize winner- Rachel Whiteread, she who filled a Victorian Terrace house with concrete to win the prize has now filled a Nissan Hut with concrete and it is in the forest.

It was not without controversy the original site was in the village of Dalby but  the villagers protested saying there would be too many visitors, so now it is hidden away in the trees.

It is part of her Shy Sculptures series, in which she creates an inverse space. The Nissan Hut was chosen because many were in use in the Forest following the two wars during which they housed prisoners, then various bits of forestry kit. Over time the whiteness will fade, moss and spiders will take over.

At the moment I think it looks very raw, white and out-of-place, not helped by the footpath that has been specially laid to get people to and from the hut. As you can see on Sunday afternoon in warm sunshine on a glorious Autumn day there was just me there.

It’s no good, I am just sitting here and thinking “really is this art?”  I wondered if maybe it is tactile, it felt warm and there was some texture in the concrete.

Maybe I will like it better when the moss and creepy crawlies take up residence. At the moment it looks ripe for graffiti!

So what does everyone think? I am trying hard to be nice and reserve judgement. Here’s link if you would to know more-Nissan Hut Sculpture

October Books-2018

This month, I read one book by a favourite author, Tracy Chevalier and four by new to me authors , all from recommendations from fellow bloggers and all that I loved, so a big thank you for this and please keep those recommendations coming in.

Oh and one that I could not finish, but had been on my to read list forever.

Tracy Chevalier- New Boy- A short novel retelling the story of Othello in a 1970’s school in Washington DC. Action takes part over just one school day. Nicely handled but I knew it would not end well.

Natalie- Fergie- The Sewing Machine- Lots of people have recommended this book and I thoroughly enjoyed it- One sewing machine, two families, three secrets told across four generations. Lovely.

Michael Robothan- The Other Wife- Another recommendation which came my way, and a new to me author. By golly it was a gripping thriller- what would you do if when visiting your father in hospital you were told his wife was there and you expected to see your Mum, instead of which there is a complete stranger who tells you she is his Other Wife?

Susanna Kearsley-Mariana- A novel I wouldn’t have chosen by looking at the cover alone, but one I requested from the library following a recommendation in Blog land. A lovely book- romance and reincarnation, and a heroine who is totally unfazed about time travel to her past and no Dr Who in sight. Just a fun read, really enjoyed it.

Rod Duncan- The Bullet Catcher’s Daughter- Another novel I would not have chosen without a recommendation from bloggers. Described as a “blend of steampunk alternative history” by Graham Joyce, not quite like anything I have ever read before. Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life as herself and as her brother because women cannot own their own business, we have mystery, circuses, and general skull duggery. Despite my misgivings, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, which just goes to show that I shouldn’t judge a book from the blurb on the back either.

When we went round Armley Mill lurking in one of the outside buildings was this

train and this one

which seemed to fit in so nicely with my reading material.

And the book I didn’t finish-Virginia Woolf- Mrs Dalloway- I just couldn’t read this , so very boring but so beautifully written. I gave up. So there are now three authors I cannot read. Martin Amis, Henry James and Virgina Woolf, all of whom I know are loved and admired, just not by me, which must say a lot about me, which is not good.

So, has anyone got any recommendations for a good read this month please?

Knit and Natter Friday!

Friday just crept up on me, so I am holding an afternoon session of my online Knit and Natter group, here on the internet, hope you can join me.

It has been a very nice week. The weather continued to be mild and sunny for Autumn. The leaves on the trees have been very pretty. Bees have been most busy in the ivy, ladybirds seem to have appeared from nowhere and I released a very pretty Peacock butterfly from the house, which should not have been about at this time of year. Sadly this warmth is to come to an end this weekend with a cold wind from Iceland, and maybe some snow, noooooooooooo.

I had one of these this week.

Many flowers, books and of course cake.

So a day out was called for. First stop Roundhay Park in Leeds, for lunch.

Which looked rather wonderful, and we shall be back for a proper walk. I can recommend the Lakeside Cafe should you ever be in Leeds.

After that onto my chosen destination Armley Mills- a woollen mill and industrial museum.

I do love a good museum and this is certainly one.

I am fascinated by the old mills, especially the ones in Leeds as my ancestors worked in them. Maybe this one. There was a demonstration of the wool spinning going on- just one machine- oh so noisy and the dreadful diseases the workers all contracted. My 3x great-grandfather was a cloth dresser which means he was responsible for sending out the cloth once it had been finished- a  non hazardous job thankfully, which meant he died of old age, according to his death certificate.

Afterwards we stopped off for a meal, before having cake with coffee at home. Now that is my kind of birthday. I wonder what you all prefer to do on your special day.

Onto the knitting then- back of grey baby jumper finished, front cast on. Last two tiles for the Eastern Jewels blanket done, and first row of the border completed. I may have a finish to share in the next few days.

So what about the weekend? Well the clocks go back to GMT on Sunday. I read an interesting letter in our local paper about what to do with that extra hour- not sleep- but do something to help a good cause. Later on I read another article asking you to fill a bag for a charity. So bingo- I shall fill a bag with some stuff for a charity shop, maximum time to locate objects- one hour.

But first tomorrow, I mentioned before having found a patchwork class- well it starts in February and runs for 7 weeks, all day on a Saturday- pretty please may this class actually happen- everything I express an interest in recently has been cancelled due to lack of participants. Anyway there is an open day in the home of the tutor showing her work and that of her students. So that’s where I am off.

But what about you? Love to hear your plans for the weekend. Please join in the natter, without you this post is nothing.

Take care and Be Happy,





Knit and Natter Friday!

And welcome. Did you have a good week? I do hope so. Mine has been both enjoyable and productive. Library , obviously, on Monday and no less than four of my recent requests for books arrived. Wednesday I led another short walk with my U3A, and there were fourteen of us tottering around the countryside. It was a clever wheeze to end all walks with a tea room. We have had some rain , but also some glorious sunshine and with it some really lovely sunsets in almost every hue of a sunset.

Even the roses are giving again.

Taken when I went out to take this sunset.

However, I think my favourite was this one on Tuesday night, rather atmospheric.

I have managed no less than two of the remaining tiles on my  Eastern Jewels blanket and that leaves just two. Amazing how fast one gets towards the end of a project. The grey jumper for Baby J is still stuck on the back..

Kate is making a quilt called Teal it on the mountains to raise funds for ovarian cancer in Australia and a lot of people are making fabulous blocks for it. I volunteered to make one too, however my biggest quilting/patchwork effort  so far is my unicorn cushion.

Of which while I am incredibly proud but does not put me in the league of top-notch quilt makers capable of making a block for a quilt to be auctioned. So..

First job, do some research on blocks with mountains on, reckoned I could manage one called Bear Mountain Quilt, figured I could do that, maybe ish..

Second job , find some fabric that is mostly teal and cream, because that is the colours for ovarian cancer, preferably with bears.

Third job, design and do  it.

So off to Hobbycraft I went and found a pack of lovely fat quarters not with bears but with.. no wait a little longer.

I looked at this and looked and looked. I thought about mountains, we have moors in Yorkshire but not mountains, mountains are in Wales , which I have seen and in Scotland which I have not. Then light bulb moment. The first range of mountains I actually saw was from a coach in Morocco the Atlas mountains. There were amazing, desert mountains , blue sky and camels.

Hurrah I was there, so after much scribbling and faffing around with paper, card, scissors and pencils, with a nod towards the bear mountain block I came up with something I thought I could manage.

Designing Nana Cathy style. The brown paper helps me imagine the final size required!

Sewing happened yesterday and finally I have something which resembles a block with a mountain, desert and camels.

Tealing it to the Atlas Mountains, in memory of my wonderful holiday which included a trek across the desert in Morocco on my first holiday abroad age 10. Now you may wonder why I have found it necessary to put card round the sides, the answer being that designing Nanacathy way you have to be able to actually see how the final piece should look in order to make the thing.

Now Kate you said to make it 12- 12 1/2 inches and not to worry as you would be sashing ( is that the right word?) it, and could cut it down to size. To be on the safe side it is actually 13 inches, and whilst everyone else has a perfectly square block mine looks like this.

Now should I send it like this and hope Kate can work some magic on it, or attempt to trim it myself? It does have 12 good inches inside , and I won’t be hurt at all if it doesn’t make the final quilt.

So that is what I have been up to. A quiet weekend in store a gain before three fab ones coming up, and in the meantime I am meeting my old school friends for coffee this morning, so I will be back later.

Do please join in the natter , we all love to hear what everyone is up to.

Meantime have a Happy Weekend,

Be Happy,


Knit and Natter Friday!

Good Morning/Evening. Please delete as appropriate.

We had a truly wonderful time last week , visiting family. First stop , Wales to see my Mum. She has Alzheimer’s and is now in a nursing home. I was thrilled that she still recognised me and Mr E.

Next destination was quite a trek as we went to Cornwall to stay with Mr E’s sister. We had a super time , talking mostly. However Dr M did take us sightseeing and the highlight for me was to visit a tin mine which I have always wanted to do.

This is the Levant mine and was operational until the 1980s. We took the tour which was very interesting. Mr E loved the beam engine best but I was fascinated by the man engine. An ingenious device for getting the miners down the shaft to the tin. They actually were mining under the sea here. Should you be interested here’s the link-Levant tin mine.

After that we drove across the south of England to see Mr B and Ms G and hear more of their wedding plans for next year. Then onto see Mr and Mrs T, Master T and Little Miss F who just so happens to be five now. Good news Little Miss F’s cardigan was not too small and fitted just right and Master T’s jumper was not too big or too colourful and had its first outing straightaway. The unicorn cushion was gratefully received and much squished. Which just left the two troublesome fairies.

Morgana had an immediate huff because Mrs T said her beautiful blue lace made her look like Rambo. However she was mollified by Little Miss F who gave them their proper fairy names. Amelia is Rosie because she is pink and Morgana because she is blue became Bluebell and declared Little Miss F she is the Queen of the Fairies. I think I detected just a hint of self-satisfied amusement in Morgana.

Back home again, why do weeds grow when you are away and how does the laundry pile get so enormous? In all fairness the weeds probably got a good head start in August when it was too hot for me to go outside for long. Anyway this week has mostly been about weeding and washing. And today is about ironing. Grr.

However I have now finished the third row of the Eastern Jewels blanket, ends sewn in and all.

I am enjoying the slow but steady progress of this project. The grey jumper for Baby J ( I say Baby J but he is now one year old), is making slow progress too, nearly knitted the back, at least I am now on to the bit of patterning.

This weekend will be quiet, yes really, more gardening and laundry and I am going to make a start on my Teal it to the Mountains block. I am feeling a lot more confident about this after the log cabin unicorn, and am really looking forward to making it.

A busy week next week for me, so I shall enjoy some quiet crafting.

So what is everyone else doing this weekend. Do tell, your comments really are the best bits.

Be Happy,



Knit and Natter Friday

I have had a wonderful week, which is now going onto wonderful things this weekend, so I will be briefer than usual.

The second fairy is complete, and a more demure indiviual than you know who. Her temporary name is Amelia.

Now I did say demure, but, BUT she decided to go out for a while.

Butter wouldn’t melt. Then she met up with Morgana.

Look at the attitude on her. Anyway next time I looked Amelia had removed her token from the board.

Moragna is just too much.

I have the most enormous fun with these fairies. The best bit is letting imagination run riot- in this case with the necklace and the earings- crocheted from some gold thread. Cost of making Amelia- nothing- all yarn and bits and bobs from my boxes of goodies.

So there we are my total output for the week.

I wondered what is the most fun you had with a project and what makes it fun?

Have a great weekend and

Be Happy,


Photo Challenge-Tree

I messed up big time with the scavenger hunt in September, but I have managed to find a jolly nice tree to photo for the  One a Month challenge.

Taken on my recent walk around Terrington. I also did a good walk last week near the village of Sinnington, where there was another colourful tree.


Please visit Wild daffodil for some more stunning trees.

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