Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for March, 2019

Silent Sunday.

Wonderful door knocker at the church All Saints Pavement, York.


From the garden.

Having someone do the winter tidy up is nice. The chaps worked like Trojans and what would probably never have been accomplished by me was done by them in two days. It was lovely, almost an instant tidy garden.

But come the Spring and something stirs within me , at least, and maybe you too, which says go outside and weed. I half caught a radio feature one morning on the subject of soil. Apparently some enzymes/bacteria in the soil are released which wakes up plants  and says GROW. This is something we as humans can smell, that wonderful earthy damp smell of soil. The boffins thinks it kick starts nature every Spring. All I know is I like that smell, it makes me feel better. And so even though our garden doesn’t need it, thanks to the wonderful gardeners, I found myself yesterday afternoon in the garden weeding, which was actually me just turning the soil over. The sun was on my back and it felt wonderful.

So here are the few pictures I had taken earlier in the week.

My rockery above the pond.

Yellow, green and blue, the colours of Spring

The first of the flowering shrubs. No idea what it called.

Forsythia, I am never quite certain if this began in the neighbour’s garden or ours since it is now either side of the fence.  It’s good to share.

Slightly nibbled at the edges by snails I reckon, but still a pretty pot of pansies by the door.

Running riot now in the stone urn, I love this colour combo. Who on earth ever said blue and green should never be seen. Clearly not a gardener.

Thanks for all your kind words yesterday. Sometimes I don’t know where I would be without you.

May today have some sunshine for us all.


Virtually no knitting this week, so it seemed wrong to give my Friday post its usual moniker. There has been some embroidery though. After I had stitched the little owl on felt I remembered that at the British wool show I had picked up a little felt embroidery kit from the Embroidery Guild. I am determined this year to crack on with projects I already have materials for , so out it came. I loved doing the stitching and I think it will make a great bookmark. The only question is.

a white back ground or

a coloured one. Decisions , decisions. I prefer the coloured and Mr E the white. Thoughts anyone?

Tomorrow is the quilting class, adding the binding. Exciting but scary all at the same time.

Another decision I must make today is a gift for my DIL to be Ms G. I am coming down on the side of an afternoon tea in London with prosecco.

The garden still looks pretty. I have some pictures which I will post tomorrow.

We have some big plans and I am feeling a bit unsettled. Too early to say what why and when, but enough to have totally distracted me this week. More on this hopefully in the next month or so. Also my brother is very poorly, he’s younger than me and I am very preoccupied.

So apologies if I don’t sound quite myself. I don’t feel myself today. I think I need a good walk and to stomp it out. What do you do when or even if you feel like this?

Tomorrow I shall be absorbed in scary sewing machine and fabric, which will be a good thing.

I wonder what your plans are for the weekend. Do please join in the natter in the comments. I am off to do the shopping and to the library, hurrah.

Be Happy,



March Books- 2019

Lots more good reads this month, including two new authors for me, and two favourites.

Peter James- You are dead- A new author for me who has written a lot, so that’s good news. A who done it. Well crafted although the perpetrator is rather weird as is his mode operandi.  A tad gruesome, but I shall look out for him in the library.

Tracy Chevalier Remarkable Creatures- Ms Chevalier is one of my favourite authors.  If I find a book by her I will read it, and I found this whilst doing the shelving in the library. It tells the story of Elizabeth Philpot and Mary Anning, and I bet you never heard of either of them, and shame on us, well me anyway. Elizabeth Philpot moved with her two sisters to Lyme Regis in the early 1800s. They originally came from London but on the death of their parents and the marriage of their brother and sister, there was insufficient family money to maintain them in London, so to Lyme Regis they came. One sister Louise became interested in gardening and botany. Margaret loved socializing but also made hand creams, to great acclaim. Elizabeth became interested in fossils, in particular fossil fish. Looking for them on the beach she met and befriended Mary Anning. Mary Anning was a top-notch spotter of fossils and made a living with her family selling the curios. In time she started to discover “monsters” which were snapped up by collectors. Mary was extremely knowledgeable about the fossils she found. Now  have added this book to my top 100 books , and here’s why. The collectors of the fossils assumed not only ownership of them but also the credit for discovering them. Mary was treated as a kind of  servant! papers were presented by collectors at the Geological society to which women could not even enter. Ms Chevalier makes the point that quarrymen Subsequently found the fossils but who knows their name? Anyway Mary Anning did get some recognition during her lifetime and in 2010 the Royal Society listed her as one of the ten top women to have contributed to scientific knowledge, a  little patronising but better than nothing. I think girls should read this just to let them know that once women really had so few opportunities in life and they should value education and the chances they enjoy. If the Handmaids Tale warns us of a possible future this book reminds us of what was. and apart from anything else the book is set in lovely Dorset at the time Jane Austin visited Lyme and indeed patronised the shop of Mary Anning’s father. A good read. Here’s a link for more information on Mary Anning

Susan Hill-The Beacon- Another of my favourite authors. A short book. A small isolated farmhouse in which May and her mother live. First we read May’s story and then we read of the book her brother Frank wrote describing their childhood and that of their brother Colin and sister Berenice. Oh my the web of lies and the damage done! A good read.

Patricia Highsmith- Carol- now a film with Cate Blanchett. This was written in the 1950s and originally appeared under a pen name such is the controversial theme of the book. Today it reads very tame indeed. Therese has a temp job one Christmas in a department store, carol is a customer to whom she is drawn. The first part of the story is her getting to know Carol and the end of a relationship with Richard. Carol is going through a bitter divorce and custody battle. Carol and Therese take a road trip. Custody battle lost because of Therese. Will they give each other up. Too be honest I found it a bit tedious, but I read to  the end. Of it’s time.

Kate Ellis- Walking by Night- A new author for me, gleaned from a fellow book loving blogger. A who dun it, of the best order. Set in York, and most enjoyable. Lots of easy to identify places and the only annoyance is why make the streets and landmarks so easily identifiable and then change the names, just so irritating. But I shall read more by this author. A good read to end the month.

Have you read any of these and did you enjoy them? Would you have been annoyed by name changes to a very familiar city, or is it just me?

Please tell me about anything you are reading and please feel free to leave a link to any book related post you have written.

Silent Sunday

Low Mill . Farndale

Knit and Natter Friday

Trying to keep a group of retirees together is like herding sheep in a fog! You keep loosing them, fortunately the need for stops to huff and puff means everyone catches up in the end.

We were very lucky with the walk on Wednesday. The sun shone the whole time.

Two of the party  ( 7 us including me), are somewhere in front and out of sight. These three and me kept stopping to ooh and ah and take pictures. And behind me if you are counting is a chap who had stopped to change his batteries, so he told us. Much disappointment when we found out they were for his camera, as we all fancied being able to change our batteries.

The wild daffodils were in bloom.

Spring has officially Sprung.

The problem with Spring and the spring flowers is that they seem to come and go with such rapidity it’s hard keeping up with them.

In the garden the frogs have and still are being very busy and very noisy with it. Still a frogs gotta do what a frogs gotta do. Result. Lots of frogspawn. I get very protective of them.

Can’t really believe it’s Friday again either, I swear the weeks are getting shorter.

Anyway I have a finish for once. the jumper for Miss F.

Now all I have to do is hope it will go over her head without howls of protest.

The pattern is quite simple really garter stitch and double moss stitch. I could even manage that in the evening, that’s when I don’t fall asleep. The yarn is Snuggly Baby Crofter and the pattern is number 4636, should you fancy making one yourself.

In keeping with my plan to get on and knit the yarn with the patterns I had bought to go with it I took the next project from the bag I am working from- it is a big bag , one of the big brown bags Deramores use. The project that came out involves tinsel yarn and toy stuffing. I had intended to make it last year but got way laid by


So what’s everyone’s plan for this weekend? Mine shall involve yarn, fabric and rhubarb. There is enough to pick in the garden now, and I am going to try a new recipe. I’ll let you know how that goes.

Please do join in with the natter in the comments, they really are the best bits. Once again I apologise for the comments that ended up coming to me as an email. The fault was mine not WordPress, although they could have made it a bit easier to find out what I had done. Thanks to all who explained my blunder. Hopefully I haven’t pushed Add Contact Form this time!

Have a lovely weekend and

Be Happy,






Farndale- Wednesday Walk

I’m about to head off on the monthly walk with the U3A. This time we are walking through Farndale where the wild daffodils grow. I took these pictures a month ago when I planned our route, so sadly the daffs were not out then, but hopefully will be today.

Down the hill to the river. We will be walking along the river bank.

Look on the far bank then to the near side, I am sure that once upon a time there must have been a bridge here.

There are the daffs coming though the undergrowth.

And I am hoping for lambs in these fields.

No walk is complete without a bench or two.

I love views across to the moors beyond the green valley.

No post complete without tree and sky picture!

Lambs tail catkins, so sweet.

Stopping here for a cup of coffee, The Daffy Caffy. Hurrah there is a picture on this site that shows the daffs are out ( someone cast doubt to me yesterday).

Coming back through this gate, and a proper Yorkshire wall.

I had snowdrops to look at last month..

And finally, I just loved this sentiment…

Leaving you with daffodils in the village of Scagglethorpe, taken on Friday .

And may your day be filled with the hope of warmer , happy days to come.




Silent Sunday

Today’s walk, sunshine and wind and louring skies.

Problem on the blog

Hi, I have no idea what is going on with my blog, some comments are coming though to my email box and not appearing here on the blog? Also the new box below has appeared asking you to log in. Has anyone else had the problem or know how to remedy it please?  In the meantime I am sorry if your comment did not appear.



Scrap Happy Natter!

It’s the 15th of the month so it’s time for some scrap happiness, which is hosted by Kate. There is knitting at the end, in case you were wondering.

I have continued to work on my yarn scraps to make a second blanket for the homeless. It needs be about the size of a single bed. I made one granny square and am now on the second. When it’s the same size I will join the two together and then make a border till it’s big enough or I run out of scraps, in which case I may need to buy some yarn to complete it, so someone can well and truly wrap themselves up in it and stay cosy.

I hope to get a good few rows added to it tomorrow at the next Repair Cafe. I am still living in hopes that someone will come in with a tangle of knitting for me to fettle.

A huge thanks to everyone who joined in last weeks natter on the subject of how to make quilting lines on my beginners quilt. Some had used the frixion pens with no ill effects. The problem with them seems to arise when quilts are sent by air for competitions as the hold is very cold. Kerry raised the point that we don’t know the long-term effect of these pens as they were designed for use on paper and not on fabric.

Some advocated embroidery pens where the lines disappear in air, many plumped for ceramic pens, thanks Kate for the advice on these, and some for hera pens which leave a nice crease.

After much deliberation I ordered all three of these pens and determined to use the first one which arrived in the post, which was the embroidery pen. So I can now say that all quilting lines have been stitched and 99% of the lines have vanished with two weeks before the next class.

Now the next stage involves making a scrappy binding, ( I now know the difference between a border and a binding). And our homework was to cut strips 2 1/4 inches wide from our scraps. I was quite convinced I wouldn’t have enough fabric for this but what do you know I did. Go the foot of the stairs! (another Yorkshire-ism Pauline)

So that is my pile of scrappy fabric for the binding. I have watched hours of You Tube on the subject of scrappy binding and I think I finally understand how the strips work. Believe me it took me quite a time to see how something you sew at right angles ends up in a straight line. Dare I tell you how long it took me to realise that my cutting mat was centimetres on one side and inches on the other… half an hour of my huffing this is ridiculous how can I do this, how big is a centimetre to an inch….der!

It was probably inevitable that I would notice scrappy quilts on You Tube along with the scrappy binding videos and then only a very small step to looking at the strips which were too narrow to make the binding.

That’s when I had the most fun. Fabric still has the power to frighten me with the what ifs, suppose I cut it wrong….But give me a pile of scraps and I am a happy bunny. So before you knew where I was, I was there at the sewing machineand had made four 6 inch scrappy blocks.

Nearly all the same size, but getting there. So I can either put them to one side and add to them with each project, or I can rummage through my fabric scrap box, which is by the way twice the size of my unused fat quarter box, and just have fun and make some more. Or I can use the bigger scraps from the quilt, yes there are some and make a little cushion to go with the quilt, what do you think?

Anyway at the very least they gave me some cutting and sewing practice..

I am trying very hard this year to use / make some of the projects I have all lined up. Believe me there are a lot. I am allowing myself to buy new materials for the quilt class and I have ordered a jelly roll. I just wanted one I fell in love with. I am now anxiously waiting the arrival of the postman. It’s like being a child on your birthday… so immature Cathy.

So I am trying very hard on the yarn front. The jumper for Miss F is nearing the end, and who knows there may be a finished article next week.

Do you feel the but coming?

Last year I got to some shows. One of my favourites was Spring into Wool in Leeds. This year held on 13 and 14 April. Now on the off-chance anyone was thinking of going it’s ticket only on the Saturday.

Last year I made three purchases of which I have made two.

the fingerless mitts and

and this scarf. This year one of the things I would like to accomplish on the knitting front is to knit a pair of socks. I have never ever done this and it seems to me that at this show I would be able to buy some jolly nice yarn and a pattern. I like to buy pattern and yarn at the same time, it saves so much effort. So I wondered if anyone had any advice on what is a noddy proof pattern and yarn to look out for please?

In order to save myself from too much temptation at the show I am booked into a workshop ( thanks Bekki for the ideas on what is the difference between a workshop and a class) into something called surface crochet. It seems to involve trebles, a lot of them, I can do them, but I really have no idea what surface crochet is, but it will be fun. Do you know what it is please?

Anyway I must stop nattering now, it’s the family history group this morning and I am on the coffee-making rota today so I better get a wiggle on.

I wondered what your plans for the weekend are? Please do join in the natter in the comments. And I’ll see you after lunch.

Take Care and

Be Happy,





Tag Cloud