Wool, Wiltshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Archive for February, 2020

Gonna do 2020-February

I wrote a list – 20 things I am gonna do in 2020- and now it’s time to check in with my progress this month.

1- Read my way across Europe- I managed two books this month- Edith Eger from Hungary and Tove Jansson from Finland. Both are strongly autobiographical and whilst I loved Edith Eger’s book The Choice I was less keen on Jansson’s Sculptor’s Daughter.

10- The Stitchbook project- this month we tried image transfers using photocopies, bondaweb, pva glue or sticky backed plastic. Not my favourite month, but I stuck to it and produced two pages. This project has now reached it’s half way mark. March is visible darning month and I am looking forward to it.

11- Complete an UFO- I finished my scrappy vintage box, and really enjoyed making it. More boxes will follow I am sure.

I continue to work on the crochet blanket and may have a finish of another UFO in March.

Some progress on other gonna dos-

15- A five mile walk- well if only the weather would stop raining I have found a lovely new to me walk which fits the bill nicely. Meantime I just have done some short strolls.

19- I have written a few more family memories down. So a little progress.

The one that I have totally failed to make progress on is the quilt for my grandson. It’s his birthday in March and I would really like to give it to him then. I shall designate Tuesday next week as quilt making day.

I think I could have done better this month, with only one thing ticked off. Some progress on other things I’d like to do!

Do you feel you accomplished everything you set out to do this month, or do you just go with the flow?

Hope you enjoy our extra day this month, March tomorrow.




First Line Fridays

I liked the sound of sharing a book in a unique and new to me way. Every Friday pick up a book and share the first line. So without further ado here is the book I am currently reading.

And the first lines are

The London Times

12 October 1911


Industrialist Confirmed Dead As Leading Figures Negotiate

Described on the cover as Edwardian era meets Steampunk, way away from my usual reading, but a change as they say ….

Linking with Hoarding Books blog for FLF

So will I make it to the end of my library book or not?


So not a TIGER!

I told her that someone thought she was a tiger when she was just a few rows old. Talk about Huff. First that, then I told her name on the pattern was a boys name. She is not a boy , she is a she, called Geraldine. So that told me. Then Huff of huff I mistook her tail for an ear and sewed it on wondering why it looked different to the first one. DER! Had to take it off again.

And then she took to moping, so I introduced her to her friends.

Bit happier , especially when I explained that the snake is a boy named Sue. She thought that very funny indeed.

Pattern and yarn by Deramores. Now who’s next I wonder?

And is it just me that has lippy toys fall off her needles? Do yours behave themselves nicely.


Books- February 2020

I’ve read some really enjoyable and good books this month. Love to know if you have read any of these, and what you thought about them.

Edith Eger- The Choice- Oh my this is an extraordinary auto-biography. Totally brilliant. It’s in four parts. Part one- Prison. Edith is 15 years old in 1944 when as a Hungarian Jew, she is sent with her parents and one of her sisters to Auschwitz. Her other sister manages to stay hidden , working as a violinist. Her parents are both killed immediately, but Edith and Magda survive. It is harrowing. Part two- Escape- they are liberated by the Americans. I found this section fascinating and upsetting, mostly by my own previous lack of curiosity. Because what happens next to people rescued from the camps? I had read accounts , real life and in fiction of the effect on the returning soldiers to the UK, but what of the prisoners. It  had never really occured to me that the army had no plan on how to help the survivors. Edith and her sister are at first put with an Austrian family, who did not want any Jews in their home, then they were sent back home , but not allowed into the trains, they had to sit on the roof of the train. How they coped with this stage of their lives is incredible. Part three-Freedom. The struggle to become free of the past, to mourn the tragedy, to be reconciled with what happened and to be free. Edith eventually returns to study and becomes a psychologist. Part four- Healing. Seeing how Edith puts her experience into helping others and in turn healing herself. I can’t recommend the book enough. Yes I cried in parts, but the choice we all have in life is be stuck as a victim, or to live our life now to its full. A book of hope, joy and life.

Ernest Hemingway- The Old man and the sea- the book that revived interest in Hemingway and led to him being awarded the Nobel prize for literature in 1954. It’s a small novel, language is plain and simple, a tale told in few words. You could sum it up as man v fish , in which man wins but at a cost. The old man has gone a while without catching anything. The boy who helps him is persuaded by his family to fish with others. The old man sets off for deep waters and hooks a large fish, too big to haul aboard, the fish must be tired out and killed before the man tires. An epic struggle ensues over two days. The old man often wishes he had the boy with him to help, and as his companion- both are big baseball fans. The thing I enjoyed the most was not so much the tale itself but the style. So many modern writers go in for streams of consciousness, which are just words for the sake of it. This work shows how you can convey so much more in what looks like a simple narrative, but each word counts. Love to know your thoughts on this book, and on my bete noir the stream of consciousness.

D.E. Stevenson-Vittoria Cottage- This came highly recommended, and it is a lovely gentle romantic story set in 1949, in a small village in England. It doesn’t gloss over the war, lots of talk of food shortages and rationing. Men returning and healing physically and mentally. Women’s roles still very much in the domestic sphere. It’s a real time capsule. Having been a child of the 50s and 60s I can recognise the world into which I was born. The language is just delicious, you can hear the different stratas of society speaking from the rich spoilt bright young things to the working men and women. If you want something gentle from a lost time, this is for you.

Rachel Joyce- The Unlikely pilgrimage of Harold Fry- Have to say I loved this book. Harold Fry, retired brewery sales person, receives a letter from a former colleague, Queenie Hennessy. She writes from Berwick on Tweed to say she is unwell and dying ,to thank him for his friendship, and goodbye. Harold pens a reply and sets off to the postbox, leaving his wife at home. As he walks he feels the letter maybe a little inadequate so he decides to walk to the next postbox and think about it, then the next one, until he decides the letter simply won’t do, he must say goodbye in person and he must walk all the way, from Devon! So off he goes. Along the way he is helped by strangers , some of whom join him on the walk- “Hello can I help, girl in the garage”, a doctor from Slovakia who can’t work as a doctor, Wilf a young man who reminds Harold of his son , Rich who takes over things, a man in a gorilla suit, a woman who likes Jane Austin, a man on a railway station….And of course not forgetting Maureen his wife. A love story, a triumph against the odds, an impossible journey- all beautifully written, and no improbable ending, just a jolly nice one. So glad I went to the postbox and kept walking one fine day so that I could have this book recommended to me.

Tove Jansson-Sculptor’s Daughter- Representing Finland in my mission to read my way through Europe, this is a series of short stories drawn from the author’s childhood. Her father was a sculptor and her mother an artist and illustrator. Their home is described on the back as Bohemian. The stories are well crafted and written through a child’s eyes, but somehow I did not warm to the book. I think I would have prefered a more straight forward autobiography.

So that’s it for this month. Authors from two European countries and some jolly  good books. Are you  reading anything good at the moment I’d love to know. I have two books on the go at the moment- one involving Pooh and the other Steampunk! You can’t say my tastes aren’t varied.

Scrap Happy- February 2020

Whilst I was at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching show back in November I attended a workshop to make vintage fabric box run by Ami of Simply Needlecraft

We had to choose some scraps of fabric, stitch the pieces together, line and construct the box. Now in an hours workshop there is no chance of completing the project, so this month I have finished it at home. When I got a bit stuck, I emailed Ami and got an answer back the same night. Now that’s what I call customer service.

Six sides of the box ready to go. I added my own buttons and foll-de- rolls.

Button hole stitch the inside to the outside. Over sew the sides together

And tahdah

Now isn’t that a lovely way to use scraps of fabric. I can see myself making some more this year.

Please pop over and see Ami’s site. Linking today with Kate and the others for Scrap Happy Day-here

A moor for all seasons.

No heather of course at this time of year, but our walk last week on the North Yorkshire moors was still wonderful.

On our way to Skelton Tower on the Leversham estate. Skelton Tower was owned by the Reverend Skelton and was probably a hunting tower. I have always felt it would make a super setting for a gothic novel or mystery story.

And the views are just lovely.

In August this view would be of purple heather, there would be a smell of honey and the drone of bees.

Looking over Newtondale in the other direction is the railway line for the steam trains of the North Yorkshire Moors Railway. Silent over the winter months whilst maintenance is carried out.

The moors then- beautiful in all seasons.

I hope to get out again this week, but where I wonder, and when . The weather does not sound to be good this week  with another storm on the horizon, and by golly it is very chilly.

February Garden- 2020

The garden is coming back to life.

Lots of snowdrops.

Daffodils on their way.




And something edible- rhubarb.

Always lovely to see at this time of year. How is your garden? We were lucky and escaped the worst of the weekend storm in the UK, hope you were alright too.

An unexpected visitor .

To the bird table.

He came to see us yesterday  before the wind and the rain.

Yarn Along- February 2020

Delighted to be linking once again to Ginny’s Yarn Along post

First of all I have a finish.

Pattern and yarn from Deramores. His name on the pattern is Eddie, but my elephant is Herbert. Full name only, no abbreviations allowed, apparently.

Here he is with his mate the snake, you may recall he is a boy named Sue.

So there we are Herbert and Sue. What next you cry? Well maybe you didn’t , but can you pretend you did please?

Any ideas who might be coming next off those needles? Colour is a bit of a giveaway. Meantime these books are my current reading matter. The novel is The Old man and the sea. It’s very short, and so far it is good. The book on Textile landscapes is really good, it’s a library copy and I can see I shall be parting with some hard cash for my own copy. The gardening book was recommened to me via my books posts. So far Mr E has hijacked it from me.

Slow progress on the crochet blanket- inner border complete, now I have eight squares like this to do and eight more of another block. All progress is good.

Do check out what Ginny and the others are yarning about this month. Love to know what you are knitting/crocheting or reading at the moment too, so do please leave a comment.


A walk in the woods.

Wednesday promised to be the best day of the week weather wise for a walk. I suggested a walk would be in order to Sandra at Wild Daffodil , as she has organised a walking group via Facebook for people to share their walks. I set off for Cropton Forest, owned and maintained by the Forrestry Commission. It is often used for car rallies and motorbike races so avoiding weekends is a good plan.

The day was perfect.

Blue skies, with just the sound of birds and the wind through the trees.

Mostly conifers, but the occasional clump of beech or silver birch.

Not quite sure what this is or why it was laying by the track through the trees. I mean it looks like a grind stone, but in the woods, where there is nothing . It looked as if the centre part had a metal surface. Thoughts anyone?

Best of all is the view across Rosedale.

I hope you enjoyed the walk. I am slowly building up to my five mile Gonna do walk. This was 5km. Bit of a way to go. Next planned walk is Thursday, do you want to come along too? And where shall I go?

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