Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

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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,

Cathyx

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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,

Cathyx

 

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,

Cathyx

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.

Wonderful.

Please visit Wild daffodil for some more stunning trees.

September Books- 2018

I have read some lovely books this month. Here they are.

Penelope Byrde- Jane Austen Fashion- Fashion and needlework in the works of Jane Austen- The first five chapters concern fashion at the end of the 18th century and the start of the 19th. Lots of coloured pictures taken from fashion magazines of the day, and plenty of references to the novels and letters of Jane Austen. The last chapter concerns needlework and was frankly disappointing in the illustration department. Again references to the novels and letters, but I would have loved pictures of the type of needlework mentioned and where real live examples exist pertaining to Jane Austen I would have liked to have a picture of it, eg the patchwork bedspreads she made with her sister and mother which are in a museum. A very interesting book though which I read from cover to cover, which is a good thing in a reference book.

Nancy Mitford- Love in a Cold Climate- think Downton Abbey meets P.G. Woodhouse, and you have this book in a nutshell. You have to get over bits of racism, the book is of its time, but apart from that it is funny with some quite ridiculous characters. The upper crust Lady Montdore who can’t believe her daughter would seriously throw away “All this” for love, meaning her houses, wealth and status and the fabulous Cedric “one” can only admire his panache, both are rather super creations.

Gail Honeyman- Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”- a book of terrible secrets and devastating loneliness. I cried several times in this book. I needed the box of man size tissues. One of my best reads for this year. Jojo Moyes calls it “Funny, touching and unpredictable” It wasn’t unpredictable but I really was willing on a happy ending.  Miss O was not completely believable, too many contradictions. A woman who won’t use the communal tea mugs at work but is quite happy to drink out a mug from a charity shop, is supposed to be keen on healthy diets but eats porridge for breakfast with a plum, M&S sandwiches and crisps for lunch and pasta and pesto or spaghetti hoops for tea is not to mind on a healthy diet, but then aren’t we all full of contradictions. Fabulous book, bound to be in my top five this year I think.

Louis de Bernieres- So much life left over. I’ll be honest I did not enjoy this book as much as the first part of the trilogy (part three not published yet). I found an incident in the first few chapters very upsetting and maybe that coloured my view. This book takes Daniel and Rosie to Ceylon, but Rosie is so unhappy she wants to return to England. Daniel loves Ceylon and is heart-broken to leave, and the result is hardly unexpected. The novel focuses on Daniel and how he tries to use the life left over from WW1 in which he thought he would die. There were some fascinating chapters on WW1 that took place in the Middle East. I was amazed at my own ignorance and had to break off reading to do some background reading, where upon I was more appalled by my lack of knowledge. Shall I bother with part three when it is available- maybe.

Marguerite Duras- The Lover- Not certain how I heard about this book , but I do wish I hadn’t. Fortunately it is very short and was not quite bad enough for me to abandon. A semi autobiographical account of a French girl living in Saigon with her mother and two brothers in the 1930s. Her mother is a teacher, dotes on the older brother, and makes poor financial decisions. The brothers both seem hopeless cases. the elder a bully and a layabout. The younger his victim and also a wastrel. The elder brother goes to France at some point and continues his lazy ways and there is the implication he is a collaborator.  The younger remains in China and dies under the Japanese rule.The girl aged, 15 embarks on a sexual relationship with a 27-year-old very wealthy Chinese man, who is frightened of the authorities finding out about the under age child and of his father who controls his allowance. The book has no chapters and the paragraphs dot around all over the place and all are told from the girls viewpoint. In all fairness it is the style I disliked rather than the story. It is apparently a film. The blurb on th cover reads” an unforgteable portrayal of the incandescent relationship between the lovers, and of the hate that slowly tears the girl’s family apart”. I do hope it’s wrong and I manage to forget it very soon.

Jennifer Chiaverini- The Quilter’s Apprentice- An elderly lady returns to the family mansion to prepare it for sale. She employs a young couple to help with the grounds and house. Gradually their stories are told set against the background of the older lady teaching the younger how to quilt. A most enjoyable read.

Jessie Burton- The Muse-I had some reservations about her previous book The Miniaturist, but none what so ever about this one. This is a jolly good book. A painting is brought to the attention of an art gallery in London in the 1960s. An exhibition is planned around it but one member of staff has reservations about it, in particular how it came to be in the possession of its owner. For that we go back in time to 1930s Spain ( by coincidence to exactly the area Laurie Lee found himself in at that time- nice to make connections). Gradually the story of how the painting came into being emerges. I really enjoyed this book, and for once was not racing through it to get to the ending. Recommend this one to you.

So that’s it for this month. Have you read anything really good recently? I love everyone’s recommendations.

Knit and Natter Friday

This is a no knit Knit and Natter, but there is some patchwork going on.

We went to the Repair cafe last week, and so glad we did as the 100th repair was made on the cafe’s one year anniversary.

Photo by June Emerson, mender is Stuart Hobbs. The lady you brought in the 100th repair was awarded the pumpkin. The wheels were fixed but she was referred on to have it repainted.

Mr E was inspired to bring home a broken table. It had to come home as it needed hours to set the glue and clamping. It has gone from this

to this

I gave it a good polish with the bee’s wax polish. We returned it to its owner yesterday, and she was very pleased. She took us down her garden to pick apples. I have two big bags full to freeze.

Another busy week- the library, a trip to Scarborough, gardening, planning of walks. I love being retired, the days just whizz by.

Kate wrote about a project she has become involved with here called Days for girls, highlighting the problems girls have attending school when they have no sanitary protection. The project involves making environmental friendly sanitary towels thus enabling girls to go to school. They are made pretty so the girls don’t mind washing them.

My Mother used to tell me horror stories of the rags she had as a girl and how her older brother would tease her when they were hung out to dry. ” B’s got her period!” Brothers hey. I was lucky as a girl and had access to sanitary towels and the only reason I missed school during my period was when I had crippling tummy ache and need my bed and a hot water bottle.

Anyway it set me thinking and I recalled hearing that girls in the UK miss school because they have no sanitary towels which is quite appalling in our country, and really upset me. So I set about googling the issue which brought me up against the problems homeless women face and those who flee domestic violence. I cannot imagine how horrible it must be to be on the streets and having a period. So next time I go to the supermarket I shall be buying sanitary towels and tampoons and donating them to the food bank.

I did see a project which sells franchises to women in Africa so they can make their own sanitary towels and sell them. I wish I could be certain they weren’t a rip off. Maybe I should stop worrying about whether charities miss appropriate funds and just hope for the best. Such mixed feelings on the subject.

Pain relief at such times too, concerns me….

Moving on. I have made the unicorn cushion and I couldn’t be more proud of myself. The unicorn was fun to make.

But for me she was the easy part, I can do embroidery and applique. It was the bit I did next which made me so happy. After umpteen years of wanting and being too scared to making a log cabin cushion, I have.

It took two books and five hours, but I did it.

And the back.

And all from stash. The only thing I had to buy was the cushion pad.

Oddly for me, there has been no knitting this week. But all the ends have been stitched into the Eastern Jewels blanket, three evenings that took. I have now embarked on the 12th tile.

The fairy is under construction she just needs a face and her ears doing- the tricky bit.

I have  a quiet weekend ahead- maybe some gardening and walking and some knitting.

So what are you up too this weekend? Something nice I hope,

Look forward to hearing from you,

Be Happy,

Cathyx

Walk and Natter

It’s been a really busy week. Fun, but exhausting. My tablet computer broke, mid typing , I have been bereft! I have my normal laptop, this one which I use for writing on and emails and shopping, but the tablet is my device for reading your blogs, so if by any chance you actually noticed I wasn’t around every post the moment it appeared that’s why. It’s been a mini detox in some ways, because it is an effort to climb the stairs, switch on this computer, log on, and wait while it configures it’s umpteen updates, so I have tended to only come on-line once a day.

Mr E discovered that the tablet was still in guarantee, so I went on the  relevant website to investigate what I could do, and up popped one of those live chat boxes. Hi my name is Dale can I help you? I rather like those chat boxes, the person or algorithm on the end is usually so polite, no teeth sucking and don’t you even know that, at my somewhat basic questions. Anyway after a nice exchange with Dale he gave me a phone number to call. The chap on the other end was equally lovely when I called. He said take it back to the shop and we will exchange it.

Which would have been simply marvellous, only they don’t make them any more. I had to settle for a refund. And now I have to select a new tablet…

Anyway the busy bit- psychology group to attend, family history group, a visit to the hospital for Mr E- all is going well, and AND I led my first walk. When no-one but me and the person I had given a lift failed to materialise at the bridge I had specified as the meeting point, it occurred to me that maybe they had gone to the foot bridge rather than the road bridge.Which they had. After this hiatus we finally set off and had a jolly nice walk and an even a nice cup of coffee, if only a very large coach party had not preceded us to the cafe by five minutes. Fortunately there was a garden, it wasn’t raining or windy and we got two tables together so all’s well.

Did I mention the wind before- it has blown down the wisteria on the front of the house. Could have been worse, could have been a tree.

I also had to plan the walk for next month so it could go in the newsletter, and I thought maybe you would like to come with me and check ou walk number two while we chat a bit.

Down the lane a little way.

Maybe you came by here for the knitting. Problem on the knitting front. The jacket I am making for Baby J’s birthday which was black with white flecks, is enormous. Quick consultation with his Dad Mr J and we agree I make a blue one for his birthday. Five minutes later Baby J’s Mum Mrs M has asked if it could be pale grey. Pale grey? Seems an odd choice to me but I am now awaiting a delivery of some yarn called Cloudy Grey. Meantime I finished the back of the black with white flecks jacket.

We have now gone down the road, up a hill and down again and are crossing this rather nice two-way bridge.

I have come from the gate and turned right and we are walking alongside a beck. You could also cross straight in front of the handgate across another stream.

The second knitted fairy is still in bits awaiting construction. But I have been very busy on the crochet front.

We’ve crossed back over the beck to start a nice gentle climb up.

Crochet- yes I have now completed another tile in the Eastern jewels blanket, which means just six more to go and one square too. Lots of ends to sew in still, I think they are multiplying when I put the blanket away at night.

Goodness this poppy is a bit late and I rather like these what ever they are calleds.

Now Kate has some very nice blogging friends and together they make some wonderful quilts to raffle to raise funds to fund research into breast cancer in Australia. I have extremely limited experience in the patchwork quilting front and may well have bitten off more than I can chew when I said I would love to try to make a block. So far I have borrowed a book from the library, I have found a doable design online,Lynne has made it here for the self same quilt, but as mine can’t possibly look like this it won’t be obviously the same block I hope, and yesterday I went shopping and got some rather nice fabric. The plan is to warm myself up patchwork applique wise by making the unicorn cushion next week when life is not so busy and then to have a bash at making my block.

I do love a nice stack of hay bales. We are nearly at the end of the walk, just the school playing field to cross and down the lane to the church.

I loved the way the light caught this budliea.

I did make a birthday card for Little Miss F, it has a fairy on it , and it’s somewhere about.

Tomorrow is the Repair Cafe. It will be our first time there this year as Mr E has not felt up to it. I am taking a tea pot lid for fixing, and maybe Mr E will take his soldering iron just in case.

We’re back by the car, and oh what a suprise there is a tearoom.

So a lot later than usual, it’s over to you for some natter. Love to know the weekend plans.

Take care,

Be Happy,

Cathyx

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