Look carefully at the photo...can you see the sleeping Fox Princess? (Click on picture to enlarge.)
Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Look carefully at the photo...can you see the sleeping Fox Princess? (Click on picture to enlarge.)
And the last hat is one I made up as I went along. It is for a dear three year old, who has taken a fancy to Lamb-like things. The yarn is 90% wool, and is an amazing £1 per 50gram ball. (special purchase at Hayes wools).It is called Loop the Loop.
Thursday, 11 December 2008
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Sunday, 30 November 2008
I started some baking, to be ready for the Festive season...only to find I did not have enough of certain dried fruits. And then slightly overcooked (burnt) the Dundee cake already in the oven!
(Still, B.B. is always happy to eat home made cake). So, I turned out the Larder, instead. It's amazing how, even if I keep it tidy(ish), and regularly check the contents, I still end up with three of something we use only occasionaly, and half a bag of things we use every day! So, now I have a list of dry goods needed in the larder. A big bake-in, next week-end, I think.
Wednesday, 19 November 2008
Last year, I made a dear friend a scarf, in the cherry red brushed mohair from West Holwell Farm. This year, I am making a beret to match. The pattern is Spring Beret by Natalie Larson. It is a sort of gothic arches pattern. (I'm afraid it just does not photograph well. The bright colour and the halo of the yarn prevents proper focusing). This piece is rattling along beautifully. I cast on for it on Sunday evening, and did half an hour last night. I'm really enjoying it.
The winter visiting birds have been arriving in dribs and drabs. I noticed a few Fieldfares over the week-end. But this morning it really sounded like Winter. Several little flocks of Fieldfares flew up as I walked Poppy, and they chak-chaked their irritation quite loudly. Their voices are much harsher, more gutteral, than the Blackbirds and native Thrushes. They have been bullying their way into the Orchard, and creating territories, around trees which still hold apples.
We also have quite a large flock of Long-Tailed Tits. They come to the bird feeders when it gets colder. We have always attracted the occasional Coal Tit, but have noticed, lately, that they are coming more frequently, and in larger numbers. Joy unbounded on Saturday, when we counted ten either on the feeders, or in the bushes nearby. And last year's Pheasant is coming in to be fed again.
Thursday, 13 November 2008
Never mind, the company was great, and there was plenty of (traditional bonfire) food. The next birthday is little K's, in a couple of weeks.
One of my birthday presents was this wonderful sharkskin box (above). As you see, it is full of needlework tools. I have come to the conclusion that it is for Lace making. The knitting needles and crochet hooks are of such a small gauge that they couldn't be for anything else.(Could they?). And tiny sewing needles. I was thrilled to recieve it from Best Beloved's sister Deb, and her partner Jason.
Speaking of sisters, Nicky's twin Mel, has been home for a visit from Australia. A couple of weeks in which Mel and her husband tried to see all of their friends and family-one mad rush.
Nicky, Mel and I managed a day together, so we went down to Dulverton and had lunch at the fabulous Woods. That was such a treat. And then a little shopping.... Dulverton has such great shops for such small place. We were doing some Ch****m** stuff, I have to admit, but it was so that we give and recieve lovely things that don't have to be posted between G.B. and Aus.
I shall probably be going down to Dulverton again soon, for Starlight Sunday, which is on the 7th December this year. It is always charming.
Friday, 31 October 2008
Wednesday, 29 October 2008
Wednesday, 22 October 2008
There has not been much in the way of Autumn colour here, so far this year. The Spindle trees in the back hedge have been doing their best, though. As the other trees and bushes have been shedding their leaves, the striking colour combination has become more obvious.
We have been having trouble with our telephone and internet provider over the last month /six weeks. Tomorrow we change provider. There may or may not be hiccups.
Some gloriously soft Merino (top), pure alpacca sock weight (middle) and some gently gleaming silk (bottom). 'Knitty' has a lovely pattern, called Flora, which I have made before in a tweed. I fancied making it up in something luxurious....
So I made it in these wonderful yarns, and below is the result. With a little added mohair for the stamens.
Having made this yummy thing, I needed somewhere to wear it. Where better than KTOG2 in Bovey Tracey? So, off I went with my knitting, and some fairy cakes. And it was great fun.
I finally met John Arbon, and had a pleasant chat. A quick word with Tutleymutley. I also met a very nice lady, who runs Devon Fine Fibres. I had to laugh, fifty odd miles to meet someone who is almost a neighbour of one of my oldest friends. I shall certainly be visiting there...I'm sure I will be needing (!) some local organic cashmere soon. Of course there were other things going on, too. After a cup of tea, and a few words with wyesue, I made my way back into Bovey Tracey. I couldn't go that far, without visiting the Devon Guild of Craftsmen.
Well, I was almost bowled over. The building is a fantastic space. The size and simplicity displays the craft works superbly. And these really are works of art and craft. I bought three books, and some small gifts. It will be a good place to return to, for Festive Season shopping. (I am doing my best to avoid the C word).
Saturday, 11 October 2008
In the meantime, I made a pair of fingerless gloves. These are for me, and I made them from the Purl bee pattern that I used for Sarah's gloves.The pattern is called Dragon scale. (well, what else would I wear?). They are lovely for driving in, as I don't like full gloves, which seem to slip on the steering wheel. Winter draws on.
Monday, 22 September 2008
And Dahlias. Mad shapes, and clashing colours. Wonderful, just right for now.
Monday, 15 September 2008
The knit-picks needles sat unmolested for a week, while I finished other projects. Then I cast on for a lace scarf, the idea for which has been fermenting in the back of my mind for a little while. Well, I can see why people are so enthusiastic about these needles! The stitches just slip along, like using metal pins, but warmer, and lighter. I think I'm in love.
Honey for sale. As I said before, not a big harvest, but good to have been able to run a few jars this weekend.
The tomatoes are coming to an end. Possibly one or two pickings left.The veg garden has not been a huge success this year, but the tomatoes have been wonderful. I know everyone says it, but the flavour and scent of the home-grown article is beyond compare!
Are these just Hobbies? I feel that this is the real life we work to support.
We took a day off on Saturday.I packed a picnic, and Poppy, and off we went to Exmoor. We wandered as the mood took us, starting at Dulverton. Lunch was taken above Winsford, looking towards Dunkery Beacon. The heather is starting to go over, but still scents the air quite strongly, and we saw lots of Bumble bees working it keenly. It was sunny and bright, but the wind was keen. Even so, wonderful to be out, after all the rain.
Turning for home, we came down Worthy Toll road. This is a truly magical place, if you can find it. The beautiful stream cascades down the steep hill, alongside the road, skipping and tumbling over the rocks and stones, now and then making little pools. It is overhung by ferns, and the banks are covered in mosses and lichens. There is an almost overwhelming sense of peace and stillness.
Exmoor is my favourite place, and I try to visit as often as I can. I am lucky that Best Beloved loves it as much as I do.
Tuesday, 9 September 2008
The yarn is 70% mohair/30%lambswool. Unbrushed. It's from a local Farm, the owners have the yarn spun at a local mill, and sell it themselves. Good to support local enterprise, particularly when the product is SO gorgeous.
We also (naively) planted a proper Orchard. Which is now coming into production. With the bees in the Orchard, we have an embarrasment of fruit. It usually starts towards the end of August and goes on until the Russets are ready,about November. (depends on the weather).
Friday, 5 September 2008
Thursday, 4 September 2008
It is from 'Natural knits for Babies and Mums' by Louisa Harding. I substituted Jeager matchmaker for the recommended yarn, as I like working with it, and it will be an Autumn/Winter garment. It was very easy, and knitted up quickly. Buttons from Hayes wools,Taunton,as was the Yarn.
So this week, I am on leave too. We have had a flurry of finishing off small projects, like hanging blinds in the bedroom,and the study. Yesterday, we went to Bristol Ikea. Not a bundle of laughs, but we bought another blind for my sewing room (sounds grand, but it is also the spare bedroom), some lovely off-white linen curtains which I will re-make as curtains for our bedroom,and various teatowels and the like in Scandinavian blue and white. Yes, blue and white in the Kitchen again.
And I managed to complete a knitted blanket on the way home.(B.b. was driving!).
Poppy says 'I thought Holidays were meant to be Fun.You two are boring.'
Wednesday, 20 August 2008
I entered several things in the Hat Dash-the first was a pattern by Elizabeth Zimmerman; A spiral hat, made in Mirasol sulka. A beautiful yarn...merino, Alpaca and silk.
And I entered five hats for Premature babies, which will go to the local hospital. No formal patterns for these, and I used oddments from my hoard. So now I must concentrate on finishing a couple of projects which have been languishing in my basket for a (long)while!
Friday, 1 August 2008
Today is Lughnasa. In the Pagan calendar, it is the celebration of the start of Harvest. It is also the begining of Autumn.
Tuesday, 29 July 2008
Monday, 21 July 2008
And a teaser of what is on my needles.
I went to the Coldharbour Mill Open Day, on Saturday, and met some friends from Close Knit there.Jacquie, and Ness with her little one, K. We had a lovely time pottering around, looking at the Exhibitions and watching the demonstrations. One lady was sitting and using a sock knitting machine. Fascinating! I have never seen one before.We had lunch (very good Restaurant!) And spent ages looking at these lovely Alpaca. Four boys, all about fourteen months old. The second from the left is the leader of this group, apparently, and he spent all the time we were there, making the sweetest, gentle cooing noise. I had to be dragged away, to look at the shop. Naturally, we spent ages looking at the wonderful Yarns, and stroking them. Some purchases were made. (That is all I will say on that subject).
Monday, 7 July 2008
Well, I admired and stroked them all. What did I buy? A 50g skein of Laceweight Alpaca/Blue Faced Leicester. I'm now struggling NOT to start a lace scarf.
While I was there ,I noticed a poster advertising
OPEN DAY and SUMMER ART SHOW
SATURDAY 19 JULY 11 -4 FREE
CRAFT DEMOS and HAVE-A-GO
SPINNING, WEAVING, FELTING
ALPACAS IN ATTENDANCE
Sounds good, does it not?
Tuesday, 1 July 2008
Monday, 23 June 2008
Today is Midsummer day. The 24 th of June. The middle of Summer. Last saturday was the 21st, which was the Solstice. The longest day. People , in general, have forgotten that these are two seperate,although related, celebrations.
(Sorry,rant coming). I have heard a lot of twaddle spoken about the solstice/first day of summer/first day of spring, and seasons in general lately. Most notably on the Chris Evans Radio two show. It seems to me, that there are a great many people who live urban lifestyles, who do not have the faintest clue about Nature and her rhythms. They then have the temerity to try and tell Nature, and those who do listen to her, when the seasons may fall ! So, for those who may be interested, a short resume of approximate dates:
The end and beginning of the year, Samhaine (halloween) 31st October [this is also the start of winter].
Winter Solstice (longest night) 21st or 22nd December .
Yule/Midwinter 23rd December.
Imbolc. First day of spring. 1st or 2nd February .
Vernal (spring)Equinox. Balance. The hours of light and dark are equal. 21st or 22nd March.
Beltane. First day of summer. 1st of May. A most important festival.
Summer Solstice ( longest day) 21st or 22nd June.
Midsummer Day 24th June.
Lughnasad.First day of autumn. Celebration of the first harvests. 1st or 2nd of August.
Autumn Equinox. Balance of light again. 22nd or 23rd of September.
Back to Samhain.
I say approximate,because each year is slightly different, and also because Human calanders are out of sync with the Earth and the stars.
This was meant to be a loving note about the beauty of Nature at Midsummer. Well, nature is still beautiful, and it is still Midsummer. I leave you with a photo of Rosa 'surprise', and a hope that your Midsummer is warm, happy, and joyful. Blessed be.
Sunday, 15 June 2008
I love Roses. Not the stiff,angular Hybrid Tea types, or the awkward Floribundas. The sort I adore are the billowing,voluptuous old fashioned roses. Lush, silken petals, sending clouds of intoxicating perfume into the air.
I had always been vaguely aware of different sorts of roses, but in 1986, I went to the R.H.S. Chelsea Flower Show. In the Main Pavillion, I came face to face (as it were) with Peter Beales wonderful display of scented, old fashioned roses. But you couldn't buy at Chelsea (from the display stands). However, later that year, I met the Peter Beales stand again at the Bath and West Show. So, I bought a Souvenir de la Malmaison Rose, and a Baroness Rotheschild. That was it - I was hooked!
^ This Rose is Stanwell Perpetual. It's not overly popular,because the leaves have odd little marks and spots,as though it has black spot.But it dosn't. A super short climber, with a lovely,slightly sharp scent.
<- Gertrude Jekyll. A beautiful David Austin rose. She looks authentic, smells fabulous, and is fairly problem free.
<- Another David Austin-Eglantyne. Just wonderful. I have two in my garden.
<- And here is Isphahan. Unfortunately, when I bought this, I forgot to check whether it was remontant. It's not. So we get one amazing display in June,and that's it. Most of my Roses are repeat flowering. I think I have fourteen different roses in the garden. Only Isphahan, and Pauls Himalayan Musk, are once-only bloomers.
With all of these roses in bloom, along with three different Honeysuckles, three different varieties of Philadelphus (mock orange) and a drift of white sweet rocket, it's like walking in a bowl of pot pourri. Bliss....