Saturday, 30 November 2013


Teapots are part of the everyday crockery of this household. There are several on the Dresser, of differing sizes. The most used, most essential, size is the two-cup. The two-cup teapot is plied through-out the day, an essential glue to the parallel lives lived by Best Beloved, and myself, during the week.

Disaster struck last week, when our regular pot came away from it's handle. That was messy. We had a spare tucked away in the cupboard, though. The spare was used for a few days...and the handle came off !  Well, that was rather a shock. So, I got out the pot that we keep for when Sister-In -Law comes to stay...the Earl Grey pot. Purely as a temporary measure, until a replacement was found. So, a search around the likely shops in Taunton, and I arrived at  Mr. Miles' Tearooms. An excellent emporium, which sells tea and coffee, as well as all the paraphernalia that could possibly be needed when making and serving tea or coffee.
I finally found this delightful pot. On asking if I might return it, should it prove to drip when poured, the very helpful lady assistant filled it with hot water, and checked that it did pour properly, and used the chance to check that it would fill two large mugs. ( you would not believe the number of times I have found teapots that a) do not pour without dripping, and b)  do not hold the volume declared! ) The pot was then carefully wrapped, to minimise transit damage. Exit one very happy customer.
( This lovely little place also serves delicious lunches).

[If you click on the picture, it will enlarge. The animals on the sides are delightful.]

Sun on the Beech

This group of trees is  growing just over a mile from our cottage, alongside a busy road. Every time I pass, this Autumn, I have to smile. The Beech and Birch have been so very golden, making a pool of sunshine on the dullest days. Today, with the sun shining on them, I just had to take a picture....the leaves will soon be off the trees, and then it will be as though that beauty never existed. Such is the ephemeral nature of Nature's Beauty!

Monday, 25 November 2013

Renewed purpose

When we came to this cottage, fifteen or so years ago, I was not a regular knitter, and certainly not a confident one. Nevertheless, I embarked on knitting an Aran cardigan. A thigh-length one. As you see, I managed the back. Try as I might, I could never get very far on the fronts. The length (bottom of photo) you see was as far as I got at each attempt, before seeing a mass of mistake.  I now know that two lines of pattern were transposed. I doubt if anyone, as novice as I was, ever got any further.  
 The project sat, unloved, in my cedar chest, until yesterday. There was a post on Wovember about re-using old wool sweaters, and generally recycling good textiles. A light bulb went on in my head..... this  could be the first of my wool cushions for the kitchen chairs!

So, I have unravelled the front, and the back as far as one row below the arm-holes. The yarn was re-skeined on my big niddy-noddy, washed, and is now hanging to dry.
I have picked up the stitches on the remaining part of the back, and will continue in moss stitch to match the length already there.

Saturday, 23 November 2013


 The Susanna Ic Autumn Mystery Knitalong has come to a close. People are finishing their projects, and posting photos of their shawls. Here is mine. It is the large size, no beads, in a lovely deep Moss colour. It will make a lovely Christmas gift for my Mother. 51% baby alpaca, 49% cashmere, it is as soft as butter to handle. I do hope she likes it.

Detail of the lace from the shawl.
The BFL/Masham  DK that I received a while ago, has knitted up beautifully.  It feels like Shetland wool, when I am knitting it, and does resemble it, once knitted up. Since the picture (above ) was taken, I have unravelled the sample, knitted a proper test sample, and washed and blocked it. It came out at 22 stitches by 30 rows over a 4 inch square. Standard double knit. Phew!
So, I have cast on , and am in the process of working up a cowl. There should be a skein of the same yarn, dyed in a good heart's blood colour, arriving shortly. A simple fair-isle design is wafting around in the ether, here at Dragonside.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Work, continued....

Today, at work.................
                                              Lots of colour. ( Preparing yarn for an order. )

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Spin/Knit TV

Have you heard about Slow Television? It is in the same mind-set as Slow Food. I have heard lots of snippets about a 'Sheep to Shoulder'  Television programme, from Norway, but until today, had not been able to trace it.  So, have a look, and see what you think. My opinion? It is inspired!

It goes on for about thirteen hours. I watched half an hour, or so, and put it on pause. I will be going back to watch more!

Friday, 15 November 2013


It had been a very yellow autumn, so far. Quite beautiful, but it seemed that the development of colour had been arrested.  Then, one night of hard frost, followed by a couple of bright, sunny days. Suddenly, plantations of Birch have become gleaming rivers. Beech hedgerows shine on hilltops like burnished copper. Alder trees have dropped their leaves overnight, leaving just a few  waving, white on the ends of blackening branches, as if in surrender. Cherry leaves, the yellow and pink echoing the colour of their young fruit. Dogwood and Spindle, their leaves pools of dark wine.

No sun - no moon!
No morn - no noon -
No dawn - no dusk - no proper time of day.
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member -
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds! -

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

British Wool

 Great excitement today.....the arrival of some new yarn. This is a Bluefaced Leicester/Masham blend. Double knit, Roving-style singles. It is a lovely, soft, heathered pale grey. British wool, spun in England. (I think the Mill is in Yorkshire, but I am not certain). I have wound it into a cake, and cast on some stitches, in order to knit a tension square. Update shortly! The arrival of this yarn at  Juno Fibre Art is the reason for one of the swatches in the Proliferation post.
The next picture is a roll of British Gotland. Another Wovember project. I think it feels like a Brillo pad, but have been told that once spun and washed, it will become something completely different. I do hope so! 
I shall be taking this to Coldharbour spinning group, tomorrow. I will find out then.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Quiet time

                                    All set for a quiet afternoon knitting. ( Dogs permitting! )

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Wooly add-ons

 The proliferation seems set to continue.... I could not resist going into The Wool Merchant in Tiverton, earlier. We spend so much time in the kitchen, at home, that the chairs need a little something to make them a bit more comfortable.  Spying the selection of Blacker wools in the shop, I thought ''ooh, cushions! '' Maybe cabled, or colour work, who knows ( yet). Two Ryeland Aran weight, in Natural, and two Pure Shetland DK in Moorit.
The reason I passed The Wool Merchant, was my quest for some more enamelled poppy pins, from the Royal British Legion. They are only available from the Clubs, not the people selling from trays. Best Beloved and I have started wearing them instead of the disposable paper ones. We put our donations into the collection tins in the usual way, just do not take the paper poppy.
The only snag, is moving them from one garment to another, if you wear a cluster of them ( as I do ). So, I made a 'brooch' to put them on.
I used the excellent pattern  Little Leaves , from Alana Dakos, and Never Not Knitting. A few yards of Wensleydale Longwool DK, knitted up on 2mm needles. ( That is NOT a mistake). This makes a very tight and firm fabric. A safety pin sewn onto the back, just above the centre line, completes the project.
Add the poppy pins to the leaf, in an artistic manner, and there! Ready for Armistice Day/ Remembrance Sunday.

Saturday, 2 November 2013


Project Proliferation is not a syndrome I generally suffer from. Over the last few weeks, though, I seem to have fallen prey to it.
From the left - A short sleeved sweater, Southport by Rowan ( with modifications), a dishcloth (cream), a Fair Isle-style sweater that I am designing ( spots), a swatch for a lace shawl ( white ), a  Susanna Ic MKAL  shawl (dark green) in cashmere,  a swatch for a Fair Isle cowl (cream and red ), the first of a pair of simple socks  (two-tone green), and finally , a short scarf in silk hankies /mawata.
The two skeins? Oh, well, I have a pattern for a wonderful wrap, and the wool ( yes, I mean wool ) to make it with.
I also have plans for some gloves, a set of cushion covers for the kitchen chairs, and.......well, lots more.
The Susanna Ic shawl is certain to be completed before too long. It is a gift for my Mother in a couple of months time. The others.....well, they will get done, or they will be unravelled - in time.

{ Goodness - What a lot of green ! }