Friday, 30 May 2014

Green and Pleasant

Just lately, I have been reading Terri Windling's blog, Myth & Moor. It has reminded me how I am drawn to the Fey, the Myth of which our Islands are full.

We are all fortunate to have such beauty within reach. The rain, which has been so constant recently, and we complain of so bitterly, is one of the major reasons the land is so green.

Thursday, 29 May 2014


 Rain stopped play.....or rather, gardening. Which is the same thing, really.

Friday, 23 May 2014

The Neighbours

 One of the joys of living here, is the diversity of wildlife that we observe, or encounter. The front garden was designed as a formal area, but these days seems only to be used as a bird feeding area. The list of birds which we see there is gratifying, but it also means we occasionally have predatory visitors. This male Sparrowhawk has become a regular. On this particular occasion, he sat on the fence for nearly ten minutes, enabling me to take a number of photographs.
Best Beloved was turning the compost heap, and came across this young Grass Snake, buried in the warmth a few inches down. ( He is always cautious when working the compost heap, as we know that there are Grass Snakes around. The last thing we would want, is damage to any of our plots' inhabitants). B.B. also came across a much larger one yesterday, basking in the sun, on the edge of the woods.

Friday, 16 May 2014

New projects

 I seem to have been working on the same projects for ever. Well, some have been finished, ( see previous posts for the Exmoor Fair Isle sweater, and Fialka shawl, ) and some have bitten the dust. More of that anon.
The first of the new is yet another Annis by Susanna Ic. This is in a John Arbon 2/3 ply alpaca, in the most amazing rich ginger. I find myself in need of a bright shawl, which I will use as a scarf, to brighten all the neutrals that I wear.
 Just before we left for Wales, I started a pair of socks in a beautiful green. I found a lovely contrast for the toes and heels at Wonderwool. Oddly enough, it was from fivemoons! ( Of course it was... I know her sock yarns are reliable! ). On our return home, I finally decided, (with half a  sock made) that I did not like the yarn which the body of the sock was made from. ( not a fivemoons). So, I ripped it out. A jolly outing to see Sharon at fivemoons this week, and I came home with some lovely Luna Plus 4 ply, in Herb. As you see (above ), it sparks off beautifully against the  Pumpkin mini, (also Luna Plus 4 Ply), which I bought at Wonderwool.
 I also brought home some really cheery minis, which I could not resist. All Luna Plus 4 ply Minis.
                                                             Summer Marmalade
                                                         Geranium, and  Foxglove.
Sharon and I discussed the possibility of an improved version of the Firedrake scarf/shawl, which I made last Autumn. Possibly in a much heavier weight yarn, but still something really soft and luxurious. Hmm. Thinking caps on!

Monday, 12 May 2014

At Guild...

 It was Guild, on Saturday ( Devon Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers). One of the members had very kindly brought along this wheel for me to try. It is from Babe's Fibre Garden, an American firm. I am looking for a very light-weight wheel, as mine are very heavy. (Attending the group at Coldharbour Mill has become problematic, as the wheels have to be carried some distance, from the parking area to meeting room). The Babe's F.G. wheel is so light, I can carry it with one hand. It is quirky looking, and a friend said 'Not really your style, Darling''. However, I had great fun trying it, and it does spin beautifully. As long as one remembers that it is so light, and does not get carried away, and tip it up!
The downside, is that it is only available from America, at present, which could prove expensive. It is the taxes and postage that really push the price up.
There is generally a sales table, for members to sell various things, like excess fleece, or fruit and vegetables. There are a small number of members who keep hens, and sell their over-production. I bought this dozen eggs, from a mixed flock.
From the bottom row -the two outer eggs are properly white, the inner two are light brown.
Middle -the outer two are deep brown, with darker brown speckles, the inner two are pale Robin's-egg blue.
Top -left one is another white, middle two are pale brown, and far right is pale olive green.
These eggs are too pretty to use. The colours are much stronger, in the flesh. I am sure I will force myself to use them, though.

Friday, 9 May 2014

Beauty in Utility

Hay - On - Wye .....such a beautiful name. It conjures up such bucolic visions.  I have wished to visit the town for such a long time. Last week, during our stay in Wales, we did visit. I was not disappointed. It is very attractive, full of old buildings, quirky little side streets, and interesting shops. And books.... I have never seen so many. Shops full, little stalls, a house with the door propped open, and the entrance passage full of books for sale! Unusually for me, I did not buy any. I think I was just too boggled.
One shop we did buy from, was the Hay Makers. A witty name, and full of wonderful things. I could not resist this lovely dish. It was called a Cheese dish, but I feel it is rather small for that. It does  make a perfect Butter dish, though. It was made by a lady called Pauline Paterson. It fits in remarkably well with some pottery which is made locally ( Somerset).
I have been buying the pieces it complements for some years, making a small collection. Jugs, plates, dishes, a wonderful vase. These are made by Virginia Markham. 
The dish is a lovely thing to have as a souvenir, beautiful and useful. It chimes well with William Morris' dictum.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Wonderful Wonderwool

Wonderwool Wales was bigger and better, this year. Another hall had been added, so three halls of fibre-y fabulousness. Meeting up with all the usual suspects was as much fun as usual.
I bought an awful lot of socks from John Arbon. Some fabulous mini skeins from fivemoons yarns, for heels and toes. (Socks, of course.)  Only one ball of angora yarn from Bigwigs Angoras .... they had run out of the colour I wanted! Books, stitch markers, some delicious camel and silk lace-weight from Knitwitches. And it would not have been Wonderwool, if I had not kept up my strength with visits to Love Patisserie and Preseli Coffee.
 There were a number of representatives of fleece suppliers there.....
                     This lovely girl was on the British Coloured Sheep Society stand.
                                    A very pretty Ewe , for the Shetland Sheep Society

               Two Angora rabbits being beautiful on the Bigwigs Angoras stand.

                                       And there were one or two I had not expected.......

As I said, great fun, as ever, but Best beloved and I, along with Barley and Quince, did NOT bolt home at the end. We had booked a cottage for the week, so stayed on, and had a few more adventures in Wales.