Thursday, October 22, 2009

Summer's End

I haven't blogged for MONTHS... and I miss blogging. Just been so busy with work and stuff.

Since my trip to Horsham I've been up to quite a bit knitting/craft-wise.

In May I went to Wonderwool Wales and had a great day chatting to folk from Welsh Guilds and making a few discerning purchases, mostly spinning fibre.

May and June I was working on a mega lace project for my Mum's birthday. This is the North Roë Shawl by Dodile on Ravelry modelled by my friend H, who is about the same height as my Mum, so I think I went one repeat too far!

This was a laceweight handspun merino, an autumnal blend I bought from Wingham Woolwork a couple of years ago when they came to our local Guild.

This was spun on my Kromski Sonata when I first bought it, which I must admit hasn't seen much action lately, so I must get her out again and oil her up.

June was the annual pilgrimage North to the folks for a short break and a trip to Woolfest, and the folks took me to Bodnant Gardens in North Wales which was stunning.

I also managed to cram in a trip to 3 Mills in East Lancashire. Helmshore, which has a water wheel and HUGE fulling hammers which I have never seen before. Queen Street, which still has all of its original weaving looms and equipment, a 'Fred Dibnah' chimney, huge steam engine and stunning views of the surrounding moors. Finally, Oswaldtwistle (which is now a shopping outlet) which still displays some unusual jacquard looms and miscellaneous paraphanalia.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lace and flowers

Last Saturday I ventured out on the train to Horsham in West Sussex to the Annual Lace Fair. Spent a good hour chatting on the train to a friend from my Guild and our local Knit & Natter group. A nice surprise to have a travelling companion for one part of the journey.

I worked on my baby jacket for a work colleague who is due off on maternity shortly, and J worked on yet another sock in her own hand dyed sock yarn. The sock siren has yet to call me.......

It was a truly gorgeous day, and I was conspicuous wearing a wool coat, but leaving home early in the morning meant being a little bit sensible.

This time round I was able to shop with confidence now that I know a little more about the whole lace thing, and I picked up some more bobbins and threads. I also replaced my Needle Tatting book which I gave to my Mum for Mother's Day. It is a needlecraft she has failed to master over the years using the leaf-shaped shuttle, so maybe she can get on with the needle technique. I am sure she'll attempt a doily or two for her dolls house.

I want to have a go at some cuffs that I saw in an issue of Piecework Magazine. I need to get motivated again as I seem to have fallen out of love with knitting and spinning generally.

I walked through the park into town after exhausting my budget at the show. You can see how dry the ground is after so little rain this winter.

The town was covered in flower sellers - it being the day before Mothering Sunday. Enjoyed a browse through the shops, bought some second hand paperbacks and devoured some delicious Orange Polenta Cake and rested my weary legs.

In the centre of town and appearing as a new feature since my last visit was this sculpture...

Quite a departure from this very old part of the town. A very narrow alleyway between two old buildings.

And here is how the town planners get over developing around an old architectural feature....

Yes,the newer building really is just a gnat's whisker width away from the spire.


I have Guild today, so must do my secretarial duties and get my bag sorted with the necessary paperwork. I've decided against taking my wheel, and will continue with my Weave-it project. Nice and small and portable. Off now to make salad and get organised. Funny how I have been up since before 6am and I still manage to run late!!!

Clocks go forward tonight, so an hour of my weekend robbed already.....sob!

Monday, February 23, 2009

2008 - A Retrospective

After a whole year's neglect the blog needs to catch up with things from 2008, including our local bi-annual Guild Exhibition.

We usually exhibit at the Echium Terrace at Ventnor Botanic Garden which has a wonderful view across the grounds. Stewarding is no hardship in the lovely surroundings. Plus, the cheese scones in the cafe are HUGE.

Here's a selection of the exhibits:

Friday, February 13, 2009

Broadband here I come.....

After dithering about ISP providers for the past 5 years :rollseyes: I've finally signed up for Broadband today, so the blog will get busy again.

I went to the Creative Stitches and Needlecraft show last weekend in Brighton, a lovely train ride along the edge of the South Downs capped with snow.

Lots of stalls, lots of exhibits and my favourite things - mini workshops and Lectures.

Eliza McClelland was on top form and her beaded embroidery was sumptuous and inspiring. Jane Callender's presentation of Indigo and Shibori was very interesting.

I had a go at Knitting with Wire and Beads and also at Lacemaking again, which has spurred me on to get my pillow and bobbins out and have a go.

On the knitting front, I'm currently working on a drop sleeved tank top - a Debbie Bliss pattern. Need to concentrate on the aran pattern, so not one to mindlessly work at while watching TV.

I have to work on my spinning this weekend and have a go at carding some poonies ready for our next Guild Meeting. Not used cotton before, so this will be a challenge!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Season's Greetings!

A Very Merry Christmas to all who pass by.......

and a Happy New Year.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Who are you again......?

....... said my blog.
It's a wonder I still remember how to drive Blogger after all of this time, but dear Reader, there is a simple explanation. Blogger has been blocked by my employer (bah!), so I am reduced to the torture of Dial-up at home. 15 minutes just to get to the New Post section - with the speed of a striking slug.
So until I sort out Broadband, entries will be sporadic and probably devoid of pictures.
So no evidence of my trips to the various craft shows, including Wonderwool 2008. No pictures of WIPs or FOs for the time being.
Some news though, I am now the proud owner of a Mk1 Ashford Elizabeth, courtesy of birthday money, and eBay. Getting used to the weird orifice arrangement still, but it does hum along, being my first experience with double-drive. All in all, I like it.
My first spinning demo of the season was yesterday, where I rubbed shoulders with Alan Titchmarsh who is now High Sheriff of our fair Isle. I even sold a handspun/knitted Shetland beanie hat, so thanks to that lady who rushed back to buy it in secret for her friend....aaah.

Monday, January 07, 2008


This year I am trying to curb my enthusiasm for emptying my purse of all its contents in exchange for yarn, fibre and crafting equipment. I am keeping a dreaded Spending Diary which serves to make me think more than twice when I'm siren-called by bargain Rowan yarn languishing seductively in the John Lewis Sale.

This weekend I had planned ahead for a trip to London to see the John Everett Millais exhibition at Tate Britain before it closes on the 13th January. I managed a brilliantly cheap coach fare on National Express - £2 return from Portsmouth by booking last month.

The queues were forming by the time I got there a little after 10am, but it was still easy enough to view the paintings, and after 90 minutes, my plan to find somewhere to sit and write a few notes were abandoned due to lack of seating and pure exhaustion. I'd been wavering on whether to make the trip due to shortage of funds, but I'm glad I did now, as there were several paintings from private collections and from the States which I could never hope to see in real life away from the exhibition. There were a lot of drawings and prints and especially charming were the exhibit of the actual child's bonnet and shoes worn for the painting of 'Cherry Ripe' which still belong to the model's family.

Most splendid was the portrait of Alfred, Lord Tennyson - a resident of the Isle of Wight, and poet laureate to Queen Victoria.

After a restorative sandwich and banana on a bench at the Millbank entrance, enjoying the winter sun, I decided that I'd try walking around London for the first time since I was a schoolchild instead of using the Tube. Saving money and getting exercise and fresh air into the bargain. I was amazed to discover just how close everything is to everything else, and was snapping away like a demented tourist.

View from the Thames - Lambeth Palace, and just making out the Gherkin towards the right of the frame.

Then around the corner - the London Eye

Swiftly followed by the Houses of Parliament

Big Ben

Westminster Abbey

Anti War protestors in Parliament Square

Nelson's Column (Nelson's been on the drink! or is that just my lousy camera work?)

Trafalgar Square, where New Year revellers used to jump into the fountain. (The National Gallery in the background)

Street Art

The home of delectable fabrics, trims, buttons and knitting yarn......Liberty

I weakened here when I spotted some rarely-seen 2mm double pointed needles, so I blew a whole £2.70.

Then some after-dark pictures as I bravely walked back from Oxford Street to Victoria. Eek!!

South Molton Street with its angel decorations.

Buckingham Palace (particularly difficult to get a good shot without being run over!)

and finally.........

Some knitting.

Now armed with the correct size needles, I made my first sock.

Sized for fairies!

I was dreading socks after reading so much about the hell of 'turning the heel', but it was a piece of cake. Hurrah for socks!

Now to get back into my spinning for 2008. So much little time.

Happy New Year!

Here we are in 2008 and I haven't managed to organise myself enough to post until now.

I managed to make my sister's beaded jewellery in time for Christmas, despite losing the sterling silver clasps I bought in a big hurry on eBay. (They turned up last night in the salad drawer of my fridge!) :worrying: I can only guess that it's the onset of senility, or the pixies have been moving stuff around again indoors. The one thing I forgot to do was take a photo of the completed set.

Christmas passed, unusually for me, with lots of family visiting and far too much eating and drinking - my poor liver is currently in detox mode. I made a date with my sister to get out and about on the Thursday and we went to Manchester on the train. £4.40 for a two-hour return trip - total bargain!

I haven't been to Manchester since my dad died, and certainly not to the city centre since it was bombed by the IRA in 1996. What a difference. It's now a very metropolitan shopping area, with lots of pedestrianised sections. I took these snaps as we walked back to the train.

The Big Wheel.

The Old Wellington Inn and the corner of the Triangle (formerly the Corn Exchange).

Extract from

"Dating from 1552, the Old Wellington Inn is the oldest public house in Manchester. The black and white Tudor building in Shambles Square is its third location, being moved twice to make way for new buildings. It was first moved when the Arndale Centre was built over 'The Shambles', its original rundown location. In 1996 the IRA bombing of Manchester city centre devastated buildings around it but fortunately it was protected by another building and suffered minor damage. With the rebuilding and the creation of Exchange Square, the pub was moved to its present position. Extensively refurbished and has an à la carte restaurant. Next door is Sinclair's Oyster Bar, another survivor of The Shambles".

Interestingly, the road these buildings are on is called Hanging Ditch, which sounds a little gruesome when you think about it.


I got on with some more beading over the Christmas break, and also met up with a lovely lady called Cathy (and her folks) who I 'met' on Ravelry. We have a shared interest in spinning and knitting, and she runs her own website selling fibre and yarn with two friends, here - LazyKate