Welcome to my blog.
A place to record and share my musings and my work.
'Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?'

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Walk on the Wild Side

It's 'All Hallows Eve'.
Happy Halloween everyone!
The Post title today is an homage to one 
of the icons of my mis-spent youth.

R.I.P. Lou
Storm St. Edmund's, which reeked havoc, in
some parts of the country but mercifully, the worst
of it, passed us by.
We got the rain but not the wind.
This is a photo of ducks (almost too small to see), happily
playing in a temporary pond, in the field behind our house

Yesterday, we took advantage of the lovely,
autumnal morning and set off on another trip 
into The Dales.

This is the road to Grassington. What a view!
We are so lucky to live here.

This was our destination, Upper Wharfedale.

Lastly, caught this Highland cow, happily having
 a good scratch on the 'Welcome to Richmondshire' sign.
 Picture doesn't do it justice but it made me laugh.
The rest of this week has been spent in my workroom.
I'm working on another bag (the last one), for my stall.
See what you think.

Adapting this from a pattern from one of my favourite
bloggers Lucy, from Attic 24
It's going well so far. Found some fabric that I liked
for the lining.

This one won't be felted. 
 I've made it before but it was larger and I didn't line that one. 
Also trying an experiment with the handles and closure.
 Will show the finished article next time.
I'm delighted with this vintage booklet of sock patterns.
It was delivered on Monday and is in perfect condition.

I have had the idea of  knitting a pair of  Christmas socks ,
for the man in my life.
I've purchased the wool  (love the soft colours),
and cast on.
It's a start!!

 I'm going to use the 'magic loop' (more about that later)
method, rather than my usual 4 needles.
I like to alternate between both approaches to circular knitting so
that I keep my skills up.
I've got another days work on Saturday, so that will be coming
 with me, as I'm trying to knit them in secret.
Before I go Ethel has asked me if I could show you
a photo of her 'fully' dressed.
She said it was getting a little chilly for being so scantily clad.

How could I refuse !

Thursday, 24 October 2013


It's a lovely day today, after all that rain.
Thought it was worth a photo.

This is our little cottage garden, basking in the sunshine.
So lovely.
It's been another busy week.
Thought I was going to have a quiet time of it, in
my workroom, but fate stepped in.
Suddenly realised, on Sunday, that it was my niece and
great nephew's 1st birthday at the end of the week.
Thursday, in fact.
With all the things going on here, it had slipped my mind.
A very big oops!!
What to do..... not much time.
Make  something of course.
Found a pattern for a lovely little hat, in a Debbie Bliss baby book.

Out came the needles and yarn and I set too.

Adapted it a little, to make it my own and this is the result.

 What do you think ? 
 I've just heard little Archie loved it.
 Couldn't ask for more.
While I was in town, on Tuesday posting my package,
 I had to visit my favourite shop, didn't I ?


Found this lovely lilac soap (loved the box) and this hat pin.
I also dropped in my application form, to act as a volunteer.
That's it I'm committed now.
before I go, a couple of photos of work, completed since I
last posted.

I've upcycled this lovely silk mix, pokadot scarf (purchased for very little money),
  by crocheting and attaching some matching flowers.
I'm very pleased with it.
and ...

Here is Ethel wearing my new sweater.
Finished at last.
Phew !!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Felty Things and the Generosity of Friends.

It's been a good week, peppered with days of mists and mellow fruitfulness
and autumnal sunshine.

View from my workshop
Things to be thankful for this week.
I have picked up a day's work on Saturday, looking 
after my friend's gallery in Pateley Bridge.
Keeps my 'shop girl' skills finely honed and a
 little money in my pocket too !
Thankyou Teresa.
Managed to get space in November, at 
The Farmers Market, which is held at
Hopefully, this might earn us a bit to go
towards Christmas.....madly making now for this.
Thanks Zack.
Lastly, in the thanks department.
A big thankyou to my friend Annette,
who when I called in to see her on Wednesday,
generously gave us a wine bottle filled with
Olive oil, straight from the press in Portugal.
Yum , yum !
Anyway.... on with the felting.
I've made a second bag this week.
It was another experiment, this time upcycling an
 old cardigan, rather than starting from scratch.
Not sure if I'm pleased with it yet.
See what you think!

I thought you might be interested in the process. 
so here goes............


I dis-assembled this pure wool cardigan, which had, had, it's life.
(the material has to be 100% wool, for felting,
 whether you upcycle a garment or make it yourself).
I made my bag out of the back of the cardigan. 
Then, what to make the border and handle from?
I had some mohair, which I thought would be fit for purpose 
but not sure it would felt. I made a crochet flower out
 of the wool and tried it out before I went any further.

TIP: These little bags, given with washing tablets, make great
little containers for keeping small experiments seperatein the wash. 
Works for buttons too!!
Make sure you knot the little string or contents, will work free
and thats not good, as I know to my cost!

It worked.
  I crocheted the border, handles and buttonhole flap.
Then came the exciting bit.
To felt it, I put it in the washing macine on a 40 degree wash cycle.
You can use any washing powder but no conditioner and do not spin.
I usually put the machine on Rinsehold, in case it gets forgotten.
When finished, I squeezed out the excess water,
pulled it into shape and then rolled it up in a towel
to absorb the worst of the wet.
When drip dry, I hung it out in the sunshine.
Finally I put it in the airing cupboard to complete the drying process.

Now for the finishing off.

  Had this linen which I liked, for the lining.

Two matching buttons for the fastening
 (one on top of the other).

Before I go, must share with you, my bargain of the week.
It's so beautiful and cost under £2, from you know where.
It's from a dressing table set, I think. 
You can still see traces of face powder in the lid.
It has a cut glass base and hand embroidery set in the lid.

It's now housing my dress making pins.
Lovely, I'll treasure it.
Thinking of becoming a volunteer at my favourite shop.
I'd like to give something back and I have the time at the moment.
It's good to live dangerously!!
ha, ha.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Ghosts in the Machine and Knitting

Apples in the press
This week began in a very frustrating way.
When I had finished my last post, I went to add
my 'Word of the Day', only to find the text gadget
had stopped working......so annoying!!
I spent an inordinate amount of time
 fiddling with it, to no effect.
Not being one to give up at the first hurdle,
I did a bit of sleuthing on Google, only to find 
there were a lot of other unhappy bloggers out there
having the same problem. 'Misery loves company'!
So relieved it wasn't something I'd done.
Anyway enough of that. 
It took a week but it seems to be sorted
but not before I stupidly lost all my words.
There must be a moral in that somewhere!
The rest of the week panned out much better.
The cider making is proceeding apace.
Couldn't resist taking a photo of the pressed apples
(see start of post).
They look like a little green and pink brick wall.
So pretty.

The rest of the week was spent in my workroom
knitting the sleeve and yoke of my sweater.
The new wool bought at Masham Sheep Fair has
renewed my love affair with the piece and I've been
able to get fresh inspiration.I've managed to complete one
 side, watched over by my faithful friend, Gemma.

I say watched but as you can see, she's snoozing in the
 Autumn sunshine streaming through the window.
It's now assembled and with the help of my able assistant Ethel
 ........ here for you to see

It's great to have Ethel home, where she belongs.  
She is so helpful, modelling my creations and never complaining. 
I caught her admiring herself in the mirror.
Made me smile.

The week ended with a trip to Skipton with a friend.
Had a lovely time reaquainting myself with old haunts
(I worked at the hospital there for 12 years).
Came back, with a few bits and pieces, for very little money.

Felt restored and refreshed. 
It's amazing what a day out and a bargain will do!
Before I go .......
Amanda, from the lovely blog Rabbit House Lane 
suggested I might do a post on felting.  
I've been experimenting on a new bag.
Will blog about the process next time.
Have a happy week.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Juggling and ..... An Unexpected Journey !

It's Sunday again and the 6th October already.
Time is marching on !
It's set to be a busy day as we are apple picking.
Justin, my partner, is keen to try his hand at cider making.
So we are taking advantage of a kind neighbour's offer
to make use of her bumper crop and her apple press.
A way of saving money and learning a new skill at the same time.
Oh! and something to add to the Christmas cheer too.
Better get on with this post before I get called away.
The 30th September, is a sad day for me.  
I suffered the unexpected loss of my youger brother.
It's been four years now and time has helped soften the grief 
but it is always a day for thoughtfulness and reflection. 
 It changed my life and made me realise
that you have to make the most of every moment
 and take pleasure in the little things. 

Justin planned, unbeknown to me, to take me on a picnic
  to our favourite Dale..... Littondale
I apologise in advance for the quality of my photos as the 
weather was not with us.

The scenery was stunning although a mist hung over the tops
and we couldn't see Pen y Ghent at all.
 I did see, however, a pair of buzzards wheeling overhead (such a privilege) 
but in the photo they looked like pinpricks and not worth showing to you.
It was the perfect antidote and we had a lovely day.
The rest of the week was spent in my workroom
I have been knitting and crocheting madly, in order to get enough
items for a Christmas Craft Stall.
It's all a juggling act! 
 balancing  my need to work on my textiles or to try and 
generate some income to keep us going.
Finished a pair of mittens

and ....
 was so chuffed with my felting experiment.
The crochet bag turned out better than my wildest dreams

I crocheted a little flower for decoration and felted that too.
In the centre, I sewed a greeny-yellow mother of pearl button
with a flower bead centre. 
The fastening is a vintage button, culled from my vast collection.

I still thought it needed something to make it extra special.
I found this fabulous vintage fabric which I thought would
make a good lining and finish it off.
It did.

Put both items on Etsy, so we shall see!
Just before I go, thought I'd share Justin's latest painting with
you because I love it.
He's painting watercolours at the moment which is not
his preferred medium but they sell.

The Stray.
He's also juggling but hey!
'C'est la vie'