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?'

Monday, 30 December 2013

'The Gate of the Year'

And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year
'Give me a light, that I may tread safely into the unknown!'
                                           Marie Louise Haskins

I'm not a great one for looking back but
 always strive to look forwards.
2013 has brought it's highs and lows.
Looking forward to 2014.
I wish you all a very happy and creative, New Year.
and a thought!!
' Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come'
                                Alfred Lord Tennyson


Friday, 27 December 2013


Boxing Day, was a lovely quiet sort of day.
We pottered about doing just what we fancied.

It was a very frosty start, unlike today.
 We're back to 'stormy' weather!
Mr C,  decided to spend it in his music
room, which he's been refurbishing, over 
the holiday season.
                                                  Supervised by his childhood friends.

As you would expect, I retreated to my workroom.
I spent a happy time, tidying and rearranging my work space. 
Reading Lazy Daisy's post today,
 I realise I was not alone, in this.
This is a ritual with me, before I start something new.
Then, it was time to play!
Look what I got for Christmas.

Pom pom makers....Yeah!!
Been a want, for a while and Mr C. obliged.
Had a few happy hours..... no wool was safe.
Great for stash busting
Then, it was onto the new project.

I've always wanted to challenge myself to knit
a Shetland shawl.
Way back in the summer, I aquired 5 balls of Rowan, 
Kidsilk Haze, in a Charity Shop, in Skipton.

I've made a start as you can see.
Hope you've had a happy time!

Monday, 23 December 2013

Merry Christmas

A very merry Christmas to everyone in 'blog land'.
 Peace, blessings and goodwill to all!

from Ethel

and me xx

Thursday, 19 December 2013

'Mr' Christmas Has Come To Our House!

'Mr' Christmas, not to be confused with, that
venerable gentleman, Father Christmas,
has worked his magic.

In our house, I decorate the tree.

It is not a tree, in the conventional sense but a
collection of Buddleia branches with a few pieces
of the pine tree, we have pruned, around the bottom.
It's filled with lots of memories from Christmas's gone by.

I came home, yesterday from my stint in the Charity Shop,
to find this .............

My lovely man, Mr C, had waved his magic wand
and transformed our house.
If you look very closely you can see me in the mirror.
'looking out, looking in'.
The kitchen, is the hub of our home.
Let me take you on a tour!

It's an 'Ivy' Christmas, this year.

The cherubs above the cooker, are dancing!

Each toy has his own bauble to hold!

and the 'chilli' lights are framing the window.
The presents have been made, wrapped and 
posted off to loved ones, near and far.
The cards have been written and the decorations are up. 
I think we're almost ready for the festivities to commence.

Before I go, I must show you, yesterday's find.
This little cardboard box.
I opened it, to reveal .............

these little beauties.
It was love at first sight!!
Wherever you are,
hope your festive preparations are going well?

Friday, 13 December 2013

The Party Tree

We've arrived at Friday again, the 13th, in fact.
Unlucky for some!
Christmas is coming fast, less than 2 weeks 
to go until the Big Day!
This post is mostly, pictorial.
A snapshot of my week, so to speak.

The 'Party Tree' 
( homage to Bilbo Baggins, 111st b'day party)
This is to be found on our Village Green.
All lit up for Christmas. 

Last Saturday, found me entering
the craft stall arena again.

What a different experience.  
The hall looked festive, the atmosphere was welcoming
 and the people, very friendly.

There were some great stalls. 
In particular, I would like to mention Ruda, 
whose shop on Etsy, has some lovely
beaded and soutash jewellery

Had a great time and made new friends.

Fell for this little 'busy bee', finger puppet
who came home with me, to join the 'Pencil Top Mob'.

Spun wool,  skeined and plyed.
Collins, book about fungae, on my desk.
Latest find at my 'favourite store'.

Yesterday's sunrise, taken from my garden.
One with flash and one without.

Must go..... lots still to be done.
Rumour has it, that the decorations are going up
very, very soon. 
Can't wait!
I love Christmas!
Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, 6 December 2013

All in a Spin

Everything this week has put us in a spin, including the weather.
On Monday, the view from my bedroom window,
looked like this.

On Thursday, it was a different story.

'Stormy weather', as the song says.
 Reality struck at the start of the week.
Our outgoings are not keeping up with 
our incomings. The boiler packing up 
again, has put the 'tin lid' on it.
We were in a whirl!
Nothing for it, I have to get a day job.
Trawled the net, over the next few days. Found a post that
appealed to me, that I thought I could do and applied forwith.
Feel better for having done something positive about our situation.
Have to wait and see.
Wedsnesday, found me in the Charity Shop.
My first solo shift. I really enjoyed the experience. 

Found this little beauty, to add to my large box collection. 
Love the little drawers. It will be so useful, or so I tell myself.
A thread running all week, behind the scenes,
has been WOOL, namely; the sorting; carding;
and spinning of sheep fleeces, of which,
I have a few!!
 My partner and I, have spent an
hour almost every day, carding .

This is the carding machine, set up in our kitchen.
Looks medieval..... have to watch your fingers!
The spikes, on the rollers, are quite fierce.

Basket of rolags, ready for spinning. 
In this case from a Herdwick sheep.

My spinning wheel. 
I'm not very good yet but I love doing it. 
Will gets lots of practice over the winter months.

Amongst all this frantic activity, there's Christmas presents 
to finish, for posting. That's the most important thing for me.
Don't want lots of disappointed faces on the big day.
A pompom, to go on top of
one of the prezzies and the first sock finished.
Phew! Difficult to keep all the balls in the air.
Before I go, I must apologise for the quality of some
of my photos. The light in my workroom
 has not been the best, this week.
I would also like to thank all the lovely peolple,
who have been sharing my posts.
It means so much.
Have a good weekend.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Highs and Lows!

We've come to the end of the week again.
It's a very blustery day here, hence the slightly
blurry photo from my workroom window.

November will soon be a memory.
December is almost upon us and we will be able to 
open the first door of the Advent Calendar.
So exciting! I love Christmas.
My post today, mainly concerns, the highs and lows of
my first, Craft Stall experience.
To be honest, it was mainly lows, unfortunately.
With hindsight, I think my expectations were too high.
We are living life on the edge at the moment. I had pinned
all my hopes on earning some much needed cash
to help pay for Christmas.
At the end of the day, I only just covered my costs, with
a tiny, tiny profit, which was probably gobbled up,
by the cost of the petrol I used, getting there.
I had lots of questions ......
Were my 'goodies', just not good enough!

 [ Collaged Yorkshire Landscape ]       

 but that couldn't be right as I got lots
               of great feedback, from the other stall holders.     

 [Rag Rug Kit]

The truth was, we just didn't get the footfall.
It was a bit dispiriting. 
All that hard work for very little return.
On the plus side ......... 
I met lots of lovely people with the same interests as me
 and I did cover the cost of my pitch.
One lovely stall holder, who's things I lusted after,
took nothing at all. Poor girl!
Anyway, that's enough of that......
I'm putting that experience behind me and
getting straight 'back on the horse'.
I've booked another stall for 7th Dec,
at our local Christmas Fair.
It's cheaper, no petrol expenses and
I already have the stock!!
Must go now, need to get to the post.
 More Christmas Pudding Hats will be 
winging their way onwards.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, 21 November 2013

As I Was Walking

It seemed appropriate to name this post
'As I Was Walking', which also happens to be the
title of one of my textile pieces.

It's been a lovely week, here in North Yorkshire.
It's true it's rained but mostly, at night. 
I have been out and about taking photos of where
we live, decked out, in all it's Autumnal finery.

This is a view of the village, where we live.
You can see the church spire in the distance, among the trees.
I love hearing the clock in the distance, chiming the hour.

lots of 'hips and haws'.

All the photos where taken on my usual dog walking route,
through the fields surrounding our cottage.
The trees are amazing this year.
Almost unreal.

This is of necessity, a short post , as my friend, Sally, 
is still here and my first Craft Stall date, is almost upon me.
It's this Sunday, in fact.
Am I ready ?
I think so.....
Am I nervous ?
Definitely .....
Looking forward to the challenge though!
Here are the last few items, waiting to be packed.


Wish me luck !
Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Story of The Christmas Pudding Hat

We've arrived at the end of another week and I've,
'Reasons to be Cheerful, 1,2, 3'
(there's a song in there somewhere).
Reason 1: The boiler is fixed. We have heat !!
I am so thankful. Not a minute too soon, as if the forecast
is to be believed, next week we are in for an Arctic blast !
My partner gets the star prize.
He managed to fix it, after I downloaded a troubleshooting
guide for our boiler and sourced the part on the net.
What a team.
A happy dog, snoozing in the warmth, while I write this post.

Reason 2: My 'bestest' friend, Sally, is coming for a visit next week.
We've known each other since we were eighteen and that's
a very long time indeed.
She is travelling up from the deepest South. 
Not seen her since last November, when we went to 
The Knitting and Stitch Exhibition, in Harrogate. 
Sadly, funds won't allow a visit this year.
Instead, there will be lots of gossip and giggling in my,
now cosy, workroom, while we catch up on a years worth of news.
There'll be work and swapping of ideas going on as well. 
Bring it on !

Reason 3: Last but not least, my Christmas Pudding Hat, has arrived at
it's destination. Have heard that it's new owner is delighted.
Great news.

This is it's story.
Once upon a time.......
In a county, far, far away............
 I had an enquiry, via the 'Worldwide Web'.
A lovely lady from, Nottinghamshire, asked if I could knit her a hat.
Not just any hat! a Christmas Pudding Hat.
This meant adapting my pattern, as it was for a 'babe in arms'.
I love a challenge and agreed.
I immediately went to eBay to see if I could find the materials.
It was meant to be, as I found the chocolate and cream wool
in one pack..... done deal !
The pattern was for two needles but I didn't want a seam,
 so I decided to use, the Magic Loop. 

 This is just a fancy name for knitting on a circular needle.
Great for all tubular knitting i.e. sleeves,gloves, hats. No seam.
It's easier than you might think and it's well worth the effort, just
takes a bit of practise.
This is a great little tutorial, on You Tube, for those of you, who fancy
giving it a go. Just follow this link.Magic Loop
After finding out Esther's (who pointed out that her name is very like Ethel)
head measurements, I cast on, what I thought would be the right amount of stitches.
I must point out here, that I never knit a tension square.
I should, I hear you say but I don't.
I should have because after I'd knitted the brim, I realised that 
it was going to be too small. Nothing for it but to
start again..... That'll teach you !!
Began again with more stitches and we were off and running.

The next challenge was adding the cream topping and shaping.
Took a few goes to get that right. It was off the needles
more that it was on but eventually, it was done.

Prudence, Ethel's friend, tried it on, so that I could check 
the measurements.
Then on to the holly leaves and berries.

I crocheted these from my 'stash'.
 More confident about 
making these, as I had made them before.

Placed the leaves and attached them to the hat
and ..........

Here is Ethel, modelling it for me.
She loved it, 'cause it was so warm.
 I had a job getting her to take it off.

Have a great weekend everyone.