Friday, 3 December 2021

Its that time of year again

 I don't want to be all baa humbug but you will not see a great deal about Christmas festivities on this blog. we gave up celebrating it a few years ago mainly because of the over commercialisation, the debt people find themselves in afterwards ( I used to work in finance) and not being of the Christian faith. ( I was bought up in the church but left many years ago)

We will hopefully get away over the break, walk on the beach and fly the kites. In the past we have been on various campsites, getting out for a walk and spending time reading books.

In the meantime, the city centre has a Christmas Market, although smaller than usual but it brightens things up especially as it was cancelled last year. I was actually in town to meet friends for coffee and catch up on the gossip as I hadn't seen two of them for several years.

It also appears that one of our car parks has had a revamp recently,



and since Nottingham is know as the lace city, the wet weather was showing off the lace design in the concrete of the Contemporary Art Gallery.



Speaking of lace, the mini workshop on Saturday was great fun, both student showed an aptitude for it probably as they both came from a machine knitting / weaving based background. I must confess that I totally forgot to take any photos until the very end, so here is one of the lace pillow ( the other student had already left)


Since then I have been mainly stitching on the big red thing, knitted another hat  
(the celtic knotwork one ) which is now soaking with the previous two.



I've been flu jabbed, baked several batches of cakes and biscuits, spun up some black cheviot. packed up more boxes for the charity shops and this afternoon I will settle down to cast on some more mittens. My crafty space is the warmest room in the house and has become my comfy retreat now the colder days are here.


have a great weekend, speak soon xx


Wednesday, 24 November 2021

craftiness in a box

 What's in the box ? 

I know some of you may already have seen this a few years ago but many of you haven't.

I'm giving a very small lacemaking demo/lesson with another lacemaker of Saturday and I'm unable to get my usual pillow into my rucksack and if I'm having a crutches day I will be stuck for carrying things. I made this pillow a number of years ago but it still does the job so I've started a 'simple' torchon strip of lace.


This gave my brain a work out, firstly I have the pricking and no instructions or number of bobbins to be used, then I had to try and remember how to do this type of lace as I usually do Bucks Point lace. Torchon is my usual go to option for a demo (it's been a while) as its easier to pick up and down between questions and as its quite angular you can point out the different stitches and direction to work in.

There are a few mistakes in the first repeat, not really mistakes, more trying to find the right fit for the pattern but I'm not worried as I probably won't do anything with it.

I've been doing a little spinning.



and a little knitting so I now have three woolly hats waiting to be soaked and blocked.


A few stitches have been added to the big red thing and the black thing :-)





I have another hat on the needles and plan to spin up some cheviot fleece later this week. I think that about sums up all my craftiness over the last couple of weeks. My diary now seems to be a heady mixture of coffee dates, dentist, and covid jab over the next few days so I will update again as soon as I get chance.

Take care xx


Monday, 22 November 2021

you couldn't make it up !! quick update on what happened next.

 Hi, just a quick update, Ian took the car down to the garage to get a quote on the damage and check that it was still road legal ( the other cars owner should cover the repairs with their insurance )

Whilst he was on the garage forecourt with the mechanic checking on the damage, someone else drove into the other side of the car !!

Luckily its pretty much just a quick rubout and paint this time but I'm feeling like we need to hibernate now until next summer.


                                             Pretty autumn leaves for inspiration xx

not a such a good weekend !!! vehicle mishaps :-(

oops, looks like I forgot to post last week, sorry but I really didn't have too much to share or show other than some spinning so I'll combine that with the next post.

For now, I'm going to update you with the chapter of mishaps that have occurred since Friday. Sometimes it feels like everyone is working against you but I'm hoping that everything has now happened and we can get back to our usual travelling, crafty selves.

Friday morning, loaded up the car to drive to the storage unit, passed this sign so we made sure that we were in the middle lane ( I wasn't driving )


Unfortunately the car to our left failed to see either sign and tried to go straight on resulting in us having to exchange details although I think his car came off worse than ours.


We will get the car checked over tomorrow just incase but its driving ok so we carried on to pick up the van.
As expected , the battery in the van was dead and even the big power pack failed to revive it. Not too worrying but just a pain to get it out of the vehicle as its located in the cab floor on the passenger side but we had come prepared with the spare battery which was fully charged

So far, so good (ish). A few weeks ago the van had been back to the dealers as we had a knocking sound somewhere near the back of it, the mechanics dismantled, greased and rebuilt some bearings and pronounced it good. This was the first time we've had chance to get out on a good run and going over the road humps out of storage she is a lot quieter but the knocking is still there. I think they fixed the wrong noise haha.

We decided to get away anyway and drove over to Warwick where we were booked into a small site at the race course.


Pretty site on one side, racecourse view on the other.

As there weren't many pitches free, our choice was between a grass pitch or on the tarmac alongside the race course. Not being big fans of getting stuck in the mud we went for the tarmac option which had the added bonus of being close enough to the jockey club to be able to use their wifi which is a bit of a godsend as my laptop won't pick up the hotspot on my phone.

lazy afternoon, tea,  watched a bit of you-tube vlogs and went to bed only to be woken at 1.30am by the control panel alarm telling us that the leisure batteries were flat ! so problem number two is that either the onboard charger has failed ( it was definitely switched on all afternoon/evening or we need new batteries)



Next day we explore Warwick starting with this pretty post box


followed by beautiful buildings both large ...




....and small.


We then wandered round the market looking for the missing meal ingredient ( onions) grabbed a coffee and toasted sandwich and headed off to the small museum.


then back to the van and discovered this....


Water is now leaking from the fresh water tank somewhere which we think is connected to the noises and may have been happening before but as we spent the last trip away mainly on grass we would not have noticed this. I'm also wondering about the wiring to the leisure battery box and whether something has been dislodged there.

The one good thing is that we were on electric hook up so essentials like heating and some of the lighting work without the 12 volt system.

So that is our tale of woe, we are back home now and an email has been sent to the dealers to book her back in for repairs. We travelled a few pretty bad roads in September so may have caught something at some point anyway, we are not due out again for a few weeks so no great panic.

Sorry if this post has been a bit boring, the next one  should be knitting, spinning, stitching and maybe a bit of lace xx

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

back to the woolly stuff

 The house is now warm which means that the radiators are strewn with yarn and knitting, the heating works a little differently to before so it will take a while to find the proper temperature setting for us.

I have managed to give the mittens a soak and they are nearly dry (having radiators that now work really helps)


.My destash continues, this time I've donated several books on quilting and bag making to a close spinning buddy and in return I received two packages of fleece. The first ( we think ) is black welsh mountain and looks lovely. I do like spinning this breed so I will probably wash in small amounts and get to grips with it over the next few weeks.




The other is a faun/cream brown Shetland, looks quite fine, very crimpy

The fair isle hat is finished and washed. I'm thinking about getting a mannequin head to both block and photo my hats.



The plain hat is also finished and washed.

Texel and Jacob skeins are also washed and ready to be measured and weighed, Jacob x Dorset now on the wheel.

The house is still a tip as we can't put anything back in place until we are sure that the boiler is working properly as the installer had a lot of problem adding it to out existing heating system. 

I'm now off to town to post out the mitts and a birthday card, may even grab a coffee as well.

Speak soon xx



Wednesday, 3 November 2021

cold fingers

 I'm sorry that this post is a little late but we have been busy moving things around so the gas men can install a new boiler which involves rerouting pipes etc and trying to destash as we go. 

So far I've reduced the contents of the airing cupboard by more than 50 percent and managed to take a car load of stuff to the tip/recycling centre. Three boxes are sat in the porch ready to go to the charity shop and I will have more to send in the next few weeks.

However, I did get to take a day out just over a week ago to visit the newly reopened Ruddington Frame knitters museum. They have acquired another building which now accommodates the new cafe and shop which also links access to the chapel exhibition space,




The main reason for visiting was to look at the current knitting exhibition and check out the refurbishment of the workers cottages.


Many of Jen's pieces are worked with metal wire which makes them 3 dimensional.





Other parts of the exhibition included knitted lives, where people had been given the opportunity to knit a square ( or not) to put on show,








Typically I forgot to take a photo of the empty card and the reason !!

A stroll round the rest of the museum reminded me of the terrible working conditions that existed, the knitting frames as so close together that you sometimes wonder how people actually got to them to work on them.




You also have the opportunity to have a go on a sock machine and explore some of the museums collections.




The workers cottages have been renovated to show the living standards of the workers and the managers office.




I took the opportunity to sign up as a friend of the museum so I can visit again and receive updates on the progress,

That's about it for now, the workmen have got all the doors open and it feels like about 5 degrees in here so I'm off to get a cup of coffee to warm my hands up xx