Friday, 16 April 2021

revisiting old haunts

 Tuesday arrived with a bright blue sky so after pegging out the washing I went out for a walk. I'm limited to 1-2 miles ( 3 at a push) before things get painful which is much better than last summer and has meant that I can now choose a destination as long as I'm near a bus route.

Heading out up the hill I even remembered to take a photo of the old road cobbles that are now visible through the broken road surface, I have passed these so many times thinking that I need to grab a pic so here it is. Not exciting but interesting to me .

At the top of the hill is the house that I always wanted to live in when I was younger, I believe that it is now flats but sometimes I still hanker over it :-)

Nearby is the Church that attended until my mid teens, now up for sale so I'm keeping an eye open to see what becomes of it. There is a stage in the basement where the church concert party used to perform music evenings and Gilbert and Sullivan operetta's in the 60's

Walking home from Guides or Sunday School took us down through the local park so I retraced my steps.

This park was the placed where I spent the long school holidays especially as a young teenager when we would hide in the disused railway tunnels from the smaller kids. The tunnels are now filled in and overgrown but the evidence remains.

I tried to photograph the numerous birds but they were uncooperative ( too busy with food and nests ) however the squirrel posed for me.

I headed down into Sherwood to check out the charity (thrift ) shops that reopened on Monday. Nothing really caught my eye so came back empty handed.

I'm not sure if other cities have these, electric scooters to get around on !

This was pretty much the furthest that I've been for months ! I now have a list of places to visit when the good weather strikes.

Speak soon x

Monday, 12 April 2021

oops, published without a title

 I'm writing this on Monday 5 April and after wearing my tatty, patched crop trousers for 3 out of the last 4 days I'm now sat looking at it trying to snow and yearning to get back on the road.

I'm currently spinning some cheviot which I may naturally dye if I can find my dye stock ( and havent already thrown it out) if not it will go into an acid dye dye once the weather improves.

I did get as far as tea dyeing some more fabric for future project and at the moment I'm sat with a cup of tea undecided whether to have breakfast or turn on the spinning wheel.

Mon 12 April, still cool/cold, tried to snow yesterday but I've been brave and packed away the biggest of my winter woolies and my fleece leggings will hopefully go away after their next wash.

The next in my line of small pillows ( again, a free pattern from Sub Rosa ) is finished and the black sheep pillow has been received by my friend.

A new pattern is being stitched, this time from Beth Twist 

This will also be a small pillow, just because :-)  ....

The major event of the week was going over to the van, checking everything out and making a list of what needs replacing in the bathroom and the first aid kit. Eventually, after jumpstarting from the battery pack, we headed out for a drive. Although campsites reopen in England from today, we will not be away for a few weeks and even then we will be keeping our fingers crossed that we will be allowed to cross into Scotland and that their campsites will also be open.

Have a great week everyone, speak soon xx

Saturday, 3 April 2021

Sunshine and stitches

Hi :-)

 A couple of finishes, the witch ( design from Sub Rosa see previous post ) and my black sheep design which  is my first cross stitch design attempt in over 25 years :-)

We've had 3 days of sunshine and reasonable temperatures (at the time of writing) but the weather is forecast to cool down again and possibly by the time I upload this it may even be snowing again !!However, for the time being it's forecast 21C today and I'm making the most of it by doing the washing haha.

Yesterday I went out for a walk to the post office and discovered that someone had yarn bombed the post box.

Another interesting sight was the community library. I had not walked through this area since I left work so assume that this was possibly set up during the first lockdown.

As you have probably gathered, we live in a valley, the post office is up on the hill ( more of a ridge really as it drops back down again the other side. If the weather is good you can see for miles from the post office.

The tower blocks in the distance are Nottingham city centre.

Over the Easter break, my main task is to try and match the sampler colour to the DMC ranges. I've stitched a swatch and I'm waiting for the light to be reasonable to see which is the closest. The sampler has faded in places so I'm looking for a happy medium on this.

That's it for this weeks round up, I'm publishing this a little early on Saturday rather than Monday as I've actually had something to write about!

Speak soon, xx

Monday, 29 March 2021

Bristol Sampler update


Do you remember my post about the Bristol Sampler that had been in my family for several years? Thanks to Jacob at Modern Folk Embroidery I now know that it has been in my family since 1887 !

It appears that Elizabeth Travel was my great grandmother. More about this in a future post once I get my head around this.

I did a little spending at the Face Book bobbin lace suppliers spotlight page last week. I haven't bought any lace patterns for years and I have plenty to last me but these are rather pretty.

I have a new cross stitch on the go, this one was designed for the Projet Chiens aide aux Handicapes which I think translates as service dogs in 2008 presumably as a fund raiser and offered as a free chart in 2010.

From Monday, we are allowed to meet other people outdoor ( up to 6 people) and since the weather forecast is good for Tuesday I might venture out a little further than the local branch of Tesco :-) We still have to wait until at least 12 April for non-essential shops to open .

I even managed to make a start on the bag of cheviot ! so all in all not such a bad week.

and todays challenge is to sort this lot out double quick so I can get my laptop out for a zoom meeting as I don't have a camera with my desktop which is my general go to more most things internet.

Have a great week , speak soon xx

Monday, 22 March 2021

I'm beginning to worry that this blog is morphing into one about cross stitch rather than spinning, hey ho, whatever. The truth is that its always been craft blog and if you scroll back 10 years or so you will see quite a bit of embroidery of different types.

I'm the sort of person who tends to fixate on different things at different times, often changing direction when my life takes a different turn. I never give up on any particular craft, just pop them on the back burner for a few weeks or in some cases years !

So for the time being the craft content will be mixed and blogs about my local area should start late April when we are allowed out and the shops begin to open again.

On a different note, we are puzzling over where to visit later in the year, I'm thinking about heading south to Somerset/Devon area for a change, we have friends in Somerset and north Cornwall so it would be good to meet up and gossip.

I did actually get the wool combs out and start on a fleece. I bought this Ouessant fleece back in 2019 so it was washed that summer and has been stored ever since in a cotton pillow case. I ten to store all my washed fleece in pillowcases as its easy to write the name on the outside :-)

I'm also playing with a small design destined to be a pincushion, its a long time since I've drawn out anything but will hopefully update you next week with the result.

later ...

In other news, the weather seems to be getting better, the birds are singing and we spent the last night booking 8 campsites and keeping our fingers crossed that we will not be back in lockdown later in the year !! We will be heading south to visit friends and catch up on the gossip :-)

That's about it for now, speak soon xx

link to free pattern 

Monday, 15 March 2021

I found an interesting link to free spinning courses


Just a quickie

Check out this blog Ive had a quick look and signed up for one of the courses just to check it out, will tell you more next Monday.

I've just signed up for Fleece through the senses challenge and will report back !

Bye for now x

With thanks to Shelia at Handspinning news , please check her out if you haven't always done so.

 This week I've been concentrating on the Quaker Sampler, I'm a little concerned that I will not have enough thread so the choice will be to leave it until after 12 April when the local needlework store reopens or us something different like dark blue  and redo the small motifs in that colour.....

A few days later.

Its about finished, I need to decide whether to put initial/date on it  but will leave that for the future. I have maybe a foot or so of six strand thread left so cutting it fine but should just be enough.

this was a free pattern on a blog Gazette 94  the blog is written in French but google will ask if you want to translate.

I've also tea dyed some of my cream coloured evenweave fabric to play with next , I still have a few yards of this so plenty to experiment with.

Hopefully my life will get back to normal soon, the paperwork is coming to an end and hopefully the lockdown will start to ease more over the next few weeks. I'm hoping to get out with my camera and start on the new project and also summon up enough strength to start once again on the craftroom destash. I may even document the sheer madness that hides behind the cupboard doors for you .

That's about it for now, take care everyone, speak soon xx

( I may even get the spinning wheel out )

Monday, 8 March 2021

 I'm really starting to feel a little more motivated to do things, not just stitch but I've started to back up the last five years of photos on my desktop and sort out the documents file ready to back up. I have a small stack of letters to reply to so that's on todays list along with some baking.

The weather is definitely colder again but the mornings and evenings are getting lighter which is really helping. I knew that my first full winter at home would be a challenge but obviously the lockdowns since November have made this one a bit more taxing.

Usually we would travel away for a weekend breaks in the winter, recharge the batteries and breath some sea/country air but obviously this hasn't happened but the date for campsites opening in England in April 12 and we are still hoping the Scotland open theirs around the same time.

I've managed some stitching this week but really not enough to post on here but I did find some old stitching from the early 90's when clearing things out. At that time I generally gave away my stitching but here are some small finished pieces.

I think my favorite is the hedgehog :-)

Next weeks challenge is to finish the Quaker piece and think about what's next. I didn't want to go too far back down the rabbit hole but I'm having a bit of fun :-)

Monday, 1 March 2021

Is it spring yet?

 The sun is shinning!! I've even had washing on the line over the  last few days. Its due to get a bit colder again this week but the last week really lifted my spirits :-)

My knitting, spinning mojo is still largely missing but I'm slowly stitching on my two main projects, The small Quaker sampler and the experiment.

The Quaker is coming along nicely and I will definitely stitch another simply because I like the regularity of the designs.

AS for the experiment, I'm about 3500 stitches in so far and its sort of beginning to take shape. I'm reluctant to reveal what it is at the moment, I'd rather wait and see if it gets more obvious.

Today I have a sore arm, the result of having the covid vaccine yesterday ( I fall into the clinically venerable group) but hopefully that will be the only discomfort.

We have made a few more plans for roadtrips later in the year and we still have festival tickets from an event that was cancelled last year so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for getting out and about even if still socially distanced by being in the van .

Also, thinking ahead about this blog, I'm considering doing a series of posts relating to the area I live in  once the stay at home order is lifted and travelling by public transport is permitted. It's just an idea in the back of my mind at the moment but there are a lot interesting places within this county to visit and photograph and it would give me the opportunity to revisit many of them. It would be a separate post to my weekly crafty type update, probably a couple of posts a month. 

Would anyone be interested in this? BTW the county in question is Nottinghamshire, in the East Midlands, UK. 

Please let me know, thanks.

Take care, speak soon xx

Monday, 22 February 2021

sometimes things just happen

 I was worried about  running out of thread for the Quaker sampler, in fact I was in the process of looking for a source of Anchor thread 161 as it was getting more obvious that the floss that I had was not enough to finish it.

Then this morning, whilst sorting through a small bag of embroidery threads ( about half a dozen full skeins in total) found in my late mothers sewing box I found this.

I guess someone's telling me that I need to finish this piece!

Speak soon xx

Thursday, 18 February 2021

a little late but that's life at the moment.

 I managed to get two pairs of the long armed fingerless mitts out of my Shetland 160gm skein with 3gm to spare !! I must admit that I did think that I would run out so popped a lifeline in the 3rd one just incase I needed to have a contrasting stripe where the fingers started.

I'm now working on the third pair, shorter this time. but I did knit a hat from the mixed left over fibre skeins :-)

The new embroidery flosses have been sort of sorted. I've grabbed the colours that I need for my project but one seems to be missing. Given that there are so many, I've probably miss-sorted it but if not I'll see if there's a close match as this is really an experimental project.

Stitching wise? nothing this week, again buried in paperwork and trying to get some sense of order in here.

Update, missing floss found ! some stitching done in the last couple of days so at least I have something to show.

Quaker sampler is coming on nicely now although I think I may run out of thread. The mystery cross stitch has been started. I know what it is but I'm not ready to show the hoped for result incase its a big failure.

18 stitch to the inch, a lot of stitches but not much to show.

Sorry this post is late, normal service will be resumed shortly ( hopefully)

Speak soon x

Monday, 8 February 2021


Another strange week feeling out of sync with the world. Along with the sampler shown here last week I have inherited a set of 1930's tarot cards and a very useful laptop which I will drop into our nearest computer shop to have completely wiped and checked over before I set it up as my dedicated craft machine.

So much for my no spend attempt, in a moment of madness I ordered the cxc version of the complete dmc range plus cross stitch fabric... I'm putting it down to stress shopping !!

I do have a couple of projects in mind and as they are experiments involving 60 or so colours I couldn't really afford to do them in DMC, more about that later.

I've not really been able to settle down to anything crafty this week so I've just been working on my Quaker sampler in the few snatched minutes early in the morning before starting soring out various family paperwork etc.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a reasonable day to be able to wash and drip dry my last lot of spinning before I decide whether to over dye or not but the weather forecast seems to be permanently  against me. All I want is to be able to let the skeins drip outside rather than in the house.

Suddenly I've had an order for hats and handspun! I've not sold any in the last 12 monthly due to the various lockdown sand lack of tourists in general at the croft shop that I usually supply with a skeins during the year. To be honest I've not been spinning or knitting much lately, preferring to stitch at the moment however I may structure my day for the next few weeks to include both hobbies.

And I've cast on some fingerless mitts, large enough for male hands this time. Simple rib knit with short thumbs which are knitted complete with the body of them. I don't like the look of mitts with just a slit for the thumb and equally dislike knitting thumbs in  so I'm trying this option.

Incase you are wondering, I keep back any skeins with knots in and also spin four ply weight for my own knitting.

Ooh and we are having a snowy day, snow forecast all days o I'm staying inside nice and dry  :-)

Monday, 1 February 2021

interrupted service


Over the next few weeks my attention will be needed elsewhere so unfortunately my posts will probably be short and sweet. I'm hoping to still put something up each Monday but suspect that may be a little erratic at times.

OK, down to business.

Today I'm sharing 3 samplers with you, two have recently come into my possession and another is currently being worked on.

The first has been in my family for several years, I remember it being in a frame at home and once things are a little more sorted here I will be looking to get it reframed properly.

I don't know whether this is a family member or whether it was simply bought as an interesting item.

This one is a lot more recent, 1995, stitched during my first era of cross stitch addiction !

 and finally, the small Quaker Sampler that I am stitching at the moment

As much as I'm enjoying stitching these designs, I have an aching to design my own so that may be a project for the future.

That's about all for now, thanks for reading, speak soon and take care x