Saturday, 30 June 2012

oops...saw the torch

Hi, as many of you know I work in the centre of Nottingham so events like the Olympic torch relay are often more of an inconvenience that anything else. I wasn't really that bothered about seeing the torch but was staying on into the evening to watch my hubby play with the Nottingham Ukulele orchestra. So after he met me at work we tried walking up to St Mary’s Church in the lace market only to be turned away due to the Torch Relay. I hadn't even looked at the route that it was taking, I knew it was going to the Old Market Square and that was already closed and packed with people waving flags and blowing weird little horns.

We backtracked and eventually found ourselves in the graveyard of St Mary’s and joined a select few to watch the Torch as it went through the lace market. I say select few as majority of the people with us were also carrying the small black cases the ukuleles come in. We cheered; we cheered the random pushbike, the photographer walking up the road, the kids picking up the mementos from the procession buses. The bells tolled, the bells stopped, the crowd were now cheering anything that moved. Eventually a person in a white tracksuit suddenly appeared by the side of the road holding a torch, non-fiery torch so we guessed that he was part of the relay.

Then there were MOTORBIKES!!! well that was me happy for a few mins :-)

Then the torch bearer appeared and we got to see them hand the flame over.

Other torch bearers passed by in a coach with big grins on their faces.
Having cheered the bit of fire and waved it on its way, we entered the Church for the concert, a beautiful building and the guys sounded really good.

we ended the night in the pub.....all in all not a bad evening.
Have a great weekend, Suexx

Sunday, 24 June 2012


My young friend Pete is about to step into the world of craft fairs with his fibre dyeing and spinning . Also he is looking into weaving small items for sale like friendship bands, keyrings etc incorporating handspun yarns.

Pete (aka wikkidknitter) dyeing.

Pete will be documenting his journey into fibre and fluff on his blog Wikkidknitter

He will be attending local craft fairs and also selling through Etsy in due course and you will probably find me around helping out. Looks like my life is going to get a little busier!!

Here he is demonstrating with the spinnotts team with a Navajo Spindle.

 spinnotts 117

Saturday, 23 June 2012

quick spinning update

recent spinning from fleece.........polled Dorest gray, Jacob gray, polled Dorset brown, Jacob brown, Mystery Black.
Dorest Horn white, Jacob white.
 This is the jacob before washing and seperating the colours.
and this is the mystery black before washing
amd this Cotswold followed me home recently and I have some polworth on order...please can I also order a few extra days in the week!!! I've been enjoying prepping and spinning fleece and I have also found that I am less likely to by fibres dyed by other people except for one or two very special peeps who can work with colour so much better than I can.
Have a great weekend folks :-)

Monday, 18 June 2012

on the needles today....

Hi, just a quick update as to what is on my knitting sticks at the moment. I bought this fibre at wonderwool 2011 from FeltstudioUK simply because I love Daniela's fibres and her colour choices are always different to the ones that I dye myself.

tour de fleece 2011

on the wheel during tour de fleece last year

as a skein
spinning 175

now slowly becoming a shawlette for next winter  :-)

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Inkle loom workshop with Anne Dixon

Oops nearly forgot to post this but a recent thread on the Ravelry reminded me that I still had the photos to sort out. The last meeting at our local guild of weavers, spinners and dyers was a beginners inkle loom workshop run by Anne Dixon. As usual Pete aka Wikkidknitter and myself were really excited about this as he has not tried weaving on an inkle loom and I was just after hints and tips as I had thoroughly enjoyed playing with the Sami Band excited that we missed the Bus and arrived an hour late!!
By the time we crept into the hall, everyone was sat around the tables, each with a loom and looking desperate to start.
After a talk on inkle loom weaving through history (most of which we missed) everyone made a start, having a go at one or two simple techniques.

Anne bought a selection of work an inkle looms with her, I was quite taken with this loom :-)
more importantly, she bought these, the samples for her forthcoming book   The Weavers Inkle Pattern Directory which is due out shortly ( hopefully next month) In fact if you follow the link you will be able to pick out a few of these bands as being the ones on the cover.
After the workshop,Pete and myself retired to a local bar so that we could both have a play on our looms, yes he succumbed and bought himself one....another addiction for this young fibre addict!!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

UkeFest Cont'd

So , you thought it all finished on the Saturday night?Wrong!! Sunday morning saw the massed ranks of ukulele players gathering in the centre of Cheltenham. A definite show stopper!

 see the three rather brightly coloured peeps? they are part of the Nottingham Ukulele Orchestra contingent, spot the union flag uke and and my other half in his deadhead T shirt :-)
 loved the fact that the major wore his chain of office over a zip up fleece and bought his own ukulele!
A lamppost makes a good music stand for these youngsters!!

The celebrations continued on into the afternoon with burgers, beer, stalls and an open mic session at the designated pub in spite of the torrential rain....yes we were all outside hiding in gazebos.

The one thing that I did notice was that most of the acts were mingling with the crowd and we spoke to Manitoba Hal as he stood in the line for the burgers and mentioned that we hadn't seem him at the big busk earlier. No, he said he'd been helping out getting everything set up for the afternoon, no big egos on these guys, just down to earth and friendly.

Thanks to everyone for a great weekend xx

Friday, 15 June 2012

One for the bikers.

Ok, I know its a while since there have been any bikes around on this blog, simply the way this year has been so far . A combination of health issues and commitments have meant that neither of us have been far on two wheels. In fact, I haven't been anywhere since last September when the bike broke down in France.
So just in case you are having withdrawal symptoms and without me having to dig up some old photos, here is the latest bike to be seen in our street.
I hasten to add that it wasn't our car having the problems but couldn't resist grabbing the shot!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Ukulele Festival of Great Britain...

Ukulele Festival of Great Britain...Yes thats why we were in Cheltenham over the bank holiday. I had intended this post to go up a bit sooner but I was quickly felled by a yucky sickness bug that I am still getting over so this has been written, a little at a time over the last week or so.

Anyway, we were in Cheltenham to attend our very first Ukulele Fest, ok, I know I don't play but the man himself does so I agreed to go as long as I could take my own toys..hehe . Cheltenham was all dressed up ready for the Jubilee celebrations, bunting accross the streets, union flags in the shop windows, red white and blue just about everywhere.

We arrived late on the Friday night but still managed to grab a drink and a uke down at the designated festival pub before retiring for a good nights sleep .

By morning we were intent on finding our way to the Cheltenham Town Hall to meet the other musicians and have a wander round the stalls.

To say that there were ukes of all shapes and sizes was not really an exaggeration!! These are just a few of the ones on offer!!
During the afternoon there were performances in the theatre and workshops running in the other rooms, as Ian was taking a workshop with Manitoba Hal I made myself comfy in the cafe area where I could hear what was happening in the theatre and do a little people watching. You could tell who had just been in a workshop as they would sit and go over and over the same technique until they had got it nailed.
Did I mention that I took my own toys? of course! as usual I had a few people watching me as well as I sat in the corner with my spinning wheel. Usual question was why bring it to a uke fest..answer I don't play uke :-) certainly provided interest for many of them.

 The wheel was returned to the hotel late afternoon with a decent amount of merino/silk on the bobbin and we headed back to grab a meal and find seats for the evening concert with the other members of the Nottingham Ukulele Orchestra.

 The theatre was dressed for the occasion
 amongst the many acts appearing were the re-entrants who this time played a selection of rock classics although I sort of wish they had played Lady Gaga as well.

I had had chance to speak to one of the guys in the afternoon....yes they both remembered me from a gig on Nottingham where the sight of me spinning on a drop spindle sort of brought things to a halt!!that gig had turned into a long night out chatting to them before and after the show.

This is Manitoba Hal who lead the Blues workshop in the afternoon.


And these are The Hot Potato Syncopators...this video is by our very own BikerTed

The finale seemed to involve throwing a lot of paper aeroplanes around !!
to be continued!

weeds or flowers in the wrong place?

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Sunday, 10 June 2012

Festival in Cheltenham

We recently attended a festival in Cheltenham....more about the actual festival in the next post. However I did manage to grab some spare time and have a wander round with my camera. I love looking round somewhere new, often focusing on the buildings and statues. This time it was the statues and art that caught my eyes,  from the Neptune's Fountain which was made from Portland stone in 1893 by a local sculptor R. L. Boulton and depicts Neptune being drawn by sea horses.........

............. To the graffiti found at ground level near the church.

The clock in the shopping centre reminded me of something similaar but for the life of me I can't think what!! OOhh , I've just looked it up and it was designed by Kit Williams which will be why I thought it looked familliar.
And it says 'Weighing in at three tons and boasting a mechanism 14 metres long, the Wishing Fish Clock is thought to be the tallest mechanical clock in the world. It's also very popular. Every year, over a quarter a million visitors watch its amusing hourly cycle, which culminates in a 12-feet fish blowing bubbles at the onlookers to the sound of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles"
I didn't get to see it blowing bubbles though...sad face !

In another arcade I found a bronze bust of Brian Jones if the Rolling Stones who was born in Cheltenham in 1942. The Sculptor is Maurice Juggins.

Cheltenham folk certainly like to put artwork in their shopping arcades, I found this horse statue in one.

 I found this information on the Internet....

 The sculpture was made by PJ Crook and cast by 3DEye. The decoration and embellishment was applied by Carrie Reichardt and Nick Reynolds to turn it into a masterful Trojan horse. Its head has been transformed into a skull and the body is covered in intricate mosaic telling the history of the horse including thought-provoking facts about how people have used and worked with horses in the past.

And how about aeroplanes ???

 The plaque states ' Britain's first jet aircraft, the Gloster E28/39 which had its maiden flight on 15th May 1941 was built on this site. Dowty-Gheltenham's largest industrial group-supplied the landing gear.
Model made and presented by Apprentices of the Dowty Group.

 OOps, nearly forgot the The Minotaur and the Hare, a sculpture by Sophie Ryder.

There were other plaques and inscriptions dotted around the town but these were the ones that really caught my eyes on a cold and wet Bank Holiday here in the UK .
More about the actual Festival in the next post.

Have a good weekend x