Mend it Monday

Mrs Snail of The Snail of Happiness runs a regular feature called ‘Mend-it-Monday’. Mrs. Snail is the queen of mending and has all sorts of tips, ideas and gadgets to help her on her mission to use and re-use things as long she can.

She is a constant inspiration to me and is even in the early stages of opening a shop to store all sorts of pre-loved items and tools for mending and re-purposing.

I saw this exhibit at Harrogate and thought it would fit right in on this Mend-it-Monday.

It was laid out on the floor, each detail fascinating.

Mending as art – love it!

Image

Silent Sunday

Attic 24 Harbour Blanket Crochet Along

The annual Attic24 Crochet Along is always such a lovely event to be part of. Thousands of people, all around the world join in.

There is something quite magical about being part of a group of people all making the same crocheted blanket at the same time.

I am making a lap blanket for the granddaughter of one of my closest friends. My friend and I used to collect our grandchildren from the local Primary School every Friday for about 4 years. If the weather was fine we would take them to the Park. The children played on the swings and climbing frames while we chatted and I crocheted.

A few of the children would come to watch the crochet and Miss P was always particularly drawn to the bright colours.

She was very interested in Little Miss M’s blanket, and watched it grow.

Lucy has taken her inspiration from the colours seen at a harbour in Summer. She has 9 different blues in her design. I will swap out a few blues for pinks and reds, keeping the summery feel but going with brightness for MissP, and most importantly, using yarn I already have instead of buying new..

My colour order for the first 15 rows:

Lobelia, Turquoise, Bright Pink, Spice, Aster,

Sunshine, Spearmint, Fondant, Matador, Empire,

Aqua, Clementine, Turquoise, Bright Pink, Lobelia

 

So Summery!

 

 

Scrap Happy January

Sewing in ends of pieces of knitting and crochet is not my favourite occupation, but there is something pleasing about the colour mixes in the little piles of off-cuts. I don’t throw them away.

In The Stitchbook Collective, one of the members, Sally-Ann has shown us this ingenius way of forming scraps of yarn into beads. Separate the yarn into little piles and then roll them in your hand a bit – I dampened them a little to get these into spherical shapes but I’m not sure that is necessary

Then take a thread of any sort – it could be embroidery thread, but I used plain cotton.and wrap round the bead, sewing through the centre time and time again from different angles. That’s it!some of the members of the Stitchbook Collective make them very smooth and tight and then embroider on the surface.

At the moment I am very happy with my fluffy scrappy looking beads.

Sally-Ann has made a video of how she makes her beads.

Joining in with Kate and her band of happy scrappers for Scrap Happy January.

 

Knitting and Stitching Show: Quilts

There were masses of wonderful quilts on display at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show. I only had time to do a quick whizz round the Stands in the early morning before the general public arrived. Here are a few that particualrly caught my eye.

detail

The next three are smaller quilted wall hangings

 

In a Vase on Monday

Joining in with Cathy’s wonderful group of gardeners for In a Vase on Monday

I have a few very confused little wallflowers in the garden. They are a variety that are supposed to flower in Spring and again in Autumn, but having looked quite pathetic all year, they are flowering now. Also in the tin ‘vase’ are some viburnum,  equally confused hebe, and some fennel fronds.

The containers are re-used items of household waste.
Last week I included my experimental ‘moss-on-a-plate’ and my cousin who lives in the Netherlands told me that Moss-on-a-plate is a thing. I Googled it and yes, lots of inspiring images came up. This spurred me on to make some more.

I managed to find some tiny fern plants in my garden. I just love all the shapes and textures of the moss and how it creates a little world of its own.

The Higgidy Pie dish was filled with grit and sandy compost

I used a torn brown paper bag to cover the plastic edges and a piece of rotting wood with moss on it, which I found in my rotting wood pile. Then I added some broken terracotta pot, a couple of tiny primrose plants, a celandine and a piece of lichen – all found in my garden.

I wondered where to keep the dishes, to give them the best chance of surviving and have put them in my new potting shed.

It went up in October and has very little in it so far. It smells all lovely and new and I need a few more shelves and hooks in there. I am sure Cathy would have filled it with cuttings and seed trays by now, but, being a fair-weather gardener, I am happy to gaze at it and enjoy its newness until I get a burst of enthusiasm for the garden again.

Do you like to find things in your garden or nearby hedgerows to put in a vase at this time of year? If so, pop over to Rambling in the Garden for some delightful inspiration.

Image

Silent Sunday: A walk on the heath.

Jiaxi Li

I wonder  if this sculpture is a candidate for Silly Saturday.

Is it silly, clever, fun, crazy?

Knitted Sculpture by Jiaxi Li

One of the exhibits at the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show.

I love the idea and the colours and can only imagine how much experimentation went into working out how to create a self-supporting knitted sculpture of the fireplace. I hope it finds the right home.

I am certainly interested in seeing more work by this artist.

You can see more of her work here and on Instagram.

Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show 2021

Phew! Now all that Christmas malarkey is done and dusted, I can tell you more about my fabulous trip to the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show 2021.

The photo above is of Helen Birmingham’s Stitchbook Collective gallery Stand. I was honoured and delighted to have been a volunteer helper on the Stand.

The Kimono you can see was being raffled in aid of MIND, a mental health charity and raised over £2,000. The stands to the right of the kimono hold our Stitchbooks there were nearly 100 on display.

We, the members of the inaugural Stitchbook Collective, had started our textile books in 2019, little knowing how important they were to become to us during 2020. You can see details and a video of my book here.

As we neared the end of making our Stitchbooks, I put a message on our Facebook Page asking if there was anyone who would like to work collaboratively on more slow stitching pieces of textile art and 42 members of the Collective said yes! We are a closed group now.

Our aim is to make pieces of textile art to sell or raffle in aid of MIND and other local mental health charities. Our group is called Stitched Together

and Helen very generously invited us to have a table of our work on the stand.

I was there to chat to people about the Stitchbook Collective in general and how our group works in case anyone else was interested in setting up their own group.

That’s me in the face visor and the black T-shirt.

The Stand was very popular and very inspiring to a lot of people.

One of the absolute joys of the day was talking to students about the stitches and techniques. One school have especially asked GCSE students to visit the stand.

and these two girls spent a long time looking at the Stitched Together books and the rest of the stand.

It was such a wonderful event to be part of.

More to come in another post.

 

In a Vase on Monday: Hesperantha

There are still a few Hesperantha or Kafir Lily, or River Lily blooming in the garden. They seem to like my soggy garden.

I try to get rid of the arum plants but they are very persistent and the leaves do cheer up a vase at this time of year.

The little green pot with a labyrinth was sold as a nightlight holder, but makes a sweet vase.

These 3 different types of moss seem to grow happily together in an old saucer on the bathroom windowsill. In another life I might like to study all the different types of moss – fascinating.

I found this on the Woodland Trust website about UK mosses.

I am joining Cathy for her regular feature: ‘In a Vase on Monday’.

A lovely way to start the New Year.

Twinkle

Sending love and gratitude to all who visit this tiny corner of Blogland.

Wishing you a bright and twinkly time, now and in the coming year.

 

Image

Silent Sunday: West Dean

Silent Sunday: Uppark House

Uppark House

Image

Silent Sunday

The Knitting and Stitching Show

Yikes! It is taking me an age to sort out all the photos.

Whilst I am going through them all I thought you might like to see what I bought when I was there.

I spotted this stand on the first day

and took a photo so that I would not forget to go back … so on the last day I did and..TaDah!

I got this beauty – it is a bit too long for me, so I might be brave enough to cut it off, up to the pockets, or I might not.

The beauty of it is, it is reversible and so there is a whole new colourway for me to play with.

Elizabeth Gash is delightful. She makes the knitwear. She had run out of leaflets, so I took a photo of her last one

 

Skipton

When I realised that my route from Cumbria to Harrogate would go through Skipton, I just knew I had to leave enough time to stop off and visit Coopers Cafe.

This Cafe has become a bit of a Mecca for crochet addicts like me, as it is where Lucy of Attic24 used to have her studio and where she still runs crochet groups. The cafe took some finding, but luckily ‘Maps’ on my mobile phone got me there.

Skipton is much bigger than I imagined and as I was walking towards the cafe I saw lots of intriguing independent shops – just love the name of this one

Many towns in the south are looking sad and forlorn with lots of empty shops, but not Skipton, it seemed bustling and thriving.

Just before I got to the cafe, I saw the canal that often features in photos on Lucy’s blog.

And then there I was having a cup of coffee and soaking up the friendly atmosphere of the Cafe.

You know you are Up North when you see signs like this

going upstairs was a real treat

magazine cuttings were pasted all over the walls, which was very nostalgic for me. As  a teenager I covered part of a bedroom wall with magazine cuttings (my mother was furious!) when I married in 1972, we lived in a shabby farm cottage and I covered our bedroom wall with cuttings and loved the freedom of doing it in my own home.

Lucy’s studio

and there is also another room upstairs

in the loo, the collage continues

– I looked up Samantha Bryan and her delightful mixed media pieces.

Each year, in January, Lucy organises a Crochet Along, when thousands of happy hookers from all over the world make the same blanket at the same time, to her design. It creates the most wonderful feeling of communitiy and crochet camaraderie.

I have joined in since 2015 when I made the Cosy Blanket; 2017 I made the Moorland Blanket, but changed the colours to Dorset Hedgerow; 2018 I made the Woodland Blanket, oh I did have fun with this one and added squirrels; in 2019 I made the Sweet Pea blanket and started the ‘Friends of Attic24:Dorset’ group, in October 2019 we were thrilled when Lucy, on a visit to her home town, could join us at Slader’s Yard, West Bay and in 2020 I made a Sunset version of Lucy’s Dahlia Blanket.

I was not at Coopers on the right day to meet Lucy, but I left her a voucher for a coffee from her Dorset fans.

For other blankets I have made in both Lucy’s designs and those of other designers got to my THROWS Page.

Onwards to Harrogate!

Short stay in Cumbria

After visiting Cathy’s garden, the next day I drove another two and a half hours to visit a friend from school days who lives in Cumbria.

The weather had turned cloudy. On the first afternoon we walked at Leighton Moss and the next day walked along a nearby canal.

The decommissioned canal is now a haven for wildlife and a fun feature to have at the end of the garden.

Not quite sure of the purpose of this stone construction, which was at the top of the bank going up to the canal.

but obviously I enjoyed finding this little collection outside a farm gate

and I have a soft spot for old, rural post boxes (I wonder how long they will be in operation for)

and roadside plant stands

Then we walked along an estuary and up through the woods to get a view of the hills and mountains of the Lake District, which were just peeping through the November skies

A happy time reconnecting with an old friend and seeing a very different landscape.

Next day I was off to Harrogate to the Knitting and Stitching Show!

I am very excited about telling you all about it – it was FANTASTIC!

A Vase and An Adventure!

A couple of weeks ago I set off for the North.

I have not travelled any long distance for a couple of years so I was both nervous and excited – I have a tiny 14 year old car – would it carry me safely onto motorways, round scary multi-laned roundabouts and do battle with the juggernauts of the road? My friendly car mechanic gave her a check over and announced her fit to travel…. but was I?

I planned to visit a couple of friends before spending a week in Harrogate for the Knitting and Stitching Show and then popping in to see Nanacathy on the way home.

On Sunday 14th November, after a negative result from a Lateral Flow test I set off to visit Rambling in the Garden Cathy of course I could not go without picking a few things from my garden!

Some pink Hesperantha, eucalyptus, golden privet, garrya elliptica, cotoneaster, a purple salvia, and taking pride of place, right in the centre – and the rose, Hot Princess!

Hot Princess was given to me as a birthday present by Nanacathy in 2018 when I went to visit her in Yorkshire and to attend the Sawdust Heart exhibition.

Hot Princess flowers in early summer, goes very quiet and then blooms again in early October and there has always been a flower from her on my birthday, at the beginning of November. It seemed a wonderful link between three bloggers to pick the last bloom of the season for Rambling in the Gardren Cathy.

I arrived at Cathy’s in sunshine (we had both had a negative lateral flow test that morning) and what a joy it was to meet her and the Golfer!

Of course, first on the agenda was a walk round the garden. It is difficult to descibe the feeling of actually standing in the garden I have seen so many photos of. In a photo you see what is just in front of the camera – but standing in the garden and soaking up the atmosphere and having 360 degrees vision made me tingle with delight!

Atmosphere is what struck me most. Cathy’s garden has the most gorgeous friendly, sort of cosy, atmosphere. Cosy isn’t quite the right word but the garden wraps you in a sense of friendly conversation with quotes and quirky, playful details around each corner.

Cathy enjoys creating brickwork buildings and little follies, all with a purpose and use and of great charm. Never have I seen a more appropriate example of “work is love made visible”, one of my favourite Kahlil Gibran quotes.

Cathy’s creativity is evident and it was fun to see her in her natural habitat. 🙂

Of course I loved all the art and the sculptures in the garden, it is an outdoor gallery and made me think that I would really love to introduce more art into my own garden

there were also plenty of rusty beauties tweaking my rust obsession into life!lots of beautiful autumnal colourand an intriguing hellebore, which I have forgotten the name ofdon’t you just love those leaves.

We had such a wonderful time talking about all the plants and seeing every nook, cranny and coop. I felt honoured to have an exclusive tour with Cathy as my guide – what a treat!

❤ ❤ ❤ THANK YOU CATHY!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤

And then in for a cuppa and slice of yummy homemade cake.

My jam jar of autumnal gleanings and the purple scented iris I took as a gift looked right at home in Cathy’s glorious kitchen.

and I left full of joy and gratitude to Cathy for sharing her enthusiasm, her garden, time and cake with me so generously.

I marvel at this wonderful blogging community – we get to know so much about each other and what we share in common, so the meeting is easy, comfortable and fun. Then, over a cuppa, we discover more and truly enjoy each other’s company.

I left with warmth in my heart and all ready for the next leg of my journey – onwards to Cumbria!

Joining Cathy as she has gone on an adventure of her own today, with her vases, for In a Vase on Monday

Silent Sunday in Cumbria

A couple of weeks ago at Leighton Moss

Silly Saturday

Spotted whilst walking through a hall at an event last weekend.