Monthly Archives: June 2016

Woolfest purchases

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I must be honest with you dear friends! I was very restrained over the number of purchases that I made on my recent trip to Woolfest 2016 in Cockermouth. Now those of you who know me will realise how remarkable this fact is! Oh yes, I squished loads of yarn, felt lots of wool and admired a rainbow of colours. But I only bought ONE new project!

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imageI couldn’t resist this beautiful Mohair and Wensleydale blend of yarn. It is a 4ply yarn sold by Whistlebare and marketed as”Reared in Northumberland, Spun in Yorkshire, Dyed by hand” The yarn was from http://www.whistlebare.co.uk I can’t wait to get it on the needles.

imageI also bought some devine heart shaped buttons to finish off my current project. I am knitting the button band and loving the lacy effect. I’m normally nervous of knitting holes but this band is good therapy! The buttons were from http://www.textilegarden.com

Hopefully this garment will soon be finished and ready to show you so watch this blog!

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Woolfest

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imageimageI went to Woolfest in Cockermouth Cumbria this week. We took Damnvan1 and stayed at a place called Scotgate in Braithwaite. This was so that I could catch the bus at the campsite gate. The plan worked beautifully and I caught the free bus (I like free!) from Cockermouth to the venue which was an out of town animal auction mart.

There was a lot of wool, not a great surprise. There was wool in every style, colour and type.

The animal pens were turned into mini shops or stalls and there was the authentic aroma of animals! There were prize winning sheep on view, looking very bored. There were Lamas looking very snooty.

imageimageMost of the spinners, weavers and knitters were local with many individual dyers and commercial enterprises. It was lovely to see and great to talk to the business owners about their products This event s definitely in the diary for next year. I will up date you on my ever growing stash very soon.

Summer Solstice

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A solstice is an astronomical event that occurs twice each year (in June and December) as the Sun reaches its highest or lowest excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. Both the solstices and the equinoxes are directly connected with the seasons of the year.

The word solstice is derived from the Latin sol (sun) and sistere (to stand still), because at the solstices, the Sun stands still in declination; that is, the seasonal movement of the Sun’s path (as seen from Earth) comes to a stop before reversing direction.

Stargazers are hoping to catch the first glimpse of a Strawberry Moon on the same day as the summer solstice for almost 50 years.

A Strawberry Moon is not necessarily pink or red, however.

It is simply a name given to the full moon each June, which coincides with the start of the strawberry season.

But it has not happened on the longest day of the year since 1967 – and astrologers are excited to see the two coincide this year.

The name was coined by Native American tribes who used it as a signal to gather ripening strawberries.

It became known in Europe as the Full Rose Moon, and the Honey Moon.

Yesterday Chester celebrated the Summer Solstice with a parade through the city centre. My youngest Grandson took part with his class from school. He really enjoyed it. Lots of people had made a huge effort from the wonderful to the weird. There were Giants and Dragons, Angels and sunshine. All of this had beautiful Chester architecture and the wonderful cathedral as the backdrop.

May the summer days bring you all blessings in every way.

Sewing Lessons

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A few weekends ago lovely Step Grandaughter came to stay. She brought with her a mini sewing machine so that I could show her how to sew! Never one to miss an opportunity I showed her how to sew along side me whilst I made her the dress in the previous blog. Get ’em young I say! I honestly think that if you show a child how to craft when they are young it will stay with them for ever. I am eternally grateful to my Mum and Grandmother for showing me how to sew. Those were the teenage days when I bought fabric on a Saturday morning, made a mini shift dress on a Saturday afternoon and wore it to the Co Op Hall on a Saturday night. Ah well I digress!

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Despite a broken arm some weeks ago lovely Step Grandaughter was dashing away with her sewing machine. She designed and made a long length of bunting.

image.jpegShe struggled on valiantly making Benji dog a neckerchief. Benji was a willing model but thought it very odd to be taken for a walk wearing anything more than a lead.

imageShe also made an eye mask to help her sleep! There was an attempt at mittens for the ever patient Benji dog but he did draw the line at modelling them.

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We both had a lovely time designing haute couture ( for the dog) and sewing for much of the weekend. I strongly suspect that she will be back! I must think of some good projects. Maybe she will have her own design ideas after all Quant and Kidston started somewhere.

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Dressmaking

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Hello dear crafting friends. Result! Achieved! Done! Whoo Hoo!

Yesterday we were Grandchild minding and at a loss how to amuse her. Then…. The light bulb moment! We piled into the car and headed to Abakhan- a sewing, crafting wonderland. Grandchild was wide eyed with amazement at the amount, colours and variety of textiles for sale. She was to be a designer whilst I was to be the seamstress.

Grandchild chose a pattern ( with just a little guidance) and some fabric ( with more guidance.) Home we went to set up a sweat shop in the dining room. It’s some time since I made a garments but the pattern choice was relatively simple and away we went. I measured, cut, stitched, pressed, unpicked and stitched again. After the final press it was ready. Haute Couture wrap around and reversible dress. Lovely!

The pattern was Simplicity 8104.

imageThe instructions were straight forward and the fabric a firm cotton.

Grandchild had chosen contrasting blues.

imageThe model twirled and danced.

imageTwo dresses in one go. Result!

This project has inspired me to make more. Roll on the Great British Sewing Bee.

A Busy Life.

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Ive just started reading a book called Enchanted Britain with the sub title Mystical Sites in Rural England Scotland and Wales by Marc Alexander. The reason being that there is a facination with standing stones and long forgotten history. I’m searching for a definitive list of Neolithic structures, burial chambers and stone circles in Britain. I think that this would/will make an interesting project and maybe I can visit any of these structures, oh and castles! Any top tips will be gratefully received.

imageI’m pressing on with my current knitting project as I am going to visit Woolfest in Cockermouth Cumbria in a couple of weeks. I want to be organised so that I can max out my yarn purchases, new craft projects and knitting know how. Whilst I am there I hope to visit Castlerigg stone circle once again.

imageSuch a busy, wonderful, happy life!

Criccieth Coastal Path

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Published on my travel blog Damnvan1

Damnvan1

We are exploring this area of Wales in more detail. Today we walked along the Welsh Coastal path out of Criccieth towards Llanystumdwy where we are staying. OK so we didn’t walk a long way, just about four miles, but it was HOT! The weather was beautiful and the scenery amazing.image

We strolled past Criccieth Castle and out along the path. A well maintained path with lovely views.

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We arrived at this lovely beach owned and maintained by the National Trust. Benji dog had a wonderful time charging through the calm sea and leaping over small waves.

Criccieth is very campervan friendly, providing ample parking at an astronomical fee of £1 for four hours! Probably the best bargain of our time away.

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Criccieth is a small Welsh town which is old fashioned and quiet and very nice. There is a lack of chain shops with no Costa Coffee or Macdonalds…

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Here Be Dragons

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Published first on my travel blog. Enjoy!

Damnvan1

“Here be dragons” means dangerous or unexplored territories, in imitation of a supposed medieval practice of putting dragons, sea serpents and other mythological creatures in uncharted areas of maps.

Here we are in “unexplored territories” of Wales taking a look at a couple of the many medieval castles. I enjoy this particular era and Welsh Medieval history is full of battles, stories and supposed dragons. I enjoy all history, in fact the older I get the more I enjoy it!

imageimageHarlech Castle which was built by Edward 1st of England ( to keep the Welsh under control) between 1282 and 1289 at the enormous cost of £8190 The views from Harlech Castle are awesome with much of Snowdonia Mountain range visible on a good day.

Today I am in Criccieth along the Welsh coast from Harlech. Here is another castle built on the coast using the sea as a defence…

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