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Archive Entries for February 2010

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Sunday February 28, 2010

Books in February

All knitting books this month - not doing well with reading. I did make an attempt at Eat, Pray, Love - lent by my sister, though she was not very smitten by the book but, like me (and, I presume, all women), recognised some of the scenarios. I could not read more than a chapter or two as I was not very interested in the author or what happened to her. Read the Wikipedia entry where it quotes the New York Times critic descibing it as "narcissistic New Age reading" - which about sums it up for me.

  • Debbie Bliss magazine (issue 4) by Debbie Bliss
    Another lovely magazine from Debbie Bliss. I have not felt so smitten by the designs in this issue - but maybe I am not so keen on casual summer knitwear in general. However, it is a whole "lifestyle" magazine with knitted soft furnishings, and even recipes - in the true Stitchcraft magazine tradition! I love the insights into Debbie's inspirations, and her book (and other) collections.

  • Rowan47.jpg Rowan Magazine 47 edited by Marie Wallin
    As you know I am committed to the Rowan canon and this is another excellent magazine from the brand. Again, I am rushing off to buy the wool - which may, be as above, that I am less smitten by summer styles, or it may be that I already have a lot of outstanding UFOs. I have only recently knitted one of the winter offerings - I find my style influences tend to be a couple of years behind the times - takes a while for me to get used to new trends! Of these designs I did like Brighton (from new designers I think) and Tourquay the theme here being the ice cream colours used assymetrically.

  • 500Dolls.jpg
  • 500 Handmade Dolls: Modern Explorations of the Human Form (500 Series) Lark Books

    A weird and wonderful book of art dolls - a sort of Mervyn Peake world in 3-D miniature. Needless to say, this delightful book was found for me by Robert, who has a knack for turning up the unusual.

Posted on February 28, 2010 at 10:04 AM. Category: Books of the Month.

Saturday February 27, 2010


This weekend was occupied with Unravel at the Maltings in Farnham. unravel.jpg

My objective for the day was to avoid buying yarn in favour of perhaps finding some high quality fibre to spin. In the event, resisting the yarn was hard, and there were some lovely fibres at for example Fiberspates- but nothing appealed sufficiently to justify the expense. I did buy a small amount of natural mohair from New Forest Mohair, (to blend with my existing fleeces as recommended throughout the book A Fine Fleece).

It was notable that there were quite a few button vendors of varying types: some with with very original unique handmade buttons, Dixie Nichols with her Father's vintage glass buttons, and the Textile Garden with their selection of excellent value items. I bought buttons from the latter for a Louisa Harding cardigan which demands 36 buttons as decoration (so potentially an expensive project).

Tessa Wolfe Murray was demonstrating making her smoke-fired ceramic buttons - as well as selling them. Many vendors offered interesting demonstations of their wares for weaving and spinning, and of course the exhibitors included the local Guilds (in the cellars!). I visited Fi Morris there, and met Linda Newington who is the Head Librarian at Winchester School of Art. It seems they have a pattern archive with major donations from the collections of Richard Rutt (author of A HIstory of Hand Knitting, and Jane Waller - so I have found somewhere to bequeathe my modest collection in the future! Linda was giving a talk later in the day, but I did not stay long enough to see her - in fact I wish I had checked out the talks and workshops beforehand as I didn't really plan properly to see items I would have found very interesting - on Sunday Susan Crawford (who collaborated with Jane Waller on the Stitch in Time project) was giving 2 talks, one on Knitted Fashions from 1939-1949 which I would have loved to attend.

As I left, I had a chat with the sheep I had seen arriving at the same time as I did in the morning. They were very unwilling to get out of their cosy transporter and into their tiny show-pen in the rain. However the weather was more cheerful later on, and I found they were very user-oriented sheep - ashamed to say I have no idea of the breed though they may have been Gotlands (who I know are very friendly). I suspect they were from Well Manor Farm - I was tempted to buy some lovely grey fleece from them, but it was in its "natural" condition - and I already have too much fleece like that.....!

Throughout my time there I cursed not having taken my camera - hence this is mainly descriptive.

Posted on February 27, 2010 at 9:10 PM. Category: Spinning, Dying, Weaving.

Sunday February 21, 2010

Yorkshire Buttons

Yesterday we had a "show and tell" at the Guild meeting. There were a good number of members in attendance, and I was quite mesmerized by other people's work - the variety was quite surprising, given that there was no pre-planning, (well - variety within the context of fibre-related arts and crafts...).

Mavis showed us her latest free-form jackets from her handspun. As she talks about the fibres, she relates each little section to her own rabbits and animals, which is particularly charming. Her jackets are finished with "Yorkshire buttons" which caused much interest and comment.


Dorset buttons are a fairly well-known technique, but Yorkshire less so it seems. I was inspired to go straight home and try them out - one from memory of what she said, (on the left), and a second, (on the right), from these useful web instructions for Yorkshire buttons where you can also find Dorset buttons.

There were quite a few knitting projects, and mostly from member's own handspun. Claire came with her new birthday wheel (Kromski), and an astonishing amount of completed spinning projects - which would be fine if it were representing her whole year's work, but was in fact "just what she happened to have with her..."). Her man was able to give me a few website-related tips for our own (new) Guild website.

Posted on February 21, 2010 at 7:11 AM. Category: Crafts.

Tuesday February 9, 2010


..so on and off over Christmas, I put all this stuff out for the birds (Christmas excesses etc)... and they really loved it - one minute it was there and the next it was gone!


Here they are tucking into some cheese rind.

Posted on February 9, 2010 at 8:06 PM. Category: The Garden.