New name day

Well I’ve finally gone and done it. My blog has a new name. No longer a Library Lady by trade I didn’t feel I could carry on under that title but what a struggle to think of a new one. In the end as you can see I settled for “It’ll Be Reet” ‘cos it sums up my northern roots, my general disposition (for good or ill) and after all I suppose it will be…reet.

Its late at night but before I turn in I just wanted to show you my latest creations. The real string bag just grew and grew and I had to rein it in with some steeply decreasing rows of double crochet in hemp in order to finish it off.  There was a moment there when I thought I’d have to pull it all back! But now its done I’m really pleased with the result as it is a handy receptacle for my more colourful double knit yarns allowing me to see in and view what colours I have in ‘stock’.

This has been useful for another project…birdie decorations. Thanks to Lucy at the wonderful Attic24 blog I have become quite addicted to making these wee tweety pies (actually they remind me more of cornish pasties, just me?).

I only wanted to share but as I have been stuffing these little birds with fiber filling mixed with lavender (stifled yawn) I do feel sleepy, so please excuse me as I think the Land of Nod is calling…ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz

It’s nice to be appreciated!

What a wonderful couple of days I’ve had. So before my memories fade I had better get tapping on this here keyboard.

Unusually for me I was off on a Friday and not only did this mean I caught a lovely day to walk along the River Kent

and be glad that I wasn’t dragging my washing down these steps to scrub it clean! DSCN0651

But it also meant that I was able to pop into one of our local wool shops, join in their Macmillan Coffee Morning (make mine a tea!) and spontaneously meet up with some familiar faces.

And if that wasn’t all superb enough the real purpose of perambulation was to meet up with JG at the beautiful Abbot Hall Art Gallery for lunch and on top of that there was the bonus of our fellow Daughter of Destruction (coined from a time we tried to hang wall coverings…you had to be there) BD being able to join us!

Aaaaah, satisfied sigh aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh. Poor Abbot Hall Cafe they almost had to lever us out we got so settled. I really appreciate the good friends I have and how nice it is to get some time to spend with them.

Another friend deserving appreciation is AW. Today she hosted a brilliant open morning at Sedbergh library to welcome the fair folk of that small town into their treasure of a library and let them know that she is now on hand to help them and keep it a tip top convivial place to be. Now this being AW everything was beautifully arranged. She’d visited the local primary school whose children had written poems for a wall display,

there was a warm welcome,

and plenty of AW’s tasty home baking,

It was also a real treat to see a display of AW’s incredible sugarcraft. This is the woman who made my fabulous cake when I left the library,

so I shouldn’t be surprised at the wonderful things she can fashion but her work is so detailed and intricate that it is hard to believe all these stunning flowers are created with  sugar!

Amazing! Well done AW on such a beautiful display and a marvellous morning for the library users of Sedbergh. And thanks too to the other library staff and volunteers for supporting this lovely event. It was great to be there.

The power of the word

I know that I should be heavily into ‘crochet on a train’ by now especially as THE Season is not far off in terms of home makes as pressies but JG was right ‘Alex’ was a gripping read. Remember it? 7193K7hq1wL._SL1000_

While not for those of a delicate disposition – some of the descriptive passages had me wincing (and getting odd looks to boot) – you are constantly consumed by the need to read on. This book is not so much a ‘Who Dunnit?’ but more a ‘Why did they do it?’ (not as catchy I know). Excellent.

Now sometimes I am tempted away from the borrower’s path and read books that are not from the library. In the case of the title I am reading at the moment its a good job my daughter’s boyfriend leant it to me. Emblazoned on the front cover of Anne Holt‘s “1222” is a Daily Mirror quote “Like a mash-up of Stieg Larsson, Jeffery Deaver and Agatha Christie” . If I’d seen that on a library (or book shop) shelf I would be dropping the book and running for the hills! I’m showing my age but a “mash-up” in relation to a novel?! Surely never a good thing….but in this case…… apparently it is.

Holt’s novel features an irascible ex-detective trapped in a Norwegian hotel with a killer on the loose. Sounds familiar territory? Yes but that makes it a perfect autumn evening read and there are enough twists in both characterisation and plot to make it a worth dipping into the first few pages and becoming absorbed. Unfortunately for me it opens with a train crash. Not brilliant when sitting on the early morning Pendolino to Glasgow Central! In any event I’d recommend it. After all as The Times tells us this is “An homage to Miss Marple – or Miss Marple as a badass paralysed Norwegian lesbian detective”, what can be wrong with that? (psssst….are these newspaper critics on something? bad-ass? Good grief!). Here’s the cover to look out for: 519DdwzBbLL

Lest you think that crochet has exited my life forever never fear. Yesterday afternoon the urge to get hooking overcame me and I began working on a new real string bag. The pattern was designed by Ruth Shepherd and I found it on Talking Crochet at Crochet-World.com. Here ’tis (well as far as I’ve got):

I have now two projects on the go, the string bag and my owl tea cosy, but I’ve run out of yarn and string for both! Can you believe it. Like everyone I know I have a huge stash of wools, acrylics  and strings but nothing suitable to finish these little enterprises. Ain’t it always the way? Lucky that I’ve got a few days off soon and will be able to take a trip to The Wool Clip at Caldbeck to replenish my stock of Herdwick using the voucher my wonderful friends at the library got me (especially thanks to FT who went up there to buy it!). DSCN0586

Now there is something to look forward to. As to the string, a toddle to the local ironmongers should see me right.

Finally….Words are important and names say a lot about us. Guess what? weeks after ceasing to officially be a ‘Library Lady’ I’ve discovered how to change the blog title! I’m slow but determined…But what to call my hotch potch of scribblings? Any ideas? I had thought ‘Making Ends Meet’ but now may go with ‘Eclectic Moke’, as the ad goes ‘it does what it says on the label’ or Queen of the Spiders (don’t ask). Your thoughts would be much appreciated. HEEEEEEELLLLLPPPPPPPPPPP…..

Being them and also Uz4

What a lovely weekend. Saturday I spent chewing the fat with JG at the lovely Waterside Cafe (so no real chewing of fat involved ‘cos Waterside is a yummy veggie restaurant). We had a good old catch up and then I had a walk home along the River Kent in glorious sunshine.

Turn the clock forward to Sunday morning and what a change in the weather! Blowing a gale, raining hard and sun? what sun? it was dark enough to be evening. But it would take more than that to dampen my spirits because it is drumming Sunday. Kettle’s on and pot’s warming….

DSCN0633

Drums and percussion are out ready….

for the arrival of the other three members of Uz4.  Braving the storm we all managed to be sitting around the table with hot mugs of tea not long after 11am.

Uz4 is made up of four drummers who met as members of Tenterhooks a community percussion which we helped set up in the 1990s. Tenterhooks of yester year

They were wonderful times and involved us in many community projects, like the Kendal Torchlight Festival mentioned with the photo above, and even allowed us to record an album at a musicans’ cooperative in Lancaster.

Uz4 get together for a fun drum and a natter although we have managed to record some of our pieces and today I managed to master modern technology and upload some of our tracks onto Soundcloud. Whoo-hoo! Wonders will never cease.

On that happy note I must leave you.  Hope all is well wherever you are.

Crochet on a train…chooo chooo….

Something had to be done. Time was running out. Can you imagine? no time for crochet! EeeeeeK. I was on the brink of making a chart so things were critical. Nil desperandum.  I put on my ‘time management’ head ( bit difficult because usually I wear my scatter-brained head) and came up with a plan. Crochet on a train!

It goes like this. Waiting for train read book (easy to stash as soon as train comes into view) on train 40 minutes of undisturbed crochet. Aaaaaaah that’s better. Now what to make? Of course I turned to the library and JG produced a new(ish) addition from the craft section, 51NpzMiZpgL-1

There are some brilliant ideas in here and I have mentally noted a few as possible Christmas (too soon to mention the C word?) pressies. But first I have been thinking that my beautiful new teapot DSCN0574

might like a cozy to keep her warm now that there is a definite nip in the air. Some time ago I made an owl cozy for B from Herdwick wool and every time I visit I look wistfully at it sitting proud atop of her teapot*. About time I made my own. And so begins my first ‘crochet on a train’ project.

The first few rows underway, IMG-20130906-00001

I know, I know it doesn’t look promising right now. But it will blossom. I promise. The sharp eyed among you will notice that this is a Patons’ pattern. If you follow the Patons link and search for ‘Owl Tea Cosy’ it will bring up the pattern – among many other wonderful cosy patterns.

I love working with Herdwick wool. Herdwicks are one of the most famous Cumbrian breeds of sheep. They have beautiful ‘teddy bear’ faces and their fleece changes colour as they grow older, starting off as almost black on the lambs and turning a misty grey/pale beige as the sheep ages. Its a very course wool and I am told by spinners not always a joy to spin. The yarn is, truth be told, a wee bit scratchy and not really something you want to wear next to your skin. Although years ago I crocheted a Herdwick jumper which is a perfect top layer for cold winter’s days up here in the chilly Lake District. It will certainly keep my tea piping hot!

If you want to know more about the wonderful sheep that produce this ‘self-dyed’ wool then I can highly recommend $T2eC16JHJHkFFlt,w)JRBSHnzgfnZ!~~60_35

This lovely book won a prize a few years back in the Lakeland Book of The Year Awards and certainly earned it.

That’s the crochet sorted. What about the ‘book for the platform’? JG came up with a title for that too, 7193K7hq1wL._SL1000_

JG had just finished it and said she couldn’t put it down. Recommendation enough for me. So I pootled into Kendal Library yesterday and there it was waiting for me on the requests’ shelves. Thanks JG.  Of course I couldn’t wait for a platform to read on so I started it last night….its not for the faint hearted but it is certainly gripping…but there is washing to do so I must…well…maybe another page …or two…

 

* The lovely B sent me a photo of her using said Owl Tea Cosy…..

owl tea cosy

 

so I just had to do a quick edit and include it. Thanks B.

Big Night In

Do you remember my lunch with my best buddies? …the climb that was worth it?

Stoney Lane

It was more than time that I repaid the hospitality. With all the kerfuffle  of the new job and the longer working days I didn’t want to lose sight of the really important things: my family and friends. So on went a pot of my trusty veggie chilli – with a base ingredient of red lentils and a dash of sherry to enrich the flavour – and in went the jacket potatoes. You can already tell I’m a rustic, you could say basic, cook! I laid the table,

and thanked the heavens that my daughter’s boyfriend is a romantic soul who regularly brings her flowers, ‘cos they set off the table beautifully, DSCN0627

We did get more to eat than tomatoes and dip, honest! My chums all brought share-sy food (and wine) but things were so relaxed and convivial that I didn’t want to break off from the conversation to start snapping photos. We nattered about so many topics it was sometimes hard to keep track so there were some funny moments when we talked at cross-purposes only realising when we went beyond surreal.

As always books were well covered and I am now after a copy (from the library of course) of “Alex” by Pierre LeMaitre, it sounds like a real page turner of a thriller. In the meantime I am finishing off Robert Goddard’s “Hand In Glove”, images

which has seen me through being stuck behind several freight trains and is a good read before my eyes can’t stay open any longer.

There is one other book that is close to my heart at the moment and that is “Amazon – Slave of Rome”  an historical action novel being written by yours truely… If you want a sneaky peak you’ll find it posted (well the first 5 chapters) on Wattpad if you search under ‘Discover’ for Amazon – Slave of Rome.

I’ll leave you all with a cheery sight, there’s something about sunflowers that makes me smile, DSCN0632

thanks AJ.

Happy days.