Sunny Day Celebrations

Hello All

Beautiful weather this weekend and how smashing that is ‘cos it’s Mintfest! and what’s more a Mintfest dedicated to our lovely friend Linda with whom we shared a passion for all things woolly. Even the programme bore testament to her love of knitting.

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Inside the cover a thoughtful dedication reminded us of how devoted she was to this wacky street art festival.

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I spent Saturday scouting out the hiding places of the little Frickels

and being distracted by street performances – don’t even ask about the Poo Monster … terrifying! – and clever ideas. These jolly decorated cones protected a small army of children who were colouring in the chalk outlines of a pretty spreading garland to create a colourful pavement.

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But the best was yet to come. On Sunday I was totally wowed by the full display of Fricklettes (thanks to SGi for that name!) at the top of Finkle Street in the ‘Birdcage’.

there were sooooo many of these cute little pigs

I can’t imagine how long this took LSi and her little team of Homespun volunteers. I hope they are proud of themselves it looked wonderful. Even the posts and benches had been yarn bombed.

There was a comfy sofa, chairs and a table weighed down with wool for people to drop in and take up some knitting or other wool crafts. All this, brilliant sunshine and a lively band “The Vicars of Skiffle” – who we were reliably informed knitted their own jumpers – made for an amazing and memorable tribute. BIG thanks LSi and the woolly community of Kendal!!!!!

Mintfest is now taking a year off. Luckily Mintfest 2014 was so sunnily successful that it has left us with many happy images to keep us going until 2016.

 

Until next we meet. Moke x

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Bank Holidays are for relaxing….

Hello All

I could be cleaning paintwork….I could be cutting the garden back (first dry day for a while)…I could be re-grouting the bathroom … dusting … washing …. ironing ….. BUT its a Bank Holiday and I am relaxing. Luverly.

Instead of being a domestic goddess (never going to happen) I’ve been spending time catching up with friends and escaping the dust-bunnies by putting my feet up with a couple of glossy magazines. What a treat.

One is an old favourite

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with wonderful articles, gorgeous photographs and witty columnists, including newbie Caz Graham whose voice will be familiar to anyone who listens to Farming Today.

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Caz once recommended a book to me, Michael Morpurgo’s “I Believe in Unicorns”. DownloadedFile

It is one of the most moving books I have read. Set in a war zone where the local library comes under threat “I Believe in Unicorns” reveals the power of story-telling to move humanity.

My other glossy was a lucky find amongst the racks of our local supermarket Booths.

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‘Landscape – Life at Nature’s Pace’ appears every three months and I picked up the latest Autumnal edition. It is absolutely crammed with arts and crafts, kitchen goodies, gardening, country matters, history and heritage and regular columns. Brilliant.

In this edition I was drawn to the article on farriers.

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My father was a blacksmith – as was his father before him – in the days when the village blacksmith turned his hand to all kinds of metal work: hoops for kegs, iron work for gates and fences and of course shoeing horses. ‘With Hammer and Anvil’ celebrates the work of today’s farrier a real fusion of ancient and modern.

I used to love hearing my father’s tales of working with horses. This well written and researched piece brought those stories back.

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Believe it or not there was also a useful article on darning! Something some of my older hand knitted socks could do with before winter. Talking of socks….

I’ve been wondering what to use my super new notebook for

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It suggests sewing I know …. wonder why?!

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But as my old pattern/row counting book is almost full a perfect use was obvious …. and with a new pair of socks beckoning my notebook was soon fulfilling its destiny.

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Do you know No1 son bought that wool and I wasn’t at all sure I was a brown sock sort of person yet it’s knitting up most pleasingly and has a touch of Fair Isle about it. Can’t wait to see the full effect.

Until next we meet. Moke x

Frickel Pigs Take Flight

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Remember last week’s glimpse at my Frickel pig which I was making for Mintfest? Here’s a reminder DSCI0019

As you know I was struggling with the wings. Then inspiration struck (phew) and Frickel was finished DSCI0032

Needle-felting and Linda for whom the pigs are a commemoration saved the day.

I had decided to use needle felting and looked into the style and shape of angel wings. I came up with a design I liked but sadly I thought I would be unlikely to have any pink fleece in the colour that Linda so loved to create them (I am a bit stayed in my colour choices). Nonetheless I went upstairs to my fleecy stash to have a look. Then – lo and behold – peeking out of a basket was an eye catching hint of pink.  Stunned by this brilliantly hued presence I lifted the packet out of the basket and realised that this luscious pink had been gifted to me after Linda died from her collection of wooly goodies! Amazing. Thank you Linda.

Now Frickel has wings to be proud of in colours – I added the turquoise as a tribute to another of Linda’s flamboyant colour favoutites- that Linda loved. Shield your eyes, here he comes….

Wunderbar. If I say so myself. I sculpted the turquoise panels to echo the feathering I had seen in the angel wing pictures. I liked the textured finish.

But now …sniffle….Frickel was ready to fly the nest. Quite a wrench as I’d got attached to the little fellow.

Off I went to Williams Wools DSCI0039

and let him join the other Frickels adorning the wool shop’s window DSCI0033

some of whom could not wait to take flight DSCI0034

They all looked very jolly together and I was glad that Frickel was amongst friends (apologies but the window reflected the road)

I am glad to know that all the money raised from the sale of the Frickels will be donated to Linda’s favourite charities and mark her special event Mintfest 2014.

Until next we meet. Moke x

 

Pigs and dragons might fly

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Having been a bit off colour this week I was glad to trip into town today. Little did I know how literal that was going to be. You know that feeling when you start losing your balance? Your arms windmill like crazy and you briefly believe that everything will be OK and you will right yourself before falling flat on your face? Welcome to a moment in my world.

VERY EMBARRASSING….. but after my failed attempt at flying – a BIG THANK YOU to the kind folks who checked I was OK and helped me back on my feet – I gave myself permission to work on a couple of creative projects where flying could be more successfully achieved.

Over the months I have talked about our wonderful friend Linda who tragically died after a sudden illness. Linda always eagerly anticipated Mintfest – a wacky amalgam of street theatre and performing arts – and every August helped out as an enthusiastic and dedicated steward. In recognition of the tremendous support Linda gave to this community-based festival Mintfest 2014 is dedicated to her memory. DownloadedFile Ah-ha now you can see where I’m going with the flying. Apparently Linda had a vision of Kendal swathed in knitted replicas of the distinctive pink Mintfest flying pig. Now thanks to Homespun community organisation a pattern for the newly named ‘Frickel Pig’ is being sold around Kendal to raise funds for Linda’s favourite charities, help us get knitting and adorn this little old grey town of ours with a splash of pink. Here is my Frickel pig….almost done……

…just awaiting wings and a face. The wings are the tricky bit. Luckily there are some fabulous knitters (I am obviously not one of them) in Kendal and I can’t wait to see all the little Frickel’s taking flight at the end of the month. It should be spectacular. I will try and get some snaps for you, look out for them at a blog near you.

As to my other flying project and for those of you keeping an eye on his progress. Drekie has grown legs and rolled in local Herdwick fleece.

But what to do with his wings and spikes? Any suggestions? Should I go natural fleece or let rip with brightly dyed tops? Decisions, decisions. Let me know what you think.

In my head Drekie has a story involving Vikings, long ships and magic on these north western shores. Perhaps one day I will write it down and give him a little book bag containing his biography ‘The Tale of Drekie”.

Until we meet next. Moke x

Wool n Stuff

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I had a timely reminder of the lovely Wool n Stuff community group when I received a friend request for the group’s Facebook page .

The initial impetus to set up Wool ‘n’ Stuff had been to explore wool crafts in the ambient surroundings of Kendal Museum. When we gathered for the first time in the autumn of 2006 to the strains of ancient Viking music (I couldn’t help myself…) in the midst of medieval and Roman artefacts little did we realise that we would be celebrating the woolly textiles that are our Cumbrian heritage for many years to come. But as they say in these parts ‘Pannus Mihi Panis’, wool is our bread.

While based at Kendal Museum each activity was run by a Wool ‘n’ Stuff member and between us we covered tablet weaving, drop spinning, knitting, and prodded rag-rugging. Kendal Museum entrance - 18.7.13

Following a reduction in staff and hours at the museum we had to find a new home which we did thanks to the kind folk at Kendal Library where we resided for a couple of sessions – looking at different fleeces and holding a quiz about our woolly friends (the four-legged varieties).

(Un)fortunately we were a mucky lot and sought out a new venue – the YWCA – where we could branch out into the messier crafts of natural dying, felting, and tye dye. We also held sessions on easy-weaving, tubular tablet weaving, hooked rag rugging, spinning wheels and crochet.

When building work meant another move we found ourselves in the marvellously grand surroundings of Kendal Town Hall until we were finally ensconced in the Art Room of Castle Street Community Centre where we worked on individual projects and group activities,

and held small sales of our own-made goodies (very popular at Christmas):

Time passed people’s lives changed and while there had been few woolly groups about when we began many more local ‘knit and natters’ had sprung up around us. It was great to see such a revival of interest in wool crafts and homespun community activity but as the need for a group like Wool n Stuff receded the small core of people that kept it running felt it was time to wrap Wool n Stuff up.

Sadly not long after the last session one of our key members Linda was suddenly taken from us. Yet even now she has left us a happy little legacy which I had almost forgotten about in the tumult that followed her short illness. Together with her son MF, much tea and hilarity we had created a Facebook Group for Wool n Stuff. Now as we look forward to celebrating Linda’s huge contribution to community and woolly activity during Mintfest might be the time to revive it.

Each Wool n Stuff session was full of support and friendship, rich with laughter and probably more biscuits than were good for us. It might be difficult to supply virtual biscuits but….

…being reminded of our Facebook Group by our newest member made me wonder if Wool n Stuff could be re-invigorated virtually. Perhaps it can be a home for us crafty types to share what we are working on, come to for help with tricky bits, gain solace for disappointments and congratulations for the things we are proudest of. Anyway crafters its our little bit of the universe to use …. enjoy.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/woolnstuff/

Until next we meet. Moke xx

PS I hope the links work. If you have any problems try typing out the address afresh in your web browser. Mx

PPS Apologies to non-Facebookers. Mxx