Fluttering and dancing

Hello All

The sun has finally got it’s hat on and Spring feels like it has definitely sprung. To celebrate this me and Number 1 daughter grabbed the best day of the long weekend and trotted off avec latest edition to nearby Kirkby Lonsdale our plan being to capture lots of photos of jolly daffodils their heads fluttering and dancing in the breeze ….  you know the rest.

There we were in this most picturesque of villages three generations all determined on the best shots EVER (to be fair at 14 weeks old Peanut was silent-ish on the matter). No 1 Daughter had her super-duper digi-thingey/SLR camera ready and was clicking away taking artistic shots of the quaint churchyard festooned with yellow bobbing daffs. I was drooling at the thought of displaying her super images for your delectation.

BUT you will have to take my word for it. Our camera leads are incompatible and I couldn’t download from her super-duper digi-thingey/SLR camera (only small voice of chagrin  about IT disparities to be heard). Lucky I had taken a phone on our jaunt – those that know me will gasp at this revelation of technological advancement from yours truly – and I can at least share with you Ruskin’s View over the River Lune.

2016.03.25 - Ruskin's View - K Lonsdale

Lucky old Ruskin eh? Please note there are some daffodils gracing your screens.

Easily distracted as I am the branches of this amazing tree piqued my interest even more (sorry Ruskin).

2016.03.25 Glorious Trees - K Lonsdale

Isn’t it amazing? It looks like a tree that has experienced its hard times yet it still grows and aspires to reach for the skies. Beautiful.

Little Peanut seemed suitably impressed although she does wear more than a little look of ‘Bless Omi and her old hippy ways’.

2016.03.25 - Peanut enjoys walk K Lonsdale

I do think she is also saying ‘Omi wasn’t this post about daffodils?’. So better finish with one ….

2016.03.27 - Daffodil mug

… and a good cup of tea.

 

Until next we meet, Moke x

Latest Addition

Hello All

Now I am back in the blogosphere I think I had better introduce to you the newest member of the It’ll Be Reet clan.

On Thursday 17 December 2015 Number 1 daughter gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. She and her partner were over-the-moon as were new uncles and aunties and two very proud grandmothers (Nanna A and me, Omi).

Birthday 17.12.2015 few hours - Peanut 1

Being new to this Omi lark I am not sure how much baby cooing and gurgling I should subject you my dear readers to. But if you will forgive me I may run wild with gooey-ness in just this one blog.

As you can see yarns have been important from day one. Little Peanut was a wee bit on the small size and needed a prem-baby-bonnet to keep warm. But I can’t claim to have knitted the one above – good grief what sort of Omi am I?! – it was knitted by the kind knitters of Leeds especially for the maternity unit. Thank you lovely ladies and gents.

Peanut was obviously a chip off the old block and soon was enjoying the snuggly pleasures of an Omi made blanket..

16.1.2016 Peanut and the blanket that Omi made

… and a Daddy-sized woolly hat.

27.02.2016 Daddy's hat suits me

So there is no better way to wish you a Happy Easter from our latest addition, Peanut, in her own fleecy Easter bonnet.

2016.03.27 - Blue eyed bonnet

Until next we meet, Omi Moke x

Fingers and toes crossed ….

Hello All

Don’t get too excited or that will make two of us running around shouting ‘Yipppppeeeeee’.

After my poor old (only 10 years… things just aren’t made to last these days!) Mac gave up the ghost last Autumn I thought I was exiled permanently from the Blogosphere. But thanks to the generosity of my friends the Pods I am now working at getting back to blogging with a vengeance. I have a lot of catching up to do but with the help of Mr Pod’s less old laptop (named Vera well why not?!) I hope to start re-posting any day now… so WATCH THIS SPACE.

It is so good to be back as I have missed you all and our little sorties into the Lakeland scenery and the woolly ways of yours truly.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Bookshop Bunnies

Hello All

Still here! Miracles will never cease. Good job too as I have a trio of little chums to introduce you to. Back in March my very good friend B and her husband re-located their home and wonderful bookshop, Fireside Bookshop, from the Lakes down to Littlehampton on the south coast.

I was on my blogging ‘sabbatical’ when B moved but shortly after they had established their new shop I sent them a little fellow to remind them of their days in Windermere. DSCI0451 Meet Gerald the first of the Bookshop Bunnies to leave the shelter of the Old Sycamore (handily situated in my garden) and travel to their favourite bookshop.

An opportunity for Gerald to be joined by some of his nearest and dearest has now arisen as B is paying a visit. And a couple of Gerald’s kin decided they would hitch a lift back with her – think the Post Office does not offer the comfort they would like – to join him at Fireside Bookshop.

Nancy has been waiting some time. Counting the days until B’s visit.
DSCI0468But with a little needlefelting on this wonderful Gotland fleece (a purchase from this year’s Woolfest),
DSCI0132she has now been joined by a traveling companion –
DSCI0133wearing a rather natty crochet shawl –
DSCI0135her grandmother Marigold.
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Today – with a small lump in my throat – it is time to say ‘bon voyage’ as they set off on their journey to West Sussex and their new home at Fireside Bookshop.

Good luck Bookshop Bunnies.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Still here

Hello All

Well I’ve done it. I am all upgraded and stuff. Although it maybe a reprieve rather than a full pardon from the Old Bailey of Techi-ness as there are still WordPress pages that I cannot access. Apparently my machinery is on the old side (know how it feels). Nonetheless for the time being at least I can keep blogging! But not today.

After spending the best part of a yesterday with technical this and that I have promised myself a day without IT and instead am giving my time to baking, knitting and crochet. Bliss. Or I may just lie down in a darkened room.

Until next we meet (which we will), Moke x

Just in case!

Hello All

A quick post this one. Just to say that I am about to upgrade my computer. With IT obsolescence knocking at the door like Google’s Grim Reaper it is unavoidable my friends.

Upgrading can be a risky business (is this just me?) and I wanted you to know that if I vanish from the air waves it is unintentional and nothing you have said.

Until next we meet (I hope), Moke x

…. it is a far better thing that I do now …… 

Kitchen Table Crafts

Hello All

What a lovely day. A day of conversation and cuppas enjoying woolly crafting. All from the comfort of my kitchen.

When friend AFl suggested coming over I balked slightly at the craft she suggested. But as soon as I started gathering everything we would need I felt the old excitement I got from running workshops and joining in Wool ‘n’ Stuff sessions.

What were we going to do? There’s a (BIG) clue on my kitchen table.

‘Felting’ you say? Felting yes but with a twist. This is Nuno felting (felting onto cloth) and if you want to have a go at this low cost craft – or just want to see what we got up to – read on.

Here’s what we used:

  • surface to work on that you don’t mind getting a bit wet (kitchen table = perfect);
  • bubble wrap;
  • cling-film (needs to be quite robust variety);
  • muslin (remember there will be about a 50% shrinkage so allow for this);
  • fibres (we used dyed merino tops);
  • plastic bag each;
  • cool soapy water (I put a mix of washing-up liquid and cool water in an old plastic spray bottle);
  • clothes washing flakes or liquid; and
  • vinegar.

At this point I should have been able to show you what we did first but fueled with coffee (and a cheeky donut..or two…) I forgot to take any photos!!!! So words will have to suffice. Normal photographic service will soon follow.

Our first steps:

Bubble wrap was laid out bubble side down;

We wet the fabric and spread it out on the bubble wrap;

Remembering that less fibre leads to more shrinkage we pulled our wool tops into small, even and thin pieces;

Then we lay the fibres in all directions (one direction means shrinkage will only be one way);

We gently sprayed COOL soapy water on the fibres and cloth; and

Covered our fibre patterned muslin with cling film (AFl had brought an old industrial sized roll which was perfect cos it wasn’t too thin nor very sticky).

Now we gently pressed all the water down through the wool,

DSCI0119

until it started to go flat at which point we rubbed gently – still through the cling-film – with our scrunched up plastic bags. A bit like rubbing down a wet horse I thought …. or is that just me?!

Off came the cling-film and rolling commenced … oops just noticed the cling-film is not off … remember to remove yours.

DSCI0120

We rolled three hundred times (yes 300!) one way and then having re-rolled the felt in the opposite direction three hundred (YES 300!) more times.

Unbeknowst to us hours passed as we chattered and rolled … and rolled …. and rolled …  Time flew.

Once we could see fibres making their way through the muslin we flipped the bubble wrap over and rubbed the nuno (yes it actually looked like nuno felting, amazing) along the whole length.

DSCI0123

We put the nuno into hot soapy water. As hot as our hands could cope with. Ooooooch. Then came the best bit.

DSCI0122

‘Is that it?’ I hear you cry. OK it doesn’t look very exciting but this is my nuno felt after I had thrown it full force S-P-L-A-T onto the table. This only needed to be done about a dozen times but as I hurled my felting I found it was a great means of working off my angst … “and this is for …. bang! and this is for …. BANG!” Twelve throws was not enough. When you get to this stage you’ll know what I mean.

Not only was it therapeutic but it was also magical. Shrinkage! Houston we have shrinkage!

Finally all our nuno needed was a rinse to get rid of the soap and a last rinse with a splash of vinegar and more water.

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We were very pleased with ourselves. We had actually created nuno felted pieces and had just enough time for a celebratory soup as they dried.

Excellent way to spend a day. Getting together with a friend and having a bash (quite literally) at a kitchen table craft. Thank you AFl for reminding me.

Until we meet next. Moke x