Let’s Talk Wool

Hello All

A quick update on progress of the shawl-scarf-thingy. I thought I might hit a problem in Prenzlau and the Thingy end at Berlin Senf. But I need not have worried K-D came to the rescue with an armful of gifted wools. Which to pick?

Just to be awkward I decided to pull back the part knitted jumper and go with the black and white combo. However it remains to be crocheted in as I was too busy galavanting and then chatting to people on the trains. Never fear Thingy WILL be finished and I have continued to buy a ball of wool in each place I stop.

After the Prenzlau black and white came Lubeck orange.

Today in Bremen I found this crafty emporium Idee.

All sorts of craft goodies filled this basement store. Paper crafts, fabrics and of course wool. I loved the knitting wall paper and the sample squares. Dotted around were tables to sit and knit or crochet which was very handy for me to gather all my goodies together.

So what is the Bremen wool? Bremen the purple-mix is yours.

As to the Thingy…let’s just say it has a way to go.

But that ferry journey is V-E-R-Y long. That’s the woolly roundup.

Until next we meet,

Moke xxx

Just sew


Hello All

The sun is out but there is still a nip in the air. Let’s stay in.

Today just felt ripe for setting up my trusty Singer and getting a couple of sewing jobs done. You know the sort of things: those little niggley tasks that have been cluttering your ‘to do’ lists for longer than you care to admit. Tabs for duvet covers whose poppers gave up the ghost several washes ago have waited long enough. My life is just so scintillating!

I obviously needed to sweeten the pill. Yeah! a project that used my cloth stash and would provide a little something for young Peanut happily sprang to mind.


Those of you that knew me as a library lady will possibly remember this fabric I used it to make a shirt which I often wore for story times. Never fear readers there is no danger of an Omi-Granddaughter matching outfit scenario. My old Toddler Tales shirt has long since been relegated to the category of clothes that are only to be worn for painting and gardening.

Safe in the knowledge that there will be no baby-grandparent twinnage let’s move swiftly on.

The cutting out was a breeze. Only four pattern pieces and two pieces of interfacing. Call me odd but attaching iron-on interfacing is so satisfying.


Like any clothes-making for littlies it was fun to pull it all together. Whizzing up the side seams, stitching the facing sections to the main body of the pinnie.

Even for me, an inexpert sewer, the running up of this simple dress was a breeze. That is  until …. the buttonholes!!!!!!!

As you’ll see I managed them. But even with a special buttonholing foot on my machine (I need all the help I can get) there was a certain amount of teeth gnashing. Believe me if you go awry with these little beauties it is the stuff of nightmares to unpick .


BUT slicing between the two rows with my trusty seam ripper…..oooooooohhhhhh….felt goosepimply good.

And in no time at all I had a Peanut sized pinafore dress all sewed up.


For those of you that would like to know which pattern I used it was New Look (Easy, Kids) Nos.6578.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Wind the Bobbin Up

Hello All

In the words of the nursery rhyme it is time for me to wind the bobbin up ….

Winding the Bobbin Up

and bobbin suitably wound time to start on a new project. I have in my cloth stash a beautiful few yards of batik fabric that has been crying (sobbing, even weeping) to be made up. I also have a pattern (no cross and dot scaling required) for a top that is right up my street.

Batik Fabric and Simplicity Sewing Pattern

Scissors ready? Eeeeeek.

Cutting out the pattern

Phew. Cutting done. Its time for a bit of  sewing


and of course pressing,

Pressing and Sewing

I’d hoped to get finished today but I had one little job that needed to be done and that called me away from sewing my new top. But it’s almost there. Only sleeves … and (gulp) buttonholes to go.

That little job? One of my colleagues is leaving us soon to have a baby. As she knows she is having a boy chance for me to make a pair of little crochet bootees in Baby Boy Blue.

Hope she likes them.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Seagulls and Sewing

Hello All

Does anyone else have a problem with seagulls? Not in the sense that they sky dive to eat your cornet of melty ice cream or worse bomb you with an unhealthy dollop of  guano (if you don’t know don’t ask … spare yourself) but in the fact that they are dastardly difficult to draw. For reasons unbeknownst even to me I have taken it into my head that our work space needs to have its own seagull.

Before needle felting I like to do a little drawing. Things did not start well.


Think my pencilled comments speak for themselves.

Time to take another tack. I felt like I needed to dissect a gull. Not literally of course but photographically. Nothing for it but to take my camera off to Barrow the home to many a European Herring Gull.

As I sat at the bus stop


I geared myself up to tackle these monstrous birds. No joking they are HUGE. They make the pavement shudder when they come in to land. Boom. But Hitchcock would not be impressed. They turned camera shy.

They either came over all coy


and turned their backs leaving me with a rather fuzzy picture of a bundle of feathers or


they sat down on the job! Obviously they are after Equity rates darlings.

Anyhoo as sitting was the best I was going to get time to move on with the lying down gull drawing prep.

DSCI0011At least I won’t have to worry about those pesky fronty-backy knees … watch this space.

The other small fascination for the week has been brought about by a new book purchase.


I y-e-a-r-n for some new clothes but find it hard to buy the right shape and style for me. Time to revisit my teenage years and make clothes for myself. Luckily I have no photo evidence of any of those wonderful (!) teen creations – if I did would I show them?! Habibe Acikgoz’ book ‘Bold and Beautiful Easy-Sew Clothes’ is filled with stylish asymmetrical patterns and clear instructions and advice.  Appetite suitably whetted let’s have a go.

First job will be scaling up the pattern (gulp) so I needed dot and cross paper (or a lot of sellotape to join together A4 sheets of graph paper). I had been told that there is a very good dress-making fabric shop in Ulverston so off I set.

What a lovely find. Unique Image in Market Street, Ulverston is a proper dress-making shop and yay! it sells dot and cross paper by the metre.


This is dot and cross paper in case you didn’t know and let’s face it I didn’t until about two days ago. Now its time for a little maths (eeek) and let scaling commence.

If all else fails Unique Image also run project led courses so I may be investing in a full day workshop in their lovely airy sewing room learning how to dress-make from a professional …. I’ll keep you posted.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Three Cakes Saturday and Mummys’ Sunday


Pop-up day arrived. 7.15am saw sometime Commando Gardener sometime Library Lady sometime craftswoman KC and me wend our way up to Oxenholme Station…..trusty wheelie cases in tow.

Having set out our wares – Library information for KC

my Moke’s Makes10152738_10152282518235816_2080991688_n

and (as if KC hadn’t been busy enough) Kinga’s Bags

– it was time to admire our pop-up neighbour and tuck into our first cake…yummmmm….

KC had brought the most incredible apple crumble cake. Full of fruit, HUGE and delicious. Tea and coffee accompaniment naturally.

As the trains whizzed past and the morning wore on we had a cheerfully chattery library ladies get together as we were joined by CMc and JG and happily munched our way through cake number two, gooey, chewy, hearty artisan baked flapjacks (I had lemon and ginger…amazing), brought by JG.

It was nice to see our wares laid out DSCN1404 and lovely to see everyone but soon it was time for home. Our friend (also a Library Lady) AW arrived to run us back. With her came cake nos. 3! a slice of her melt in the mouth chocolate cake which I wholeheartedly enjoyed back home with a large mug of freshly brewed tea. Aaaaaaahhh.

Thank you to Virgin Trains for arranging these community events and the Oxenholme Community Champion, Alison, who gets it all up and running at my favourite little station.

Mummy’s (Sun)Day and what a splendid sunny Spring day it was. A long chat with No1 son set the day off to a great start and then along came No 1 daughter with all the makings for a High Tea (including the china…I’m strictly a tea mugs household),

wonderful gifts,

and most poignantly a memory board of our small but beautiful family.

There were pictures of a youthful me and my parents – Omi and Opi – when they were young,

and happy times with Omi and my fantastic aunty May(ble),

No1 daughter is our family archivist and it was special to remember times with Omi and her sister May two lovely mums themselves who were there to support us when times were difficult and help give my children a childhood that I know they both treasure.


P.S. Marilyn Monroe was not part of our family! She is just the normal resident of No1 daughter’s cork board.

Pop-up madness

Back to work I go. Back to my daily walks and visits to Oxenholme station to await the early morning Pendolino. Of course there are compensations. The walk is good for my health, almost 4 miles a day is not to be sniffed at if I say so myself, and there is always a cup of tea to look forward to as I settle down to the latest ‘Book on the Platform’.

Oink was an additional cheery feature of this Monday morning.

Then there are always the station’s community events to look forward to, DSCN1362

and – even better – take part in, DSCN1361

and so the wonderful, distracting pop-up madness begins.

For one pop-up day only – I’ll be there on Saturday 29 March – Moke’s Makes has been revitalised, DSCN1391

remaining stock readied,

and new items created….

Being a daily customer of the friendly and ‘welcome sight’ Caffeine Rush van (handily parked on the southbound platform 1), DSCN0604

takeaway cup cosys were top of my must-makes list,

if only so KC* and I can enjoy a long lasting hot cuppa without singeing our hands. The pattern was designed by Danyel Pink. It was amazingly satisfying to hook-up and gave me a few happy Crochet on a Train moments this week.

Then there are the Attic 24 inspired Forfar Birdies filled with fresh smelling French Lavendar…aaaaaaahhhhh…. DSCN1370

chunky crochet flower brooches, DSCN1369

trinket baskets made with yarn crocheted over string:

I made this little fellow up ad hoc much like my display basket,

when I get my head together after the Pop Up madness I will share with you how I made them.

*Now as if all this crafty fun wasn’t enough my good friend KC will also be having a table at the pop-up event. She will be promoting the library service but she will also be providing some of her beautiful sewing for the Moke’s Makes stall. Remember the wonderful bag she made me?

I can’t wait to see what she has been busily sewing up. I know her creations will be marvelous, perfect Mother’s day pressies, and welcome cheerful additions to the Moke’s Makes stall.

Before I go a BIG THANKS is also due to the other half of the Commando Gardeners MR for my superb new header. Isn’t it smashing? I love it.

KC does puddings

Its been a busy old week. But very pleasant for all that. My buddy JG said she had left a bag for me in the staff room…look at the treasure trove I found!

I had to have a play with these lovely threads and tried crocheting a little Pelargonium brooch in the pink and green Sylko Perle with a 2.25mm hook – perhaps not quite as vivid as my camera makes it seem.

The pattern comes from my old favourite:

I reduced the number of flowers from 5 to 4 making it a little easier to create the blossom effect of the flower cluster.

The end of the working week (almost) was spent with AlW and AW (I’m going to have to get a better system of ‘naming’ my chums while preserving their anonymity. I’m beginning to get in a muddle so you must be too, sorry) at friends KC and MR’s enjoying an evening of deliciousness and conversation.

My photos don’t do the spread any justice as I missed all the lovely salads, veggies, fish and veggie ‘schnitzel’ because I was too busy eating! KC reminded me to get my camera out as she wanted it known that she DOES DO PUDDINGS! I can testify to KC’s pudding making (excellent KC, excellent), although I think the trifle (again greed got in the way of me taking a photo before it had started to vanish) may have had a touch of the AlWs about it!

Its five months since we all shared KC and MR’s wedding day. A special and wonderful occasion. Looking through their beautiful wedding album brought back happy memories of that day for all of us. Big happy sigh time…..

I may have mentioned that KC DOES PUDDINGS but she also DOES SEWING! Look at this lovely tote bag which she gave me

She has taken so much trouble to retain the symmetry of the striking pattern on the fabric. Its fantastically made and also a super size. I love bags that are able to accommodate A4 paper and folders. Whoopee! At the moment my new bag is too new and fabulous for me to risk getting it marked and dirty but don’t worry Lovely Bag your time will come very soon…I just want to admire your pristine loveliness a bit longer…am I talking to a bag? Oh dear…

This week there are BIG changes afoot, more to follow. The staff at Kendal Library will also be ‘Having A Cuppa for Marie Curie‘ so I’d better trot and start making some goodies to sell for this wonderful charity. Have a good one.