Folks

Hi All

What a super busy sociable Saturday and all to do with folks at nearby Staveley village.

After the difficult times following Storm Desmond in 2015 it is great to see how this small rural community has bounced back. Always a hub for walkers and cyclists – Wheelbase a Mecca for our bicycling friends is the most enormous cycle shop and if you are wondering does rentals too – Staveley's Mill Yard is also a home to the wonderfulness that is More? Bakery, Hawkshead Brewery and the well known Wilf's Cafe along with other small artisan producers and services.

But that is not all. Does this village have more to give? Yes it does! Staveley hosts fun festivals and productions throughout the year and BEST OF ALL you don't need a car to get there! You can travel by train, bus (the amazing 555 route) or walk.

This weekend it was Staveley Folk Festival and a few of us gathered to listen to the bands and enjoy hearty grub. We were there to see JC and the Moonshine Band. A friend's husband (the tall chap with the guitar) plays with them. They are brilliant musicians and foot-stompingly good. It was great to meet up with friends to enjoy their music and sing, stamp and clap along. One of those rare happy glow moments.

Now let's see if my upgrade is money well spent ….

It was quite tricky ensuring I didn't inappropriately capture anyone's image. That's my excuse for the clumsy editing… Enjoy a brief snippet of the band in full flow.

Outside the sun had come out to play – truthfully us Cumbrians were not sure what that yellow shiney orb in the sky was – and the Morris dancers were in fine fettle. A spritely jingley happy end to a fabulous afternoon.

Thanks to KS and AB for asking me. It was a thoroughly fab time. Back again next year?

As to craft making think my mojo is slowly but surely reasserting itself. Those booties were finished,

And gifted to the beautiful baby they were made for. He's gorgeous and mum and dad are quite rightly glowing with pride. And look!

I am on a roll. Whoopppeeee. There will be no stopping me now.

What are you up to? Any craft projects underway? Visiting any festivals?
It would be lovely to hear.

Until next we meet,
Moke xxx

Patterns are fun …eventually

Hello All

The sun has got its hat on. Hip hip hip hooray! Yesterday was a wonderful day for a train journey to my favourite city, Carlisle. A day when all my bus train bus connections came together and travel was an absolute pleasure.

As you know there is little chance of finding me on a train without wool and a project. Yesterday was no exception.

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In truth however I was running scared. I thought after the bauble success of last week I would try another pattern from the colourful “Boho Crochet” book edited by Merenke Slump. My knees turned to jelly when I realised I was moving from a two star to a THREE star skill rating. What was I thinking?! FPtrs and FPdtrs awaited along with surface crochet and sl st into blo (don’t ask, spare yourselves).

But before I could hook my way through a new crocheting learning curve my train had pulled in at Carlisle station. I had a little time before meeting with my friends at Tullie House Museum. Time for a visit to the library to pick up some light reading and settle down with a cup of tea.

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And yes that is brilliant sunlight casting shadows! Apologies for getting so excited but we don’t get a lot of sunshine in Cumbria. Infact like Nosferatu caught out by dawn we squinted, we fidgeted, we MOVED to get out of the rays. We may not get much sun but when we do it is stunning. Our eyes need time to adjust.

It was lovely meeting up with my friends but all too soon I was time to go our separate ways. A beautiful train ride later and I was back home and it was time to face my ‘Star Fruit Pattern Rug’ fears. Gulp.

Things didn’t get off to the best of starts.  I discovered I didn’t know my WS from my RS!

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Oops!

But having discovered this fundamental I started to get to grips with the lingo and enjoy myself.

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The Star Fruit shape began to form as I worked in the surface crochet. And the motif came together with the addition of the third colour edging.

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In no time at all I had three motifs completed. Only another 67 to go and I’ll have a rustic new rug!

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In case you were wondering I am using a 4mm hook and these chunky rough dyed rug yarns from Farfield Mill.

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Patterns. Pah! Nothing to fear after all. Next time 4 stars. Bring it on.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Christmas Cottage

Hello All and a very Merry Christmas to you

The pressies are open so here are a few of the makes I couldn’t reveal before Yuletide:

This year No 1 Daughter had booked us all into a cottage near Cartmel for Christmas. It was lovely. Everything a cottage should be, with interesting nooks and crannies,

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beams, DSCI0361

quirky little stairways,

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and a welcoming kitchen.

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It was comfortable and charming. Perfect for a relaxed family holiday.

No 1 Daughter and Son together with No1 Daughter’s boyfriend had settled in and sorted out the decorations and food before I arrived. What a treat to sit together for scrumptious meals. No 1 Daughter’s season chalet hosting a couple of years ago certainly paid off!

We had a wonderful time and with no WiFi nor mobile phone reception – YIPPEEEEEEE!!!!!! – mastered the hilarious art of charades and (almost) got to grips with the complexities of dominos.

Our dogs also had a superb holiday. Looking for their presents,

and enjoying the sort of mischief that only two small dogs can get up to. No 1 Daughter’s dog idolises my rather elderly Cavalier, James, so they were always together …. James adopting a Yoda like mentoring role … treats under the tree find you will ….

He is a wise old boy and after all that food…. James magnificently sums up how I feel.

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We have been very lucky. Our thoughts go out to those for whom Christmas is not a happy time.

Love and best wishes for 2015, Moke xx

Melange

Hello All

I feel all to pot! I’ve missed a whole week of blogging. Here then is a melange of life’s events over the last fortnight.

I started last weekend with a walk into town popping into Williams’ Wools to buy a ball of worsted wool – yes just one! don’t know how I managed to restrain myself with so many beautiful yarns to choose from  –  to knit (KNIT?!) a pair of fingerless gloves.

Having bought my veg and eggs on the market I visited the library. I was hoping to find a book on knitting that would help me brush up on my knitting skills. But I couldn’t find quite what I needed.

However later that evening when I met up with a few old friends (old in as much as I have known them along time not old as in aged….hope I’ve dug myself out of that one). AJ produced some surprise gifts. Things she had seen that she thought we’d like. Here was mine.

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Exactly the kind of knitting book I had been looking for! A book that will help me with techniques I have long forgotten.

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Good friends can certainly read your mind. THANK YOU AJ, for the now well thumbed book.

Confidence boosted I found a pattern on Ravelry by Marielle Henault for a pair of cable fingerless mitts. Needles at the ready off I went.

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Now…it is sometime since I have knitted anything in a cable stitch and I confess there has been much cursing and pulling back. But I think I have finally got it and the pattern is looking good, front

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and back. DSCI0212

With a nip in the air I had better get on with them.

JG and I have been looking forward to visiting Walney Island for some time. JG has never been there and I wanted to look at the chalets by the ocean to see if one of them could be a home for me and my trusty old cavalier. This was the weekend we had earmarked for the trip.

Joined by JG’s friend R off we set to this little island. Walney is attached to Barrow In Furness on the mainland by a road bridge . Excitingly the road lifted up as we waited to get on the island to allow a flotilla of tall masted yachts through to the channel. Magical.

Both tips of the island have nature reserves and the views are amazing. Through the static caravans of the South End Holiday Park you can even see Piel Island and it’s medieval castle.

Walney is a stunning place to be. But could I live there?….

After a good look around Walney JG had booked us a table for lunch at the locally famous Bosun’s Locker on Roa Island. After all that fresh sea air a lunch of home made cheese pie, chips and peas was very welcome. In fact it was such a hearty meal that I don’t think I’ll need to eat for several days!

Mind you I somehow managed a slice of cake and a cuppa while sitting in R’s beautiful garden. And guess what? this melange can end as it began with a hint/whisper/clack/click (?!) of knitting and happy dreams of projects to come…. DSCI0208

Thanks to JG for organising a lovely day out and to our guide R (who has also loaned me her Tea Cosy book).

Until next we meet. Moke

 

 

 

Yarndale here we come ….. a promise kept.

Hello All

And yes… I made it … correction …Lorry and me made it to (drumroll please) YARNDALE whoo-hoo.

All good things start with a journey and Lorry knows the most civilized way to travel, Earl Grey and ginger biscuits, what else?

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Then settle down on the train from Lancaster to Skipton with a good read.

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In order to arrive refreshed in the lovely market town of Skipton.

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Of course I couldn’t take the short yarnbombed route. Oh no it was the Sedbergh walk back from Farfield all over again i.e. round the houses. But these detours are always worth it. With little reminders of happy days past,

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pretty lanes,

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and small space living.

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Mmmm now there’s an idea. Delightful though my perambulations were I was pleased when I saw…

and I joined the queue (mental note: next year remember to buy ticket online in advance). With happy ladies around to chat to the queue moved quickly and in no time I was stamped

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Good grief I must moisturize!  and clutching in my hot sweaty crinkly hand a Yarndale programme.

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With Lorry safely tucked in the back pack we were IN.

I had said to myself that I wouldn’t take photos of things that you could see better on the Yarndale blog or on Attic 24  but I couldn’t resist an iconic bunting shot

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all that hard work to create a cheery welcome could not be ignored. Fabulous. Again this year’s mandala project meant I couldn’t resist a snap

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or two

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Aren’t they gorgeous? There was inspiration all around.

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Another small living idea perhaps? But Lorry was getting restless.

This time last year good friend Linda Frickel was in hospital and on my last visit I promised her that we would be coming to Yarndale in 2014. Sadly Linda could not be with me nonetheless I felt I must visit Yarndale to hold to that promise. Having won the marvelous Lorry in the Frickel Pig raffle he was destined to come too. Lorry reminded me of the fun, colour and enthusiasm Linda embodied. All I needed was a photo that encapsulated all that Linda loved about woolly stuff…..I can’t believe what I did next (Linda I hope you are having a celestial chuckle!). There was only one place that I could take Lorry’s picture,

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in the arms of the lovely Lucy of Attic 24 fame!

Lucy was as super in person as she is on her blog and I want to thank her very much for taking time to listen to Linda’s story and have her picture taken with Lorry. Linda absolutely loved Lucy’s blog at Attic 24 it appealed to her love of craft and more especially colour. She worked on the blog’s projects and introduced all at Wool’n’Stuff to it. I am now an addict. I hope this happy little moment for me and Lorry reaches Linda in the heavens …. and she also notices I got in the famously yarn bombed lamp stand in the background!

Yarndale was a wonderful event. Well done to all the organisers but special thanks to Lucy for making my day and helping me feel in some small way I had kept my promise to Linda.

Until next we meet, Moke x

Sheepfest …. spot Lorry.

Please note there may be one or two sheep in this blog.

Hello All

With 103 sheep dotted through the small Dales town of Sedbergh for its first ever Sheepfest taking photos of sheep became addictive. Somewhere among them there may be a small Frickel pig called Lorry. Can you spot him?

There were magnificent sheep in shop windows.

Sheep lest we forget.

Cheeky sheep.

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Shop sheep.

Literary sheep.

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The Baaaaaa-rd of Sedbergh (AW’s own work….isn’t he great?).

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Jolly sheep.

Realistic sheep.

Local historian sheep.

Estate Agent sheep.

(N)ew(e) – born sheep (the lady in this shop is expecting a baby any day, this was a lovely touch).

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Shopping sheep.

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Poorly sheep (in chemist’s window…where else?!)

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Farming sheep.

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Stone-wall sheep.

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Twin-town Slovenian sheep.

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Crafty sheep.

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Farfield Mill sheep.

Bell ringing sheep.

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Musical sheep.

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…the vicar even looked a bit woolly …

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I know this is impossible but incase you are a little sheep-ed out. Pride of place at the top of the aisle was this beautiful coat of many colours.

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Made of small woven strips

created by local school children with the help of community artist Donna Campbell the coat is a work of art. It was lovely eavesdropping on children proudly showing-off their strips to parents and grand-parents.

I am sorry that I couldn’t capture a picture of every sheep – some were let down by my inadequacies as a photographer – but I think even this little selection will give some idea of how hard the people of Sedbergh had worked to make Sheepfest such great fun. It was a real tribute to their town and them.

A super day out!

Until next we meet, Moke x

PS Did you spot him?

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.