Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch - 10.00am to 1.00pm

Tuesday morning Pitch and Stitch - 10.00am to 1.00pm
This hanging from Annie Downs' Hatched and Patched book should be in every caravan as a cushion or decoration!

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Penny Rugs

Today we had the Penny Rug workshop and we really enjoyed ourselves.  They are made from woollen and felt textiles, and I had a great stock of Tweed fabric - some from the Donegal Woollen Mill, and some from the Cotswold Woollen Mill, in Filkins, Lechlade.

Sandra and I visited there on a very wet day in January - and had a great time.  You wander from room to room, upstairs and downstairs, and there is so much to see.  Lots of woollen clothes to buy, and loads of quirky things - but I particularly liked the old mill.   From what we could gather, they don't weave there anymore but the old looms can be seen

and there were huge baskets of old spindles everywhere

and there was a whole history of the Woollen industry in the Cotswolds.  I loved the old Shepherd's smock

and a selection of sheep bells (we have a few of these that have been dug up over the years).

We poked around the place for ages, and kept coming across really lovely stuff like this old platted rug

Anyway, I also came back with a big bag of tweedy off-cuts and decided to make a penny rug with them.

We made a good start today

I have also been working on my Janie Crow crochet - using the random method she recommends, I dig blind into the bag of yarn and work with whatever ball comes out.  I love doing the crochet but my heart would sink every time I pulled out the yellow or peach ball.  I really, really don't like those colours.

 I was talking about this in the workshop and Ros said, "well, don't use them then."  I was shocked - but they were supplied, I'm supposed to use them.  Again, Ros said, "but if you don't like them, don't use them."  So last night I took the yellow and peach balls out - and I feel totally liberated!  The yellow and peach have been banished!!!


Sunday, 4 March 2018

What a Beastly Time....

Well, not really, but it has been a long 5 days.

The Beast from the East blew in on Wednesday afternoon - quite suddenly.  After a very dark day with a bitter wind, the sun suddenly shone brilliantly and we thought the forecasts had got it wrong again.  But then it came.  It went very dark and a bitter wind blew the snow all around the house.

So that was it.  For the next few days there was no going anywhere - the schools closed, the roads were covered in snow drifts.

Nothing for it but to do a bit of sledding

and long walks looking at the impressive snow drifts

Meanwhile, down on the farm, calving has started in earnest.  Walking over to the farm to see the newcomers was slightly harder than usual - the footpath had gone and been replaced by a glacier!

Impossible to walk down - the lane is in a gully which completely filled with snow - if you tried to walk down it you'd just sink in!

Anyway, taking the long route round I managed to see what's been going on:

Lots of very affectionate mothers

and lots of very sleepy calves

until they think something interesting is happening

Back to normal tomorrow - and I'm quite glad.  I should have made more use of the time being stuck at home - but I spent most of it just staring out of the windows!

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Beautiful Day

What a lovely couple of days we've had - misty, frosty mornings and then bright sunshine.

I was determined to start this post off on a positive note - so many people were really cross with me for saying how miserable it's been, however, credit where it's due, and the sun has shone for us this weekend.

Perhaps because of the sunshine, I have been enjoying making a Penny Rug in preparation for our workshop next month.

It's quite time-consuming but worth it, I think, and I was surprised at how thick it is when you put all the circles together.

I have also made a start on the Janie Crow Mystical Lanterns.  The pattern is really easy to follow (I only had one 'What's that supposed to mean?' moment and, after taking a deep breath and telling myself to get a hold, managed to work it out) and I'm quite excited about cracking on with it.

I'm following her recommendation to be completely random by taking a ball out of the bag without looking at the colour, which means that some of the colour combinations don't really rock my boat, but I imagine that once I've done 150 or so the colours will look quite different.

Wonder if they'll tessellate?

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

A Long Winter

This has been such a long winter - and so cold.  We've had rain, snow and sleet today and an awful, biting wind.

And to make matters worse this computer is almost certainly on the way out, so everything takes twice as long as it should, so every time I've gone to update this blog I've been put off.

However, I shall persevere, and try to get something written down before it crashes again.

On a happy note, I've finished my crochet blanket designed by Sara from Black Sheep Wools.

I enjoyed making it, and am pleased with it and looking forward to moving on with

Janie Crow's Mystical Lanterns!  Hmmm, could be quite a challenge.

The workshops are going really well, although when Sandra and I finally got down to drawing up the schedule, we realised there were only 8 weeks till Easter so it's rather a short term!

The Lynne Johnson ladies have really been cracking on, with some lovely finished quilts.

Pam's amazing quilt which you just wanted to dive into - such warm, beautiful colours.

And Liz's unbelievable first quilt with Lynne

Carole managed to finish her Quilt as you Go Baltimore

So, all in all, quite a productive lot!

In fact, I should be grateful for the terrible weather.  Because nothing could be done in the fields, Jonathan (designer) and George (welder) got together to make me a lovely Plant Theatre, which will, I'm sure, look amazing when summer comes around again.  Which I'm sure it will do......

Now I'm off to toss a few pancakes around the kitchen - Happy Pancake Day everyone!!!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

A Lazy Lump

Well, I have to admit it, since Christmas (craftwise) I've been a lazy lump!  I really have.

I've done a little bit of quilting,

a little bit of tapestry

a little bit of crochet

and that's it!  I think it's because we've changed our furniture around and my upright armchair has gone into the best room, so in our sitting room I have to sit on a sofa which means I am forced to loll around a bit.  May have to have a re-think.

I have just discovered I've deleted all the photos on my phone - most of which I hadn't uploaded to the computer, so the things I was going to show, I can't.

However, I can report on the following.  This summer two elderly ladies in the village had to move out because their houses were flooded when a sewage pipe broke - it was actually on the National News - and the whole saga was really horrible for them.

Jackie had the idea of making them lap quilts to welcome them back home once their bungalows had been fixed, so a working party of Anthea, Toni, Carole, Sally, Jackie and me, with Dawn providing much needed lunch and refreshments, gathered in the workshop in November. 

We stitched all day like mad things, and then Jackie and Sandra C and Eileen later stitched all the blocks together.  Finally, on that snowy day in December Jackie and I delivered the quilts:

Both ladies were so happy to receive them - this appeared in the January Village Views

and then I received this through the post

So, well done Lorne Hill Farm Quilters!

Thursday, 28 December 2017

A Merry Christmas

Well, Christmas hurtled towards me in a haze of going out, carolling (in churches and barns), shopping, shopping, shopping, panic, panic, panic, but now, like the in the eye of a storm, all is calm.

I'm actually at a bit of a loose end because Victoria and Ben's flight from Jersey has been delayed (surprise), so I'm filling in time.

We are having a lovely Christmas and its helped by the very festive weather

That was yesterday morning, and all was very dark because we had a power cut for a few hours, but it came back on around lunchtime.  Good job it did because the Rabbitts are pretty bad at rising to any occasion.  We lit the fire, and I sat doing the Christmas puzzle.  George kept rushing upstairs and bringing down all his musical instruments to strum, bang, squeeze and pluck - each just for a few minutes.  Jonathan sat in an armchair and discussed (with himself) how awful life was with no electricity.

But today the sun shone beautifully and we went for a long scrunchy walk through the fields up to the top of the valley.

We had some excellent workshops in the lead up to Christmas, and all well attended.  I might do a summary of them next year.

Bringing the Christmas tree home was the usual adventure.  A giant tree was brought in, and out came the tape measure.

Hmm, seemed quite big so, as ever, lop the top off

It does look pretty in the hall though

As usual my crafty friends and I exchanged handmade gifts - and theirs to me were amazing - at first I thought they must have been shop bought.  Mine to them were a bit feeble, and particularly Sandra's.  I couldn't find the little star I'd made her to go with the star cookie cutters anywhere, and Jonathan and George denied any knowledge of it.  Then it turned up and had been very much loved by Millie so it was dirty and had been slept on and drooled over.  I'm sure Sandra loved it though.....

I was pleased with the other presents I gave people though, and particularly my older sister's.  She's very keen on Japanese things, so when George and I went to the Japanese exhibition in London, I found a sweet little pin cushion made from Kimono silk.

Then, at Pitch and Stitch, Eileen brought her friend's grandmother's button tin, and said I could have any buttons I wanted.  I was thrilled to find four Satsuma buttons, so that made a lovely gift

Anyway, I'd better head off to Southampton now, but I hope everyone is enjoying the Christmas break - and eating, drinking and socialising too much!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

The Middle of Autumn

Oh my word - the time is just flying by!

The rams are out with the sheep, the cattle are all back in the barns - seems like yesterday that we were letting them out in the Spring.

Hallowe'en has come and gone

Bonfire Night came and went in much the same way - although the Village bonfire and fireworks were spectacular, with a guy which looked just a little bit too real.  (I hope Alan doesn't mind me using his photo - it's much better than any I ever take)

We are as busy as ever in the workshop - we all found Ros's knitted shawl quite challenging, but when I am able to get everyone out of the kitchen, and really concentrate, I am able to get on with it fairly well - although it's not as neat as I'd like.  Still, to (roughly) quote Ros, "nothing a blind man on a galloping horse would worry about".

I am also working a lovely Christmas tapestry, which I'm really enjoying, but it pales into insignificance when compared with the beautiful cross stitch Victoria has just finished.

It is just so amazing - it's her first commission and I think it's absolutely stunning.  I really hope she gets it framed properly.

The Yoko Saito workshop on Wednesday brought us two surprises - one quilt top finished and ready to quilt by Pauline, and Betty's practically finished.

Both very lovely and the more you look, the more you see.

I would like to make one of these, and particularly when I get back home from walking the dogs and see our little village in the valley, with the lights just starting to come on

and I wonder about all the different lives being lived......