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!

Sunday, 4 November 2018


Well, the sock workshop with Ros the other week went really well - most of us there were fairly experienced knitters, but not necessarily using more than two needles, so it was quite a learning curve.  (I did a similar workshop over the summer, in another place, but I have to say we are really lucky having Ros to show us what to do.  The lady I went to had been knitting for years, and certainly knew her stuff, but at the end of the day I was none the wiser about how to knit with four needles.  It really isn't helpful when teachers undo your knitting when you go for lunch, and then re-do it for you). 

Ros was wearing the beautiful scarf we shall be learning to knit this Wednesday - she assured us it is quite easy, because the pattern part is only 30 stitches or so across.  We shall see..... There are still a couple of place if anyone wants to join us.

Anyway, back to socks, and the following Pitch and Stitch when we all turned up with half of a pair of socks and lots of questions for Ros before we could carry on to make a pair.

We decided Eileen's was probably the neatest:

and some people didn't want theirs photographed until they were finished.

The workshop is quite full these days

with lots of interesting things going on.  Anthea has been making some lovely dresses

Not my area of expertise, but I did replace some buttons for my mother

- some lovely new buttons:

a bargain at 1 and thruppence!
Sandra brought in the place mats she will be showing us how to make on the 5th December

either Christmas fabrics or everyday.

And finally, just to put me to shame, Jan has finished the first Medallion she ever started

I should be quilting mine but I have a bit of knitting to do first.....

Friday, 12 October 2018

What a Malarkey

I'm really not sure this not going out to work malarkey is right for me.....I seem to be spending an awful lot of time doing not very much at all.

Yesterday I spent most of the morning considering the various things I really have to get on with, such as cleaning up the greenhouse, sorting out the garden, going through my clothes, doing a bit of mending, perhaps even finish decorating the bedroom or start decorating the office, and clean out the chickens.

So I went out to admire my lovely new Buff Orpingtons,

and then I came in and made some candles.

Today I went through the same list of jobs, and then found myself making blackberry jam.

I think I'm drifting a bit.....

Earlier in the week though, when I was a bit more motivated, I went to 'Martin & the Magpie' - my favourite florist in Hungerford.

I love this shop because as well as beautiful flowers, they have quirky plants and little bits of  'this and that' to look at.  Well, I went in to buy flowers for a friend, but, just like at Christmas, something caught my eye which would make a lovely gift for me:

An indoor plant called String of Hearts.  I don't really like indoor plants that much, but I thought these trailing hearts looked so pretty - and, of course, they were hanging in macramé potholders which I happen to have a few of.......so, it's found it's way out into the workshop!

The only thing I have been good at is taking the dogs out for at least 3 miles everyday.  The weather over the last week has been extraordinary - hot enough for shorts some days, then into waterproofs, then into sweaters - and me and the dogs have seen a few things that made us look twice:

A fairy ring

Old Man's Beard covering everything

The men out drilling and rolling

Bits of fungus

And then yesterday evening a beautiful double rainbow

Off to the Ally Pally tomorrow, so I can get lots of ideas for more things to not do......

Friday, 5 October 2018

The Joy of Crochet!

I can't believe the Knitting and Stitching Show at the Alexandra Palace has come around again!  Last year when I went I bought the Janie Crowe kit for the Magic Lanterns blanket....and I'm still working on it.

I took it over to Jersey with plans to crochet in the evenings - and it came back exactly the same!

I put it in the corner of the lovely room we had at the Omarroo Hotel

and I didn't pick it up again until I packed to come home!  Obviously I spent far too much time cooing over my little grandson

and swimming in the sea

and even though we got stuck over there an extra day, still didn't have time to sit and crochet.

I really need to get a move on though , because it will be beautiful when it's finished...

Crochet is so easy, and quick, so I really have no excuse.  This Wednesday we have the Mandala workshop which is a great way to learn some basic workshop stitches, so if anyone wants a go there are still places available.

There were some lovely pieces of work on Tuesday - Louise's Penny rug looks lovely, and having real old pennies from Eileen to sew into it makes it so authentic.

Anthea's Trip Around the World quilt that she started at our Spring workshop is now ready for quilting:

She was so pleased with it, and the speed of the method, that she's going to make full size quilt for her bed using the same technique!

I haven't been completely lazy - after being somewhat bullied by Sandra and Lynne regarding the 'homeliness' of the workshop, I went out there and blitzed the place so there's lots of space again:

I am pleased with it but had to smile when some of the Tuesday ladies said they preferred it when there were piles of unfinished projects lying about! - I didn't bin them, they're just piled discreetly under my table!

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Autumn Schedule

After what was not an inconsiderable amount of pain, I am happy to be able to let you know our Autumn Schedule!

Having spent the best part of the last 2 weeks writing, and re-writing it (teachers are soooo hard to pin down), I can't bear to write it out in full again......but I will give you the bare bones!

Wednesday 26th September - Lynne Johnson day

Wednesday 3rd October - Rag Rug Day:  I am really enjoying making mine, especially now it has started to grow and look more like a rug than a table mat - but I am astounded by how much fabric it takes!

Wednesday 10th October - Crochet Mandalas.  These are so easy to crochet, in fact, Helen, who is taking the class, didn't have time (grandchild duties) to provide me with a photo so I quickly made one using just three different stitches.  This really is such an easy way to learn how to crochet.

Wednesday 17th October - Lynne Johnson Day.  I had to change the date because Lynne's quilt group is exhibiting at Malvern Quilt Show, so she couldn't be with us for the usual second Wednesday in the month

Wednesday 24th October - Sock Making with Ros - I have a feeling a lot of people will be getting socks for Christmas this year!

Wednesday 31st October - Lynne Johnson Day

Wednesday 7th November - Knitted Scarf with Ros - a beautiful lace edge pattern scarf.  Ros has assured us it is easy, and once we've learnt how to make up the pattern following a chart, the body of the scarf is just picked up from the edge and garter stitched.

Saturday 10th November - Foundation Pieced Sampler with Helene - foundation piecing is a great way to produce really accurate work

Wednesday 14th November - Quit Making with Lynne

Wednesday 21st November - Christmas Workshop with Lynne  (She's still playing around with ideas!)

Wednesday 28th November  - Quilt Making with Lynne

Wednesday 5th November - Place Mats with Lynne and Sandra - either seasonal or every day

Wednesday 12th December - Christmas Tree Skirt - I get mine out every year when all the presents have been opened; it's probably about 15 years old now and I made it at a workshop when Sandra had her shop!

And then last, but by no means least, the lovely wreath making mornings and afternoons with Linda on Saturday 15th December and Wednesday 19th December!

So there you are, quite a nice selection, I think.

Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Everyone Should Enjoy Making Stuff

We have had a cracking couple of weeks in the workshop, but first I have a little story to tell. 

My sister has been taking art classes for the last year, and she has been quite productive, so most of the family have been receiving paintings for birthday presents.  She gave me a still life of Peppers, which I love.

Last weekend was the East Garston Allotments flower and Produce  Show (I was runner up for my jam and pumpkin, which gave me immense pleasure) and I saw that they had a painting class.  Anyone could enter so I put Carolyn's picture in.  I then had a very tense morning, deciding that if she didn't come anywhere, I just wouldn't tell her I'd entered it.  The show opened at 1.00pm when the judging was finished, and I went down with great trepidation.

How exciting was that?  I sent her this photo and she asked if hers was the only entrant - it certainly wasn't!

Anyway, back to the workshop.

First of all we had a record 12 people turn up for Pitch and Stitch - everyone doing lots of different crafts, and lots to talk about.  Jane, who pointed out that the last time she came there were only 4 people, said,

"What a big group on Tuesday! & what a lovely mix of people doing different projects & crafts! I love it as it keeps me inspired to keeping crafting in whatever form that takes for me & it is also nice to know that we all share certain characteristics that are common amongst “crafty” people."

The next week we were down to four again, but I know lots of people were away on holiday.

Then Ros brought in the tunic she has knitted and we were all blown away

A stunning piece of work.

Ros is taking two knitting workshops for us this term - one for socks, and one for a beautiful scarf, so we are looking forward to that.

Then today Jenny brought in the quilt she started on a Lynne Johnson day in June - English Paper Pieced and hand stitched

Again, we were stunned - she only started it in June!

Lynne brought in her strippy quilt she has made, which is just one of the beautiful quilts which can be made on the Lynne Johnson days

So, all in all, very exciting.

I am in the throws of bringing out the new schedule, just waiting for a couple of photos from teachers.

I also always try and get in some new teachers, to try and get a bit of variety in the workshops.  I usually have to pay them a bit more than I pay our regular teachers,  but am prepared to make a loss because it is something new.  This time I have been really shocked by the amounts I've been quoted, and have been unable to book them.  I know our workshops are priced very low, but have always felt  that I would prefer people to feel they can come regularly, and not just as one offs.  I think  lovely crafty days out should be affordable to everyone, and most of the time we are only doing things our mothers, aunties or other members of our family have taught us, so it should be accessible to everyone too.

I will probably have to put our prices up a bit in the next year, but am determined that our workshops will not become pretentious and trendy - just fun, engaging and informative days where people will hopefully start on a new hobby.

Crafting started at home, and I'm determined to do my bit to ensure there is room in everyone's lives for a bit of homespun 'making stuff'!

Thursday, 6 September 2018

Last Days of Summer

So, the last days of summer are here and what a summer it's been!

As usual I've struggled with the garden, but it has looked pretty and I'm sorry to see things are starting to fade now.  Next year I must remember not to put Cosmos in pots because now I have the stand for the pots they're far too high!

I have also discovered how planting perennials makes things so much easier

although I don't think I can give up my snapdragons and marigolds. 

The apples this year have been amazing

and all the plums I've been given have resulted in 35 jars of jam!

In the greenhouse I've been growing enormous Beef Tomatoes which have been excellent for pasta sauces

but some of them really were truly enormous

The other success were the courgettes - I've cooked them every way possible and they are still appearing, although not for long judging by the look of the leaves

and I have no idea what those enormous squashes are!

And then, of course, there's the story of the apron.......First you make a very pretty apron

but don't know where to hang it so you get a  Shepherd's Hut,

and that's fine but what are you going to use a shepherd's hut for?  Of course!  A changing room for the Hot Tub!

So Jonathan's been building the base but I wasn't too impressed when I saw where he was storing his cement mixer

and since we're in the workshop, here's Ros's Penny rug which she started at one of our workshops

and, yes, tomorrow Sandra and I are getting together to finalise our Autumn Schedule......