Sunday, 1 July 2012

Craft Club Sunday

I had to share this.  We had several visitors to our Sunday craft club this week.  My favourite was Faye and her Mum.  Faye and I worked on knitting in the round last time she came and she'd bought the Pigeon she'd been knitting from Stitch London, which by the way is the most fabulous book, full of useful tips like make lots of pigeons, place them round the playground and then run round screaming to re-enact Alfred Hitchcoks 'The Birds'.  I mean who wouldn't!.  Faye's Mum provided my favourite moment however, with the scarf she's knitting from Fyberspates Scrumpcious, when she turned to me and asked 'is it long enough yet?'  I think the photo says it all:)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


I had a couple of days off with my son, and so we went to Portland to stay with my Dad.  I love Portland.  Even with bad weather the light down there is beautiful.  Dorset Art Week is happening at the moment and we managed to visit one of the studios with displays.  I'm hoping to have some of the buttons I found there in the shop soon.  Monday was spent wandering round hilltops looking at prehistory (I do like a good bronze age barrow) and climbing inside a Pliosaur in Dorchester, to inspect its digestive workings (I've included a photo below in case you don't believe me).  Dad and I had a lovely walk to Tout quarry, where they do lots of sculpture.  On Tuesday we visited Swanage, via Swanage Railway.  We travelled on a steam train, which I love.  There is something about the smell of a steam train even though I grew up with diesel.  I'd forgotten how interesting Swanage is.  The little free museum,, was very well done and I found the most delightful lady with some gorgeous paintings.  I would recommend a visit to see her work if you're down that way.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Scumble week 3

This week we were joined by two more people.  Elaine shaped her first piece into a bag front.  Helen added more to her cushion and I began filling out the back of my jacket.  Debbie, one of our new people, was content to make a hexagonal Granny Square and marvel at the blissful fun of using natural fibres (she's been forced into using a lot of acrylic lately poor thing.  She was even impressed at how the yarn pulls effortlessly from the centre of the ball).  Sarah started small but has taken hers home so it'll be the size of Belgium in no time.  Can't wait for next week.





Friday, 11 May 2012

Scumble week two

We had our second scumble class last night.  I cannot tell you how liberating it is to do something that is just for me, without having to follow a pattern.  Helen and Elaine seem to be finding it equally liberating.  We are all progressing well, and by the end of the session we had a rough idea what our individual pieces are turning into.  Of course that may change, which is half the fun!




Sunday, 6 May 2012

Milo the lion

Here is the second of the little people.  Milo is a very friendly lion and won't bite, as long as you feed him marshmallows every day and treat him nicely.  For whoever picks him up here is his story.

Milo was a very little lion when he lost his parents.  He wandered off one day, searching for trouble like little lions do, and when he came home his whole pride had gone, leaving all their things behind (not that lions have much obviously, just the odd bit of nicely shaped bone that reminds them of their best hunt, or the small round pebbles they happened to come across while strolling to the river for a drink, that sort of thing).  Milo was terribly upset at losing his parents, and all his friends.  He lay down near his mothers pile of stones and his fathers pile of bones and cried himself to sleep.  When he woke the next morning he still had no idea what he was going to do.  A little lion on his own was in a lot of danger, from predators, and flash floods and elephants that might squash him flat.  He decided that he must find his pride but he had no idea how to look.  At that moment a brightly coloured toucan bird flew down to Milo and asked him what the trouble was.  Milo sobbed and hiccoughed his way through the story of his pride's disappearance and his complete lack of a plan.  The bird, whose name was Drib, told him he must follow his nose, like the hyenas did when hunting.  Milo brightened up a little at having a plan and stopped sniffling, much to Drib's relief.  He sniffed all round the ground and finally found a trail, which smelled like his mother and father and friends.  He thanked Drib for his advice and, choosing a particularly nice bone and a very small, round pebble, set out along the trail with his nose to the ground,in search of his pride.

Friday, 4 May 2012

My first little person - Claude

I made a little person today.  My first.  He had a tag round his neck saying 'please take me home, I'm all yours'.  I left him in the post office.  It was a wrench, more than I was expecting if I'm honest.  I'm curious to know what becomes of him. 
If you are the person who picked him up here is his story.

Once upon a time there was a bear called Claude.  He was a brave and resourceful bear but he had one flaw.  He had fallen in love with the Princess Maud, daughter of the King.  Of course Claude had no chance of ever marrying Princess Maud.  He was a lowly knight, beneath the notice of the Royal family.  This, however, didn't deter him from trying to impress Maud.  He would fight harder than any of the other knights in tournaments.  He would hunt farther than any of the King's best hunters.  He was the fastest and bravest of knights.  At last Princess Maud asked him to tea in her rooms and as she talked to him she realised how much she enjoyed his company.  Unfortunately the King got to hear about Claude's amorous intentions and he summoned him to the Grand Hall of the Palace.  The King couldn't have Claude killed, as it would upset all of his other knights and they might not fight for him anymore.  As he was planning on going to war with the neighbouring country he decided that antagonising his knights was a very bad idea.  Not to mention the fuss that Princess Maud would create if she discovered that her father had killed the person she was falling in love with.  He told Claude that if he wanted to marry Princess Maud he would have to bring the King the horn of a unicorn, from the Forests of Doom.  So Claude kissed Maud goodbye and picked up his pack and went out into the world, in search of the horn of the unicorn. 

Horn of the unicorn idea supplied by Alex Best

Scumble is the greatest fun

We had our first scumble class last night. I thought I'd share the results of our endeavours. There is nothing like having a table full of yarn, and no pattern! Can't wait for next week. Who needs a comfort zone! The problem is I want to play with mine now, and I have proper work to do.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

competition photos from March and random photos of customers work

I have been meaning to post this lot for such a long time.  We've had a busy month in the shop, what with Wool for the Wall and commissioned work.  I'll let the photos speak for themselves but I love seeing what my customers make.

March Competition winner Shirley's Dorset Button Belt
 Bobbie's toddler dress in Artesano superwash

 Thursday craft club (in the sun, remember the sun?)

 Hazel and her socks and her new spinning wheel

 Elaine taking a breather

 Natalia's cat hat

 Sandra's slub (deliberate obviously)

 Mum's crochet dream

Elaine (again) with her Dorset Button Necklace

Monday, 9 April 2012

Robin Hood

I've always loved Old Wardour Castle in Wiltshire.  I played there as a child and now I take my child, and I still play.  This weekend Alex and I visited Wardour to see Robin Hood and his Merry Men.  I took my sword and bow and arrows, Alex took his sword, bow and arrow, shield and helmet.  He looked very Norman I have to say, and quite warlike, although he informed me we were Viking marauders.  There wasn't that much difference between Vikings and Normans I suppose.  We spent the day running round the castle having sword fights (where he mostly ran backwards out of reach, slippery little weasel!) and hunting various family members.  We listened to tales of Robin Hood and had a go at archery.  He hit a pigeon (a plastic one I hasten to add) and I shot my arrow though a hoop.  I'm guessing that he would be better able to feed us and I could ward off any attacking hoops!  We hunted outlaws this afternoon and were issued with an official pardon for being former outlaws.  I really enjoy walking round with my sword thrust down the back of my coat, but I think I'll have to make a harness for it for the summer, and then I can add daggers to the front, and somewhere for the arrows to go and a handy hook for my bow...

I think the main reason I love Wardour is because I can be 8 years old again, and my son thinks I'm the best Mum in the world because I die realistically!

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Making arms

I felt very like Frankenstein today, creating body parts from wadding and calico.  I volunteer at the Museum of Army Flying at Middle Wallop and we're revamping the Royal Flying Corps display.  John and I have been cleaning up the models and redressing them in First World War uniforms, but some of the arms have disintegrated, hence the Frankenstein creating this morning.  When it's all finished I'll post photos.  I have to say I very much enjoyed the wadding.  It comes in a big (and I mean BIG) roll.  I did resist the urge to lie it flat and roll on it, but only just.  When you sew it you can mould it, with judicious use of stitches.  I managed to make the arm look very lifelike, with an elbow and shoulder joint.  Next week we get to attach them!

Friday, 9 March 2012

a crafty cat and blessed chickens

I've attached photos of some of February's toy competition entries, because they are so fabulous.  The winner was Sarah with her teddies, one of which was knitted in Tufton yarn, locally produced and beautiful to work with.  Sarah took her book and is hopefully producing lots more teddies.  The crafty cat came from Hazel, who knitted him in Noro from her own pattern.  I'm trying to persuade her to write the pattern down so we can all make one.  Shirley made chickens and bears.  I especially like the expressions on the chickens faces.  I have a funny story about chickens.  A friend of mine, who we'll call Belinda, has chickens and one of them (Mary) sadly died recently.  Belinda likes to bury her pets (and the chickens are definitely pets!) where they were happiest.  A worthy sentiment, except that Mary was happiest in Belinda's next door neighbour's garden.  Have you ever tried to bury a chicken in your next door neighbour's garden in the dead of night in the middle of winter!?  The things you do for friends.  We spent the entire time waiting for the flashing blue lights, wondering how we'd explain ourselves.  I suppose we could have said we were practising voodoo.  In the end we weren't caught and I have happy visions of Mary running round the garden eating ghostly worms and thoroughly enjoying the afterlife.  I'm dreading the death of the shire horse though.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Adrafil yarn man nearly eaten alive

We have a craft club on a Thursday in the shop.  This is one of those clubs that formed because my Mum and her friend Debbie happened to come and craft with me on a Thursday afternnon.  Then Natalia started dropping by, then Hazel, then Bernadette... you get the idea.  I say craft quite deliberately because Mum rarely knits, she makes art batts, and Debbie sometimes knits but she just as often spins, and so on.  We had quite a turn out this Thursday, with Elaine (who usualy only makes Sundays as she works in the week) a welcome addition to the usual crew.  And I did warn the very nice man from Adrafil that Thursday was fine but my craft club would be there in the afternoon.  So he really should have known better.  He came through the door, this tall dishy Italian bloke, with a suitcase full of yarn.  I mean, what did he expect walking into a shop full of women who crave yarn as much as chocolate.  I have to say he handled it all rather well, considering.  And we let him leave with a nice big order so I dare say it was worth it for him.  As he left he whispered to me in a slightly panicky way 'next time I'll make a proper appointment'.  Bless.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Insomnia and Pinterest

I have just discovered pinterest.  A friend at our Thursday crafty club told me about it.  I'm now curled up under the duvet on the sofa, at 1.30 in the morning, with my eyes all gritty, rifling through the internet for interesting and inspiring images to add to my boards.  I was typing up the first world war research but I seem to be doing more harm than good (I typed the same record twice at one point).  Hopefully all the beautiful images I'm finding will make me sleepy and oeacful, so I can go to bed. 

I did manage to put the first lot of Dorset buttons on the website today. This is the 2012 collection, although I have more still to come. I've included some of them below.

Monday, 16 January 2012

My first Monday Walk - Clarendon Palace

I had a beautiful walk today, and I listened to the birds, but there wern't any flowers to smell. I started from a small lane just outside Pitton (Salisbury) and walked up the hill, through lots of woods, which reminded me very much of Scotland, across some fields and ended up at Clarendon palace. I had great fun talking to the Llamas (yes Llamas!) and wandering around giving my legs a rest. I read all the signs and found them quite interesting. It has a nice historic feel to it. I took the Clarendon Way back to the car, passing though some beautiful woodland. I especially liked one cinder track, with beech woods one side, all light and air and carpets of red brown leaves, and fir woods on the other, which were dark and mysterious with puddles of light here and there. You could imagine Hobbits and Elves walking though them. I stayed for sometime just drinking in the beauty and contrast of it. It would make a lovely walk for us at some point. I ended up coming out into someones driveway because the path wasn't marked private where I'd joined it, and on the map it looked like a foot path. I did about 4.5 miles I've just worked out on Google Earth and felt very peaceful and quite excerised afterwards. I'm looking forward to next Monday when I can trundle off again.   Next timeI'm going to take my camera.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

The Button Tin Gran

I have an enormous lot of buttons in the shop at the moment.  I'm sorting them into bags to be sold.  This has become a fascination to me, but it was only today I worked out why.  It takes me back to my childhood.  My Gran had two tins full of buttons.  My brother and I, well mainly me, used to spend hours sorting them and playing with them.  We never actually made anything out of them.  We'd sort them into piles, or group them together in colours and sizes and the ones we liked, and the ones we didn't.  So I was talking to Elaine this afternoon, and I looked over and there she was, playing with the buttons.  And she told me that when she was a girl her Gran had a tin full of buttons, which she would spend hours playing with.  It would be interesting to see how many of us crafty types had Gran's with button tins!