Sunday, 30 September 2012

Inspiration for embroidery

Inspiration for Embroidery?
Believe it or not this is a section of Roman wall painting seen at the British Museum.   It comes from Lullingstone Roman Villa (4th century AD).  The colours are subtle and shaded and while it looks like a naive painting, there is great skill in the way the colours and shapes are balanced.

When I think of Roman wall painting I think of static portraits of doe-eyed gents and ladies staring out of the wall, or of swirling frescoes of dancing people and leaping horses or dolphins and mermaids.  Some of those old Romans obviously felt that was all a bit overpowering and went for a more homely feel.

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Walk at the End of July

Field Scabious in bright early morning sun

That walk at the end of July is still providing wonderful images.

Harebell, still drying out

Musk Mallow - Also drying out

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

More Treasure

Sketch from Odhams Encyclopedia of Needlecraft
Found at a car boot sale, Odhams Encyclopedias of Needlecraft and Cookery dating from 1953 for £1 each.

I love old needlecraft books that give sketches illustrating figure types and design and fit.  I have them from the 30s right through to the 70s.  I gave up at the 80s when fit seemed to cease to matter.  Odhams encyclopedias are beautifully done and so informative.  I already had the knitting one and didn't realise there were others out there.

Now that I have Beulah's Vintage Attic as an outlet for my dressing up habit I have perfected my early 1950s outfit and last week (thanks to a very handy car boot) now have a passable early-mid 1940s outfit.
I'm on the hunt for stockings with a seam down the back.  On Friday evening we went to a Blitz or Ritz party at Beulah's.  Wonderful.  The Man Who Can wanted to go as a U-Boat captain, but we couldn't get the hat, so went as a tweedy gentleman.  I glammed up a bit and surprised myself slightly.

There are all sorts of events planned at Beulah's and we have a wonderful 2 page spread write up in Salisbury Life.  If you are anywhere in the Salisbury /  Andover area and you love vintage, then Beulah's is not far away from you at Shipton Bellinger just off the A303 above the auction house.  All sorts of vintage and hand crafted goodies to buy, lovely people to meet and very good coffee and cake.
Open daily from 10:00am (11:00am on Sundays) and late night opening on Thursdays (when the Upstairs Stitchers club is in residence).

Sunday, 23 September 2012

Glamour Wear

Mmmm - very alluring
It's getting so autumnal and my joints are aching so much that this is beginning to look very attractive.

Friday, 21 September 2012


Pattern for a Dickey
From Needlewoman and Needlecraft April 1954 a pattern for a crochet lace dickey to go under a jacket.  It was simply a 'shirtfront' secured with a ribbon tie at the back.  There is a left and right front and a ruffle, but no sleeves and no back, so although it's crocheted in No. 20 crochet cotton it could represent quite a quick project for the experienced crocheter.

She does look rather lovely.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

We've Been Out and About

One of our favourite cottages at Weald and Downland
We were out and about a bit last week and so not a lot of knitting has gone on.  We went down to the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum to take another look at our favourite cottages.

Very snug
There are always farm animals to be seen and this time an added bonus.  The piggy had piglets, two weeks old.
One much bigger than the other, but both very fit

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Danebury Hill Fort

Fair Weather Cloud
There is a big sky at the top of Danebury Iron Age Hill Fort.  It sits just above the pretty little town of Stockbridge in Hampshire.  Thoroughly dug by archaeologists and well documented it has a lot to offer.  There are beautifully cleared gravel paths around the top and wooden steps where the going is steep.  It is a very Hampshire experience.

Lords and Ladies (Cuckoo Pint), growing in a  hollow tree stump
I enjoyed it, but for atmosphere nothing beats Sidbury Hill, my local fort where climbing can be tough and you almost need a machete to walk around the top.

Tough little Exmoor Ponies graze on Danebury Hill Fort
Wild Marjoram

Friday, 14 September 2012

Old Walks

The Pyramidal Orchid
I'm still looking at pictures I took on a walk at the end of July when all the flowers seemed to appreciate the early morning sun.

Everlasting Pea growing wild
A patch of Bloody Cranesbill

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Walk on the last day of August

On the last day of August - at last, some sky
I went for a walk on the last day of August, everything a bit chilly and wet, but as the sun warmed the land the flying things came out to bask and warm their wings.
Red Admiral on Thistle and Ragwort

Gatekeeper (Hedge Brown) resting on the path

Bee having a doze on the last of the Viper's Bugloss flowers

Friday, 7 September 2012

My 3ply woes

Oxalis, White Dead Nettle and Daisies
from late spring, early summer
Because it cheers me up
Nothing I touch at the moment is going awfully well.  I've been battling with a 3ply cardigan from a 1952 Vogue Knitting Book using the original yarn - Patons Bouclet.  Not particularly difficult, just slow.  Working on it yesterday in the company of a few other knitters I came to the conclusion that I had completely the wrong number of stitches on the needle and with lots of encouragement from the others ripped it all off to start again.

Last night I remembered - I deliberately did the smaller size because the swatching told me it would come up big.  

Lesson Learned - write down what you do and why you did it.
Will it ever be mine?
Vogue Knitting 1952

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Beaker Button

When this is finished it will be called the Autumnale Scarf
and I will try to take a better picture of it
On Friday I went to Beaker Button at the Weyhill Craft Centre near Andover. I've blogged about it before, but I don't go often enough.  What a lovely shop with lots going on. There is something for everyone with locally sourced (and some exotic) yarn in natural fibres as well as some acrylic for those who can’t do wool. Lovely atmosphere and lots of fresh ideas.
Check out the website for events and classes
Beaker Button
I am currently knitting a sort of jabot scarf thing with a fluffy end.  I bought the main yarn at Beaker Button last time I went and I'm knitting it up in double moss stitch.  It's Patons Colourworks and it goes through fiery red to plum.  The photo doesn't do it justice.  The fluffy bit is half a ball of Patons Softy that I found at the back of the cupboard and it picks up all the rusts and plums - amazing - two things in my stash actually work together.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Party at Beulah's

The lovely ladies at Beulah's have organised a pamper party on Saturday for all us budding Silver Screen Starlets.  If anyone is in the area and fancies being pampered for the afternoon it looks like great fun.