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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Colour and texture

Oh my, my, dear reader, the simple pleasure that colour and texture can elicit in me really is something to behold. I have spent an enjoyable few days immersed in just this and oh, the choice. Why, one's mind is all a dither for I have reviewed the full colour spectrum and how happy it makes me is beyond belief. Discussions about weight and colour, drape and texture have filled my mind for both material and yarn. Then, my dears, it is the consideration of season, for it is a most imortant aspect when considering a project. Not only are there these elements to scrutinise but also that of shape and form. Dearie me, so much to consider but so interesting to see the requirements of a garment, be it in yarn or material, that are generalisable to the two different mediums. At this fledging stage of my dressmaking ability my favoured maxim is "simple is as simple does" and I have therefore listened most ardently to my experienced friend when purchasing material for a little project. At the same time I have been scrutinising many a pattern to ascertain exactly the requirements of a reciprocal garment for my friend - such excitement dear souls.

It has been reported in the daily news bulletins that this has not our best British summer for some time. We had the brief spell of over thirty degrees and thereafter it has been rather wet, although one has to say, still warm in my opinion although, to be fair,  this is not perhaps the best milestone from which to judge being rather prone to the heat and preferring the cooler months. Whilst harvest began early it was stalled by the weather and I fear that t'is not the best year for the farming community with poor crop yields.  Alas, one's livelihood is be rather dependent on the weather as a farmer.

The orchard continues to flourish and the male guardian enjoys plums straight from the tree and juicy early eaters (apples). We are nearing a most prolific time of year and much work will start shortly on harvesting any crops not susceptible to the wet. We do hope you fare a little better than I fear the farmers will do locally

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Home baking......

Today, dear friends, was a baking day; a day to weigh and measure, beat, roll, stir and mix to the sound of Mozart playing gently in the background. There was pleasure in bringing together wet and dry ingredients, "sugar and spice and all things nice" as the saying goes. As you may remember, the male guardian is, ahem, slightly fond of a little sugar now and then and, in times gone by, I would bake every week but had latterly gotten out of the habit. Occasionally, I have a day where the male guardian is at his professional toil throughout a weekend and I take the opportunity to produce a little something to titillate the tastebuds. Often very simple, such as a Victoria sandwich or sticky ginger cake but enough to enjoy with fresh coffee and the periodicals, and, if we are lucky (and the male guardian does not cosume it all in two sittings), a tasty morsel or two for a day or so after it has been baked. On other occasions, when the tastebuds require something savoury, I turn to cheese scones, for we are inordinately fond of cheese scones for what is there not to like and, it has to be said,  my personal preference for scones. Once the chores of the day are complete there is nought so pleasurable than a fine cup of freshly brewed coffe and a slice of cake or a cheese scone to replenish ones energy levels, do you not agree? 

Since completing the woollen garments bound for the Australias, my mind has been contemplating the next project. I have to say, dear reader, I am a little excited, and yet a little nervous, as in return for a day spent tutoring me in the art of dress making, I have offered to knit one of my dear friends and colleagues a garment in return. Now, it has to be said, there is one thing to knit for family but quite another to do so for others, especially as said person is THE most amazing seamstress. I only hope I can live up to her own example BUT, fair is fair and t'will be done for I am a firm believer in the Latin saying "quid pro quo". With this in mind, I am currently scrutinising yarn and patterns in preparation, for it will be a delightful discussion to be had. Despite one of us being fair haired and t'other red haired, we share a similar colour palette and my friend has a clear eye for colour so it should be a good romp through colour, texture and pattern - what is not to like, dear souls.

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Completed......

Oh such joy, my dears, for I have completed the two items of clothing now bound for the Australias. I am so pleased and delighted and I do so hope the recipients are too. I do so enjoy making and giving, such simple pleasures in life. My next exciting project awaits me, as yet undecided, but I do not believe it will be long before another garment is on the needles. 

Today has been a glorious day for airing the house and letting in the air, lines of washing have flapped in the breeze, curtains stirred at the windows and the glorious scent of the countryside pervaded our little home. The swallows swooped and swirled, twittered and tweeted and gloried in the air currents - such an amazing sight to behold. 

The little orchard is heavy with fruit and the little striped, red early eaters are so crisp, sweet and delicious. Later they will be followed by the cookers and then the glorious red orbs that keep so long that we enjoy them well into spring if stored well. We are so fortunate indeed to be the keepers of this little old orchard.  

Friday, 11 August 2017

Nearly there...

I am delighted to say, dear friends, that I am currently employed on the final leg of the gansey project for the Australian contingent of the family. The second garment is in the final "finishing" process and will soon be complete. I am quite delighted that both garments will shortly begin their journey t'ward the Australias. It has been a labour of love and I am most pleased for I am not an experienced knitter and have learnt new techniques along the way to add to my repertoire. It is such a delightful craft and I am enjoying the challenge but more importantly I find it most satisfying to see the various garments worn by the recipients. I am by no means in the league of my dear late Mother, for she was a knitter of many years experience and oft find myself wishing that I was still able to seek her advice on the more intricate complexities of the craft. All is not lost however for I will persevere in my endeavours and am most fortunate to be able to tap into some very experienced and creative people for all things woollen and knitterly - such fun, dear souls, such fun. I do so hope they are well received and fit the intended recipients, having had to use the male guardian as my model during the process which has been so very helpful. Time will tell my dears, time will tell.


Sunday, 6 August 2017

All in a good cause....

As described in my previous missive, the male guardian and I have been sorting, clearing and tidying.   
Many, many things have been repurposed and perhaps the most heartwarming is the one for the local animal charity. Oh my dears how hard it was to see so many delightful creatures requiring homes but we are safe in the knowledge that everything received will be used to fund care and attention for animals in need. Why, even the wool will be made into animal blankets by a willing band of volunteers and I have no doubt that the odd blanket will be crafted to join the donations from my own stash, for one cannot resist a good animal cause. 

Maintenance of our little home continues apace with more internal and external decorating complete.
In the latest electronic missive from the Australias we have heard that the Australian contingent of the family are employed in much the same, maintenance and gardening as well as harvesting of crops for the larder. As we begin the journey t'ward Autumn, they begin the journey t'ward spring; the ever revolving cycle of seasons following the earths revolutions, so reassuring in their consistency. 

''Tis a full and beautiful moon this very evening, a glorious shining orb in an inky sky - such beauty to admire and walk in the cool night air, bats swooping and foxes calling, the scurrying of small creatures underfoot as we partake of the glorious sweet and cool night air. As the nights begin to draw in at an earlier hour the temperature drops, all the better for sleep, cool dreamless sleep.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

"A place for everything and everything in its place"

With the completion of the recent works on our little home, the male guardian and I have been looking afresh at our home. As the years have gone by, we have been the recipients of many items, some wanted or dearly desired and some not quite so desired, when it is perhaps not in the kindest or politest of moments to decline those items pressed upon one, as I am sure many of you can also attest.   It was with a gimlet eye we have been reassessing the contents of our home. Being thrifty, we have also stored many items for those "just in case" times that never arrive. We have therefore, dear readers, been acquainting ourselves with many a local charity or thrift shop, as well as delivering items such as old towels and blankets to the animal charities and local vets who have been most grateful for the donations, never having enough of said items. It has, my dears, been both cathartic and great fun for the house now seems to have space to breath and we have had the opportunity to revisit times through photographs and items that remind one of snippets throughout one's life; photographs, birth/marriage and death certificates, items passed down through families and more. As well as these, we have culled items that we ourselves have introduced, plus the everyday detritus that can accumulate if left unchecked. The poor recycling gentleman have also been busy on our behalf for much paperwork has been reviewed and, that which is not relevant, has been discarded. We have utilised the oft used maxim "a place for everything and everything in its place" to assist our efforts; such sensible advice, dear friends,  as true today as when first uttered in the 17th Century, although I do believe there are a number of people who are associated with the first declaration.

As we move in to the month of August, this year feels like a "doing" year; completing works, sorting out, moving on and planning for times ahead. Before we began, it all seemed a little daunting but, my dears, now we have started it has been such fun. I do so enjoy a job well done for, as the saying goes "if a jobs is worth doing, it's worth doing well".



Wednesday, 19 July 2017

The Great British summer weather..

Well, we did need a little rain and, oh my dears, how it was delivered upon us last evening. The forecast for yesterday predicted a plentiful downpour with weather warnings declared. As the evening wore on the air became evermore humid then, at one am, preceded by the loudest crack of thunder, the heavens did open and the deluge commenced with glorious lightning to accompany the tympanic beat of the rain upon our roof structures. Thrumming and drumming through the night, the ground drank that which poured forth, thirsty for water. This morn as, I set off for my professional toil, the landscape around our small estate was lush and verdant from the nights weather. Today has seen a repeat performance of humidity and quite the largest drops of warm rain bursting forth from the heavens down upon me as I arrived home for the day. Dear souls, it really was most refreshing and one has to confess to lingering a while in the estate gardens to appreciate it all the more after a hot, busy day spent in toil. What a foil to the day, surrounded by green lush foliage and washed in warm rain - I cannot put in to words the joy at the fresh breeze. I really am quite adamant, dear reader, that there is nought so enjoyable in returning to one's sanctuary at the end of the day to appreciate the fresh air and beautiful countryside we live in, whatever the weather.