Saturday, 31 October 2009
Wednesday, 28 October 2009
Tuesday, 27 October 2009
Terry has knitted a beautiful Herdwick jumper, and we think it looks wonderful.
Saturday, 24 October 2009
The safest way to deliver the crook, was to persuade my parents to drive to Walter's farm. Langleeford is a long way from the Lake District, and a very long way from London. We drove over the moors, which were stunning.
After about 3 hours, we reached the sign post to Langleeford.
The landscape was most unusual. Huge moors with soft red earth, and rivers which had recently become much more rapid, and carved up the valley.
The flow had been so strong, it had knocked down the bridge to Walter's house, a few weeks before.
On the other end of the bridge, 'W.J.B' was carved in the stone.
There were a lot of sheep in the pens, who had just been sheered and were waiting to go back on the moor.
Walter's house had roses growing around the front door. We went to the back door though.
Here was Walter. He was delighted to see the crook. He said he didn't know what to say, but he wanted to thank me. He was really cool. Full of fresh air with a twinkle in his eye.
He took us inside, where his wife Valerie had prepared some tea. The crook leaning up against the wall, is the crook that Walter normally uses, which W.J.Brown carved from the bar in the local village of Wooler. When the publican changed the design of the bar, he gave the old wood to W.J. B because he'd held up the bar for so long. Walter also had modern crooks which had metal heads. He explained about the shape of the crook, how it has to comfortably fit the shepherd's hand, but also the neck of the sheep.
Valerie and Walter showed us the family photos. That is W.J.B on the left, at Walter's brother's wedding. Walter is on the right. Walter's father was called William, but William's brother was called Walter, and our Walter's grandfather was also called Walter. They call themselves the 'Broon's' because they are geordies, and you can see from the title how good William was at writing.
And here is the prize Blackface Shearling Ram, who's horn became W.J.B 's crook. He won first prize at the Lanark Ram Sale on 10th September 1957. When W.J. Brown bought him he was worth £800. (That's about £30,000 in today's money) Walter explained that in those days, and all the days before these days, the income from wool was used to pay the rent on the farm.
We drank Sloe Gin, made with Billberries, picked on the moors above the farm. Delicious. I would like to visit again next summer. Walter said he would show me the moors, and hopefully I will get to meet his beautiful Border Collies.
Sunday, 18 October 2009
Saturday, 17 October 2009
Friday, 16 October 2009
Thursday, 15 October 2009
Diego it's not too bad. We know you struggled and the needles seemed too big even though your hands are quite large. We can see that Casting On was a struggle, but come row 4 when you could see where the holes came from it got quite good. Keep going!
Wednesday, 14 October 2009
Tuesday, 13 October 2009
When Elen won a scholarship to visit Japan, we knew she would knit something special along the way.
Sunday, 11 October 2009
Saturday, 10 October 2009
For a quick, but very useful knitting project, the MacMillan Comfort Blanket Campaign at http://www.macmillan.org.uk/Get_Involved/Worlds_Biggest_Coffee_Morning/theknitter.aspx
Thursday, 8 October 2009
Since Lux Interior died, earlier this year, I've rekindled my love for The Cramps.
Wednesday, 7 October 2009
We were sorry to report the sad news that our friend Doreen passed away last week.
Top to bottom measurement: 8.7 metres (28 ft) at its widest point
Number of squares: 1200+
In My Craft or Sullen Art
In my craft or sullen art
Exercised in the still night
When only the moon rages
And the lovers lie abed
With all their griefs in their arms,
I labour by singing light
Not for ambition or bread
Or the strut and trade of charms
On the ivory stages
But for the common wages
Of their most secret heart.
Not for the proud man apart
From the raging moon I write
On these spindrift pages
Nor for the towering dead
With their nightingales and psalms
But for the lovers, their arms
Round the griefs of the ages,
Who pay no praise or wages
Nor heed my craft or art.
Copyright Dylan Thomas.
Permission of David Higham
Tuesday, 6 October 2009
The moving thing about the knitted poem is that stories are told with every square, all injected with love, of immense importance, and each story will merge with all the other extraordinary squares and oblongs. It would be impossible to show each one.
High five to Rosemary who has just completed a wonderful pair of alpaca mittens, with braid stitch edge, two colour rib cuff and her own patterning on the hands. They are so cosy, she's praying for bad weather, and managing to make it come true. Well done Rosemary!
Anna has made this beautiful ladies' boater hat, from our hand dyed wool/ silk. The wool/silk is a solid yarn and keeps it's shape come wind or rain. Anna fixed it to her head with a hat pin, but a sock needle or crochet hook could work just as well.
Monday, 5 October 2009
Thursday, 1 October 2009
If any of you are free tomorrow (Friday) Louise and I will be at the Poetry Society from 10.30am - 9pm, stitching lines of the Knitted Poem together and would love your company. We are really enjoying it, not only because of it's scale and beauty, but because everyone has written their names and favourite poems on the back of each piece.