Yesterday Was A Good Day

I found a crafting group!

As most of you know, we moved back to England from France in November and, after quarantining for two weeks there was a brief period of relative freedom before going into quite hard lockdown again.  I saw a few of my new neighbours whilst out dog walking but haven’t been out and about apart from ‘necessary’ shopping.

We have an artisan centre in the next village which has now opened again and, in one corner of the Makers’ Gallery they have a pop-up display from a local artist which is changed every two weeks.  I saw some beautiful knitted pieces and very large crocheted mandala in copper hoops there and, by chance, I found the artist on Facebook and noticed she runs a crafting group that meets every Thursday and it is up and running again.  Be still my heart.

It’s a half hour’s drive away through winding country lanes but where there’s a will there’s a way and there was definitely a will.

The group meets in a village hall and as the sun was finally shining, and the view was lovely (see above), we sat outside next to the little river and I started to get to know some of the people.

There are knitters, crocheters, weavers and spinners, needlepointers (?), quilters, dressmakers and all kinds of everything.  One of the members raises funds for the Linus Trust and they are making quilts for premature babies, full term ones, children and teens.  As I like nothing more than an excuse to make small quilts, I’ll be rooting through my fabric stash and making two or three of those. I took some simple knitting to do but it wasn’t simple enough apparently as, when I got home, I realised I’d made a few mistakes because I’d been enthusiastically chatting – so had to undo what I’d done, which luckily wasn’t much.

The club organises workshops and I do love a good workshop.  On offer yesterday to sign up for were:

Beginner’s Embroidery  – (need but don’t want)

Spinning and Weaving –  (don’t need but might secretly want)

Knicker Making – (yes! Signed up)

Dorset Buttons – (signed up,wondered why, was thinking of crossing out my name,  then was told the lady who teaches it is the Dorset Button lady and so, added to the fact that I now live in Dorset, why wouldn’t I give it a try?

Watch this space for knickers and fancy buttons.

The lady next to me yesterday was weaving a Jacob fleece into a rug – I can’t wait to see it but, being a newbie, I didn’t feel I could take photos of the goings on quite yet so, until I have ingratiated myself into the group a bit more, here are some pics from my dog walk  instead because I took them and therefore must inflict them on you.   The theme is white and wild, apart from the little viola.

Hawthorn

Ramsons – Wild Garlic

Queen Anne’s Lace plus Stan (who peed on it afterwards)

Haven’t a Scooby

Again, some sort of white wildflower – the head gardener isn’t here today to advise.

Edit: Stitchwort, thank you Wild Daffodil & now returned Head Gardener.

Just to make the day perfect, an independent boutique has opened up in the next village and it has lovely, unusual(ish) clothes at decent prices.  I felt as if I had to show my support. I was gratified to see that they wrapped my purchases in tissue and put them in a brown paper carrier bag.  I know plastic bags are awful but there’s nothing that takes the joy out of buying clothes (or underwear as has happened to me) when they are just rolled up and handed to you to stuff in your handbag.

Then I booked a table for four for my birthday dinner in a couple of weeks’ time for me, Mr. T., my favourite sister-in-law and her OH in a lovely country pub.

What will today bring?

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  1. #1 by Wild Daffodil on May 28, 2021 - 14:03

    Sounds fabulous and just what you wanted/needed. I think the little white flower above the dandelion clock is a stitchwort. There are quite a lot of different stitchworts, so no idea which one. The one above that is intriguing, I have no idea either.
    Looking forward to hearing more tales of the West Country Crafters, sounds like a great group.

    • #2 by tialys on May 29, 2021 - 08:34

      I’ve tried looking that second one up but no joy. It’s actually in the garden – as the pansy is – so I’m not sure whether it’s a wildflower or not although it looks like one doesn’t it.
      p.s. I meant to say in my email that the group is in Frampton.

  2. #3 by Laurie Graves on May 28, 2021 - 14:04

    It sounds as though you had a banner day. Wonderful to find a group of kindred spirits! As someone who is spectacularly uncrafty, I eagerly look forward to pictures whenever you feel comfortable taking and sharing them. Love the wild and the white and, especially, Super Dog. Finally, after over a year of isolation, that birthday dinner is something to look forward to, that’s for sure.

    • #4 by tialys on May 29, 2021 - 08:32

      I think looking forward to things is an important part of our lives and mental well-being. Lockdowns and restrictions really had an effect on that which is why, although I personally never particularly want to see an airport again, I can sort of understand the people who can’t wait to fly off somewhere on holiday.
      I’m more than happy to look forward to meeting up with family, old and new friends and discovering the delights of this officially designated AONB(area of outstanding natural beauty) we now call home.

  3. #6 by nanacathy2 on May 28, 2021 - 14:10

    What a really wonderful day. Now you have arrived. It all sounds idyllic. Next week I have second haircut post lockdown and painting a fabric bag in a workshop. Do I want a painted fabric bag? Not especially but I do need a crafty workshop. Hope this bank holiday weekend is good.

    • #7 by tialys on May 29, 2021 - 08:24

      Exactly. What am I going to do with a Dorset button? Maybe I’ll make a pair of knickers with a Dorset button instead of a little bow. It’s the workshop that’s the thing isn’t it?
      Fingers crossed this lovely weather keeps it up for the weekend.

  4. #8 by Claire on May 28, 2021 - 14:31

    so happy for you, Lynn!
    Looking forward to hearing (and seeing) all about Dorset buttons and knickers when you get started, and I’m sure it won’t take you long to feel you fit in and can take photos of goings-ons to share with us ^^
    I have to say, I’m expecting an order from “le bon prix” with a new supply of knickers and bras. Avis (you know Avis lol) asked why I didn’t take the plunge and try making my own bras, since they’ve done it on GBSB before. Yeah, like I’m ever going to be able to make a bra! let alone one that fits! Had a hard enough time measuring myself for new bras and dithering about cup sizes as it is!

    • #9 by tialys on May 29, 2021 - 08:22

      Knickers are one thing – bras are another. IMHO bra makers have harnessed (so to speak) all sorts of technology to come up with a well constructed and supportive bra and, as one who needs both of those elements, I’m not about to try to replicate all that on my sewing machine. Long live M&S – and not just their food halls.

  5. #10 by Pat K on May 28, 2021 - 15:20

    Sounds as if you have really landed on your feet -,very pleased for you!

    • #11 by tialys on May 29, 2021 - 08:19

      Hi Pat 😘
      At first I thought a half hour’s drive to get to the venue was a bit much – funny how driving in England does that to you, whereas I wouldn’t (and didn’t) give an hour or more’s drive to do something in France any thought at all.
      I hope you are well and able to make the most of your lovely terrace.

  6. #12 by Moira on May 29, 2021 - 02:46

    what a blessing to be able to get out and meet new people! I need that knicker class myself having just bought a pattern for making them (downloadable). I’ve even brought home some knit fabric to use in making them from out of my moms stash of fabrics. Not sure I’ll have the guts tho to blog about making them….lol.

    • #13 by tialys on May 29, 2021 - 08:15

      I must admit I was a bit apprehensive to go to the group feeling my social skills might have disappeared never to return but they were very welcoming and I was soon chatting away and making mistakes in the knitting I’d taken along to do.
      I had a go at making knickers from a pattern a while ago and bought quite a supply of pretty elastics but I never really had any great success with it so put it away ‘for another time’. Intriguingly, the tutor (one of the group), gets you to take along an old t-shirt to make the knickers out of. I can’t think the fabric would be up to making nice knickers if it used to be a t-shirt but others that have done the class seem to be happy so we’ll see and at least there’s some recycling going on.

      • #14 by claire93 on May 30, 2021 - 10:47

        maybe the recycling of old Tshirt is simply to do a practice run without wasting shop-bought fabric? so that people don’t slash out on supplies before they decide whether they want to make more.

      • #15 by tialys on May 30, 2021 - 12:31

        Very true Claire. I think the woman who is going to do the class is a member of the group – as is the Dorset button lady – so I’ll have a word with her next week and see what she says.

  7. #16 by kathyreeves on May 29, 2021 - 03:33

    What a fantabulous day for you! The start of some great craft friends I think. 🥰

    • #17 by tialys on May 29, 2021 - 08:09

      I hope so Kathy. I left my dressmaking friends behind in France and, although we still exchange ideas, advice and patterns on WhatsApp, it’s not quite the same, although I wouldn’t lose them or my ‘blogging crafting group’ for anything.

      • #18 by kathyreeves on May 29, 2021 - 12:52

        Sometimes you need face to face interaction, with tea and treats!

  8. #19 by Kellie on May 29, 2021 - 05:32

    Yay! Sounds great to find the group of like minded people and looking forward to seeing some of your projects 😊

    • #20 by tialys on May 29, 2021 - 08:04

      Yes! They seem to be a very friendly, approachable bunch and willing to share their knowledge.

  9. #21 by katechiconi on May 29, 2021 - 07:27

    What a lovely day you had! I have lifted my nose from the grindstone long enough to read everything in my WP reader, and this one made me cheerful again! Not that I’m miserable, just a bit driven just now. Floribunda is in the home stretch and I have 7 days to do the final 2 QAYG seams, make and attach the binding, add hanging pockets and make and attach a label before submission day for the Show. Can be done, I just don’t have much time for other stuff, especially as I have medical stuff next week. I’m rather envious of your happy group sitting and chatting and being creative…

    • #22 by tialys on May 29, 2021 - 08:00

      Ah, Floribunda – I thought you’d been a bit quiet.
      You’ve still got some work ahead of you but we all know you can do it. However, if you don’t it won’t be the end of the World.
      Don’t forget to take some time out to breathe.

      • #23 by katechiconi on May 29, 2021 - 10:12

        I should be able to get it done in time. But I am looking forward to seeing what you’re going to make for Project Linus!

  10. #24 by Emmely on May 29, 2021 - 10:38

    I had to look up what a Dorset button is. I doubt I’d have any use for one but it might be fun to make them, especially in a workshop. It all sounds good!

    • #25 by tialys on May 30, 2021 - 08:35

      I doubt it too. Maybe I’ll put one on the waistband of the knickers I’ll be making 😁

      • #26 by Emmely on May 30, 2021 - 16:40

        In that case you’d better make a tiny one!

  11. #27 by cedar51 on May 29, 2021 - 22:50

    You do realise that you will be hooked on the Dorset Buttons – a nice row of them down the front of a hand knitted cardigan instead of something plasticy from the haberdashery dept!

    But good on you, for now being able to get out there and start creating friends that inspire you. Long may there not be another serious lockdown in your neck of the woods…

    • #28 by tialys on May 30, 2021 - 08:25

      I hope so too. The 21st June is the proposed date for the end of all masks and social distancing but now they’re talking about extending the mask wearing due to the latest variant becoming a worry. Hopefully it will be under control by then. 🤞

      • #29 by cedar51 on May 30, 2021 - 09:07

        masks are still here in New Zealand, mandatory on most forms of public transport, and air flights internally. But there isn’t of course, much you can do about it in a crowded bus if someone gets on without one – or has it on under their chin/similar. I saw an older man last week with it between this nose/mouth – a precarious looking position! Drivers and ferry staff cannot police it other than asking “where is your mask?” And using the Covid QI app to scan – that helps considerably..

        on the other hand we are extremely lucky here…best of British luck to you 🙂

  12. #30 by Evie Jones on May 30, 2021 - 09:35

    I love how well this move is turning out for you guys. And am totally envious of your group.

    • #31 by tialys on May 30, 2021 - 10:49

      I definitely have no regrets about moving back and finding a group is a bonus. Just need to find a good pilates/zumba/general fitness type class now and I’ll be fine.
      Have you no crafting groups in your neck of the woods?

      • #32 by Evie Jones on June 28, 2021 - 08:11

        Sadly only an embroidery group ad that’s very cliquey. I have my knitting buddies but getting us all together would challenge the United Nations.

  13. #33 by DawnGillDesigns on May 30, 2021 - 10:25

    fab
    And learning a heritage craft too. Double fab.

    • #34 by tialys on May 30, 2021 - 10:46

      It’s just something that has to be done isn’t it, whether or not I ever do it again is a different matter but at least I’ll have had a go.

  14. #36 by Born To Organize on June 1, 2021 - 17:52

    Your joy is palpable! I’m so happy to hear you’ve found a crafting group, and I love that it incorporates a variety of creative endeavors. The village shop sounds fun, too. I know you enjoyed leaving some coin there, and hurrah for a paper bag. Honestly, it’s the little things, eh?

    • #37 by tialys on June 9, 2021 - 12:19

      It definitely is the little things – non-essential or luxury shopping is an ‘experience’ and I don’t mind paying a bit extra for eco-packaging to make it a little more special.

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