Friday, 3 April 2009

Cardigan Complete, and a Daffodil Festival

Here's a picture of a mystery parcel that was lying on our Living Room floor for a few days last week.

Can you tell what it is yet?

It's a cardigan!

Congratulations to K for getting this finished, blocked and ready to wear. She beat me hands down when it came to finishing, since not only was the cardigan ready a week before my waistcoat, but she had to make sleeves as well. In case you're interested, the pattern comes from Sirdar's Simple and Easy Knits , which is remarkable for the unfussiness of its designs. K, like me, is rarely impressed with the majority of clothes for 20-somethings available in the shops; unlike me, she prefers things that are classic, simple and elegant to things that look like they have only just come off the sheep.

She was able to wear her creation proudly all weekend, which turned out to be a good couple of days for all things sustainable and craft-related. On Saturday our local Scout Troop ran their annual spring jumble sale over the road, which as ever turned out to be full of bargins. I think the final haul was one Monsoon skirt (possibly for Mother), one cosy Monsoon zip-up cardigan for K, one Hawkshead polo-neck for me, one green Kew cardigan to share, and a long, cosy, natural wool, cabled cardigan for me. The latter is so, precisely, exactly, perfectly me, that my immediate reaction on seeing it was 'great! That will save me making one just like it'. I also got a nice length of tweedy brown fabric, which would make a very nice winter skirt if I get round to spending some quality time with the sewing machine.

On Sunday we went with neighbour Zoe to Thriplow Daffodil Festival. It was pretty good (albeit not cheap), if you like that sort of thing. There were sheepdog trials, which I definitely do like (I still mourn the loss of One Man and His Dog on BBC, even though I was a trendy 16 when it came off air). There was also some fine Morris Dancing from the good men of The Devil's Dyke Morris Men , who usually crop up at this kind of event in the Cambridge area. I have a soft spot for Morris Dancing, even if it is one of the two things in life one is never supposed to try (and the other being incest, that is hardly a recommendation), although thanks to having spent my teenage years spent reading Terry Pratchett, I still have a tendency to regard it as a slightly sinister activity. Apart from Morris Dancers, they also had the obligatory tents of 'local' craft stalls (including the equally obligatory 'African Crafts' stall - K has a small collection of photographs of 'African Crafts' stalls at unlikely locations worldwide. The current winner is from the Christmas market at the Norwegian Folk Museum in Oslo). There were quite a few daffodils, not to mention bouncing lambs in fields, just as it should be at this time of year, and these made me very happy, since at this time of year I greatly miss the fields full of lambs that marked the springs of my childhood. I also bought a woad plant from a herb stall, so perhaps I'll be dying my own cloth Boudicca-Blue later this year (it'll be a loom next).

Perhaps best of all, there was a working smithy, and I would recommend the Thriplow Daffodil Festival just to go and have a peek at this. The smithy itself is the original village smithy, which has presumably stood on the village green in one form or another since the year dot. It ceased to operate regularly in the early 20th century, but has been kept going as a heritage concern and centre for village history, and there are clearly people around who still know how to use it. Indeed, there even seemed to be a Young Apprentice. The smith-in-residence was selling lucky horseshoes for a quid, so needless to say I bought one.

Does anyone else have Views on which way up a horseshoe should be? I was always taught that it had to be 'upwards-pointing', otherwise the luck would drain out, but perhaps that is just a Yorkshire thing.


Fi said...

Hi Sally,
The Dorset way is definitely up so the luck doesn't drain out.!
Great blog, by the way, really interesting.
Hope you're ok! Oh, and congratulations!!!

Gill said...

Upward, so the devil can sit in it (Wales, naturally...)

silverpebble said...

Hello there - welcome back! Excellent cardi action! Living at the end of the devil's dyke I should definitely know about its Morris Men, yet I don't! An omission.

Horseshoes? I'm with you - upward to keep all the luck goodness inside. Must go - baby trying to eat fingers

(word verif rat icing - NOT tasty!) x

Anonymous said...

Horse shoe up - so the luck doesn't drain out. So, with you on that one. Also with you on One Man and His Dog, but then I miss the Shipping Forecast too!

The Organic Viking said...

Well it now seems that you can get the shipping forecast on Twitter