The Owl and The Pussy Cat

The Owl and the Pussy-cat went to sea In a beautiful 'red and white'(!) boat, They took some honey, and plenty of money, Wrapped up in a five pound note. The Owl looked up to the stars above, And sang to a small guitar, 'O lovely Pussy! O Pussy my love, What a beautiful Pussy you are, You are, You are!What a beautiful Pussy you are!'

Edward Lear

Monday, 16 July 2012

Morris Dancing

We're dancing out regularly most wednesdays now. Border morris sides tradiotionally blacked their faces (don't ask me why, look it up on google, there are various theorys). But I think black is a bit boring, so I go for something a bit more artsy..

Hat on

Different face, hat off
Our young french lodgers looked a bit surprised when I came back last week, it's the first time they've seen me in my full kit/makeup, goodness knows what they thought, they aren't very talkative!
Here's our fiddle player and a dancer/musician outside a pub in Ide, near Exeter
And here are some of our lot watching Harberton Navy dancing last wednesday at Denbury near Newton Abbot

If you'd like to see us live this is our website
I suppose I should do a link on the sidebar, hmm, might look into that..

Saturday, 14 July 2012


My wooly projects are still ongoing. These pictures span a time period from about two months ago to the present.
I borrowed a drum carder from my mum. It's definitely a good idea to have the same hobbies as your mum! These things are amazing, they produce so much more wool for lots less effort than hand carders. I guess that's where the industrial revolution started, taking the drudgery out of hard labouring work, but perhaps that's another story.......
 As a result of this fabulous 'machine I now have huge piles of carded wool everywhere. Here is a box full of carded mule wool. This was a fleece I snaffled last year when I was fleece rolling for the farmer I work for. Mules are a hybrid and often have Bluefaced Leicester in their parentage, which have lovely wool. So while I was rolling I kept an eye out for one I thought looked long and crimpy and shiny and asked the farmer if I could have it. It would have been churlish of him to say no as they are worth very little to large scale farmers, so he said yes!
 I also have trays full of all sorts of other wool that I've scrounged and bought from various sources, including black and white Jacob, North Ronaldsay, Zwartbles and a mongrel black/grey sheep.
I'm now busy sinning my way through it, and on a cold and rainy day (ha ha) I lit the woodburner and boiled up some lichen
Strained it and threw a couple of balls in then boiled it some more.. (oops, bit blurry this picture)

And they came out like this. they haven't taken the dye very strongly, I think partly because the wool hasn't been thoroughly washed, but I don't mind, I like subtle.
and I've finally done some knitting. I loosely used a pattern (ahem). The brown is Shetland wool, the white is mule and the yellow is, I think dyed with onion skins. You can't really see the yellow, which is a bit of a design fault!
 It's a bit small for me, I like hats to come well down over my ears. But I knitted it on the boat and that was all the wool I had, and I wanted to wear it as I was cold.
I'll do another, make it bigger , and put the nice yellow wool somewhere where it can be seen. I'm on a steep learning curve here.