Sunday, 14 July 2019

Yarningham weekend, did you go?

I finished it!

I was so happy to put the last few stitches in this piece last weekend.  
I thought it was going to be a relatively quick stitch when I started it and I had planned on starting the Autumn one right after, but honestly, I can't do it right now.

I don't like stitching on Aida, I found it made the thread fluffy if I used the length of thread I usually would to stitch, and I don't like the stiffness of the fabric.

Having said that, I do LOVE how it came out!

I had a frame that I was going to use but in the end It was too small so I went to my local stitching shop, (Betty Stitch Kit) and asked Mark if he could make me a frame, no glass.   While Sharon was getting my threads together for my next project, (more about that next time), Mark had made me the frame!  How good was that!  

I wanted something more rustic looking and this frame is perfect.  I've been going to Sharon's shop for supplies and framing for years and apart from being lovely people they also give the best service.

This weekend was Yarningham, and this year Joanne also came with me.

We were both quite restrained, I knew I wanted some more minis and some buttons but we didn't go with anything else in mind.

Of course I had to get my minis from Kelly πŸ˜€ and I finally got to meet her too, she is just as lovely as you would imagine her to be.

This is one of Joanne's purchases but as she can't knit she's passed it on to be to make for Bonnie.

I resisted buying full skeins of yarn, (actually, Joanne said to me, mum, you are not buying any yarn to knit socks until you have finished a pair 🀣🀣🀣).

Well that told me!
Until I saw this one, and you know, one day I will finish a pair of socks, (I will!!)

I love how the yarn has been wound at the bottom of the label so that you can see how it works up.

I fell in love with this little stitch marker bracelet, which I shall probably wear when I'm not knitting too because it's pretty.

And I did get buttons, a lovely colourful bunch :-)

I've got no photos of the actually event to show you because it wasn't until I got back home that I realized I hadn't taken any!  
I'll leave you with some of the pretties in my garden at the moment instead 🌻🌼

Until next time, I hope you all have a lovely week

Sunday, 7 July 2019

Geeking out on history again

I've been feeling much better in myself these last couple of weeks, I think getting out and about has gone a long way to helping.  
I'm feeling much calmer, less anxious, and more in control.  I've been trying to be present in whatever task i'm doing instead of thinking about what i'm going to do next, that's harder than it sounds when you are used to rushing around, but i'm sure it's helping.
My back, neck and shoulder feel much better too.  I went for my third massage on Friday and she said that she is very happy with the improvement, there is less tension in my shoulder blade although my neck muscles still need some work.  I will go again on Thursday and then we will decide on the frequency from that session.  
Having a massage seemed so extravagant, and had I not been off work I don't think I would have made the effort to go to be honest, but I'm so glad I did, I think It has really helped and once this problem is under control I think it's something I will continue with just to maintain my stress and tension levels.

So, to continue my new mantra of giving myself some 'me time' I took a little jaunt to Kenilworth Castle on Saturday.  The weather didn't look promising but the rain kept off except for about half an hour, although the sky was grey and I had only taken my phone for photos, so I apologise now for the washed out sky shots! 

I will just say now that this post is long, if you are not interested in history or looking at photos you might not want to go any further, and that's ok.  I like history and looking at photos and looking back on past blog posts to remind myself of good times so I make no apologies, just saying ☺
Kenilworth is about a 40 minute drive from us, and I really don't know why it's taken me so long to visit considering my interest in History, I think in my mind I thought it was further away than it actually is!

If you have never been to Kenilworth Castle you really should put it on you list of things to see because it has a fascinating history.

  It dates back to the 1120's and was established by Geoffrey de Clinton, in the 13th century it was added to by King John and in the 14th century John of Gaunt made it into a Palace.  It was also favoured by Lancastrian Kings, Henry V built a retreat at the far end of the lake, Pleasance in The Marsh'  
In 1563 Elizabeth I granted Kenilworth to her favourite, Robert Dudley and he turned it into a Palace, probably hoping that eventually he would be able to persuade Elizabeth to marry him, (and we all know that didn't happen!)  

The building on the right, the Great Tower is the oldest of the three buildings, it would have had a keep and a draw bridge
The building in the middle with the ornate windows is from the 13th century and was built by John of Gaunt

The building on the left is the one that Robert Dudley had built for Elizabeth I, her rooms were at the top.  You can now reach the top via a series of stairs and stand in the bedroom that once belonged to Elizabeth.  (If walls could talkπŸ˜‰)

John of Gaunt's building.

This would have been the great hall, obviously there would have been a floor, you can see underneath was a series of store rooms

 But you can still see the window seats and the fireplace.
The large opening on the left would have been a doorway.

 You can see where the grand staircase would have been, (the grassed area), leading up to that doorway.  The space to the right is where the huge kitchen would have been.

 All around the castle now is beautiful countryside, but all this was once covered by water, it was flooded in order to make it impenetrable 

An original window in the Great Tower

17 foot wide walls in the Great Tower

Stable block, the ruin in front of it was once Collegiate Chapel

Leicester's Gate House built in 1571 /1572

Above the entrance you can still see his initials carved into the stone

The fireplace is original and was rescued from another part of the castle to be put here

Again, you can see his initials and the raged staff.

There are a couple of room in Leicesters gate house to see how it would have looked, on the upper floors there is information on Elizabeth and Robert Dudley and also the story of the man who saved Kenilworth Castle, (Thank you Sir Siddeley)

Section of the Gatehouse garden

The Privy garden was created by Robert Dudley for Elizabeth and been re-created as closely as 
possible to what would have been here through letters found giving a detailed description.

It was accessed via a corridor and steps leading down to an archway.

The small building at the far end is an aviary, and yes there are canaries in there 🐀

(Terrible photo with a washed out sky!!)
The smell from the roses was wonderful as you walked into the garden.

If Elizabeth was impressed by all the effort and expense the Earl of Leicester had gone to, (her 19 day visit in 1575 bankrupted him)  the woman was still not for marrying.

If you want to find out more the English Heritage site for Kenilworth Castle is HERE
The A Bit About Britain site is HERE
Both websites can tell the story so much better than I can, I do it just for my own record

See you soon

Sunday, 30 June 2019

The most wonderful ruin you will ever see (probably)

Witley Court 

The house dates back to the 17th century and was bought by a Thomas Foley in 1655.  The Foley's were Ironmasters and made a fortune in nails during the Civil War. 
 I was taking to one of the guides and apparently one the Foley's invented a nail making machine and that was what made his fortune.

In 1833 the house was sold to to the trustees of  William Humble, Lord Ward,  in order to clear debts.
William Humble later became the 1st Earl of Dudley and the house stayed with the Dudley's  until the 1920 when the estate was sold in lots.  The house along with 800 acres was sold to Sir Herbert Smith, a carpet manufacturer from Kidderminister, he had electricity installed and reduced the number of staff.  Sadly in 1937 a fire broke out in the east wing and although the west wing was untouched Sir Herbert decided to sell up, the house was stripped and left to decay.

Fortunately for us in 1972 the Government rescued it and it is now in the care of  English Heritage and is there for all of us to enjoy.  The grounds are beautiful with woodland walks and plenty of places to picnic and the Perseus and Andromeda Fountain is one of the best fountains I've ever seen.  Every hour a canon like sound goes off and the fountain is fired up, it's wonderful! Imagine when the house was at it's best and looking down the gardens to that fountain, it must have been a sight to see!
Still is a site to see, but you know what I mean.

I spent all afternoon there and still didn't see everything so I will definitely be going back again, It's was only a thirty minutes drive but was a whole world away.

Of course it had a very nice tea garden and It would have been rude not to partake 

If you follow THIS link you can read all about the house and it tells it so much better than I could, I hope you do, it's very interesting.

(I have included a little video of the fountain, but have no idea if it will work once I click publish)