Hector’s Visit to Flotta

RNLI at Flotta 004

When the ladies of the Longhope Lifeboat Guild came over last year raising money for our local lifeboat, I talked about taking Scottie over to meet their mascot, Hector. That never happened. But when I heard they were bringing Hector this year, I knew I had to take Isla and Meg to meet him.

Longhope is on the island of South Walls, next door to Flotta – one I often photograph on dog walks. The lifeboat, the Helen Comrie, is stationed in the village.

RNLI at Flotta 001It is a short passage from Longhope to Flotta’s main pier, and the lifeboat tied up where the ferry comes in.

RNLI at Flotta 002As we walked along the pier, I could see a familiar shape investigating the area. This was Hector, Scottie and mascot.

RNLI at Flotta 003Once my two saw him they wanted to be introduced. Scotties are unusual in that, unlike other dogs, they greet each other by touching noses first…..

RNLI at Flotta 004… before doing the usual dog thing of smelling bums!

PhotoELF Edits:2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeHector wears a dog life jacket, something each lifeboat carries for canine casualties.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeHe is quite used to wearing it, and being picked up by the handle:

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeWhile some of the crew stayed with the boat…..

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resize… the rest of us went back to the hall. My dogs stayed in the car, but Hector came in to join the fun and earn his keep, looking cute.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- resizeThe pocket on his life jacket really does have a hip flask in it, and by the smell it really does contain brandy!!

PhotoELF Edits:2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; shape; resizeWe tried to get a pic of Hamish with the three boys from the lifeboat, but getting the four of them to stay still wasn’t easy, so the pix aren’t brilliant!!

PhotoELF Edits:2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeGetting Hamish to pose with the RNLI flag was easier. Any Scottie owner will know from the expression that FOOD was being offered…!

PhotoELF Edits:2014:11:24 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeThank you to all RNLI Longhope for coming over. I am glad you raised a goodly sum to go towards the sterling work you do.  (Their Facebook page is here.)

Centenary Stitches – How to Get It!

Centenary Stitches printing 008

Centenary Stitches printing 001
As some of you know, we have had some problems with the printing of Centenary Stitches in the USA, and also some problems with Amazon giving out false information.

I THINK we have now got it all settled, and this is what we are doing.

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The proof printed in the US was not nearly as good as the UK printing (done by Book Printing UK). Discussion with the US printer showed that if we were to have a comparable paper in the US it would cost far, far too much. It has turned out to be cheaper to get the books printed in the UK and ship them in bulk to the US.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:21 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeSo now everyone, anywhere in the world has a choice.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:21 --- Save - Overwrite --- cropOption 1. Order from Northern Lace Press. If you do this you will pay full price and get a top quality book. If you pay in GBP I will send it out; if you pay in USD Judith will send it out from Nebraska.

Centenary Stitches printing 008Option 2. Order from Amazon, The Book Depository etc. If you do this you will pay a lower price and get a lower quality book. The content will be the same, but the paper will be thinner and the printing of the photos darker and flatter. (The quality of the printing does not affect the readability of the pattern instructions.)

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:21 --- Save - Overwrite --- resize; gammaObviously if you order direct from Northern Lace Press more money comes back to us, but whichever option you go for, you will get lots of very wearable patterns and a few oddities you can knit for yourself. your home, friends and family.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:21 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeWhich ever you do, I hope you will enjoy the book!

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:21 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resize

Tell Them of Us Première Weekend – Part 2 – Saturday and Sunday

Some of the knitters attending the première.  Photo copyright Stewart Ward

Saturday was the day of the première. It was at 11 am, and not a red carpet affair. It was, though, very definitely an Occasion! The theatre was full, and almost all the cast, crew, volunteers etc were there.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- resizeAlthough not quite finished, the film is fabulous. It is about 70 minutes long, and tells the story of the Crowder family and their household in the last two years of the war. Grace (the older sister) narrates the story, and you know from the start that Robert dies. The whole thing looks so good, with period scenery etc, and the clothes are just right. The knitting complimented the look of the film without dominating the costumes. When the list of knitters came up in the credits, though, there was a burst of applause.

After the film there was lunch. This was a chance for the knitters who had been able to get to Lincoln for the day to get together for an ‘official’ photo, thanks to Stewart Wall. Two knitters had come over from the States specifically for the weekend – Judith Brodnicki and Mary Lou Egan. I thoroughly enjoyed having a chance to speak with so many who had worked so hard over the months.

Some of the knitters attending the première.  Photo copyright Stewart Ward
Some of the knitters attending the première. Photo copyright Stewart Wall

We found out later that the food left over from the lunch had been collected and taken out to feed the homeless that evening – a lovely touch.

Photo thanks to Richard Speed and ECHO
Photo thanks to Richard Speed and ECHO

In the afternoon, Pauline Loven, the mastermind behind the costumes (and much else) took Mary Lou, Jane Lawrence and I on a tour of some of the locations used in the film. It was interesting to see how cleverly the camera had been positioned to give a 1910s landscape.

Baumer Park, used for exterior shots
Baumer Park, used for exterior shots
The 1910s 'road' is actually the track from the main road
The 1910s ‘road’ is actually the track from the main road
Thimbleby village.  Details of the architecture being explained to Mary Lou by Pauline
Thimbleby village. Details of the architecture being explained to Mary Lou by Pauline
Jane, Pauline and Mary Lou outside the village hall, which was once the school
Jane, Pauline and Mary Lou outside the village hall, which was once the school
The war memorial which started the project with the knitted poppy wreath given to the church
The war memorial which started the project with the knitted poppy wreath given to the church
Looking down Thimbleby main street from the church
Looking down Thimbleby main street from the church

Sunday saw many of the knitters and their friends at the Centenary Stitches exhibition in The Collection, Lincoln’s museum. Many of the costumes from the film are displayed here, and Pauline and her helpers have done a fabulous job of displaying so much knitwear.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeTTOU 001PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizeThe ganseys, hats and scarves worn by the choir still have to be added to the display.

Tell Them of Us Premiere Weekend – Part 1 – Friday

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As soon as I got off the train in Lincoln I saw Judith Brodnicki. We had been working 24/7 to get Centenary Stitches printed in time for this weekend, but this was the first time I had set eyes on her. We both squealed!!

Judith, her husband Ed, and I were staying at the same place. They had arrived the day before, so they took me to settle in.

The next day Judith and Ed took me to Thimbleby to see some of the locations. As we got out of the car we met a woman and her dog, who turned out to have been extras in the film!

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeWe photographed the main street then went in to the church, which forms such a large part of the story.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeInside we saw the memorial plaque to those from the village who fell in WW1 as well as the memorial window to Robert Crowder.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizeOutside there were many Crowder graves, including these of Robert’s mother and father.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeThen it was on to Crowder’s nursery, still very much a going concern!

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizeThere were loads of different plants, even in November, and I bought an ivy for my garden.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeInside, there were many Christmas decorations and gifts. Both Judith and I kept saying ‘I’d love that but I can’t get it home…’!

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- resizeThere were some lovely touches round the building, including this one:

P1030707We then explored further and realised that the restaurant was partially built on to the old house. The only view of the house was from by the redwood tree which gives its name to the restaurant.

PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeWe had lunch inside, and it was nice to see a familiar name on the menu. The current manager of the business is also called Robert Crowder.

P1030709In the evening, Jane Lawrence had organised a concert in the Chapter House of Lincoln Cathedral. It was of WW1 songs, sung by children of two Lincoln schools. They wore the ganseys the project had made, along with hats and scarves. The singing was lovely, and a good time was had by all.

787smP1030793PhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizePhotoELF Edits: 2014:11:10 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resizeOutside the moon was out and the cathedral was floodlit, giving some lovely shades on the stone.

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October Days

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I love the light at this time of year. It has a quality all of its own, and it changes every minute. The days are getting much shorter, and dawn is now at a sociable hour. My door looks due East. 001. dawnThe weather has been remarkably good recently. The dogs think that they should be out all the time, and give me not-so-subtle hints! 002.  pre walkOne of our favourite walks it up on West Hill. It is covered with heather, which Isla loves to bounce over… PhotoELF Edits: 2014:10:15 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resize.. and in! PhotoELF Edits: 2014:10:15 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; resize; gammaThe views towards Hoy, a neighbouring island, is ever-changing. 005.  viewAnd at water level, the seals are sunbathing! 006. seal sunbathingRecent storms have thrown up a lot of seaweed on the shore, and Isla and Meg have both got a taste for it! Their favourite is the laminaria, the same one as the North Ronaldsay sheep eat. It has fronds about 3 or 4″ wide and a crunchy texture. Meg eats it where she finds it… 008. seaweed eating dogPhotoELF Edits: 2014:10:15 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resize… while Isla finds it… PhotoELF Edits: 2014:10:15 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resize… moves it to better ground… PhotoELF Edits: 2014:10:15 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resize… and eats the lot! PhotoELF Edits: 2014:10:15 --- Save - Overwrite --- crop; gamma; resizeWe are getting pretty sunsets at present…. 013. sunset… and the full moons for September and October have been superb: 014. big moon015. big moon with cloudsNo filters have been used!!

Centenary Stitches is Printing!

Rose leaf lace wrap.

Centenary Stitches is now with the printer, and we now have to wait. Once I get the proofs signed off , the presses will roll, and hopefully the book will be ready for the première of the film on 8th November.

A last minute hitch meant that many of the photos had to be retaken, so here are a few of them. Most were taken by Pauline Loven, but a few of the beach ones were taken by Tom Hinckley, who also models in the beach shoot. He is only 17 but clearly has talent!

There are more pictures over on the Northern Lace Press website. (You can also pre-order the book there.)

A version of Grace's jacket and the fitted sweater.
A version of Grace’s jacket and the fitted sweater.
Shoulder cape in ctochet.
Shoulder cape in crochet.
Striped tam and wrap.
Striped tam and wrap.
Driving coat.
Driving coat.
William's waistcoat.
William’s waistcoat.
Crossover shawl.
Crossover shawl.
Rose leaf lace wrap.
Rose leaf lace wrap.
Aran gansey and the blue version of grace's jacket.
Aran gansey and the blue version of grace’s jacket.

And there are other pictures on the Centenary Stitches site here.

Pre-Order Centenary Stitches Now!

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PhotoELF Edits:2014:09:07 --- Save - Overwrite --- resize

The web page for Centenary Stitches is now on line, and you can pre-order it here. It costs £20, or $30. All the details of P&P are on the web page.

The book has about 70 patterns for all the family, all of them wearable today. Garments come in a wide size range (typically 30 to 60″ bust/chest for adult garments). Most of the accessories are sized for toddlers to plus sizes, and many of the shawls can be adapted to different sizes and yarn weights.

Centenary Stitches Patterns 1

Centenary Stitches Patterns 2

Centenary Stitches Patterns 3

Centenary Stitches Patterns 4

The book will be launched in Lincoln on 9th November 2014, Remembrance Sunday, and will be shipped in the second half of the month.

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