Posts filed under ‘Outings’

Suffragette for a Day

Yesterday I was a suffragette!

Me as a suffragette.

Me as a suffragette.

It was Edwardian weekend at Crich Tramway Museum. Being a suffragette was fun, we sang rousing songsย (the first two of these), had speeches and some chained themselves to the railings. The weather was great, if a little warm, but the outfit was cooler to wear than some re-enactment kit I have worn, and it was not inauthentic to eat ice-cream ๐Ÿ™‚

Suffragette rally.

Also it was lovely to be able to wear some heirlooms. The skirt belonged to my great-grandmother and the bag and white feathers in my hat might have been hers as well (my Mum wasn’t sure whose they had been when she gave them to me).

I was pleased to have managed to wear suffragette colours as well: green, white and violet, which could stand for Give Women the Vote, or the green represents hope, white: purity and purple: freedom. I have a green belt on as well as the scarf keeping my hat from blowing off (useful on the open tram ride we took) and a green malachite necklace; white skirt, blouse and gloves; the purple is present, but less visible, I have a purple brooch, stockings and petticoat. The parasol is purple and green shot silk and is a real antique one, as is most of the outfit.

I know some people don’t approve of wearing real antiques, but I was careful and I don’t do it often. The stockings and silk petticoat came from ebay and just might have been worn by a real suffragette once! The blouse I got from an antique fair for just ยฃ5 as it had no buttons, a torn seam and some old mends. I love old mends, it makes a thing feel real, that it was worn by a real person once. I mended the tear and added some shell buttons. I think it fits me quite well. Nothing got harmed, although the hem of the skirt is now a little dusty, which happened. I am sure it will brush off.

The scarf and hat were from a charity shop and I trimmed the hat myself, as I will detail later in the post as it is my entry for the current HSF challenge, along with the mended blouse.

Lots of people took my photo, I felt like quite a celebrity, especially when I was asked to pose in a vintage car and pretend to drive it!

And it’s hey ho for the open road! Being an Edwardian Lady motorist.

Shame I couldn’t really have a go ๐Ÿ™‚

We did get to ride the trams, including a Victorian one. It was not easy to get up the high steps, especially in my outfit, but worth it as the views were lovely. Sorry for the lack of photos, but the museum website which I linked to above will have some. There was lots going on. I enjoyed the fashion show and chatting to other Edwardians, but I didn’t get to see most of it as I get tired and the cobbles were hard to walk on. We’ll just have to go back another day.

And now for my entry to the HSF challenge #13: Under $10

I got this hat from a charity shop for under ยฃ4:

Hat before trimming.

Hat before trimming.

It looked a suitable shape and the straw looked plausible for the period based on pictures I’ve seen online.

I used scraps of fabric from old projects over ten years ago (never throw away anything which might be useful!) and a ribbon from stash which I bought for another project and didn’t use so I could that part as free.

The purple feather I bought from an antique shop the other day as it was the perfect colour, for ยฃ2, and then spent the whole day worrying about whether I had lost it. Just as well I was fretting over it because I did lose it! I didn’t end up having time to properly attach it, I just shoved it into the layers of fabric trim, which were only fixed in place with safety pins anyway, so I was lucky it stayed together at all. Fortunately someone found the feather and returned it to me when we had gone looking for it. The white feathers as I mentioned above were also heirlooms so I’m counting those as free as well.

The fake violets came with a lace cape I bought off ebay, they were a bonus so I call those free as well, since the cape was a bargain price anyway. The cape was probably 1890s, whether the flowers date from then or almost any time after I have no idea but they seemed quite plausible.

Suffragette hat trimmed.

Suffragette hat trimmed.

And the facts:

Challenge: #13 – Under $10
Fabric: straw hat; green cotton velvet scrap; white linen scrap; purple velvet ribbon from stash; feathers.
Pattern: none.
Year:ย Edwardian, first decade of 20th century.
Notions:ย safety pins.
How historically accurate is it?ย Not very. The hat is plausible and has some age, the scraps are natural fibres, the ribbon is wrong, the feathers are fine, especially the white ones which might even be from the era. I mackled it together in a more slipshod way than I feel they would have done. I’d give it 50%.
Hours to complete: Less than one: gathering the materials probably took longer than putting it together.
First worn: Yay – for the first time I can say I wore it to en event! Yesterday, to the Edwardian event at Crich Tramway Museum.
Total cost: about $10 – I was guesstimating ยฃ6 would equate, so it might be cents over, but I feel it is in the spirit of the challenge.

Second entry – mended blouse:

Mended blouse.

Mended blouse.

I sewed on the buttons and mended the side seam which was torn for 2.5″ – the mends next to the buttons are original.

Challenge: #13 – Under $10
Fabric:ย fine cotton. Lawn, muslin, voile? It’s lovely anyway.
Pattern: it was already made, this is mending.
Year:ย I reckon it is more second decade of the 20th century than first, by the collar, but it is around then as it has a waist tie. It looks home-made.
Notions: white thread; shell buttons from antique fair.
How historically accurate is it?ย Genuine, but my mend was probably not up to their standard. The buttons are possible, though they could be almost any age.
Hours to complete: About one, watching telly.
First worn: Again to the Edwardian event at Crich Tramway Museum yesterday (their definition also covered WWI)
Total cost: ยฃ5 for blouse; buttons were part of a job lot, call it 10p each. So ยฃ5.40 which is firmly under $10.


July 13, 2014 at 3:25 PM 10 comments

I learnt to spin with a drop spindle!

Yesterday we went to the Wool Experience at Blaze Farm. This is a great place to visit even without the wool stuff going on, because they have gorgeous ice cream they make and also good food for lunch. I had oatcakes with cheese and ham, which were delicious, and Tim had an excellent ploughman’s lunch. They also have animals and nature trails and paint a pot, but the reason we went was the wool. Mmmm, wool… ๐Ÿ™‚

The Wool Experience was a barn full of wonderful woolliness ๐Ÿ™‚ Virtually the whole wool cycle was represented (if that was actually a thing. I just made it up, like the water cycle, and it’s not really a cycle, unless sheep ate jumpers, but bear with me!)

There was a shearing demonstration:

The sheep must have been mightily relieved to be relieved of its thick woolly jumper in this weather!

The sheep were remarkably docile during this procedure.

There were also stalls selling fleece, yarn and things made from them, tools and equipment. And there were crafters, spinners, weavers, knitters, crocheters. Lots of interesting people and stuff!

You might be surprised to learn that I hardly bought any yarn, just a couple of skeins. But I did buy other stuff…

One stall (Forest Crafters) was selling beautiful hand turned spindles (among other things). I touched a spindle, because I like to touch stuff and it is stuff that wants to be touched. I tend to buy a lot by touch – if the texture is wrong I am not likely to buy it, but if it feels lovely I am very tempted, especially if it also looks pretty ๐Ÿ™‚

This spindle felt lovely and smooth. I had to pick it up. I had to twirl it a bit and it twirled so happily it really wanted to spin ๐Ÿ™‚ It felt as if it would spin all by itself if it could!

But I couldn’t spin.

But the spindle was so lovely. It was made of spalted London plane, which is a pretty kind of wood. (I just looked it up on Wikipedia to give a linkyย and discovered it is caused by fungus and means the tree is stressed or dead ๐Ÿ˜ฆ But it is still pretty…)

In such an environment there was an obvious solution to this little problem. The stallholder, who made the spindle, called his wife over to show me how to spin!

I wasn’t sure if I would be able to spin with my arthritic hands, but I was very happy to get to have a go and see if I could do it or not. Suejay was a good teacher, showed me how it was done, set me up and then let me try it.

And I could totally do it!

Not brilliantly of course. Every new spinner makes lumpy yarn at first and I made lumpy yarn ๐Ÿ™‚ But it was my lumpy yarn!

And my spindle ๐Ÿ˜€

My spindle and my first lumpy yarn ๐Ÿ™‚

Of course it had to come home with me!

I have since read that spinning with a drop spindle can be very therapeutic for the shoulders, which would be great as my shoulders are very painful at the moment.

Then I had to buy fleece to spin, of course ๐Ÿ™‚ which is why I didn’t buy so much yarn. I had a deal with husband that I could only buy the volume of four pairs of shoes. The thing is, I may have mentioned that I am not especially tidy and that it irritates him, well ย the night before I allocated 4 pairs of shoes I don’t wear to go to the charity shop, so he said I could then buy only the same volume!

He relented however, and let me get more than that ๐Ÿ™‚ He is a nice husband.

Some of the fleece I bought was from a very interesting man who had worked in the last shoddy mill, which sadly closed a couple of years ago. That is a shame, because it is proper recycling. He certainly was Wild about Wool!

Plus I get to help name some Viking sheep (Gotlands) but this post is getting long so I might talk about that another time.

I very much enjoyed the Wool Experience ๐Ÿ™‚

Afterwards we went to Buxton for dinner. The restaurant we like, Firenze, opened in twenty minutes, so we sat on a bench in the marketplace. Husband got out his phone and was twiddling with it, as he does, so I got out my spindle! Spinning in public ๐Ÿ™‚

I was gutted to find that they had stopped serving my favourite dessert, chocolate velvets, which is a chocolate brandy ganache and is heavenly ๐Ÿ™‚ or was… ๐Ÿ˜ฆ It’s like the inside of Lindor chocolates, but with brandy. Oh I love it and I only had it twice!

But we had good dinners and good value too with their early bird special ๐Ÿ™‚

July 3, 2011 at 11:32 PM 3 comments

Heat and biting flies!

It’s hot here. Probably not as hot as in hot places, but hot for us. So we waited for the cool of the evening to go for a pleasant stroll round the lake followed by sitting on a bench enjoying the peaceful view. This seemed like a good plan.

And it was a good plan, until the last quarter of the walk, when a fly started to annoy me.

I was sure it was following me.

I brushed it off and did the fly avoiding dance. You know the one, it involves a lot of arm flapping. And then hurried off, but it was still there.

It was fairly big and brown. Not huge or particularly scary, just annoying. I dislike bugs.

Then it seemed to go away for a while, but it hadn’t, I just couldn’t see it. In fact, it must have found my leg, because the next thing I know I felt a sharp nip on my left shin!

Not especially bad, but I hadn’t known the wretched thing was a biter. No wonder it had been following me. I was dinner!

And no sooner had I brushed it off than I felt another nip in my other leg and there were two of its mates!! Horrible things. So our relaxing stroll became a race where I had to escape from these evil villains. I’m not a fast mover, because of the arthritis, but I tell you, I haven’t shifted that fast for 3 years!

At least with the heat, my joints seem to work better.

But having worked up a sweat fleeing from the enemy and also no longer feeling it would be safe to sit and enjoy the scenery within their territory, we went home and ate ice cream instead.

Do the calories out from 20 minutes of gentle strolling + 2 minutes of feverish fleeing = calories in from 1 Mars ice cream bar? Probably not, but I don’t care ๐Ÿ˜€

I think it was a horse-fly. Apparently, the female needs a blood meal to reproduce, and they lay their eggs by water. The pictures look plausible. There are 30 species in Britain. Yuk!

A horse-fly, by Dennis Ray, Wikimedia commons.

June 27, 2011 at 11:13 PM 4 comments

Having a life!

You may (or may not) have noticed that I didn’t blog on Monday. This is because we went out for the evening with friends, for a pub meal and chat, and stayed for the quiz, so it was really late by the time I got back. I could just about have squeezed in a quick post, but I decided not to.

So I have failed the blog a day challenge.

But I actually had a RL (Real Life) instead, for a change! ๐Ÿ˜‰

You may be familiar with the old geek expression ‘I had a life once, but I traded it in for a faster processor and a bigger hard drive’ ๐Ÿ™‚ Not that I’m quite that bad or anything, but it was kind of nice to feel that my RL was more real than my web life!

We didn’t win the quiz, but I impressed my friends by working out that emetophobia was a fear of vomiting! I think everyone was able to make a contribution to one or another question, a proper team effort, which is much more fun than when one person dominates and everyone else feels like a dimwitted appendage. And my dinner was very tasty. We laughed a lot, which is the best ๐Ÿ™‚

My decision means I’m going to lighten up a bit about my blogging obligations. I shall still post most days, but I may miss the odd one. I’m sure you won’t miss me too much! Not that I anticipate having a life regularly… ๐Ÿ˜‰

June 15, 2011 at 10:50 PM 4 comments

Book Addiction

I have been in a bookshop a few times without buying any books. Even Scarthinย (blog), although that is rare ๐Ÿ™‚ (for my previous post on Scarthin books the wonderful lovely shop check the outings tag) but not today. Today I bought three books.

One was second hand and cheap. The other two were new, which is a bit of an indulgence, especially as an Amazon order is also winging its way towards me as I type (well, it’s actually probably in a box sitting in a warehouse or a van at this time of night, but you know what I mean :))

But I just couldn’t resist them, which is a bit weird because they are both about knitting and I not only don’t knit, but I have no plans to learn. I only crochet. But one was about Scandinavian knitting, packed with info and design elements I’m sure I can convert to crochet ๐Ÿ™‚

The other is about Aran knitting, with stuff about the history of it and cable patterns and all sorts of juicy stuff. I love crochet cables, although I haven’t yet got round to the post on them yet. I am about to start an actual project using them, rather than just trial bits though, so maybe when there is enough of that to take a pic of I might post.

In fact that is what I want to be doing right now, rather than writing my blog – either starting my new cable project (just got to finish drawing up the plan!) or reading my new books ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t know which shop is harder to leave without a purchase, a book shop or a yarn shop ๐Ÿ™‚ although the latter is my new addiction this year while bookshops have always been an Aladdin’s cave to me. Mmmm… books… ๐Ÿ˜€

We also had a very nice hot chocolate and some squidgy cake in a flavour I’ve never had before, gooseberry and elderflower, which was yum. But I didn’t take my camera, so no pics.

I regretted the no camera thing when we took a short stroll by the canal, as there were fluffy baby coots with punk hair and also tadpoles.

Anyway, I’m off now to play with cables!

May 27, 2011 at 10:19 PM 1 comment

Paddling in the stream

Today we went to Bradford Dale again (the home of the wild plughole! Search outings in my previous posts if you’ve missed it :D) and I paddled in the lovely stream. It was beautiful and fun and I took a nice video:

If that doesn’t work, try clickingย hereย to link to Youtube. Please watch the video, it’s only short, but it is loads of fun! In fact I took quite a few more ๐Ÿ˜€

I am tired now, so that’s it, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, surely a moving picture is worth a whole post ๐Ÿ™‚

The wild plughole was still on holiday, as the pool was full. It does actually look deep enough to swim in now and it was not too cold paddling today. I feel a wild swim coming on!

May 21, 2011 at 9:50 PM 1 comment


Too tired to write a proper post really, but I’ll do my best to write something. Had a lovely day out with my Mum, we went to various nice shops, craft shops and Scarthin Books and that sort of thing. The weather was beautiful and we sat outside at Arkwrights Mill having yummy healthy soup for lunch.

And I managed to resist buying too much stuff, just two second hand books! Mostly because I’d been to all the shops we went to quite recently ๐Ÿ™‚ Today was about sharing some places I like to go with Mum, some of which she knows and loves already, like Scarthin Books and other of which are new. This was an outing I promised her for Mothers’ Day.

Scarthin Books were especially kind to find her a cushion for her bad back while had our delicious lattes ๐Ÿ™‚

So now I am tired and just want to go to bed, read a little and sleeeep.

April 27, 2011 at 10:16 PM Leave a comment

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