Some knitting to start with. This is Austermann Step, in quite a lively colourway, ideal for country socks. I bought the yarn in a little wool shop of the old school, tucked in behind the main street in Cockermouth. As the very nice lady said, it would have been good to have a window, but she had wanted to get started again after the floods and this was better than nothing. Sock yarn always comes in handy.
This week we have tackled the redecorating of the dining-room, another room which has been waiting for some time. We have several massive items of furniture in there, and far too much junk, so the clearing of the decks was problematic. In the end we tackled it in two halves, so that we could move items from one end to the other.
In our other recent projects we have chosen light refelective papers of a modern design, but here we wanted something more classic. The papered walls have to sit against those fifteenth century beams on the fourth wall, after all. What would the merchant have done all those centuries ago? Perhaps some lime-wash? Not rich enough for tapestry wall-hangings... In the end we chose this ivory paper, in a pattern which reminds me of white linen damask tablecloths. It certainly brightens up the room, though it is not very medieval.
A number of searches recently have picked up my images of our new wardrobe doors in Elephant's Breath and Dove Tail. On the Farrow and Ball shade card, I would have read these as beige tones. The tester pots gave a very purplish tinge on the old cream doors. Now in place, one pair of doors reflects light from the window while the other is in shade. One looks like two tones of mushroomy grey, while the other has a more beigey look. The point is, though, that the finish, using a roller to apply the top layers, is lovely and the effect subtle and understated. My husband knocked them up out of MDF, but you would never guess.
Last Wednesday I gave a talk to the Art Group which meets regularly in my village. I had given the same talk to my Weavers, Spinners and Dyers group last year, and this prompted a member of both groups to invite me to repeat it for them. So what was it about? In 1983, the Guild of Lakeland Craftsmen in Cumbria moved their annual exhibition from a venue in Windermere to a venue in Keswick. To advertise this move they organised a competition, with the prize being created by their members. I was lucky enough to win the prize, and I was presented with it by their President, Tobias Harrison.
The prize is itself a kind of puzzle, as, from the outside, it looks like a wooden box with inset embroidered panels, about a foot square. Inside is a series of nesting boxes, each made by a different member of the guild, in textiles, pottery, leather... It is exciting to unpack for a new audience as the standard of workmanship of each item is so high. It has given me lots of pleasure to own it over the years and it was good to show it off to an appreciative group. Perhaps I will feature some of these pieces here in coming weeks.