More Crazy Buildings

Couldn’t resist a few more pictures of these splendid streets – jigsaw-worthy houses that seem to be scattered through every village in mid Suffolk. Most of these details came from buildings around Lavenham –  oh, those doors!

I am fighting my own battles with an historic building, though on nothing like the grand scale of those above. More like Historic Damp, Historic Decay, and Historic Plumbing… After listening to an expert on Regency restoration, I was inspired to reject most modern techniques and  return to using traditional materials….but this involves capturing a sympathetic builder who doesn’t fall about laughing….

So far I haven’t got past the email stage, but I’m on it!

Cowl crazy – I’ve been busy.

After a marathon spate of blanket making recently I now need to turn to some smaller items for my SpinningStreak ETSY shop. The blankets are mostly for friends and family. They are great fun to make but not exactly cost effective to sell. I worked out that one of the larger ones took over 100 hours, so over £800 at minimum wage, not counting rather expensive materials…..! That is never going to work.

So cowls it is. And I do love the constant variety – knitted, crocheted, thick yarn, thin yarn, narrow, long, infinity twisted, ribbed, textured, lacy, modular, hand dyed…..I have hardly looked up from my needles and hooks this month!

Winter is coming – it might be leg warmers next week!

Summer skies and storybook squirrels

 

 

I don’t know a lot about clouds but I recognise an exciting bit of texture when I see it… Further inspiration from French skies.

I don’t do a lot of cute, but these squirrels in Taunton’s splendid Vivary Park last week were pretty irresistible! Not proper Alison Uttley colouring – but actually not totally grey either.

 

Old buildings, loved – and not.

 

Twenty five years ago we were contemplating buying this one. But we couldn’t really justify it and it turned out the owner had no interest in selling anyway. Now it is far too late. Someone clearly did love it once (you can just see the hand stencilled trefoils below  the roof and round the windows – unusual decoration for a modest locaterie) Nothing has been done to preserve it, though a few years back the vegetation (jungle) was cleared from the front and I got excited thinking maybe it would be rescued…I make a point of walking past it several times a year but I fear the structure doesn’t have much longer.  And it is by no means alone round this area. There are several abandoned farm buildings, casualties of the rural exodus, which even now nobody seems to want. Such a pity.

This building, though, is in great shape – literally!  It is part of what was a medieval Guild Hall in Suffolk. It apparently became a Free Grammar School in 1577 and has now morphed into a holiday cottage where we stayed for a peaceful week in September. I spent several days trying to fathom out the original architecture – very confusing and I’m sure I failed but the exposed wood is very exciting – lots of detail, carefully preserved. One of my daughters is in Canada for a year, so I’ll make sure I send her pictures of the timber framed houses we saw all over Suffolk – it seems so weird to me to be in a country where you just can’t see any!

 

 

Indigo summer in France – sneak peek

Such fun! Lots of it, too. Still deciding what to do with it all – the lace weight I’ll probably make up as a shawl, the chunky as hats, then I expect I’ll list the sock yarn in SpinningStreak’s Etsy shop. Maybe it’s time for people to start knitting for Christmas…I’ll let you know!

Both Victorian, both still in service.

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The first one – my local in Brighton – is a rough workhorse of a box, scuffed and much painted over. The second is in Tunbridge Wells (sorry, ROYAL Tunbridge Wells) – very pretty design, beautifully maintained and, it has to be said, with just a whiff of tourist about it….

They are both listed – the unsophisticated one as curtilage, not in its own right. I know which one I prefer though!

The Colour of Memory – Pierre Bonnard (plus some stormy blues…)

I have mis-timed this post. It is rather irritating to hear of an inspiring exhibition (at Tate Modern) when it has already closed – so I decided a couple of weeks ago not to mention it. But it has stayed with me. Colour painted from memory – fleeting moments captured and reworked till they sing.

I am less moved by the much reproduced bath pictures – this one, for example, seems to me plain weird.

The colours are not always bright and bold. These two, possibly my favourites, are softer, subtle and beautifully balanced:

The almond tree was Bonnard’s last painting, finished in 1947. Apparently, when he was too weak to paint, he asked his nephew to change the patch of green in the bottom left corner to the gold we see now – still pondering colour right to the last.

Before we left the building we nipped up to the viewing gallery and were met with this:

Moody skies and swirling winds – quite exciting!

Plenty of ideas for the dye pots – I am busy winding base yarns as I hope to get several days in soon.