Tuesday, August 30, 2011


We love visiting the Museum of East Anglian Life, there's so much to see and always something to learn about the fantastic part of the country that we are lucky enough to live in!

The annual Steam and Craft fair is a brilliant event with so many steam engines and crafts people from far and wide...Jen (pictured above) is a dedicated volunteer, fund raiser and a (quite brilliant!) Wednesday knitter!

We set up our stall in the pole barn and it was clear to everyone as we donned our aprons and got the pots warming on the stove that this was no ordinairy craft fair...

There were the brilliant colours achieved through the microwave technique - a little bit quicker than the natural dyeing that we do...

...and the chance to see the famous Needham Market fire engine a recent acquisition for the museum!

So, happy that all the pretty bias bindings, ribbons, ric racs and knitting needles were displayed at there best for the day we got busy with the woad!

We had a lot of fun doing the woad dyeing section in A Green Guide to Country Crafts and all think back fondly to Gavin Kingcome's fascination with the whisking!

Woad creates a rich blue dye by reacting with oxygen so although the surface bubbles here are a gorgeous shade of blue if you part the foam you can see the very yellow dye bath below!

The colour starts to develop as soon as the items are removed from the bath! You need a lot of people around to help 'air' the skeins of yarn and silk scarves so each 'dip' ended with the shout of 'WOAD' and the ringing of a great big handbell that Lisa Museum lent to us for the day!

Here they are drying on our line and yes that is a skein of green yarn there - it's what you get when you 'over dye' yarn that has previously been dyed with Dyer's Greenweed - it's Lincoln Green!

Now it's time for a little bit of an apology - the reasons for the LONG gap between this post and the previous one, my trusty old laptop gave up! It had worked hard and written many a blogpost and luckily as it was coming up to my 40th birthday my very lovely and brilliantly supportive parents bought me a new one! How lucky am I?

It was definitely party time at HH HQ last week and Wednesday was also the day that BBC Radio Suffolk came to visit the knitters and as it was also Wednesday Wendy's birthday we had a little party. Tina made these amazing cakes and as you can see they didn't even hang around long enough to get a snap of all the letters!

They were amazing, thank you Tina!

Jo Lea, knitting moss for an ornamental hanging basket and quite determined to teach Jon from BBC Radio Suffolk to knit!

Just one of the very brilliant birthday presents - a marvelous book by a brilliant knitter! This is my bed time reading...

The lovely birthday gifts will get a proper blogpost all of their own after I've written my thank you notes...but this one deserves a special mention as it was tracked down by Mike the Glassman and it's a beauty!

I LOVE glass as much as I love yarn and there had been much plotting, texting and consultation with The Good Wives of Sew and Crow to find a piece of glass that would make me go giddy and I know that Mike is particularly pleased with himself for finding this Martini jug by Holmegaard glass...

...he takes his glass seriously and being charged with this task made it tricky for me to pin him down in order to pick a winner for Country Buntkin bunting giveaway!

BUT, I finally got him - comment 7 is the winner! Congratulations Cath, send me some details halfpennyhome@googlemail.com and the bunting bits and bobs will be flapping their way over to you!

And finally...how proud were Jacqui and I to see a good friend of Halfpenny Home, Polly's Textiles featured in Oh Comely magazine?!

Well done Danielle, your 'Beautifully Purposeful' hand screen-printed fabrics are gorgeous and your aprons are definitely a favourite of ours and featured in one of our favourite magazines too!

Phew! Think that's about everything...Nic x


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