Autumn is definitely setting in here (the weather has felt distinctly unsummery since the end of July!) and we’ve been making the most of the changing seasons. A few trees are dropping their leaves, the mornings are chilly and misty and we are starting to need to dig out coats for the school run. It’s still quite a pleasant time of year, and the rain and dampness has made everything smell earthy. The allotment is definitely slowing down-the pumpkins have been harvested now so all that remains there is a raised bed of carrots and parsnips and a few beetroot that I’ve given until the end of October to grow before being rotavated.
As is customary at this time of year, we’ve been out collecting conkers (horse chestnuts) and fortunately there have been plenty to go around, unlike the walnuts I mentioned in my last post. Last Sunday was the Harvest Festival at our church, and the children from our Messy Church group presented a poem to the rest of the congregation. As the poem had been ‘my’ idea (recycled from a school Harvest Festival a few years ago), and because I had taught them the actions, I had to go into teacher mode and mime the actions to them from the aisle. Fortunately it all went well, and the poem raised a smile or two in church. Because it was a sunny evening, my son and I walked home without rushing, collecting conkers along the way from a row of trees growing along the edge of a field full of horses. (Only after he had partaken in the post service refreshments-that boy can smell cake from a mile away!) We carefully put the conkers into a basket once he had counted them, and left it in the conservatory to ward off spiders. (I’m sure it is just an old wives tale, but I’m willing to give it a go!) For the record, he got 21, but the children have both collected more since. We haven’t introduced them to conker fighting yet, though I think Mr C is keen to teach them the fine art.
I also received a delivery of sparkly buttons this week from Felted Fancies Supplies. Their customer service was superb, as I only needed 12 buttons so they reduced the postage costs and responded very quickly to my query about it. If I need any more sparkly buttons, or any other fancy things, I’ll definitely order from them. The buttons are for more pairs of the ‘unicorn riding boots’ which have been requested. They really are just the job! (The link to autumn is the fact it is getting cold enough to wear such things as unicorn riding slippers without looking silly!)
There is a windmill local to us that holds a threshing weekend in the last weekend of September. It’s quite a nice little event, with steam engines in the mill yard, and craft and vintage stalls, as well as the mill itself (and a brewery on site). There was also a spinning demonstration, which I decided to go along to yesterday. I asked for some advice about drop spindling, and ended up being given a piece of washed wool fibre to go home and practice with, as well as the promise of further advice if I returned with my spindles. Today I went back and the very kind demonstrators gave me some super advice. We discovered that my drop spindle is not quite perfectly balanced, but my main area of difficulty is even predrafting to ensure the yarn is all of the same thickness. The ladies suggested using a button as a diz, pulling the fibre through one of the holes in it to obtain an even thickness. I was sent home with even more fibre (which they refused to take money for) and renewed enthusiasm. I found using the wool much easier than the merino braid that I bought at Yarndale last year, as the other wool (I’ve no idea of the breed) seemed to draft more easily. I think it’ll be good for me to practise using it before trying the merino again. The ladies using the spinning wheels made it look so easy! They also gave me details of local spinning groups where I can go for more advice. Hopefully I will be able to go along to one and pick up some skills, as well as meeting even more crafters.
That’s my week in a nutshell (not a walnut shell, they’re still a sore point, so some other kind of inoffensive nut-perhaps a hazelnut). It’s been so busy; I’ve been to work three times, as well as helping Mr C to build a workshop (I was in charge of using the sliding mitre saw to cut all of the boards to the right length).
What autumnal things have you done this week? (If it is autumn in your part of the world, if not feel free to share any other seasonal things you’ve been up to!)
PS I’m not being paid to promote any companies, but I do like to share links to reliable sources of crafting supplies and so on when I’ve had a positive customer experience just to spread the love a little bit.