A second paradise and workshop with friends

Mas Eva Rose

Mas Eva Rose

We took off for France on the 8th of May, intending to stay at the vineyard for a week – we stayed for a month! No, it wasn’t just a case of watching the vines grow (although we did spend some time enjoying the produce of said vines) the whole house required modifying to accommodate the needs of my man – ground floor bedroom and shower room being the main modification needed. Charlie and Lee went six weeks before and by the time we got there most of the building work was finished (and finished brilliantly) and I had “only” to set to with paint brushes and paper hanging gear ( I never want to see, let alone use, a paint brush ever again – unless it’s the arty kind of bush of course).

here’s a quick tour……………

The Vineyard

The Vineyard

next years wine

The river at the end of the track

The river at the end of the track

fun with Moscow the Labrador

the view of Gigodas

the view of Gigodas

A mas with a view

The tractor that came with the property

The tractor that came with the property

Charlie’s pride and joy!

our bedroom

our bedroom

how nice is this – it was the kitchen the last time I saw it

The 'Library'

The ‘Library’

the 'Library'

the ‘Library’

A little tromp i’oel in our new sitting room (library)

Oh, I’ve just remembered this is supposed to be a stitching and knitting blog – okay

Knitting, the book has been a huge success ( helped no doubt by another Royal baby) and I’m well into the follow up “Very British Toddler Knits”, I’m hoping to get most of the designs finished by the end of August, I’m on the last collection, and a bit behind schedule as I didn’t knit a stitch in France, I did intend to……….. something about the road to hell springs to mind……………..

Yesterday I gave a workshop at Liberty’s in London – the ‘students’ were absolutely lovely, obviously they were like-minded, but they were also full of creativity and enthusiasm the sort of people one would like to have as friends. Thank you ladies, I had a wonderful day………… And thank you to the Liberty staff for making the day run so smoothly……….

The Liberty studio

The Liberty studio

The class of 13th June

The class of 13th June

With every good wish to you all, Susan x

Don’t forget the book, Very British Baby Knits – available from Amazon and Search Press

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21.12.14. A handy escape from Christmas

The family shoot was a glorious occasion, the day bright, cold, crisp, and extremely windy which made for fast, high, and challenging birds………… the black tie dinner was a riot, lots of fun, laughter, and yes – booze (and good food). And a still, magical, moment when Stephanie, one of our guests (professional opera singer) enchanted us with ‘Oh Holy Night’ ……….. thank you Stephanie

 

Dr Tom and Bella on the last drive of the day

Dr Tom and Bella on the last drive of the day

 

There is a very strong rumour bandying around that Christmas is just around the corner….. I seem to have missed a whole week of my life and I’m less prepared for this celebration than I have ever been and suddenly it is upon us…… I haven’t shopped or sent a single Christmas card…………… it will all be over and passed me by which is so sad……………. no Hatty and family this year which is even sadder……….

My hand operation (trapeziectomy) was ‘uneventful’ …………… I like uneventful when it concerns my health. The hand is now no more painful than the arthritis that prompted the surgery, although I am adhering to a strict regime of analgesics. My real problem is frustration – can’t knit, can’t sew (can’t get my contact lenses in, cook, fold linen, wash my hair or pin it up, can’t drive) I had no idea that the left thumb was such an essential digit.  I am writing some patterns ready for the off once the stitches are out and the plaster is removed – but it will be about 3 months before the hand becomes ‘useful’ again.

I thank everyone who has helped over the past couple of weeks – especially Holly and Charlie, Jan and Trevor, Wills, Mark and Lee, . And thank you to everyone for their good wishes and offers of help……….. thank you, thank you, thank you…………………

This evening is our village church’s nine carols and lessons – I’m reading ‘The Prophecy of the Messiah’s birth’, then I light the third candle – with one hand? I’m wondering if a cigarette lighter would be entirely inappropriate.

Well, with my one handed typing I send you all good wishes for a joyful Christmas and a contented New Year

love Susan x

P.S. attention all new mums…………. Chrissie Day’s lovely new baby book – ‘Knitted Modern Classics for babies’ is now on sale from anywhere that stocks Rowen yarns……….

 

 

 

 

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03.12.14. lovely show, lovely people

The show must go on! I write, of course about the Stitching and Knitting show in Harrogate. Four happy (despite the aching feet) very busy days. At home I spend most of my days here in my studio with only the occasional visitor – usually my husband who staggers in from the drawing room to ask what’s for lunch or isn’t it time for tea! So I’m not much used to talking – and wow, did I talk at the Harrogate show! I taught five workshops – lovely students, including ten year old Anna who put some of the older students to shame, her enthusiasm was catching and everyone had a lot of fun.

I met a wealth of like-minded people and had my wonderful ‘team’ with me. To run the stand – my son Charlie, his wife Holly, (plus their 8 week old daughter, Eva) and Jaymi our ‘operations director’. Lee, our estate manager, van driver, stand builder and wheelchair pusher extraordinaire.  Camp follower – my (wheelchair bound) husband Bernard, and Linda my housekeeper for over 30 years, who did a wonderful job looking after both B and baby Eva whilst we worked (for work read talked).

The completed stand

The completed stand

Putting the stand together was  quite a learning curve. Even booking it wasn’t straight forward. The exact size we booked turned out to be 5cm shorter on each side so last minute alterations were needed – and they say size doesn’t matter!

Kit samples

Kit samples

We thought we were being extremely clever only printing 10 of each pattern before we left  and topping them up each evening with our laptop and printer safely tucked away in Jaymi’s hotel room. Not such a clever move;  my patterns sold like ‘hotcakes’ and we just couldn’t keep up with supply and demand………………

Charlie at work

Charlie at work

The only downside was packing the stand up – one has to get a timed permit from the admin office – held in another part of Harrogate. Lee duly turned up at the appointed time and obtained our permit, only to find that he was unable to proceed to the hall because dozens of vehicles had already formed a queue at the loading bay. None of these vehicles had bothered to obtain a permit,  all gave the porters on duty a hefty tip to ‘jump’ the queue, as a result we had to wait in the bitter cold for well over two hours until our name was called.

This is Jenifer whom I met at the Ally-Pally show – I just love her kits – and her – she a very sweet lady. Her work can be found on hello@stitchandstory.com

Jenifer at stitch and story

Jenifer at stitch and story

One of the best things to happen at the show………….. 3 different yarn manufacturers asked me to pattern write for them and  fourth offered to buy one of my patterns for them to publish…………. that did feel good!

On a personal note – I do miss Fable, every time I walk the dogs I still look behind to make sure she’s still following me, then I’m hit with realization that she is no more…………..

I’m going to hospital on 16th December to have a Trapeziectomy on my left hand, that’s the removal of the trapezium which is the bone between the wrist bone and the metacarpal of the thump. The arthritis in my  hands is getting progressively worse, and the steroid injections I have every 6 months, are not lasting for more than a couple of months, so I’m biting the bullet and hoping for a more permanent solution. The big drawback is that it will take 6-9 months to recover, and I won’t be able to use the hand or drive for about 3 months. I am right handed, so I shall write loads of patterns ready for knitting and I can also paint, of course………….what this space!

Finally, if anyone would like the patterns and instructions to my Christmas bauble and/or my heart wall hanging let me know and I’ll e-mail it out to you.

heart wall hanging

heart wall hanging

Christmas bauble

Christmas bauble

Love Susan x

Posted in Dogs, Exibition, Free Patterns, Health, Knitting, New designs | Tagged | 1 Comment

13.11.14 An old dog goes home, a visit from a daughter and grandson and the Harrogate show

We took our beloved dog Fable to the vets yesterday and didn’t bring her home, just a rather worn collar and a brand new lead (why did I buy a new lead for her? I just don’t know)

Fable helping to mow the grass

This poem just sums it all up……………….

THERE is sorrow enough in the natural way

From men and women to fill our day;

And when we are certain of sorrow in store,

Why do we always arrange for more?

Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy

Love unflinching that cannot lie

Perfect passion and worship fed

By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.

Nevertheless it is hardly fair To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits

Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,

And the vet’s unspoken prescription runs

To lethal chambers or loaded guns,

Then you will find – it’s your own affair, – But … you’ve given your heart to a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,

With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!),

When the spirit that answered your every mood

Is gone – wherever it goes – for good,

You will discover how much you care, And will give your heart to a dog to tear!

We’ve sorrow enough in the natural way,

When it comes to burying Christian clay.

Our loves are not given, but only lent,

At compound interest of cent per cent,

Though it is not always the case, I believe,

That the longer we’ve kept ’em, the more do we grieve;

For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,

A short-time loan is as bad as a long

So why in – Heaven (before we are there) Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear?

 Rudyard Kipling

It’s hard to think of much else she wasn’t a very exciting dog, she never did anything wrong, she was never a challenge, she walked to heel and never chased the pheasants, she lay around the house in the most inconvenient places. She always, always, came when I called her. She never failed to get hairs all over me – especially if I was wearing black. So what’s there to miss? My son said she was like an old Afghan rug that an Uncle had brought home in 1936 and had just become part of the furniture, it made me smile because it’s so true – she was just there with her soft, trusting, brown eyes. The same eyes that trusted me when I took her to the vets and that’s the problem, that’s where I go to pieces. I keep asking myself if she could, with the right painkillers, have gone on for just a bit longer…………… the vet said that she had been a good friend to me and now was the time to be a good friend to her……………. Oh how I miss my friend……………

 

On to other things

Two recent visits to London one for Zandra Rhode’s fabric launch held in her pent house; a lovely afternoon cocktail party really, I slept all the way home on the train – too much colour? too much wine? I couldn’t possibly comment!

Zandra Rhodes

Zandra Rhodes

And a work shop for Liberty’s of London. A lovely day with smashing students. The workshops are held in the old board room a fabulous room with old panelling (and extremely poor lighting).

Work shop in Liberty's boardroom

Work shop in Liberty’s boardroom

All my students all managed to finish the project

purses

purses

back of purses

back of purses

Well done  girls and thank you for a lovely day

I’m almost, but still not quite, ready for the stitching and knitting show at Harrogate. I’m doing some workshops and I have a stand. I’ve been preparing for this for at least seven months, I have only a few more patterns to print out and a final check and I’m ready, the van arrives on Monday, the dog sitter (yes, Hesper the Jack Russell still has to be catered for – she will so miss Fable when we are not here – they were the greatest of friends) arrives on Tuesday and I’m off on Wednesday………….

Tiny toes workshop

Tiny toes workshop

ready for the show

ready for the show

 

samples for the show

samples for the show

Meanwhile I still have much other things to do, not least of which is sewing the lace to Eva Rose’s Christening robe – I hope she doesn’t grow too fast in the next month or so…………

The crib was finished in time lets hope the robe is too………………..

Eva's crib

Eva’s crib

Marcel and Hatty were home for the weekend, Hatty realising when she went to pick her car up in Nice airport that she’d left the car keys here with me……………. This was not one of Hatty’s finest moments!

But we did have a weekend of fun and laughter. Our loo has an ancient 17th century door originally from Swaffam jail. Marcel with his nylon policeman’s outfit and his plastic handcuffs found it hugely funny to lock us, one at a time, in the jail, our crimes were numerous – Granny and Mummy for eating too much cake, Grandpa – too much Scotch, even the dogs were locked away (too many bones, of course).

Jail house rock!

Jail house rock!

We were very sad to see them go home, but they will be back for Christmas.

Marcel wearing 'William' coat, with his 'just like Grandpa's walking stick'

Marcel wearing ‘William’ coat, with his ‘just like Grandpa’s walking stick’

And finally, if you have managed to get this far

Join us at The Knitting & Stitching Show in Harrogate!

 

Visit Susan Campbell Designs on stand B265 at The Knitting & Stitching Show, Harrogate from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd November!

 

The Knitting & Stitching Show is the largest and most highly regarded textiles and craft event in the UK.  Whatever your craft passion it is the perfect place to find inspiration, learn new skills and shop for your essential supplies.

 

We have organised a special discount for our customers so you can buy advance tickets for just £11 (normally £13).  Simply quote EX14 when booking. Visit www.theknittingandstitchingshow.com/harrogate or call 0844 848 0155 

 

The show is open until 7pm on Thursday so there’s no excuse not to join us.

 

We look forward to seeing you in Harrogate!

 

Love Susan x

 

Posted in children, Country Life, death, Dogs, Exibition, Knitting, New designs, News | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

05.10.2014

A blog at last……………

I’m sorry for the long absence it’s not as if there has been nothing to write about. A vineyard in France, a book being published, workshops a plenty, and what was the other thing?

Ah, yes……….

Eva Rose Jesse Campbell

Eva Rose Jesse Campbell

Eva Rose Jesse Campbell arrived on 1st October, bringing with her, oh so much love……….. we are all totally besotted! Eva (my grandmother’s name) and Jesse (my mother’s name), I am, even as I write this, quite emotional about it. These women, her forbearers, were not only beautiful with wide apart eyes and classic good looks, they were soft and gentle and generous of spirit, very like little Eva’s mother, Holly…………… a blessed and blessed child if ever there was one………….

Okay, I was about to write about the autumn here at Sedgeford, the turning of the leaves, the ‘mellow fruitfulness’ but Eva seems capable of making all that seem – never boring, but well………………… dare I say ordinary?

But of course, it’s not, the leaves are turning, the horse chestnuts carpet the floor and the squirrels are much enjoying the fruit of the big walnut tree

mellow fruitfulness

I have just finished the proofs to my baby book which will be out in February. I’ve spent the last  I don’t know how many weeks packing knitting and sewing kits for the Harrogate stitching and knitting show. I’m now finishing off a selection of little dresses for my stand there – phew.

I really will write a long and interesting blog next Sunday……………

Posted in children, Country Life, Exibition, Knitting, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

15.06.2014 My wonderful world, a new tree is planted and a great working weekend

Today I thought I’d take you with me on my morning walk around the Estate, this is especially for Jonty my husband’s stepson, who spent a great deal of his formative years here (and loved it).

So, let’s go; I leave home  via the wild flower meadow…………………

 

the wild flower meadow

the wild flower meadow

the day is bright; although the sun has long since risen, it feels as if the dawn is still breaking, with long eerie shadows over Cedar meadow …………………

Cedar meadow

Cedar meadow

from there I take the track by Hall Wood…………… the view is magical with the sun creeping over the Hanging Wood and I see Glover’s Farm nestled in the valley……………….

the sun rising over the  Hanging Wood

the sun rising over the Hanging Wood

 

The Dog roses are blooming in profusion

 

Dog Roses

Dog Roses

It’s said that if the sugar beet meets in the rows in time for the Norfolk show it will be a bumper harvest – just a week to the show…………………….

 

Sugar Beet

Sugar Beet

the wheat on Shernborn Breck is standing straight and tall

the wheat looking very healthy

the wheat looking very healthy

I’m so early; the village is still sleeping……………..

 

The village

The village

And home again to the cottage and roses climbing around the door – just as they ought………..

 

Cecile Brunner

Cecile Brunner

The weekend wasn’t all play; Darren and Emma have planted an English Oak to celebrate their marriage last week

Darren and Emma tree planting

Darren and Emma tree planting

 

Emma helping

Emma helping

 

Champagne to celebrate the moment

Champagne to celebrate the moment

 

champagne and a hug

champagne and a hug

 

We have achieved lots this weekend, I’m working on some sketches for a sewing book, which is a nice change from knitting. Poor B has been very down, his Parkinson’s has been particularly wearying and he has spent great chunks of time horizontal. Today he says he is a bit  better  (it doesn’t show!) – more TLC required?

A busy working week ahead, I hope to report great achievements by next Sunday

 

Love Susan x

http://www.susancampbelldesigns.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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08.06.14, A wonderfull wedding

 

A short blog today – I have pressure of work, and must get to my studio, but just had to write about ‘the wedding’.

Darren my friend and publisher and Emma – my friend, were married on Friday……………..

The weather was perfect, as it was for our daughter’s June 6th wedding 5 years ago……

The flowers were amazing……………….

table centre

table centre

The bride, groom, and brides-maid certainly had that ‘wow’ factor

happy couple

happy couple

And new friends were made…………….

Bianca and her parents

Bianca and her parents

My son Charlie had the honour of reading in the service ……………….

A wedding is a day of solemnity and joy and laughter.

A marriage is liken to the ebb and flow of the ever changing tide.

There are days when the ocean is calm and the sun shines, and all is well; your boat, your world, will steer itself, and there are days when this sea of life is rough and troubled, and you enter dangerous waters.

On those calm and wondrous days, hold your faces to the sun and bless its warmth and nourishment, stand still and marvel at the world………… and when the strong winds blow, as surely they must do, trust that the storm will pass, hold fast to the wheel and to each other, and steer your marriage through the rough waters and back to the blessed calm, and rejoice that you have weathered the storm, together.

For whatever the state of the ocean, it is never less than beautiful, and however large and in-hospitable the expanse of water before you, there will always be a safe harbour ahead; so long as you weather the storms together and rejoice in the calm, nothing shall deter you.

For to live in love and trust, have absolute loyalty, to be cherished and cared for, in short – to be happily married, is the secret of perfect contentment………………………..

And I decided that if one is going to wear a hat then it should be a serious hat – no little ‘fascinator’ for me……………..

If you want to get ahead get a hat!

If you want to get ahead get a hat!

More next week……………….

Love Susan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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