Saturday, 18 March 2017

Day 19: Pencils, market and thread

Rain does not deter Keswickians, or those who frequent Keswick. We had a slow start in view of the rain clouds low over the fells and the lake. We could see neither from our window. 
We left when the cleaner arrived at 11 for our weekly clean and linen replacement, to go on a quest for the Derwent pencil shop, which,we thought was in the grounds of the Pencil Museum. Graphite from neighbouring Borrowdale has been used since medieval times and mined for several hundred years. It was the basis for the very successful local Derwent, Lakeland and Cumberland pencil industry. Unfortunately the Pencil Museum was damaged in the floods last year and is currently closed. The shop turned out to be in the town so we ended up parking back at out apartment.

  The shop is a treasure house of pencils and drawing pens, sketching pads and colouring books. It was tempting to stock up on many things that I will never use.

I asked if they made fabric pens.The only ones they have are Inktense which draws on to fabric and becomes permanent when washed. I thought that my SitnStitch group and some of my grandchildren might enjoy trying these out, so I indulged.

We then visited a local artisan shop that had an attractive range of felted cushions and lampshades (the orangey one high on the left.I couldn't work out how the felting was done. I think the background fabric was wet-felted, and the felted figure appliqued on, but how the appliqued figures were felted eluded me.

The market was in full swing in the rain. Stall holders covered their perishable goods in plastic and soldiered on.

Dogs and owners were warmly dressed.

We, of course, soon repaired to our chosen pub, today the Pack Horse Inn. Today I had chicken and leek pie. Alf had Beef and Ale Pudding and Sue had 3 small starters that turned out to be gigantic.

 Fortified by this hearty food, we ventured back to the thread shop where I asked the assistant (younger and lither this time) if I could take photos of the shop. She was a bit surprised but agreed.

The grey coat is hanging behind the chair where the shopkeeper sits and knits.  As you can see, this young assistant found it easier to stand!

I did buy a bi more grey thread for my robins' nest!

 On the way back I photographed - and paid - the didg busker. working in the soft rain.

Our apartment is wondrously clean. There is, however, an extra car parked in the apartment carpark which is going to make it a manoeuvre to get out.  We are hoping this is a temporary and not a week-long issue.

Tomorrow afternoon Christine and Eddie arrive. So looking forward to seeing them. Wonderful that they are coming in spite of the weather. It is now raining steadily again The silouetted  trees appear and disappear in the cloud.


  1. The dogs all look so longsuffering, don't they? Very patient.

    How nice to buy Derwent pencils at the source! I'm sure they will be well received at home.

    Have you seen those hand needlefelting tools, with the cluster of needles? You just lay roving on the background, and poke it until it melts in. This looks like a very sophisticated variation, someone there is a real artist. You can even buy a sewing machine designed for needlefelting!

    Anyway, stay warm!

  2. Yes, I know the needlefelting tools and have used them. What intrigued me about these was that there are no needle markers at all. The appliqu├ęd shapes are smooth - so I can't see how they were made. Maybe wet felted and left to dry in shape?

  3. Or, maybe there is a finishing process after they are needlefelted.