A Bustle & Sew Publication Copyright © Bustle & Sew Limited 2022 The right of Helen Grimes to be identified as the author of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form, or by any means, without the prior written permission of the author, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser. Every effort has been made to ensure that all the information in this book is accurate. However, due to differing conditions, tools and individual skills, the publisher cannot be responsible for any injuries, losses and other damages that may result from the use of the information in this book.
First published 2022 by: Bustle & Sew Station House West Cranmore Shepton Mallet BA4 4QP www.bustleandsew.com
Welcome to the August Magazine Hello everyone! It’s August - the last month of summer, a month that we always hope will bring warm sunny days and long golden evenings perfect for spending in the garden with family and friends. This being England of course, we’re more than likely to be rained off at least once, but who knows, maybe we’ll be lucky! Whatever the weather, it’s the month for getting out and about, and this month’s patterns are all designed to be easily portable wherever you may be travelling. And if you’re travelling don’t miss our round up of travel recollections on page 33 from some bygone adventurers. We have some lovely light and healthy summer recipes to enjoy as well, the next instalment of the Stitcher’s Alphabet, find out a little about Jessie Newbery - to whom modern stitchers owe a great deal - plus all our regular features too. I hope you enjoy this issue and the September Magazine will be published on Thursday 25 August. Until then I hope you have a lovely month, with lots of time for stitching! Very best wishes
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Between this month’s covers … August Almanac
Kitchen Garden Napkins
The Last Month of Summer
The Taste of Summer
Thoughts upon August
Blast from the Past: Anne Anderson
Lovely Idea: Parmesan Zucchini
Finishing your Work in Progress
Preserving Summer’s Beauty
Lovely Idea: Pressed Flower Lanterns
Carol Singing Bobbin Mice
Space Bear Mini Hoop
A (very) Little History of Needlepoint
At Summer’s End
Seeds for Next Summer
Nature Notes: The Tawny Owl
Jessie Newbery & the Glasgow Girls
Embroidery Stitch Guide
Wild Food: Blackberries
In the Kitchen: Conversion Tables
Remember Love Hoop
Reflections upon Travel
A Stitcher’s Alphabet
Garden Journal: The Sunflower
August August is the month for fun, for holidays by the sea, barbecues with friends and family, festivals, carnivals and day trips to all kinds of interesting places. Across gardens and countryside everything is ripening all at once and there is a sense that summer is beginning to slip quietly from our grasp. The colours are turning from green to gold and in hot weather the grass looks parched and tired. Plants are no longer growing vigorously, rather their energies are put into ripening seeds and fruits. All of this is a sign that summer is on the wane, and won’t last forever, no matter how much we wish it could - so enjoy these golden days while they last - and they are now growing noticeably shorter - in London day length decreases over the month by 1 ¾ hours to 13 hours
Here in Britain we have the General Education Acts of Victorian times to thank for selecting August as the most popular month for annual holidays. It was traditionally the time for gathering in the grain
all children under the age of ten, it was only sensible for the annual break to be established over the month of August so everyone could help with the harvest.
“Come, ye thankful people, come, Raise the song of harvest home; All is safely gathered in, ‘Ere the winter storms begin.”
Today less than one percent of the population work on the land and even fewer have anything to do with harvesting as the commercial harvest takes place in July - and sometimes even earlier - and huge machines piloted by a handful of specialists are all that it takes to crop and process the fields of wheat and barley.
harvest and back then almost everyone in rural communities would have been required to lend a hand. Even children were useful in turning sheaves or scaring crows from the gleanings. So when education became compulsory for
In the hedgerows the first elderberries and blackberries are ripening and trees such as rowan and yew carry red fruits. The tall graceful stems of cow parsley (or Queen Anne’s lace), that frothed along the lanes in May are now a withered tangle topped by long black fruits. You may also spot the
blue bloom of new sloe berries promising the chance to make sloe gin next month. Blackberries can be harvested from the end of this month, but don’t succumb to the temptation to settle for easy pickings from roadside hedgerows as these will be contaminated with traffic fumes - as my mum used to tell me - the juiciest berries are always those right at the top nearly out of reach! It’s a great plan to take a walking stick with you on these expeditions to help pull down those topmost trusses of plump juicy fruit. August 5 brings another harvest a maritime one - as this is the first day of the oyster season, although those who believe that oysters should only be eaten when there is an “R” in the month prefer to wait until September. Tradition has it that if you eat an oyster on this day they you won’t lack money for the rest of the year. In parts of London in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries children had their own way of making money around this time. They would collect the oyster shells discarded form fish shops and restaurants and build cone-shaped grottos
with a lighted candle inside or on the top, begging coins from passers-by as a reward for their efforts.
hours of the first shots being fired on the northern moors, the race is on to ship the birds to restaurants in London and elsewhere in time for lunch or dinner.
“Now by the hedgerows and along the lane The berried cuckoo-pint and yellow vetch Herald the autumn, and the squirrels rob Windfalls of hazel and the Kentish cob.”
By the end of the month, the Scottish highlands and grouse moors are already showing signs of autumn, while further south, in the lowlands, the last hay cut is long since complete. There will still be walkers in the hills throughout September and beyond, but there is now a chill in the air which sends them back to their lodgings well before (the now much earlier) dusk falls.
Later in the month, falls the Glorious Twelfth, the first day of the grouseshooting season. This sport is concentrated on the moors of northern England and Scotland where it makes a significant contribution to the rural economy. Like all blood-sports, grouse shooting has been the subject of controversy, but the increasing demand for the end product seems likely to ensure its survival. Within
The traditional August Bank Holiday weekend, falling on the last Monday of the month, is in many ways the last gasp of summer before the schools return for the new academic year and we begin to look towards the autumn months. But for now, the motorways leading to seaside towns and resorts host the final traffic jam of the season. Cars Coaches and caravans throng the roads as the warm summer sunshine tempts people out for their last official break before Christmas.
The last Lastmonth Month Summer The of of Summer beauty of the stubble appears in the short phase before the onslaught of the plough, with its small earthy flowers - blue of the true cornflower, scarlet of the pinpoint pimpernel, small clusters of heartsease, and always about the borders of the harvested acres the gold of the toadflax, frog mouthed in the sun, and the blunt petals of blue chicory, startling in their sudden revelation behind the cut curtains of the corn. The spider spins from stalk to stubbly stalk, and in the orchard the plump fruit hangs, awaiting its fulfilment in the warm September sun.
Quickly, dramatically the changes pass over the countryside at harvest time. One day, and the great shoulder of land across the narrow valley is gracious with the billowing of silver barley; the very next, with passing combine and baler, and the evening sun goes down upon the shaven stubble. Another twenty-four hours and the fangs of the five-furrow plough pass over, the stubble is inturned and the land striped brown against the autumn sowing. Dramatic, the changing panoramas of harvest time, with the honey-breath of the purple clover fields blowing across the soldierly stooked wheat at sunset; speedwell, pimpernel, yarrow and mustard yellow ragwort in the sunken road; the peace of the millstream by the river’s edge where the young swallows flitter in the evening sunlight. The sunlight of the shortening days; for shortening they very clearly are when the lights are on behind closed curtains soon after half-past eight, and the village children, who seemed summerlong to have perched like sparrows upon the bridge over the brook far into the night, are suddenly gathered up and gone at this oddly sudden early hour.
“Now by the hedgerows and along the lane The berried cuckoo-pint and yellow vetch Herald the autumn, and the squirrels rob Windfalls of hazel and the Kentish cob, (Plumping their kernels white as children’s teeth) With acorns, provender for the winter drey, That little larder, safely tucked beneath Leaves, roots, old tree-stumps, for a milder day Of winter, when the sleeping muscles stretch And there’s a stirring in the sodden wood As woken squirrel reaches after food.”
The month of August, still chattering with harvest coming home, draws towards its close and the full
The Land,Vita Sackville-West 1926
Finishing your Work in Progress
a lovely idea
Pressed Flower Lanterns
This is a great craft for both kids and adults since it’s so simple to make, Simple plain jars become beautiful, summery, and rustic. Free Free from from Samantha Debbie atatOne FiveLittle HeartProject: Home:Pressed Parmesan Flower Zuchini Lanterns Rounds 10
Seeds for Next Summer As the days begin to shorten and autumn is around the corner, it's time to start thinking about letting the flowers set seed and collecting some of this harvest for use next year. Seed gathering is a lovely late summer pursuit that marks this passage into autumn and the turning of the seasons of the year. Gathering seeds from your own flowers is also a thrifty practice, saving quite a bit of money commercially grown seeds are expensive - and keep alive memories of particular people, events and places. I have a clump of foxgloves established from seed collected on a long-ago family holiday in Cornwall and each year when the tall purple spikes of flowers appear I'm reminded of those carefree summer days. Over the next few weeks, look out for particularly attractive specimens whose size, colour or quantity of flowers has been noticeably superior. Instead of deadheading them to encourage more blooms, or cutting them to bring inside, mark them with a small length of coloured thread or ribbon tied around the stem. Later on, when the seeds are fully developed
and beginning to dry out, place a paper bag over the flower head, cut the stem and tie around the base with string or yarn long enough to allow you to hang it upside down in a warm dry place. When the seed-head is completely dry just shake the bag to release the seeds. Ensure it really is dry though or all your efforts will be in vain as the seeds will be likely to develop mildew or rot. Seeds gathered in this way will need protecting from strong light and extremes of temperature. Save them in small envelopes and label them carefully trust me - you really won't remember what they are by the time spring comes around again! You can find lots of printable seed envelopes online, or if you have children why not ask them to decorate the packets, by designing a border and/or picture for the front? Pretty packets of seeds from your garden make a lovely small gift, especially if the receiver has seen and admired your beautiful flower patch. Though they may appear small and uninteresting, those small packets of seeds contain within them all the beauty, colour and scent of summer.
Jessie Newbery and The Glasgow Girls Although, like most of us I suspect, I was aware of the Arts and Crafts movement, Charles Rennie MacIntosh in particular, and the Glasgow School of Art in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. But until I began my research for the second part of the Stitcher’s Alphabet series I must admit that, to my shame, I had never heard of Jessie Newbery and the work of the Glasgow Girls. Though I can’t possibly hope to do them justice in just a few pages, I’ve done my best to tell you at least a little about them.
A Stitcher’s Alphabet
Part 7: O and P
Opus Anglicanum This literally means “English work” and is used to describe English embroidery worked from around AD 900-1500. English Embroidery has never reached a higher peak of excellence than it did at this time, so much so that it wasn’t necessary to specify the type of work being referred to - Engish work meant the highlyprized and luxurious embroideries made in England of silk and gold and silver thread, teeming with elaborate imagery. It is an accident of survival that most existing examples of Opus Anglicanum are religious vestments. Medieval bishops were buried in their very best robes: when their tombs were opened centuries later, the well-preserved fabric often still had its glorious original colours. Gold and crimson and sapphire blue embroideries that were found clinging to ancient skeletons are today meticulously conserved. Though there must also have been a large amount of non-religious embroidery worked, this has practically all disappeared.
The Tastes of Summer…
Taste of the Season: Sweetcorn Did you know that an ear of corn always has an even number of rows? That it is cholesterol-free? Or that in the past sweetcorn leaves were used as chewing gum? I didn’t know any of these facts either, but I do know that there’s nothing quite like fresh-picked corn eaten straight from the garden. My lovely next door neighbours in Devon used to grow their own corn and every year would give me some to enjoy - so sweet and tender I didn’t even need to cook it. This is because the sugars in sweetcorn begin to turn to starch once it’s harvested, so whatever you decide to do with yours, it’s important to do it quickly. Really fresh sweetcorn is such a treat! If you are cooking yours, then try leaving the husks on and throwing them onto the barbecue until they’re burnt, then peel back to reveal the brightyellow cooked kernels with a smokey flavour. Smother in butter and sprinkle with salt for a simple and delicious snack.
Creamy Sweetcorn Soup Serves two. Makes a lovely lunch with some crusty bread for dipping!
Ingredients ● 2 tbsp olive oil ● 50g unsalted butter ● 1 garlic clove, finely chopped ● 1 onion, finely sliced ● 150g potato, cut into small cubes ● 200g sweetcorn ● 600ml oz hot vegetable stock ● 50ml double cream ● salt and freshly ground black pepper ● 1 tsp fresh chives, finely chopped ● 50 g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
Method ● Heat the olive oil with the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Once the butter has melted add the garlic, onion and potato and sauté for five minutes, until softened. ● Add the sweetcorn and continue to cook for two more minutes. ● Add the stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to simmer for five minutes, until the potato has cooked through. ● Stir in the cream and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, then pour into a food processor and blend until smooth. ● To serve, pour into a warm bowl and garnish a sprinkle of chives.
Preserving Summer’s Beauty …
At Summer’s End
There’s a whisper down the field where the year has shot her yield, And the ricks stand grey to the sun, Singing: ‘Over then, come over, for the bee has quit the clover, And your English summer’s done.’
Falling at the end of August, St Bartholomew’s Day is a significant day for weather forecasting. The forty days of rain from St Swithin, if they have come to pass, are over, but it is towards autumn and winter that the year now turns, and there’s a sense of gentle melancholy in the air, perhaps most strikingly realised in a passage by Charles Dickens written early in his career in the series . Dickens describes an elderly couple, working in their garden in the late summer. The image of autumn’s approach presses insistently upon the scene, while Dickens paints a picture of the couple’s mutually dependent love and support for one another, rooted in their garden….
“On a summer’s evening, when the large watering pot has been filled and emptied some fourteen times, and the old couple have quite exhausted themselves by trotting about, you will see them sitting happily together in the little summer-house enjoying the calm and peace of the twilight, and watching the shadows as they fall upon the garden, and gradually growing thicker and more sombre, obscure the tints of their gayest flowers - no bad emblem of the years that have silently rolled over their heads, deadening in their course the brightest hues of early hopes and feelings which have long since faded away. These are their only recreations, and they require no more. They have within themselves the materials of comfort and content; and the only anxiety of each, is to die before the other.”
Nature Notes: The Tawny Owl The tawny owl is the most common of the five species of owl that live in our countryside. It’s also sometimes called the screech owl due to the distinctive nature of its cool. It hunts small mammals such as mice and voles, usually swallowing its prey whole and later regurgitating the indigestible parts such as bones and fur. Unlike the barn owl the tawny owl does build a nest, and prefers to do so in holes in trees. They roost during the day time, and take to the wing to hunt mainly at dawn and dusk.. With a noiseless wing beat and light-sensitive eyes that enable them to see on even the darkest nights, tawny owls are brilliantly adapted for hunting at night.