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Monday, 25 January 2016

Customs, cultures and Traditions

At Christmas I was given the most beautiful calendar.  It is full of lovely sentiments and sayings and is by Susan Branch.  She has lots of wonderful things on her blog and in her online shop.  You perhaps remember the book I read last year by her that was so lovely called A Fine Romance - Falling in love with the English Countryside.

The calendar is from America so some of the dates have things that are different to us here in the UK.  Saturday, January 23rd has a little wolf and the word Wolf Moon on it. 

I checked my diary and yes it was the full moon and so I looked up Wolf Moon to see what that meant. 

Native American tribes used names for their moons to keep track of the seasons.  Algonquin tribes who lived in the area of New England had perhaps the greatest effect on the early European settlers in America, and the settlers adopted the Native American habit of naming the moons. 

Traditionally, in January, snow gathers deep in the woods and the howling of wolves can be heard echoing in the cold still air, hence this months full moon being called the Wolf Moon

I found this saying from White Elk and the image shows a wolf moon

and here is White Elk himself -
a chief of the Oto Nation
Photo by Edward S. Curtis
I'm going to enjoy seeing the different things on my Amercan calendar and finding out about new and interesting subjects during this year.
Here in the UK, today January 25th, is Burns Night.  The great Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-1796) is remembered on his birthday.  
There is a formal air to the evening and the Order of the Supper. The eating of a Scottish meal of haggis, tatties and neeps (turnips) and the drinking of whisky is traditional and of course a recital of his poems.  His most famous of course being Auld Lang Syne that we all sing on New Years Eve or Hogmanay.
You may know this one, A Red, Red Rose.....
O my Luve's like a red, red rose,
That's newly sprung in June:
O my Luve's like the melodie,
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my
So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.
Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt
the sun;
And I will
thee still, my dear,
While the sands
life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!
And fare-thee-weel, a while!
And I will come again, my Luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand mile!
I'm not Scottish, although my late maternal grandfather did marry for a second time and his wife was pure Glaswegian so I came to know some of the Scottish culture and its customs.  I've celebrated Robert Burns birthday today with a cup of tea and another traditional Scottish food, a piece of good old shortbread (a tin left over from Christmas lol)
The 12 Days of Christmas is another tradition, and it might have passed, but I'm still stitching on mine.  This weekend saw Day 11 completed.  One more to stitch....
A date for next months calendar is Valentines Day, something else we all celebrate.  I can't show you what i'm stitching for that as its an exchange, but it is looking really pretty.
I can share some sock knitting, sock one is finished, and sock two is halfway there ...

Kitty Sampler had a little attention too with the building being erected ....
When I showed the oven mitt challenge some of you asked to see what others had made.  Last Thursday we had a show and tell.  Three ladies had really gone to town with theirs and others had decorated similar to mine.  
Here's the one that was voted the winner.  Desert Island Discs from the Radio 2 programme with the mitt being used as the island.

We had a fabulous witch.  the mitt was stuffed and the thumb became her nose, clever idea ....

Here are some others, the yellow haired doll is a bookend and quite weighty, she's called Belinda Bookender and won a prize for the prettiest.

A few ladies had to sit in the naughty corner as they had not completed the challenge!!
and to round off my post, here's today's happy thought from my page-a-day calendar...
and yes, we had a little of the lovely sun today, just a little peek out from between the clouds, but it was there.
I hope those of you who come to visit and live in the snow hit areas overseas are ok, the news here has been full of the happenings and how hard it has been for you all.  It certainly makes my little bit of snow that I posted look very poor.  Stay warm and safe and i'll look forward to seeing lots of lovely updates on your blogs of what you've been doing whilst having enforced stitching days at home.
Love and blessings to you all



  1. The sock yarn is so lovely. 12 days is almost there too, you've done really well with that. Looking forward to seeing the valentines stitch and what clever oven mitts

  2. I so enjoyed your post Julie.stunning socks and beautiful stitching.I love the witch,I think that was such a clever idea.
    Burns wrote a poem called Bonnie Lesley:) my heritage on my mum's side is Highland Scottish ,Thurso in Caithness through my maternal side,but I never found out if that was why I am called Lesley and sadly,now there is no one to ask.

  3. Great post. Isabelle from Primitive Hare is doing a monthly series based on the moons and has just released the Wolf Moon. I am resisting...
    Your progress on the 12 Days is great, a finish is very much in sight.

    I do like the Desert Island glove but how practical is it for every day use? LOL

  4. I will never eat Haggis!
    Those socks are super!

  5. That is the most amazing attitude to have; to take a calander and use it to learn and to empathise with another culture. I wish more people were like you. A wonderful post Julie. I really enjoyed it xx

  6. Great socks and fun calendars!

  7. Thanks for sharing that interesting information about the Wolf Moon. What a great philosophy to live by!
    I love your 12 days of Christmas and your bright socks.
    Hope you stay warm and dry today!


  8. What a interesting post Julie , I learn something every day.
    Love the oven gloves thanks for sharing .
    Love your knitting and stitching too.

  9. I'd never heard of a wolf moon - interesting!

  10. Great stitching and knitting julie. Some of those oven mitts are very creative, but i think I prefer the ones like yours that were still usable as oven mitts, otherwise they're just what my Dad used to call dust collectors.
    He and my Mam used to go to a Burns' night supper every year (though it wasn't always actually on Burn's Night). Not Scottish, but I guess Durham is near enough

  11. There is always something to learn about foreign culture. And it's always interesting. A great post, Julie.
    All these mittens are very creative but I also prefer the ones that are usable. But it was a real fun challenge, wasn't it?
    Nice progress on your stitching and knitting.

  12. A very interesting post about the Wolf Moon :)
    Lovely stitching on the 12 Days of Christmas. Not much to do now :)
    Looking forward to your Valentine stitching!

  13. I'm very ignorant about oversees traditions and everything. I've been having so much fun being blog friends with several ladies from across the pond haha. Now I see you are learning about some of our things. I had heard we were having a wolf moon but didn't look into where it came from. Thanks for posting the info! Now you taught me about my own world haha. Very interesting about the Burns night. Thanks for sharing that too.

    Congrats on your finish. Just LOVE the socks! Great job on your WIP. Love the mitts!! Great decorating. Of course the island is my favorite since I love beach things.

  14. I too did not know what a wolf moon was,I have heard of a wolf howling at the moon though lol. I did love the saying if White Elk though. I also liked Jan 24th of our Friendship book.
    Amazing what you can do with an oven glove. Everytime I see your socks I keep looking at may balls of wool and think hmmm maybe I should start some. Then the thought disappears until next time you post.
    Great post full of interesting fact Julie,instead of just using my Susan Branch Calendar I SHOULD read what the dates mean .

  15. Very interesting post..about the wolf moon
    Love the socks xx

  16. Your stitching and knitting is looking fabulous. I hope you were not one of those that had to sit in the naughty corner. Funnily enough the journal prompt this week is to do with the Full Moon - my thought process is still working this one out!

  17. A great post Julie. Thanks for sharing about the wolf moon.
    You are nearly done with the 12 days of Christmas, looking forward to see the last block.

  18. Oh, I love Susan Branch's works, Julie--that calendar must be quite charming :) I honestly only heard of a wolf moon a few years ago. It isn't something we go around saying here in the U.S. (Oh, look at the wolf moon!" I think it has gotten more press recently for some reason.

    Your 12 days is so cute and your socks are coming along nicely. Just loved seeing the oven mitts--you ladies are SO creative. I would probably be in the naughty corner with some of the procrastinators--ha ha!!

  19. Lovely crafting as ever, Julie. Some imaginative reworkings of the oven glove but I would have done something similar to you so that I had something I could use.

  20. Lovely projects! The socks are so colorful :)

  21. Love a blog where I learn something. Knew about Burns night but didn't realize there was a traditional meal for it.

    Some very creative and inventive oven mitts.

    Your socks are looking great.

  22. Do you know Julie, I never heard one person saying that they were going to a Burn's Supper on Monday. Most schools do something to mark the day but people tend not to mention much about it. Marks and Spencer usually has lots of haggis and neeps in their food hall in the days leading up to the day.


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