Tag Archives: Festivals

March Rolag Club: Carling Sunday

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March Rolag Club: Carling Sunday

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

This month we are Celebrating Carling Sunday on the 13th March

“Tid, Mid, Miseray, Carlin, Palm, Pace-Egg Day”

So goes the Northern saying, which helps people remember the various Lenten Sundays. Tid comes from the Te Deum hymn, sung on the 2nd Sunday. Mid and Miseray are from the Mi Deus and the Miserere Mei, sung on the 3rd and 4th Sundays. Palm Sunday is the 6th Sunday in Lent and Pace Egg refers to Easter Day, Pace being a corruption of Pasch, from the Latin and Greek root of ‘Easter’. And that leaves us with Carlin.

Many people will know the 5th Sunday of Lent as Passion Sunday, but in certain areas, most particularly the North East of England, it became known as Carling, or Carlin, Sunday after the peas which were traditionally eaten on that day.

No one seems to know why this food became associated with this festival. Carlins probably originated in monastic gardens, and pulses formed a large part of the monks’ diet. Pea dishes were often eaten throughout lent as a good (and ‘approved’) source of protein. There are lots of myths and stories about the carlin pea and how they became associated with the northern regions. Here is a typical example:

Carlins are said to have rescued the people of Newcastle-upon-Tyne during the civil war. Newcastle, a royalist city, had been under siege by parliamentarian allies for four months and food supplies were becoming exhausted. Legend tells of a cargo ship from europe which managed to evade the blockade, and whose cargo of carlins saved the people from starvation.

To celebrate Carling Sunday, your rolags are inspired by purple, the traditional colour of passion,  and the rich greens of the pea plant. Your handspun mini skein was inspired by the colours of pea flowers. I have included a recipe for carlings, and though I tried to source some pea seeds, it seems you can’t, so I have included information on how to adopt this variety. Your tea reflects the themes of Passion Sunday, and the unfortunate after-effects of eating large quantities of pulses … Finally we have two guest makers this month. Jennifer from Forest Valley Designs has made the unique stitch markers, and Becca from Get Hooked Crafts has made the stunning WIP bags.

I hope you enjoy it all.

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“Passion” and “Greens” rolags, inspired by Carling Sunday.

In this box you should find:

  • 20g rolags in “Passion” – 77% Bluefaced Leicester, 11.5% Bamboo, 11.5% Faux Cashmere and a hint of angelina.
  • 10g rolags in “Greens, shoots and peas” – 84% Merino, 16% Ramie and some wool neps.
  • The story of Carling Sunday
  • A handspun mini skein in “Pea flowers”
  • Tea in ‘Love’ and ‘Stomach Ease’ blends.
  • Stitch markers from Forest Valley Designs.
  • WIP bags from Get Hooked Crafts.
  • A recipe for carlings
  • Adopt the carlin pea
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“Pea Flowers” handspun mini skein.

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Stitch markers by Forest Valley Designs

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WIP bag from Get Hooked Crafts

 

There are several recipes recorded for the carlin pea. I have also discovered that the day after Carling Sunday was known as Farting Monday, so don’t say I didn’t warn you! Though I did include some Stomach Ease tea.

 

Carlings

225g dried green peas

50g fresh breadcrumbs

1 onion, finely chopped

½ teaspoon mixed herbs

Salt and pepper

25g butter

Soak the peas overnight in cold water. The next day, drain and put into a large saucepan. Add 750 ml water and bring to the boil. Boil steadily for 2 hours until the peas are tender. Leave to cool. Mix with the breadcrumbs, onion, herbs and seasoning to make a stiff mixture. Shape into cakes and fry in the butter until brown.

Reference: Cattern Cakes and Lace by Julia Jones and Barbara Deer, Dorling Kindersley 1987

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The carlin pea in flower.

 

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February Rolag Club: Collop Monday

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February Rolag Club: Collop Monday

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

This month we are celebrating Collop Monday on the 8th of February.

Many of us may be looking forward to pancake day on Tuesday. Some of us may still use its traditional name of Shrove Tuesday, and remember the reason we like to cook and eat pancakes on the last day before Lent starts.

Lent is the traditional Christian fasting period for the six or so weeks before Easter. The word is of Old English derivation, traced back to the word for spring and possibly referencing the lengthening days at this time of year. Prior to Lent comes Shrovetide, and the old verb ‘to shrive’ means ‘to seek absolution via confession and penance.’

Part of preparing for the Lenten fast involved using up the rich food during Shrovetide. Shrove Tuesday’s pancakes use up the eggs, milk and sugar, but Collop Monday was the last day to eat meat before lent, and cooking the collops (traditionally made of bacon) provided the fat for the coming pancake feast. The traditional breakfast on Collop Monday consisted of the bacon-collops and eggs. It turns out this is a great excuse to create a whimsical “Full English Breakfast” themed rolag box!

With thanks to our guest makers, Sarah from Setting the Twist who has made this month’s mini skeins, and Kirsty from Buttons Be Good who has made us some beautiful mushroom-themed buttons.

I hope you enjoy it!

In this box you should find:

  • 20g of rolags in “Flesh” – 70% Corriedale, 15% Faux Cashmere, 15% Soya Bean Fibre
  • 10g of rolags in “Fowl” – 67% Romney, 33% Corriedale
  • The story of Collop Monday
  • A handspun mini skein from Setting the Twist in “Tomato”
  • Mushroom buttons from Buttons Be Good
  • Mini chocolate eggs
  • Beans by Jelly Belly
  • Tea in English Breakfast and After Dinner blends
  • Knife and Fork stitch markers

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“Flesh & Fowl” rolags – inspired by a traditional Collop Monday Breakfast.

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Mushroom buttons by Buttons Be Good

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Knife and Fork stitch markers, made by Imogen.

Tomato mini skeins by Setting The Twist

January Rolag Club: Plough Monday

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January Rolag Club: Plough Monday

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

I hope you’ve all had a good break over the festive season. Now it’s a new month, a new year and time to get back to work.

This month we are celebrating Plough Monday on January 11th.

Plough Monday falls on the first Monday after Twelfth Night. The traditional Christmas celebration was a full twelve days of feasting, culminating in a huge and rowdy party on twelfth night, the 5th of January. So what better way to mark the return to work, when ploughing would begin for the next crop … than with a feast?

In villages around the country there were a variety of traditions. Leaping dances were held, with the young and fit encouraged to leap as high as possible because it was though the height they achieved marked the height of the forthcoming corn crop. In some places, a “fool plough” was decorated and dragged around the streets to encourage villagers to donate money, sometimes under threat of having their garden ploughed if they were less than generous!

Inspired by the theme of ‘back to work’, this month’s rolags reflect  January skies, and the box contains a mixture of extras to help you get going at the start of the working day, and help you relax at the end of it. I’m particularly thrilled to introduce our guest maker, Leanne from Solocro who has made one of your treats. I hope you enjoy all of it.

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In this box you will find:

  • 30g of gradient rolags in “Shifting Skies” – 42% Corriedale, 19% Falkland, 19% Gotland, 11% Rose fibre, 9% Milk protein fibre, and a hint of sparkle.
  • A mini skein in “Midnight Clear” – 70% Merino, 30% Trilobal.
  • The story of Plough Monday.
  • A set of stitch markers.
  • Tea in ‘Refresh’ and ‘Revitalise’ blends.
  • Bath, or foot bath, salts.
  • Handmade hand cream from Solocro.

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“Shifting skies” gradient rolags, inspired by the January weather.

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“Midnight Clear” mini skeins, inspired by the starry winter sky and spun as my favourite style of gently thick and thin singles.

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Bath salts from the old apothecary in Haworth.

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Handmade handcream from Solocro

December Rolag Club: Tolling the Devil’s Knell

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December Rolag Club: Tolling the Devil’s Knell

December 24th: Tolling the Devil’s Knell

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Welcome to Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

So many traditional celebrations fall in December. It seems almost universal for a culture to need a cheering festival of light as the days reach their shortest point. With so many festivals remembered and still celebrated, it has been a challenge to choose a forgotten one. This celebration is not so much forgotten as lesser-known outside of the local area.

This month we are celebrating Tolling the Devil’s Knell on December 24th.

Tolling the Devil’s Knell is a tradition local to Dewsbury in Yorkshire and dates back to the middle ages. The legend tells that in 1434, Sir Thomas de Soothill, in a fit of rage,  committed the  murder of a servant. As penance for his crime, he donated a tenor bell to his parish church in Dewsbury. The bell came to bear his name, being known as “Black Tom of Soothill”. Sir Thomas is credited with starting the tradition of tolling this bell, once for each year since the birth of Christ, ending at midnight, just as Christmas day begins. This was probably not such a mammoth task in the time of Sir Thomas as it is in 2015! The tradition continues each year at Dewsbury Minster, only pausing during the war years. Dewsbury Minster’s website lists all the bells in its bell tower and their inscriptions. The tenor bell, “Black Tom”, is inscribed:

I shall be here if treated just

When they are mouldering in the dust

Bells are the dominant theme of this box, inspiring one set of rolags, the stitch markers and the extra treat. Further inspiration comes from the traditional sights, scents and tastes of this season. I hope you enjoy it.

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In this box you will find:

  • An introduction to the tradition of “Tolling the Devil’s Knell”
  • 20g of rolags in ”Medieval Metal” – 60% Merino, 25% black diamond bamboo, 7.5% gold stellina, 7.5% bronze stellina.
  • 10g of rolags in “Evergreen” – 60% Shetland, 40% Bamboo.
  • Seed beads in “Holly Berry” – be careful when you open these!
  • A Handspun mini skein in “Jack Frost” – Falkland plied with glitter thread.
  • A set of stitch markers.
  • Tea in “Three Cinnamon” and “Spicy Chai” flavours.
  • A winter-spiced tealight.
  • A chocolate bell.

 

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November Rolag Club: St. Clement’s Day

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November Rolag Club: St. Clement’s Day

Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club


I love marking the passage of the year, making sure the seasons don’t merge into bland anonymity. We all know the big festivals, but throughout the year there are hundreds of other celebrations which have been largely forgotten.

To celebrate these days I have picked a different festival each month and will create a rolag gift box fitting the theme.

The boxes are designed either as a spinning taster box, or to work together as a collection, spinning a little each month until you have enough of your own handspun yarn to create something really special, be it a scarf, a cushion, a set of boot cuffs, or whatever your imagination can conjure up.

 

This announcement was made on the 10th of October, allowing an introduction to a forgotten festival:

 

Devil’s Blackberry Day.

Although there is some debate over the date of this festival, the most agreed date is October the 10th. Legend has it that blackberries should never be gathered and eaten after this date. The story goes that this is the day St. Michael kicked the devil out of heaven. He fell to earth and landed ignominiously in a blackberry bush. This would probably rile the best of us and satan responded (rather mildly) by spitting on the blackberries. Satan’s spit is said to magically reappear each year to poison the berries. According to thepastonaplate.com there is some botanical truth here, as a species of fly appears around mid-October each year to lay its eggs on the remaining berries. So remember to enjoy your blackberries before October hits, and stick to the blackberry jam thereafter. x

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November 23rd: St. Clement’s Day

 

Welcome to the very first Forgotten Festivals Rolag Club!

This November we are celebrating St. Clement’s Day on November 23rd.

Although more well known from the traditional rhyme about London’s church bells, St Clement, a 4th century Christian martyr, is the patron saint of blacksmiths. His feast day was popular until relatively recently, and blacksmiths would parade with an effigy of “Old Clem” to beg for alms (which was called “clementing”), with the money donated to fund a local feast. Such feasts became known as Clem Suppers.

    If you’re familiar with the halloween game of apple-bobbing, you have St. Clement to thank! This game was traditionally played on November 23rd, and leads to the alternative name for St. Clement’s day of “Bite Apple Day”.

    Most appropriately for fibre fans, Clementide Sheep Fairs were held in certain counties at this time, and Clementing cakes were traditionally sold. In this box you will find fibre for spinning, a cake recipe, tea and more. I hope you enjoy rolag club, and I can’t wait until next time.

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In this box you should find:

  • An introduction to St. Clement’s Day
  • 20g of rolags in “Oranges” 60% Merino, 40% Tussah silk and a bit of sparkle.
  • 10g of rolags in “And Lemons” 40% Merino, 40% Soya bean fibre, 20% Texel and a bit of sparkle.
  • A handspun mini skein in “Citrus leaves”
  • Stitch markers from Hooklicious
  • An organza bag to keep your working fibre safe and clean
  • Lemon and mandarin tea
  • A recipe for St. Clement’s Tartlets
  • The history of “Oranges and Lemons”

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St. Clement’s Tartlets

 

8oz/225g shortcrust pastry

1 orange

1 lemon

3oz/75g butter, softened

2 eggs, separated

¼ tsp vanilla essence

 

  1. Preheat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6
  2. Roll out the pastry and use it to line individual tartlet tins.
  3. carefully remove the rind from the orange and lemon and chop very finely.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl. Beat the egg yolks and gradually stir into the butter/sugar mixture.
  5. Juice the orange.
  6. Add 2 tbsp orange juice to the mixture. Stir in citrus rinds and vanilla essence.
  7. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and gently fold into the mixture.
  8. Pour into the pastry cases and bake for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

 

Reference: Cattern Cakes and Lace by Julia Jones and Barbara Deer, Dorling Kindersley 1987

 

Oranges and Lemons

 

Oranges and lemons,

Say the bells of St. Clement’s.

 

You owe me five farthings,

Say the bells of St. Martin’s.

 

When will you pay me?

Say the bells of Old Bailey.

 

When I grow rich,

Say the bells of Shoreditch.

 

When will that be?

Say the bells of Stepney.

 

I do not know,

Says the great bell of Bow.

 

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,

And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

 

The first printed version of this nursery rhyme appeared in 1744, with quite different lyrics:

 

Two Sticks and Apple,

Ring ye Bells at Whitechapple,

Old Father Bald Pate,

Ring ye Bells Aldgate,

Maids in White Aprons,

Ring ye Bells a St. Catherines,

Oranges and Lemons,

Ring ye bells at St. Clements,

When will you pay me,

Ring ye Bells at ye Old Bailey,

When I am Rich,

Ring ye Bells at Fleetditch,

When will that be,

Ring ye Bells at Stepney,

When I am Old,

Ring ye Bells at Pauls

 

As you can imagine, there is variation, including regional variation, in the names of the churches, and the rhymes ascribed to the bells of each church. It is thought that this traditional rhyme would be sung on festival days, when the church bells would be ringing in celebration. So why “Oranges and Lemons”? There are two churches identified as the St. Clement’s church of the rhyme. Both are located near the wharf where merchants would have brought citrus fruits to London from warmer lands.
Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oranges_and_Lemons