Sunday, 29 September 2013

Yarndale here we come.

A lot was going on this weekend, our group was having its bi-annual quilt show which I unfortunately would be missing because I was off to the Dales to see our daughter (S) and family.  I had a date on Sunday to visit the very first Yarndale Festival with S.  The weather was wonderful, and there is nowhere more beautiful than the dales in the sun.  This is the view from their garden....

but we could not stay here gazing at that all day - we had places to go and things to see.  The festival was being held in the local auction mart and I had wondered how they would manage to 'tart' it up from the usual livestock pens, but 'tart' it up they did..

Not sure if you can see but we entered through the 'calf unloading'
- glad it wasn't for the 'old cows'

Bet this floor has never been so clean 

and the bunting was spectacular.....shame about the photo being blurred
 Most of the stalls were selling yarn, so can you imagine the colourful displays of dyed yarns and fleeces...

Just a sample
Some stalls were selling unusual cushions.....this Rhino just being one of them...

The Rhino cushion is the one on the right ...not sure it would be so comfortable
and it certainly doesn't have such a great smile.
 In the centre of the shed exhibition hall Lucy ( Attic 24 fame) had her own little area for 'knit and natter' and a few of her creations, including the (dare I say it) 'over the top' Standard Lamp.  Mind you if you think that is over the top, you should have seen the bus stop (no photo sorry)!!!

Let me tell you she had no time to sit

and this is the lady herself.......especially for you V.

Everyone had some thing to show and tell

S and I had a bit of a break to be a bit creative ....... well, we weren't really creative just trying something new...... yep we made rag rugged sheep.......so sweet.

Sheep grazing and a knitting kit to be made up

The food hall  (usually called the auctioneers arena)  had some really yummy hot and cold foods, some other exhibition centres could take a lesson from them..... two teas and a 12" turkey salad baguette = £5.95 .

This stall on the other hand was not selling its seafood delights...

All of this was knitted...some folk really do have too much time on their hands
As far as I am concerned the first Yarndale festival was a great success.  Entry price was great, food and drink prices great, and as far as I could see from the  few I bought, 'kit' prices were very good as well, with most folk leaving with more than one bag of goodies.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Last of the summer...I hope not

Back to normal after our trip to Chester and Liverpool, and the weather has been good to us, but Autumn is definitely on the way.
We had a fantastic Sunday, and spent the day in the garden catching up on tidying and just enjoying the day, but I feel there are not going to be many more days for sitting in the garden enjoying the warmth of the sun.

I feel this is going to the last Pimms of this summer
and we harvested the last of our carrots and beans.

Just enough for supper

but we can look forward to some beautiful sunsets
Just the beginnings of winter sunsets
Now a few weeks ago I think I mentioned that I was in a 'flickr swap' with the Mini QT group.  In this group you know who you will be swapping with, so you never show the whole quilt, just give a few sneaky peaks until your partner has received the quilt.  My partner (who lives in America) received her quilt a couple of days ago..... its made up of 1/2" hexigons.

The quilt measures approx 8.5" by 12"
 its not compulsory but you generally add a few extras, so I made a couple of things for her

Hexagons gone crazy, pincushion and wallet
 and best of all - the postman comes bearing gifts for me....... Yeah!  

The stars are all English Paper Pieced (EPP) and then appliqu├ęd onto the backing fabric.   

Rainbow Stars...who could ask for more
and again there was a stack of goodies to go with the quilt.  Two packs of paper piece templates, and some very special needles that have a black coating and gold eyes (can't wait to try them), and a lovely little wallet to put them all in.

So who's a lucky girl??
and lastly a bit of crochet.  I have crochet the edging on a pillowcase. I used a Percal cotton pillowcase,
 but think in future I will use 100% cotton as the percal was not that easy to get the crochet hook through.

Next time pure cotton I think.

See you soon

Friday, 20 September 2013


After travelling from Chester to Liverpool we made the most of the day.  Our first trip was on the Mersey Ferry with Gerry Marsden pointing out all the places of interest, and playing his song 'Ferry across the Mersey'.  We set off on a really choppy trip,  the wind was blowing, so the waves came up, but we had a great time seeing the sights in the sunshine....it was even warm enough to sit outside.....you had to sit or be thrown from one side of the boat to the other....it really was that choppy.

Doesn't look that choppy but believe me it was

After we got off the Ferry we made out way to the City Tour Bus.  Yes, we were tourist for the day, so bus tour was another thing on our list.  I was so impressed with Liverpool as a city, it seems to have everything The old city sits with the new very comfortably.  There has been so much regeneration in this city, old warehousing turned into boutique hotels and restaurants, Quayside warehousing now museums, art galleries and shops, which proves some cities get it right.

Locally know as 'The three Graces'

What a skyline!

No time for lunch next stop........

Magical Misery Tour here we come.  Once again this tour was recommended and the tour guides were great, they took us on a tour of birth places and schools of the fab four.  There were a few stops on the way, but the only one I was really interested in was Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields.  When I was expecting my first baby, radio Caroline managed to get hold of the record before the release date and they played it on the hour every hour for weeks before my baby boy was born, so it has a special place in my heart and brings back very happy memories.  We ended our tour at the Cavern Club where there is live music every afternoon.

Memory Lane for me

What a full day we had so back to the hotel for an early night before getting to visit the Cathedral the next day.

We packed our bags but left them at the hotel while we trundled off to visit Liverpool Cathedral.  Once again this building is so huge. Did  you realise that the architect was only 21 when he entered a competition to design the Cathedral?

So much stained glass

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Taken from the embroidery gallery, those people look like ants.

The tower was opened so we had to have a trip up to the top....have to tell you I thought we would have to climb to the top, what a. relief they have a lift.   The lift doesn't go all the way, so there is a chance for you to see the bells,

The bells were made in Loughborough 
and there is an exhibition of embroidery  that we stopped of to see on the way down.  The view from the top was unfortunately marred by the rain, but we just had to go to see for ourselves,

Some lovely Georgian Houses down there!
and the embroidery was magnificent.  I'll leave you to drool over these beauties

Oh to be able to 'Needle paint' like this.

Gold and silver work to make your eyes water

Such delicate flowers and tendrils 

This key was about 8" tall

Samplers and a finished piece

Raised work, like padded long and short

So beautiful

What inspiration!  Doesn't it make you want to get out that embroidery frame?


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Chester---- what a wonderful city

Who would have believed that 2 weeks ago we were all lapping up the sun and thinking summer would never end and this week we have our scarves hats and woolie socks on.  Mr D and I had planned a little trip to some cities in England that we have never visited before, and as we drew closer to the date of departure the weather folk gave out dire warnings of gale force winds and rain rain rain......guess what?- we have spent the last couple of days in Chester and I have to say the weather hasn't been too bad.  I am not saying we have had wall to wall sunshine, in fact its more like wall to wall grey but the rain has only got us once.

We started our tourist bit with an open top bus.  How cute is this bus?  The tour guide tells us that there are only three of these buses left, one is in a museum, one is owned by someone that lets it out for private functions, and the one we were on is the only one left as a working bus (of sorts).

We took note of all the beautiful buildings and wandered the 'Rows' (the Rows are double decker shops) very "oldie worldie" and wonderful to think they have been there for centuries.

You can just see the walk way of 'The Rows'

Our next few hours were spent in the Cathedral.  I didn't take a photo of the entrance because it was quite underwhelming, but once inside I didn't know what to snap first.  Photos never do justice to the beautiful stained glass windows and my photos are no exception.  I can't remember a time when I have seen so many different windows and the size of them is unbelievable.  The first photo is of 4 of the side windows (there were many more beautiful windows to see).

               Ancient and modern side by side.

 These windows were at either end of the Cathedral, and oh so huge.

this mosaic was along the side wall, and there is no way my photo could do it justice.

Just a small sample

The Cathedral is massive, and you wonder how they managed to build such masterpieces so long ago.

The back of the Cathedral, 

Day two - with more and more warnings of bad weather, we decided to walk the City wall first thing in the morning....who's footsteps am I walking in?  Once again its amazing not only how the walls were built but how well they have stood the test of time.

Look at the height of that wall

Look at the car park side by side with the old gate house. That's why we have planning officers - Der!

As our feet were feeling the strain we took a trip up the river (that's when we did have a bit of rain), and saw how the other half live.  Some - no most of the houses on the river bank were what dreams are made of, with beautiful gardens leading down to a boathouse or landing dock.

Saviour of our feet

Our time in Chester has been wonderful and the weather on the whole has been so good to us.  If you have never been, I would highly recommend a trip to this beautiful city.

Tomorrow Liverpool.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

On a Mission

I sent off my parcel to my swap partner during the week, so I hope its not long before I can show and tell what I made along with some of the trials and tribulations that I came across while making it.

I have been playing with crochet again and while I was looking for something completely different I found a box of crochet cotton that I brought back from South Africa.  This box has been stored in one of my under bed boxes, and I have to admit I didn't even know it was there, let alone contain so many balls of cotton so what should I do with it???? I try to get some things together for a crochet group that I head up and someone had mentioned crochet edgings so that was the start for my cottons.  I found on pinterest this and it was said to only take about 30 mins to complete a guest towel so that seemed good enough for me and off I went.  I started with a No 5 crochet cotton, and a 3/8th " gap between stitches.  I felt it was too thick for my towel, and it's also too close, so my second attempt was with a No 8 thread and still the 3/8" spacing and I like that much better.  I will keep both as examples of what I like and what I don't....you can make up your own mind

Much prefer the flatter look.

I then decided to try out a pattern on a pillow case, so off to the shops to buy some brand new pillowcases.... beware they are not finished off as nicely as you and I would want, but I wanted to start there and then - so beggars can't be choosers...... I once again have used the No 5 cotton because I have a lot more of that than white No 8, so I made the spacing 1/2" and although it looks O.K. I think it is still a bit bulky....so I might just have to finish and use them for my spare bedroom and start again for my bed.

Should have ironed it before the photo shoot :)

I am on another mission, in fact its a secret mission so I can't really tell you anything about it but I will just give you a few glimpses of what I am up to and you can use your imagination as to what they will become...how about that?

This is just the beginning
I have also had a play at some more embroidery ...... no Angie - this is not for the Cathedral Window blocks!

Should do more of this before my eyes go completely 

Some of you may know that I have a love hate relationship with EQ (Electric Quilt) but today I love it as I recreated this block.......I had seen the block before but couldn't find it in cyber world so had to get my brain in gear and draw it up .......

YEAH!!! it works and I love it

Last but not least I am making some blocks ........ I would love to tell you what these are going to be, but if I did I think I would have to kill you as these are top secret ..... wonder how long I will be able to keep them secret?

More in the Hexigon world 

Half square triangles in the making 

We are off tomorrow to visit Chester and then onto Liverpool, so hopefully next time I will have some sites to show you .....that's if the rain keeps off.  

Happy sewing.