Tuesday 30 September 2014

Yarndale 2014

I didn't go to Yarndale last year, I wanted to but it was the weekend that we were moving Daniel to university so I couldn't make it. I've had the dates for this year's show in my diary since they were released, though I wasn't sure I'd be able to go right until the last minute as we always seem to be busy on a weekend and something could always crop up right at the last minute.

Anyway, I did manage to make it, however, none of my friends are crafters and Eleanor didn't fancy it so I had no one to go with. I considered going on my own, but in the end, Mick came with me. I thought he'd stick out like a sore thumb but there were lots of other men there so he didn't feel out of place at all and actually, I think he quite enjoyed it.

We parked at the park and ride at the Skipton Building Society which had been organised for the event. There was a bit of a queue for the mini buses which were transporting people to the Auction Mart but we didn't have to wait too long. Transport for Yarndale was very well organised with parking available on and off site, the park and ride at the Skipton Building Society and special Yarndale buses ferrying passengers to and from the train station.

Many photos of the bunting were posted on blogs after last year's show and I was looking forward to seeing it for myself, it didn't disappoint. It was hanging in the Hub and all around the show too.

I was also looking forward to seeing all the mandalas which had been sent in from around the world, 1182 of them in total. I didn't manage to photograph them all, but I got quite a few.

Some of the mandalas were laid out on a table with a bit of information about them and there was a list of all the countries they've been sent from.

We didn't walk through the park so we missed the bikes which had been decorated in local schools with the help of the Yarndale organisers so it was nice that a couple were in the Mart for us to see.

I didn't know anything about The Egg Cosy Challenge. Apparently, Yarndale teamed up with The Tempest Arms to set this competition. The idea was to make a set of four egg cosies from yarn or fibre of any kind. There was a great prize for the winner, a one night stay for up to 12 people at the Lumley Fee Bunkhouse in the Lake District. The entries were being sold at Yarndale, aren't they fab?

There were so many yarny things to see, I could have spent a week there and still missed so much.

One thing which really appealed to me was all the felting on show. I loved this owl from Alula's Garden.

These felted animals were fabulous. They were from jennymade and I was very nearly tempted by a hare kit to have a go myself.

If I were a better crocheter I would have definitely succumbed at this next stall. These animals are from the Edward's Menagerie book by Kerry Lord on the Toft Alpaca stand.

I really need to learn more about crochet just so that I can make this fabulous giraffe.

In fact, there were lots of knitted and crochet toys on display. I loved these from Sue Stratford at The Knitting Hut too.

I've made a few crochet blankets now but never a knitted one. I've been thinking about this for a while now, but a blanket I saw at the show has really given me inspiration. Isn't this beautiful? It's from Gwennol Designer Handknits.

I had to get a photo of a Lucy creation. I'd seen this Autumn Wreath on her Attic 24 blog, it was a little surreal seeing it in the flesh so to speak.

I also spent a bit of time admiring the beautiful animals which had been brought to Yarndale to show where some of the fibre we use comes from. These alpacas were brought by County Alpacas.

There were angora rabbits too.

This gorgeous sheep loved being stroked so much that it closed its eyes and drifted off to sleep, but I didn't get a photo of the one which wagged its tail every time you scratched its head.

I didn't buy much for myself, just a couple of balls of Creative Cotton Print:-

some pretty buttons:-

and I subscribed to Simply Knitting and Simply Crochet. They were offering a trial offer of three issues for £3 on five different magazines so I chose these two. They gave me a free copy of Simply Knitting which just happens to be the Christmas issue so I'm looking forward to finding a bit of time to sit down and enjoy it.

To be honest, I found it all a bit overwhelming. I don't know what I was expecting but I didn't think it would be as huge as it was, there was so much choice. I read a few reviews from people who had attended last year and they said the same so I don't think I'm alone in feeling this way. I did manage to pick up a few Christmas presents though, none of which I can show you, but I'm very pleased with them and I'm sure the recipients will be too.

Mick wandered off on his own a few times, noticably after I'd expressed an interest in something, so I'm sure some things I admired will appear in my Christmas stocking.

Having been to Yarndale once, I'm now looking forward to next year, however, I shall be more organised next time. I think it would be good to go with some projects in mind to shop for, but I feel I was very cautious this time when deciding what to spend my money on, even though Mick was urging me to treat myself. A little more frivolity is called for next year I think. I'm starting saving now.

After we left Yarndale, we wandered around Skipton for a while. The market traders were just starting to clear away their stalls but the town was still busy. I hadn't seen anywhere in Yarndale selling individual balls of Stylecraft Special DK so I visited The Fent Shop to pick up some more yarn for Eleanor's Ripple Blanket.

As you can see, I was running quite low.

My basket is now replenished and I'm hoping that this will now see the blanket finished, I haven't got that much left to do.

I picked up quite a few cards and leaflets at Yarndale so I intend to visit lots of websites over the coming weeks.

One thing I've certainly taken away from Yarndale is inspiration, I've got so many projects buzzing around in my head that I don't know where to begin. Perhaps finishing the projects I've got on the go at the moment would be a good place to start.

Sunday 28 September 2014

Challenge Update - September 2014

My 2014 challenges are:-

1) Knit one hat each week for The Innocent Big Knit.

2) Do something nice for me.

3) Choose a non fiction book from the library.

These hats are Innocent Big Knit Hat With Brim which can be found on The Creations Of Crazy Dazy blog. I set myself the challenge of knitting fifty hats over the course of the year, but realised that I'd need to have them finished before the end of the year as there's a deadline and they usually need sending in around October time. I believe these four hats brings me to my challenge total of fifty, I'll have to check. On looking at the website this morning, the deadline has been extended this year and they don't have to be in until the 12th of December so if I have reached the grand total of fifty, I'm a little early in doing so. Still, it's good to have succeeded.

My nice thing for September was visiting Yarndale. I went yesterday and I'll tell you all about it in my next post.

My non fiction book for September is A Slice Of Organic Life by Sheherazade Goldsmith. Packed full of advice about organic living, this is a great book for dipping in and out of. It covers all manner of subjects which are split in to three areas: No Need For A Garden, Roof Terrace, Patio Or Tiny Garden and Garden, Allotment Or Field.

It isn't all about gardening though, it covers other subjects such as saving energy the easy way, shopping ethically, cleaning without harsh chemicals and going green in the playroom amongst many other things.

It's a great book for dipping in and out of and though you would definitely need further help and advice when dipping your toe in to some of the suggested activities, it does give you a taster on things such as keeping a goat or two, raising a couple of pigs, keeping honey bees and keeping some chickens.

It has some lovely photography too.

We're reaching the end of September already, I don't know where this year has gone. I'm starting to think about my challenges for next year, there's a couple of things I've already decided on but other things I still need to think about. I find it's this time of year when I start thinking about Christmas too and I have to admit to already having a few presents stashed away. What about you, have you started thinking about Christmas yet?

Friday 26 September 2014

Hands That Do Dishes...

...can feel as soft as your face.

Do you remember the Fairy Liquid advert?

I don't do dishes as I have a dishwasher so my hands usually need a little help to keep them as soft as my face. I was very lucky recently when I won Amanda's Crabtree and Evelyn giveaway on her Eight by Six blog. It all came beautifully packaged in the most lovely little box.

Inside was a 100g tube of Gardeners Hand Recovery which is recommended for the aid and relief of very dry or rough skin and helps restore suppleness and youthful appearance, and two 25g handbag size tubes of Gardeners Hand Therapy which helps nourish and condition work roughened hands.

These are just the things to keep my hands in tip top shape after all the work I'll be doing putting the allotment to bed for the winter.

I have to confess that I haven't used them yet but they smell lovely. I like to keep things new for a while before using them. Am I the only one who does this?

Thank you, Amanda. I'm very pleased with my prize, I'm sure it will keep my hands silky soft.

Tuesday 23 September 2014

An End To The Holidays

I don't think we'd done bad with our days out whilst Mick was off work at the end of August. On Bank Holiday Monday we'd visited Helmsley and The White Horse Of Kilburn and on the Wednesday we had an action packed day across the Pennines visiting Another Place, North Meols and Southport. We were all geared up for another day out on the Friday but instead, we ended up first at the doctor's surgery and then at the Surgical Assessment Unit at the hospital as Mick had an abscess under his arm.

The surgeon decided that it needed operating on there and then and wanted Mick to undergo a general anaesthetic, however, Mick talked him in to doing it under local anaesthetic, something he very nearly regretted after he found out how painful it was. No wonder the surgeon had asked him if he was sure, as patients are usually put out for these things and he didn't usually perform them under a local anaesthetic. About six hours later, we were home again but had to return the following morning for more packing to be put in to the wound and the dressing changing.

This scuppered our plans for the end of the week, but not to be outdone, we headed off to Scarborough on the Sunday to make the most of Mick's last day off as he was due back in to work on the Monday.

It was a gorgeous day, just look how blue the sky is behind the castle.

We were lucky, we had huge areas of the beach to ourselves.

We spread some blankets on the sand and soaked up the sea air whilst I read a chapter or two of my book and then we went exploring amongst the rocks.

We found some limpets.

There was lots of seaweed.

Then we did some paddling.

We did a bit of running.

We even did some swimming. Well, Archie did.

Eleanor drew a flower.

Then we did some more paddling.

Archie loves the seaside. I wish we lived a little closer to the coast so that we could visit more often, he'd love to take his walks along the beach.

Our day in Scarborough rounded off our week nicely. We'd had some lovely days out and really made the most of Mick being at home with us.

By the way, Mick was fine after his little op. He had to visit the doctor's surgery regularly for the dressing changing and more packing to be put in to the wound, but it's now healed nicely and is just about back to normal.