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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Yarndale

What a great weekend it has been and such fun with three good friends.  I have been wanting to go to Yarndale since the beginning and I was not disappointed.

Our day started early on Saturday morning when we queued to get in at 10.00am


and once in the hall, I decided to visit 'Lucy' of Attic24, who has been my inspiration since taking up crochet again.

After a quick chat I left because I knew she would get busy and I wanted to start looking round the rest of the show.
Delightful alpacas
 
Just a small amount of the bunting

I bought a small woolly sheep that was made in Yorkshire and now resides on my workroom window sill.

I checked out the Mandalas and was delighted to find mine (made for Yarndale 2014)
That is mine - the bright pink spokes emanating from a lime green centre!!

and I even found one of my brooches that I made last year amongst a sea of brooches!
Mine with the blue bead centre - bottom right just below the pale blue with red button centre!
A wall of brooches

The brooches were being sold off for Alzheimer's Society.

I found the pair of Socks for the Homeless knitted by one of our Higham Piecemakers group
The pair hanging between the bootees

I spent more than anticipated on wool, which I couldn't resist and I even managed to get a photo of the surrounding countryside
The hills above Skipton

and of this wonderful knitted 'river'
The 'Leeds - Liverpool' canal

and Attic24's giant Mandalas
 


and these delightful yarnbombed bollards -


After the show we walked back into Skipton and I took this final look back at the Auction Mart where the show was held.
We walked through the park past all the yarnbombed lamp posts
Fishes under the sea with button bubbles

and along the canal
 

and I loved this sign -
Speed limit 2 mph

We stayed at this excellent hotel and had canal view rooms where there was plenty of river traffic that all had to stop and move the swing bridge to allow passage.

Sunday we went out for the day to Bolton Abbey and spent time looking around the ruins of The Priory
 

and we went into the church to have a look round.  I loved the wall behind the altar which was built in 1877 to replace the old wall built in 1539.  It was decorated three years later by a local artist, Thomas Bottomley, and his apprentice, R H Greenwood.  It was beautiful
and all the flower pictures represent Christ in some manner. ie the Barley is how Jesus described Himself as the 'Bread of Life' (John 6).

We watched walkers cross the 'Stepping Stones'
but decided to cross on the bridge and later on went on these children's stepping stones.

We carried on walking up the valley of the River Wharfe and I was impressed with all the different things there were for children to do, including this safe tree climbing.

After a visit to the tea rooms, including a cream tea, we walked back down the valley


having spent a warm, fine day, with a little gentle exercise, out in the open air.
A memorable weekend, full of laughter, spent with three good friends and don't forget the 'Garforth and Shipley' chocolate.  Sorry, an in-house joke which we will remember for ages; there is no such thing!

Friday, 16 September 2016

Divers!

Monday morning was quite warm and sticky when we set out on our Nordic walk in Stanwick Lakes and we decided to see how the sloes were coming on.  This route takes us through the Adventure playground (no children - they were at school), along beside the River Nene and past the lock and sluice attached to it.  What's this ahead?  A huge expanse of green duckweed, old bull rushes, tin cans and rubbish were backed up against the floats protecting the sluice and lock.  It looked so horrendous that even moorhens were able to walk over it.  The canoe portage was cut off by the mess.

Two men in orange jackets were peering into the sluice.  Well we are a nosey group so this had to be explored and they were checking the bridgework over the sluice.  I complained about the messy river and they told us that divers were coming and would be informed.

DIVERS - I had visions of fully kitted men with helmets and oxygen on their backs, but we decided to come back later in the walk and see them; so that is what we did.

We passed three Environment Agency vans and one divers van and this is what greeted us.
How many men does it take to look at a sluice?

The divers were diving -
- in hard hats and standing on the bottom!!!!

But look at the green duckweed - they had opened the gates and the rubbish was clear and all the duckweed was going downstream. 
 
The 'roaring' River Nene

Well done to them for clearing it all up and why was all this inspection going on - because Stanwick Lakes want to install a water turbine to generate electricity for the Visitor Centre!!

That same afternoon I had to go to Cambridge to collect my grandchildren from school, but we were doing a detour via The Leys School because the Davis Cup was still on its tour of the UK.


The children were not as excited by it as me but agreed to a photo (no faces because I have learnt how to do this).  This is the second time I have seen it and I am still as pleased to see it.  It is still touring and on Monday 100+ children turned up to play tennis.  It has to be good for the tennis legacy.

I am pleased to say that I have now gained my full 'fairy wings' from Pyjama Fairies so my work is up to standard and I could make up orders if I wanted.  However I prefer to make for stock - not so much stress.  Hope to make more garments over the weekend and start my Flying Geese Mini Mania - no pressure then.

I shall not be blogging again until after Yarndale which is a week away - so excited and I feel I might be spending money.  Yippee for Yarndale.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

My enthusiasm has returned!!

At last after a long wait my enthusiasm has returned after deserting me during August.  I was going to write 'mojo' but I thought I would check what it actually meant and guess what it means -  'libido' which is not quite what I meant!!!!

During August I didn't do much sewing, crochet or anything at all but suddenly it has returned.  I completed my 'mini mania' for August -
Three Dresden plates

The second was supposed to be half the size of the first but things never go quite right for me and so it was only slightly smaller!  September's Mini Mania is Flying Geese which I don't think I have ever done before.

I am completing another set of items for Wrap Pyjama Fairies and have bought lots of fabric to start making gowns/pyjamas with a new pattern for teenagers.  I find making these garments very therapeutic and hope that in some small way, I am helping them with their stay in hospital.

The weather has been good lately, but Monday's Nordic walk started in a fine drizzle so we had waterproof jackets on.  However it soon became apparent that we would get very hot, so off they came and eventually the misty drizzle cleared. 
No movement in the 'sluggish' River Nene

We pressed on and came to one of our favourite bridges.  Why 'favourite' - well we cannot cross it, but with the ongoing building of Rushden Lakes we are hoping that instead of being a "Bridge to nowhere" it will become a "Bridge to somewhere".


This photo was taken through a slit in the boarding which has gone up to stop anyone trying to cross.

Tuesday was my 'Will' day in Bedford and we had a trip to the park.  This 2 year old little boy is absolutely fearless and loves the 'wobbly bridge' and runs across with no problem, while it sways and bumps up and down.


This slide was very high, yet he scrambled up the cargo net, climbed a wooden ladder, got to the top and whizzed down.  I was terrified as I could only watch all this going on!!
 Finally today I cut the grass, watered and fed the tomatoes in the greenhouse and decided that I had to write this blog!!  Oh and I picked my first Aubergine (eggplant) - now what shall I make.  Still three more on the plant - best year ever.  The Pepper (capsicum) plant is going well and I have had one so far and still more to come.
Very rude tomato at the front

The little orange tomatoes are Sungold and are delicious.  They never get to the house as I stand eating them straight off the vine!  I bite them and get an absolute zing in the mouth.  Highly recommend.

Tomorrow is crochet group where I will continue with my very, very difficult cardigan, but more about that in another blog.

Monday, 29 August 2016

Is summer nearly over?

The summer holiday is almost over in the UK, and the children will be going back to school in another week or so.  I lay in bed this morning thinking what a long month August has been and it has not come to an end yet!  I have deliberately kept my calendar as clear as possible so I could have a 'staycation' at home, after my French holiday.  I have done very little sewing, embroidery or crochet, but have read, watched the Olympics and done some gardening and I have really enjoyed it.

Last week I had grandchildren, B and E, to stay for a couple of nights and we had a great day at Irchester Country Park.  As the children are now 10 and 6 they could try the Adventurer course in the Jungle Parc and they loved it -
 
 
 
 

 so much so that I couldn't get B of it as he wanted to keep going round and round!  They have different courses according to age/height so he was able to go high up. 
 
Next day we went down to the Adventure Course at Stanwick Lakes.  We got there early as the it was a beautiful morning and I knew it would get busy very quickly.
 
The 'sluggish' River Nene in the foreground, gravel pits in the background

I loved seeing this small family -


but by 10.30am we were in the café so I could have a coffee and they had ice creams and then home as the site was packed.

I have been to crochet group and decided to make one of these -
A string bag!!

If you are of a certain age this will take you back!!  Actually it was made from rug wool which the group has been given in abundance and is brilliant as it doesn't stretch too much.  I adapted the top to give me longer and thicker handles.  Should be useful when I visit Yarndale at the end of September.

Mini Mania is due to be finished on Wednesday and all I remembered was that it had to be three Dresden Plates and small, so two days ago I drew my sizing's, selected the fabric and got going.  I will say that, as usual, anything I make from my own patterns never seem to work very well and this was no exception so after a false start I got going.
Is this small enough??

And this is as far as I have got so onwards and upwards.  It will be finished on time!

Saturday, 20 August 2016

Holidays - Part 2

Thank goodness I have had a holiday before the Olympics - I am exhausted staying up late, watching TV and cheering on all our GB athletes.  What a wonderful Festival of Sport this has been and I have loved every minute of it and today I will be watching the Ladies Golf and cheering on Charley Hull, who is our local hero as she comes from Kettering, just up the road from here. 

Anyway the second, and you may be glad to hear, final instalment of the holidays.  Every Tuesday a local road up to a 'Col' is closed from 10.00am - 12 noon to allow cyclists to ride up without traffic and my son (who had taken his bike on holiday) was delighted that a stage in the 2015 Tour de France was going to be open going up to Alpe d'Huez so off he went and I decided I should go for a Nordic walk.  
The static caravan that was our home.  Steps on right lead up to hot tub!!
 
I set off walking by the Romanche river, slightly different from the sluggish River Nene at home.  Mountains on all sides.  I walked about five miles, loved it and saw very few people.
 
 


Later that day we returned up the 21 hairpin bends to Alpe d'Huez to have a go on the toboggan, though I thought it was more of a 'luge'!  First we had to get to the top on a ski lift, which I have never been on in my life, so that was a bit of an experience and my daughter in law and I watched whilst grandson, age 10, whizzed down -
 

followed by my son and grand-daughter riding together.
Note the ski lift top left

I suddenly realised that I wanted a go so up to the start where I struggled onto the tray (I am not very good at getting down low!) and down I went


mainly putting on the brake but occasionally accelerating until I got to the bottom where my son pulled me up off the floor as there was a queue forming behind me!  I would have had another go but our rides had run out.  Definitely an activity for the 50+ Adventure Club if there was somewhere in the UK where we could do it!!

Anyway after a short refreshment break we walked to the edge of the town and I took this photo
The town we had come from in the bottom of the valley

It was nearly time for me to come home but on my last day we went to Lake Vernay where we hired a canoe and a pedalo.

I was in the pedalo pedalling like mad with my daughter in law and grand-daughter, whilst son and grandson went out in the canoe -
The waterfall under the road bridge
 
Looking at the mountains from the middle of the lake

Then the family all piled into a pedalo and had fun while I stood on the bank and took photos of them.
The wind had got up and it was quite choppy!

Finally, my last photo taken on the last day, showing snow still on the mountain.
A wonderful holiday.

Now I must get on with some crafty stuff including crocheting a string bag and making my Mini Mania for August, that hasn't been started yet!!