A postcard from November

Hello there! It’s the last day of November already eek! I’m not ready for December!!

It’s been a busy old month – perhaps that’s why it’s gone so quickly. It’s only now I look back at what we’ve been up that I’ve realised it’s been quite a lot.

In the latest twist of the Covid story it’s also been a month of regular trips to our local testing centre every time anyone gets a cough or sniffle or we are alerted about a close contact. I think we may have been about 10 times lately – I’m thinking of asking for loyalty points!! Fortunately all tests have come back negative.

Here’s what we’ve been up to this month…

A golden tree at the end of the rainbow

Yet again this year, after over a decade away from the UK I have loved seeing the beautiful colours of autumn this month. I may no longer have little people at home who like to make pictures out of autumn treasure, but I can’t help but pick up pretty leaves when I see them!

No it’s not Christmas yet!!

Eek – am I the only one who gets freaked out by early Christmas decorations? I took Littlest out for hot chocolate on 1st November to a local café and they had a huge tree, giant baubles… the works! On the first of November!!! Maybe I’m just a Scrooge but it’s seems a bit early to me. This photo was of the Trafford Centre on the first Saturday of November…. Christmas lights galore!

Meeting real people in real life!

One evening early in the month, I had the most wonderful time ‘out out’ in Manchester. Since February/March last year I have been a virtual member of a super community for podcasters.

After months and months of zoom virtual meet ups where we hear from real ‘professional’ podcasters and swap advice and help amongst our community, I actually got to meet everyone in real life!! What a thrill. (People were so much taller than I expected after spending so long just seeing them on my phone/laptop screen 😂! )

The occasion for this meet up was to celebrate the club’s 3rd birthday and the 30th meet up in total. There were drinks and even birthday cake!

If you are a podcaster yourself or are thinking of starting your own podcast do come along to a future zoom. The group’s called MIC’s Podcast Club and although it’s based in the North West of England, there are members from much further afield (like America) and I was still living in Gibraltar when I first joined. You can find them on Twitter @MICsPodcastClub and maybe one day you can have the thrill of seeing your own podcast up in lights on the wall of a real-life meet up!

Costa del Ship Canal

Littlest’s football match got cancelled one week and instead the team coach opted to run a team building training session in our local nature reserve.

It was a perfect morning for it – definitely worth setting the alarm for an early start on a Saturday!

Just look at those blues and the golden leaves….

That water almost looked Mediterranean – well almost – it is the Manchester Ship Canal!

Plastic hedge be gone!

In this era of everything needing to look perfect and be convenient, we end up with situations like astroturf and plastic hedges. I am not a fan at all. I’m a bit more slap dash and enjoy going with the flow with nature, plus I really enjoy gardening. So when we inherited this delightful plastic hedge at our new home last year, it’s days were numbered. It did a lot better than expected as other jobs took precedence but this month, it’s time was up.

It didn’t take long, it was so rotten inside it practically fell apart – very little force was needed at all. I’m looking forward to installing a rather more environmentally friendly replacement soon!

Yorkshire Sculpture Park

A few weeks ago I received a message from a lovely friend I used to know in Gibraltar. She, like me has moved back to the UK and is now based in the South East of England. She wanted to let me know she and her partner were having a few days up North and would I like to meet them at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park? Yes! Was my answer!!

Barbara Hepworth sculptures

Before we moved to Gibraltar, we lived in Wakefield just a stone’s throw from YSP and it was a regular destination for us as a family on a weekend. It was so lovely to be able to go back there – albeit briefly while the Little Postcards were at school.

Ai Weiwei’s Chinese Horoscope Characters

The weather was so kind to us. It was very cold but it was beautifully sunny. The perfect conditions for having a wander through the beautiful park and sculptures.

Close-up of one of Ai Weiwei’s Chinese Horoscope heads
You can never have a big enough hand bag!
A Diamond ring made out of car wheels!

We didn’t spend too long together as I was clock watching to get back across the Pennines in time for school pick up, so we didn’t get to see the whole of the park but one exhibition both myself and my friend (who’s also a crafter) enjoyed immensely was one by Joana Vasconcelos who likes to create amazing things out of everyday objects… like giant stilettos out of pots and pans…

…. Lots and lots of crochet!!! Viva crochet!

Just look at that intricate work!!

Close-up of the above statue
Animal heads enrobed in intricate crochet

But the next fabric structure stopped us in our tracks… it was huge!

The photo doesn’t do it justice – it was giant and filled the huge exhibition space. It was a combination of patchwork, embroidery and very complicated crochet.

The photo above shows the end of one of those tentacles and was over a metre in diameter.

There were also pictures made of bulbous crochet structures…

Finisterra 2018
Close-up of above picture
Heartbreak 2015

How about this for a giant pouffe for your living room?

There was also a sculpture made purely of red plastic knives & forks..

Red Independent Heart #3

And then more examples of intricate crochet covering everyday household items…

A double sink
Detail of the sink piece above
A urinal called ‘Purple Rain’

And a fabulous chair…

The back of the chair above

The Joana Vasconcelos exhibition is on until 9th January 2022 both in the underground gallery and with pieces in the open air too. The artist’s work is said to be “sculptures that comment with a feminist perspective on cultural identity and tradition and celebrate the creative lives of women” – YSP Guide.

It was a lovely visit to the YSP and fabulous to be able to see my friend again – who I hadn’t seen since pre-Covid times. I can highly recommend a visit if you haven’t been, I’ll certainly be back when I can spend longer there.

Sock knitting update

Remember the pair of socks I was knitting thanks to Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum’s fabulous book?

Well they’re finished!!

Knitted using the Winwick Mum Basic Sock Pattern in West Yorkshire Spinners 4ply in ‘Brightside’ also designed by Winwick Mum

I now have toasty warm toes!

In other crafty news, I’m currently working on Eleonora from Coastal Crochet’s Winter Walk Scarf CAL.

It took a while to get started as my hand-dyed skein I’d been saving for the right moment got into rather a big tangle…

But I got there in the end…

And I’m on my way!

Making Stitches Podcast

In podcast news, there have been 2 new episodes this month – both of them yarn inspired.

Emma Leith
(photo credit: Emma Leith Atelier)

The first was with the hugely talented and inspiring crochet designer Emma Leith. You can find that here.

Sara Mulvey from Black Sheep Wools
(Photo credit: Black Sheep Wools)

The second was a real treat to record because it meant I was able to go ‘back stage’ at the fabulous Black Sheep Wools Craft Barn and speak to Sara Mulvey. What a joy it was to have a proper chat with Sara after months of watching her videos through lockdown – it was such a positive part of a rather unpleasant time. You can listen to Sara’s episode here.

And finally…

My first ever crochet patterns have been launched and are available to buy from my Etsy Shop!

There’s Flora the Gardener and Hope the Snowdrop and all being well they will be joined by some more friends very soon!

And that’s just about it for this month. I hope November has been kind to you.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Edit: I forgot to mention the snow! We also has some of the white stuff fall in the last few days – super exciting even if it was very cold!!

A Postcard from October

Well, here we are in November already. I really don’t know where the past month has gone. October has been such a busy month with day to day, nose to the grindstone kinds of things that I feel like I blinked and missed it. It’s only when I looked back at the photos on my phone that I realised what I had done and achieved – sadly I can’t share all of that with you, but before too much longer I will be able to – hurrah!

So here goes, here’s my postcard from October!

The beginning of the month began much as September ended, with children in school and me busily trying to get my ducks in a row for a deadline of the end of the month. As the calendar flipped into October the realisation dawned that by the end of the month, we would have been living in our ‘new’ home for exactly a year. It was Halloween last year that I hired a van, and with the help of two very strong friends, we moved from our rented temporary house into our very own home. That meant that twelve months had passed and there were still quite a lot of boxes sitting around the place hiding under crochet blankets….. they have many uses! I set myself the target of getting rid of the boxes by the end of the month. Did I manage it? Well, I’ll reveal all at the end!

There has been a definite autumnal chill in the air this month, and in case the changing colours and falling leaves didn’t give us a clue about the season, our neighbourhood squirrel (or maybe even squirrels) certainly let me know as they planted my newly cleared pots with all sorts of treats to sustain them through the winter!

Stepping far outside my comfort zone!

Early in the month, I was invited to do something utterly terrifying. I was asked to speak to a my local group of the WI about my podcast and crafts in general. Blimey it was a nerve wracking thing to do. I’m very happy to speak into a microphone in a room on my own but to speak to a room with about 100 pairs of eyes staring back at you – that’s quite another thing!! I debated long and hard about whether I should do it or not, but friends encouraged me to and I’m so glad I did. The ladies were lovely and didn’t bite! Not sure I’d do it again in a hurry but it was a bit of a high to know I’d managed it!

A lovely trip out

Christine and I outside Black Sheep Wools

Back in September I interviewed the lovely Christine Perry from Winwick Mum for Making Stitches Podcast (You can hear the episode here). While we were chatting online we realised that we are actually not that far apart geographically so we arranged to meet at one of my favourite places for a chat and a brew – Black Sheep Wools. It was so lovely to speak to Christine and get to know her a bit better, and she has helped me get over my fear of knitting in the round. As the ‘Queen of Socks’ (I hope she doesn’t mind me giving her that title!) she has helped thousands of people learn how to successfully knit socks with her ‘sockalong’ which you can find on her blog. At the last count, over 15,000 pairs of socks have been knitted by people using her technique and that’s just the ones she knows about. Incidentally Christine has just completed a whole month of daily blogging – phew what a feat! The above photo features in one of her posts!

Christine guided me (and another lady who happened to be in the shop at the same time) on what yarn to buy and what needles were needed to get started. So using her blog and her brilliant book, I have set off on a sock-making adventure. My initial momentum has been dulled by some necessary work on some crochet related items, but I’m back on it, and about to begin decreasing on my first toe!

In crochet news, my Making Stitches wreath which I made from a pattern in issue 96 of Simply Crochet Magazine actually got featured in the magazine itself. What a total honour! Thank you Simply Crochet!

I’ve opened a shop!

Also this month, I launched my Etsy shop called the “Making Stitches Shop’. I decided to try and see if I could sell a few bits and bobs to help support my podcast activities. Whilst I would not want to put the podcast behind a pay wall, it does cost quite a bit to keep going with hosting fees and other things and I thought that if I could raise some money via the shop, it would help me keep going. In the summer I bought a custom made screen with my podcast logo on it, and began screen printing cotton tote bags. It took a lot of trial and error and advice from others, but in the end I successfully printed enough bags to open the shop.

The wonderful Amanda from Mrs G Makes also helped me with advice on running the shop and postage etc. Then, she became not only my first ever customer, she also gave me a glowing review and showed the world her new bag in an episode of her Vlogtober YouTube series. Thanks so much Amanda!

In that first month of being open, my shop completely sold out! Thank you to everyone who supported me! I had to get my screen back out and print a load more on a sunny day just before the Little Postcards finished school for half term!

2nd batch drying on the line!

Half term holidays

Half term was a bit of an odd one for us this year, Littlest had soccer school for most of the week and Eldest was away most of the time on work experience too, so it was just me and Middle Postcard for a lot of the time. Being a teenager, most of that time was spent in his bedroom and I made the most of the peace and quiet by beavering away on something special I’m working on for this month…. (I will reveal all very soon!).

In amongst the hard work, we had a trip to the Etihad campus in Manchester for a teenaged Covid jab. So that’s all bar Littlest done. I feel a lot happier about that now.

Anniversary of moving

As we were celebrating our first anniversary in our home, I decided to have a soirée to celebrate our first year on Saturday evening with the two families who helped us with our move a year ago. As it was Halloween weekend, we had to make the house look the part, so we had a go at pumpkin carving. I think we did pretty well.

I even had a go at carving a squash myself and crocheted one too for good measure!

The innards were used along with some Butternut Squash to make some spiced soup for our soirée and the pumpkins are now out in the garden so the birds and other creatures can enjoy them.

And that pretty much brings my October ramblings to a close. Apart from those boxes. Do you think I managed to get rid of them all?

Well no, but my excuse is that I need a new cupboard to store some of this stuff in, and I can’t find the right one, in the right colour and the right dimensions to fit in the space I want it to go in…. is that a good enough excuse?! I did get rid of about 12 others though – so it wasn’t a complete failure!

I hope October was good for you and that November is even better!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

A Postcard from September

Hello there, it’s come to my attention of late that I’m no longer very good at maintaining momentum with my weekly Sunday Postcards. I miss posting stuff but just can’t churn posts out anymore with such frequency as I fear they will become just that – churned out and be pretty rubbish.

So, instead I’m going to have a go a publishing a monthly Postcard looking back at some of the highlights of my month just gone. If you’re up for it, here’s my Postcard from September 2021…

Last days of summer

We woke up on 1st September in beautiful Whitby but it was our last few moments of our trip and we had to pack up and be off on our way by 9am – eek! We managed it and were soon pootling along the road back to Manchester. Bye bye Whitby, thanks for having us!

You can read all about our stay on the Yorkshire coast here.

We had just a quick few days turn around before everyone returned to school for a new academic year. Everyone stayed at the same schools this time so the whole uniform thing has been far easier this summer than last year!

The return to school and the empty house gave me the freedom to get on with some things I just couldn’t do with a house full of young men….

I have been trying to find a way to financially support my podcast and hit on the idea of screen printing some bags to sell on Etsy to help pay for the hosting fees etc. I got a custom screen made by Hunt the Moon and set off on my screen printing adventure. It’s not as easy as it looks! After many attempts I managed to produce some semi-decent prints on old clothes which weren’t fit for the charity bag and started on some bags.

Here they are…. What do you think?

They are available for sale on my Etsy shop if you fancy a look. I’m hoping to add to them with some more podcast merchandise very soon plus I will be putting up some crochet patterns for sale too which I have been working on behind the scenes and I just can’t wait to share with you.

We were blessed with some truly lovely sunny days in September which meant not only could I screen print in the back garden, I could also enjoy a bit of a potter. There’s been so much wildlife in our little patch of late from foxes and squirrels, all manner of birds including a lovely Robin and this gorgeous butterfly stopped by for a visit.

Harvest time

I’ve really enjoyed having a go at growing some of our own food this year during our first summer in our new garden. I managed to harvest loads of cherry tomatoes, enough potatoes for one dinner including several potatoes about the size of a large pea (!), strawberries, loads and loads of kale for Diamond (our bunny) and one measly broad bean! I think I’ll give the beans a miss next year!

Some of Diamond’s kale – he even let us have some too!
The single broad bean!

A crocheted thank you

The schools where we live now are selective at secondary level and in order to get Littlest ready for the impending exams he’s been visiting a lovely lady called Emma. The exams are now done (what a relief) we won’t know the outcome for a while yet but we have said goodbye and thank you to Emma for all her hard work. I made her a mini Emma to have on her desk in her tutoring uniform as a little thank you. She was really pleased with it. (I made it using the Crochet Iconic Women pattern book by Carla Mitrani).

Craftivism update

You may remember the Manchester Flock of Canary Craftivists I was a part of in the summer? Well the start of September marked the time to send our canaries off to our local MPs with a handwritten letter asking for them to do all they can to support action to stop the Climate Crisis ahead of COP26 in November. Charlie the canary flew off to my MP who later wrote back to thank me.

Yarndale

A rare photo of me (left) with Yvonne from Bonnie’s Little Crafts

On 25th September I was lucky enough to be able to go to Yarndale. It was such a thrill to go back to Skipton after my last visit in 2016. the first person I bumped into once I was in the auction mart was Yvonne from Bonnie’s Little Crafts who I met on that previous visit when she ran a campaign for knitters & crocheters to make 7000 woolly hearts for Yarndale. She told me all the about the story of this blanket, which you will be able to hear by tuning into Making Stitches when it gets published.

I took my microphone with me and recorded loads of material for my latest episode of Making Stitches Podcast which will be out on Friday. I stayed literally to the end as you can see below! It was lovely to be able to enjoy all the beautiful decorations without the crowds of folk standing in the way!

After the crowds have gone home…

I also left with a bit more than I arrived with….

My Yarndale haul
Skipton

I enjoyed my day in Skipton for Yarndale so much I actually felt like I’d been away on holiday for about a week! It was just what the Dr ordered.

That’s just about all my news for September, I hope it was a good month for you. Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

A rainbow to end September
A monthly picture round-up

Summer Craft Challenge 2021 (Week 6)

I won’t say it’s gone by in a flash, it has in some ways but in others it’s gone slowly. The school summer holidays are over (two of my three are back in school today, Number 3 goes tomorrow) and that means this year’s Summer Craft Challenge is over too.

Back in the summer of 2016 I set myself the challenge of doing something crafty, even if it was just for 5 minutes, every day of the school summer holidays. At the time we were living in Gibraltar, far from family in the UK, and although we would fly home to Blighty for a few weeks, the 9-week-long Gibraltarian school break was more than a little bit daunting. By doing something fun and crafty each day, I thought that would break things up for me. Also by blogging about it, it forced me to keep going.

I find it’s so easy (when you’re busy) to forget about crafts. They get put on a back burner and forgotten about as I get consumed with everything else going on. However, the longer I am without a crochet hook or needle in my hand the worse my mood becomes. By setting myself this challenge it reminded me to not forget my crafty projects and also made me consciously plan what I would do ie. Was it portable to take on holiday or for a day out?

I managed to fill that first 9 weeks with fun makes, and every summer holiday since (apart from last year when we moved house and country over the summer back to the UK). This year I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to keep the momentum going in a new (old) country with fewer days at the beach and lazing about, but I did. I achieved something crafty on every day bar one – as you will see.

Here’s my final installment…

Day 36: Saturday 28th August

Just over a week ago, I packed up the car and drove us all to Whitby for a little holiday. This was the one day all summer that I didn’t manage to do anything crafty (unless packing and unpacking fall into that category). It was a lovely day nonetheless and the sunshine welcomed us to the North Yorkshire coast!

Day 37: Sunday 29th August

After a day exploring Whitby, I had the chance for an evening with a chilled vino and my hook… now that’s what holidays are for!

Day 38: Monday 30th August

I brought my liberty patchwork kit with me on holiday and day 38 meant hexies.

Day 39: Tuesday 31st August

Our last night of the holiday – by the time we were all packed up there was only a little bit of time to sit down and crochet.

Day 40: Wednesday 1st September

Back home again and after all the washing was done I sat down to make a few more hexies.

Day 41: Thursday 2nd September

This is my least favourite sewing job of the year… school trouser hems and name tags. The most monotonous job! It can only be improved to my mind with a decent podcast playing in your ears and a cup of coffee by your side!!

Day 42: Friday 3rd September

Back on the crochet again, playing with amigurumi patterns.

Day 43: Saturday 4th September

Saturday evening in front of the telly gave me the time to work on another seven hexies, in blues & greens this time. I’m really looking forward to joining them all together.

Day 44: Sunday 5th September

I ended this year’s summer craft challenge with a very unremarkable bit of crochet … a mistletoe leaf – well at least that’s what it’s supposed to look like!! It was a busy day yesterday making the most of good dry sunny weather to get to the bottom of the laundry pile and getting the last few bits and pieces sorted ready for returning to school this week. I was almost falling asleep as I did this last night!

So that marks the end of this summer’s challenge, it’s been good fun and just the impetus I needed to keep me going with my crafting when all things family seem to get between me and few moments of craftiness. I managed to either crochet or sew on all but one day of the past 44 days so I’ll take that as a victory.

I also managed to complete a couple of things…

My Making Stitches craft room wreath from Simply crochet Magazine

And….

My Little Box of Crochet heart cushion

Thanks so much for joining me in this daily quest and thank you for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2021

A postcard from North Yorkshire

Hello there, it’s been a while since I’ve sent you a postcard, so I thought our recent trip to North Yorkshire was the perfect opportunity to send one!

Last weekend we packed up the car and headed off up North from Manchester to visit the North Yorkshire coast. It’s been about 20 years since I’ve been up in this part of the world so I was very much looking forward to seeing it again.

We stayed in a modern apartment right on the side of the River Esk which meets the sea in Whitby. Not only could we see the River and the boats near by, we also had steam trains chugging past on the opposite side of the river!

We arrived on a beautifully warm and sunny Saturday and once the car was unpacked we rushed out to make the most of what was left of the day and the sunshine, knowing the good weather wasn’t expected to last for long.

Whitby looked stunning in the sunshine!

On my previous two visits, we had come out of season and I’m pretty sure it was in the depths of winter so it was lovely to see at least a few hours of summer here!

Looking south

We ventured out along one of the long curving piers – something which I hadn’t done before and wasn’t entirely happy with… I’m not great with heights and despite there being railings along the side was worried I may lose a Little Postcard or even myself over the side. I was very glad to get back onto terra firma and not entirely sure I would repeat the experience!

The view back to Whitby from the pier

Being a bank holiday weekend and being very sunny, pretty much everywhere in Whitby was rammed which made us feel a little uneasy after months of avoiding crowds. We did find a few spots which were quiet though…

Henrietta Street

And this made me laugh… experience told me there would be a few of these this holiday.

We woke up on Saturday morning to grey skies – as had been forecast – but wouldn’t let that stop us getting out and exploring. Our arrival in Whitby had coincided with Whitby War weekend, which was being held on a large field behind the ruins of Whitby Abbey.

On our wander about on Saturday we had spotted a number of people dressed in 1940s style clothing so my interest was piqued and I dragged the Little Postcards up the hill to discover what was going on.

We were immediately greeted by some America civil war soldiers. There were demonstrations going on in the main arena.

And lots of folk in costume from lots of different conflicts from around the world including the Spanish Civil War, Vikings, Roundheads & Cavaliers as well as World War I trenches and World War II memorabilia.

The Little Postcards found it a bit odd why the Confederate flag and Swastika were allowed to fly freely on British soil. That led to a heated debate about whether certain factions should be airbrushed from history or remembered for what they did.

In other news, they did enjoy the archery!

As we left the War Weekend event, we walked down past the atmospheric Whitby Abbey ruins which were hosting a medieval event. We didn’t go in though, opting instead for an ice cream!

The views from the cliff top were beautiful in spite of the rather dull weather.

We popped into the beautiful St Mary’s Church and saw the first of many references to craftiness we would see on our trip…

It’s a beautiful old church with ‘boxes’ for people to sit in rather than pews.

And there were more knitted & crocheted remembrance poppies inside…

Then we ‘did’ the famous 199 Steps the easy way… heading downwards!

It gave us a great vantage point to see Whitby’s rooftops from above.

Later on we climbed up the cliffs on the other side of the river to see where we had been.

Bank Holiday Monday gave us the same kind of grey weather unfortunately along with a fair amount of misty rain so we got into the car and headed south to Robin Hood’s Bay. Although I have been before, I had very few memories of the place so it was lovely to visit it again and enjoy the quaint narrow streets down to the sea.

It is so quaint it almost felt like a theme park rather than a real place where real people live!

The cottages are so lovely and well looked after although if there are any people still living there full time, they must find the invasion of tourists a bit of a drag (apologies for that!).

It can’t be easy living on such an incline – especially in winter. I know what it’s like to live on a hill after our time in Gib but at least we didn’t experience snow and ice there.

After taking a walk through the village and down to the sea, we explored the cliffs above the bay for a while.

And we happened upon a lovely mosaic on the sea walls. There’s craftiness everywhere if you know where to look… it says “A community knitted together. Woven in time”

Do you see the giant knitting needles?

I thought this was lovely.

We hopped back into the car again and set off for Scarborough next. It was a typical British bank holiday… crumby weather but still some brave souls on the beach. I believe Scarborough ‘enjoyed’ the UK’s coldest weather that day! Typical!!

Inspite of the grey skies, the beach huts were looking bright and cheerful. I am a great fan of beach huts, having had many holidays in Norfolk & Suffolk over the years but never in all my days have I seen two-storey beach huts before!!

A quick lunch & wander through Peasholm Park brought us back to our car.

Peasholm Park

We headed back to Whitby to have some dinner before heading out on a spooky ghost walk with Dr Crank!

Dr Crank in action!

We heard stories of a headless horseman, a hand of glory, grey ladies, terrible terrorizing black cats and of course, lots of information about Dracula and where Bram Stoker got his inspiration from. It was a super 90 minute-long walk and talk with plenty of jokes and banter. We thoroughly enjoyed it.

Whitby whalebone arch – the beginning and end point of the ghost walk

If you’d like more information about this Whitby ghost walk – which is suitable for families (ie – not too gruesome) please visit the Whitby Walks website.

Whitby harbour at night

Tuesday was our last full day in Whitby so we headed back into town and climbed up through Pannett Park to the Whitby Museum and Pannett Art Gallery, as recommended by Dr Crank the night before.

It’s very reasonably priced – it cost us just £6 to get in and that granted us a year-long season ticket! It’s filled with treasures from Whitby’s past from fossils to Whitby Jet jewelry, and antique toys to the town’s seafaring traditions.

Some of the samplers on display

There were beautiful examples of embroidered samplers and handicrafts from overseas brought back by the town’s sea-going explorers.

Examples of native North American beadwork

It really is worth a visit. The Little Postcards loved the huge array of model ships on display including a model of HMS Victory which, of course, was captained by Admiral Nelson in the battle of Trafalgar and had to be repaired in Gibraltar before returning to Britain with Nelson’s body. There seem to be links to Gibraltar wherever we go!!

There she is! Ever present in maritime history…

Around Whitby itself there is a lovely collection of metallic sculptures to commemorate the town’s history. They even gave a nod to knitting too.

At first glance I thought she was knitting a sock, but upon reading the plaque you can see she is knitting a fisherman’s gansey – a sweater which would protect her fisherman husband from the elements.

And for any real life crafters visiting Whitby, I have to recommend a visit to Whitby Crafts. What an amazing Aladin’s Cave of crafty delights it is, with floor to ceiling racks of fabric in every hue of the rainbow as well as embroidery kits and yarn too.

And in the blink of an eye our holiday was over. 4 nights in Whitby gone in a flash. We’re now back home, the washer’s on and the cases are up in the loft again already! Thank you North Yorkshire for a lovely time even if the sun didn’t shine much!!

Sunset on our last evening

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2021 (Week 1)

Hello there! It’s summertime – could someone please let the weather know?! Our early heatwave has well and truly disappeared! Never mind – damp and cloudy days do make me feel less guilty about not heading off for days out with the Little Postcards, more time for snuggles and crochet I guess.

I didn’t do a summer craft challenge last year for a number of reasons – moving house and countries being just two of them – a challenge was a step too far, but in previous summers I set myself a challenge of doing something crafty each day of the long (9-week-long) summer holidays we ‘enjoyed’ in Gibraltar. This year we are having a UK based summer holiday thanks to our relocation to the North-West of England, with that we have fewer weeks off school, fewer beach days and a lot less sunshine, however that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun!

Fun to me almost always involves something crafty, so why not relaunch my challenge for 2021? I began last Saturday – the first weekend of the holiday for all 3 Little Postcards. I will attempt to do something crafty each day of the holiday which is a perfect excuse to power on with some of my ‘WIPs’ (works in progress) and begin something new too.

Here’s how I got on in week 1:

Day 1 : Saturday 24th July

So here is day one of my #summercraftchallenge2021 – most of the day was spent painting the inside of the summer house (after moving all the boxes!) ready to make it my new craft room – I know! I can’t quite believe it – a whole room for crafty things. And this box of yarn accidentally turned up a few weeks ago ready for me to start a new blanket over the summer.

Day 2 : Sunday 25th July

Day 2 of my summer craft challenge saw lots of progress being made – a first hexie of my new daisy hexie blanket done, plus inroads are being made in the craft room!

Day 3

Day 3 was all about amigurumi hair. Just playing with a few ideas – this little person has a passing resemblance to Frida Kahlo don’t you think?

Day 4

Day 4 of my #summercraftchallenge2021 and I’m working on something for my new craft room.

Day 5

Day 5 meant more crocheted balls!

Day 6

Spot the difference? Part of my crafty fun on day 6 involved making this little pencil ✏️. Fun to make but blimey that lead was fiddly! 😂 Looking forward to sharing all the other components of this fun project soon…

Day 7

It’s all about the granny squares today for day 7 just look at all those ends which need weaving in… thank goodness it’s a teeny-tiny blanket I’m making! Got to love a granny square though – they’re definitely worth it!

So there you have it, one week gone already – 5 more to go!!

Sunday Postcard #27 16.5.21

Hello there! It’s been a while. I hope you’re ok. I went missing in action for a while there, there was no big reason, just didn’t feel the need to check into blogland. But I’m back, I just thought I’d pop in and say hi!

So what have I been up to lately? Well lots of stuff and nothing too. There has been some progress on unpacking the house (6 months after our move) thanks to a couple of trips to Ikea. However, despite this, the house seems to be a bigger mess than it was before for some reason. I guess we will get there in the end. There just seems to be so many other things which need doing too and progress on everything is slow. Here’s a quick recap on what I’ve been up to over the last few weeks…

I’ve been jabbed!

Last month, round about the time I went missing in action, I had my first Covid jab. I have to admit I didn’t have a great reaction to it as I was pretty unwell for a day or so – it felt a lot like when I had Covid last year – but I guess that means it’s working so I’m not complaining. Fingers crossed my next dose won’t have the same effect.

Football crazy

Football seems to have taken over my life in recent weeks. Littlest used to play for a team when we lived in Gibraltar and recently he got involved with a team over here in Manchester. We now have training twice a week and the possibility of two matches a week too to try to make up for lost time during the most recent lockdown. That may have had some bearing on my lack of visibility on here!! He’s loving it though, and the prospect of away matches means we have the perfect opportunity to explore some new locations not too far from home! This was my view from the touchline yesterday morning for his first ever match.

AmiguruMay

I have been taking part in the Instagram challenge by the talented amigurumi designer Ilaria Caliri called AmiguruMay this month. It’s given me the perfect opportunity to look back through my old photos to find my amigurumi creations of old! Here are a couple of old friends Rocksy & Gib! You can read about their exploits up the Rock here.

Podcast news

Episode 24 Rosina from Zeens and Roger

Blimey, I’ve been away so long that I’ve actually published not one, but two episodes of Making Stitches since I last checked in. The first was with a fellow blogger and hugely talented crochet designer Rosina of Zeens and Roger. Rosina and I started blogging around a similar time and have followed each other over the years, although Rosina has done very good things and achieved such a lot in the meantime!!

Episode 25 : Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective

My next episode, which was published on Friday this week, features my conversation with the inspirational Sarah Corbett from the Craftivist Collective. I found our chat so inspiring and utterly fascinating. Sarah’s method of ‘gentle protest’ has had amazing results and she is keen for lots more crafters to get involved in her new project ahead of Cop26 in Glasgow this year.

You can listen to both of these episodes via this link.

In other news I’ve been published!

I have been a fan and a subscriber to Simply Crochet magazine for years, and recently was given the opportunity to write an article for them. It was a call to action for crocheters to support their local yarn shops after this dreadful year of lockdowns and restrictions. I spoke to some lovely shop owners who were so generous with their time, and I feel very proud to have been published in this super magazine. Thank you Simply Crochet!

And that’s just about it for this postcard. Sorry I was away so long, I will try to do better next time! I hope life has been treating you kindly, and that you have a good week.

Until next time, take care.

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #26 18.04.21

Hello there, I hope you’ve had a good week. It’s been a gloriously sunny one for us which has been a delight. Here’s what we’ve been up to this week…

Garden potterings…

Back in February/March I started planting seeds ready for summer, I now have two sweet pea wigwams planted up, broad beans, kale, dahlias and sweet corn seedlings. Plus I added to my crop with some baby bedding plants which are all sheltering in the summer house until the frosts have passed. I’m hoping for a colourful and tasty garden ahead.

Nature walk

Last Sunday we simply had to get out to enjoy the beautiful blue skies. We popped out for a walk to our local nature reserve. Isn’t the sky glorious?!

Beside the sea

In August last year, we made our first trip to Crosby on the coast just north of Liverpool. It’s just an hour’s drive from our home in Manchester. On Monday, we went back – our first trip out of the local area since well before Christmas. As you can see, we were so lucky with the weather.

We took a picnic with us and found a bench amongst the dunes. We had the place very nearly to ourselves. It was perfect!

I even managed some alfresco crochet for the first time this year!!

Shopping!

Littlest returned to school after his Easter holidays on Wednesday, so that gave us the perfect opportunity for a teenaged clothes shopping trip to the Trafford Centre (everyone had grown so much during lockdown!). The crowds of Monday shoppers had passed and we were in and out before midday. That was enough for us!!

We also managed to get three young men’s hair cut as well… it was a successful week. I can’t wait until my own appointment next week!

Podcast news

Matthew Downham, a textile artist from Wales was my guest on the latest episode of Making Stitches. Matthew, who spoke openly about the struggles he has had with anxiety told me how when he discovered sewing, he was able to channel his creativity. If you would like to listen to our chat, you can hear it by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or via this link.

And that’s just about it for this week. I have one more day with two young men at home before everyone heads back to school. Time to get on with boring household jobs and less fun trips out. I fear the next Sunday Postcard won’t be quite as picturesque!

Whatever you’re up to, I hope you have a good week. Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #25 11.4.21

Hello! I hope you’re doing ok. It’s been a funny old week hasn’t it? The last one of this stage of UK lockdown and the news being dominated by the death of Prince Philip. I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose your partner of more than 70 years. My thoughts are with the Queen and her family.

Closer to home, we have tried to make the most of our Easter holidays in spite of a mixed bag of weather. As I looked out of the curtains after midnight last night – it was snowing here in Manchester!! No sign of the white stuff this morning though. Here’s a little look back at our week…

Easter cake

We had such a lovely Easter weekend last week, the weather was kind to us and the eased restrictions meant that we were able to spend time with loved ones who we hadn’t seen for too long. To celebrate, my Mum made this yummy cake! It was delicious!

Easter Monday walk

Despite a forecast of snow and ice, we woke up to more stunning weather on Easter Monday and made the most of the sun with a walk around fields near our home. Little did we know, the snow and cold weather would still be heading our way…

Snowy treasure trail

Lymm Cross

Last summer, we went on a treasure trail around the centre of Manchester as an activity to get us out of the house amid the severe restrictions we were facing. During the recent months of lockdown I have long wished we could do another one, as there are several within easy reach of where we are in south west Manchester.

On Tuesday, despite the grey skies and the drop in temperature, we paid for and downloaded another treasure trail – this one for the nearby village of Lymm in Cheshire. It took us along paths we had never visited before and taught us a little about the history of the place. In spite of the snow and cold, it was a fun afternoon!

Slittern Brook

We were glad of the hot drink back at home though!!

If you fancy a go at a treasure trail yourself, you can find them here. (This is not an advert! We just enjoyed it and thought you might too).

Bridgewater Canal in Lymm

Latest project

This was supposed to be finished by Easter, but life and lack of room in my brain to figure things out have got in the way of creativity. Hopefully, she will be making an appearance soon!

Reacquainted with an old friend

Tatton Park

On Friday morning we headed into Cheshire to visit a place I haven’t been to in years – Tatton Park. Unfortunately we were too late to book to visit the gardens, but we did get the chance to wander around the deer park. It was lovely, in spite of sibling bickering and a passing snow shower!

The aviation geek amongst us was even able to watch the planes taking off from nearby Manchester Airport and passing overhead.

New garden delights

Cherry plum (Prunus)

One of the joys of seeing a new garden wake up for spring is the delight of watching new things appear. Just two weeks ago, this small tree was simply a tree with new red leaves, now it is covered in the most beautiful, perfect, white blossom! It’s definitely a keeper!

It’s been fun to be able to get out and potter about in the garden. I was also able to get my brand new lawnmower out for a spin and potted on a few seedlings. Fingers crossed the threat of frost passes soon so I can actually plant them out in the garden soon!

Second National Trust visit of the week!

Footpath from Dunham Massey to Little Bollington

So yesterday we managed to get into our favourite and nearest National Trust property- Dunham Massey. Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great and we were only able to get a parking entry for late in the afternoon. We managed a short walk in the park and then out towards the village of Little Bollington before the rain and sleet came!

Heading back into the park

We didn’t hang around for long once the sleet arrived – it looked set to stay (and it did). Never mind, it was a nice trip out to see some green space!

That’s all from me for this week, I hope the coming seven days are good to you. A couple of our household are particularly excited about the prospect of going clothes shopping next week before returning to school. I think my standards have dropped since Covid first started because I’m not bothered about clothes – it’s yarn shops I want to get into!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Sunday/Monday Postcard #24 5.4.21

Hello there, I hope you’re doing ok. Didn’t get this ready in time to be a Sunday Postcard, so it’s an Easter Monday one instead.

I hope you have had a decent Easter weekend – we have had such lovely sunny weather in Manchester which meant we were able to have my brother and his wife over to see us in our back garden – the first time we had seen them since Christmas Day. It was the perfect day – lovely weather and lovely conversations. You couldn’t have topped it.

Here’s a little look back at the last couple of weeks in our world.

Spring walks

We’ve been able to pop out for a few walks lately, as the weather has been kind to us. Mostly dry and sometimes beautifully sunny. We headed back to the banks of the River Mersey for a walk and lovely takeaway hot chocolate from the Riverbank Café.

Internet safety model

Littlest came home from school with this kit to make. It was made by Google and involves you answering questions about internet safety and as you get them right – you are given assembly instructions. It was a very informative half an hour or so, and was amazed how much he knew already. A very good idea for young ones and old ones alike.

A new tree

When we last lived in the UK (and weren’t planning on leaving) we planted an apple tree in our back garden. I imagined the Little Postcards would be able to watch it grow as they grew. Of course we left that tree behind when we moved to Gibraltar, so I always intended on getting a tree for our new garden.

I took a trip to the garden centre while the boys were at school for something else and spotted this tree, it was an impulse buy and I had a slight panic that it wouldn’t fit in the car – with a bit of jiggery-pokery I got it in!

Here it is in its new home!

Happy post

I got some super happy post a fortnight ago, I have long wanted one of Cathy from Dear Emma’s fabric pots with little houses on. They are so cute! So I spent some of my birthday money on one. Isn’t it beautiful?

I also took delivery of this inspiring and very well written book by Sarah Corbett – ‘How to be a Craftivist’. I have long watched the Craftivist Collective at work on Instagram and wanted to know more about what they do. I can highly recommend it.

A new amigurumi person…

I’ve been taking inspiration from my own garden for my latest amigurumi make. Can you tell what I’ve been making?!

Introducing Dave, the King of the Daffodils!

He’s looking a bit lonely though isn’t he? I think he needs a friend… watch this space!

Heading out of lockdown

Football training last week

It’s been lovely for the past week to begin doing some more ‘adventurous’ things. Now we are on the way out of lockdown (hopefully) Littlest has been able to join a local football team for training – which is brilliant after so long trapped in our own home and garden.

I’ve also been able to have a couple of friends over for coffee (and a glass of wine) in our garden – what bliss after so long apart!

Podcast news

Hayley from Dotcraftstudio

Last Friday on Making Stitches I published the latest episode featuring Hayley from Dotcraftstudio who spoke about her experience on Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas and how her craft of amigurumi faux animal heads has developed over time.

You can listen by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or via this link.

That’s all I’ve got for you for this latest Postcard, I often find it hard to find things to include as life isn’t quite as picturesque as it once was for us when we lived overlooking the Bay of Gibraltar! However, inspite of the lack of sea views, life has been very good to us and we have been blessed with the kindness of friends and family who more than make up for any sea views!

Until next time, I hope life treats you kindly. Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x