Countdown to Yarndale 2016

Yarndale


I have been a follower of the inspiringly colourful Attic24 blog for a few years now. Back in my early days living here in Gibraltar when my homesickness for the north of England got me yearning for lush green countryside, I could get my fix of the passing seasons from Lucy’s lovely woodland walks.

It was, though, the crochet which introduced me to Attic24 first of all. I don’t know what made me pick up a crochet hook so many years after being taught as a child by my lovely Gran. In the intervening years between learning the skill on my summer holidays at Gran’s house and our arrival in Gibraltar, I really can’t remember ever feeling the need to pick up a hook and yarn again. (My love of sewing and embroidery continued but not that.)

 

My Attic24 inspired tin & jar

One day, for some long forgotten reason, I found myself trawling the Internet for crochet inspiration and I happened upon Lucy’s lovely post about crochet covered tins. Over the next few months whenever I did a hapless online search for crochet patterns and tips, sure enough Attic24 would appear in my search results.

I soon found myself actively seeking out the blog and looking for new posts about yarn as well as family life in Yorkshire. (I’m familiar with this part of the world as we lived in West Yorkshire before moving to the Rock.) When Lucy announced that she was part of a group of people organising a new festival of yarn in her home town of Skipton, I watched from afar glued to the updates and wishing the project well knowing full well I wouldn’t be able to attend.

In the run up to that first Yarndale, 3 years ago, Lucy made an appeal to readers of her blog to contribute granny bunting to decorate the auction mart where the festival is held. I felt compelled to have a go and send one in. Following the detailed and clear instructions I created a ‘Gibraltar’ bunting triangle featuring the national colours of the Rock.

I was thrilled to be sending my little triangle to Yarndale, safe in the knowledge that although I was unable to attend, a little bit of Gibraltar would be there anyway. My bunting even got a mention in the post festival bunting roll call, look at number 20!!

 

That first year, like each one since, I have avidly checked all the crafty blogs I follow to scour them for information about what the festival was like, trying to soak up a little bit of the atmosphere.

The following year, the crochet appeal for decorations was inspired by the fact the Tour de France would be coming through Skipton, so a call went out for mandalas to represent bicycle wheels. I need to point out that the request was for bright colours – hence the slightly clashy choice I made… Perhaps if I was to do it again, I would have selected a different colour palette! Oh, and it was my first attempt at a mandala too – so don’t look too carefully! 😉

A lot more intricate than the bunting this time, the mandala was hooked up and popped in the post to wing it’s way over to Skipton again in time for the Yarndale festival.

Last year, sadly, I failed to contribute to the Yarndale appeal, which was for flowers to create a display raising funds and awareness for the Alzheimers Society. I am sorry I failed to join in – the deadline for submitting anything passed me by and it was too late to join the party again.

In addition to reading accounts of the festival, I have over the years collected a few souvenirs…. programmes, bags…

… and I even have the current Yarndale calendar hanging in my crafty broom cupboard.

This year, my crochet contributions resumed; first of all was the #woollyheartsforyarndale. I first heard about this on Instagram, when @bonnies_little_crafts announced that she wanted to collect 7000 woolly hearts to give out to visitors to her home town of Skipton when they visit Yarndale 2016. 7000 is rather a tall order, so I thought I’d like to join in and send some woolly love over from Gibraltar. I hooked a few hearts up under the bright spring sunshine.

…and then posted them off to ‘Bonnie’ along with a postcard from Gibraltar (naturally). She created this beautiful photo collage when she received the parcel through the post.

Those little hearts are really quite addictive to make you know, during a bit of down time between other crochet projects, I felt the need to hook up a few more. So a second shipment of Gibraltar hearts found their way over to Skipton.

So did she reach the target of 7000? Well this is the latest update from woolly heart HQ and she’s within touching distance. Congratulations @bonnies_little_crafts!!! 

The ‘official’ appeal for crochet and knitted items this year was for little woolly sheep. They are going on display in the festival venue and will be auctioned and sold off to raise much needed funds for the Martin House children’s hospice in Boston Spa. This appeal struck a chord with me, as I was fortunate enough to visit Martin House with my job in the days before having Little Postcards of my own. It’s a truly wonderful place, so positive and friendly and a very much needed resource for the families who use it’s services.

In the spirit of my Gibraltar bunting from three years ago, I created Llanita, the Gibraltar Yarndale sheep. You can read all about her in this post : The adventures of Llanita, the Gibraltar Yarndale sheep.

Well, you can probably gather I am a keen (if distant) supporter of the Yarndale festival and I have really wished I could attend each year it has been held. This year, my patience has paid off because I’M GOING TO YARNDALE!!!!! Sorry – did that come over a bit shouty? I’m more than a little bit giddy at the prospect. I have Mr Postcard to thank for it, it’s my birthday present from him you see.

So on Friday I am going to follow in Llanita’s footsteps and fly off to Yarndale myself – I cannot wait!! I promise I’ll take loads of pictures when I’m there and share them on my return. I will have to really rein myself in and not be paying for excess baggage on the return flight – we don’t want the plane weighed down with too many yarny purchases do we?! 😉

Until next time, thank you for stopping by!

Summer craft challenge 2016 part 1

In my Sunday Sevens #39 10.7.16 post last weekend I mentioned that I’d set myself a craft challenge to do something crafty on every day of the school summer holidays. It’s for my benefit (to maintain a tiny bit of sanity restoring craft time) and for the benefit of those around me (hopefully I’ll be a slightly less grumpy Mum).

Last weekend we were staring down the barrel of 8 long weeks of school holiday. It’s my favourite time of year in that we no longer need to clock watch and get to so many activities. The flip side of the situation is that at times it can be like spinning plates trying to keep all 3 Little Postcards happy. All three have different ideas about how they would like to spend their holidays and the conflicting opinions can often lead to well, er conflict.

By promising myself a tiny window of crafting each day I have a little bit of sanctuary in among the warring factions and general chaos! Each day I have posted a daily #summercraftchallenge2016 photo on Instagram and I have even had fellow crafters saying they’ll join in too once their childrens’ schools break up for summer. If you are a crafter and fancy joining in please use the #summercraftchallenge2016 on your Instagram photos and we can all link together to share our creations.

Here’s my first seven days of the challenge:

Day 1 : Saturday 9th July

A visit from an old friend at the weekend gave us the perfect excuse to have a barbecue. Fruit punch and a new crochet project went hand in hand.

Day 2 : Sunday 10th July 

A shady spot at the Alameda Gardens park was lovely and cool on a very hot day.

Day 3 : Monday 11th July

This micro-second of bliss was shattered as I became the target of 3 water pistols…

Day 4 : Tuesday 12th July


A picnic lunch gave me the chance to make a few Attic 24 May Roses.

Day 4 : Wednesday 13th July

The first summer craft challenge project completed! A dinky wreath for our bedroom wall using my May Roses.  It measures just 13cm across.

Day 5 : Thursday 14th July


Al fresco crochet again, this time an amigurumi dinosaur which is for a soon-to-arrive little baby. Spot the deliberate mistake? A dropped stitch wasn’t noticed in the bright sun/sunglasses/camera combo. It was put right shortly before a water bomb hurled my way cut this crochet session short…

Day 7 : Friday 15th July


Learning from my previous poolside crochet mistakes I opted for an activity today which didn’t require too much concentration from me while I was supervising the Little Postcards in the pool. I hooked up quite a few little woolly hearts for this year’s Yarndale festival in Skipton recently and the ends needed darning in and buttons sewn on. These will be winging their way to my Instagram friend @bonnies_little_crafts who has set herself the challenge of creating and collecting 7000 wooly hearts to give to visitors to Yarndale this September. Check her out on Instagram and search the #woollyheartsforyarndale2016 tag if you fancy joining in, in a recent post she revealed that she has received more than 4,500 already!

So all in all, it’s not been a bad first seven days of the holiday. I wonder what next week holds in store… Thanks for stopping by 🙂

Sunday Sevens #21 6.3.16

Happy Mothering Sunday to you, I hope that if you are a mother or grandmother you are being well looked after and appreciated. 

Welcome to the latest edition of the Postcard from Gibraltar Sunday Sevens. Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Nat at the Threads & Bobbins blog. If you fancy joining in, pop over to Nat’s  blog to find out more. 

Sunday sunset  I’m afraid I have nothing profound to say about this photo other than I spotted the sunset & clouds during a brief glimpse out of the window so I grabbed my phone and dashed outside to try and get a picture. The shafts of sunshine reminded me of those sunburst stained glass windows you get on houses of a certain age who have dodged the uPVC treatment. 

A postcard (& hearts) received from Gibraltar  
 
You may remember a few weeks ago, whilst housebound caring for poorly children I set about using my sofa cuddle time wisely (apart from just cuddling up with my little patients). I decided to help a very lovely lady on Instagram attempt to collect 7000 hearts to give to visitors to her hometown of Skipton for the Yarndale 2016 festival of all things wooly in September. About a fortnight ago, I finally got around to posting off my little hearts and I’m pleased to say they reached their destination (along with a postcard from Gibraltar- naturally). I received this lovely photo collage on Instagram as a thank you :-). It really was a fun distraction from my nursing duties and so easy to make as they are tiny and take very little time at all to make. The pattern I used was the  Attic 24 Teeny Tiny Hearts pattern. To find out more about Bonnie’s Little Crafts 7000 heart challenge, have a look at her page on Instagram. 

A finished pair of curtains & valance 

 Well it was a struggle to make this sample at my home furnishing class this week. I found out to my cost the the fabric I chose and the use of a hot iron don’t mix. Not only does it make it shrink, it also makes it stretch at times – very bizarre! Anyway, after much pinning and remeasuring and repinning and measuring again I finally got there! I think they’re rather cute 🙂

Full circle skirt – complete!  I’m really very pleased with this one. I’m sure I’ll get loads of wear out of it in the hotter weather (the winter boots don’t quite work with it!). This was the most complicated skirt to prepare for on my dressmaking course but by far the easiest to sew. I’m thrilled – it doesn’t look homemade!! I’m now on the lookout for some more special fabric to make another longer one.

World Book Day 

  Can you tell who he went as??! 

(Clue: It was on a Wizard of Oz theme!)

The silver material wasn’t the easiest thing to sew and the planning time taken up with this meant that my other little character ended up in an improved shop bought outfit (which I’m pleased to say he loved – he wore it until bedtime!). Thankfully my biggest character had chosen a book from the 21st Century so his clothing came directly from his own wardrobe – phew!! World Book Day really is a great event, and (most of) the children I saw arriving at school seemed to really enjoy it. That said I’m so glad it only comes around once a year!

 Bunny
 I haven’t shared any photos of Bunny for a while, so here he is. Somehow he gets  taken out of his run of an evening and I find him hopping about my bed (he’s always got a young/not-so-young man looking after him at the time). He seems to love having a wider space to explore. If he nibbles my blanket I won’t be happy though!

Mother’s Day  I am one lucky Mummy, I shall be taking full advantage of this special day and try to get a bit of crochet time fitted in between being looked after by my boys. The sun is shining and we’re off to the park!

Thanks for stopping by, and have a good week!