A Postcard from August 2022

Hello there! I hope you’re well. It’s the very last day of the school summer holidays for us today… tomorrow Youngest heads off to Secondary school for the first time -eek! Also, since my last postcard post, we have had A-Level results which means that Eldest will soon fly the nest to University… not sure how I feel about that.

In the meantime here’s a little look at what we’ve been up to this last month beginning with something I completely forgot to mention which happened in July … I went to ABBA Voyage!!! How could I possibly forget to mention that?!!

ABBA VOYAGE

ABBA Voyage venue

I know I’m not alone in the fact I grew up with Abba as the soundtrack to my life, so when I saw last year that the new show was coming to London, I applied for tickets. I was hoping to take my parents with me but unfortunately a holiday they were meant to go on in 2020 got rescheduled to the same weekend so I ended up going with a couple of school friends – which was really nice. It was an utterly amazing experience and unexpectedly emotional. I would highly recommend it to anyone who likes ABBA, and thanks to the rescheduled holiday, I’m going back to see it again with my Mum later this year too!

Waiting for the show to start…

Vitamin Tree

It was always a tradition when we lived in Gibraltar, that on our annual summer holiday back to the UK we would take a picnic to Marbury Country Park near Northwich in Cheshire and have a walk, play some football or frisbee and then call in for ice cream at the Great Budworth ice cream farm on the way home – sounds like a perfect summer’s day out don’t you think? Well, this year was no different, although we were down to just 2 Little Postcards as Eldest has had a job this summer and wasn’t able to join us for our outing. It’s such a lovely place – which I treasured for the Vitamin Tree I got when I visited.

Just look at the light.

There’s something about a British summer and the way the world looks here which you don’t get in the Med. I think it’s the way the sun shines through the deciduous leaves maybe. Anyway, it’s not something I really appreciated before we moved to Gibraltar and I wondered whether I would begin to take it for granted again now we are back in the UK full time. I can tell you that I don’t! It’s just gorgeous. I didn’t take any photos of the ice cream farm this time – but I did snap the sunflower maze which had been planted for kids to wander through. Don’t those sunflowers look so bright and jolly?

Exam results day

Exam results day. 30 years ago I came to this very same building to learn my fate and find out my exam results. This year I went along with Eldest. I never could have imagined at the age of 18 that I would be back again one day with one of my children to find out how they had done. I’m relieved to say the exams went well and he’s now preparing to head off to his first choice of university later this month.

PARIS!

I had an amazing long weekend away in Paris with Eldest to celebrate his birthday (belatedly) and his exam success. We went on the Eurostar (which was amazing) and packed such a lot into our few days. There will be a blog post to follow with some of our adventures in, so I won’t tell you all about it now. Suffice to say it was amazing to get away for a few days (as we didn’t have a big family trip away this year) although I was ready for a holiday when I got back after all the walking and fun we packed in!

And so it begins… back to the old routine!

And so it begins…. back at football training again last week and a pre season friendly match at the weekend ready for the new season beginning next week. And just like that we were back to normal.

I began writing this post yesterday, and am finishing it off this morning (Monday morning) after having waved Youngest off on the school bus for the first time to take him to secondary. I have two still at home today, but will have a quiet house again tomorrow. I’m off on a shopping trip now to get things for Uni – wish me luck!

I hope August was kind to you! Thanks for stopping by,

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2022 : Week 4

So here we are again! Another week gone already. This summer is whizzing by and I want it to stop or the Little Postcards will be back to school and the leaves will be falling and we’ll be heading back into winter – nooo!

It’s been a big week in our house – we were awaiting A-Level results and I’m thrilled to say they were favourable and all is well. I’m hugely grateful that’s over and done with but am all too well aware it hasn’t been the best week for some.

Day 22 : Saturday 13th August 2022

Just look at that fabulous texture as the summer sun shines on the slub base yarn from @the_yarnwhisperer – making progress on my Dragonfly River MAL.

Day 23 : Sunday 14th August 2022

Crochet Sunshine anyone? ☀️

Sunny weather brings out the daisies in the garden! Trying to get something whipped up in time for #grannysquareday2022 tomorrow…

Pattern is the Flora square by Lucy from Attic24 and it’s really fun to make!

Day 25 : Monday 15th August 2022

Happy Granny Square Day 2022!

I was so caught up in the excitement of Granny Square Day that I couldn’t stop making them! Here’s Day 24 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 and it’s all about the grannies!

All of these Grannies are evolving into a cushion cover I think… I’m in love with the Daisy centres to the squares and they work up so fast too! Granny Square appreciation isn’t just for Granny Square Day you know! 😂

Day 26 : Tuesday 16th August 2022

And that’s them all joined up. I joined them initially, decided against my colour choices and placement, so frogged part of it, made another square and swapped the red one out. I’m chuffed with how it’s growing!

Day 27 : Wednesday 17th August 2022

So that red square which got jettisoned yesterday hasn’t gone to waste! Here it is surrounded by more granny clusters. Not sure whether it will be the back of a cushion or become a second cushion cover… I had been at sixes and sevens all day as I did a bit of this, then went off to do something else – I just couldn’t settle knowing that A-Level results were due the next day.

Day 28 : Thursday 18th August 2022

After the drama and excitement of an early morning trip to school to get some good news (thank goodness) I was back onto my Dragonfly River MAL. Getting closer to the end of part one… I’m itching to get cracking on part 2 – not long to go….

Day 29 : Friday 19th August 2022

Excuse the straggly ends… I promise I will weave them all in once I’m finished on this section of the Dragonfly River MAL! Those of you familiar with the MAL will be able to spot the mistake I made early on but decided I could live with… If my calculations are correct I’ve just got 7 rows left to go!

Thanks for stopping by to share my Summer Craft Challenge – it really is a lot of fun and keeps me busy making during the holidays when there are so many other distractions.

I hope it’s been a good week for you. See you next time!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2022 : Week 3

Hello there, how are we at Saturday already? This was meant to be published last Saturday but there’s something about the school holidays when routine goes out of the window and I completely lose track of what’s going on! I have a feeling I may not be alone in this!

Here’s what I’ve been up to craft-wise lately…

Day 15 : Saturday 6th August 2022

Day 15 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 and thankfully I found some time for crochet at the end of the day! Progress is being made on this lovely #dragonflyrivermal project. I’m loving it! 💙💚🤍

Day 16 : Sunday 7th August 2022

You know when you realise you are only 2 rows off finishing a project but you can’t find the pattern so decide to wing it?! Well about to frog the last 2 rows for the second time… I’m off to look for the pattern! 😂

Day 17 : Monday 8th August 2022

There are days when football training is pretty bleak and miserable, but there are also days when it’s brill. Today was one of those days, sunshine, lovely parents to chat to and a spot of crochet in the evening sunshine ☀️. Making progress on my #dragonflyrivermal – I reckon I’m about a quarter of the way through. Still loving it!

Day 18 : Tuesday 9th August 2022

More alfresco crochet today! Our annual picnic at Marbury Park in Cheshire… I even saw a couple of dragonflies although they were too fast to photograph.

Day 18 of my #summercraftchallenge2022 was very pleasant working on my #dragonflyrivermal from @kcaco.uk & @the_yarnwhisperer in the sunshine & dappled shade of the Northwich Woodland.

Day 19 : Wednesday 10th August 2022

No time for crochet today… it’s be a day filled of utility sewing – name tapes and school trouser hems. I did give the neighbours a treat though as I dragged the ironing board out into the sunshine in the back garden so my long standing WIP and finally finished scarf/shawl could block in the sun! They’re used to watching me pose amigurumi dolls about the place, but they must’ve thought I’d gone properly bonkers to be contemplating ironing in the hot sun ☀️ 😂.

Yarn by @woollywumpkins
Shawl Pattern : Easy One Skein Crochet Shawl by @anniedesigncrochet

Ta-dah!

Day 20 : Thursday 11th August 2022

Nocturnal crochet for me this evening and back to the #dragonflyrivermal – Day 20 of my #summercraftchallenge2022

Day 21 : Friday 12th August 2022

Crochet in the garden this evening whilst admiring my new solar fairy lights… Day 21 of my #summercraftchallenge2022

And that’s last week’s crochet adventures complete! I’m off now to write the latest installment!

See you soon!

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2022 : Week Two

I can’t believe that week two of the school summer holidays is over already… where has the time gone?!

Here’s a little crafty recap of what I got up to this week – and despite having no plans to have a traditional summer holiday this year I even managed some beach crochet!!!

Day 8 : Saturday 30th July

Day 8 of my challenge was also day 1 of the Dragonfly River MAL from Heather from Keep Calm and Crochet On UK (@kcaco.uk) and Kitey from The Yarn Whisperer (@the_yarnwhisperer).

No dragonfly crochet for me yet, but a pleasant time winding my skeins into yarn cakes – aren’t they just gorgeous colours?! 💙💚🤍. I can’t wait to get started….

Day 9 : Sunday 31st July

Due to the hectic nature of things, I only had a few snippets of time to get crochet done. I’m being firm with myself and won’t let myself begin the #dragonflyrivermal until I’ve finished my current little person from my latest Up The Garden Path School Days pattern – once he’s off my hook I’ll be diving straight into dragonfly river believe you me!

In the meantime, here’s my dragonfly river yarn from @the_yarnwhisperer in all it’s beautiful glory (above)! Oh and a teeny tiny tank top too (below)!

Day 10 : Monday 1st August

Day 10 of my challengeand he’s finished! I had to somehow give him glasses and the only way I could think of doing it was by chaining embroidery cotton then sewing it into place. I’m reliably told by Youngest he looks nothing like his human counterpart. There’s nothing like kids to completely deflate your pride 😂.

Aside from that – it means that I’m free to get started on my Dragonfly River MAL!!! Rather conveniently I have two longish train journeys to make tomorrow so my MAL will be keeping me company!!!

Day 11 : Tuesday 2nd August

Manchester Piccadilly

Day 11 of my challenge and it was my first day on the #dragonflyriverMAL by Heather Keep Calm and Crochet On UK & Kitey from The Yarn Whisperer.

Coming into Birmingham New Street

Well I had 6 hours to kill on trains, so what better pass-time than this? Started at Manchester Piccadilly, frogged at Stockport, started again, then frogged at Macclesfield, started again and it was 3rd time lucky! Progress shots at Birmingham New Street & almost at Oxford!

Just outside Oxford

Final picture on my return trip – and I’m loving it! Not sure I’ll have as long to dedicate to it every day though!

Homeward bound

Day 12 : Wednesday 3rd August

Day 12 of my challenge didn’t see quite as much crochet as yesterday – just time for one row of the #dragonflyrivermal in the afternoon sun! ☀️

Day 13 : Thursday 4th August

Beautiful Lytham St Annes

Day 13 of my has been a beach day! I made crochet waves on the beach at Lytham St Annes in the sunshine!

Crochet on the beach

It was a super day organised by one of the mums at Youngest’s old school. There were loads of families there, lots of digging in the sand, football, games, hotdogs, amusements and summertime fun…. And a teeny tiny bit of crochet too!

Day 14 : Friday 5th August

Day 14 of my challenge was so busy I didn’t have time for any crochet sadly. But I did have time to drop this little chap off to his new home, so hopefully this counts. (Well I make the rules so l’ll say yes – but must do better tomorrow!)

The recipient was thrilled to bits with him despite the damning review from Littlest that he looked nothing like his human counterpart! So that was a job well done.

That’s all for this week’s installment of crafty shenanigans. Let’s hope the coming week is full of crafty fun too!

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

A postcard from June & July 2022

Sorry for the lack of postcard from June – it was a very hectic month with exams and school stuff in our house – very little of it photo worthy so I opted to tag a bit of June in with July’s postcard. So here goes…

Garden news

My front door pots

One of the joys of having a postcard from two months is that I can share the progress of my garden in that time. Last month I set about planting up two new pots to live either side of my front door – they looked a little sparse to begin with but blimey look how they’re doing now!

Also I love agapanthus, I have tried many times over the years, both in the UK and Gibraltar, to grow them but with rather lack lustre results. This year though, I was given some established plants by my parents who were thinning out their substantial agapanthus patch. Just look at these beauties – I didn’t expect them to flower after being disturbed and moved to my garden!

Football, football, football…

The calm before the chaos!

June was super busy for us with football. Our local club hosted two weekends of tournaments, youngest played in one of the home tournaments then another elsewhere the next week. The money raised from staging the tournaments, to which teams from across the North West of England come, means that they are able to keep the joining fee for young players affordable – some teams I have heard of charging literally hundreds for kids to join!

I was on bacon butty duty for some of it. I could still smell the bacon days later 😂.

From grass roots to top of the tree! Earlier this month I was lucky enough to take number 2 and number 3 sons to Old Trafford to watch the opening game of the Womens Euros – England against Austria.

Wow! What an atmosphere and their first game at Old Trafford. I’m so pleased I was able to do this and now they can say they were there at the start of the Lionesses Euros journey!

And then down to earth with a bump!

Nothing like sitting in a puddle on a deckchair on a very wet Sunday afternoon watching your 11 year old play! Utterly saturated!! We dried out eventually!

School play

Youngest’s school were able to put on their first school production in 3 years this year. Someone caught wind that I could sew so I was drafted in on the costume making. It was gorgeous fabric – rather like the type you would use for a wedding dress or bridesmaids dress which the school had been gifted. It was lovely to sew but not quite big enough for what they wanted… two cloaks with hoods. Sadly there wasn’t enough for the hoods and one sleeve was made of a patchwork of 5 different pieces but I got there in the end!

Foxy Loxy

We have a few neighbourhood foxes and they are so cheeky! Since we moved here 2 years ago I have encountered one or more on my evening strolls but blimey this one was cheeky. I was walking home one evening and stopped in my tracks when I caught sight of this cheeky money stretched out at my neighbour’s driveway! He / she sat there quite happily looking straight at me as I took photos and then vanished!

Crochet news

There have been a couple of crochet pattern releases since my last monthly postcard. Daisy (above) is my most recent floral inspired pattern and the pattern has yet again been illustrated by my very talented childhood friend Emma Jackson. She was inspired by the daisies popping up on my lawn!

You can find Daisy’s pattern here.

School days pattern

Next up was my ‘School days’ pattern which was prompted after I made a couple of crocheted school children for Youngest’s school summer fair along with a load of crocheted friendship bracelets.

I thought that maybe someone else might like to make a school child for their local school’s fundraising efforts or for a young person who’s about to begin their own school adventure soon.

You can find the School Days pattern here.

Podcast news

It’s been a busy couple of months for Making Stitches Podcast. There have been 5 episodes released in June & July. Clockwise from the top left of the photo above there was Joanne Scrace from The Crochet Project, Kitey aka The Yarn Whisperer, Sally Wilson from Caterpillar Cross Stitch, Emma Munn from Emma Knitty and finally Christine Perry aka Winwick Mum and Juey from Juey Jumbo Craft Tools.

You can listen back to any of the episodes by searching for Making Stitches on your favourite podcast app or via this link.

And that just about brings this latest postcard to a close. I hope June & July we’re kind to you and your August is going well too. The tension levels are rising in our house as the dreaded A-Level results day draws nearer…. Eek!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Take care,

Lindsay x

Summer Craft Challenge 2022 : Week One

Well folks it’s that time of year again when I challenge myself to do something crafty every day of the school summer holidays, take a photo of it and share it. It’s become a bit of an institution round here. Being a stay-at-home Mum, and especially when we stayed in Gibraltar where they have longer school summer holidays (8+ weeks some years) I clung to my craft as a little routine to get me through!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love my children, but often the things I like to do would get cast aside in favour of family stuff. But by carving out as little as 5 minutes some days meant I had a little slice of time in the day to focus on my hands and unknot my brain.

So, last weekend was the first of this summer’s break and I thought I’d pick up the summer craft challenge baton again and run with it… here goes:

Day 1 : Saturday 23rd July 2022

Why not start with a WIP I was working on in last year’s summer craft challenge? This Daisy hexie blanket was a kit from Yarn Lane. The pattern and most of the yarn is by Marriner Yarns but I’ve decided it looked too samey so am alternating the penultimate round with varying pastel shades from my own stash (predominately Stylecraft Special DK). We’ll see if my plan works in about six years’ time when I finish! 😂

Day 2 : Sunday 24th July

More hexies today, but done with bleary eyes. Do you spot the balloon? It was Youngest’s birthday very recently but as it was very hectic with end of term excitement on the big day, his party was last night – including a ‘not-very-much-sleep… over’. I managed to find a few moments before dropping off after the post party clear up for a bit of crochet!

Day 3 : Monday 25th July

Just before the end of term, youngest was invested into one of the local scout groups. I had been putting off sewing the new badges on for a couple of weeks but decided to crack on before the new school uniform began arriving with all the required name tapes and hem alterations. Not exactly ‘fun’ sewing, more untility sewing but more colourful than what lies ahead!

Day 4 : Tuesday 26th July

An odd day with appointments and shopping, but still time to begin another project! A little head for another school child to be gifted.

Day 5 : Wednesday 27th July 2022

Leg number one done after a busy day chasing round on the hunt for new school uniform!

Day 6 : Thursday 28th July 2022

And then there were two!

Day 7 : Friday 29th July 2022

And finally a body! Just needs his head, hair, tie & jumper….

I’m feeling rather pleased that I haven’t fallen at the first hurdle and have managed a complete week! Here goes for week 2…..,

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

The Class of 2022: crochet, school days & the end of an era

Today is a bit of a milestone in our home. It marks the end of a 14 year-long period of time when at least one of the Postcard children was at primary school. Today, Youngest says goodbye to his primary years and looks ahead to secondary education. It’s going to be an emotional one for everyone involved – the Leaver’s Assembly will be awash with parental tears I’m sure.

Photo borrowed from my ‘Back to School’ post in September 2015 – eek time flies!

For some of Youngest’s classmates it’s the end of 8 years at the school – those who began in Nursery and then Reception before moving up the school to Year 6. For him though, it marks the end of a very happy 2 years settling into a new life in the UK after starting out in Gibraltar. My three boys have in total been educated in 7 different primary schools between the three of them – starting out in West Yorkshire, then to Gibraltar and now in Manchester. For someone who spent the entirety of her childhood in the same house and went to three schools in total, my boys have had a rather ‘interesting’ time of it. I hope that the new people and experiences they have encountered along the way have enhanced rather than detracted from their learning and life experiences.

I felt that I had to do something to thank the school for all their help settling Youngest into life here and so, last month when they were able to hold their first summer fair in three years, I contributed something for their fundraising effort….

This cheeky pair are inspired by a couple of young people I know and helped raise more than £50 towards the sum raised by the parents association for school equipment. We asked people to guess the number of stitches used to make each school child. The guesses ranged from 60 to tens of thousands!

Once I’d stared crocheting though, I couldn’t stop, so made a load of crocheted friendship bracelets and hair clips to add to the stall as well. The hair clips are decorated with Lucy from Attic24’s Teeny Tiny Flowers you can find the link to that pattern here.

The bracelets I made up myself – they are super easy. Just chain 31, then make 1 double crochet (Dc) in the 2nd chain from the hook and along the remaining 29 Chains. Then chain 15, slip stitch into the 2nd chain from the hook, and back along the remaining 13 chains. 1Dc into the first of the original chains and make 1Dc into every chain along to the other end of the row. Then chain 15 again and slip stitch into the 2nd chain from the hook, and back along the remaining 13 chains. Make 1Dc into the first of the original double crochet stitches, and every other one along the row before finishing off at the end of the row and weaving in the ends.

By the time you have made a few, they rattle off your hook in no time. There is no end to the possible colour combinations. I bought some variegated yarn in a couple of colourways to prevent the need to change colours, but for the Manchester United (red & black or white) and Manchester City (pale blue & white) themed ones I made the original chain and first row of double crochet in one colour before changing to make the edging and ties in the main colour.

I have no idea how much these other items raised in the fair, but the ones which were left over were kept by the school to sell at lunchtimes in the playground, so they didn’t go to waste.

All laid out and ready for the fair opening…

Once I had made my little crocheted school children, I suddenly thought, someone else might like to make a little school person for a child or a school in their lives too, so I wrote a pattern for it. Meet the School Days Class of 22…

School Days Class of 22

If you would like to have a go at making one of my ‘School Days’ dolls, you can find the pattern over in my Etsy shop (the link to the pattern listing is here). The pattern is written in such a way that you can make a doll who wears a skirt, trousers or shorts, a long sleeved shirt, short sleeved shirt or polo shirt and with a jumper or cardigan. In fact the cardigan could also work as a blazer if you add a lapel to the edge too. The colour combinations are entirely down to you to match your own school uniform colours, so every one will be unique just like our young people themselves.

I’m off now to lie down in a darkened room to prepare for the emotional day ahead and the long summer break….. did I hear someone say Summer Craft Challenge??

Thanks for stopping by, and happy crafting!

Lindsay x

Introducing Daisy…..

Up the Garden Path Daisy - a new amigurumi crochet pattern from Making Stitches Shop on Etsy
Daisy

Hello there! Please allow me to introduce the newest member of the Up the Garden Path gang – Daisy.

Did you make daisy chains as a child? It’s something I always liked to do during the summertime – if I could find any…. you see my Dad was very proud of his garden (he still is to be fair) and rarely did he allow the grass to get long enough to allow daisies to appear in the lawn. Most of my daisy chain making was reserved for playtime on the school field or the occasional trip to a field or meadow.

But despite that, daisies always mean summer to me. Way back in the very early days of Postcard from Gibraltar, in July 2015 on one of our family trips back home to Manchester from Gibraltar during the school summer holidays I blogged about a lovely family outing we made into the Cheshire countryside. Amongst the delights on offer that day were a woodland walk, a picnic, creamy Cheshire ice cream and, you guessed it, a daisy chain. Living in Gibraltar at the time, there was very little access to ‘real’ grass due to the climate, and certainly no daisies, so they were a bit of a novelty.

You can find that blog post about Daisies and Damselflies here .

Fast forward to last year and we were enjoying our first summer in our new home in Manchester and what should pop up through the blades of grass in our new back garden lawn than a small but very welcome crop of daisies? As I was already in the mindset to try and turn any floral inspiration I found in my garden into something yarny and specifically amigurumi, there was absolutely no question that I had to make a daisy inspired doll.

Fortunately I had some yarn in my stash which fitted the bill perfectly for the job – a couple of balls left over from making Hope the Snowdrop and some yellow which had been bought with daffodils in mind (do you remember them?) and I was able to crack on pretty much immediately. Before long Daisy was beginning to take shape.

Hope the Snowdrop and Cariad & Dave the Daffodils

I actually had another inspiration for my Daisy too, she was a lovely lady who was full of fun and involved in everything going – my Great Aunt Daisy. Although not her actual name, she was known as Daisy from being young and was always Aunt Daisy to me.

She lived on the west coast of Scotland in a tiny little village, which although small, made up it for with a sense of community and boy did she squeeze every ounce of fun out of that community. She was involved with so many groups and events from country dancing to women’s groups. Sadly no longer with us (she would have been well over 100 if she was still around today) I initially set out on my Daisy crochet adventure with Aunt Daisy in mind.

I had thought to give her white hair and glasses befitting of a village elder, but this Daisy is youthful and no less great for it. I imagine she is never one to say no to turn around the dance floor and ready to squeeze every last ounce of fun out of life.

Yet again, my pattern is based on the amigurumi technique of crocheting in the round and is in UK crochet terms. It comes in a beautifully produced and illustrated version (thanks to my wonderfully talented childhood friend Emma from Emma Jackson Art) and a text-only printer friendly version too for those who prefer to work from paper patterns and perhaps scribble notes in the margins (like me). The Daisy pattern has been launched on my Etsy shop today and is available for immediate download.

Emma’s beautiful illustration of Daisy

I hope this inspires many Daisies to be made and that they all bring that same sense of fun with them out into the world. If you fancy capturing a bit of summer meadow or lawn which will last all year long you know what to do.

She’s a perfect project for stash busting – just four colours are required and she’s made using simple stitches which would be great for beginners.

You can find the pattern for sale in my Etsy shop which you can get to via this link.

Thank you so much for stopping by, and if you do make a Daisy of your own, please do let me know by either tagging me in on social media, use the hashtags #upthegardenpathdaisy or #upthegardenpathcrochet , or just send me a message to tell me – I would love to see where any Daisies start springing up!

Have a lovely day!

Lindsay x

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