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 2

Day 8 : Saturday 16th July


I have a Dino tail 💙! I can’t show you any more of this make until it has been gifted and has arrived in its new home I’m afraid. I love the 3D quality of crochet, it’s just magic how yarn and a hook can create structures like this! 

Day 9 : Sunday 17th July


I hooked up my contribution to #jennysblanketofhugs organised by Kate at Just Pootling. Crocheters around the world are making up to three squares each which will be joined together into three blankets. With a colour palette of pinks, red and orange, they are made into any of the three patterns detailed on Just Pootling: plain, stripes or bobbles.

Two of the blankets will be gifted to two ladies, a mother and daughter who are going through a tough time at the moment. The third will be raffled or auctioned off to raise money for charity. It’s a very worthy cause.

Day 10 : Monday 18th July


Having watched a video on how to crochet bobbles on Just Pootling’s Instagram I realised that yesterday’s attempts at bobbles fell far short of the required roundness. They were unraveled and redone. I think they are a far superior version and am glad I discovered my mistake. I think they could become a favourite stitch and will appear in a future project :-).

Day 11 : Tuesday 19th July


A day trip to the beach meant lots of playing in the sea and chatting to friends and not much crafting, but I did manage one solitary #woollyheartforYarndale 🙂

Day 12 : Wednesday 20th July


I took a break from my crochet hook and had a bash at free-motion machine embroidery… and failed. I did a batik, quilted, fabric picture at school in sewing which used machine embroidery to embellish it (I was trying to impress with the number of different techniques – can’t you tell 😉) and I’ve always fancied having a go again. 

I tried and failed to find an attachment online to adapt my 10 year old Harmony 2039 New Home by Janome but my mind was boggled by all the options. I told my dressmaking teacher about it and she gave me the plastic plate (above right) to cover the teeth below the presser foot.

I clipped it into place (kind of) and set off. It wasn’t very free with the motion- I had to tug the fabric through and was convinced I’d end up breaking a needle (I didn’t amazingly). I did however chew up the underside of the plastic plate and got the threads tangled into lots of knots.

I asked for help from any experienced machine embroiderers on Instagram on Wednesday and was given lots of great advice about new presser feet and lowering the feed dog so I will give it another try when I get the machine out again. Isn’t the online crafting community lovely? Thank you to everyone who offered me help and advice!  🙂

Day 13 : Thursday 21st July


I’m not sure whether this counts as ‘craft’ or not, but I finished an alteration for my Mum. She asked me to shorten her new trousers, normally a simple job, but these trousers had zips at the bottom. I had to remove the zips, trim the length and then reinsert the zips in their new position.

I have to admit I was guided by my dressmaking teacher – it wasn’t an entirely solo affair, but considering that I only inserted my first zip just over six months ago, I’m pretty  pleased with how they turned out.

NOTE TO FRIENDS: I am not taking in alterations 😉 these trousers were good practice but I prefer frivolous crafting to the practical stuff! 

Day 14 : Friday 22nd July


I can’t show you what I made yesterday as it’s a surprise gift but I can show you my craft supplies all packed into my suitcase ready for our summer holidays. I flew to England last night to visit family along with the Little Postcards. Mr Postcard stayed behind to look after Bunny. He’ll join us later on when Bunny checks into his health farm retreat for his vacation.

I’ve got two crochet projects and a cross stitch picture to do while we’re away – do you think that’ll be enough?? 😉