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 3

Day 15 : Saturday 23rd July 


A new project and a new location… Saturday was our first full day in Manchester and the first day of our ‘summer holiday’. As all loose ends had been darned in on my ongoing WIP before I left Gibraltar, it was time I cracked open a new ball of yarn and got cracking on my next project. This is another gift, but I have almost two weeks to complete it so no pressure 🙂

Day 16 : Sunday 24th July


Sunday’s crafting session was a family affair. I continued with my crochet I started the day before and two of the Little Postcards began their summer sewing projects. One is of landmarks in London worked in cross stitch, the other is a football tapestry worked in long stitch.  

Day 17 : Monday 25th July


Flower making on a cross country train to visit special friends who used to live in Gibraltar 🙂 …. Who now live in:

Spotted this gorgeous crochet sign in the restaurant we are dinner in – isn’t it gorgeous? 🙂 It has pride of place at the top of a community notice board.

Day 18 : Tuesday 26th July

We had such a busy day out having fun with friends that the only crafting I managed was just before bedtime. I sewed these two little flowers together which I had crocheted on our train trip the day before. Not much to show I’m afraid but a brilliant day was had by all, Mums and children alike 🙂

Day 19 : Wednesday 27th July


Another train journey – this one taking us back up north to Manchester meant time for leaves to go with all those flowers made on the southbound journey. Once the leaves were complete, this little pile of #woollyheartsforyarndale got their ends darned in and a few buttons attached. They’ll be winging their way to Skipton very soon 🙂

Day 20 : Thursday 28th July


My wreath base is complete. I just need to add the flowers & leaves.

Day 21 : Friday 29th July


I cracked open my summer holiday cross stitch picture today. It’s a lovely summery beach scene, so the big question is – will I finish it be the end of the summer? Or more likely by the end of the decade? I’m a bit slow at cross stitch as a rule, time will tell… I have never stitched on coloured Aida before and I found stitching blue thread on blue material made my eyes a bit funny even in bright daylight. The jury’s out on whether it’ll be a success or not. 


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 #26 10.4.16

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. If you fancy joining in, pop over to Natalie’s blog to find out more.
 Gibraltar’s national flower 

I have been really good this week and managed two trips up the Med Steps. On the first trip up I spotted these beautiful flowers, they are Gibraltar candytuft, the national flower of Gibraltar. The Rock is the only place where they grow. 

 Dressmaking class

  

This week’s class meant practicing attaching lining to a waistband. That’s the last of my pre-skirt samples after practicing invisible zips last time. Next lesson means I can begin my latest skirt for real – can’t wait!

Home furnishings class

 

In my home furnishings class I made a cushion, the first time I’ve ever made one using a zip. This is specially for a young man in my life with an appreciation for all things public transport related.

Meet Tracey Triceratops   

Remember the dinosaur I started crocheting on holiday last week? Well she’s finished and is now living in her new home! I used a pattern from Simply Crochet magazine.

 A thank you gift 
A few weeks ago I made some little crocheted hearts for an Instagram friend of mine @bonnies_little_crafts. She’s on a mission to collect 7000 woolly hearts to give to visitors to the Yarndale festival in her hometown of Skipton. This week I received my very own woolly heart as a thank you along with a really lovely letter. It made my day. If you would like to get involved in the #7000challenge take a look at her Instagram account.

Med Steps 5 Challenge  

On my second trip up the Med Steps this week I stepped up my training a bit and managed two circuits. Crikey it was hard work, and it’s starting to get really hot up there. How we’ll manage 5 circuits in mid May for the #MedSteps5 challenge, I have no idea!! 

A busy day in port

  
Yesterday there were three cruise ships in  port. The perfect day to avoid Main Street! It gets so busy in town when the cruise liners are here. I believe that later this month four will visit on the same day – the busiest day of the year for cruise visitors. I think we’ll be lying low that day!

Have a great week!

Sunday Sevens #16 31.1.16

Earthquake excitement  We awoke on Monday morning to hear that there had been an earthquake in the Straits of Gibraltar in the early hours of the morning. It turned out that there were several in actual fact (last I heard there had been 160 aftershocks!). Despite being up several times in the night to tend to a poorly 4 year old the whole drama passed me and the rest of the Postcard household by! Friends described their beds shaking and the rush to make sure their kids were moved away from windows, social media in Gib was humming with the excitement of it all, we didn’t notice a thing!!

Whoops spoke too soon 

 Last week I crocheted the last row of my Cosy stripe blanket and then began sewing my ends in. On Tuesday I had a few quiet moments out on the balcony and thought I’d begin my border… I looked on the Attic 24 blog for the instructions only to discover that when I’d transcribed the order of the coloured rows into my notebook (way back in 2014 – I’m not a fast worker ;-)!) I’d missed off the last 15 colours – that means another 30, yes 30, rows!!! It’ll be a while before I get to crack on with that border after all!!

#7000 challenge 

 One of my Instagram friends @bonnies_little_crafts has set herself the rather grand goal of making and collecting 7000 little crocheted hearts in time for the Yarndale yarn festival in September. Her intention is to give visitors to the festival a heart each as a welcome gift to her home town of Skipton. In previous years I have sent woolly offerings to Lucy at Attic 24 (one of the founders of the festival) for exhibition displays, so although I have failed to attend myself, a little bit of me has made it over to the Yorkshire based festival of woolliness in past years. One day I would love to go, as I have seen all the lovely pictures posted by crafty bloggers who have been already, and it looks amazing. As I have spent a large chunk of this week sitting on the sofa with poorly children I thought I’d hook up a few to send off to Skipton. If you want to have a go at making some little hearts to support the #7000 challenge, look up @bonnies_little_crafts on Instagram for more details.

Instagram photo challenge 

 I have really enjoyed taking part in the #30daysofcraftiness photo challenge this month. It has forced me to think a bit more about the photos I take and encouraged me to take photos I wouldn’t ordinarily capture. The photo above is for day 28 and the title is ‘quote’. I didn’t want to just use a Google image of an inspirational quote or cat picture (ref: The Lego Movie) so had a go at making my own. And it’s true – I get grumpy when I haven’t been near a crochet hook or needle or paintbrush for a while, to me crafts truly are my therapy!

Stormy night 

 On Friday night we had a belter of a thunderstorm. The rain and thunder had been forecast, so it wasn’t a surprise but the intensity and noise was really quite unsettling. Living in an old building with original wooden sash windows which are a little past their best, we almost felt like the roof was coming in on us. The windows and floors were rattling with the noise and the brightness of the lightening was off the scale. Thankfully it was late in the evening so our two youngest were tucked up in bed and oblivious to the storm. As the storm had taken out our TV signal, No 1 son sat up with me colouring. It was a nice way to spend quite a dramatic hour or so!

Calm after the storm 

 Looking at this, it seems hard to believe that less than 12 hours before the lightening was splitting the sky and the thunder was rattling the chimney pots! What a beautiful way to start the weekend – hello Saturday!

Med Steps in the sunshine! 

 After 6 days of poorly children, we are all healthy again (touch wood) and I managed to escape to do the Med Steps yesterday afternoon. It was hard work because it had been over a week since my last trip up AND it was warm. The sun made it absolutely glorious though, the butterflies were out, the gorse bushes were flowering and just look at the colour of that sea! I also had a first – I saw a Barbary Partridge for the first time. He was too quick for me to photograph though so you’ll just have to make do with this picture 🙂 .
Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series which was created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins.