Sunday Postcard #008 20.9.20

Hello and happy Sunday to you, I hope the sun’s shining with you today. Here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard:

Vitamin Tree

Last Sunday, much like today, we were enjoying some glorious sunshine here in the North West of England. We decided to make the most of what may well be our last few days of summer, packed a picnic and jumped into the car to head for Worden Park nearly Chorley in Lancashire.

We visited the park for the first time last summer after it was recommended by a family friend. It took about 45 mins to drive there from our home in Manchester along nice quiet motorways and we were rewarded with wide open spaces and beautiful trees. Long time readers of this blog will know I am a tree lover. You really need a bit of Vitamin Tree in your life every so often wouldn’t you agree?

Worden Park is basically the estate of a formerly grand house. The house is no longer standing but some of the outbuildings remain which are now artisan workshops and a lovely little tea room and some of the formal gardens have been retained too, including a rather stately yew tree which was planted by Queen Victoria (sadly I didn’t photograph that).

As we are in the market these days for outdoor walks where we won’t see too much of other people, Worden was perfect. Although many, many other people had been drawn out to enjoy the wide open spaces and fresh air, in the most part we were all well distanced away from them. It was a bit of a bottleneck in the formal garden (see above) although we quickly negotiated our way through there.

Although it felt warm enough to be a summer’s day, the first signs of autumn were in evidence as some of the leaves had started to turn. There will be an amazing show of colour here in the weeks to come I imagine.

I can never make up my mind how I feel about autumn. When I was away in Gibraltar for the past 11 years, where the seasons don’t have the same impact (mainly because the weather doesn’t change as dramatically and many trees there are evergreen), I really missed autumn. I had a real fondness for misty mornings, dew drops on cobwebs and crunching through fallen leaves.

Now that we are about to experience our first autumn back in England since our move, I’m looking forward to the colours which lie ahead (although sadly not the smells as my sense of smell is still to recover fully from Covid), but I’m also feeling a little sad that it marks the end of summer. I’m sure I’m not alone in that…

Perhaps the sense of uncertainty and unknown about the winter that we are heading into adds to that slight sense of unease about autumn too. Never mind, we will all go through it together, and all being well will be fine.

Sunny Monday morning

How about that for a sky? This is what I gazed up to after walking Littlest to school on Monday morning. What a belter. I can handle more of this kind of September weather thank you very much!

Mmmm delicious!

We had apple & bramble crumble for pudding one evening this week. It was very nice!

On the mend

Midweek I began to feel very tired, and then I succumbed to a rather nasty cold. The Little Postcards had it too in varying degrees but it hit me hardest. There was nothing for it other than to go to bed for a couple of days (well as much as you can do with young people to look after). I’m pleased to say I am now well and truly on the mend and even felt up to a bit of crochet . I really had better get a move on with this summery Little Box of Crochet wreath before winter!!

Birthday time

There was a Little Postcard birthday this week, there are now 2 teenagers in the house – wish me luck!!

Because of our current state of half unpacked/half packed-ness after our move from Gibraltar and our impending move to our ‘forever’ home, I have no idea where my cake tins are. So it was a shop bought birthday cake this time!

Podcast update

Making Stitches Podcast is back, my goodness I’ve missed making these episodes over the summer! This time I’ve decided to release an episode once a fortnight as weekly would be too much for me to manage at the moment bearing in mind we have another house move coming up in the next few months. This week I decided to revisit some of my guests from last series and get up to date with them.

You can find the podcast by searching for Making Stitches in your favourite podcast app or by clicking onto this link.

And that brings this week’s Sunday Postcard to an end. I hope this coming week is a good one for you!

Lindsay x

Sunday Postcard #005 30.08.20

Hello again! Blimey it feels like more than a week ago that I woke up to the sunrise in the first photo. It’s been a week of getting ready for school starting – that can be an expensive business!! Here’s this week’s Sunday Postcard…

One last Gibraltar sunrise

So this was one week ago, our last wake-up in Gibraltar for a while. In case you missed last week’s postcard, I headed back to Gib with Eldest so he could collect his GCSE results in person and say goodbye to his teachers. It was a lovely few days – if a little odd after leaving so recently, however I’m really glad we made the trip. Last Sunday though, it was time to head home.

A long road home: plane, trains, trams & automobiles!

Our epic homeward journey in 3 cars, 2 trains, 2 trams and 1 plane! With a bit of crochet to pass the time.

Unfortunately for us, we missed out on a flight back to Manchester, we delayed booking due to Covid and the fact I was preoccupied with moving, so when we did try to book, the flight we needed was sold out grrr! Our only option was to fly to Heathrow and travel up from there.

We got a fabulous view of London as we came in to land, we saw Buckingham Palace, Wembley and all sorts of easily recognisable places which was a treat. Then came the rest of the journey.

We booked a car to take us from Heathrow to Watford Junction station to avoid having to take the tube into central London (we were trying to limit the amount of people we would come into contact with). Then had two (thankfully) very quiet trains from Watford to Milton Keynes and then from Milton Keynes up to Manchester. Then caught a couple of trams to the rendezvous point where we managed to get a lift home! Phew, that was a trek. But at least I had plenty of time for crochet on the move!

Happy post

When I arrived home this was waiting for me, a cute crochet pin badge and some stitch markers from Mrs G Makes. She has some lovely stuff on her Etsy shop.

Sunset on a Wednesday

Last Wednesday we had a lovely evening trip to the park. Our local park gets rather busy on a dry day and, as we don’t really want to mix with too many people at the moment, we have been giving it a wide berth. We have been popping back there in the evenings though, which is great as we often have the place to ourselves! This was the lovely sunset which heralded our walk home.

A blanket for Bluebell

Our new set of wheels, Bluebell was so lovely and clean when I picked her up from the garage, it seemed such a shame to dirty her, so I grabbed my crochet hook and made her a blanket to protect the back seat.

I don’t know what our neighbours thought when they spotted me popping out to the car several times every evening to see if it would fit properly! Anyway, I’m pleased with the result, let’s hope it works and keeps Bluebell spick and span for now!

Dishcloths for Yarndale

Yarndale may not be happening for real this year anymore, but this year’s charity appeal is still going. This year festival organisers are asking knitters and crocheters to make dishcloths to raise money for Martin House Children’s Hospice. Earlier this year I spoke to Carole Rennison from Yarndale about this for Making Stitches Podcast, so I thought it was about time I got round to making my contribution.

A magical treasure trail

Yesterday we buzzed into Manchester City Centre to have a go at a magical treasure trail. We had to follow clues to get us from place to place, solving anagrams and codes as we went and looking out for fabulous fantastical beasts along the way.

‘Manchester – the Wizard’s Spell Book’ was loads of fun and took us to parts of the city I have never visited before (or at least I haven’t visited since major building work has taken place there). The Little Postcards loved it and so did I!

You can find the trail by visiting the Treasure Trails website and pay to download the instructions and treasure map or they will send one out to you in the post. It made for a good few hours of entertainment and was great fun. We can highly recommend it.

It’s amazing how many mystical creatures you can spot in the city. You often just need to look up!

And that brings this week’s Sunday Postcard to an end. If you have a bank holiday weekend this weekend, I hope you are enjoying it.

Thanks for stopping by!

Lindsay x

Sunday Sevens #153 9.9.18

Hello and welcome to another Sunday Sevens, this one comes to you on the eve of Gibraltar National Day. The place is looking very festive decked out in red and white bunting…

Cloudy skies

Last Sunday it was really rather humid. We set out for a walk on the last day of the (rather long) School summer holidays. The cloudy Levanter conditions made for a rather sweaty walk.

Blue skies at lunch

On Monday, after the Little Postcards’ finished their first half day at school (in Gibraltar schools operate under ‘summer hours’ until National Day), we all went for lunch in Queensway Quay. It was a lovely afternoon.

A little friend

On Tuesday I got the shock of my life when I was cleaning. I lifted the dustpan to sweep the floor, and this little chap appeared to be hiding underneath. He was dinky, and I think he was in the process of growing a new tail. He was frozen to the spot, poor thing, so I put the coke can next to him to show his size. I left the room and he scarpered!

Butterflies for Yarndale

I finished my Yarndale butterflies (I had to make a red & white one for Gibraltar abc posted them off on their way to Skipton – I hope they arrive in time for Friday’s deadline…. then I went for a walk, to post them and spotted these beauties feeding off a special butterfly table in the Alameda Gardens.

More street art

While our and about this week, I spotted another mural underway. That’s the third I’ve seen so far in Gibraltar – such a treat in a dingy underpass.

Getting ready for National Day

On Friday, the sun came out and the flags are out too all set for National Day tomorrow. Gibraltar really knows how to throw a party!

Here comes the rain….

So, Gibraltar has had a bit of a drought since April. Yesterday, the rain came. We got off rather lightly though, I believe there were floods further along the coast. It has brought with it the most blissful cool temperatures….

That’s this week’s Sunday Sevens done and dusted, I hope you’ve had a good week. As always, I’m linking with Natalie from Threads and Bobbins for this weekly blog series.

Friday photo challenge (week 14) Sweet

This week’s Friday photo challenge is ‘sweet’. I have to admit to having a very sweet tooth. Sweet things are my downfall.

This beautiful cake was very sweet and was made to celebrate a family wedding we went to last year.

And now for something completely different, and very sweet…

…this was one of the yarnbombed bollards outside the Yarndale festival 2016. The bollards were created by the Thirsk Yarnbombers for the festival.

Next week’s photo challenge is : clock.

Normally on the first week of a new month I include a monthly round-up of everyone else’s photo challenge entries, but as I’ve been away on holiday recently I haven’t had the chance to do that. The March monthly round-up will happen next week instead.

2 years of Postcard from Gibraltar 


This month, Postcard from Gibraltar celebrates it’s second birthday. I had no idea where it would lead me when I wrote my first post and if I had a crystal ball and could see my life in June 2017 I would have been very pleasantly surprised to see that it is still going!


It’s opened all sorts of doors for me and achieved just what I hoped it would – getting my brain working again after spending over a decade at home with my children. It has led to me being asked to contribute to an online publication and given me the to confidence to apply for a small part-time job which I actually got!


It has given me an excuse to keep taking loads of photos as I wander about, and allowed me to waffle on about all my crafty hobbies!


This past 12 months has seen the launch of another Postcard from Gibraltar series “Creative Gibraltar” to add to my “Stroll around Gibraltar” series and most excitingly I was able to launch the Postcard from Gibraltar Podcast which you can find through the blog as well as on PodOmatic and, wait for it, iTunes! How cool is that?


Blogging has not only helped me build my confidence, I have also met so many lovely people through it both virtually and in real life. Last September I met my crochet heroine Lucy, from Attic 24 at the Yarndale Festival in Skipton, North Yorkshire and through Instagram I met the very talented Marisa, a Gibraltar born crocheter who lives in London and who has now launched her own blog Mariwish.

Lucy from Attic24 at Yarndale with Llanita the Yarndale Sheep

If you are thinking about taking the plunge and having a go at blogging yourself I can highly recommend it! Do have a go, you never know where it will lead…. 


As Postcard from Gibraltar enters it’s third year, I would like to say a sincere thank you for coming along on my adventure with me!

 

2017 Weekly photo challenge (Week 13) Van

Ok, so this week’s photo challenge word prompt is ‘van’. I’m assuming you don’t want to see a random work’s van parked at the side of a road so I have taken a touch of artistic licence with this one… does this count?

This van/truck/camper contraption got stuck trying to get down one of the narrow residential roads in South District last year. We see lots of motor homes chugging up the hill on the way to Europa Point, presumably because their occupants want to get to the southernmost tip of Gibraltar on their holiday road trip. 

One Sunday afternoon, the main road to Europa Point was closed to allow for a crane to be erected on a nearby building site and the northward diversion route was to head down this narrow road (which has parked cars all down one side). I watched through my fingers as a few passers-by waved and gesticulated like mad to guide the unfortunate driver as he reversed uphill and round a bend while missing parked motorbikes and wing mirrors along the way! 

What about a yarnbombed ice cream van?

This beauty was parked up outside the Skipton Auction Mart at last year’s wonderful Yarndale Festival. Instead of ice creams being sold from it’s window customers were buying knitted finger puppets.

The company, Little Fingy sources it’s hand knitted puppets from villagers in the Andes in South America and raises money to support their communities.

Now for more artistic licence… how about ‘bus’ instead of ‘van’?

I wouldn’t want to be a bus driver in Gibraltar. I got stuck behind these two buses on a particularly narrow stretch of road one day. How they both got through without hitting each other or the walls either side of the road, I have no idea. Hats off the drivers for their amazing driving skills.

I’m linking with Wild Daffodil and Nana Cathy for this weekly photo challenge throughout 2017.

Crafting for others…


I make no secret of the fact that I do crafty things to keep myself sane. When things get on top of me, as long as I have a little bit of head space free to craft, I can find a way to negotiate myself out of my pickle. When I am in a stinker of a mood, it’s generally because I haven’t been able to create anything for a while.

I have been interested in making things all my life pretty much and was taught to sew, knit and crochet as a child by my Mum and Gran. My making was rested a bit while I studied, although I did manage to knit a cardigan for myself during my second year at University, mainly because it was far cheaper to knit one than to buy a ready made one.


Over the years, as friends and family got married and had children I got back in touch with my crafting side as I made gifts to mark the special occasions but when I was working full time I didn’t feel the same need to make for myself when I was relaxing at home.

Once I’d had my first child, that’s when the crafting bug bit hard again. I bought a sewing machine and started making bags to be sold in a craft co-operative near to where we lived at the time. Just as a space came free for me in the shop, we were forced to move areas with my husband’s work and unfortunately nothing came of my bag making (I did go on to sell some of them at craft fairs once we landed in Gibraltar though).


Wherever we have lived (and there have been quite a few homes over the years) my boxes of yarn, stash of fabric and sewing machine have travelled there with me. I’ve tried my hand at quilting, embroidery, dressmaking, card making, crochet, knitting, tapestry, watercolour painting and glass painting, but there are so many other crafts I would still like to try (stained glass making really appeals to me.)

I feel incredibly privileged that I have been able to put my career on hold to have a family and now that my boys are at school and need me a little less, I can turn my attention now to indulging my passion for creating. Regular readers to my blog will know that I attend two lessons each week during term time, watercolour painting and dressmaking. I love this time I can dedicate to improving my skills, but it does so much more than that. It gives me the chance to expand my mind and use my brain after 13 years as a stay-at-home-mum. In short it does wonders for my sanity.


I believe that like so many other things in life your craft muscle needs to be exercised and the more you exercise it the more your creativity grows. I am making and thinking about making so much more these days than I ever thought I possibly could. Of course the internet has a lot to do with this, I try to stay off Pinterest as there is just so much wonderful stuff on there I get frustrated that I can’t do it all, but Instagram and other blogs provide me with such amazing inspiration.

It is through Instagram and the blogs I follow that I became aware of several opportunities to get involved in crafting for a cause far greater than just making something pretty for myself or my family. Over the past few years I have been able to contribute items I have created to fundraising and awareness raising events which have much further reaching benefits than just keeping my brain ticking over.

Llanita at Catalan Bay
In recent years the Yarndale festival organisers have called on crocheters and knitters to send in items to be raffled off to raise funds or to raise awareness to the good causes they support. Yarndale 2016 was the year of the sheep, hundreds and hundreds of little yarny sheep were sent in to raise money for the Martin House Children’s Hospice (you can read about the 2016 Woolly Sheep Project here.) Do you remember Llanita the Gibraltar Yarndale sheep who went along to the Yorkshire Dales?

Llanita & Lucy from Attic24 at Yarndale
Last summer, Jenny’s Blanket of Hugs was organised by Kate Eastwood at Just Pootling. Kate appealed for crocheters to send her squares which were made in a strict palette of colours and to her design to be made into a special blanket for Jenny, the daughter of Amanda Bloom (the lady behind the Little Box of Crochet). 

Squares for Jenny’s Blanket of Hugs

Jenny has terminal cancer and the blanket was made to show solidarity for Jenny and her Mum. In the end enough squares were created all over the world and sent in, over 1,000 in total, that both Jenny and Amanda received blankets and five extra blankets and cushions were made and given to charities to raise funds. You can read all about the Blanket of Hugs story on the Just Pootling blog.

Last summer I also became aware of the Sixty Million Trebles project. At the end of 2015, the UN announced that there were 60 million displaced people in the world. The team behind Sixty Million Trebles decided to take action and use crochet to raise awareness about the plight of refugees as well as raise funds to help those affected. 

A Sixty Million Trebles blanket in the making
They are asking for donations of square blankets which measure 36 inches x 36 inches which will be joined to create a record breaking blanket totaling sixty million trebles stitches (one treble stitch = one life). The Gibraltar Crochet Collective is currently working towards the goal of sending more blankets to the cause from Gibraltar.


We are currently making a square for every day in Lent in an attempt to boost our blanket production process!

Another ongoing appeal is through Cherished Gowns UK, the organisation takes donations of wedding dresses which are then made into tiny gowns for babies who are stillborn. They are currently appealing for 2500 knitted or crocheted blankets to be made during the month of March. 

#wrappedinlove blanket for Cherished Gowns UK

Having seen friends of ours go through the pain of losing a baby, anything that can be done to help comfort bereaved parents at this terribly difficult time has to be a worthwhile cause. If you would like to support the #wrappedinlove appeal, please click on the link below.

So there you have it, crafting doesn’t need to be a self-indulgent passtime (although there’s nothing wrong with that!). There are so many opportunities to help contribute to good causes through your craft if you want to and there is very little cost involved other than yarn, time and postage.

If you would like to join in with one of these initiatives, please click on the links below to find out more about them and help spread the crochet love ❤️

For more information on how you can support these great causes, please click on these links:

Sixty Million Trebles

Cherished Gowns UK (wrapped in love blankets)

Sunday Sevens #51 2.10.16

Let the sewing begin!

Three weeks into our dressmaking course and we have finished with the pattern drawing and cutting and we are now in the process of constructing a sample top. Because it’s a sample, we are just using curtain lining material to make it, hence the rather boring photo. I’m eager to get this finished and move onto the next ‘real’ project.

Bunny bombshell

Bunny Postcard had a trip to the vets this week. We had been meaning to take him for months so that he could have some vaccinations to allow him to play out in our back patio. Now the weather is beginning to cool a little bit, we thought he might like to have a hop about outside. The first thing the vet said when she saw Bunny was ‘Oh what a lovely girl’. I thought nothing of it, thinking clearly she’s made a mistake…

Once the full medical was done, including checking his heart, ears, eyes and teeth, the vet cottoned onto the fact that we had never actually officially been told Bunny’s gender. Well the big news this week is that Bunny is officially a girl! It’s taken a bit of time for that news to sink in in certain quarters, but I’m thrilled to know that at last I am no longer the only female in the Postcard household!

Suspension 

When I flew back from Yarndale last weekend, not only did I bring with me a suitcase full of yarn and wonderful memories, I also brought my Mum and Dad with me too. They hadn’t been to see the Windsor suspension bridge yet so one afternoon this week, while the Little Postcards were still at school, we took a walk up the Rock and along the bridge. I have to say, since my last visit, a discernible creak has developed as you walk from one side of the gorge to the other which did put me slightly on edge. The view is still as stunning as ever from there though.

Not much painting going on…

Inspired by our summer holiday in Southwold back in August, I decided that my next paining project should include some of the beautiful beach huts you see along the seafront. Last week I spent the entire lesson trying to sketch out the huts freehand, and not using a ruler. Unfortunately due to the composition of the photo I’m using and it’s perspective, even when just one line was out of place, it made the whole thing look wonky and a bit rubbish.

This week after a quick refresher lesson on perspective, horizons and eyelines, my teacher very kindly gave me some tracing paper to get the skeleton of the picture down onto the paper so that at least next week I can start painting. Shhh, don’t tell anyone I cheated 😉

Interesting keyhole



I went exploring over the border in La Linea on Friday morning looking for yarn shops (not that I need to buy any more after Yarndale last weekend mind you). I had heard there were some and that they sold nice stuff. Thinking ahead to Christmas presents and such like I thought it was worth following it up.

Almost next door to a really lovely yarn shop, this most unusual keyhole caught my eye on the front door of an old building. There’s some really lovely architecture amongst all the late twentieth century and more modern apartments and shop fronts if you keep your eyes open. Next time, I need to take my camera with me….

Cake anyone? 

Yesterday, if you were in Gibraltar town centre there’s a good chance you were  ‘encouraged’ to part with your cash for raffle tickets and cakes for the Scouts. As two of the Little Postcards are in Scouts, there was a bit of baking going on this week for the annual cake stall fundraiser. My fairy cakes aren’t in this picture, they were hidden down at the other end of the stall… I photographed the pretty cakes instead 😉

Rainbow hope blanket completed


Begun on the last day of August (the very last day of the school summer holidays) and completed on the last day of September – it’s taken me a month to complete my contribution to the Sixty Million Trebles project. The blanket I made will join hundreds of others and be joined to make the worlds biggest ever blanket. It will be used to yarn bomb a site in London before being unpicked to make ‘normal-sized’ blankets which will go to charities in the UK and Syria.

The project is being run to raise awareness about the plight of the sixty million refugees who are displaced from their homes around the world at the moment. It will also raise funds for the cause too. It’s hoped that sixty million treble stitches will be crocheted to represent all the people who have been driven from their homes. Where ever my Rainbow Hope Blanket ends up, I hope it brings some hope to whoever receives it. This 36″ square blanket adds 10,656 trebles to the current count of almost five million.

Sunday Sevens is a weekly blog series created by Nat at Threads & Bobbins. For more information about it, and if you would like to join in, why not  pop over to her blog.

 


Sunday Sevens #50 25.9.16

My week began admiring a sand sculpture on Sandy Bay Beach and ended back in my childhood bedroom exhausted from the excitement of visiting Yarndale for the first time…

Sandy Bay sand sculpture 

On Sunday we took a detour down to Sandy Bay beach to admire a new sand sculpture which had been created to raise funds and awareness for Prostate Cancer. 

We arrived once the work was completed and shortly before Miss Gibraltar 2016 and her Princesses emerged from their make-up tent for a photo shoot. 

The sculpture was of the Nautilus and giant squid from the Jules Verne story; 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. It was really quite something and admired by the beach goers.

Med Steps the return


On Mondays morning I felt guilty seeing all the keen fit mums in Lycra on the school run. I had been planning to return home to laundry, vacuuming and general boring stuff and thought sod it, I’ll get my trainers out… It was the perfect morning, cool and overcast. I hadn’t been up the Med Steps since early June, so I seized the moment and did it. 

I was very pleased with myself, I completed the climb only 15 minutes or so slower than my fastest time during Med Steps 5 training. I think it was rather unfair though that extra steps were added and the gradient made steeper over the summer holidays 😉 (if only that were the case!).

Sunsets


September is definitely the month for sunsets in these parts and we’ve had some belters this week. I got a phone call on Tuesday evening from Mr Postcard to look out of the window to see the pink and purple sky (I was already out on the balcony taking a photo when he called!).

Dressmaking


My dressmaking course continued this week with more pattern making and cutting ready for our first sample top. Fabric has been bought and sewing should begin next week.

Comedy in a cave

This week the comedian, Mark Steel, brought his BBC Radio 4 show to Gibraltar. Each episode he does a show in a different town after spending a few days there learning the history and soaking up the atmosphere and character of the place.

He recorded his show in St Michael’s Cave in the heart of the Rock of Gibraltar to an audience of local residents and many stalactites. 

It was the first time Mr Postcard and I had been able to attend an event in the cave plus it was something we were very interested in so we jumped at the chance to go along. The show was really well researched and at times, hysterically funny.

If you want to listen to the show, Mark Steel’s in town (Gibraltar edition) is being broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on Wednesday 12th October.

The Rock at night 


I had never been on the Upper Rock after dark until Thursday, when we were watching Mark Steel’s show being recorded. It was absolutely beautiful to see the town lit up below us. 

Being so high up gave us a great vantage point to see the street lights in Morrocco across the Strait of Gibraltar. The height also meant we’d escaped light pollution we experience down where we live to be able to see a clear sky of twinkling stars – it was really special.

Yarndale


Wow, what can I say about Yarndale? Well it was all I’d hoped it would be and more. I’m still a little overwhelmed by it all after spending the last three years admiring it from afar. 

A late flight from Gibraltar on Friday and an early start yesterday to get across the Pennines mean I’m still a bit tired even after a lie in this morning. 

So much happened yesterday and I met some really lovely people too. There was Yarnbombing of a scale and quality which astounded me and so much yarn in so many colours and types that they boggle the mind.

When I get back home to Gibraltar I’ll be posting loads of pictures and promise to tell you all about it.

Here’s another (larger) photo of Shaun the sheep knitting on a Thirsk Yarnbombers yarn bombed bollard for you to enjoy – isn’t he amazing?


Sunday sevens is a weekly blog series created by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins blog.

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!