Hello everyone and welcome to Yorkshire where I am pleased to tell you that time travel has indeed become possible!

We have whizzed through what was left of summer and have gone straight to November where the swideways misty rain is in full force. Hopefully the time travel will work the other way and we might get back to those few days in June that were sunny at some point.

We had a good weekend at Peveril Castle , we learnt from experience last year that taking all of your camping kit up the hill to the castle along with all the armour and weapons the boys feel they need, (and spares just in case), leads to some hot and bothered knights and ladies.

You can see from this picture just how high it is – a stunning location to do a show in.

Peveril castle

So we booked a campsite to stay at in the valley and so had a very pleasant two nights with food and drinks at the local hostelry and showers – a real luxury as we are normally on a quick freshen up with a bowl of water and a babywipe!

Saturday was perfect weather, the boys had set up on Friday night so we had a very lovely morning sat in the shade at the bottom of the castle doing our head dress talks then took a slow walk up for the afternoon tournament.

The view was spectacular as these pictures show – I think this is one of my all time favourite re-enactment pictures, really stunning!

Peveril - helms - small

The ladies looked beautiful as always, this is Ellie and Sadie, one of our newest members. The pictures were taken by one of the staff member’s mother who very kindly posted them on Facebook.

Peveril - ladies 2-small

Peveril - ladies 1-small

We also had a friend with us doing some posed shots, here we all are in the lovely Saturday sunshine!

Peveril - group - small

And I love this one of Ellie, Sadie and I – that backdrop is stunning, we are so very lucky being able to go to such lovely places.

Peveril - ladies and nun -small

Saturday night we discussed plans for Sunday in the pub, the forecast was bad so we spent the first hour of Sunday taking all of the equipment down from the castle in relays, in the brilliant sunshine which made us wonder if the rain would be arriving but it did by midday :-(

The afternoon was spent with all of us huddled under the porch at the back of the visitor centre trying not to leap on the brave people that came out that day and get them to try on head dresses and do some sword training.

It was a pity that we could not have done the full show but this is England and we have had a particularly rainy season this year, all of the events have been a bit wet at some point and I am still drying out tents from a couple of weeks ago as we have not had the sun during the week either.

Much as I love re-enactment I am very happy to have the next few weekends at home so can concentrate on some of the stuff for Sarah’s stall at Yarndale, the linen and Liberty pincushions are looking really cute so I am now working on matching needlebooks. Will post some pictures of finished items at the weekend.

Thanks very much for visiting and see you soon.

Sharon and I really enjoyed our recent trip to Spain, it was between 35 and 40 degrees while we were there, a little bit different to Yorkshire, so we did a lot of staying in the shade.

We did a couple of trips to Cartagena and to Elche, both cities I have been to before but there is always something new to see including the restored Roman amphitheatre and these beautiful Art Deco buildings in the side streets of Cartagena.

Spain July 2015 Cartgena 1

Spain July 2015 Cartgena 2

Spain July 2015 Cartgena 3

Spain July 2015 Cartgena 4

Spain July 2015 Cartgena 5

I went on my first ever Spanish train!

Spain July 2015 Train

Spain July 2015 Market

From the train I could see this lovely Art Deco market hall in one of the little towns that we passed, would love to go back and take some close up shots one day.

We also went on a catamaran trip around the bay, the sea was so gorgeously turquoise.

Spain July 2015 Cartgena 6

Spain July 2015 Cartgena 7

Spain July 2015 Cartgena 8

In Elche we found a new café with a lovely vertical garden and misters spraying out cool water from under the umbrellas – much appreciated!

Spain July 2015 Elche cafe

Spain July 2015 Elche apartment

Spain July 2015 Elche bench tiles

Spain July 2015 Elche cathedral 1

Spain July 2015 Elche cathedral 2

Spain July 2015 Elche door

Spain July 2015 Elche park bench

Spain July 2015 Elche roof

Spain July 2015 Elche square

Spain July 2015 Elche tiles

Spain July 2015 Elche window

One of the clothes shops in Elche, Zara, is built inside the old theatre and they have kept the stage and ceiling décor.

Spain July 2015 Elche Zara 1

Spain July 2015 Elche Zara 2

Sharon was very busy knitting the sample for Sarah, she knitted on the terrace, the beach, bus coach and train.

Spain  July 2015 Sharon knitting

We had lots of gorgeous tapas, tried a few new places out including a traditional bodega in the village where you can buy your wine and sherry on tap, plastic bottles supplied, for a couple of Euros a litre. I do love that country!

Spain July 2015

Sadly am not going back again until Jan as mu Mum is over in October for a family wedding and I am hopefully going to China for work later in October so will have to wait a while for more cheap wine ;-)

We are away this coming weekend at Peveril Castle, (the one with the very steep climb), for a show with our group. this time we have booked camping at a campsite in a nearby village to save having to take everything up the hill!

Looking forward to some lovely views and hoping for very good weather as it is a little exposed!

Take care, have a good weekend whatever you are doing and thanks for visiting.

Hello, hope that you are all having a nice weekend, I am enjoying a weekend at home, catching up on a few household things and crafting of course ;-)

Last year was the first time we had a little craft session to start ornaments early, a Christmas in July,  and we had another one yesterday at Sharon’s house with tapas and delicious ice cream from the local ice cream parlour and café.

Apologies for some reason even the pictures are the right way round in my photo editing package they won’t display properly in here so are sideways on!

Emily and I made cones and I borrowed her idea of finishing mine with a ribbon and bead decoration I had in my stash.

Crafternoon July Emily 1

Crafternoon July Emily 2

Crafternoon July cone

Crafternoon July cone  2

Helen was busy making a hexagon snowflake using fabric from Simply Solids’  new Christmas fabric stock, this is going to be one of their sample items for the shop.

Crafternoon July Helen 1

Crafternoon July Helen 2

She especially wanted me to take a picture of her cute cat earrings, the body bit moves as if the cat is dancing!

Crafternoon July Helen 3

Crafternoon July Helen 3

I also finished another of the gorgeous quilted baubles, as I thought these have been very addictive, am having to ration myself and make sure I get on with other stuff as well.

Crafternoon July bauble
I am busy finishing the linen pincushions for Sarah’s stall at Yarndale  at the moment so hope to be able to post pictures of some completed ones later on in the week.

Enjoy whatever you are doing, take care and thanks for visiting.

We have just had a fantastic weekend at Tewkesbury Medieval Festival, camped not only with our group but also with friends from the Falchion re-enactment group so have had a great time with lovely boys to keep us company and make us laugh.

There was also some splendid new kit to show off. Paul had painted the most detailed surcoat for his 15th century armour, here he is in camp and walking onto battle with myself and James who were watercarrying.

Tewks - Paul's surcoat

Tewks 2015 - battle walk on

Jamie has recently taken delivery of a new set of armour and a brigandine from Armour Services Historical, this is so beautiful and I love the rivet patterns on the brig.

Tewks - new kit

Tewks - Jamie new armour 2

Tewks - Jamie new armour 3

Tewks - Jamie new armour 4

I was able to deliver the brais and shirts I had been making to their new owners and have lots of other people asking for kit so have a busy few months planned.

However I have got a poorly wrist at the moment, think it is carpal tunnel problems so am on light duties only and cannot knit at all :-(

I am going to be working on the quilted ornaments this weekend as that does not involve much wrist movement and hopefully with a bit of rest and some wearing of my support splint should be back to normal soon!

Sharon and I had a lovely time in Spain, it was very hot – up to 40 degrees – so we spent most of our time in the shade but she got lots of sample knitting done for Sarah and really enjoyed the visits we did, will post some pictures this weekend.

Take care and thanks for visiting.

I am so lucky to live here, not only do I have wonderful scenery and fantastic hills, rivers and canals to go walking but also a really great group of friends who I met through the knitting group Wool and Wine.

It is lovely to know people who are very happy to spend Saturday afternoons, (and into the evening as we didn’t finish until 10.30 yesterday), making Christmas ornaments with me in June ;-)

There were four of us yesterday, Debbie and Fiona have not been before and Sharon and Ted came as well.

crafternoon

crafternoon 2

crafternoon 3

Ted did try to help bless him but the lack of opposable thumbs, (and the fact he was really more interested in the cake), meant that he didn’t get very far.

crafternoon 6

The rest of us were very productive and in between eating cute little cupcakes, courtesy of Marks and Spencer, and drinking a little fizz we made an ornament each.

crafternoon 5

crafternoon 4

Debbie’s was the Christmas flower that I adapted from the brooch kit I bought last year from Teazle.

crafternoon 7

This was my second quilted bauble using a mixture of holly and star fabric and a double ribbon border.

crafternoon 8

crafternoon 9

crafternoon 10

Fiona made her first ever bauble using the polystyrene shapes, she chose this lovely Scandi style fabric as she and her husband run a furniture company selling vintage mid 20th century designs called Scandi-Mod  so she loves this style.

crafternoon 11

crafternoon 13

Sharon made one of the new style quilted baubles, isn’t it pretty! She is now hooked as well, they are so addictive and so easy to do.

crafternoon 14

crafternoon 15

I started another in gold and decided that I really liked the shape of the design that was emerging without offsetting the pieces so I carried on layering them and ended up with this which I think is beautiful.

I just need to add the border out of the same gold as the middle fabric and a bit of bling. This one might have to stay with me :-)

crafternoon 16

I have to finish a tabard for Jamie this afternoon to protect his new 15th century armour, pictures of that after we have seen him at Tewkesbury and then have a bit of socialising to do before we go to Spain, it is my birthday on Tuesday so am seeing family before I go which will be very nice.

Will be back blogging in a couple of weeks after hopefully lots of lovely relaxing at the pool and the beach and lots of sun which I am really looking forward to, June is proving to be quite wet here in Yorkshire!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

 

The last property we visited, Kedleston Hall  in Derbyshire was quite a contrast to the amazing amount of objects and sad state of disrepair at Calke.

From the drive through the beautiful grounds to the splendour of the rooms built for entertaining this was a palace, with Roman inspired décor and a wonderful collection of Indian goldwork.

Kedleston -park

Kedleston Hall

Kedleston 2

Kedleston 3

It was built in 1760 by Robert Adam and so looks very much like Nostell Priory which we visited a while ago.

The house was the family seat of Lord Curzon who was Viceroy of India between 1899 and 1905 and part of the ground floor is a small museum with a fantastic display of goldwork and silverwork, mainly cases that contain commemorative scrolls from places he made official visits to.

Kedleston -goldwork

Kedleston 8

Kedleston 9

Kedleston 10

Kedleston 11

Kedleston 12

There is also a beautiful beaded dress that his wife once wore inspired by peacock feathers and a painting of her in the dress.

Kedleston -peacock dress

Kedleston - Lady Curzon

The main reception rooms of the house are like stepping into the Pantheon in Rome, (we were lucky enough to go to Rome many years ago when Ellie was studying Classics), and the hall and side rooms are so splendid.

Kedleston - main rooms

Kedleston 15

Kedleston 16

Kedleston 17

Kedleston 18

Kedleston 19

The house has been restored and there were so many gorgeous rooms decorated with the stunning combination of blue and gold, this is one of the bedroom walls with silk wallpaper.

Kedleston -wallpaper

A truly beautiful and very stately home!

I am busy planning my crafternoon for this coming Saturday, which means digging the box of Christmas ornaments out from the back of the store cupboard.

Hopefully I will have chance to post pictures of our handiwork before I leave for Spain, am off there for a week and Sharon, my friend from knitting group, is coming with me which is very exciting.

I love being in Spain and it will be nice to share my favourite places with her and we are also looking forward to some relaxing time on the terrace, at the pool and the beach giving our knitting a little holiday as well!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

In between marking and knitting Sarah’s sample I have been having a little browse around the internet for Christmas ornaments for the coming Crafternoon.

I do love the internet for getting ideas, what would we do if it broke? I would be so sad without reading all the lovely blogs and watching You Tube tutorials.

Anyway I found some pictures of a gorgeous ‘quilted’ bauble which looked very complicated but isn’t – and thanks to this   Quilted Xmas ornament tutorial  managed to make one, isn’t it pretty!

quilted xmas ornie

quilted xmas ornie 2

I think they might be my favourite ornaments so far, it is a hugely therapeutic make and takes very little concentration so will be doing many more of these.

quilted xmas ornie 3

quilted xmas ornie 4

I know I said that the Suffolk Puff bauble below that I made one of late last year would be my gift ornament of choice this year but these are so stunning I will have to make more. Plus they use up lots of fabric so I will be able to clear some of the stash! All good.

Suffolk puff bauble

I found this Quilted Xmas ornies Pinterest board  with lots and lots of other examples of them on so will use this for inspiration.

If you prefer written instructions this is a Quilted Xmas ornies written tutorial  and they use a feature fabric for the centre fussy cut rather than the folded pieces.

These would make a lovely gifts for younger relatives and I have seem some examples with names embroidered on the centre piece or cross stitch motifs.

Now off to Ebay just to stock up on a few more Christmas charms, miracles of internet shopping!

Take care and thanks for visiting.

Hello everyone, hope that you are having a good weekend so far. I have a change of plans as unfortunately my back is not too good so will not be going to Bolsover but will be mainly resting on the sofa carrying on with some of my projects. Luckily I have enough to keep me busy for the weekend ;-)

On our whistle-stop tour of Trust properties we made our way back up North stopping off at two houses in the Midlands.

Calke Abbey was an amazing experience, billed as, ‘a very unstately stately home’, it was a treasure trove of history, the collection of the Harpur – Crewe family who owned the house for over 250 years and never threw anything away!

Calke - house

Calke 11

There are gorgeous grounds and gardens and a church with beautiful Victorian stained glass windows.

Calke - stained glass

The house is still in state of disrepair and the decision of the Trust was to repair enough to make it watertight and safe and not to restore but to display it as a country house past its prime, telling the story of those many British houses that suffered due to social changes after the first World War.

The house is crammed with things, an incredible amount of taxidermy, especially given that half of it was sold to pay death duties, and more importantly for me a huge wealth of textile beauty, particularly needlepoint.

There were touching displays of family possessions like this cabinet full of what look to be Edwardian children’s clothes and lace parasols.

Calke - cabinet

One of the first rooms that you visit displays some of the thousands of objects that are in the collection which are not usually out of their storerooms and looks at the conservation needs of the objects.

This 18th century embroidered jacket and waistcoat was among them and made Ellie and I wonder what other costume treasures the house has given that the family kept all their possessions.

Calke - jacket

Calke 13

This is one of the highlights of the collection, the perfectly preserved Chinese silk embroidered State Bed which was found still in boxes, having never been assembled since it was made around 1715.

State Bed

State Bed

These pictures are from the National Trust Collections web site as the bed is displayed behind glass in a dimly lit room to preserve its beauty.

There were so many lovely examples of needlepoint on chairs, cushions and fire screens and wonderful embroidered silk cushions – some pieces half hidden behind cabinets of stuffed animals and birds.

Calke 2

Calke 3

Calke 4

This group of chairs is displayed with only one uncovered at a time to stop them fading and the photo at the bottom is on display on a side table to show them all together uncovered.

Calke 16

Calke - chairs

Calke - needlepoint

Calke 17

There was also this beautiful silk bed coverlet that one of the volunteers had tried to research the origin of, the conclusion was that it may have been Indian and probably dated from the 1800s.

Calke - bed cover

Calke 8

One of the rooms had some of the children’s toys and at the foot of the doll’s house I spotted this sampler, excuse the poor light but you can just see the name and the date on it, Selina Crewe 1809.

Calke -sampler

Calke 6

Selina was one of the family and I managed to find a painting of her, again from the Trust Collection site. She died in 1838, 29 years after she completed this sampler so was not very old when she died.

Selina Harpur Crewe

It is rare to be able to see pictures of people who stitched the things that I see on my visits and I hope that she had a happy life and enjoyed her needlework.

I managed to find information about the fact that she married and had two children, a boy called Stanhope after his father and a daughter with the beautiful name Georgiana Jane Henrietta Eliza.

In my research for this post I found this great blog by one of the Trust staff called National Trust Treasure Hunt that has lots more photos of Calke and other properties that I will be going back to for a good browse and may inspire you for your visits.

Well I will love you and leave you now as I have sample knitting calling, I have started the mittens for Sarah and all is going well so far.

I have learnt how to do German Twisted Cast On this week so am feeling like a bit of a knitting genius again and have just had a delivery of new bamboo needles so am very happy!

Take care, have a nice rest of the weekend and thanks for visiting.

I think my favourite of all of the Trust houses that I have visited recently has to be Tyntesfield near Bristol.

Kerry and I first went last year and then Ellie and I went there on our second day of house visiting after a night in a B and B at my old childhood holiday haunt Weston-Super-Mare.

It is such a treasure trove of pattern, being Victorian Gothic,there are so many gorgeous details everywhere you look.

Tyntesfield 16

Tyntesfield 17

Tyntesfield

Tyntesfield 3

Tyntesfield 4

It also has the most amazing church built right next to the property, connected by a passageway, no mere family chapel, this is a full-blown piece of neo- Gothic ecclesiastical splendour.

Tyntesfield 5

Tyntesfield 12

Tyntesfield 15

My favourite things in the church are these memorial crosses on the walls for the family members, they inspire me to do some goldwork based on these designs.

Tyntesfield 6

Tyntesfield 7

Tyntesfield 8

Tyntesfield 9

Tyntesfield 10

Tyntesfield 11

Tyntesfield 13

Tyntesfield 14

I think I could very happily live at Tyntesfield, my furniture and furnishings would fit right in!

I have just had new business cards printed for upcoming craft fairs using a beautiful Gothic inspired image from Vistaprint which I am very pleased with.

Business card

We are off to Bolsover Castle for a one day event this Sunday to celebrate Father’s Day, it will just be our group Swords of Mercia there and the boys will be attired splendidly as usual.

No new kit expected for this one but I know some people have shiny new armour and splendid new surcoats they are working on for the next event in July.

Meanwhile I have multiple projects on the go, all different sizes and complexity to suit the occasion!

Hope that you have a good weekend whatever you are doing, take care and thanks for visiting.

We have had a very nice if damp weekend away at the Tatton event and this morning went to visit Dunham Massey, a National Trust property with a special exhibition which was very interesting.

It links in with several books that I have been reading about the role of women in the First World War and is called Sanctuary from the Trenches .

The story that is told is of the Stamford Military Hospital set up during the war at the property and of the nurses who worked there, particularly Sister Catherine Bennett who was matron and Lady Jane Grey, the daughter of the Stanford family who worked as a VAD during the war.

It is a very well put together display using both historical artefacts and interpretations, including lovely text printed on articles such as sheets, socks and bedside tables to tell the story of the men who spent time at that hospital.

Dunham Massey 1

Dunham Massey 2

Dunham Massey 3

Dunham Massey 4

Dunham Massey 5

Dunham Massey 6

My friend Barbara has recently done a talk on knitting for the First World War – the Knitting and Crochet Guild based in Huddersfield has some artefacts that were knitted for soldiers. I thought this reproduction of a note from a knitter was very thought provoking.

One of the rooms was displaying artefacts from the lives of the nurses who lived and worked there including their training manual.

Dunham Massey 7

Dunham Massey 8

Dunham Massey 9

Dunham Massey 10

Dunham Massey 11

I have recently read a very good fictional trilogy which I have just bought copies of for Ellie called Daughters of War by Hilary Green dealing with a similar story of women volunteering for duty during the war in Gallipoli.

Dunham Massey 12

In the kitchen at Dunham Massey there were some costumed volunteers who were knitting for the troops, they very kindly allowed me to take pictures.

Dunham Massey 13

Dunham Massey 14

Dunham Massey 15

On one of our recent Trust visits we got lots of lovely books from one of their second – hand book shops, one of which was an amazing book called, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, by Margaret Foster , edited from the diaries of Millicent King, born in 1901 who of course experienced both the First and Second World Wars and kept a diary of her life from the age of 13 until the age of 93.

Dunham Massey

It would have been a really interesting book if it had been a work of fiction but was all the more poignant for being a true story.

A very interesting, thought provoking and moving morning.

Hope that you have had a good weekend whatever you have been doing, see you soon and thanks for visiting.

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