Well here we are again, in the midst of October and slowly inching towards the October half term holidays…. Roll on Monday and no early alarm!
I hope October’s been kind to you thus far. I have some news for you coming soon, but before then, here’s my Postcard from September. It was a busy month, but blimey it feels like a long time ago already! Here goes…
End of summer
The beginning of the month fell in the last few days of the school summer holidays. A group of friends from Youngest’s old primary school got together for a final hurrah before they went their separate ways to their new secondary schools. The venue for the meet up was Manley Mere Country Park in Cheshire.
It’s a super place with a huge lake for water sports, and an adventure trail which we went to….
There were tunnels, woodland walks…
….and lots and lots of mud. Thankfully we were forewarned and Youngest was dressed in old clothes – just as well as he went swimming in a pool of mud!! I think I’ve just about got him clean now!
New season of football… or not
The football season got back into gear at the start of the month too with some pre-season friendlies and assessment matches but not for us. In his first week of school, Youngest managed to break a bone in his thumb whilst in goal playing football at school – not the most auspicious start to his secondary school career, although he was very proud of the fact he did save the goal in spite of the injury. No contact sport for 6 weeks meant no football of course. I’m pleased to say that the thumb is now healed and he has restarted PE and training at last.
Of course last month was dominated by the news that HM Queen Elizabeth died, so it wasn’t your average September. When the Royal Proclamation was made in Manchester, I went along to witness history being made. I’m glad I was there.
Eldest off to Uni
September was also significant for us as Eldest flew the nest down south to University. I didn’t fancy my chances driving down to central London to drop him off, so we had to be packing ninjas and fit as much as we possibly could into suitcases ready for the train. I’m not sure how we did it but all bedding, pots and pans, food and clothes were squeezed in and we got him there! He got the keys to his accomodation on the evening before the Queen’s funeral – it was an auspicious time to be in London. I wrote a post about that time if you are interested in reading more, you can find it here.
Once Eldest was safely ensconced in his lodgings I headed off for a walk to soak up a bit of the atmosphere and made it to Parliament Square in time for the National minutes silence. You could have heard a pin drop.
Happy birthday Yarndale!
I managed to get to Yarndale again this year in time for the festival’s 10th birthday and it was great fun. There was so much lovely yarn to squish and bucket loads of inspiration. It’s such a lovely festival. You can read all about my trip to Yarndale 2022 in this post.
One of the benefits of being out in the Yorkshire countryside while visiting Yarndale was that I was finally able to find the perfect spot to do a photo shoot with my latest Up the Garden Path dolls – Oakley the Acorn Tree Sprite and Agatha the Fly Agaric Mushroom. I may have had a few funny looks from passers-by but I don’t care! The light and location were perfect!
Making Stitches Podcast came back for a new series in September. The first episode featured my trip to Yarndale. You can listen to it here….
Hello there, we’re well and truly into October now and there’s a chilly damp feeling in the air, which means of course that Autumn is here. Whilst I love the colours and cosiness of autumn, I can’t help feeling a creeping dread about the cold, dark days which lie ahead, so I thought I’d better head those feelings off at the pass with a couple of crochet pals to keep me company….
Please allow me to introduce you to Agatha the Fly Agaric Mushroom and her woodland friend Oakley the Acorn Tree Sprite.
Agatha & Oakley have been with me for a while, they were bouncing around in my brain long before I set to work with a hook and yarn as is often the case with my little crochet folk. Back in early 2021 I drew up a list of lots and lots of little crochet people I would one day like to make – that list is still there, I’m maybe about an eighth of the way through it, but it keeps growing!!
Inspired by childhood fairy stories of flower fairies and tree sprites and funny little enchanted woodland people I have added Agatha the Fly Agaric Mushroom and Oakley the Acorn Tree Sprite to my Up the Garden Path collection of amigurumi crochet patterns. They have joined Flora the Gardener, Hope the Snowdrop, Cariad & Dave the Daffodils, Sophia Sunflower, Holly & Ivy and Daisy in the Up the Garden Path gang.
You may have spotted them before either on my Instagram or when we were out and about as they came with me to Yarndale last month for a trip out in my bag…
In fact the first photo in this post (and the next one) was taken just outside Skipton Auction Mart as I left Yarndale. I know for a fact a few people walked past while I was kneeling down in a pile of moss next to a hedgerow trying to get a decent photo of my little people. Nobody laughed out loud, but I’m sure a few of them must have thought I’d lost my marbles! I didn’t find them at the bottom of the hedgerow while I was down there by the way!! (My marbles that is) .
So anyway, I just wanted to pop on and tell you about my two latest crochet creations. I can’t help but be inspired by the natural world, the colours and textures set my brain firing with ideas for new crochet creations, and regular readers of this blog will be well aware I love woodland walks, so what better than to combine two of my favourite things; trees & woodlands with crochet?
There’s something intensely satisfying about trying to figure out how to engineer the different parts of my Up the Garden Path gang. It might come to me straight away or it may take weeks or even months as I shove a part-made project away in a bag because I can’t figure something out… (I’m currently working on another autumn themed little person who has just come out of hiding in a project bag – will I get her finished in time for this autumn or next? And don’t even get me started on my Christmas project which was due to see the light of day nearly 12 months ago!!).
If you would like to have a go at making an Agatha or Oakley of your own, you can find the patterns for sale on my Etsy Shop they can be bought individually or in a bundle of two which works out a bit cheaper.
If you do decided to have a go at making one or both of them, please do share a photo with me as I’d love to see them. If you tag me on Instagram or use the hashtag #upthegardenpathagatha, #upthegardenpathoakley or #makingstitchescrochet I should be able to see what you have made.
The last weekend in September is Yarndale, and this year, the yarn festival celebrated its 10th birthday. A week ago today, I jumped into my car and headed across the Pennines to make my third visit to Yarndale and it didn’t disappoint. Here’s what I got up to….
As always, the front entrance to the festival was decorated with metres and metres of Yarndale bunting, made by crocheters around the world (including one by me!) and sent to Skipton back in the early days of the festival. Another annual tradition was the introduction of a new Yarndale sheep… this year’s new addition to the flock was Tristen to mark the tenth birthday – do you get it? TrisTEN….
With his brightly coloured mandala body he was a colourful addition to the flock! I think they will need to look for a bigger display area for the sheep soon as they will run out of space to display them all!
Tristen and friends weren’t the only woolly creatures at Yarndale this year, as usual, a number of ‘live’ woolly critters had come along to charm the visitors!
Yarndale can be a little bit overwhelming at times, there is so much to see and do and buy. I followed my plan for last years visit which was to do a full circuit of all the stands first before getting my purse out. On my initial wander I was fascinated to see this amazing yarny Shrek and pals created by the Hawes Yarnbombers. Isn’t it fabulous? So many hours of work must’ve gone into creating that – just brilliant! The stall was collecting donations for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance which was one of the charities being supported by Yarndale this year.
There was lots of bright crocheted and knitted bunting decorating the auction mart this year too and it certainly gave the place a lift.
Now to the yarn, well what can I say? There was so much of it, and it was gorgeous…
There was inspiration at every turn. The Cuddlebums hand dyed yarn was a riot of colour. I can’t resist a rainbow so a couple of skeins may have fallen into my bag (paid for of course!) to come home with me…
The highlight of my time at Yarndale this year has to be getting to hear Eleonora Tully from Coastal Crochet speak about her journey as a crochet designer as well as to meet her ‘in real life’. For those who don’t know Eleonora, she lives on the south coast of England and is inspired by her coastal surroundings – which is abundantly clear in her beautiful work.
It was lovely to be able to hear the way Eleonora goes from an idea, to choosing yarn colours and techniques to ending up with a new blanket design. It’s been a thrill to be able to watch Eleonora’s designs develop over the years and I clearly remember the day when she launched her first ever CAL (Crochet-ALong). It was her Seaside Stashbuster Blanket, and although I had about a gazillion other WIPs on the go at the time, I found myself digging into my stash to join in with it. That blanket became my Sandy Bay Blanket which I blogged about at the time – named after Sandy Bay in Gibraltar.
Later on came the Changing Tides blanket, another design inspired by Eleonora’s coastal surroundings. I thought it was time another blanket was added to my collection, so I had a go at that one too, but chose the colours to represent Catalan Bay in Gibraltar. That blanket became my Catalan Bay Blanket.
Although I’m no longer in Gibraltar, I will always have my Sandy Bay & Catalan Bay blankets to snuggle up in when it’s cold up north and I’m missing the Gibraltar heat! It also means that I feel linked to Eleonora and her crochet journey too as I was part of the community around the world which took part in the CALs – and it really was a special experience.
I genuinely never thought the day would come when our paths would cross. Back when we first began our blogs about 7 years ago, with me in Gibraltar and Eleonora on the south coast of England, but thanks to Yarndale it happened!
Before I knew it it, it was time to head home. The Auction Mart was looking decidedly empty and I thought I had better head off before I was thrown out!
Outside the Auction Mart were a few yarn bombs on the grass. I have to say that this woolly representation of country fields is my favourite!
Standing at the top of the Yarn Walk steps and looking out across the valley. It really is in a beautiful spot. No wonder there is so much yarny inspiration in theses parts!
I remember on my first visit to Yarndale back in 2016, I set off along the Yarn Walk on the way into the venue and was blown away by the yarny lamppost covers. There don’t seem to be many of the original covers left from back then, but the new ones are equally as cheery!
The path through Aireville Park leads down to the Leeds to Liverpool canal, and that is where the Yarn Walk comes to an end.
I crossed over the canal on the bunting adorned footbridge and back into the Skipton town centre.
Thank you Yarndale, and thank you Skipton! It was fun. Goodbye until next time…
Thanks so much for joining me for my trip, if you would like to hear a bit of the atmosphere, you can listen to my latest episode of Making Stitches Podcast which features 10 chats I had with exhibitors at Yarndale, including a lovely conversation I had with Eleonora from Coastal Crochet. You can listen to it via this link or by searching for Making Stitches Podcast on your favourite podcast app.
My Yarndale adventure began late on Friday night as I boarded my plane to Manchester. I’d left the rest of the Postcard family at home and it felt very strange to be heading off on an adventure without them this time. I was lucky that I was able to stay at my parent’s house in Manchester on the Friday night (well Saturday morning) because I didn’t get to bed until 2am Gibraltar time.
Despite the late night, we were up bright and early on Saturday morning and set off on the train to Skipton. I had the company of my lovely Mum for the whole day, that’s something which very rarely happens these days. In fact I can’t remember the last time we spent so long together on our own. We had a really good chat all the way across the Pennines.
Of course, I couldn’t go to Yarndale without taking Llanita with me. Well when I say Llanita, I actually mean Llanita II. If you have read my post The adventures of Llanita, the Gibraltar Yarndale sheep, you’ll know all about Llanita I and Lanita II. Llanita I was already at Yarndale having made the trip by post (sorry about that my little sheepy friend). Llanita II was able to enjoy the passing Yorkshire countryside from the train window!
It was pretty obvious which of the other passengers on the train were travelling to Yarndale. There were rather a lot of knitting needles clicking away on nearby seats and much yarny talk. Before we knew it, we’d arrived in Skipton.
There was a special double-decker bus decorated with lovely crochet bunting and mandalas ferrying festival-goers between the station and the Auction Mart where all the fun was happening. We opted to walk though, so we could see all the yarnbombing we’d heard about en-route.
Our first port of call, after such an early start was the legendary Coopers cafe, venue for much crochet activity and of course the home of Lucy from Attic24’s studio.
We were very lucky as we seemed to be ahead of the lunchtime rush. We ordered sandwiches and coffee and considered our plan of attack for the day.
Even Llanita got in on the Coopers coffee action!
Readers of Attic24 will know that upstairs above the cafe is a very special place. The scene of much colourful inspiration, Lucy’s Studio, was open for all visitors to the cafe to see for themselves. There was even wool and knitting needles on the stair on the way up to the studio.
Crochet bunting greeted us at the top of the stairs too.
And there it was, that room which has featured in so many blog posts and some of the beautiful creations made by Lucy over the years. It felt slightly odd to be in there, as if I was trespassing on someone’s private space even though it was open for anyone to call in.
It felt as though I’d been sucked through the screen on my computer into the virtual world on the other side!!
It was wonderful to be able to see examples of Lucy’s work for real rather than on a screen. It was so tidy – unlike my crafty corner. I feel inspired to have a tidy up and sort out!
Even Lucy’s bowl of yarn pegs was out on the window ledge.
It felt like such a privilege to be there. Even the beautiful fabric appliqué and embroidered logo for the Attic 24 blog was lying out on the dresser for all to admire.
The time had come for Mum and I to head off to Yarndale. (Thank you to the lovely lady at Coopers who came out from behind the counter to point us in the right direction, we would have been going completely the wrong way if it had been down to me!)
Our walk up to the Auction Mart took us along the canal tow path where even a narrow boat was decorated with knitted bunting and pompoms in honour of Yarndale.
Soon we caught sight of the lovely handmade signs pointing us in the right direction towards the Yarn Walk and our goal.
The bridge across the canal brought us to the entrance of Aireville Park where every lamp post was yarn bombed. This is just a small selection of the many which lined the path that cuts through the park and up the hill towards Yarndale.
There was no fear that we’d get lost on the way – it was so well signposted!
The yarnbombs grew in the their complexity as we neared the Auction Mart. Mum and I spent ages outside the building just admiring the amazing creations adorning the bollards! Made by the Thirsk Yarnbombers, the level of detail that had gone into making these was just incredible. I have since realised that we missed a few but here’s a selection of what we admired.
So much exquisite creativity and we hadn’t even crossed the threshold of the auction mart venue!
Lucy’s huge mandalas blew about suspended from the branches of a tree.
Even this converted ice cream van selling finger puppets was completely yarnbombed as well!
The 200th anniversary of the Leeds to Liverpool canal was celebrated by this watery yarn walk across the lawn.
Enough of outside, let’s go in. Tickets were inspected, wristbands attached and we were in…
The first sight which met us was the beautiful bunting made for the first Yarndale back in 2013. I looked hard to spot my Gibraltar bunting triangle but couldn’t see it. There were literally thousands of bunting triangles festooned around the venue, but this section was a real show stopper!
It was so busy inside when we first arrived that it was hard to see what everyone was looking at. After a moment of trying to peer over people’s shoulders I spotted a huge flock of Yarndale sheep perched on bales of straw. I couldn’t get close enough to spot whether Llanita I was there so resolved to pop back later when the crowds had thinned out.
As we set foot into the main area where all the stalls were, it was an assault on the senses. The noise of the chattering crowds and the riot of colour was quite overwhelming. Mum and I decided to have a quick wander round to get our bearings before attempting to do anything. I was given some very useful advice by Instagram friends to just explore before buying anything because otherwise, you’ll have spent all your money by the third stall! It was wise advice indeed -thank you!
The yarns on display were unlike anything I have ever seen before, so many colours and textures and endless possibilities of what you could use them for.
There were huge boards decorating the livestock pens with some of the mandalas from the 2014 festival.
The skill which had gone into the work on display was just amazing and far beyond anything I could contemplate attempting.
Even the Moomins put in an appearance!
It wasn’t just about knitting and crochet though, there were many stalls selling the unspun wool as well as all the equipment needed to have a go at home yourself. Despite this lady assuring the fascinated onlookers that it’s a lot simpler than it looks, I resisted the temptation to embark on another hobby for now. I don’t think a spinning wheel would have fitted into my case!
This was a day of firsts for me. Never before had I seen yarn and needles on such a BIG scale! This stand by Woolly Mahoosive had attracted loads of people wanting to have a go at knitting with needles as broad as my arm!
There was so much to see and take in.
Just look at these blankets….
At the heart of the Auction Mart was the Knit and Natter Lounge where people were gathering to eat their packed lunches and take advantage of some sitting down time to do a bit of crochet or knitting. It was also a magnet for fans and followers of Attic 24. The gate into this section was decorated by the beautiful Attic 24 logo created by crochet blogger Little Tin Bird. And of course, Lucy was there too.
I have to admit that I was a little nervous approaching Lucy, her’s is the first blog I ever followed and I am in awe of her work, but I seized the moment and introduced myself. Her first reaction was to give me a hug and say that her son loved my Yarndale sheep. I was a little stunned that she even knew who I was! Lucy’s youngest son ‘Little B’ had been helping her in the run up to the festival, unwrapping the sheep as they arrived through the post to Yarndale HQ and he’d been rather taken by Llanita.
I explained that I’d temporarily lost my original Llanita and ended up making two but had brought the second one with me to Yarndale. I asked if she would like to take her home for Little B and she said she would like that very much. So here is Llanita and Lucy, I am so happy that she has gone to a good home (and the home of the person behind the Yarndale sheep project).
I have since heard from Lucy that Little B was thrilled that Llanita had come home to live at his house. I’m so pleased that I brought her along with me for the ride!
After the excitement of meeting my crochet hero, I was beaming as I headed into the Workshop Theatre ready for a class that I’d signed up for. I was about to make a ‘Rip and Stitch Brooch’ with textile artist Jaki Bogg. I arrived to find a tray of goodies in front of me to make the brooch.
Jaki was a great help and offered much advice and encouragement as our group set to work on our creations.
(Apologies for the back lighting on this photo)
We were set to work choosing some embroidery cotton to embellish our brooches with.
And we were advised to layer up and position our fabric then take a photo so that we could remember exactly how we wanted it to look at the end.
I thought it rather appropriate that some of my fabric had print of handwriting and a stamp on seeing as I am Postcard from Gibraltar!
The hour and a quarter flew by in a flurry of stitching and chatter with my next door neighbour Katherine who had visited Yarndale several times before.
Before we knew it, our time was up. I enjoyed the process and would never have attempted anything along these lines before. I have filed all the information and and advice from Jaki away for future reference, perhaps I should attempt a fabric and stitch picture instead of a painting one of these days….
Once we’d left the workshop area, where Mum had taken advantage of the time to have a sit down and chat with a lady from Wales who had come with her crochet hook, I called my Instagram & blogging friend Wakey Makes to find her and meet up for the first time. Sadly, I had left it too late and she was already on her way home to Wakefield by then.
It’s such a shame we missed each other but she was able to tell me a very interesting bit of news… she had bought Llanita I!! I cannot believe that I found out where Llanita ended up. Of all the people she could have gone home with, I’m thrilled that she’s with Karen. I’m sure she will look after her well.
Mum and I made our way around the rest of the stalls for a mooch about. While I had been in the workshop, the crowds had thinned out considerably and it was a lot easier to see what was on offer.
I have long admired the work of Toft Alpaca and love the animals from the Edward’s Menagerie pattern books. It was just lovely to see so many of them on display together. I particularly liked the little bearded dog!
The Craven Guild of Lacemakers were on hand to talk to visitors about the intricate work that they do and offer demonstrations too. The intricacy and number of threads they work at the one time just boggles my mind!
After my recent foray into shawl making over the summer I was on a quest to buy some yarn to make another one for the winter months. I went to stall after stall looking for the right thing, but was very indecisive until I reached Esgair Fibres. Stall holder, Joanna, took the time to explain the qualities of her yarn and showed a crochet shawl she had made using just one ball of the beautiful wool she stocks, so I bought this lovely variegated yarn.
It was great to be able to see Janie Crow’s Lily Pond blanket ‘in the flesh’.
And I loved these cards… the one in the centre of the picture is particularly apt in my case I think!! 😉
All in all the day was a total woolly overload!
By the time we’d returned to the flock of woolly Yarndale sheep, their number was rather depleted, but this little chap from the Isle of Man came with me for the trip back to Gibraltar. Allow me to introduce you to Laxey, my Manx Yarndale sheep. If anyone recognises him and knows who made him, please let them know that I’ll look after him well!
Before leaving I spotted a map for people to attach pins to show where they had come from. Can you spot my red pin for Gibraltar?
As we headed out of the Auction Mart to catch the double decker bus back to town and the station, we passed a table with a box filled with some of the ‘Woolly Hearts for Yarndale’. Just with that, another lady approached with a fresh box of hearts and put them down on the table.
I asked her whether the appeal had been successful and if they’d reached the target of 7000. She beamed as she said that well over 7000 had been received and it had been a huge success. Could this lady be @bonnies_little_crafts from Instagram, the mastermind of the appeal? Yes it was! I was so pleased to be able to meet Yvonne and chat with the person whom I’d sent my consignment of hearts to.
And here’s my very own woolly Yarndale heart, it’s come home with me on my bag!
It was time to head home, Mum and I went out to catch the beautifully decorated bus back towards the station. For a donation towards Martin House children’s hospice (also the recipient of the money raised from the Yarndale sheep sale) we got our passage onto the top deck and found our seats.
Even the interior was decorated for the festival!
A lovely mandala hung in the window next to me.
The bus soon filled up with festival goers weighed down with their yarny purchases.
So I guess you want to see what I bought then? 17 balls of wool, a calendar, notebook, Yarndale sheep, stitch markers and a scissor keeper with a tiny silver sheep on to remember my time at Yarndale.
This little lot should keep me busy!
I also loved this greeting card so much that I had to get one – it will be my motto from now on… 😜
After a very long journey back to Manchester (we sort of got the wrong train – which stopped at every station between Leeds and Manchester!!), Mum and I had an early night before heading back to airport to fly back to Gibraltar.
And so I am back where I began, if it weren’t for the photos and the large stash of yarn I’ve returned with, I’d swear it had all been a dream. Yarndale 2016 was everything I’d hoped for and more. I met lovely people including the lovely Lucy at Attic24 who has inspired me so much over the past few years, I saw such amazing yarny creations and have come back brimming with ideas and enthusiasm to carry on creating… now where did I leave my hook?
Footnote : Would you like to see a photo of Llanita I in her new West Yorkshire home? Well here she is along side a very appropriately coloured pair of socks in the making… Thank you Wakeymakes for giving her a good home xxx
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.)
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.
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?! 😉
Introducing Llanita, Gibraltar’s very own Yarndale sheep. For those of you unfamiliar with Yarndale, it’s a festival of all things woolly which takes place in Skipton, North Yorkshire in September. It’s in it’s fourth year now and each year, the organisers ask for crocheters and knitters to contribute a little item to decorate the festival, and as with last year’s event, those items will be used to generate funds for a local charity.
In past years they have asked for bunting triangles, mandalas and flowers. This year, they have asked people to contribute little knitted or crocheted sheep. I have contributed to this effort in the past and couldn’t resist sending a Gibraltar representative to Yarndale again.
The charity they are supporting this year is the wonderful Martin House Hospice for children & young people. Many years ago before having small people of my own, I was lucky enough to visit this marvelous place through my job. It is a magical place where everyone is greeted with a smile, so positive and uplifting.
Before Llanita was packaged up and sent off, I couldn’t resist having a little bit of fun with her … she’s been around the Rock on a bit of an adventure, and even got lost! Here’s what she’s been up to:
You can’t fly the flag for Gibraltar without a visit to the Convent, the official residence of the Governor of Gibraltar. She popped in for afternoon tea and a chat about her important job representing the Rock at Yarndale. 😉
She loved hanging out in Casemates Square, it’s quite the place to be seen, especially on a Friday night when the bars and restaurants are busy.
Quite the sheep about town, Llanita decided to soak up some culture on a visit to the Mario Finlayson National Art Gallery at City Hall.
Llanita likes nothing more than a sheep dip in the pool on a very hot day…
You just can’t beat an early morning frolic in the luscious grass at Commonwealth Park. A little nibble of that for breakfast sets her up for the day, but please don’t tell the park keepers!
So here’s the thing… I discovered to my horror, shortly after taking the above photo, that Llanita was missing. No!!! Cue: little Bo Peep tune.
I could only assume she must have loved the feeling of the grass on her hooves so much that she didn’t want to leave Commonwealth Park.
But we still need a Gibraltar Yarndale sheep I hear you cry… Drum roll please: in a Dolly the sheep type cloning exercise we have a replacement…. Llanita Mark II.
Continuing the good work done by Llanita Mark I, Llanita carried on her pre-Yarndale tour of Gibraltar. Next stop: the beach!
Llanita loves it at Catalan Bay but isn’t a fan of the sand on her hooves. She loved it so much that she’s been twice!
She also really enjoyed her trip to the Gibraltar Fair but the candy floss at the family pavilion was more her thing than the noisy rides…
The imposing Trinity House Lighthouse at Europa Point is right up her street. It even matches her woolly jumper!
Just like all beauty queens who represent Gibraltar on the international stage, Llanita posed for a photo on the runway in front of the Rock before flying off to join the flock of woolly sheep at the Yarndale Festival.
She packed her very own postcard from Gibraltar so that the other Yarndale sheep know her name and where she’s from.
Bye bye Llanita, have a safe trip! Keep the Gibraltar flag flying!
But that’s not the end of Llanita’s story, no sooner than she was ready to set off, who should put in an appearance?
The original Llanita turned up in a totally inexplicable place, under a beach towel at the bottom of the beach bag! She must have been hiding in there all along. What a happy ending to the Llanita the Yarndale sheep story – now one Llanita can fly off to Yarndale and the other can stay at home with me!!
Llanito or Yanito is the dialect spoken in Gibraltar and includes a mixture of English, Spanish, Genoese and words borrowed from other languages.
A Llanita (pronounced Yanita) is a female Gibraltarian.