Showing posts from May, 2012

Visit to the Rowan Mill

Rowan has been a part of the fabric of my knitting life for thirty years now, and the mill has been a place for several personal milestones.  I did my first ever workshop there, after Stephen Sheard started to feature my designs in the early 80s and my first TV appearance was at the mill when Selina Scott brought The Clothes Show to Rowan and they filmed my workshop for the programme.

I almost feel Rowan yarns run in my blood - when I use it I feel inexplicably confident that the pattern will work.  It's not just the gorgeous colours and fabulous yarn qualities, it's the way that the company has always blazed an exciting trail.  In the beginning you could almost see the rank and file of the staid and stolid Northern woollen mills wagging their fingers and predicting Rowan's demise - a flash in the pan, their new-fangled ideas gone with them.

Well I'm glad to say the fibre fishwife faction were completely wrong and in fact Rowan have prevailed and sadly it's the mil…

Django in the wars again

I knew I had things to do and deadlines to meet immediately after the tour finished so I was trying to keep up with posting our progress as we went along.  Best laid plans... there were just not enough hours in each day.  After we got back to York we found there were so many other things to do as well as the day to day running of the tour.

One of the things that threw me was the fact that Django had to be readmitted to the vets as he'd developed a nasty wound underneath his bandage from having his leg covered for nearly a month. We managed to visit him on Wednesday, but he looked a sorry sight and the nurse told us he was quite depressed, so she was grooming him and doing what she could to cheer him up.  Although I'm sure this was very helpful to Django, my fertile imagination was working overtime and I was thinking he was just going to give up and die.  Thankfully I was wrong, and I brought him back home this morning, still quite depressed but at least he can move around the …

Crookabeck & Steam Yacht Gondola

Yesterday was a fun and full day out and about the Lakes, starting off bright and early at Crookabeck Angora & Herdwick Farm.
Situated in an idyllic setting close to Patterdale, Crookabeck is home to Mary and Benny Bell, who gave us a warm welcome with tea and coffee in their farmhouse kitchen, served by their daughter Hazel. On arrival Mary started by showing us some of the luxurious yarns her goats produce.

Then on to see the goats themselves, who seemed very pleased to see us, and keen to see what goodies we'd brought for them.

There are domestic and farm animals whichever way you look at Crookabeck, all keen to cosy up and be sociable.

And of course the abundance of Mary's yummy yarn, scarves, shawls, socks and blankets certainly didn't go unnoticed - I think everyone left with their own souvenir of the visit. 

Next a spin on Gondola, a beautifully restored Victorian steam yacht and a perfect way to experience the spectacular scenery of Coniston Water. Not sure how…

California Revival Knits Winner

It's been all go on the tour recently so sorry that the draw is a little tardy. We managed to find time to pick a winner before supper at our hotel this evening after an action packed day out.  Two of our guests, Peggie and David, kindly agreed to do the draw, pulling the winner out of Merry's Dragonfly handknit sock. As you can see it was number two which turns out to be Susie Hewer.  If you email your address to me Susie, I'll get the book sent on to you post haste. 
 There'll be more about what we've been doing soon, but meanwhile here's a taster.

We were up early, breakfasted and off on the coach by 9.15am to Wordsworth's Rydal Mount. The rain held off, with even the odd burst of sun coming through, making the landscape seem almost biblical.

The house and gardens are magical and we were treated to poems along the way by Peter, our excellent guide, as well as a rendition of The Daffodils by Paul, who was later rewarded by a signed copy of the poem by S…

First day of Lakes & York tour...

Up early yesterday to meet everyone at Manchester Airport for the start of our Lakes & York Knitters' Tour.  We arrived with plenty of time to spare for our 9.30 am assignation with our guests and it seemed all was going to plan until we realised one of the flights was two hours late!  What to do, should we stay, not knowing whether or not the plane would arrive at the new scheduled time or go, leaving detailed instructions for our final guest on how to catch us up later that day.  After much mulling over we decided to stay and luckily the plane caught up some time, so panic over, we all set off together. 
Levens Hall, a Grade 1 listed manor on the edge of the Lake District was our first stop for lunch. Dating from 1694, the gardens are home to spectacular topiary that's recognised as some of the oldest in the world. 

When I said that we'd gathered up all our guests at the airport, that wasn't quite true, as we still had to meet up with the final member of our grou…