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. 

Walking along the farm track to Crookabeck
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 much of that was seen though, as most people were keen to get on with their knitting projects. The captain pointed out the Cumbrian chimneys, which he told us were circular so that the devil had nowhere to hide!

We disembarked at Brantwood, John Ruskin's lakeside home, then spent a couple of hours exploring his home and garden.  Inside there was a demonstration of Ruskin lace, an interesting musical instrument called a lithophone (sort of like a stone xylophone) and particularly colourful loos. One of the windows overlooking the lake was beautufully decorated with stained glass reflecting the mountains on the other side of the lake.

Outside there was much to see both in the ziggy-zaggy garden which used fleece both as decoration and as a mulch...

... and in the wilder part of the garden behind, where we found the beautiful Himalayan poppy flowering.

This morning in my Swirl Knitting workshop, I noticed Joanne had some lovely markers from the Herdy shop in Grasmere. This is a lovely shop with all sorts of well-designed sheepy things from baby sleepsuits to colourful mugs.

At the end of my workshop Andrew, our favourite waiter, arrived for a knitting lesson, fully armed with a massive ball of yarn and sixty stitches already cast on. Cindy volunteered to be his tutor and by the time I was leaving he was already knitting like he's been born to it  - obviously a quick learner!


  1. What a GRAND time your having! We can't wait to hear Cindy's stories when she returns to our knitting group.
    best wishes - happy knitting!


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