Fibre and Friends at SKIPnorth
As some of you may or maynot know I actually managed to escape family life for a few days over the weekend. On Friday morning after making sure the kids had gone to school I went and picked up Alison in Edinburgh and Isabella in Musselburgh and headded off across the Border, and with passports at hand we left Scotland and entered England!!!! We were on a fibre adventure and off to spend the weekend with like minded people who enjoyed knitting, spinning and anything else crafty. Our destination was the Youth Hostel in Howorth deep in Bronte country. The journey there was fairly uneventful despite having to negotiate a detour at Berwick-on-Tweed and getting a wee bit lost in Bradford (I think, twice!!!!)
The Youth Hostel.
Having vague memories from my younger days of Youth hostels I wasn't really sure what to expect from this one, however I was very much surprised by what I found. We were met by friendly and helpful staff who showed us to the study where we found several other people already "doing" things. We were greeted by Nic who soon had us organised into our rooms and we quickly started to get to grips with the drop spindle, or not as the case may be! We broke for coffee and cakes and chat to get to know the other people on this weekend. I kinda gave up on the drop spindle as I couldn't get it to do what I wanted it too!!!! I decided at this point to go and make some stitch markers which I did and they now adorn my curent WIP, a pair of sox.
After we had done some of that we decided to try we went to find our room.....well I certainly did not think mountaineering was part of the weekend coz my goodness getting to the second floor was painfull!!!! Our room was what I assume would have been a servants room. There were 3 bunk beds and 3 singles and only 3 of us to share the room so no one had to climb up to a top bunk!! Once we got our stuff stowed away it was time for dinner and that in its self was an other surprise. The meal looked and tasted excellent, once done we literally "took over " lounge were we knitted, chatted and partook of a class or two of wine!!!!, then it was off to bed to get a decent sleep before the busy schedule of the next day.
First night in the lounge looking at Ruth's hat mountain!!!
Saturday dawned bright if somewhat crisp. After a hearty breakfast and picking up our packed lunch we headed for our coach which was going to be our transport for the rest of the day and boy what a day.We started off at Coldspring mills, which is basically a camping shop with yarn down stairs. They had all sorts of yarn from cones of what looked like Debbie Bliss Cotton, to space dyed and homespun yarns. They also had lots of knitting patterns.
I bought 3 cones of multi coloured "lace weight" yarn so hopefully will make some shawls from it. Also bought a skiene of hand dyed 4ply in blues, which I will use to knit something for the rugby, to keep the cold out on a Sunday afternoon.
We then went on to The SKEP, it was an amazing place, very small and not alot of room to move and packed from floor to ceiling with stuff. However it was mainly material, so did not spend a lot here, only bought 2 skiens of unbrushed mohair in a blue/green/purple colourway.
A small refreshment in the nearest pub was called for before going on to the Bombay store.
This store was an aladdins cave and quite honestly I could have spent much longer here to enable me to have a proper look round. The sari material and other silk materials were to die for, and thats not a bad admission from someone who does not sew!!!
I spent most of my time looking at beads to make stitch markers. However I did buy 2 blue/purple silk quarters that I might attempt to make a needle roll from, to keep my crochet hooks and dpns!!!!, some beads and a pair of folding scissors for my work box.
We then got back on the coach for a lovely journey through the Yorkshire countryside till we reached the Knitting and Crochet Guild. No one had told us about the 1p/gramme yarn mountain and all the other goodies we could purchase there. We split into 2 groups at this point, I was in the first one which went to see and have some "hands on" of the exhibits in the guild. They ranged from 17th century baby clothes right up to present day. It was absolutly facinating.
Some of the collection at the Knitting and Crochet Guild.
After nearly 1.5 hours we were let loose in the shop. What a treasure trove that was. I did manage to spend alot and I mean alot here. I bought 5 balls of lace weight in liliac to knit a shawl, possibly the peacock feathers one my secret pal sent, 5 balls of varigated browns in lace weight for an other shawl, still to be determined, several balls of sock yarn, several lace patterns, and 2 packs of guild notelets.
We rerturned to the youth hostel tired but very happy and a good bit lighter in the purse. Once we stored our purchases we went off to have an other excellent meal. My happiness was just about to over flow big style when I walked into the lounge only to discover that Scotland had beaten England 18:12 at Murrayfield and had won the Culcutta Cup for the first time since 2000!!!!!!
A few glasses of wine then followed as we sat and chatted and knitted and knitted and chatted. Once again we had taken over the lounge!
Alex crocheted these wrist warmers in approx 1 hour!!!!!
Sunday morning dawned and the happy bunch set of for what would be our last trip of the weekend. We were of to Winghams wools....a haven for all spinners and would be spinners.
This small collection of stone build barns and wooden sheds held roving of every colour of the rainbow and 100's of colours in between.
They also had yarns in all shapes and forms, from space dyed skiens, sari silk skiens and balls of yarn by Jaeger et al.
I again managed to do a fair amount of damage to my purse here coz I bought 4 wooden crochet hooks, sizes 4mm, 4.5mm, 6mm and 9mm, 2 sets of wooden dpns in size 2mm and 3mm for my sox. I even bought a bag of roving....what for as yet I'm unsure, but I did have fun trying out my drop spindle. I also bought a book on Traditional Lace shawls which I had been looking for for a while and some yarn to knit a scarf for a Welsh friend and some grey wool to knit an elephant!!!
Once everyone had finished shopping we returned to the Youth Hostel for coffee and cakes followed by a "show and tell" session. Isabella brought her Louet travel spinning wheel, Alison brought some yarn twisters to demonstrate. Several people brought various items of knitting, crocheting and sewing for us all to OOOOO and AHHHHH over!!!!
Rosie and Ruth looking at some of the treasures of "show and tell"
Now it was time to load up the car and bid a fond farewell to those great people we had spent a most enjoyable weekend with. I hope we can do this on a yearly basis and am already looking forward to where our adventures will take us next time!!! Once the car was loaded up, with no room to spare in the boot and most of the back seat filled, with just enough room for Alison to squeeze in we headed North.
However we did have to make one stop enroute for home....a comfort stop....or was it so Isabella could measure the back of her sweater, coz no sooner had the car stopped than she was out, knitting in one hand and tape measure in the other!!!!!!
A HUGE thank you needs to go to Alex and Nic for organising this brilliant weekend.