Sunday, 20 October 2013

why would we go to Pontefract?

after all, it's not a particularly famous place except for Pontefract cakes!, its not a very big place and from what we saw yesterday it's not a very busy place BUT it was home to the Grand Northern Ukulele Festival and a rather cute little museum housed in the lovely old library building.

So, after having a good look round the little museum, learning about the area and the production of Pontefract cakes we made our way to the town hall which was the venue for the festival.

The hint that something was happening was outside the hall in a small covered area....

Grand Northern Ukulele Festival 2013

although they look like they have been abandoned, their owners weren't far away !

We have met Professor Eek at previous festivals and earlier that morning as we wandered round the town centre. He was now about to get a whole lot he is in full one man band mode !!

Grand Northern Ukulele Festival 2013

At the Cheltenham festival last year he walked from the town hall to the mass busk venue wearing the full set complete with the boot strap that makes the drum work. I don't think he has realised quite how far it was !!

Also lurking outside was one of the nights top acts, worth catching up with if you have chance.

 Grand Northern Ukulele Festival 2013

and here's a clip from you tube...The Cheltenham fesival 2013

Ukulele Uff and Lonesome Dave who is a brilliant guitarist as well.

I didn't take many photos but here's Hal, we've seen him on stage before and stood in line for a burger with him before!!That's what we like about these does, most of the artists are really approachable, there's one who we see who will always ask where the spinning wheel is :-) and has threatened to get me on stage with it an one of the festivals !! ( thanks Phil)

So here is Hal showing off the twin necked ukulele with a bit of help from Yan Yalego

 Grand Northern Ukulele Festival 2013

Now I've found a clip from that night, if you ignore the visual and just listen then maybe you will understand why I quite like this little instrument :-)

Hope you all have a good weekend, I have a desk covered in felt and threads...will post more next time x

Friday, 11 October 2013

Thursday, 10 October 2013

prototype needle case # 1

I'm trying to write instructions n how to make a simple felt needle case, these need to be easy enough for a complete beginner. So I have made a prototype which will be fastened with a button once I find my button box ( or to be more truthful, once I move stuff away from the cupboard so I can get it out)

At the moment I am using a felted wool blanket and this will involve the learning of buttonhole stitch and running stitch.

So this is prototype #1 so I can get some idea of measurements.

and this is the selection of dyed blanket pieces ready for the next attempt, I quite like the Orange one at the bottom.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

using up the jacob

I've been meaning to have a play at this for ages, simply weaving round the cardboard to make a small bag.

I will let you know how it turns out :-)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

unusual past time for me


...not something I do very often but have just had the urge recently and these are so so easy

..and so so yummy !!!

 .....Flapjacks :-)

Monday, 7 October 2013

I did knit!

I took some hand spun Jacob yarn away with me and did a little knitting, not as much as I expected but completed a pair of fingerless mitts for the collection.

After I got back I knitted another pair also from Jacob

and todays challenge is to prep some BFL/Swaledale, I bought the fleece a few months ago, about a quarter has been dyed blue, a quarter green and the remaining half will probably be dyed after spinning. This fleece has surprised me as it is really soft :-)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

Isle of Syke.......the photos

Yet another photo heavy post,,,sorry ! The last of the Scottish photos and a couple of places that we recommend.

The first place we made a beeline for on our arrival was Skye Batiks, we have been shopping there for many years and have got to know the owner through a mutual fondness of motorcycles, In the early days we would stop off at their small shop at Armadale, these days its a large, airy place in Portree, the main town on the island.

Isle of Skye

Anyone who sees me spin at a festival etc will probably recognise the style and I must confess to buying more trousers and a skirt whilst Ian bought some shirts.


some of my latest purchases :-)

Our second recommendation is for a bookshop/cafe at Stuan. Like an idiot I forget to take a photo but I had a very enjoyable day there spinning and chatting and trying hard to resist buying any more books :-)
Wonderful cakes and good company at Mor Boonks and the Windrush Cafe Studio ! 

We spent our time moochiong around the island and calling in to see various artists etc, unusually for me I didn't take the usual 100,s of photos, just enjoyed the views and fresh air.

Handspinners Having Fun had been doing some dyeing but when I asked about the type of dyes I was told quite sharply that they were eco friendly!!  Still they looked pretty drying in the sun..

 Isle of Skye

Random boat photos

 Isle of Skye

 Isle of Skye

Random pretty views

 Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye

Just one last photo from the mainland... Plockton, where I met a lovely lady in here eighties who told me about the handknitters in the village who provide the stock for the handknitters  shop on the sea front.


Well that was it, an unexpected trip to Scotland which we thoroughly enjoyed x

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Back up North...Isle of Skye

Well, what can I say? every time we go to Scotland we end up on the Isle of Skye, even when we are heading to Orkney and really don't intend going to Skye we still end up there This is what happened in 2009 although I didn't blog about the island until earlier this year we had left Orkney and intended visiting Mull and parts of the mainland, we had sworn that we would not go to Skye but we suspect that there is a big magnet up there that draws us back each time.

This year, after cancelling the planned Holiday, visiting Skye was definitely on the cards. The place just unwinds us and we get to know more people each time we travel up there.

We crossed over using the Glenelg-Skye ferry, have a look at the video on the site to see why we prefer this to the bridge when we have time to spare.

Isle of Skye
we were lucky enough to be able to rent a bungalow at very short notice overlooking Portree harbour, beautiful view.

Isle of Skye

especially at breakfast time watching the sun come up. Bit sad but I still get up early even when on holiday!

Isle of Skye

We had the odd shower here and there but that always gives us an excuse to hunt for rainbows :-)

Isle of Skye

I had no excuse for not feeling at home there....see what was in the main room !

Isle of Skye

I will continue with some more photos in the next post,then I promise a post with some fibre content, honest !!!

Friday, 4 October 2013

Back up North part two

After leaving Portpatrick we travelled towards Fort William which has so many more empty shops these days, must be a disappointment to the tourists! The metal man was new, fun to try and work out what he was made from.

Fort William

Lots of bike wheels amongst other things.

Fort William

We eventually wound up in Oban for the night and having found somewhere to stay we headed down to the harbour.



we also spotted some wildlife by the shore, several of these birds


and a jellyfish!!


The rusty chains also caught my eye


We spent the next day  at Fort Augustus watching boats go through the locks and Nessie spotting.

 Fort Augustus

 Fort Augustus

Before travelling over the sea to SKYE

 Isle of Skye

more next time x

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Back Up North Part One

Firstly I must apologise for being so quiet!! After a very busy period at work we took a couple of week off to relax and take stock of things. My lack of mobility prevented us from jumping on the bike and crossing over to France so we made a few phones calls and managed to rent a cottage for a week and arrange b&b for a couple of days or so in Scotland.

So we packed our bags, one ukulele and a spinning wheel and took the scenic route through the Yorkshire Dales, into Scotland and turned left heading towards PortPatrick. The reason for heading there? the man himself had seen it on Facebook!!


A pretty little place with a harbour and a very good pub for food , The Crown which we would both recommend.


The weather was a little damp and on the first night we only just made it back to the B&B before it started to rain heavily.

We took a drive down to Logan Fish Pond the next day as we had visited very briefly a few years ago as part of the Round Britain Rally and we spent nearly three hours talking to the lovely Ruth about the fish and eventually Ian gave her a ukulele lesson in return.

Logan Fish Pond

An evening stroll back at Portpatrick found the Lifeboat in the Harbour.


A seagull posing for a photo


And the tide racing in through a small archway.


More about our trip in Part Two xx