Friday, 30 October 2009

Wristy Love

I do really miss my den when I'm away. I usually spend a sad little while before I go, saying farewell, fondling a few things and making sure it looks tidy, as when I get back, I like to walk in and see it looking just so, just like I imagine it to be.

I miss Bernie the Bernina, oh yes, so I have to make sure I have some form of crafty activity with me when I go away. The yarn and the hook are obviously the perfect portable choice. (Takes a while to decide which yarn and which colours to take though!)

As you may just have noticed from reading the blog this week, we spent the whole of last week in Yorkshire. As we unpacked the car and I started to put away a few bits and pieces in the kitchen, I looked round for a fruit bowl. Mr HH my dear, have you seen a fruit bowl? Negative. It was only some while later that we realised the fruit bowl was on the dining table, through in the living room. By then, the bananas and clementines were happy elsewhere and I, meanwhile, was very happy to find an empty bowl...

Most evenings while we were away, as we pretty well stuffed our face most lunchtimes, I didn't need to cook a full dinner later on, leaving me with more time on my hands than is usual at home. I crocheted away all night and I crocheted pretty much everywhere else too, when I wasn't driving!

The result (or half of it, to be precise) was this...

Looking at it, I couldn't help thinking what a marvellous rug it would have made for my Sindy house many moons ago, I could have trimmed all the edges to look like tassels!

And of course, there was the tin of buttons purchased in Malton which I told you about the other day. The crochet "rug" really needed the buttons.


Because like the lovely Lucy, I too had spotted those fabby wrist warmers in the Joules catalogue and thought they would be just the ticket for my arthritic wrists. And so the yarn came to Yorkshire and I must say, the wristies came in quite handy against the chill up there (I am an adopted softy Southerner now, after all).

That's my pair up there. Perfect for driving in, sleeping in (cold hands sticking out of bed!), crafting in and doing all manner of things in.

Perfect for whatever you fancy.

It didn't end there. In true Hen style, I didn't (couldn't) stop at one pair. Oh no. I had the proverbial wristy bug. It started with 34 chain and on it went...

And I was loving the stripes. Mainly half trebles, some doubles, some two rows of half trebles in the same colour, some a half treble and a double together in the same colour. Just to make it all a bit...interesting. Round the top, I opted for a simple picot edging, chain three and slip stitch in the next stitch, all the way round the top.

But why stop at plain stripes? Why disregard wiggly stripes? Why not ripple wristies?? Why not indeed.

For those I chained 31 + 2, the pattern worked in trebles, groups of three trebles in fact, then decreasing and increasing in groups of three in between , as you do with the ravishing ripple.

There you have it, three pairs of wonderful wristies to show for my yummy Yorkshire trip.

Hmm, these are fabulous to play with!

I had fun choosing buttons from my thrifty tin, matching up pairs because in that whole tin, there were very few pairs indeed.

And now my first pair is looking a tad fluffy and well-loved already. But I have the ripply ones in reserve for when I'm feeling kinky rather than straight, so to speak. The third pair? Well, they were intended for a special friend and if you read her blog you just might spot them!

Happy weekend one and all. Until next week...

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

The Fabby Gift Shop...Sit Down!

Well folks, here we are, it's gift shop day. Ready to go shopping? Come on then...

So, we're in Pickering, which is a very charming town in North Yorkshire. Here's our shop, right in the middle of the main street, and as you can see, it's called Reeds.

Now you would be forgiven for thinking this shop does not look obviously gifty. That's because it's a newsagent on the ground floor (with a fine selection of crafty mags including a rather good American crochet number which popped into my proverbial basket) and there was a wonderful selection of cards, too. I'm a bit of a card freak and I know quite a few of you out there who are too (hello sister, hello Louise!) and I bought a fab selection of cards. Trouble is, they're the sort of cards you don't want to give away. Oh dear.

But you might just have noticed that the left hand side of the window is looking quite gifty, there's a "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster and a fine selection of Emma Bridgewater's Union Jack ware.

In we go, this is looking promising even as we walk upstairs. Walk? Ok, I mean run (I mean jog, in a very unfit manner)...

It seems a stray evacuee has found himself inside! Quite understandably, he doesn't know where to look first...

Here's a shot looking into the middle of the shop, which occupies a good sized room up on the first floor and seems all the more attractive for that. Don't forget you can click on the photos to enlarge them and ogle a bit more closely!

As you can see, there's a bed in the middle of the room decked out in Greengate's finest and all about are pretty pieces of painted vintage furniture.

There's a lovely blue dresser dedicated to the current craze, Union Jacks...

Loving this vintage kitchen cupboard. I treated myself to the pretty blue painted glass on the right hand side of the middle shelf.

Moving on, just look at this, Vanessa! It took me a while to realise this is same lovely range of Gabriella Miller pottery as the mug you gave me. I was thrilled when I worked that one out (on about my third visit to the shop!) There are some pretty Bridgewater floral mugs too, for good measure.

Ooooh, loving this image. I started hyperventilating when I walked into the shop as this little display was right opposite me. Jan Constantine cushions, granny blanket...what's not to love!

I'm still just about breathing so I venture to the other side of the room... I like the pretty cushions and the woollen hearts in particular.

Here's a little print-works style corner. Liking very much those wire baskets, have to be very restrained not to buy those...

Aaarrgghh, knitted loveliness. This little display has finally inspired me to start on the round crocheted cushion, I think I am the last person in the crochet community to get onto this project. Better late than never?

A little teatime inspired corner. Check out the vintage patchwork tea cosy...

Pretty hot water bottles, essential for keeping out the Winter chill, vintage style.

Ribbons galore. Quite a few of these made it into my basket, I must say.

Some Liberty loveliness in the form of dinky cosmetic bags nestles behind the ribbons.

Lovely soaps and bottles to pretty up your bathroom...

There's that Greengate bed again. I think I might need a lie down to recover!

We need to see that pretty cushion in more detail, don't we?

Cute brooches. Some of the items in the shop are made by the owner (and her sister, I think) and some are made by clever local craftspeople.

Oh, is that it? I was very much enjoying my little trip down memory lane, there. Take me back to Pickering, now!

When we first wandered into Reeds and the upstairs gifty zone, it was late on Saturday and if you can believe it, the shop looked even better. That is because it had been transformed for the day (in honour of the "War on the Line" weekend) into a vintage style tearoom. Oh my, I've never seen anything so lovely! It is just how I would have a tearoom, were I to have one. Set up around the room, there were little metal tables and folding chairs, a gorgeous set of 4 green Lloyd Loom chairs with pretty vintage fabric cushions on the seats, a long trestle table with chairs along either side in the middle of the room where the bed normally is, and all were decked out in the most lovely vintage embroidered tablecloths, little posies of flowers on the tables and a dresser laden with pretty vintage china on which to serve tea and cakes. Now the bad news, and the reason why I'm doing my best to describe this fully, is that the tearoom/shop was just closing and I thought I would go back and ask to take some photos the next day. So, Sunday morning, the boys and I made Reeds our first port of call and...shock, horror...the lovely tearoom was all gone. No photos! So, trust me, it was wonderful and I am going to have to go to the War on the Line weekend next year just to see and capture the vintage tearoom again!

Now the best bit my dear friends, if you've been sitting there, breathless, longing over the goodies, spotting something you just have to make your own, is that the marvellous Reeds gifty shop has a website, oh yes indeedy! The gift shop, as I have been referring to it, actually has the name "Made and Found" and if you fancy a virtual shop, off you go here. Just don't blame me when the credit card bill comes in!

EDIT: My dear bloggers, I have been kindly tipped off that Anne, the owner of the fabby gift shop, has a blog and you can see the vintage tearoom there. But trust me, it was better in real life...

Monday, 26 October 2009

Up Hill and Down Dale

Or should that title read "Further Adventures in Yorkshire"? Now I know it can become a bit boring just reading all about someone else's holiday but it is quite handy if you spot somewhere you fancy travelling to and of course, it's quite nice for us as a family to look back on. So, I've condensed all our other days out into this post and thereafter, there's one more holiday post but you're going to be salivating wildly over that one as it's all about a fabby little shop I found. Just you wait..!

So, while we were away, the Munchkin added another year to his tally. Golly, 8 years old, how did that happen? I have escaped the full-on birthday party trauma this year and went for a very modest cake, phew, which thankfully made the 275 miles relatively unscathed!

As if there wasn't enough chocolate in the birthday cake, one day we found ourselves in the little village of Thornton-le-Dale and in particular, in a rather lovely choccy shop. (Mum and Dad, this is the shop from where came the choccies we sent to you.)

Look at the Munchkin, eyes as big as saucers!

As well as getting out and about a fair bit, I enjoyed a few hours every evening with my crochet. I've been able to crochet much more recently as my new arthritis wonder-drug seems to be kicking in. Hoorah!

Bit of a random photo there (maybe the drugs are hallucinogenic too?)! I bought the large tin of buttons from a charity shop in Malton. I spent a good ten minutes rifling through it, selecting the buttons I wanted, when the shop assistant kindly informed me that I had to buy the whole tin. Well, ok then!

Some days we drove to our destination, some days we took the train. Our days on the train were inevitably accompanied by a basket of essentials which looked somewhat like this...

That's birthday cake in the plastic bag, essential to keep one's strength up, you know. Have you spotted my crochet thingies in the basket? Oooh, that's the subject of a whole other post!

So, Tuesday dawned and the boys were eager to get on the train (again) and the NYMR runs special trains all the way to Whitby, so (having heard I might be treated to fish 'n' chips), off we set.

Sadly, the weather was not too marvellous the day we visited but we did our best to admire the attractive little harbour...

...before scuttling off here for the widely renowned fish 'n' chips! They were indeed worth the 20 minute queue, they're that good! No other fish and chips shall ever compare and our Whitby fish 'n' chips experience shall always be referred to whenever we eat fish and chips in future, I'm sure. If you're in Whitby, make sure to visit; if you're nearby, make sure to detour!

We wandered into the old town along it's cute cobbled (but wet!) streets. There were many weird "goth" type shops and more sweet shops than I think I've ever seen in such a small place. Indeed, we saw sweet shops wherever we went in Yorkshire!

This tea shop looked rather inviting...

"Let them eat cake"; well how utterly fabulous!

This building caught my eye amidst the drizzle...

But this one caught the Munchkin's!

As we steamed back home, rather late, it was a decidedly miserable evening but Grosmont station managed to look rather magical for us. A station with duck egg paint, now that I do like.

So, here we are another day, another visit. We set off in the car over the moors and ended up in Goathland, otherwise known as "Aidensfield" of Heartbeat fame (a very popular British tv programme set in the '60's, in case you don't know).

First, we spotted Scripp's Garage but I must say, I was very disappointed by this, it was entirely full of touristy gifty rubbish.

Indeed, all of the shops looked pretty naff and were full of precisely the same rubbish selection of tourist gifts. I was a bit disappointed. We scurried off to Goathland station, the scene for one of the Harry Potter films, which was charmingly, reassuringly quaint.

Fast forwarding now, how could we travel up to North Yorkshire and not go to York? And errm, Cath K?!

I only bought a packet of paper napkins to use back at the cottage but I did enjoy seeing all the new Christmas items that were already in stock.

This is the new Christmas fabric design on napkins, tablecloths and aprons (available with a blue background, too).

All that retail therapy called for a spot of refuelling and where better than the infamous Betty's Tearoom?

Someone certainly enjoyed themself.

Do not venture to Yorkshire intending to diet!

Whilst I indulged in a spot of retail therapy, (badly needed after several days of railway focussed activities!), the boys headed to the National Railway Museum.

I did manage to join them after lunch and was so glad I did as it afforded me the chance to see the marvellous recently re-streamlined Duchess of Hamilton. Doesn't she look just fabulous?

The Munchy one had fun on the legendary "Mallard", where he was allowed onto the footplate to have a go at being fireman with the coal shovel!

I think he decided sitting down and being the driver might be the easier option!

On our last day, we headed to the seaside resort of Scarborough. This was partly propelled by "Coast" magazine which featured a rather special cafe to be found there. More of that in a minute...

Scarborough gets a very bad press, I think, as do lots of England's now rather jaded seaside resorts. But I do think you can imagine yourself back amidst all the Victorian splendour when you stroll along the seafront at Scarborough.

We avoided all the shops and headed straight for the seaside where we enjoyed a brisk walk across the sands.

Naturally, the Munchkin insisted we take a trip on the cliff-top tram.

We made a friend!

After that bracing walk along the beach and back along the prom, we eagerly scuttled inside Harbour Bar. Oh my!

This cafe is apparently little changed from 1945.

There was much wide-eyed appreciation of our surroundings before we got down to the serious job of choosing which milkshake and which ice cream sundae in which to indulge! It's a hard life...

Horlicks anyone? Mr HH fancied a cherryade float instead.

I opted for the banana milkshake. Yumm-mmy. Not as good as the one I had in Betty's in York, though. Golly, I am becoming a banana milkshake connoisseur!

And there we have it! I have oodles of photos but I think this selection gives a good flavour of the lovely time we spent in North Yorkshire. Want to meet me back here tomorrow to see the fabby shop? Oh you do, you really do...