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Archive for the ‘Out and about’ Category

Moving on up

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Hello! It’s a bit dusty round here, with a few cobwebs – hang on whilst I have a chean up. Right, that’s better, let’s get on.

So I’m still here (I seem to be saying that a lot lately…) but I’ve not been doing much in the way of crafty stuff and the urge to write seems to have left me. I have been getting on with other stuff though, which is doing me good – I think I got myself into a rut of knitting and sewing, which was good in some ways, but I needed to jolt myself back into achieving other things as well.

So I’ve been gardening, which is going quite well, the garden is looking better than it has for years, waking up my ebay bookshop, and reading more than I had been doing. I’ve also treated myself to a new camera – my old Panasonic had dust in the lens, and it was annoying me, so I decided to make the jump up to a DSLR and bought a Nikon D3200. I’ve been pointing it at things and pressing the button for a few months, with impressive results, but I did feel that I perhaps wasn’t getting the most out of it…! I did buy a book, but I only read the first few pages and now I can’t even find it. Oops.

So when I passed a temporary photography exhibition near my work with amazing photos of the local landscape in the window I stood and stared for a while,  but nearly chickened out of going in as there wasn’t anyone else in, but then I saw a leaflet saying that he also did courses, so I went in and had a chat to the photographer, Chris Ceaser (do have a look at his website, there are some fantastic shots on there).

I had a birthday coming up, so my parents offered to pay for a one day course, and last Saturday I spent the day with him and one other chap in the Yorkshire Dales around Hawes, learning about composition and how to set up the camera for best results, as well as using filters to balance the sky and land.

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We started off at this interesting barn just outside Hawes, with a winding river behind it. Click on photos to enlarge if you want to.

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Then we moved onto West Burton falls, which I think was my favourite location of the day.

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I loved the effect that a long exposure had on the water.

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Next up was a barn in a field of buttercups (they were everywhere, it was very cheerful).

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Playing with composition was interesting, and using a tripod made it easier to think about it instead of just pointing and pressing the button which has been my technique until now.

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Next we drove over the Buttertubs pass into Swaledale, land of sheep and field barns (you may remember a trip I made up there a couple of years ago). I photographed this barn then too.

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Our final stop was Gunnerside, which I haven’t visited before but is a classic valley bottom with barns and stone walls.

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I’ve intrigued to know who built this wall and why they put a kink in it!

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We were waiting for the sunset, but despite it being a glorious day from a having a day out point of view, the lack of clouds wasn’t brilliant for photography, especially at sunset, there were no spectacular pink skies, it just went dark.

We ended up with fish and chips on a bench in Hawes at 9pm at night which finished the day off perfectly, and got home just after 11pm – the latest I’ve been out for ages (how sad is that!)

Overall I had a great day, Chris was great company and very patient, and I really felt like I’d learnt something. The eight hours we were taking photos went in a flash, I kept being amazed at how late it was. I’ve ordered a tripod of my own now, hopefully it’ll be here later today so I might have a trip out tomorrow. Just hope I don’t feel too silly setting it up on my own – it was fine when there were a few of us – but I don’t really have anyone to go out with, so I’ll just have to get on with it!

And one last thing to mention – Chris is taking over the shop in York where he had his temporary exhibition on a permanent basis for his gallery, do if you’re visiting York this summer do pop in, it’s on Micklegate at the end towards the bar, next to the Post Office. He’s hoping to be open in a couple of weeks. He has lots of stunning framed photos and also sells mounted prints and cards.

Right, that’s enough for now. Maybe I’ll summon up the energy for a crafty round up next, but don’t hold your breath, I might be too busy gardening!

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Hello! Waves! I’m still here, just a little quiet – I’m not sure why, I had a lovely week in Wales a few weeks ago, but it seems to have eaten my blogging mojo. Let’s see if I can get it back…

So, what have I been up to? Let’s start with the week in Wales. My parents have a caravan in Trearddur Bay, on Anglesey, not far from Holyhead, and it’s one of my very favourite places – I’ve been there every year since I was about two, and it feels like going home. I usually have a bad effect on the weather when I go away (cf my recent soggy week in Hay-on-Wye!) and I’d almost decided not to go, but I gave it a go, and even as I drove across the Pennines the sun came out, and it was glorious all week.

I stopped at Rhos-on-Sea on my way, and came across this tiny church – the sign said it’s believed to be the smallest in the British Isles (I think!) The bench gives an idea of scale.

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Inside there’s seating for six.

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I drove onto Llandudno and had a bit of a wander, still marvelling at the sunshine.

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Then drove onto Trearddur. I went down to the sea after tea (it’s only a five minute stroll from the caravan) and sat in my favourite spot, a rock which takes a bit of scrambling to get to, past a rock pool we used to catch tiny shrimps and crabs in when we were small, and sat and watched the sea. It was so peaceful.

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And a few more random photos.

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The woods at Penrhos, once the gardens of a big house, now sadly demolished.

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One of the small bays at Trearddur, with Holyhead Mountain in the distance.

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The house I’ll buy when I win the lottery – it looks over the bay in the previous photo. Imagine sitting in that glassed in veranda with your knitting or spinning wheel, and going to bed in a turret.

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Flowers by the sea.

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And the big bay at Trearddur – the sea is always so clear there.

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Paddling in the sea. I really wished I’d taking a swimsuit, but it hardly occurred to me to take warm weather clothes, never mind bathing gear! And looking back now I can hardly believe how warm it was for that one week, it seems like a dream.

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I managed a bit of knitting – I finished this sock whilst I was there. Only one to go.

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And because a holiday isn’t a holiday without visiting at least one yarn and/or fabric shop, I popped into the lovely Copperfield, at Four Mile Bridge, which is a small village straggling the bridge between Anglesey and Holy Island, just up the road from Valley, and four miles from Holyhead.

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This is one of those tardis-like shops which looks tiny on the outside, but grows when you get inside. In the front room is an assortment of ribbons and trimmings.

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And a selection of Rowan yarns.

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Then there’s a small lobby-like room in the middle,

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before you get to the main fabric room at the back. There’s a massive selection of Moda fabrics, as well as some from other designers. The trouble is that I want it to be on my doorstep, so I can just pop in to match a fabric I need – I get very overwhelmed when I visit somewhere like that on holiday! I did buy a few bits, but I can’t just lay my hands on them now to photograph them, I’m feeling very disorganised at the moment!

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Back to my wanderings. These allotments in Holyhead always catch my eye, with the Irish ferries in the background.

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And up to the slopes of Holyhead Mountain, where a group of Iron Age hut circles have been excavated.

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A hut circle with a view. This was a Saturday afternoon, and the car park and cliffs along towards South Stack just opposite were very busy, but I had this part pretty much to myself, it was another magical moment.

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One of them was full of bluebells. It must have been a good year for them, they were everywhere.

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Some of them are thought to have been workshops or animal enclosures.

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I did have a quick walk down to look at South Stack (that’s the lighthouse) in the distance, but I didn’t go any nearer – I’ve been before, and there’s a lot of steps down the cliff!

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The sea was an amazing blue-green colour.

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This rock caught my eye the next day, when I was wandering round with my knitting and a book, enjoying the views.

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Such as this one. This is the seaside to me – lots and lots of tiny rocky bays, some with sand and some with rocks, not long expanses of golden sand, that’s not exciting at all!

And that’s it for travelogues for the time being – and if this dreadful weather doesn’t cheer up it could be it for the year! I’m so sick of thinking it’s been a nice day if it was just grey sky but no rain. But I have been making things, and I’ll do some updates on that very soon…

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So, my last stop on my trip back from Hay-on-Wye. I was heading for my parents’ house, north of Manchester, and decided that it would be much out of my way to go via Llandrindod Wells and Welshpool instead of going straight up the A49.

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It’s a very pleasant drive up the A483, with frequent views like this one. I stopped briefly in Welshpool for lunchtime, but my real destination was at the other end of the Welshpool and and Llanfair Railway – the Colinette shop!

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I’ve been once before, so I was prepared, but even so the riot of colour inside was amazing! They’re only open on occasional Saturdays, but luckily this was one of them, and I had the place to myself apart from the very pleasant chap working there. Who endeared himself to me by offering me a cup of tea the minute I walked in – that was very welcome!

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I wandered round for ages – I could have bought lots, but I didn’t have any real projects in mind. I love their yarns, but I’m wary of using them for garments these days, having had several bad experiences with colours changing between skeins and pooling, even when striping two skeins as recommended.

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I was very tempted to buy the yarn for another Ab Fab throw (the wavy one on the left) but I couldn’t decide which colourway to go for, so I’m going to have a look at finished ones on Ravelry before I make a final decision.

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The trouble with somewhere like this is that you really need to be able to just pop in when you’ve got a project in mind – the website is okay, but no real substitute, and even Bobbins in Whitby doesn’t have nearly the full range of colours. I’m very jealous of Katie, of HilltopCloud, who lives just up the road. And very kindly invited me to drop in for a cuppa when I tweeted that I was on my way to Colinette, but sadly I didn’t have time as I had to be at my parents’ in time for tea (it was my Dad’s birthday). Next time I’m down that way I’ll take you up on the offer if it still stands, Katie!

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So, what did I buy?

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I’ve had my eye on one of these squiggly scarves for a while, but the kits they sell online are mohair and cotton, and I wanted to splash out on mohair and silk. I’m glad I waited, as it’s much easier to choose colours if they’re all in front of you. I ummed and ahhed for ages, before deciding on these colours.

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But the pattern as written needs two skeins of mohair and three of silk, and whilst there were three silk skeins out, there was only one mohair. The helpful chap spent ages going and getting more and trying to match it, but all the others in that colourway had bits of green in them (and were all different from each other!) So in the end I decided to just buy the one mohair skein and two silk ones, and make a narrower scarf. That made it cheaper too!

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The only other thing I bought was a skein of Jitterbug in an experimental colourway, from the bargain room for £4. Unfortunately my camera’s no good at photographing teal greeny-blues or purples, so both of the yarn photos are a bit off colour.

The door to the room where they dye the yarn was ajar, so I stuck my head round and had a quick peak. I’d love to see it all working!

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And a last burst of colour.

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Right, that’s me about caught up I think, stand by for posts either from or about Anglesey (depending on internet connections there).

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And some more photos! Sorry if I’m boring anyone, this is the last lot from this trip, honest. There is another yarn shop if you scroll down far enough ;)

On the Thursday the sky was almost blue in places (which it hadn’t been all week), so I looked at a map, spotted Abergavenny, and pointed the car in that direction. En route I spotted an interesting looking tower, so I stopped to investigate and found that it belonged to Tretower Castle and Court.

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It’s owned by CADW, the Welsh version of English Heritage, and is only semi-furnished – just the kitchens and great hall have been set up to give an idea how they would have looked. There’s also a copy of their licence to host weddings, which may be why they’ve concentrated on those rooms!

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After that the rooms are empty, which is interesting in itself, as you can see all the construction details. There was no one about apart from the girl in the entrance hut, so I could wander completely at my leisure without being disturbed. P1020988

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This would have been divided into four rooms originally, probably bed chambers and suites. Some of the windows (which look out onto the covered walkway) still have sliding shutters to close them – there’s no glass though, it must have been chilly on winter nights. It was cold enough on an early May afternoon!

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It’s a pity the weather wasn’t better, I’m sure that sitting on that bench in the enclosed courtyard in the sun would have been idyllic.

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Next to the Court is the original home of the family, the castle. I walked across a very wet field in very unsuitable shoes to get there – I’d paid to get in and I was going to see it all! But there’s not a lot left, just a central tower with bits of curtain wall – it seems to have been hacked about quite a lot over the years as the needs of the family changed, before they abandoned it altogether for the house next door.

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The water in the field gives an idea of just how wet it was!

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The back of the court. The different styles of windows show that this was improved over the years too.

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In the grounds was a tree with huge bunches of mistletoe growing in it, I hadn’t quite realised that it does actually grow on the tree – it wasn’t rooted in the ground at all, just growing into the branches. I did sort of know, but I’d never been close enough to see it for myself before.

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Anyway, I finally made it to Abergavenny, slightly muddy but I ploughed on anyway, on the grounds that I was unlikely to meet anyone I knew! The main street reminded me very much of Bangor in North Wales, but the people in the shops were generally much friendlier – it’s a long time since I’ve been to a town where I’ve consciously noticed how friendly everyone was. They all kept telling me how much better the town looks when it’s not raining (as it was by that point) and I believe them – one day I’ll go back and have another look at it.

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I did manage to find a lovely little yarn shop, called The Wool Croft. I’d definitely recommend a visit if you’re in the area – it’s not been open long, but it’s well stocked, with the usual suspects as well as some more unusual things. There were two ladies sitting and knitting and chatting, and a customer was getting lots of help choosing colours for a fair isle jumper. I mooched about for a while, but again had to resist the yarns.

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What I couldn’t resist was a kit to make a wicker basket – I saw Kirstie Allsopp making a willow tray on her last series and I’ve been fancying having a go ever since, I’m sure that if she can do it I can! So I was fascinated to see kits to make four or five different sorts of baskets, and chose an apple basket one, partly because it has different colours of willow, and partly because it looks like a good shape to keep knitting projects in…

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It was raining properly by this time, so I went back to the car via the second hand bookshop, which was also owned by a lovely lady. I drove there and back through the Brecon Beacons, but sadly this was typical of my view for much of the journey.

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Next day I stayed in Hay again, but wandered round the edges instead of looking at bookshops. Just behind where I was staying, in Cusop, is St Mary’s Church.

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A typical little country church,

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with a completely unexpected (and stunning) stained glass window behind the altar.

I had a poke around the graveyard as usual, and was pleased to find this Polish airman in the midst of the Lloyds and Morgans and Joneses.

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I spent some time trying to work out how the people in the graves could be connected – there were a lot of family groups. I was also intrigued by this headstone with holes in it.

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Next I went into town, to have a look at the main church in Hay-on-Wye.

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Again it’s a very typical church outside, although the semi-circular apse isn’t quite so common, but inside was a surprise.

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More like a chapel than a church, although I have seen some London churches in a similar style. Sadly they were getting ready for a funeral, so I couldn’t stay, and I wandered round outside instead.

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The churchyard at the front of the church is fairly typical, but round the back is a different story – it’s completely overgrown, and slopes down to the river. It’s not that old either, the graves date to the mid 1800s.

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I don’t seem to have taken a photo of the most overgrown bits, but there are some impressive tombs round there.

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And some interesting gravestones.

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You can walk down to the river from the church, past this cute bench being held up by bears.

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This is the little stream which flows past the church, just before it joins the River Wye.

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That afternoon I drove out to have another look at something I remembered from my first trip to Hay, an old railway bridge on the road that leads to the toll bridge. There’s a track through a field under the bridge, the water under the bridge is just a large rain puddle.

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The old railway line seems to be used as a track, but presumably the bridge isn’t strong enough to bear a car, as it veers down into the dip and up again – it’s just that there’s a small lake in the way at the moment!

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Apparently you can walk along the old railway line, one day when it’s not so soggy I’d like to do that. There are some sunnier photos and more information on this page.

Next day, with sod’s law working well, I woke up to the first real sunshine I’d seen all week, and it was the day I left!

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But this the view from my window – the field was usually full of sheep and lambs, who were very entertaining. If a little rowdy at times!

I drove back via the scenic route, to make a special stop, but more of that in another post. Well done if you’ve stuck with me this long!

I’ll leave you with this sign, outside the Cinema bookshop, which amused and worried me (the small writing at the top says ‘please enquire at reception – just pop up the stairs and in the door then…).

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Well, that holiday took some recovering from! I had a couple of days at my parents’ on my way home, then a day of sorting out and I was back at work, and by last weekend I just needed a few days’ peace and quiet to get my head back together. But I managed it, and I’ve survived another week at work, and now I’m all set for another week off – I’m off to Wales again, but this time to North Wales, to my parents’ caravan on Anglesey. In the meantime I’ll try and catch up on here with some scheduled posts with the rest of my last holiday in them, plus – shock horror! – a couple of finished projects and some crafty goings-on.

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But back to Hay-on-Wye. In one of my other lives I collect and sell books, mainly old girls’ school stories, so holidaying in a town full of bookshops is never a bad thing. Well, almost never – sadly I found that the shops selling the sort of thing I collect were selling them for prices I could only dream of getting on ebay, and I didn’t buy much at all. But I did spend a couple of days wandering round the bookshops and just enjoying being there. And taking lots of photos, natch.

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Slightly bizarrely, since my last visit three years ago, Addyman’s have bought the interior of an Eastern European church and used it to furnish part of their bookshop. As you do.

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Across the road is Murder and Mayhem.

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With appropriate interior design.

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Some more random photos –

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This is the 24 hour honesty bookshop – money goes in a slot in the wall.

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Lots and lots of Ladybird books. This was a slightly odd shop, in that I went in and found it deserted. I did find a book I wanted to buy, but despite waiting a while and randomly calling in case there was a hidden alcove the owner might be standing in, I had to go away defeated and call back later for the book. The lady just said that she’d popped out, they’re obviously a trusting lot round there! Another shop was closed for five minutes, and when the owner came back he pulled out the book which was wedging the door shut and opened it…

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Hay is very obliging to book collecting knitters, in that it also has two yarn shops. The first is Wool and Willow, with a selection of hand-dyed yarn and knitted garments. Sadly the lady behind the counter didn’t see fit to look up from her newspaper the whole time I was in there, so I didn’t feel inclined to buy anything.

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The other shop is Bedecked, which has moved from the back street it used to be on, to the main street, so it must be doing well. This was much more tempting, but given my extravagances at Wonderwool, and the amount of yarn in my stash, I managed to resist buying anything.

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There is a very nice selection of buttons and beads, but they’re not cheap, sadly.

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Downstairs there’s a nice selection of fabrics.

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And some more completely random photos of Hay.

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This is the castle – partly derelict, partly used as, predictably enough, a bookshop.

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In a butcher’s window.

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To remind you that Hay is actually just over the Welsh border.

 

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And of course, the general theme of the holiday was water, either coming down from the sky or already on the ground, and the river Wye in Hay was no exception.

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Well, I’ve moved into the apartment I was supposed to be in all week, until she made a mix up with the bookings. I’m very glad to be out of the B&B (far too much need to be sociable before breakfast) but the main reason I booked this place was that it had wifi. Which it does, but only in the kitchen, the bathroom, and at one end of the dining table if it’s not raining. They don’t seem to see a problem with this, and I’m too much of a wimp to argue. I’m a bit uncomfortable all round – this was supposed to be a self contained unit, but it’s accessed via a door that leads into their part of the house, and I can’t lock the door to my bit. I’m finding myself sneaking around trying not to bump into anyone. Bah.

But anyway, on Monday I went out for the day – I needed to stock up on food, so I planned to end up in Hereford, but otherwise I just pointed the car and looked for interesting things, some of which I managed to photograph. On reflection, they’re mostly churches, which wasn’t actually intentional. But do stick with me, there are crafty interludes!

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This church with a very odd tower was the first thing to catch my eye, in a small village called Kinnersley.

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It was a fairly typical English church inside,

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but with interesting painted plaster on the walls. I can’t remember seeing anything like that before.

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Outside the graveyard was rather overgrown.

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And just behind the church was a fascinating looking old house. Sadly there didn’t seem to be any access to it.

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I saw a sign to Leominster (pronounced, with typical English logic, Lemster) and found that I’d parked just next to the Priory Church. I gather it’s all that remains of a priory which fell victim to Henry VIII, and it’s a bit of a hotch-potch inside.

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There are essentially three aisles, at one side divided by slender Victorian columns,

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and at the other side, by chunky Norman arches.

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There were a couple of interesting crafty things in the church, firstly this quilted ‘stained glass window’, showing local scenes.

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And next this ‘tapestry’, as they described it, with 100 roundels on a background of Ryeland fleece (Ryelands are the local sheep, sometimes called the Lemster Ore, according to information in the church).

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There’s also, somewhat bizarrely, an old ducking stool, which was apparently dumped in the church many years ago after its last use and never moved.

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Looking out of the doorway of the church.

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Leominster itself is a attractive small town, with a mixed bag of buildings.

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I stumbled across the folk museum, and wandered in. These smocks caught my eye,

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There was no information about them, so I asked the couple who were in charge (presumably volunteers) what sort of date they were, and soon regretted it, as he insisted on not only searching out two books about smocks, but then making me look through them both at length. I did impress them by mentioning Sussex round smocks though, which is pretty much the only thing I know about smocks, and that’s only from reading Elsie Oxenham books.

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Other gems of the collection were an original cider press.

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And a display of corn dollies.

I was heading back to the car, thinking I’d exhausted the possibilities of Leominster, when I spotted this.

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The Sheep Shed, a shop selling locally produced hand spun yarn and hand knitted garments. Actually the website in the link doesn’t actually mention the shop at all, but that’s what’s on the leaflet she gave me! The shop’s at 5 High Street, closed Wednesdays.

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All in natural colours.

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Well worth a visit if you’re in the area.

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I finally made it back to the car and headed down the A49 to Hereford, passing many flooded fields en route.

Hereford annoyed me by directing me to a car park which when I got there turned out to only be open to the public at weekends, and then not telling me how to get to a different one. I drove around for a while, but ended up parking on the street in a two hour space, so I had to rush around, and forgot to take any photos until I got to the Cathedral.

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This is a radiator! There are four, but apparently they don’t actually do a lot in terms of heating the huge space.

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This is a tiny side chapel with an amazing ceiling.

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And outside this chap is forever contemplating the cathedral. I don’t know why or who he is – if there was an explanation I missed it.

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And then back to the apartment, where I found that the hitherto empty field outside my window had suddenly become home to a huge flock of sheep and lambs, who are very entertaining if a little noisy first thing in the morning!

Right, now to see if I can persuade this lot to upload on the very dodgy internet connection!

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So I’ve made it to Hay-on-Wye. I arrived yesterday afternoon, after a pleasant drive down, enlivened by my satnav deciding that instead of driving straight down the A49 to Hereford then turning right, which I’ve done before I just needed the odd reminder for, we’d turn right just after Church Stretton and go via the scenic, albeit slightly shorter, route.

It was a pleasant drive, and it didn’t start raining until I was nearly here, but there was an awful lot of water about, both in very swollen rivers and on fields. This is one I managed to stop and photograph.

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I’m staying in a B&B, I was supposed to be in their self-contained flat for the week, but there was a mix up with the booking, and I’ve had a couple of nights in the actual B&B, with an evening meal thrown in to compensate. Which is all very well, but the wind and rain were howling and beating on my window all night, so I’ve been awake since before six, and I had to make polite conversation at breakfast, which really isn’t my thing. Thankfully I move into the flat tomorrow and I can be as lazy and scruffy as I want.

But back to this morning. Once I’d finished being polite, I steeled myself to head into the deluge, and set out for Builth Wells and Wonderwool. It’s about half an hour’s drive from here, through country roads, following the River Wye, which was also impressively full. Thankfully at the showground there was a minibus to ferry us from the car park to the halls (a good five minutes walk as I remember from last time, and we would have been very wet!)

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I took some photos inside – it’s hard to get a general view, as the stalls are quite spaced out, which is a nice contrast to Woolfest! Apparently it was quieter today, probably partly because it was the second day, but mostly because of the terrible weather. Not only was it very wet and windy, it was freezing as well – my car said it was 3 degrees on the way there and 5 on the way back, and I’m sure it was at least that cold in the halls. Warned by Saturday’s attendees, I’d abandoned the carefully-chosen-to-show-off-as-many-handknits-as-possible outfit, and piled on the few warm clothes I’d brought with me (it’s not been cold at home!) but I was still freezing.

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I was jealous of their woolly coats!

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And theirs. These two were very cute.

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I was pleased to find Brimstone buttons there – I bought a few cards of their lovely vintage buttons at Woolfest a couple of years ago, and they’ve come in very handy, so I invested in a few more.

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FeltStudioUK had a lovely stand as usual, but I managed to resist, I have far too much fibre in my stash at the moment. I’d allowed myself one braid, but I’d already bought it by this point!

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I did stop to admire some of Daniella’s amazing handspun though. One day I’ll be able to spin like that.

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There were lots of stalls with amazing handcrafted things, but sadly they were (rightly!) out of my price range.

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There were some amazing things on the Sasha Kagan stall, but there’s no way I’ll ever have the patience to do all that intarsia. Not ever.

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There were lots of stalls I would have liked to have looked at in more detail, but after an hour I was so cold I’d really lost interest in almost everything. I was determined not to turn tail and run straight away, having come so far, and I managed to stay till half past two, but it was hard work – my hands were freezing, and my head wasn’t much better. I thought longingly of my Sheep Heid, safe in the B&B! But who’d have thought I’d need in inside at the end of April? I only brought it in case I went for a walk.

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But despite the cold, I did manage to sneak in a few purchases. Well, it was inevitably really. And it would have been rude not to support the poor sellers, who couldn’t even walk round to keep warm – there were an awful lot of sample shawls and hats being worn, sometimes all at once…

So, what did I get? Apologies for the photos, it was gloomy when I got back, and I couldn’t get close enough to the window in my bedroom here.

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First up is the aforementioned buttons – I got all these for £24, which seems like a bargain to me. They’re all vintage shell buttons, so should go with most things. The trouble with coloured buttons is that unless you buy them first and then buy yarn or fabric to go with them, the chances are they’ll never match anything, but these are more amenable.

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I didn’t go too mad on the yarn/fibre – there’s two skeins of alpaca/super kid mohair from Bluefaced which seemed too good to miss at £6 per skein, then some Shetland fibre in colours which just caught my eye. Next is a skein of merino/tencel in greys, greens and lilacs which isn’t a combination I’d usually go for, but is very pretty. And lastly, a mixed twist of different fancy yarns from Oliver Twists, with a skein of fine silk – I’m thinking of using the fancy yarns for the warp of a woven scarf, interspersed with some silk, and then a silk weft.

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I was nearly done when I spotted that Thread Yarn had masses of cones of DK cotton on top of their stall, in all colours of the rainbow, for £5 per 500g cone, so I bought these six for yet more crochet. The colours are pretty bad here, there’s two terracottas, two greens, a pale yellow and a cream, which should go with my living room.

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And last but not least, a pretty poppy corsage from the Feltmakers’ stall.

So that was Wonderwool. I’m sure it will go down in memories as ‘do you remember that really cold year’ – hopefully next year will be warmer! Tomorrow I’m heading into Hereford, I’ll try and take some photos, but there may be a bit of rain between the camera and the subject. Just possibly.

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