I’ve been on three days out with a textile theme over the last few weeks…
At the beginning of September there was the Northern Quilt Festival at Harrogate, this is held twice a year and it’s a nice sized show, not so big you get overwhelmed, it’s reasonably priced and free parking too!
It’s also small enough to take my mum to. We had a good day out, my daughter came too, she was a star, pushing my mum in her wheelchair round so I would have chance to look at the stalls I needed to look at. Of course I bought a few things, my mum bought a few kits too, I didn’t have the heart to say she couldn’t manage them anymore, she was happy in the moment, even though five minutes later she couldn’t remember buying them! There is one which is embroidery rather than cross-stitch, I’m hoping I might be able to make it into two kits and both do it together when I visit.
There were some beautiful quilts on display, we oohed and ahhed over them…
Here in the UK, every September there is a Heritage Weekend. Over the weekend lots of buildings open free to the public, many are ones which are not usually open, or they’ll be ones with interesting histories and they’ll have a tour guide, sometimes the building use has changed completely and you can see the old bits. I decided to go to Sunny Bank Mills in Farsley, it was fascinating.
It was owned for many years by William Gaunt and it was his grandson (or great grandson!) who showed us round and explained the history behind the mill. It was also an earlier ancestor who was one of the founder members of the first woolen mill there. We went up into a disused building, where I spotted an old Singer treadle base! We learned about the north facing roof windows and the importance of the area in the global wool industry in days gone by. Sunny Bank Mills sadly had to cease weaving a few years ago but the owners have managed to transform it into a business hub, which now employs more people than it did as a mill. It’s also by chance become the biggest hub of creative businesses in West Yorkshire.
They have set up an archive room as they are in a unique position of having a complete set of archives, a weaving record of every design they have ever made.
On Saturday I went over to Skipton to Yarndale, a wool and textile show held at the Livestock Auction Mart. You wrap up warm for Yarndale as the stalls are where the animals are usually held, so there’s no heating, it’s like one big barn! I was helping to man the Skipton Embroiderers Guild stand during the afternoon, so I got there early so I could have a look round.
It’s interesting people watching at these shows, the ones at Yarndale are completely different to those at the quilting shows, as my friend put it, they’re a lot more bohemian! Lots of brightly coloured hair and amazing knitwear!
I’m not really into knitting or crochet but I could admire the colours of the fine wools, they were beautiful!
There were some beautiful felted creatures on display, this stunning barn owl was by Archies Attic.
Of course I did find a few bits to buy!! One stall sold trims and had this gorgeous variegated ric-rac, it was a bargain at 30p a metre, so I bought all three colourways!! I also bought a fabric dying kit, it was a make mentioned on a course I went on recently and as it had all the extra stuff (such as mordant) you need I thought it was worth it to have a go. Another textile experimental pack looked interesting so that ended up in my bag too! I also bought a very pretty set of embroidered earrings!
All in all, three good days out. The next one planned is the Harrogate Knitting and Stitching Show at the end of November, I need to start saving now!