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Wednesday, 12 June 2019

A Wet Wednesday in Winwick

Well hello to you!  It's a wet and miserable Wednesday here in Winwick (how's that for at attempt at some midweek alliteration?!) and I'm very glad that I took the dog for a walk earlier on.  Thank you so much for all your comments on my last post - I'm delighted you enjoyed coming to Chester with us, and thank you for all the suggestions and recipes for big daughter too - we're both very grateful to you for taking the time to write!  Today, I'm sitting here with my photos from the weekend and remembering that it didn't rain all the time ...

It did rain quite a lot on Saturday, though.  Saturday was World Wide Knit in Public Day and also West Yorkshire Spinners day at Black Sheep Wools, my lovely local yarn shop.  There were lots of samples of garments and accessories for people to see and yarn to squish. Richard, the Sales and Marketing Director from WYS, gave talks on the company and the breeds of sheep fleece they use in their yarns, with more fleece to squish (it was a very squishy kind of day!).  I was there to talk socks and so was my talented crochet toy designer friend Emma Varnam, who designed the Bo Peep Great Adventures toys (these are so lovely with their matching clothes for children).  

Yes, Emma is knitting a sock - she's using WYS Winwick Mum Wildflower!

We had a lovely time chatting to customers and to each other, eating the cake from the Black Sheep Wools cafe (mmm ... lemon and blueberry, my new favourite!) and generally having a very nice time.  

Highlights of the day for me were being able to practice my fledgling Welsh on Dave and his wife - Dave knits the socks and his wife (whose lovely Welsh name I do know but don't want to spell wrong) wears them - yes, you did read that right; Dave is the sock knitter of their household and "fledgling Welsh" is the right description for my grasp of the language!  

OK, here goes ... Dw i newydd ddechrau dysgu Cymraeg ond dw i dal angen ymarfer mwy.  If I've got it right, this should say "I've just started learning Welsh but I still need to practice more."  (My course is focussed on speaking at the moment, not writing so I hope I've spelt everything right!)

I've always liked the sound of Welsh, and when I was small and we used to go to Wales for our summer holidays (cue plug for my Seascape yarn! ๐Ÿ˜€) the lady who owned the guest house we stayed in used to teach me random sentences like "it's raining cats and dogs" which I took great delight in repeating (no, don't ask me to say it now!).  I did go to a night school class to learn Welsh for a couple of years about 14 years ago (I'm quite shocked at how the time has passed!) although all I can remember from that are a few important words like "please", "thank you", "ice cream", "white wine", "beer" and "go straight to the hospital in an ambulance".  Oh, and I can sing a counting song about yellow bananas.  Not much help to my husband who is working in Wales at the moment and wants to be able to speak Welsh to the people he's meeting.  I'm not sure that a song about ten yellow bananas will do the trick!  We decided that we'd learn Welsh together; thanks to his workload, he's not had much time to do anything but I am ploughing my way through the lessons and watching Sam Tรขn (Fireman Sam) on YouTube because I can at least follow the story if I don't know all the words!  

I did wonder whether to tell you all this but of course making it public makes me accountable and much more likely to stick with it.  In theory, according to the course information, I should be able to hold a reasonable conversation after about six months which will be Christmas-time ... I will do my best to get to that point and I'll keep you posted!

The other highlight of the day was this ...

Look at that!  My very own pop-up!  And the cheesiest grin of the day ...

I did wonder whether anybody would notice if I brought it home to have it on permanent display in our living room, but apparently they would and it's safely back in Yorkshire now.  I have to say, I was surprised that my husband wasn't more disappointed when I told him that we couldn't keep it ... ๐Ÿ˜€

Emma has a pop-up too - she's mid-broadcast for an Instagram Live post in the photo in case you're wondering what she's doing.  (I'm not up to speed with that kind of thing which is why you won't find them on my Instagram account!) 

It's quite surreal to see your name on something that stands so much taller than you, but both Emma and I are inordinately proud to be considered such a part of the WYS range that we've got our names on pop-up banners - and long may it continue!

Talking about WYS leads me very nicely into telling you about a walk that I took with the dog on Monday.  The rain had stopped for five minutes and we actually saw blue sky!  It's exactly this time of year that was the inspiration for my Wildflower yarn - look ...

blue skies and so many shades of green ...

yellow gorse ...

pink ragged robin ...

purple comfrey ...

Can you see it?

It makes me smile every time I think of it!

I've also been smiling at the projects that I'm starting to see around the internet knitted in the Winwick Mum yarns now - they're fabulous!  I'll show you some of them in another post, but I love to see them so if you're posting pictures online, do tag me in or email me if you can so that I can admire them!

In another dry moment, I managed to get into the garden.  The veg is actually doing very well now that it's been so well-watered!  Something has been eating my beans and there's a cat (I've not spotted which one yet) which thinks it's a better gardener than me and wants to keep re-arranging the plants into new positions.  I'm not so impressed with that, but I do like the nice neat rows that these are growing in without any feline help ...

And I can't resist photos of bumble bees!  This one was in the greenhouse - yes, I know I shouldn't let poppies grow in the greenhouse but I can't resist those either!

Finally - a bit of sock progress.  Small daughter wanted to go ice skating with her friends so here I am freezing my bottom off and knitting whilst they shrieked, hooted and skated their way round the rink for two hours.  Two hours!  I am just thankful that it's not something we do every week! 

I managed to get quite a lot of this large sock knitted on Saturday at the WYS day and here I am knitting on the train - I went to see Lucy in Skipton yesterday and my husband borrowed my car because his was in the garage so I went on the train.  It's a longer journey than by car but I didn't have any queueing on the motorway and apart from having to stand up for a while on the journey out, it was a nice change.  I certainly don't get any knitting done when I go in the car!

Phew!  It's surprising how much there is to write about after only a couple of days, isn't it?  Time for a brew now, I think! 

Have a lovely rest of the day - and stay dry if it's raining where you are too!

Wela'i di wedyn!  See you later! **

** that was with the help of Google Translate ๐Ÿ˜€ 


  1. At least we won't have a hose-pipe ban this year! I just hope we don't have any floods in the UK either. Good luck with the Welsh lessons. I suspect it's not an easy language to learn, but it's good to keep the "little grey cells" busy. xx

    1. I wouldn't hold your breath - that's happened before! There's already been flooding locally but nothing too serious, thankfully. Yes, those little grey cells are wondering what on earth I'm doing making them work so hard! :) xx

  2. There was a full page pic of your sock yarns in my magazine too. I love the Seascape.

    1. Ooh, that's super-exciting! I love Seascape - there's no way I could pick a favourite! :) xx

  3. I love your blog, and wonder where I can buy your yarns? Is there a pattern for Emma's sweater?

    1. Thank you! You should be able to find the yarns in any yarn shop that stocks West Yorkshire Spinners - in the UK, at least, it's taking a bit more time to get them abroad - and also online. Both Cityknits and Northern Yarn (the links are on the right) sell it, plus you can get it at any other online store that sells WYS - and you can check the WYS website for stockists too ( Hope that helps! xx


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