Summer Memories, Yarn and Travels

imageIt’s official, it’s September and Autumn starts here which gives me a chance to look back at the fab summer Amy and I have had and to have a look at our woolly activities and travels.

Amy was in the South of France taking inspiration from colourful architecture in stunning French and Italian villages.

pink housePink towels

She also spent some time hiding from the heat under a parasol on the beach crocheting up the colours she’d seen.  Full marks for commitment there!

crochet on the beach

I was travelling in Thailand, Bali and other Indonesian islands with No. 1 son, (a bribe to get him to work hard for his GCSE’s!)  Although not big on yarn, South East Asia is big on landscapes and inspirational colours.

Indonesian Beach

There may be a selection of aqua blues and greens featuring heavily in my work to come!

Bali Boat

I did find this gorgeous smiley lady who was happy to show me her crochet creations which she made from memory, she was amazing to watch.  I did feel obliged to buy one of her sarongs…

Woman in Indonesia

The summer may be over but I’m refreshed and ready for Autumn, don’t Yarn Addicts look forward to winter?  Yarn in all colours and textures, cosy warmth, and a good old knit and natter.

Claire

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Have you read the Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs?  Have you?  We did and Yarnbirds happened.  OK, so it’s chick lit but it’s an easy read about a group of women with an enthusiasm for yarn, friendship, chatting and sharing their own stories at their Friday night knitting club.  It’s also based in a gorgeous yarn shop in New York, just like Purl Soho, just like the one Julia Roberts has been seen to frequent, and I want to go there!

Claire and I read it and look what happened.  We strongly recommend the read, it’s what I would call a comfort read, perfect for summer coming to a close and the start of a new knitting group.  If you want to take a look at The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs click on the book cover in the side bar, take your seat on a comfy sofa and enjoy!

Friday Night Knitting Club

So who’s for a trip to New York?

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Yarnbirds, is a “knit and natter” group and an idea Claire and I have been procrastinating over for several years.  Having met through our children it was some time before we eventually confessed to our mutual love for yarn, knitting and crochet.  We travelled for miles to join groups, take part in classes and to purchase yarn which we guiltily took home like black market rations and hid.  Soon the bug had taken tight hold and we were making more, travelling further and spending more of our time talking all things yarn, even booking a trip to Marrakech, visiting an alpaca farm, and crocheting on the beach but more about that another time.

It usually starts in our childhood, I think many people will remember hearing the clicking of knitting needles; whether it was Grandma, Mum or an Aunt who would sit and knit, transforming balls of wool into jumpers, cardis and even swimming costumes, my poor Uncle George, I only wish I could find a photo!  I can’t remember seeing my Grandma sitting without her knitting needles; they were a part of her.  She was like a Dr. Suess character; a lady with knitting needle wings who clicked and clacked through the evening producing the garments which kept us warm all winter and white lacy cardigans for wearing over our dresses in the summer too.  I have inherited her knitting needles, the metal warped to the shape of her bosom and underarms and I treasure them dearly.

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This isn’t my Grandma; my Grandma never crocheted Jesus or her dog.

Making has always been part of mine and Claire’s DNA.  Claire’s grandmother was a talented seamstress who hand made the Harris Tweed coats worn by Princess Anne and Princes Charles, Edward and Andrew in the 1950’s and later Princes William and Harry in the 1980’s.  It was she who spent her spare time teaching Claire to knit, sew and embroider which Claire has continued to do so while pursuing career and family life.

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This is the newspaper cutting Claire’s Grandma carried in her purse of Princes Harry and William we believe wearing the coats, collars edged in hand piped velvet, made by Claire’s Grandma.

My Grandma, bless her soul, spent many an hour patiently trying to teach me to knit, scissors were often the only way to release the wool wrapped so tightly round the needles.  I can still hear the noise the yarn made wrapped around the needles so tight, I am sure was a cry for help, needle or yarn I’m not sure!  It was Mum who would then persevere to teach me to crochet and it was she who gave me my love for colour and texture which later saw me go on to The Scottish College of Textiles and a career in garment manufacture.

Amy with hands

This is me at nursery school, wearing a gorgeous velvet cloche and kneading dough into my sleeves, which were probably painstakingly knit by my Grandma.

At Yarnbirds, Claire and I would like to bring together people who also have that love of yarn, making and learning, and those who have fond memories of their own too.   We’d also like to welcome those who have not tried crochet or knitting before and would like to see what it is that hooks (please excuse the pun) so many people globally.  At Yarnbirds there is the ability to natter while we make friends, share ideas, and have a darn good giggle, (again, please excuse the pun).  We would like to start a community project, a little yarnbombing, but that is a secret to be shared amongst Birds at our soirées only…don’t tell anyone…take a peak at this,  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bristol-22917880

Our first get together is Thursday 12th September, 7-9pm at The Pear Tree Cafe, Canal Street, Whaley Bridge.  There is a small fee of £3.50 this includes a warm drink and a piece of cake / biscuit and the coffee house is exclusively ours for the evening.  We would love you to join us and take part, bring your own projects or if you wish, you can purchase a beginner’s kit or yarn from us.  We are closely working with Rowan Yarns and will be stocking a selection of their yarns which you can purchase from us very soon.

To book your place, you can email us on amy@yarnbirds.co.uk or claire@yarnbirds.co.uk or through our Facebook page.  Places are limited so we recommend you let us know as soon as possible.

We look forward to seeing you fellow Birds,

Amy and Claire

Oh, and I couldn’t resist this,

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Toddler Claire and her baby brother, in their finest knitted regalia.

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