Wakefield Country Courtyard

The other day I met a friend for lunch and a walk in Salcey Forest, where I spotted these gorgeous primroses growing at the foot of a tree.

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She had to head back up the M1 after lunch and so I paid a return visit to Wakefield Country Courtyard. Another friend took me there a few years ago but the photos I took then were all dark and fuzzy. I enjoy having a wander again, but it’s small and so best visited if you happen to be in the direction of Towcester or the A5. I wouldn’t plan a day trip unless you want to combine it with a good yomp at Salcey Forest.

This blanket caught my eye in the ARTea Room and Gallery, I’m dithering about whether to add this kind of scallopy edge to my huge granny square blanket border. So far I’ve crocheted a few rows of treble clusters and I need to make a decision.

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My brain was whirling and I wondered if I might make some pretty applique bags, purses and notebook covers as sewing practice and gifts for family and friends….

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I need to try some applique after my first effort when my sewing machine was new.

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A relaxing pit-stop with a copy of Country Living and a cream tea. Naughty but nice! On the windowsill to my right were  wooden bowls, jewellery, toys and knick knacks for sale. There’s a lovely selection of art and craft things all around the cafe.

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I photographed the links at the end of the article on guerilla gardening to remind me to look up the sites, maybe you’d like to look as well?

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The Bead Scene and Vintage Stitch are in adjoining rooms in one of the buildings and apparently both offer workshops. There are such lovely haberdashery and crafty items for sale. I loved the colourful displays, lightness of this room and found the owner very friendly.

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The dresser, the baskets, the ribbon, the fabrics….

SWOON.

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Ah, this is the same brand of yarn I used to crochet my knitting needle roll a few days ago.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my little wander around some of Wakefield Country Courtyard. I love seeing others’ crafty trips out, please link to yours below if you’ve been anywhere nice lately.

Fibreworks, Oxford

Do you remember I blogged about the scrummy yarn shop Fibreworks, Chipping Norton back in March? Well now there’s a sister shop in Oxford. I went for a look-see last week, ended up chatting ten to the dozen with the lovely owner Natasha, stayed over an hour and ended up having tea with her.20130903-104516.jpg It was fascinating seeing all the different people who popped in during that time. You never knew who would come in next and what they would ask. I loved it!20130903-104524.jpg There was a woman who asked for a knitting starter book as she wanted to make something for her baby (v v cute.)20130903-104533.jpg A guy who works along the road who needed a yellow nose for a toy his g/f had made. I suggested felt which he bought. He also ended up buying a Creepy and Scary Creatures to Crochet type book. We were both saying how cool crochet is and how there are many male crocheters and knitters. Well, sort of there are I think?

A woman who wanted to donate wool she bought years ago to knit an item for her child, now an adult….

A foreign student who wasn’t sure how to cast off her scarf. She’s just learnt to knit and was making a beautiful double stranded scarf for her boyfriend. The combination of blue and white DK yarn with big needles worked soooo well.

What I loved was that some assumed it was my shop too. Maybe I’ve found an alternative career? After all a customer in John Lewis, Oxford Street in London did tell me last week that I should be working there and was a ‘natural’ when I answered his questions about ipads which the employee had failed to answer correctly. A craft shop with a teapot on the go all the time, and all sorts of people to chat to on a daily basis sounds pretty appealing. Not to mention the yarn, books and patterns.20130903-104547.jpg

Last week I met a friend for an evening in the pub. It’s been a little while since we met so there was plenty to catch up on. She was saying how she’s taking horse riding lessons and doesn’t find it easy, plus the instructors are pretty hard on you. She ended up crying one week. The guy she knows in the class pretended not to notice which was very tactful, but then the following week he ended up in tears too! Well! Can you guess what I’ve told her she must do? CRAFT. CREATE. RELAX. ACHIEVE with no tears. I suggested looking for crafty workshops to do together, or perhaps we could join a knitting group, not as an alternative to the horse riding, if she wants to carry on, but another more relaxing and confidence boosting option. Hey presto I just happened to hear about a few local knitting groups and we’re joining one on Wednesday. Knitting/crochet and alcohol. Perfect combination (ish) so I’m taking something super simple, otherwise I’ll be showing you a cobweb next time!20130903-104603.jpg

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It’s a really lovely shop isn’t it? If you’re near Oxford anytime then I suggest a visit. Here’s the website for info about workshops, classes, groups and opening times etc etc.

In progress: That cat needs sewing up. Still. I’m knitting the second sleeve of the garment. So soon you’ll have some pictures of actual craft I’ve been doing. It’s been happening, but I’ve just not taken many (any) photos lately.

Buying: I’ve finally chosen what to buy with my Blogger of the Month gift-card and placed my order this morning. I’ll show you the contents of the parcel when it arrives. Exciting!

CAL NEWS: The JAL of the CAL will be nearer the end of the month from my POV, but please go ahead if you’re itching to begin the massive blocking and joining fest. Can you believe it’s been a year since we started, I see my first post was actually a year ago today!

iknit London

iknit London

iknit on Lower Marsh street, Waterloo, London is one of my favourite yarn shops to pop into when I’m in the area. Come out of Waterloo underground station onto Waterloo road, turn right and walk along to the cheap bookshop on the corner. They sell a huge variety of books, including a nice shelf-full of craft books. Then walk along to iknit on Lower Marsh street for a browse, knit/crochet and shop. I recommend The Camel and Artichoke pub afterwards. It’s just 2 minutes along the street. Buy a drink, order something to eat (recommend: the steak & onion baguette, chilli/cheese nachos/The Big Ben burger – if very hungry!) and go upstairs to hopefully bagsie one of the ultra comfy squashy leather sofas. Browse the Bookcrossing.com bookshelf for a free book or two. All this will keep you happy for an hour or two or…..

Pros: iknit London sell a large selection of wool/yarn in a variety of prices, brands and types. There are some sample pieces knitted up to give you an idea of the texture, thickness and general project inspiration.

Apart from wool/yarn there is an extensive library of books to browse and buy, a rack of knitting and crochet magazines, haberdashery and little gifts, including cards and toys.

iknit London offer classes and have regular knitting group meetings, although I haven’t attended any….yet. They are licensed to serve alcohol so i imagine some of the gatherings get fairly jolly!

You are welcome to take your current project into the shop and work on it while resting on the sofa for a while.

Cons: Be prepared to share the sofa with a very small dog, the kind you might see a celeb carry around in a handbag!