northern ireland

POSH YARN BOMBING IN ANTRIM

A while ago the wife was asked or volunteered (not sure which) to crochet a line of bunting for a yarn bomb event, so the said bunting was designed, made and sent to one of the organisers of the event.DSCF6315

Today was the day of the event which was called Spinning Yarns (a festival of colour, creativity and craft). It was a two days festival, and what a festival it was. As the organisers put it “set in the stunning Antrim Castle Gardens and Clotworthy House. Spinning Yarns is a must do event for those passionate about yarn or simply seeking a great day out. Come along to be entertained and inspired“, well put I say. I must say it was great and even I enjoyed it. It was nice to meet some of the people who had worked so hard to get everything set up.

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You have all heard of yarn bombing right? The action or activity of covering objects or structures in public places with decorative knitted or crocheted material, as a form of street art. That’s the dictionary definition. You can all thank Magda Sayeg for starting it all off in 2005 (so she claims) Do you know differently? Technically it is illegal as it is a form of graffiti!!! I must say it looks to good to be graffiti, it is art. To the person who could not understand why people do it (yarn bomb) I say look around you, see what joy and colour it brings to a sometimes grey world.

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Where was I? Back to today and our visit to the event. Before you entered the door you were met with crocheted flowers in pots and lots of decorations of different shapes and sizes, which were all looking great. There were lots of stalls and opportunities to buy to your heart’s content. One of the first things you saw when you got through the door was a lovely knitted river which was set in a part of the gardens. The hard work that had gone into it made it so amazing. Such great details like boats and swans to name but a few. I must admit the thing that I liked the best was the Yarn Bombed mountain bike which was near the entrance. There was lots of nice food to buy too. With plenty of displays and demonstrations throughout the day. I must admit after meeting so many crocheters and their friends the day has generated more than one or two ideas for other blogs, so watch this space.

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I must say it was good to meet some of the other half’s (widowers) and exchange that odd knowing glance or nod knowingly to be the partner of somebody who loves crocheting, yarn or knitting. I enjoyed the event, but I did meet some who had that look on their faces (the one I have on my face walking into a yarn shop), which means “what am I doing here”. I hope the photos show what a great day it was. Sometimes the photos do not do it justice. To all the ladies who did not get into the photos, because you were not there I say ‘sorry we missed you’. Thanks again for all the hard work put into the day, for us it went well. After taking some photos and saying our goodbyes it was time to walk through the rest of the gardens and look at the yarn bombing there. Again there were some great examples of it, although there were some of the flowers still in bloom the others had been made to look like they still were with the crochet and knitting. There were lots of what looked like very large Dorset buttons, a great selection of fairy friends and the large blanket (which we had a hard time of keeping Ginger the blanket thief off) and my favourite the small watering can bursting with colour. Space and time does not allow me to share about the other crocheting groups and there work, the woman who has 60 bags of a special stash (which she is determined to start to work through, the thoughts of Mrs Grann E.S. Quaire on the event and the Alpacas, there are other days and other blogs for all that.

 

The moral of the story is if you missed it this year look out for it next year or if you go and visit the gardens soon you will still see some of the yarn bombing left in the gardens (as long as the weather allows). Till next time keep up the good work and keep on crocheting, as for me I am off to finish the “artisan food” we bought.

Mrs Grann E.S. Quare goes 50m under.

Yes Mrs Grann has been on her hols and has a story or two to tell. After thinking about it we have decided to tell you about the trip to the Marble Arch Caves and surrounding geo park. We were going to tell you about Mrs Grann E.S. Quare surfing but after an incident with a crocheted bikini we have put that off untill Mrs Grann has recovered and can bring herself to talk about it (the less said about that the better, for now)!!! We hired out a cabin by a river for a few days and invited Grann to come along (no persuasion needed, as it was free for her). On the Monday morning we set off for the Marble Arch Caves for an 11 am tour around them. Mrs Grann had a great time, we all did. Unfortunately the boat part of the tour was not available for our tour so we had to walk it.

The Marble Arch Caves were spectacular and amazing as the photos will show (I hope). We had to walk down 150 steps to start our tour (and 150 back up at the end of it). Because of this, visiting the caves is not for everyone. We did not get the chance to take photos of Grann in the caves as we were on a time scale and did not want to hold the rest of the tour up, because there were features in the caves that were only lit up when all the tour were together. On coming out of the visitors center I forgot to take photos of Grann outside (silly me). We had a great day in the caves. There were lots of features not just stalactites and stalagmites. I do not think that the photos do it justice. At one stage of the tour we stopped in a big cave and told to look up, the guide said we had reached the deepest part of the walk which was 50 meters below the cafe above. It did not feel that we had gone that far down, but there you go. Things that you do not notice when you are enjoying yourself.

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I must be getting on a bit because when the tour guide introduced himself I thought he cannot be long out of school. The daughter thought he was cute. I am getting to old for that stuff (are you). Is it just me?  After the tour we went into the presentation room for a short film about the history of the caves and how they were discovered. This is where our trip hit a bit of a snag. When we went in we wondered why so many of the other people in the room were looking at us (we put it down to the fact that it was near the end)!! Too our surprise it was not in English but German. Shortly after that we left. There was a big group of German tourists visiting that day (2 – 3 coach loads) so they had arranged to show it German. We will have to go again to see it. There is a lot more to see other than the caves and a lot to do as well. Still it was a great day and Grann loved it.

It was also a great day as it got us out of the wife’s hair, which meant she could sit by the water’s edge and crochet to her heart’s content. I must at this point thank the people at the wool mill in the area for not keeping there signs up to date, because try as we might (yes I did try) we could not find it. Unfortunately we loved it that much we are going again later in the year. I think this time we will find it (better get saving for the yarn, it is going to cost). This would be a good holiday for you I think, because 1 – you get your other half out of your hair and 2 – you get lots of free time to crochet of course. What could be better? Right!!

While we were there she made a new Jute Bag Cover which of course has turned into a free pattern Blue Blocks Jute Bag Cover

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What more can I say, just keep on crocheting. Till next time.

Mrs Grann E. S. Quare visits the Giant.

Yes that is right Mrs Grann E. S. Quare at the start of the year is off to see the giant (the Giant’s Causeway that is). Some of you may be thinking right now what is the Giant’s Causeway? There will be others who will know or you might have visited there. For those of you who have not visited let me explain, It is a place full of wonder and magic. There are two ways of looking at it, the scientific way or the way of legendary stories (me and Grann prefer the legends way). Local people here believe that between the hexagons, the mythical features carved out in the rock and the tumbling sea, there is real magic. You may not see it straightaway, but if you come to this place. and stand on the stones, uncover the legends, use your imagination and just wait. It won’t be long until you feel it. The Giant’s Causeway is steeped in myth and legend. carved from the coast by the mighty giant, Finn McCool, who left behind an ancient home full of folklore.

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There is also the scientific way to look at it. A geological wonder with over 40000 interlocking basalt columns, the Giant’s Causeway is the result of intense volcanic and geological activity. The Causeway provides a glimpse into the Earth’s most ancient past. An epic 60 million year-old (so some say, others say only tens of thousands) legacy to the cooling and shrinking of successive lava flows. It is no surprise this place is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I must say (and Grann agrees) when you look at the causeway as the locals do there is so much magic in the air.

The site is now run by the National Trust. After parking the car and buying my ticket (Cheryl from the trust said I did not have to pay for Grann, as she is not a real person. I told Grann she got in free because she is a celeb). There were people from all over the world on the stones today, from France, Spain, Russia, USA as well as local’s. There were a lot of people taking photos so we moved on up to Organ were I took some photos of our day. there is a little stub on your ticket which can be exchanged for a complimentary audio guide. This would be a good thing to use if you are visiting for the first time (it adds to the experience). On we walked round the coast up the Shepherds Steps (of which there are 162). Then we followed the path round the cliffs back to the center. there are lots of different walks from the easy green to the challenging yellow trail. There is also a bus which takes you to the steps and back (for a small fee).

When we got back to the Visitor Centre Grann insisted on playing in the interactive spaces. Grann loved the “guess who has been here by the poo left behind (what fun). There were also other displays and film etc, to watch, which covered both sides of the story of the Giant’s causeway. I have been before and I will go again (with or without Grann).

I must ask, how are your goals going? Have you started or finished the projects you have planed or have you like so many all ready given up? The wife has started the kit I bought her (she ordered) for christmas and has already had to do some frogging. I would just like to say a big HI to all who are doing the Bond blanket, were ever you are. This still seems to be the most popular projet the wife has designed. All that is left to say is do not give up, keep crocheting.

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1st project of the year finished. Ponchette using a Wendy bought pattern and King Cole Urban yarn colour Red Kite (both were on the wife’s box behind the counter box for Christmas)