Monday, 12 May 2014

Bower birds hatched in Skipton

                                I've just had an amazing weekend in Yorkshire attending a crochet workshop with Lucy of Attic24 fame. She is possibly the nicest person you are ever likely to meet AND the most incredibly patient teacher too. Her studio is above an amazing cafe, Coopers Cafe Bar, so what could be better? A day spent with like-minded, interesting people with coffee and buns on tap.

Lucy had laid the table with a rainbow of yarns and we chatted about the colours while deciding which we were drawn to for our birds. It may have something to do with age but I am constantly amazed how I am drawn to the more vintage shades of plums, purples and lilacs while the younger women chose beautiful bright contrasting colours.

The other 'students' had more experience than I did and it certainly showed at the beginning. After several embarrassing attempts to start I eventually managed, with Lucy's encouragement, to produce the body of the bird. The pattern needed to be exact to produce the right bird shape and mine had ever such a tiny hump on her back. We all settled in with coffee and pastries to fortify us and the birds slowly took shape. By lunchtime most of the body and wings were complete and we could start to use embroidery to embellish the wings and body.

The day flew by and with one eye on the clock the birds were all finished. Such wonderful colours. I am determined to try to use brighter colours for my next attempt but they all have a charm of their own.

If you have never visited Lucy's blog, please do! She is so generous with her patterns and ideas and documents her creative life with such great photos.

Thank you Lucy for holding the workshop and having the patience to help me hatch a Bower bird too.

Mike and I broke up the journey back to South Wales with a flying visit to Dunham Massey in Cheshire. The hall and grounds have belonged to the National Trust since the 1960s and I have fond memories of picnicking in the deer park with my daughters when they were young.

To mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War in 1914 they have staged a large exhibition called "Sanctuary from the Trenches".  Dunham Massey became the Stamford Hospital during WW1 and 282 wounded soldiers were treated there. There are recreations of a ward, a recreation room, operating theatre and nurses station with staff dressed in period costume as nurses and patients. I found the letters, accounts of injuries and photographs so moving.

The reconstructed operating theatre

 It may seem such a long time ago but many of us have grandparents or great-grandparents who fought and gave their lives during this terrible conflict. The exhibition is an excellent way to mark this anniversary and suitable for all ages so if you are in the North West please do visit. I don't think you will be disappointed.

I'm off to make another Bower bird this afternoon, better and brighter this time!

I'm linking up to Janine's blog at Rainbow Hare Quilts for

Have a wonderful week, apparently it's to get warmer….yippee!


  1. What a fun workshop. I love your vintage plums and purples.

  2. Love all the birds very interesting to read and love the colours and photos.

  3. oh this looks like so fun - they are really cute :-)

  4. Ooooh.......those li'l birdies are chirping the most gloriously, coloured tune!! It sounds heaven.......crocheting away with lovely ladies, with li'l trips to the café downstairs. Bliss!!

  5. Your bird is fantastic! I love it :) And it sounds like the workshop was good fun. And if I'm ever near that exhibition I'll certainly visit. It looks really interesting :)


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