After Leeds our next stop was a night at BabyLonglegs dye studio for an informal evening of knitting, Hat talk and jolliness. A barbecue was had, along with a glass of wine or two.
Sadly, I don't think anyone took any photos even though Hats were popping on and off heads! Typical. We had fun! And it was nice to drag my family up to meet BabyLongleg's family properly for once, rather than surviving on fleeting meetings. Aran found himself in boy heaven with more trampolines and space hoppers than he'd ever dreamed of, as well as new playmates. Now that we know our bus fits in their driveway I think we'll be back again.
From Leicester we headed off to Stone in Staffordshire, to a gorgeous wee shop called the YarnGathering of Stone. Look what greeted me!
How cool is that banner?! I was blown away by the welcome - amazing.
One of things the lovely folks here asked me to talk about was subbing yarns, which is a good topic, especially for those unsure of how fibre behaves. It can take a while to get experience with the different yarns, how they behave and how their gauge affects things so I hope I helped in some way.
There was lots of trying on of Hats and plenty of book signing!
I had the pleasure of meeting Mrs B, who has knitted more than a few of my Hats. Here she shows us how she's knitted and decorated her ColdHarbour Twist berets:
Isn't she wonderful? And her knitting too! It just goes to show that Wormhead Hats work for all ages, and that a little bit of imagination can make all the difference in the finish of a Hat.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is another fantastic yarn shop. I really have been spoilt on this tour as I couldn't pick one shop over the other - each have been wonderful and so warm and friendly. The YarnGathering of Stone is a relatively new shop yet I've no doubt it will be around for a while to come yet. Their weekly knit meetings bring in big numbers, and if the response to my visit is anything to go by, they are a loyal customer base open to new ideas!
On our way out of Yorkshire towards Leicester we stopped at Eureka in Halifax. A totally bonkers, mad sort of place that would give any parent a headache after a few hours yet could keep any child entertained for days.
Aran spent most of his time either in the bathroom area upstairs - running taps, pressing buttons that made water gurgle, flushing the toilet (you get the idea) and downstairs in the car & mechanics are - getting in and out of cars, filling up petrol tanks, playing with mechanic type things.
Our campsite just outside Stone was, well, different from the rest.
Not that it was bad, not at all. It was basic, which is fine with us as we're all set up to handle a few nights without electricity and running water. It was cheap and behind a pub so we had options of eating out, which is all good and reminds me very much of the travelling we used to do when I was a kid in our caravan.
What they didn't tell us was that there was a Biker Rally that very weekend in that very campsite in that very pub. When we pulled up we were told we could park anywhere, so we found ourselves a flat spot at the top of a field containing a few tents at the bottom end. Within only a few hours we found ourselves surrounded by tents. They were mostly pretty friendly but any large group like that can be pretty intimidating.
Now, there's nowt wrong with Bikers or Bikers Rallies. But I do think the campsite should have at the very least reserved that area for them and told us to park elsewhere. Likewise in the Pub. When we went in for dinner we were happily told we could sit anywhere and being as it was rather crowded we found ourselves some seats in a section near the rear. Within no time at all we had a balding & bearded Biker telling us rather firmly to move as we were taking up seats... either that or stay and pay. All mighty uncomfortable but it could have been avoided if that area had clearly been reserved.
Still, it served us for the night! And the funniest thing? We Googled our camping neighbours and found them all to be policemen! We had nothing to worry about at all.
Next stop is Knit Nation this very weekend where I'm sharing stand 128 with BabyLongLegs, NicsKnots and Atomic Knitting. I'll be signing books and will have most of my Hats with me. Do pop by to say hello and if it's quiet, we might get started on the photos for the how to wear a Hat thing I mentioned in the last post, models permitting!