Glamping Part 2 – The Festival Edition!

Well we have just got back from a very fab and very hot weekend at Tribfest – well hot until the middle of last night when it decided to pour down so we had a wet pack up to acclimatise ourselves for the return home, where it is also wet so the tent is in hanging up to dry in the garage! It was a great event where we saw tributes to lots of bands including Madness, Bon Jovi, Green Day and Lady Ga Ga. We really enjoyed it and are buying tickets for next year asap. 

We bought VIP tickets on the advice of my sister who went last year as you get lots of extras for not much more money such as camping near the arena – so you can mellow out back at the tent (or knit in my case!) and still listen to the bands, a VIP tent with bar,  indoor and outdoor seating and extra bands and best of all jacuzzis! 

This is us on Friday afternoon – 

Glamping - jacuzzi
Sadly they only sold champagne by the bottle or I would have been sipping some as well

The kids had a great time – my niece Sarah and my sister Jacky dressed up for the occasion – this is Sarah on Friday night. 

Tribfest - Sarah
There were lots of people in fancy dress - tutus were very in this year!

Ellie had her festival wellies on (as did most of the girls – I must get some pretty ones for next year -mine are a boring blue). 

Tribfest - kids
Ellie, Jake, Sam and Sarah

Some people were even more dressed up – this is the festival mascot – 

Tribfest Cow
I bet he was a bit warm!

We had a very nice VIP beer tent to sit in – 

Glamping - Tribfest tent
Look flowers on the tables!

And a great view of the stage from the outside seating area – 

Tribfest - stage
A little bit of summer festival sun

Jacky’s friend Chris was also with us – another glamping camper with a selection of mini wines – 

Chris's wine
Mini rose and glass
Glamping - Chris's glass
This is one Chris bought at a previous festival - it came full with a peel off lid - how convenient!

My finger is mending well – thanks for the good wishes – and I was able to finish off knitting the wristwarmers, finally made a second matching one that I happy with – here they are in the field outside the tent where I finished them yesterday – while having a little mellow and a glass of red!


Wristwarmers 1
Not identical but good enough!
Wristwarmers 2
Waffle Stitch Wristwarmers - a freebie from Ravelry

I have just got to stitch them up the side now – I knitted these at Xmas for Jake and they are a very quick knit and look very effective. The waffle stitch pattern is a simple four row repeat which uses knit two, purl two for two rows and then two rows of plain knit. 

Talking of wristwarmers (or fingerless gloves)  my friend Barbara from knitting group has just finished the most gorgeous pair for her daughter. I hope that she won’t mind me sharing this pic from her blog with you – 

Barbara's mitts
They look even more gorgeous in real life - knitted in a silky sublime 4 ply

I would love to have a go at these – pattern details are on Barbara’s blog – it is from Ravelry but uses double-pointed needles which I have not tried yet. Barbara is a much cleverer knitter than me and does all sorts of gorgeous patterns using fine needles. 

My new Xmas cross -stitch patterns from JBW have arrived today so I have got lots to amuse myself with – next weekend is the last camping of the season where we shall be back at Bolsover for our final show of the year, then it will be candles lit and on the sofa for another winter season! 

Thanks for visiting.

Preparation is the key!

Thankfully I finished my friend’s present a couple of days ago as yesterday I managed to trap my little finger on my left hand in a car door and it still very painful so I am a bit one-handed now! It is not broken but I think I may lose the fingernail, it is wrapped up at the mo but will have a look again later (yuk!). So no sewing for me for a couple of days! 

I decided in the end to do a pincushion finish rather than a pinkeep as the finished design is quite big but I did still do the little scissor pocket at the back. The fabric is a piece I got from a fabric sale locally when a company called Doughty’s  who come to my town every year. They also have an online store at that link. 

Pincushion front
JBW Designs 'Rooster'

Pincushion back
Charms on back from Stitch Direct as before

Stitch Direct  are a wonderful online retailer of all manner of stitchy goodness – beware this site can cost you money (but they do send you very nice things in return!) 

Speaking of stitchy goodness I am just off to Sew and Sew  now to order my Xmas JBW Designs. I have decided on the reindeer, the Xmas Pud and one of the tree sets – see previous post for pics of these. Also need to visit Amazon again for more Elm Creek Novels – they arrived on Friday and I have already read the first four! 

Thanks for visiting.

A very productive weekend

Well despite a not so brilliant start yesterday with the technology thingies I have had a lovely weekend. I abandoned the computer yesterday afternoon and went out to do some shopping – calling in on the way for a bit of Knit and Natter at my local yarn store, Woolly Minded and Beady Eyed. I am glad to say I seem to have cracked the problem with the variegated wool and the wristwarmers so the second of the pair should be finished soon.  

I finished the stitching on the pressie for my friend late last night – just got the border to finish tonight and am planning to make it up tomorrow. She keeps chickens so I thought it would be an appropriate present and I have some fab chicken fabric to back it with.  

JBW Rooster
A little rooster sunning himself in the garden!

The design is called Rooster (surprise that!) and is from the wonderful JBW Designs  – I am going to treat myself to some of their Xmas ones this year – might even find time to stitch one for my tree as well as all of the gifts. Sew and Sew web site  do the largest range of designs I have found for the UK. I am very tempted by so many of their designs but particularly this one as I am stitching another reindeer design as my gift ornie for this year so it would maybe be nice to vary it. 

JBW Reindeer
JBW Reindeer

Or maybe the Xmas pud just for me … 

JBW Plum pudding
JBW Plum pudding

But the stocking is also very cute … 

JBW Stocking
JBW Stocking

And then there is the Snow Globe … 

JBW Snow Globe
JBW Snow Globe

And two lovely tree motif samplers (but I have done a lot of trees over the years!) 

JBW Xmas 2
Xmas Motif Sampler
JBW Xmas motif
Xmas Motif Sampler 2

If you have a preference let me know in a comment as I am going to have a hard time deciding! 

We have also been busy in the garden – ably assisted by Jake I have been trimming laurel hedges, cutting grass and generally tidying up and it looks very lovely – all that rain has done it good! Have also been baking and have made my first ever Lemon Drizzle Cake (a request from Jake) from the recipe on Nigella’s website.  

Garden Aug 10
The fruits of my weekend labour - tidy garden, stitching and cake!

Have also been doing lots of lovely reading, being holiday season I had bought lots of books and then went to the local library with Jake – I don’t normally visit the library as I have lots of books already in hand and really love buying them (and so quick and so cheap and so easy – thanks to Amazon!) but was browsing and came across a couple of books about quilting – novels with a quilt theme. I have heard of these from knitting and stitching friends so borrowed the two they had and finished the first one in a day. So I went and found a load more on the lovely Amazon.  

They are called the Elm Creek Novels by Jennifer Chiaverini and you can see them here at the Amazon listing. I really like the way that they are historically based  novels as well as about quilting and about the women that quilt. Though I have not really done much quilting myself I love looking at quilts and finding out about the history of quilts and quilting so this is literary heaven – with very good storylines too!  

I had just finished reading the Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill   

Book of Negroes
Book of Negroes

which was excellent and the first Elm Creek Book I read was The Sugar Camp Quilt which is set in the North USA during the time of the fight against slavery. An excellent book and a very interesting read after the Hill book.  

I treated myself to two anthologies of the first Elm Creek 6 books and another 2 based around Xmas and New Year themes as they were all very cheap in a bundled new book deal.  

Elm Creek Qults
Elm Creek Sampler - the first three
Elm Creek Quilts 2
Elm Creek Album - the second three novels

 That should keep me going for a while – all the rest in the series are very cheap  second hand on Amazon as well.  

Don’t know if I will be able to post again this week and we are away next weekend – we are going to Tribfest in Beverley – a music festival composed entirely of tribute bands! My sister went last year and said it was great so we are meeting up with her and the kids and her friend for a weekend of boogieing! I have not been to a festival since about 1988 (though have been to lots of live music during the last few years which I really love) so am really looking forward to this!  

Thanks for visiting.

The problem with technology ……….

Is that we have come to rely on it so much. I have just acquired a new (to me) laptop courtesy of Ellie who has got a new one so donated poor old Mum her old one. Fantastic thought I , as I have been making do with a very, very old and slow cast off from work since my last PC failure a few months ago. Finally I can type and the letters will appear on the screen as I am doing it (rather than 5 seconds later) which will make blog posts so much quicker. Also I can install my fave game The Sims  and build and furnish lots of nice houses which will make light relief of all the marking I still have to. 

So it has been great ever since last Tuesday and I have been playing and surfing and doing all manner of things technical …. until yesterday. Jake and I did notice  a certain flakiness about the wireless connection but just unplugged the modem a couple of times and all was well. Today all is getting a little less well as it keeps disconnecting randomly – rang IT help and all is fine with hardware – he suggests that we are getting interference from a neighbour’s connection which makes sense as another network shows up on my list – think it belongs to next door. He advised trying to change channel to avoid them which I have done 3 times so far – fingers crossed for this one. Trouble is you can only change by going to a website so you have to be connected to do it! Ho hum. 

However what I was going to share with you this post was something completely different which is actually quite appropriate for the topic of technology and other little things life throws at us. I was looking at the lovely Mary Kathryn’s website  the other day and she had a link to a site which lets you make your own version of the Keep Calm and Carry On posters from World War 2. I love these – we have them up at work as it is a very appropriate sentiment for anyone involved in education and I use the logo with my students. 

This site allows you to make your own so here are a couple of mine – the first one is so appropriate for my internet woes – though is a little early in the day for imbibing. 

Keep calm - redwine
I think I might get a t-shirt printed with this on!

Have also been having a few problems with my latest knitting WIP due to vagaries of variegated yarn on a short repeat – have done one wristwarmer and have tried to make a second matching one, so far am on third attempt with different parts of different balls. So this is a good poster for the knitting at the moment. 

Keep Knitting logo mine
A very worthy sentiment - I'm sure you will agree!

 Here is Mary Kathryn’s which I love – 

Keep calm logo - Mary Kathryn
or 'take-away' for our UK readers

 If you want to make your own version the web site is called Keep Calm O Matic.  

 I am currently just at the end of my latest stitching WIP – which was started ages ago but needs to be finished asap as it is a birthday gift for a stitching friend and I only just realised that it is her birthday next week! Hopefully it will be finished tonight as I have a lovely evening in front of the TV planned (Syfy channel has been showing lots of disaster movies and remakes recently which has been good for stitching as you don’t have to concentrate!) I am planning a different finish inspired by something I saw on a stitching website – a pin keep with a scissor pocket on the back so will post pics of that later in the week – assuming the internet is still ok! Keeping fingers crossed. 

Thanks for visiting.

Berkeley Castle event

Just thought I would share some pics with you of the last re-enactment event we did at the gorgeous Berkeley Castle in South Glos. The weather was brilliant and we had a fab weekend as always – thanks to Plantagenet Events and all the people who made it possible. 

The boys all enjoyed themselves as usual – here they are marching on to the field – 

Berk 2 - muster
They sound very clanky - pity we don't have surround sound on this blog!

The battle had a new script with some pyrotechnics to start with where a load of carts in the middle of the battlefield were set on fire by burning arrows which gave a lovely (if smoky) start to the battle. 

Berk 3 - battle
With that, the cannons and the hand gunners there was lots to go boom!

None of the fighters from our group could make the event this time so Ellie and I were looking after our friend Andy from the Knights and Freemen group and any other thirsty boys we could see. 

Berkeley - Andy fighting -
Andy having a good fight - pic by Clive Emerson

On Sunday morning I had a little wander round to take pics – I love looking at tents of any kind, modern or medieval but the ones at the big events are just so lovely – the amount of time and effort people put into their kit and equipment is amazing. 

Berk 8 - tents
The medieval encampment below the castle

Below is a pic of one of my faves from the event – I don’t know the owner’s name to give him credit but what a wonderful tent – you can just see his armour on a stand inside the tent. 

Berk 5 - tent
Glamping 15th century style

Here is my friend Jamie’s tent – it takes about 3 hours to set this all up – no quick pitch festival tents here! 

Berk 7 - Jamie's tent
More glamping - complete with double bed and hangings

Here is Jamie in the tent and outside with friends Kat and Richard. Kat is the amazing costume maker who makes fantastic Medieval  and Tudor clothes and headdresses  – please visit her website Kats Hats

Berk 6 - Jamie
Jamie with his heraldry - handpainted by another talented friend
Berkeley pic - Kat et al
Jamie, his wife Andrea, Kat, Richard and their adorable daughter Izzy - pic by Allen Williams

Also had a quick look around the market – one of my favourite stalls was there belonging to Excalibur Artifacts – they sell all types of hand weaving equipment and had the most amazing selection of hand-woven braids. I  bought a loom a couple of years ago – just need to find more time in my life so that I can practise! 

Berk 1 - Excalibur
The braids on display outside the tent

I had  a lovely chat with Mike the owner – they do not have a web site but can be contacted on 01252 661533 and by e-mail at 

Hope you have enjoyed the little tour round the event – thanks for visiting and see you soon.

The art of glamping

Well here I am back from a lovely 10 days in various fields – the weather was very kind to us (extremely hot at Berkeley thankfully so lots of visitors).

I have read a couple of articles in the newspapers recently about the art of glamping – glamorous camping – and as this is something we strive to do all the time thought I would share my tips with you.

Location of course is very important and we get to camp at all the best historic sites at the UK which makes for some fab picture opportunities – here is one of the tents at beautiful Ashby Castle. 

Glamping 1 - Ashby tent
How about that for a campsite?


Facilities at our campsites are usually a bit limited (portaloos and ‘glasgow showers’ aka baby wipes) but the sight of the sun setting over some of most gorgeous castles in the world make up for that. 

But we do not stint on the other little luxuries in life – in particular a little tipple or two for round the campfire. As I am travelling by train I need to pack light so have found the perfect mini drinks to go. 

Glamping 2 - small wine bottle
Mini wine with added glass which is actually the lid - unscrews and can be refilled!


That only holds about two glasses but is perfect for the train and as back up how about the weekend sized wine box – modelled here by me at our campsite in the Forest of Dean last week. 

Glamping 5 - wine box
2 bottles worth of lovely red - available from my local Co-op!


Of course while sitting round the campfire suitable furniture is need to make sure spillage is avoided and my lovely friend Keith has just made all of the girls in the group some little wine tables. He is a builder and gets lots of wood from various sources to burn and turned up in July with boxes and boxes of little legs – some of which we burnt but others got turned into these – we have asked for footstools next! 

Glamping 3 - wine table
The table in action at Ashby Castle


When I met up with my sister in the Forest of Dean she showed me a very dinky little travel case that she had been given as a present so we had a little G and T to christen it. 

Glamping 6 - shots case
Collapsible cups, miniature bottles, ice tongs and stirrers!


I was catching up on blog reading last night and came across a post by the lovely Hen of Hen House  about her recent holiday  (July 29th 2010 post) in one of the glamping locations I was going to share with you. She stayed in an Airstream caravan on the Isle of Wight run by a company called Vintage Vacations. Check out these lovely pics! 

Glamping 6 - overlander-main
The Airstream Overlander - all pics from Vintage Vacations site


Glamping 7 - overlandertable
Inside showing the seating and eating area


Glamping 8 - Overlander-single-beds
Single beds with knitted patchwork covers


They look fab if you want to re-enact the 1950s rather than the 1350s as we do and are very reasonable prices – I will store that up as a future holiday idea. 

No more trips for a little while now so I will be spending the time gardening and doing various house sorting activities until our next weekend away. In between the lovely Yorkshire rain of course! Brief dry spell now so am off to do some pruning! 

Thanks for visiting – see you soon.