I am currently enjoying a longer than planned visit to my old home village of Marsden. I spent a week at my sister’s getting Katy sorted, and then had a wonderful drive to Ellen’s. It was brilliant to be back driving Katy after 5 months away. At Ellen’s I was able to volunteer at the food bank for a day.
They have so many new projects starting. They have recently set up a mobile supermarket for rural areas. They are also planting an allotment and orchard, and have plans for fixing donated white goods, such as washing machines and fridges, to donate to families in need. Although it is not good that they are still so needed, it is brilliant to see everything that they do.
I drove over to Kerry’s last weekend, and we went to Hardwick for a research visit. I have written most of one character timeline for my first novel, and am now starting on the other, which is set in the 1940s. I wanted to see what interpretation they have for Evelyn, the last owner of the house.
There were some really interesting display boards referring to the notebooks she kept when she started conserving the textiles. I am going to contact Chatsworth, where the archives are held, to see if I can visit in the summer to look at these.
One of my favourite displays was of Evelyn’s reproduction of one of Hardwick’s most famous pieces of embroidery. The original has ES in the centre, for Elizabeth Shrewsbury, Bess’s last married name. Evelyn’s had ED, for Evelyn Devonshire.
What was even more exciting than seeing that piece, was seeing her sewing bag. It is often these little human touches that mean the most when looking at textiles, and that is really what the novel is about. I have always been interested in the people behind the textiles, whose stories are often lost.
The plan was then to do a short tour of friends in Yorkshire before heading off to Derbyshire camping, but snow has altered that somewhat.
My lovely friends had all offered me accommodation for my stays, but when I got to Marsden on Monday it was clear that the forecast was not good for the rest of the week.
Two days of snow later and we were digging the cars out of 14 inches of it. In the picture below you can just see Katy buried in the snow!
So I am still at my friend Jane’s house, where I am house sitting for the weekend, and looking after her lovely Frankie, who is not very impressed by the snow as it is so deep. We have been cuddling up on the sofa in fleecy blankets.
Jane managed to get away to see her family by train, but was delayed by 24 hours. The snow has caused a lot of problems here with road closures, as the village is surrounded by moorland.
This has meant though that I have had chance to catch up with everyone here, and go to the new knitting group, which is located at the new wool shop in the village.
Woolly Tap is a gorgeous place, and they have knitting and crochet groups three times a week. If you are in the area do call in, they have so many beautiful things, including accessories and very cute bags.
The wool shop is located in one of the old mill buildings, very near these original tenter posts in the photo above, which were used to stretch the cloth as it dried. This is the origin of the phrase ‘on tenterhooks ‘ as the woollen cloth was hooked between the posts.
I am currently working on a little dress to go with the rainbow dolls that I shared with you a while ago. This yarn is from a friend and is a lovely variegated denim colour. As I will now be here until next week I am hoping to get the last bits of the other set of reindeer knitted, just the feet to go.
I am still hoping to do one week of camping, further south, weather permitting. I will then be back a Ellen’s for a while so can post the last pictures from Paphos then.
It will not be long until I am back in Spain, where it is currently 24 degrees, rather than 1, but I have really enjoyed being back here for a bit.
I hope you have all had a good few weeks, and have coped with any strange weather. Have a good week ahead, and see you all soon. Have fun, take care, stay safe and thanks for visiting.