Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A Giraffe in Stanhope


We had a lovely mini-break last week in Stanhope, County Durham. It's the fourth time we've visited and one of the things that I love about it is that although it is very remote there is so much to see and do and it's only an hour and a bit away from us. We were also very lucky with the weather this time and were treated to gorgeous sunshine and clear blue skies. We made the most of this by getting out and about and doing a bit of walking, which was both relaxing and inspiring. The landscape is awesome in the truest sense of the word and alive with wildlife and sheep (which I have become obsessed with trying to identify since buying a sheep poster at Woolfest a couple of weeks ago!)

More sheep

Blue skies

Wide open spaces

One of our trips was to Durham where we walked along the river and enjoyed mooching around the city, exploring the alleys and little paths. In the cafe where we had lunch we saw this wonderful embroidered map from 1796 which prompted lots of discussions about how county borders have changed, traditions of embroidery and samplers and the merits of various dyestuffs.

Embroidered map



No holiday would be complete without a few souvenirs and naturally mine are textile based! In Durham we visited the Fowler's Yard art studios and had a lovely chat with the proprietor of the Woolly Workshop, who has got me all excited about giving spinning a go. We also visited Allendale Forge Studios which also got me feeling all inspired and creative. I came away with some more threads to have a go at doing a bit of natural dyeing, having invested in a book and some dyestuffs (again at Woolfest.) 

Threads, silk, fabric and beads

Threads for experimenting with

Pretty beads

As well as some sketching and stitching I also made a giraffe whilst we were away. Before we left I was given a kit that the person had bought but got fed up with without finishing the giraffe. Although the pattern was simple it was a bit fiddly so not ideal for a beginner. However, I do think that the finished giraffe is rather sweet!

Crocheted giraffe

Crocheted giraffe

Crocheted giraffe

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