At the weekend we were treated to brilliant blue skies and high doses of welcome warm sunshine. Perfect July weather in actual fact, and even more welcome than usual as we had Outdoor Weekend Activity planned.
On Saturday we joined the happy masses and stood (slightly precariously) on the side of a little hillock at the edge of a big roundabout on the outskirts of our town. We stood, we sat, we fidgeted, we waited, we ate sweets, we slid up and down on our bottoms (well Little B did), we huffed a bit and got impatient, we got a bit bored with waiting the one-point-five hours for The Anticipated Arrival. But finally, after all that hanging about, we watched in stunned amazement as 198 bicycles whizzed by at super-fast speed. Whoooooooooosh. And in that one minute of shouting, clapping and cheering we were most definitely a part of the great Yorkshire crowd that turned out in their thousands to welcome the Tour de France to our beloved patch of northern England.
The above photo shows the Peloton racing up through the centre of my town (are you impressed with my newly acquired cycling lingo?). I'm very sorry I would love to credit this photo but I found it on t'internet and now can't trace the origin. It was taken from the top of the church tower, and is a great view of the town.
This photo was taken by a police helicopter, I really do love aerial photos so much, they give such a unique and fascinating perspective of familiar places. When we came home from the hillock beside the roundabout, we watched a recording of the Tour de France on TV so that we could see our local landscape unfold on the screen. I have to say, it made my heart lurch a little at the sight of all that lush green, the Yorkshire Dales are looking spectacular and I really appreciate the beauty of this place I now call home.
I was happy that we gave the Little People a chance to be a part of the Tour de France, I think they enjoyed the atmosphere even if the wait for the cycles was a tad too long. But gosh, being amongst all those thousands of people, well, I was glad to come home and sit for a little while in my peaceful, quiet back yard. Just me (and Bert the cat who stopped by for a visit), with my face turned up to the sunshine, alone with my own thoughts.
Sometimes, I think it can be incredibly hard to grant ourselves permission to just sit still and be. I know I don't do it often in my days, am very rarely sat still with nothing doing. But it feels soooo good sometimes to do that very simple thing, to sit, listen to the sounds of the immediate surroundings (jackdaws caw-cawing), feel the air touching your face (it was breezy), close your eyes (warm, sunny) and just drift in and out of thoughts and memories. I think this might be described as a kind of Mindfulness (do go read about it, fascinating stuff), do any of you practice this?
On Sunday morning I opened up the back door, put my apron on over my pyjamas and baked a cake. I buy my eggs from the local butcher and the colour of the yolks never fails to surprise me. I always expect them to be yellow, but they are always, always orange. I made lemon drizzle cake, such an easy, never-fail recipe (right here, if you fancy making it, you can impress your friends and family with it's light, moist zestiness).
Warm, freshly baked lemon drizzle cake is just divine and goes exceptionally well with a morning coffee. I took some time yesterday to catch up with a bit of reading while I was inhaling my cake, I have a magazine backlog which I'm working on eliminating.
Later in the afternoon, I felt the need to do some work. I say "work" in the loosest sense, as this is actually yarn bombing crochet work in progress for Yarndale. I set up my work station outside in the back yard, it was a bit like working in a laundry, but I didn't mind that so much.
LOOK!!!!!!!!!!!! What do you think of my YARN letters??! I am pretty impressed with them, they were great fun to make using a super-duper set of free Alphabet crochet patterns found on Moogly blog. The patterns are very well written, and when I had a little trouble with the "A" I used the fab video tutorial provided.
I made eight letters in total to spell out the word YARNDALE (I'm making woolly direction signs, like you do). It was really lovely to go back to the Stylecraft Chunky yarn on a satisfyingly chunky 6mm hook, that yarn is just so crazily SqUiDgY and produced the most beautiful, soft, squidgy letters!!! Once they're off the hook they do need to be given the Steam Spa treatment, they stop curling then and sit nice and neat and behave beautifully.
Worked in this yarn on a 6mm hook, the letters measured 12cm tall. I had Double Assistance yesterday afternoon with my photo shoot (oh I have some hilarious photos of Little B here, working the letters). Here is Little Lady telling me I need to have some wool going along the bottom Mum, like this look, see?
Oh, ok, yes, good job Little Lady, you have won me over with that line of red.
I've already made a second YARNDALE word and have started to crochet a striped background to accommodate the words in banner form (I need an arrow too, mustn't forget to do that). I realise that this vital hooky yarn bomb activity is truthfully an avoidance tactic re the 200+ mandalas waiting to be opened, stacked, photographed, uploaded, re-sized and Pinterested, but it was Sunday yesterday and back yard crochet yarn bombing work seemed to be an OK type of work to do on a day of rest. Mandalas tomorrow I think. I'll get some strong coffee on the go, a small slab of lemon drizzle cake and set to.
Well, you can buy this colourful pack of squidgey soft yarn from my very own Attic24 shop, nestled inside the rather wonderful Wool Warehouse. That's 800g of soft, chunky, bouncy yarn, it's such a joy to work with and I'm going to be doing much of my yarn bombing work with it (treble crochet rows grow deliciously fast on a 6mm hook!). I'll be adding more colour packs to my shop, including the pack for my latest Coastal Ripple blanket which is now finished and awaiting it's Ta-dah moment..................
You can expect a cool, coastal reveal very soon my friends, this is one seriously lovely summer blanket, loaded with seaside memories. Can't wait to show you!