Monday, August 22, 2005

The Stitching Gods smiled and saw that it was good

Well, what a weekend it’s been *phew*

It all started at 8am on Saturday when I crawled out of my pit (am, ick, I don’t DO am at the weekends) and fell into the shower in a vague attempt to wake myself up. Managed to grab myself half a breakfast before I was on my way to pick up my first guest from the local B&B. That achieved we headed for the local train station for the second pickup. This was a little more interesting as the signposting takes you to the long term car park, right at the other end of the station, and on the other side of the tracks from the main entrance (flippin typical). That pickup finally managed we headed back to my place to do a few last minute bits of furniture rearrangement before everyone else arrived.

Over the next couple of hours the lounge gradually filled up with stitchers of all shapes, sizes and ages and there was many a flurry of finished pieces and WIP’s. The sounds of needles flying and knitting needles clicking punctuated the gossipy chatter of 12 female and 1 male stitcher, 2 proto-stitchers and one very bemused partner who was 'mainly there for the food' (yes Joy he really did say that *grin*)

Around 1pm we started putting out the masses of food that everyone had brought and everyone tucked in and continued grazing for the next couple of hours, at which point the cakes and sweets were put out. This was when I discovered one of the few things that will quieten a bunch of stitchers… Chocolate Cake! I walked into the lounge to get my own piece of cake and it was quiet for the first time that day (quite eerie really) and as I looked about the room, almost every plate had a slice of chocolate cake on it.

Food and cake duly demolished the stitching resumed. One or two people left during the afternoon, but come 8pm most people were still hard at it so we downed tools and headed for the local pub/restaurant for dinner and drinkies.

We staggered (from the food rather than the drink) out about 10pm and everyone headed home (or to their hotel) from there. The one guest I had staying, and I headed home where I got to ferret through her stash trades and we chatted until we were both yawning our heads off and decided it was time for bed.

It was great to meet our two proto-stitchers both of whom were exceptionally well behaved considering they were surrounded by madwomen, and the seeds have been planted to fully corrupt them once they’re able to hold a needle.

Sunday morning I got up at a slightly more civilised time of 8:30am (of course I was actually awake this time when I could have had a lie-in) and had a leisurely breakfast while waiting for my guest (P) to poke her nose out for the day.

Around 10:45am we headed off to Bakewell and promises of stash.

We got there and headed to Wye Needlecraft where we found another one of our group (A) already there getting a head start on going through the charts. The next couple of hours were spent squirreled away in the upstairs corner at Wye going through their prodigious collection of charts and occasionally succumbing to one.

I managed to be quite restrained and came away with Dragon Dreams Fantasy Sampler, a couple of small needleroll patterns and a back issue of Cross Stitcher with a Newton design in that I didn’t already have. P had bought me a couple of spools of Krenik to complete a trade for some fabric of mine that she wanted.

A then mentioned a little craft fair she’d spotted on the way in, so we went there next. It was only a couple of stalls in a small room and I didn’t get anything there.

Our next stop was Ye Olde Bakewell Pudding Shoppe, which has a restaurant upstairs, where we had some lunch. I’m going to have to restrain myself from going there too often as they do a Blacksmiths Skillet which is Black Pudding, bacon, onions and mushrooms in pepper sauce which is to die for (yes I’m sure some of you will think that’s disgusting, but I adore black pudding), but is definitely not something I should be having too often on my diet.

A had to dash off after lunch as her parking ticket had run out about 15mins before and she didn’t want to get clamped which just left P and myself.

P then showed me another shop, that I didn’t even know was there, called The Patchwork Place. Now I’m not into patchwork but they had some fabulous fabrics and I picked up 8 fat quarters of fabric for making up small pieces of stitching. One of the pieces is a Halloween pattern of smoky grey cats on a black background and the other 7 were in a bundle. They’re all stripy fabrics in various subtle shades of lavender, purple, blue and maroon. I also got some tiny wee clothespegs that I’m going to use for finishing Futurecast.

We then had about half an hour to kill before we needed to head for the station and we managed to find another craft show with a few more stalls this time, but we still didn’t buy anything. Then it was time to head back to the car.

After a leisurely drive down to Derby (a bit too leisurely in places thanks to the Sunday traffic) I dropped P at Derby station for her train home and headed home myself.

I had a fantastic weekend and really enjoyed seeing everybody, but it was very nice to get home to a totally empty house, make myself a cuppa, put a Stargate DVD in and put my feet up with Celtic Winter.