For me Yorkshire means wool, sheep and spinning, for Mr S it is where his maternal ancestors come from. But we both agree that it is a beautiful county despite/because of its industrial past and as historians we both find that this makes visiting well worth while.
But this year my focus was wool, having discovered that the last weekend in September was Yarndale and The Masham Sheep Fair - well that was too good to miss. I have talked about both in my Woolly Wednesday post, so I won't go over old ground other than to say that I would recommend the Sheep Fair which was a wonderful day! Yarndale has had mixed reviews mainly because lots of people couldn't get there - apparently they were turning people away because the car park was full!!!!!! Well anyone who knows Skipton at all knows that there isn't a lot of parking in the town itself and it was a market day - not good!! Lots of people just turned around and went home. This makes me feel sad and a tiny bit angry to think that some people just sat in a traffic queue - what an anti-climax to what should have been a fun day out. Let's hope that the organizers learn from this year's mistakes.
I was one of the lucky ones - no problem parking at either venue. In fact at Masham the parking for the disabled was right in the middle of the town. Not that you have thought that when following the signs - go down the hill the man said and I did, then I went up hill and round a hairpin bend, then through a very narrow gate and up a gravel driveway, round the back of a large house and into a field - only to discover that I was next to the church and a stone's throw from the market place where all the action was - perfect!
Actually Yorkshire is full of woolly places to visit so a spinner's heaven but this year I had to content myself with a visit to World of Wool and The Piece Hall in Halifax where there was a cute little wool shop called Three Bags Full crammed full of wool and things, but for knitters really. Halifax is a nightmare in a wheelchair - steep hills, cobbles and high kerbstones all come together to make it real hard work and lots of the old shops had steps, but it is the cobbles that make if really difficult - nice to look at though!
As you know, I'm always on the look out for natural dye stuff and I wasn't disappointed on this trip - 'coz in the hedge at the back of our pitch there was a small elder bush, full of ripe berries but not for wine!
Elderberry is, according to my book, supposed to give purples, but I had a limited amount of dye stuff, so couldn't go for the full range! For this one I tried the method using vinegar and got a more muted mauve - this is on Bombyx Mori silk.
This is definitely a dye stuff that needs further experiments - as alum will give purple and an iron modifier will deepen that to an almost black purple. The only downside is that stuff dyed with elderberries fades in daylight - shame.
I have also read that the Himalayan Balsam (the whole plant not just the flowers) gives a yellowy brown and there was a whole bank of the stuff right next to the elderberries - so next year.....