Chardonnay is a sheep!! She’s a little bit of a diva, and she lives in the window of an amazing little yarn shop, Knitting Pretty in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire.
Chardonnay was created by Kt Arthur, Sarah Johnson and Kerry Young as part of a window display in Knitting Pretty for the FEVA festival 2019 (Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts). The display won the window competition (the 4th time the store has won this)
Sarah tells me that she made the structure for a sheep which was originally used in the 2019 Great Knaresborough Bed Race, the ladies then re-purposed her for the FEVA window display.
Diane Watson, the owner of Knitting Pretty says
‘Knaresborough is a very friendly town, it has the world famous Bed Race in June, the FEVA festival in August – where the town goes pink – and Bright Friday in November when children carry lanterns from the castle to the market square ready for the start of the traditional Christmas market over the Saturday and Sunday. We have some fabulous independent shops as seen recently in the York Press‘
Knitting Pretty are stockists of Rowan, West Yorkshire Spinners, Adriafil, King Cole, Opal, Stylecraft, Clover, Knit Pro and so much more.
Knitting Pretty really is so much more than just a yarn shop.
Currently Diane’s community of knitters are making poppies for British Legion 100th anniversary in 2021, with the aim to have a breathtaking display at Knaresborough Castle. Knitting groups take place on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
I provide knitting workshops on several Saturdays throughout the year. It is always a fun day and a pleasure to be part of this fantastic enterprise.
Back the star of this blog Chardonnay…
Chardonnay is going on a yarn shop tour #chardonnaysyarncrawl where she will spend time in various yarn shops and hopefully get to know more about them and the towns they serve.
To kick this off, Diane and I took her on a tour of the town of Knaresborough. Thanks to the local green grocer for the loan of the sack trolley (Chardonnay is far too much of a star to actually walk around town).
We all had a fabulous time and Chardonnay certainly attracted a lot of attention. Everyone who saw her loved her and wanted to hug her and photograph her.
We started off in the market square where Chardonnay met Mother Shipton and Blind Jack.
Then it was a trip to the castle which was unfortunately closed but we all enjoyed the views!
Next, no visit to Knaresborough can be complete without including England’s oldest tourist attraction Mother Shipton’s Cave.
On the way there it made a nice change to admire some of the unique trompe l’oeil windows that are all over the town, and some more sheep 🙂
The people at Mother Shipton’s were amused to see Chardonnay. She brings colour and joy wherever she goes.
She would have loved a boat ride but it wasn’t possible due to high river levels.
However, Blenkhorn’s Boats were very obliging and allowed her to get onboard. Look how excited she was!!
That was enough excitement for one Saturday morning in October, and Di and I were getting a bit warm with wheeling Chardonnay around, so we headed back to Knitting Pretty.
There could be a whole other blog about this charming little shop and all the quirky little details, there’s something different to spot every time you go and they all have their own stories. Here is just a little taste …
The final photo is some yarn which had to come home with me.
This yarn is hand dyed locally in Knaresborough, and there is even a special colour called Knitting Pretty specially created for Diane. I have some ideas in my head for designing something special to knit with this beautiful bundle.
So what’s next for Chardonnay? The plan is that she will head off to Harrogate to spend some time at Yarn Etc, after that a visit to Sharon at Ewe and Yarn in Thirsk is on the cards. I’m sure it won’t end there, we need to get Chardonnay to visit as many yarn shops as we can.
I hope to follow her around on her travels and write about it here.
She will also be using the hashtags #chardonnaysyarncrawl and #chardonnayontour on instagram.
Give her a wave if you spot her she’s always happy to meet new fans!!!
My last blog was about the lovely Knitted Bible which came to our local church. I came away from my visit with a pattern for a knitted angel ,which people were being invited to make and donate to a collection at local churches. I thought I would contribute a few to the collection and enjoyed knitting up the simple pattern in some lovely soft Sublime Alpaca yarn.
I gave them to my Mum to take to the Methodist church and I am told that the angels were handed out to people who visited during the Christmas Tree Festival that was held in December. Hopefully people have enjoyed having these knitted angels in their homes.
I also spotted a bit of knitting on display in Wetherby which is always nice to see. I do like a knitted nativity!!
I like it because of the story it’s telling and the fact that you can create a tradition of taking the display out every year and I like the blissfulness of someone using their love of knitting to produce something which will bring pleasure to others.
In this case, it may have been a group effort and I like that too, how sociable to get together and do your knitting.
I shared this picture on twitter and a few days ago I got a tweet from Julie Wilcox who obviously likes a knitted nativity as much as I do. She was very lucky to find one in a charity shop. I wonder if someone donated it because it was unwanted? or maybe they knitted it specially for the shop to sell. It seems a bit sad to think it could have been unwanted, but I know that it is now being truly loved by someone who appreciates it. Whoever knitted it almost certainly enjoyed the process of creating it and now it’s bringing joy to someone else. Who says knitting is dull, boring and out of date?
There has been a display in our local church today showing 33 bible stories that have all been knitted!! This is the work of the congregation of St Georges URC Hartlepool and it goes on tour around the country.
It was like the whole inside of the church had been yarnbombed!
They were happy for me to take photos and share them on here so here you are hope you enjoy.
This is such an impressive achievement and on several levels.
A brilliant way of depicting these stories and also a celebration of talent and imagination on the part of the knitters. All beautifully presented. Thank you to all those involved I know you have given joy to many.
I also came away with a pattern to knit an angel as part of a plan to ‘angel bomb’ the village!!!
I have had an inspiring experience this week when I visited the town of Thirsk to see the work of their yarn bombers. I had seen them on youtube and knew I just needed to pay a visit if I possibly could. The ladies in the tourist information office were very helpful in advising me how to get to the 2 churches which had been decorated with thousands of knitted poppies. Walking toward the church I spotted this shop which seems to be housing some of the previous yarn bombings.
There were poppies everywhere.
The way that the church had been decorated was stunningly dramatic.
This was all very impressive and there was more to come. A short walk back into town and out again to Sowerby showed that many business and individuals had got involved with this amazing project.
So then I reached another church beautifully decorated with so many knitted and crocheted poppies.
The number of poppies that have been created is so impressive and the impact of the way they have been displayed was glorious, especially in the November sunshine. When you got up close the poppies were glistening with water droplets and you could see so much individuality had been put into the work with different stitches, types of yarns and poppies of all sizes.
All coming together to create such a marvellous display. There were lots of people walking about admiring this work, I got chatting to a couple of ladies and we wondered what is going to happen to it all when the remembrance period ends and the display is removed? We hoped it was going to be re-used!! They say it will be on display for a couple of weeks so you may have time to see this fabulous work if you’re quick!!
Finally here are a few more displays that I spotted on my way back to the car.
My name is Judith and I love all types of needlecraft, particularly knitting! Now that our shop has closed, I am looking forward to lots of inspiring adventures and explorations, trying to find out what new and exciting things I can create and learn in the wonderful world of textiles.