Sunday, 31 August 2014

Beautiful Wales, French visitors and into infinity!

Hello again-back from a lovely break to glorious Pembrokeshire. We visited an area I had not been since childhood, staying on the western tip near Strumble Head, a rocky headland known for its lighthouse and as being one of the best sites in Britain to view seals and porpoises. I was struck by the similarities of the area to the Cornish coast-rocky headlands, little coves and glorious beaches, well the two lands are western and have Celtic origins!
Whilst there I discovered a fascinating piece of history and a tapestry to rival, yes...Bayeux! I always understood that the last invasion of Britain was 1066-did you? I did not know that Britain was actually last invaded by the French in 1797! Well...the last successful invasion of Britain was still 1066. The final, unsuccessful one came from off Strumble Head, just over 200 years ago. This remarkable story is told in a stunning tapestry created by Fishguard's community for the bi-centennial in 1997 and is on display in the Town Hall. Based on the Bayeux Tapestry, it is 100 feet long and about 2 feet in depth.


The story tells of  a small fleet of French ships which landed here-they had been heading for Ireland to pick up rebels who they hoped would join them in attacking the English but were blown off course. They landed and marched on Fishguard, hoping to get the same welcome from the Welsh...malheureusement (unfortunately) for them, the Welsh had been rubbing along quite nicely with the English at the time and didn't want to join them- merci beaucoup!

The French, after a bit of pillaging they were persuaded to give themselves up-
The most wondrous part of the tale is that a 47 year old Fishguard woman, Jemima Nicholas, rounded up 12 French soldiers herself, armed with a pitchfork-go Jemima!

Created by local women, the tapestry really is a work of art which those of you stitchers would really enjoy. An accompanying programme tells the whole story of how the tapestry was created, from its first inception in 1993 until the unveiling for the bi-centenary. The story is a wonderful one of community spirit as over 70 stitchers embroidered the panels drawn by local artist  Elizabeth Cramp. In one review I read before visiting, someone wrote after seeing the tapestry, 'Bayeux who' ?  Well no disrespect to that amazing Medieval creation but I do see the point-this tapestry deserves celebration, and lots more visitors. If you are ever visiting the area do make time to see it!

Beachy craft

The area has some fantastic beaches and many seem much more open to dogs than here in Cornwall. I do understand that in Cornwall the beaches become so busy that they are really not suitable for dogs-bad enough having a seagull fly off with your pasty, you wouldn't want a labrador charging about like a dinosaur jumping on your sandcastle, or a bichon frise licking your ice cream as you pop it into your mouth, no matter how cute!

 Newport near Fishguard has an awesome beach which we discovered for the first time. It runs around an estuary and when the tide is out it's enormous and you can park your car on it, as in other Welsh beaches we've discovered. The dogs, the 'Dogfather' and younger daughter loved it and I was able to send them off on some great long walks whilst I relaxed and crocheted...

...into infinity!

I wrote last time about my getting Back to crochet. Thank you all so much for such kind, lovely and encouraging comments on this post-I am really getting back to it in a big way! Do you like the trend for  'infinity' scarves? I love these. I had bought one some years ago and wore it literally, out. They are so useful so many ways-for a start you don't have the ends of your scarf catching up on your lipstick when it's breezy. They don't fly off when there's a winter gale blowing, on a freezing Cornish beach. Best of all you can wrap them around your head when you've forgotten a hat, as it was sunny when you went out and, being Cornwall, it's now pouring with rain.
I found a great new book 8 simple infinity scarves. All eight designs are fabulous-you will want to make them all! I loved the 'Lovely in lace' design as it could be a useful trans-season accessory, and the yarn suggested is gorgeous - Stylecraft Senses Lace - it works up as very light but cosy and there are some gorgeous colours. At only £2.59 it also works out as a real bargain as the scarf only takes one ball! I crocheted one up in Wales using the colour suggested, 'Clematis' a rich cerise:
The yarn is lovely to work with and I soon had my first infinity finished!
Then my daughters caught sight of it....I had already anticipated this so had bought 'Eucalyptus' as well to make younger daughter one-green is one of her favourite colours:
She is delighted and looking forward to wearing it back at uni.

Then older daughter caught sight of the book and has put in her order for two of the designs... with all of her wedding preparation I have still to do though she may have to wait awhile!

So I am very much back into crochet but having been pleased with myself for curtailing my fabric buying I've simply replaced it with yarn and have just made space for my lovely new stash...

Do you get asked to do lots of makes for friends and family? 

Have a great week!
Alison xx