Padley Gorge is a fantastic almost magical place to visit. It is easy to access from Grindleford Railway Station. You can still get to this Station by train but it is much easier if travelling from Sheffield or Manchester. The train in the photo is going into Totley Tunnel which has a date above the entrance of 1883. It was the longest Railway tunnel in the U.K. up until 1985.Unfortunately it’s not so easy by train from Belper as you need to go to Derby, change to a Sheffield train and then change again for Grindleford. Consequently we travelled by car and luckily found there was plenty of parking on the road down to Grindleford Station. The old station building has been converted into a cafe which came third in the Guardian newspapers list of ten best Station cafes. The food is all homecooked and tea comes in half pints or pints. Continue reading Padley Gorge Derbyshire
The plan is to get as many people as possible to knit, crochet or felt, small angels. I have added a few patterns to this blog but you can use your own pattern as long as the angel is small. Once the angels are created and we hope for about 600-800 they will be placed around the town of Belper early on the morning of Monday December 18th.
One of the local Care Homes has already started knitting and here is a photo of some of their angels.These angels have faces and hair but this is entirely up to the maker. The ones I have made so far are very simple with no facial details.
If you prefer here is the pattern in the body of this blog.
HEAD AND BODY
Cast on 36 stitches using double knitting yarn and size 3mm needles. Knit 3 rows.
(K2 tog, knit 7) repeat 3 times, 32 sts.
Knit 1 row.
Purl 1 row.
(k2 tog, knit 6), repeat 3 times, 28 sts.
Knit 2 rows.
Purl 1 row.
(Knit 2 tog, knit 5), repeat 3 times, 24 sts. Purl 1 row.
Knit 2 rows.
(K2 tog k4), repeat 3 times, 20 sts.
Purl 1 row.
Knit 2 rows.
(K2 tog, knit 3), repeat 3 times, 16 sts.
Purl 1row. (K2 tog), repeat across row, 8 sts. Purl 1 row.
Kfb in each st, 16 sts.
Starting with a purl row stocking stitch 7 rows. K2 tog across row, 8 sts.
P2 tog across row, 4 sts.
Thread yarn through these 4 stitches and from the wrong side sew up theback seam. Put a little stuffing into the head of the angel and then sew a row of running stitches around the neck and pull tight.
Cast on 21 sts on needle size 3 mm. K 1 row from RS. Then work short rows as follows: * K 7, turn and K back, K 1 row over all sts *,
repeat from *-* 6 times in total.
Then * K 2 tog, K 6, turn and K back, K 1 row over all sts *, repeat from *-*until there are 15 sts on needle.
*K 2 tog, K the rest of row *, repeat from *-* until 9 sts remain, cast off.
Sew wings to the back of the body with a line of stitches down the middle of
There is another simple pattern that I like to use which I will add to this blog. For all the patterns I use double knitting yarn and size 3mm needles to make sure the knitting is nice and tight. Also colour is a personal choice. The angels look good all knitted in white but I have also done some in purple, shocking pink, yellow and even striped.
Christmas Angel Pattern This pattern does say to use size 3.25 or size 4mm needles but as I mentioned before I always use size 3 mm to keep the knitting tight.
When the angels have been made we have a collection point in St Peter’s Church Belper or you can contact me through this blog.
After the success of our first Fun Palace in Belper it was decided to run another at Belper Goes Green. This is a fantastic Eco Festival run by Transition Belper for the local community. All the information about the festival can be found here Belper Goes Green ,this includes what’s on and parking.
The part that I have been responsible for is the Fun Palace Tent. I hope the weather will be good but if not we have lots of fun and informative workshops in the marquee so you will still be dry.The workshops, (as they should be for a Fun Palace) are a mixture of Science, Art, Craft and Nature inspired. There will also be the opportunity to learn CPR with Amber First Responders
Katherine Wheatley will be making Carbon Monsters and she will be running a competition to win a copy of her very popular book.
There will be lots of Science and Engineering on offer with the opportunity to make a whirlpool in a bottle, discover what bugs lurk in the local Coppice Brook, make your own mini wind/water wheel, put together an aluminium engine and make a catapult plane or spinning helicopter.
There is also plenty of Art and Craft, you will be able to make a collage of Belper, learn some origami, make a hedgehog, turn milk bottle caps into fridge magnets, make monsters with clay or make your own fairy with pipe cleaners and wool.
The workshops take place each day between 11.00-13.00 and 14.00-16.00. Each session has different activities except the learning of CPR which will be a constant. here is a PDF of the full workshop time table. Fun Palace Workshops
Here is a map of the site.
Its that time of year again when the people of Belper are working hard to produce this years Belper Art Festival. A tremendous amount of planning goes into this event which each year gets bigger and better. Yesterday there was a small crowd who met at Number 28 on the Market Place to produce the festival trailer for 2017.
The part of the festival that I am most involved with is the Woollen Woods. This will be its third year and it is really exciting that both individuals and groups are already planning and working hard on their pieces. The wood is very central to the town of Belper, known as Belper Parks Wood. There is a free carpark beside the Market Place and a way to walk into the woods from there.
So far one of the care homes is getting involved as is a children’s nursery. There are young people who are learning to knit and others who have elaborate plans for complete trees. One of the highlights of last years event was the story trees, who could forget Alice in Wonderland or Noah’s Ark?
I know for a fact that this year there will be more of these trees, however this is truly an event that everyone can be part of. Last year we had lots of pom pom animals and spiders webs made from sticks and wool.
It really doesn’t matter if you are not an expert knitter or crocheter, once everything is place in the woods it all looks fantastic and adds to the magic. Squares and rectangles of knitting can be turned into creatures fit for the woods. This caterpillar was made from a rectangular piece of knitting sewn into a tube and stuffed.
This year the pieces will be installed in the woods on Friday May 12th and will stay there until Sunday May 21st. We have an exciting addition to the Woollen Woods on Saturday May 13th when Lauren an artist and storyteller from Nottingham will be telling stories with the aide of her beautifully made puppets. This will be in Number 28 from 2.30pm. These are tales from Into the Wild Wood and will be suitable for families with primary school age children.
There is still plenty of time to be part of the Belper Art Festival and Woollen Woods. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
It is not long now until Belper’s first Fun Palace. The event will take place on October 1st from 12.00 – 16.00 in the venue Number 28 which is situated on the Market Place in Belper. I have written in a previous post about how Fun Palaces started and each year since 2014 the movement has grown. The Fun Palace movement says, WE BELIEVE IN THE GENIUS IN EVERYONE, IN EVERYONE AN ARTIST AND EVERYONE A SCIENTIST, AND THAT CREATIVITY IN COMMUNITY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER.
In a previous blog post I have given information about some of the activities that will go on and in this post is more information about opportunities to be creative and have fun. Also a reminder that there will be a chance to learn CPR with Amber Community First Responders who will also hope to have their car outside the venue.
You will be able to make your own song bird with the help of Nansy Ferret. Nansy is a local artist and also singer and songwriter in Belper band, Red Ruff. For the Fun Palace she will be giving you the opportunity to combine songs – either your own or somebody else’s – with visual image. Come along, play with words and create a bird to sing in your home or to give to a loved one so that they can see your song each day! You can see more of Nansy’s work by following her on facebook as Nansy Ferrett-Campbell or on twitter @monster_nip.
This event will also have a cafe for light refreshments between activities.
FIGMENT Derby is to be the first FIGMENT event in Europe so it is not surprising if you have not heard of it. FIGMENT started with an event in New York in July 2007. Since then it has grown significantly each year in the United states and Canada.
Here is a paragraph from the FIGMENT website, ‘FIGMENT’s vision for art looks past the white-walled galleries and into the realm of participation. Art is not just something that you stand still and quietly look at–it is something you participate in. You touch it, smell it, write on it, talk to it, dance with it, play with it, learn from it. Interactive art creates a dynamic collaboration between the artist, the audience and their environment.’
It is a free event for the whole community to join in with and FIGMENT Derby is produced with support from Derby Museums. The event will start with a picnic, (bring your own food), which will take place on a large quilt that has been made by volunteers and visitors at Derby Silk Mill Museum.Lots of photos can be seen HERE from previous US FIGMENT events. News about FIGMENT Derby can be found on their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/FIGMENTDerby
I am hoping to yarn Bomb Cathedral Green with the help of the general public. I will be bring along knitted blankets, long wool wraps and knitted flowers that can be attached to the trees. The aim will be to turn the green into a colourful garden.
Its only about six weeks until Belper’s Fun Palace which will take place at Number 28, The Market Place, Belper. The fun will start at 12 noon and finish at 4.00pm. I am writing this blog post to inform everyone about some of the planned activities.
Tan Draig a local artist is aiming to get people to help make the largest string vest in the world. The string vest will be exhibited later in October as part of ‘Belper in Bloomers’ underwear exhibition (to launch on Sat 22 Oct as part of Discovery days) at Number 28. Here is a link to all that is happening during the Discovery Days.
The photo above of Tan was taken at the opening of the “part of the Fabric’ exhibition that he made in Belper’s North Mill. There is a very good account of this piece of work in the Derby Telegraph.
The large string vest will be made by a human knitting machine and Tan will need lots of help to achieve this. This particular activity will take place during the afternoon at 3.00pm. Before this time Tan has promised to enable visitors to join in with a fun mathematic activities.
There will also be creative workshops for people both adults and children to join in with. Marilyn Deakin another Belper artist will be running a collage workshop suitable for all. Here is an example of her work
and much more can be found on her website http://www.marilyndeakincreativeart.co.uk
Marilyn like myself believes that everyone is an artist, these are her words, “ For me its about communication and passing on skills and opportunities for people as I believe everyone is an artist – they just need to find themselves – that is my aim.”She is planning an Autumn collage workshop for the Fun Palace and has sent me this photo, however everyones work will be unique to themselves.
There will be a chance to have a go at making something with stamps thanks to Helen from All Things Stampy. She was one of the first Independent Stampin’ Up!® demonstrators in the UK when it launched in November 2007. She runs workshops and has a website http://allthingsstampy.blogspot.co.uk/ where you can order all you would need to make the most amazing cards etc. This is a fantastic chance to have a first go at making something for free.
These activities are a taste of what will be on offer at Belper’s Fun Palace. In about a week I will write about some of the other amazing activities that you can enjoy on October 1st at Number 28.
Last year I attended my first Fun Palace at Derby Silk Mill Museum. I had not heard about Fun Palaces before but always enjoyed attending activities at the museum. The original idea for Fun Palaces dates back to 1961 when Joan Littlewood and Cedric Price came up with the idea and designed the Fun Palace which they called a ‘Laboratory of Fun’. Joan said that she believed in the genius in every person and also in the idea of community.
It was to be a temporary and movable home to the arts and sciences, open and welcoming to all. For many reasons it wasn’t possible in 1961 and the Fun Palace never came to fruition as a building. The idea however, of a space welcoming and open to all, bringing arts and sciences together, where everyone is an artist and everyone a scientist, remained a GREAT idea.
The Fun Palace became an annual reality from 2014 when Stella Duffy and Sarah-Jane Rawlings organised the first Fun Palaces throughout the country. The first ones took place on the hundredth anniversary of Joan’s birth. The idea quickly grew to become an event taking place worldwide on the first weekend in October. This year that is October 1st and 2nd.
THE FUN PALACES MANIFESTO
WE BELIEVE IN THE GENIUS IN EVERYONE, IN EVERYONE AN ARTIST AND EVERYONE A SCIENTIST, AND THAT CREATIVITY IN COMMUNITY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD FOR THE BETTER.
WE BELIEVE WE CAN DO THIS TOGETHER, LOCALLY, WITH RADICAL FUN – AND THAT ANYONE, ANYWHERE, CAN MAKE A FUN PALACE.
The idea is that it is an event organised by local people for the fun and enjoyment of local people. Here is a short video from 2014 explaining a little more about the idea behind Fun Palaces.
The event will take place on Saturday October 1st from 12 noon until 4.00pm.
However the fun begins now with the fun of planning the event. I have just made a comic strip from a link on the Fun Palace website.
Above is the one that I have made. There is also a Write, Science competition which needs to be completed by the end of this month July 2016.
Planning is already going ahead for Belper’s first Fun Palace which is to be a fun community event for all age groups. I will be writing soon about the activities, however if anyone reading this post has an idea that could be included please get in contact through the comments.
Here are three more comic strips made by my grandchildren just for the fun of it.
This blog, ‘Flowers and Animals of the Woollen Woods’, is a chance to show some of the amazing pieces made by knitters and crocheters for this years Woollen Woods. I have taken so many photographs that it is difficult to choose and there will be some I don’t feature on this blog. Every piece is important however and the people of Belper have loved seeing the woods with the animals, birds and themed trees.
The woods were alive with animals even some from the very distant past. Dinosaurs once again roamed but didn’t cause any problems apart from disappearing for a few hours and then being found again. There were a number of very colourful snakes but they stayed in the trees and I am not aware of anyone claiming to have been bitten. There were plenty of pink pigs and a flock of very colourful Belper sheep who really enjoyed climbing the trees. There were hundreds of amazing flowers many made by Belper Gardening Club. The woods were full of both real and woolly bluebells.
We are planning to join in with next years Woollen Woods and as soon as Voluntary Arts Week announce the dates we will let everyone know. I imagine it will be in May 2017. May is also the month of the Belper Arts Festival and so it is a fantastic opportunity for many to join in with that event as well. Keep an eye on this blog and also the Anne Clark Handmade Facebook page to get all the news.
The event takes part in an area of woodland known as Belper Parks Wood which is very central to the town of Belper. It is a lovely area to walk through, climb trees in and even have a picnic.