This year, 2019 the Woollen Woods were slightly later than usual and this turned out to be a good decision as we were once again very lucky with the weather. As has happened in previous years some pieces were seen for a second time such as the stripy snakes.Most of the trees were decorated with new pieces however, with many trees being taken on by local groups. Transition Belper put up a Bee Kind to Nature Tree with an amazing beehive suspended high above our heads. A line of bees could be seen flying back to the hive and on close inspection a Queen Bee could be seen wearing a small handmade silver crown. Continue reading Woollen Woods 2019
Belper’s first Fashion Revolution event took place during Fashion Revolution Week 2019. The action happened in St Peter’s Church on Friday April 26th, it was very well supported by people from Belper and beyond.The idea for the Fashion Revolution movement came from Carry Somers after the tragedy of the Rana Plaza disaster. On 24 April 2013, a factory building in Bangladesh collapsed killing 1,134 people and injuring 2500 more. Carry (who has a Fair Trade shop in Ashbourne) felt this was a tipping point and something needed to be done. She phoned Orsola de Castro, founder of up-cycling fashion label ‘From Somewhere‘. Orsola immediately said, ‘Yes we have got to do this.” The first fashion Revolution Day took place in 2014. Fashion Revolution Day has now become Fashion Revolution Week and this year took place from April 22 – 28. Continue reading Fashion Revolution Week
Do you wear clothes? In that case please read the rest of this article. Our Member’s of Parliament say the Fashion Industry is a major source of the greenhouse gases that are overheating our planet. Discarded clothes are piling up in landfill sites and fibre fragments are flowing into the sea when clothes are washed. Find out more HERE.
I have just returned home from a few days staying in a cottage near Whitley Bay in the North East of England. During the visit I was very interested to see two community projects which were both in different ways a little unexpected. The first was a Community Garden in the walled garden area of a National Trust House and the second was made for the community by an open cast mining company. Continue reading Community Spaces in the North East
This year as a new event for Belper Arts Festival, local individuals and groups were asked if they would Adopt a Tree on King Street. The trees were decorated for the duration of the Arts Festival. The idea was suggested back in Autumn 2017 and was quickly taken up by a number of people in the town of Belper. Trees were installed on May 5th and taken down on May 28th. Continue reading Adopt a Tree for Belper Arts Festival
We have just taken down the Woollen Woods and 2018 has been an amazing year. The sun has been very good to us and more individuals and groups have joined in the fun. I have written about previous years on this blog and also linked to videos Woollen Woods 2015 . This one was created for us by a Derby company https://www.ablewild.com . We were written about on the Angel Eden Blog in 2016 and there are links to videos on their page. Continue reading Woollen woods 2018
Once again this year Belper will enter the RHS Britain in Bloom competition. The competition is now over fifty years old and is entered by communities in towns, villages and cities with different categories for each size of settlement. Groups are assessed for their achievements in three core areas: Horticultural Excellence; Environmental Responsibility; and Community Participation. Over 1,600 communities around the UK enter each year, participating in their local region’s “in Bloom” campaign. From these regional competitions, roughly 80 communities are selected to enter the national Finals of RHS Britain in Bloom.Last year ‘Belper in Bloom’ was selected to represent the East Midlands in the Large Town Category in the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Britain in Bloom UK Finals.
Andrea Van Sittart, RHS Head of Community Outreach, reacted by saying: “Congratulations to Belper on reaching the UK Finals of this year’s RHS Britain in Bloom campaign. To represent their region on the UK stage is an incredible achievement and shows they are already at the top level of community gardening, going the extra mile to improve their local area and make it cleaner, greener and more beautiful for everyone.”
Belper has numerous volunteers and groups who get involved with the towns involvement in Britain in Bloom. These include Belper Gardening Group, Transition Belper, the Open Gardens Team, Belper Goes Green, Friends of the River Gardens, Guides, Brownies, Scouts, local schools and for the first time this year St Peter’s Parish Community Garden. As well as volunteers, the staff at Belper Town Council and Amber Valley Borough Council, will be working to make Belper bloom. Once again this year they will be planting thousands of bedding plants in the parks and planters in and around the town, putting up hundreds of hanging baskets, keeping Belper Railway Station and the grounds of Strutts looking beautiful and keeping the Parks, Wyver Lane and other Nature Reserves accessible and well maintained.
This year as part of the town effort the Belper Woollen Woods are asking local people who can knit, crochet or felt to make flowers which will be used to brighten up part of the route that the judges will walk along.Belper is a fantastic town full of residents willing to be part of Community events. So I am asking everyone who reads this to help make flowers for the Belper in Bloom Group. There are plenty of free patterns on the internet that can be used for events such as this.
I am a knitter so I am adding a few quick and simple knitting patterns to this blog post. However flowers can be crocheted or made out of felt.Flower OneOne main colour of DK Yarn (A) and a small amount of a different colour for the centre of the flower, (B). Needles size 3.25 (10)
Body of Flower Using Col A Cast on 60 stitches
Rows 1 –10 : K2, P2 across whole row. Row 11 : Knit 2 stitches together across the row (30 sts).
Row 12 : Slip 1 stitch, Knit 2 stitches together then pass the slip stitch over… repeat across the whole row (10 stitches).
Break off yarn with long tail and thread back through remaining stitches and pull tight. Join edges with mattress stitch
Centre of Flower Using B, cast on 20 sts, knit 2 rows, cut the yarn and thread through all the stitches. Pull the thread tight and sew base to the centre.
Knit two together across the next row (40 sts), Knit the next row.
Knit two together across the next row (20 sts), Knit the next row.
Knit two together across the next row (10 sts)
Break off yarn with long tail and thread back through remaining stitches and pull tight. Join edges with mattress stitch.
The flower will naturally curl to make an interesting shape.
Row 1: knit, Row 2: Knit 1, kfb k to last two sts, kfb, k1. (9 sts)
Row3:as Row2. (11sts), Row 4: as Row 2. (13 sts)
Rows 5-8: knit, Row 9: Knit 1 (knit two together through the back of the loops) twice, k to last four sts, (k2tog) twice. (9 sts)
Rows 10-12: knit, Row 13: (k2tog through the back of the loop) twice, k to last four sts, (k2tog) twice. (5 sts)
Rows 14-16: knit, Row 17: knit 1, slip 1,k2tog, psso, k1. (3 sts)
Row 18: knit and then Cast off.
Make three or four more petals to complete the flower.
Sew lower sections of petals together by threading a length of wool through all five petals and pull up tightly.
Centre of Flower Cast on 20 sts. Knit 2 rows.
Cut the yarn and thread through all of the stitches and pull to make a circle, sew onto the centre of the flower.
Last Row, (Knit 2 sts, cast off 12 sts) repeat this across the row.
Cut the yarn and thread through the remaining stitches and pull up to make a flower that looks a bit like a daisy. Put in a few stitches to hold in place.
Flower Centre Cast on 20 sts. Knit 2 rows. Cut the yarn and thread through all of the stitches and pull to make a circle, sew onto the centre of the flower.
It would be fantastic if lots of people would help with this effort and we do not have very long before Britain in Bloom. The completed flowers can be left in a box in St Peter’s Church Chesterfield Road, Belper or given to me Anne Clark
If you would like to print off the patterns here is a PDF Flowers
The Woollen Woods are once again planned to come to the Parks Wood in Belper during May 2018. Lots of individuals and groups have already expressed interest in being part of the event. There are no set patterns and it is perfectly acceptable to make one item or to take on a whole tree. At the moment I am enjoying myself making woodland birds to install in the wood. Continue reading Simple Patterns for Woollen Woods
I thought I would write an update about the Christmas Angel project. Knitters and Crocheters in Belper have been very busy this year making small angels as a Christmas Gift of Love for the people of the town. The project had been adopted by Belper Churches Together as their Christmas initiative but it has also been very much a community activity with hundreds of people getting involved. Continue reading Belper Christmas Angels
Last Wednesday I spent a couple of hours sitting in Pachacuti , a Fair Trade shop in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. I had not gone there to buy anything although I was very tempted. On a previous visit I had left with three hats, two tops and a pair of shoes! Here is a photo of the shop and you can see my little suitcase outside!