Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - twenty nine

Oops, bit late with this one for last week.

Pinned to the sofa by the dog. Good job I had a book to hand!

A walk and a cuppa and some table banging with my sister and my niece.

The view from the shelter in the park where we ate the second half of our rained off picnic!

Amused by the blow up swans bobbing around attached to this boat on the canal.

I enjoy looking at the budgie graffiti on this old mill every time I go past it.

The hydrangeas are blooming and are a glorious mixture of colours.

Making progress with my cardigan, just the button bands to go.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Seven snaps for seven days - twenty eight

Seeing my cousin off at the train station after a fabulous weekend catching up and watching the Tour de Yorkshire.

Collapsing into a fit of giggles after witnessing my dog's outrage at a snail crawling across the window. Much woofing and tapping the window ensued.

My birthday cake from my mum. Lovely day celebrating with my family.

Enjoying the day after my birthday with my cake from my sister.

Enjoying a lovely, unexpected lunch with friends at the local vegetarian restaurant. We all drank rhubarb, lime and rosehip fizz. Delicious!

Paid a visit to Haworth with my friend and found this piece of graffiti, the Brontes on a bike, which was done as part of the Tour de Yorkshire.

Had a lovely craftanoon doing my knitting with friends who also supplied goodies - passion fruit cheesecake, banana and apricot loaf, little biscuits filled with a lemon custard, Minstrels, Mr Kipling lemon slices and cherries. Yum.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

A vintage yellow jersey

After the excitement of the Tour de Yorkshire last weekend things are starting to settle down here. This week has been full of discussion of the sights, sounds and atmosphere of the Tour de France passing through my part of the world. Many of the decorations are still up and the spray painted messages on the roads are still visible.

I thought it was a good opportunity to combine Tour fever with my love of knitting patterns, which, surprisingly, is totally possible. At first I thought I would feature patterns using bikes as props but I am sadly disappointed to report that I don't have any! I don't know if this is due to a massive oversight by the props departments of the knitting pattern companies or just that my collection doesn't contain any. I will keep searching.

Then I thought about featuring patterns with yellow jumpers and I had a discussion about it with my mum who had found me the fantastic pattern that I opened this post with, the two men in yellow playing golf. So a homage to the yellow jersey it is!

Obviously, pre fancy sports fabrics the yellow jersey would have been made from wool.

The yellow jersey is known as the maillot jaune.

The yellow jersey is awarded to the rider with the lowest cumulative time for the distance completed so far.

Please notice that this Mod has matched his roll neck to his socks. Smart.

The sports newspaper which started the race in 1903 was printed on yellow, hence the yellow jersey given to the leader of the race.

The rider who has the yellow jersey at the finish in Paris is the overall winner of the Tour de France.

A green jersey is also awarded which is based on points given for position rather than time.

Riders who often finish highest each day build up green jersey points.

The highest placed rider under the age of 25 gets to wear a white jersey.

The best climber in the race gets to wear a white jersey with red polka dots - 'the King of the Mountains'.

I have been thinking a lot about my maternal grandparents during the Tour de Yorkshire. I also had a discussion with my cousin about them when he came up to see the race. In their younger days they were very keen cyclists and belonged to a cycling club in Sheffield. The second day of the Tour de Yorkshire, the day that went through my village, finished in Sheffield. My cousin and I wondered if our grandparents would have ridden part of the route and how exciting they would have found it to have the Tour in their home city. The above photo is from the family collection.

My grandparents often rode a tandem and they used to tell us all sorts of stories about the places that they went to, and about little tricks like the person at the back putting their feet up whilst the person at the front did all the pedalling. In their house they had a picture on the wall of each of them, taken on the tandem. I know they used to ride long distances at the weekends and it makes me wonder how much of the route they may have covered, and if they ever rode around here.

My grandad took us all out, separately, for a spin on the back of the tandem when we were young. I remember enjoying it whilst also being terrified!

I don't have any photos in my collection of my grandparents on their bikes but I do have this one. The young man at the back with the big smile and the floppy hair is my grandad. I like to think that this is his new bike and a photo has been taken to mark the occasion!

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

The Tour de France - Yorkshire's Grand Depart

On the weekend of the 5th and 6th of July the 101st Tour de France came to Yorkshire. Stage One on the Saturday went from Leeds to Harrogate. The Sunday saw Stage Two, from York to Sheffield, racing through my local towns and villages. Yesterday the Tour went from Cambridge to London and it is now back in France to carry on with the rest of the race.

Willow bike in Todmorden
Tour de Yorkshire fever had been steadily building and was even beginning to affect those of us (me) who did not have even the remotest interest in bikes and racing and who knew nothing whatsoever about the Tour. All the towns and villages got creative, producing fantastic decorations and displays. I thought that it would be fun to take a look at some of them in my local town. This post is picture heavy!

Le Tour sheep at Ribbon Circus.
French themed soaps at The Yorkshire Soap Company.
Wallpaper in the window at Cabbages and Cushions.
Illustrated bikes at The Old Treehouse.
Knitted yellow jersey bunting and a yellow bike at Spirals.
Bike race lamps at Radiance.
Fabric bunting at Molly and Ginger.
Yellow bike at The Vine.
AstroTurf bunting and tree wrapping at Heart Gallery.
Perspex rings designed for the event by Element
A bike and painted bunting at The Bookcase.
A bike and fabric bunting at Cafe Solo.
One of many yellow bikes on the route at Blazing Saddles.
So that is just a snapshot of the decorations, there are so many more fabulous ones. I just can't include them all sadly, not enough space and some photos didn't come out well due to the reflections in the shop windows and I was mostly using the camera on my phone.

The other amazing decoration that I want to mention is the Cragg Vale bunting.

Cragg Vale starts in Mytholmroyd in West Yorkshire and goes up 968 feet to moorland at the top. It was one of the climbs of the Tour and was the place where I watched all the action on Sunday. The residents of Cragg Vale and other local residents, school children, community groups etc have spent at least the past year making bunting to attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the longest stretch of bunting. Some of the bunting was patterned fabric, some plain, some printed, some illustrated. The pennants and the distance between them had to conform to strict regulations.

All those pennants were illustrated by local school children. Here are some pictures of the bunting as it goes up Cragg Vale.

The brilliant news is that they did manage to beat the world record and the bunting looked amazing stretching up the hill on the day of the race. There are 52,939 flags stretching 12,115.4 metres! It was a sight to behold.

The atmosphere on the day was electric with thousands of people walking or cycling up to line the route and welcome the Tour. I didn't take any pictures of the caravan of sponsor's vehicles and the team cars or of the cyclists themselves as I decided I didn't want to miss anything whilst trying to take a perfect photo. My cousin took a screen shot of the TV coverage where you catch a glimpse on the right of the group of us watching the race!

I am so glad that I didn't stay at home and do my knitting like I originally planned to!