Tag Archives: crochet

A blossom-filled bridal bower

29 May

Amanda's shed with crab apple blossom

Amanda’s shed is usually a fairly utilitarian place, but now that the crab apple blossom is out, it’s been transformed into a glorious pastel bower.

The fallen petals dusting the path make it look as if a wedding party has just passed by – which is especially timely as we’re just about to celebrate our first weddings of the year here.

On Monday afternoon, we’ll be welcoming bride Zuzana and groom Peter, while next Friday, Kerry and Richard will be tying the knot. I am so excited – and I really hope both couples will have a picture taken with me! To find out more about our wonderful wedding packages, simply click here!

There’s certainly no shortage of lovely photographic backdrops in the garden at the moment…

Keswick Codlin in blossom

Amanda thought you might also like to see some of her new crocheted bugs in situ…

Crochet ... Boris the spider

Crochet … Boris the spider

Crochet ... Gwen and Keith the snails

Crochet … Gwen and Keith the snails


Bugs and bird scarers for half-term

22 May
Bugs galore

Incredible crochet: Bugs galore made by Lynne

I’m very excited about my new children’s crocheted bug trail, which was specially created by my very talented friend Lynne Hardman, who makes the amazing tea cosies for TV’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch programmes.

Lynne has made the most gorgeous insects ever seen – Amanda wants to adopt the spider (she’s named him Boris) and take him home, but I’ve told her we need him here. There are also bumblebees, a giant ant, a pair of snails and a bright green, multi-legged caterpillar, along with plenty of others.

I know they’ll be really popular with our younger visitors, but I think they’ll make the grown ups smile as well.

If you’d like to see more of Lynne’s incredible work, have a look here.

Lynne's Autumnwatch tea cosy

Leafy: Lynne’s Autumnwatch tea cosy

The bug trail will be running throughout the spring half-term week, which begins on Saturday, May 25, and will return for the summer and autumn school holidays.

We’ve got lots of other great activities taking place in the spring week, starting – and ending – with talks on the Saturday and Sunday about the bizarre ways Georgians spent their leisure time. These are at 11.30am and 2.30pm, and you can also try your hand at a game of cards or skittles 18th-century-style.

Monday, May 27, is herbs and hedgerows day with special talks at 11.30am and 2.30pm. On Tuesday, head for the kitchen, roll up your sleeves and learn to make clapbread – drop in any time between 11.30am and 3.30pm.

On Wednesday, dress up in some of our replica 18th-century costume and strike a pose for a family photo, or pop in on Thursday between 12 o’clock and 3pm and join artist Dianne Standen to create your very own bird scarer.

Dress like a Georgian

Children’s bedroom: Dress up like a Georgian

Whatever day you choose to visit, I look forward to meeting you. If you take your photo with me, you might make it into this blog – especially if you’re dressed like a Georgian! Email your pictures to me at wordsworthhouse@nationaltrust.org.uk.

Keeping the apples cosy – and the children amused

27 Oct
Ideal habitat: Each cosy is decorated with a ladybird

Ideal habitat: Each cosy is decorated with a ladybird

Fruity trail: One of our crocheted apple cosies
Fruity trail: One of our crocheted apple cosies

National Trust properties are well known for their fun children’s trails – but we think we’ve got the best one yet. Amanda, the gardener, has just been round the house hiding 16 crocheted apple cosies for our younger visitors to find!

If you haven’t heard of these – and I’d be surprised if you had – they are like tiny tea cosies but specially designed for apples. If you’re now wondering whether you too should be keeping your crop warm this way, I ought to add that you can’t buy them in the shops, because they’re just for fun.

Ours were crocheted by the lady who turned out to be behind the (initially) mysterious yarn bombing that we suffered a few weeks ago and they are certain to bring a smile to the face of anyone who sees them.

On the trail: An apple cosy perches on a candle sconce

On the trail: An apple cosy perches on a candle sconce

Recycled roof slates and crocheted mice

23 Jul
A slate label in Wordsworth House garden

New Life: A slate taken from Wordsworth House roof

Kat in Wordsworth House garden

Lady in red: Kat, skilled secretary and calligrapher

Amanda has found a clever new use for damaged roofing slates taken from the house here and other National Trust-owned homes and farms around the northern Lake District. With the help of garden volunteer Kat, who’s a whiz at calligraphy, she’s turned them into giant plant labels – and they look wonderful.

Kat, who’s also a skilled secretary, says Amanda’s handwriting is worse than a doctor’s, hence her offer to help out.

Visitors have always been interested in the wide range of heritage fruit we grow, but up to now Amanda hadn’t found sympathetic labels for them. It truly is a unique collection, as most of the apple, pear, plum and other wall-growing varieties date from pre 1800.

The garden volunteers bring all sorts of skills – Lynne who crocheted my pals Bubble and Squeak, the mice, also makes the tea cosies that you can see on TV’s Springwatch and Autumnwatch.

The only other place we know of that does something similar with slates – in this case with poetry written on them – is Calke Abbey, a glorious hoarders’ paradise in Derbyshire, packed with generations of fascinating collections and bric-a-brac.

The Georgians were great recyclers – reusing everything from tea leaves to human hair and teeth – so we think William and the rest of the Wordsworths would have approved.

%d bloggers like this: