I didn't quite manage to take part in Friday Night with Friends, as I was in Nottingham visiting my step-sister. We did sneak in some crafting, as she too has got the bug.
Saturday was Love Your Local Yarn Shop day, so we visited her local yarn shop in the centre of Nottingham. It was a really lovely atmosphere, and there were lots of ladies set up and knitting. There were also a few being tempted by the wool surrounding them. And yes, I was tempted. Although I also feel I was very restrained!! I am planning on using this wool for some gifts, but we shall see! It is so soft to touch, and the turquoise-blue one is my favourite colour.
We also spent the afternoon at Hardwick Hall. This is a Tudor home, that housed Mary Queen of Scots for some time. It was built by Bess of Hardwick, and her granddaughter Arbella lived there. I learnt that Arbella could have inherited the throne from Elizabeth I, but James was named and seemed to have a slightly stronger claim (although they were both descended from Henry VIII's sister). It was quite fun to learn something new from that period of history. I also learnt that the Dukes of Devonshire are the same family - their more famous home is Chatsworth House, which I love visiting and is worth going to if you're ever in that part of England.
I also learnt that tapesteries were used as table coverings (like table cloths!). Not sure how I feel about all that work at risk from food spillage. There were tapestries everywhere at Hardwick Hall, and it appears it is quite famous for them. Bess of Hardwick made a lot, using material from priests robes. Some have been restored really carefully; the last owner of Hardwick Hall even painted some tapestries where the pattern had gone. It was amazing to see things that were at least 500 years old still there, mostly intact. And in some cases, it was hard to believe such intricate things were handmade so long ago.
The evening was spent cross-stitching. I'm ever so close to finishing the first page of the pattern (or the crosses anyway!). Will manage that by Saturday morning (fingers crossed!)