On Saturday my bestest stitchy friend and her hubby drove a couple of hours north to come and visit my family and me.
I'm very lucky that if you drive north through the Dales you come to a small place called Embsay. Many people know if for the steam railway that runs from there. Crafty types know it for a different reason - Embsay Crafts.
It's a wonderful place in a large old woolen mill in the depths of Yorkshire. split into three halves (yes I know that' not possible but I think it describes it better than saying split into thirds).
The newest part and the one I rarely visit is a department dedicated to Scrapbooking.
There's a large patchwork section. This has grown recently and carries a wonderful range of fabrics. Unfortunately I find patchworking so expensive that it's not something I do very often.
My favourite part is the needlework shop. I've been visiting Embsay for four years and for a couple of years I felt that the needlework shop was being 'run down'. The stock wasn't exciting and it felt like it wasn't being updated. I suppose during this time they were devleoping the Scrapbooking and patchworking departments so maybe that was taking their time and attention.
Colly and I were dropped off by my wonderful DH who kind enough to go to the supermarket so I could go out to play.
We started off at the beads - this is another new section that they have given a largish alcove to. They had some really nice ones we were a bit dismayed that there didn't appear to be any Mill Hill beads. After a quick ask of the lovely lady behind the counter we found them. They were in a really awkward place.
Colly is a wonderful designer and I've been stitching since I was nine. This means that we are both quite particular when it comes to charts and kits that are available in shops. Imagine our delight to come across some charts/kits that neither of us had seen before.
Embsay had a wonderful display of Rico Designs all with a Christmas theme. What pleased us the most was the innovate way the kits were made up - they included the hardware for bell pulls!!!!
Although I was sorely tempted I was seriously broke so I could only look. Colly succumbed and bought this one..........
Isn't it fab?
The next room is full of threads - this is another area that has really improved recently. It was crammed with threads. Both every day ones and more speciality ones. There was also a small sale area where Colly picked up something - better not tell what it's for though.
Feeling in need of tea and cakes we started to go upstairs. This takes some time because the walls are lined with some wonderful pieces of work. In particular we ooohed and ahhed over the Moira Blackburn samplers.
There is a lovely tea room upstairs next to the knitting section where we had the largest, scrummiest mug of hot chocolate.
Then it was a quick look at the patchwork and cardmaking sections and we went back to the needlework bit to pay for Collys stuff.
It was the first time I have been to Embsay with a stitching friend and it was so much more fun than going alone - thank you Colly for a perfect afternoon.