Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Peak District walk......and a blanket update

During the Easter weekend we had a lovely stay with family in Chesterfield. We have been on some interesting and scenic Peak District walks over the years and this time we went to see the Lumsdale Project, near Tansley in Derbyshire.

"Only one mile long, Lumsdale is the steep and narrow valley between the A632 from Matlock to Chesterfield to the A615 Matlock to Alfreton road. It is an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and encompasses a nationally important Industrial archaeology site, managed by the Arkwright Society. It is thought that name Lumsdale comes from ‘Lums’, the Scottish name for chimney: thus "The valley of the chimneys", referring to the mills clustered along and powered by the Bentley Brook. 

After the closure of the mills at the beginning of the 20th century the area was left to be reclaimed by nature and was bought in 1939 by Mrs M.H.Mills of Lumsdale House. By the 1970s it was recognised that this important piece of industrial heritage would disappear for ever if nature took its course and Mrs Mills came to an agreement with the Arkwright Society to lease the site for a peppercorn rent and the Lumsdale Project was born in 1976. After 5 years of careful consultation, research and planning, work to preserve the complex of ruined water mills and ponds began in 1981 and is still continuing today.' Geograph.

With the strength of this waterfall you can imagine that it was more than ideal for powering the wheel of the mills where cotton was spun and corn was ground as well as minerals for paint. Cascading down through several levels, the stonebuilt mill buildings have been preserved and blend into the natural growth of the valley woodland.

The surrounding new greenery, the spring birdsong and the soothing backdrop sound of each waterfall was a perfect way to spend our Easter weekend, out in the fresh air. I would imagine it will be even more wonderful in the summer.

You can find more details about the Lumsdale Project and the preserved mills, as well as a pdf leaflet and a map at

Also, whilst we were away, I did get the chance to add some extra rows to my first, and experimental, blanket. The acrylic yarn that I dyed with paint is holding up well and seems to have softened slightly over the last couple of weeks. Have a look HERE to see how Gill of 'Gillyflower' has made a beautiful floor mat for the bathroom, incorporating some of the yarn that I dyed and offered as a Giveaway last month.

At the moment the blanket measures approximately 2ft across but I eventually hope to achieve something that will be sufficient to cover a double bed.

I am still making each row up as I go, depending on how the mood takes me. It has already given me the opportunity to try new stitches (double trebles no less!) and when eventually finished, I will write the pattern up for anyone who wishes to make something similar without the randomness!!

More than anything though, it is really giving me the confidence to use some yarn that is more expensive. Yarn that I won in a competition from According to Matt ........ two whole years ago!!

I will get there!! :)


  1. Beautiful photos! It looked a wonderful walk, and full of interesting history too.
    Your blanket is coming along, the colours are lovely.
    It's so much fun using a changing colour yarn, your yarn worked beautifully on the rug I made as it needed a little bit of firmness to lie flat - thank you for linking to me. Sorry i should have linked to you Bev when I showed my rug.
    Have a good weekend!
    Gill xx

    1. It was a lovely walk Gill. Can't believe a whole week has gone by already! :(
      My first blanket now incorporates my latest bit of learning - popcorn stitch - and I can see that it is not only going to be a first for my 'robust' hand dyed acrylic yarn, but a first for a lot of new stitches too I hope. I was also lucky enough to be the recipient of a fab giveaway (from Elizabeth at Mrs Thomasina Tittlemouse) in the form of a book of crochet edge patterns, so that will be a first for use on this blanket too!
      Thanks for your lovely comments,
      B x


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