Penelope Hemingway – Writer / Crafter in residence

We are delighted to announce that internationally renowned writer, crafter and blogger Penelope Hemingway will be joining our community in 2016 as our official writer in residence.

Penny is well known for her articles on the history and practice of knitting, knitwear design and all things yarn related. She will be joining us on site for a variety of events, talks and workshops throughout the season.

In addition to her many practical accomplishments, Penny is an authority on genealogy and historical research.

Click here to visit our events page to see what’s on.

Click here to visit Penny’s Facebook page.


Workshop Programme:

For further details and to make a booking e-mail Penny on:

The cost for attending one of the listed workshops is concessionary admission to the museum and park (£5.50 adults, £4.50 child) plus any additional charge for materials and tuition as listed below.

31st March

AM 11:00 AM – 12:30  PM Parent & Child.  Learn To Knit. Free of charge!

Suitable for: absolute beginners
Kids aged 7 and above.
Parent & child(ren) learn to knit.  Needles and yarn supplied. Take your creation home with you!
PM 2:00 – 4:00 PM (Grown ups) Learn To Knit. Cost: £15 per person.
Suitable for: absolute beginners or someone who was taught years ago and needs a refresher! Needles and yarn provided.
Take your creation home with you!
April 24th
AM.  10AM – 1 PM. Anyone Can Knit A Gansey – Ganseys for dummies. Cost: £35
Suitable for: anyone who can cast on, knit, purl, cast off. Learn to knit a gansey workshop.  Learn gansey techniques by knitting a gansey style fingerless glove. Pattern for glove, yarn for glove, and needles supplied.


May 7th Like Fair Isle – but Yorkshire!  Cost: £35

AM.  10AM – 1 PM

Suitable for: anyone who can cast on, knit, purl, cast off.

Yorkshire Traditional Knitting. Learn Yorkshire Dales-style 2 colour knitting researched during compilation of the new edition of ‘The Old Hand-Knitters of the Dales’.   Pattern and yarn supplied.  During the class, you can either cast on  “The General Carleton Cap” (Published in ’10 Best Patterns From Piecework’s Historical Collection’, Interweave Press) or a Dales glove (‘The “Mary” glove’) based on an original glove in a collection at the Dales Countryside Museum.


PM: 1: 30 PM – 4:30PM – Spinning For Beginners. Cost £30
Suitable for: absolute beginners & refreshers.

Learn how to spin wool with a hand-spindle. Wool will be provided. We can loan you a spindle for the afternoon, and send you away with loads of info and links to places to buy a spindle of your own. You can try different weights and styles during the class, and see what suits you – avoid expensive mistakes!

May 8th

AM: 10AM – 1 PM – Great Wheel Spinning. Cost £35
Suitable for:  people who can already spin a bit – either on the spindle or a treadle wheel, or both!You don’t have to be an advanced spinner – just a spinner.  This is a VERY rare chance to learn how to spin, old Yorkshire style, on a Great Wheel from one of the few remaining Great Wheel spinners in the UK!Places limited.  For the duration of the class, you will be using one of our Great Wheels.  Wool is supplied and you can take away whatever you spin during the class.
June 26th All day. – Natural Dyeing. Cost £50. (Full day)

10AM – 1 PM  and 1:30 PM – 4: 30 PM

Suitable For: Anyone
We will use recipes from an 1815 Leeds dye-works, to dye wool using natural dyes.  Wool and dyestuffs provided.
river ganseys cover