On the last full day of my Yorkshire Knitting Tour this July we visited Harewood House, an elegant Georgian stately home near Leeds. As a Jane Austen fan I love this house, which is the nearest place to me that could pass as Mr. Darcy’s estate of Pemberley. However, as with most (all?) Georgian wealth in the UK, the Lascelles family that built and own Harewood was involved in the slave trade, a history that stains the elegance displayed there.
My favourite room at Harewood is the East bedroom, which now features some ‘Chinese wallpaper’ that was originally hung in one of the upper floor bedrooms under the direction of Chippendale, who designed much of the furnishingat Harewood. There is much detail in the paper, which depicts scenes of Chinese folk going about their daily business; cooking, farming, weaving, etc.
After our visit to Harewood we travelled on to Baa Ram Ewe, Yorkshire’s premier yarn shop. They had a sale on, and much yarn was bought by the group, including some skeins of the now discontinued Dovestone DK that I bought to knit myself a Woodkirk cardigan. Alas, I’ve yet to cast on!
During the return journey to Parcevall Hall we stopped at a shop in Grassington so folk could purchase wine for our last-night party, which followed dinner. During the party we sang some Yorkshire folk songs, two of which were about wool; ‘Tarry Wool’ and ‘Old Molly Metcalfe Counting Sheep’:
Last of all we sang the unofficial Yorkshire anthem ‘On Ilkley Moor Baht ‘At’, thereby fulfilling a lifelong wish of one of the group, who had never heard the full song. The version below is not quite the full thing, and is wonderful nevertheless: