Leeds today: wool, sheep, knitwear, digital fashion, Billing, green housing, Tea Cosy, Awakening and tiny cow.

Happy Monday Readers this here yarn by Naziya is dedicated to all you Knitters! This is Yorkshire Wool week, brainchild of the Campaign for Wool and running from the 15th to the 21st of October.  Wool week is being celebrated at the Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills who are exhibiting handmade woolly sheep, live demonstrations of spinning and items of cosy clothing from local school children. I was recently shown how to knit by Baa Ram Ewe, local wool specialists based in Headingley, friendly and welcoming they were just the thing to get a novice started and they too will be present, with a line-up of knitting designers and speakers.

Beware the billionaire; Sir Phillip Green was in Leeds last Friday to heap acclaim on the new mega sized Topshop (good knitwear) on Briggate. Staff numbers have doubled with the opening of the oversized offering as the bargainous behemoth is the first of the Trinity retail centres expected to pull in 200,000 people every day. Actually, the fact that the biggest branch of Topshop has opened its doors outside of London, indeed outside of the South is rather a good thing. It certainly squashes the failing northern cities argument as suggested by Conservative advisor Dr Tim Leunig last week and just may be a tiny part of refocusing this government’s attention back on regional development. Or might that be too much of a big ask?

In more winter trend news, Leeds-List continues its monthly trawl through the city’s charity shops whilst Leeds on line launches its first digital fashion week. There will undoubtedly be a lot more on this in tomorrow’s post but if you don’t want to miss any up to the minute vogue –ing then use the hashtag #LDFW on twitter or facebook.

Rawden Billing is the latest area of Leeds to be under threat of housing development by the council. The greenbelt site is under the protection of the Rawden trust and is urging everyone who holds an objection to write individual complaint letters. Maybe the buildings will turn out to be made of straw such as Bramley’s first affordable green co-housing project.  Future residents are not only helping to build their new homes from sustainable resources (wool?) but will also expect to cook, clean, organise and meet together in a communal way of life.

There will be a series of dementia friendly events in the Rothwell community over the coming year as a campaigner seeks to make the suburb more aware of the condition. A monthly dementia café ‘Tea cosy’ currently runs at the parish church for sufferers on the first Saturday of the month but in line with the council’s pledge to be dementia friendly by March 2013; this will be expanded to include residents and businesses.

I love the Left Bank Leeds venue on Cardigan Road, currently home to the esoteric Steampunk markets, so expect to see me at the Awakening exhibition by Northern Young Artists. The event features 20 young artists who display ‘diversity and a fresh approach to contemporary art through painting, photography, drawing, digital illustration and sculpture’, and it’s a damn sight easier to park near. Moreover, Heart, Headingley, have Hidden Places, a presentation this afternoon to see behind the scenes of all the ‘amazing participatory arts projects’ going on in Leeds to create inspiration for further schemes.

No one could accuse the Northern School of Contemporary dance of having a low profile, well worth a look if you can’t picture it. The building is now a proud owner of a blue plaque which pays homage to its previous incarnation as The New Synagogue and Leeds’ Jewish heritage.

Finally, last week it was a goat and today it’s a cow, a 19 inch high Dexter calf to be precise.  It may not be the smallest in the world but the miniature breed being hand reared at a Tong farm is totes adorable.

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