Sunday, July 29, 2007


I didn't realise how long it had been since I posted. I keep composing entries in my mind whilst driving to work or walking the dog but apparently they just never make it onto the computer. There has been knitting going on but I have no pictures just now. I have two bags being felted and a big project which I will show later. I have yet to start the mystery stole but I am enjoying watching other knitter's progress. I suppose it is kind of cheating as I will be able to decide based on these hints as to it's direction if I actually want to knit it at far the answer is yes but not as a priority. There are cardi's in the next issue of Interweave Knits that my needles are itching for. Particularly the Tangled Yoke and the Counterpane.
The weather is a little better today and I have actually mown the lawn. One of our apple trees (okay we only have 2) seems to alternate between 3 apples and a million.
Last year we had 3.
Unfortunately they are not as good to eat as they look so I can look forward to endless sessions of preparing them for freezing.
Last Sunday was nice too. Isabel and I went to Cromford Mill. I love it there. There is a lovely coffee shop with home made vegetarian food, a junk shop, a quilting shop which used to sell a bit of wool but doesn't any more, an art gallery and a couple of gift shops. Across the road is a canal side walk and another coffee shop that sells wildlife stuff like bird feeders. I recommend a visit.

The water was really high.

Isn't it amazing where buddleia spring up

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The SP10 is over

It's always sad to get to the end of a round of Secret Pal but it's also great to have a whole lot of contacts to drop by the blogs and see how they are getting on. The person who I was sending to was Riggwelter who has a great blog - go and take a look. Now at last I get to know who has been looking after me so well and spoiling me with all kinds of delicacies, handknits and yarn. This is the parcel my neighbour brought round yesterday

and inside

which opened to reveal

Beautifully knitted socks, 3 balls of alpaca, shiny blue needles, the most delicious nougat ever tasted, other sweets and shampoo and bath things with a really lovely rose perfume.Everything is perfect and my kind benefactor? That is Sybille and I want to thank her most sincerely for her kindness over the past 3 months.

Isabel's bag

When we were at Woolfest Isabel announced she had found my next project and introduced me to a bag and bought the buttons for the trim to make sure I did it. She thought it was felt but in fact it was fulled knitting so I remembered I had some blue-faced leicester left from James' jacket last christmas. I found an approximate pattern and here is the result with which she was quite happy.

English Weather!

No wonder English people are reputed to talk about the weather all the time....there is always something to talk about!!!! Yesterday afternoon we passed the time sitting in the sunshine in the garden of Ilkeston Museum listening to the Springfield Jazz Ensemble, today we were traipsing through rain and mud at Attenborough Nature Reserve. The jazz yesterday was lovely, the afternoon's entertainment was free with refreshments at 30p a cup or a cake. I bought a paperback copy of 'Brown Owl's Guide to Life' for 50p and lost £1.00 on a tombola stall. The only problem was I FORGOT MY KNITTING! I rang James and asked him to bring it as I was at work in the morning and we were meeting in Ilkeston but HE FORGOT MY KNITTING! I had to sit there for 3 hours.....well about half an hour before the end I realised I had an i-cord bag handle in my bag which I could finish. I leapt on it joyfully but it was soon done. Nothing to do but tap my feet in time to the music.

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Yesterday Millie and I went to see Seussical the Musical at the Playhouse in Nottingham. Millie loves going to the theater so I was really concerned when she threw a complete wobbly when we took our seats. They were in the stalls fairly near the front and I think that was the problem...she was scared of what was going to happen. I took her to the toilets and delayed as long as possible but she was crying that she wanted to go home and play with her toys. When I heard the music start I persuaded her to peep round the door, then to go and stand at the back but she was still really upset and crying that it was too loud. Well, at the end of the first song - which was a bit loud, she decided she was happy to sit down for a while - as near to the back as we could find seats. From then on she enjoyed it and I must say it was fabulous! I found out the following day that it was an amateur production....but you would never know. It was very slick and the costumes where excellent.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Here is the knitting

Two Mason Dixon washcloths. The white one is some dishcloth cotton bought at Woolfest, the green is Rowan. Both are intended as gifts accompanied by nice soaps.

Now we have the Swallowtail shawl from Interweave knits in a fine Alpaca from a spinner in Loughborough which is fairly near here. It's blocking over the back of the setee in the conservatory so may look a little out of true but I think it's okay in real life.
Here is a close-up. Can you see the nups? Little blighters!I don't seem to have achieved the nice deep scalloped edge. I guess it's a blocking thing. Perhaps I should try again. I'm not exactly waiting to wear it as the weather seems to have taken a turn for the better -tempory I expect.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Mysterious knitting

Along with around 6000 other knitters around the world I have joined the
mystery stole kal promoted by pinklemontwist. I only just made it to the sign up deadline so I don't even have the yarn yet whereas several thousand people are already well on the way. How amazing that so many people are willing to risk knitting time on something unknown which will only gradually be revealed. Is it like mass hysteria or a fear of missing out? Well, so far all the photos I've seen in the yahoo group and the Angel Yarns Forum look beautiful so I can't wait to chose my yarn and get cracking!
I had a bonus day with Millie today. Isabel is looking after her for the weekend whilst Rosemary writes an essay for the O.U. course she is studying (History of Art) so they came over here and we did some gardening before heading off for lunch at the local garden centre and some light shopping at one a little further afield that has more plant choice.
It seems there has been little evidence of knitting on here lately. I have however finished a) socks - on holiday which Isabel wore straight away so didn't get photographed and were only plain anyway. b) 4 Mason Dixon washcloths - all for gifts but awaiting blocking c) A swallowtail shawl in brown alpaca also waiting to visit the blocking fairy, maybe that's tomorrow's mission. Watch this space.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Today at Attenborough

I can't believe how kind the weather was today. Millie and I went to a Tiny Tots activity at Attenborough Nature Reserve. It was a Teddy bears picnic and we were accompanied by Winnie the Pooh (original white of course) a mini Paddington and another known as Mummy Bear. i was really happy to get to this event as we were on the reserve list. We gathered in the education room to colour invitations then walked to the little wood we often go to for various games and a little picnic.Of course we had to make party hats and, being in a wood, they were decorated with leaves,
The rain held off so well that we were able to sit out on the coffee shop balcony overlooking the lake when we had lunch later. Unfortunately my camera battery had run out by then but here is a picture of a feeding frenzy we created when we fed the ducks on a previous visit

Sunday, July 1, 2007


Here are some tops I bought for felting. They are mainly merino but the plum is Norwegian.

The copper embellishments were from Ruth Lee's stall. They are made by her partner.
One stall was selling bargain balls of handspun. Both Isabel and I bought a few balls each and some oak handles to make a bag. There is also a skein of sock wool some dishcloth cotton and some vintage Rowan buttons.

There were alpaca, sheep of many different varieties and angora bunnies too.

I'm not terribly clever at colourwork but I still fell for this Jamiesons kit. I'm not sure yet what I will do with it but I love the colours. I also bought a bargain ball holder from KCG which is always one of my favourite stands, along with a Susan Bates counter device. There is also some vintage sock needles and a pastry brush pyrographed with a sheep.
We had a lovely, if tiring day and in the evening we went to a local hotel in Dalton, where we were staying to have a meal in celebration of Isabel's birthday. It was the most delicious, well presented food and only £9.95 for 2 courses. We would highly recommend it - The Chequers Hotel

A rather different holiday

We're back! Not as wet as you might think. Whilst areas of England and Wales have endured torrential rain and dreadful floods the Lake District which is known for it's wetness was actually quite nice. It rained of course but mostly at night and we managed to tick off Millie's entire list of places to go and spend a fabulous day at Woolfest! We went to the beach near Barrow -in-Furness. This area was reported in a guidebook as one of Cumbria's best secrets. Well if they want people to visit they should look to their signage!!!

We visited the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness

Millie enjoyed the visit, although some of the bigger animals and Mr MacGreggor where hurried by rather. She developed a bit of an obsession with Beatrix Potter herself and desperately wanted to visit Hill-Top which we passed after our trip on the car ferry across Windermere but it looked dauntingly busy and I suspect she thought the lady herself would be there.
We also went to the pencil museum

Which Millie was disappointed with as it didn't actually show pencils being made. We grown-ups found it interesting though and she did enjoy doing a pirate game for a prize of....yes..coloured pencils!
On the same day we went to Grasmere so I could buy some gingerbread most of which I have just realised I left in the bread bin back in the cottage. I hope someone gets to enjoy it because it is delicious. We also went to Ambleside where we visited the House on the Bridge
Auntie Isabel bought Millie the best water bottle in the worldNot only is it pink but it has her name on the side.
On the way back I was sitting in the back of the car with Millie, knitting on a sock urgently needed by Isabel who hadn't taken enough, when suddenly I saw something unexpected....GIRAFFES. And do you think the rest of them believed me? Not a chance. I was severely teased by everyone,especially the three year old who suggested it 'might have been someone dressed up Grandma'. But they were there alright
South Lakes Wild Animal Park is just off to the side of the road and if the giraffes are standing in the right place THEY CAN BE SEEN FROM THE ROAD. Although I am still getting comments and Millie, going out for an evening stroll with Isabel was pretending the street lights were them. It is a really lovely zoo, very open and well kept. You can walk through an area where lemurs, kangaroos and wallabies roam about. A monkey will join you for your coffee break and from a high walkway you can feed the aforementioned
The bungalow was really nice. We could just have done with an extra bathroom sometimes but we managed. There was a beautiful garden and Millie enjoyed keeping the fish fed. This was the last morning and it was raining and it rained all the way home.
NEWSFLASH > Johnnie has taken up knitting! I didn't risk a photograph but he has a little practice swatch and asked for wool to make himself a hat. we were happy to oblige and bought him some and his own needles at Woolfest. He was so happy he posed them after winding the skein