Monday, August 20, 2007

I`ve come home for a rest!

Lots of pictures but no knitting this time
We have just come back from a lovely weeks fell walking in the Lake District, had a great time but my legs are begging for mercy! It`s such a shame that we live so far away, but I guess it just makes us appreciate our time there all the more. Most years we stay in the cottage attached to my old bosses house up near Penrith, it was he who got us interested in fell walking about 18 years ago when we worked together. He has been fortunate enough to realise his dream, and on taking early retirement moved to the Lakes a few years back - luckily we have always kept in touch since I left the company when DD was born and so we have been able to rent their cottage (at rates for mates) many times since. And how is this for a view from the dining table?
It`s right on the northern edge of the Lakes, hence no Fells in the view, but only a few minutes drive and you are in the National Park.
Where we did lots of this (yes I`m the one in pink, panting along at the rear!)

To get some stunning views like this

We did take a little time out to visit the local towns, and I did get to look at a couple of yarn shops like this one in Penrith, where I had a lovely long chat with the owner (DH got bored and decided to take a photo of me while he was waiting!) but I didn`t actually buy anything.

And then whilst DH went off for the day with our friend and his dog, to do a round which included more miles and fells than I would necessarily choose to do in one go, DD and I decided to visit Eden Ostrich World. As well as ostriches they do have many other animals, and yes I know these aren`t ostriches....

I just thought they were gorgeous, and I couldn`t believe how hard and course their fleeces felt - I was expecting it to be softish, but each curl felt like it had been liberally coated with hairspray!
Part of the fun there is having a bag of food (50p - good business ploy that - get the public to pay for the priviledge of feeding the animals!) and watch the creatures stampede across the field once they realise they are in with a chance of food. It took DD a little while to pluck up courage to hand feed the sheep, but when she did she discovered what lovely soft velvety (if a little slobbery) mouths they have.

And finally, since it was Ostrich world, here is one of the big chaps - can`t say I`d want to get in the way of that beak!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

More jam and a pasta dress!

More jam - this time it`s Strawberry (which actually set, though it tastes ok it isn`t quite the same when you pour it onto your toast instead of spreading it!) and Blackberry and Apple.
I have saved the worst til last... DH loves Damson jam, I tell him that I really must love him to make that - have you ever tried fishing out all the stones (it takes at least 50 damsons to make a 1lb and that`s if they are a goodish size!)

The pasta dress? no I wasn`t going mad. DD and I had a very enjoyable trip to the V&A, in fact we enjoyed it so much we went back a second time. She is doing Textiles GCSE and part of the course involves studying how nature affects design, and she will ultimately have to design an item of clothing, so we went to have a wander round the fashion and textiles sections. Not that this has anything to do with the pasta dress - but I was just fascinated that anyone would even think of creating this - I mean we used to get the kids making pictures out of pasta at playgroup, but a dress!!!

This week I have mainly been `unknitting` well un-tunisian crochet ing if I'm going to be technical. This was one of Rene's less successful attempts - it had four sleeves and had been sewn up with one of the fronts twisted through the armhole?! Anyway, it is no more and in the process of (the rather boring job of) unpicking, skeining, washing and balling up again, I have come to the conclusion that I am a bit of a thinking knitter - no I don't mean I am intelligent, rather that I spend as much time (if not more) thinking about knitting than actually doing it. And to prove my point I am intending for the magenta balls (which incidentally were the welts) to become a Coronet hat and a hot water bottle cozy and the lilac to be an Aran shawl - See, I spend far too much time looking for patterns and planning, if only I was to actually knit some of the stuff I just might be this good.....

Well, in my dreams. I do wish I had taken a few close up pictures of these. They are from the first half of the 1800's, and so fine in every sense of the word. Knitted in an incredibly fine cotton on goodness knows how thin a needle. I was totally in awe, and failed dismally in doing them justice in the photo.