Saturday, August 21, 2010

Walking our socks off

DH and I enjoy walking and more often than not we do a few miles on a Sunday morning, but DH is in 'training' for The West Highland Way (95 miles from Glasgow to Fort William) so we thought we'd up the mileage a bit for this walk. Just for a change we hopped on the train and I knitted my way up to London. We made our way to Paddington Basin (no sign of the bear as we passed through the station, much to my disappointment) and, after a quick coffee and Muffin to fortify us, we set off along the canal.

The Weather was very pleasant, which unfortunately made the tow path rather busy. I'm not quite sure how we walked all that way without seeing one of the multitude of cyclists ending up in the water! They were swerving and speeding and infuriatingly dinging their bells even when we walkers had already flattened ourselves against the sides despite the fact that pedestrians have right of way over bikes on a towpath - in fact, one or two were pretty lucky I hadn't thought to take my walking pole with me!!! and I'm certainly not usually given to violence or even unkind thought but really!! (Grumpy old woman gripe over!)

We passed by Camden Market and I resisted the temptation to turn in - but oh my, did that food smell good.

And carried on with a backward glance at Camden Lock, and on we walked keeping a nice steady rhythm and eating up the miles til at last

The end was in site, with Canary Wharf in view we knew we were nearly there and made our way via the Underground to the train and home again, tired but happy after a lovely day out.

In all, from door to door we did just over 13 miles, and much to my amazement my legs weren't the least bit stiff the next day - DH was moaning though, despite being much fitter and more used to walking than me. Perhaps I should take his place on the WHW next month instead ;0)

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Workshops are like buses!

It has been ages since I've seen any workshops that appeal, and then two came along in a week.

I went to Knit Nation on Saturday and took the Spinning for Knitting class with Merike Saarnit, it was brilliant. I had dabbled rather unsucessfully before, but it just wasn't the same trying to teach myself and, I discovered, having the right tools for the job makes such a difference - previously I had tried to spin with a bottom whorl spindle, but now I realise a top whorl is the way to go for me.
Merike is a wonderful teacher, patient but not patronising, kind but firm - she had us spinning in no time at all, and we tried all manner of fibres, and had a little of each left to bring home and practice with too. Sadly there were no spindles to buy in the Marketplace (missed business opportunity there, methinks!) and it has taken me a while to decide exactly what to buy online, but I am now waiting anxiously for postie so I can have another play.

Before and After

And because I am ridiculously pleased with my efforts, here's a close up...

My first Handspun

Then, on Thursday, I went down to Kangaroo near Lewes, East Sussex for a Tunisian Crochet workshop run by the lovely ladies from Denise Interchangeable Needles. Barbara taught us in the morning, again she was an excellent teacher, with a pleasant laid back style (and a lovely american accent), and we picked it up very quickly. Using an 8mm hook and Rowan Cocoon (oh so soft and gorgeous - I think I'm in love with a yarn!!!) our little bags grew rapidly, and after a hasty break for lunch there was no structured teaching so I spent a most enjoyable afternoon finishing my bag whilst chatting with the other students and to Linda (who owns Denise needles) about anything and everything, UK and USA. It was such a good day I was not a happy bunny on Friday when I had to go back to work and couldn't chat and play with yarn and hooks all day!

Bonne Bouche Bag in Tunisian Crochet

designed by Barbara Kreuter

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Ten thousand gallons of 4* please!

Well despite the weather - rain, mist, drizzle, fog, downpours, more mist, oh and did I mention rain? - we had a lovely time. On board ship was, of course, superb, gorgeous food, lovely staff and no housework!! but even through the bad weather you could still see and enjoy the beauty of Norway and the Fjords, and we have a very good excuse to go back again.
As you can imagine we took tons of photo's but here are just a small selection.

Couldn't resist this shot of the Ventura berthed at Olden.

Bergen was a lovely town, the old wharf, Bryggen is so attractive even in the rain, I bet it looks wonderful in the sunshine - these old timber warehouses are included in UNESCO's World Heritage list, most are now used as artists studios or restaurants

The narrow little streets and alley ways behind really fascinated me - wouldn't fancy have to traipse all the way up these steps with heavy shopping when they are icy in the winter!

In Flaam we took the scenic railway up the mountain, with sheer drops and a very windy track it made for an interesting ride, there was even a 5 minute stop for photo's at one point, and this is a scheduled train not specifically for tourists - can't imagine BR doing that!

Leaving Olden, I just love the way the mist hangs in the valleys.

A day at sea with little to do, DH decided to be an arty photographer!

And no set of pictures from Norway would be complete without a troll - I thought this was the sweetest we saw (yes saccharine sweet I know) especially as she was wearing a traditional Norwegian cardigan