Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Holidays!

Its very rare for Steve and I to be able to just spend time around the house. Usually we have to dash around visting friends and family or are busy with church activities when not involved with the business. Well, this Christmas, we've done the visiting bit so now we are just enjoying some time together. We have both been enjoying some seasonal TV and radio together whilst pursuing our individual crafts.

I know............I have been promising everyone a pic of Steve spinning for ages! He is practicing the rythem of the treadle here, he has a couple of Shetland fleeces to spin when he's ready. They are LUSH!

If you have access to BBC Radio 7 on iPlayer where you are, I can recommend Jagged Prayer by Robert Smith, which is quite light listening. Also the Narnian Chronicles, which I think you will proberbly already know. Cover Her Face by PD James is also available. I haven't listened to Santa__ A Life, yet, but it sounds good!

We went for a short walk today, just to get some fresh air, but it was extreemly slippery still. I think it will be better tomorrow as we have had pretty heavy rain tonight and it doesn't feel cold enough to freeze.

We are childless for the while as our 'live at home most of the time' daughters are busy out in the world. We spoke to all 3 at various times during the day. It was great to get through to China at last to speak to DD#2!  Thank goodness for the invention of video calls via the net!

          I took this pic of her while we were chatting. She looks well and I love the new haircut!

I am in the process of making a scarf from a pattern I am creating as I go along (hope it works out!), not a very good one,but it gives some idea, oh yes and I have also had my hair cut!

I hope whatever you are doing, however you are spending the remains of the Christmas break and the New Year Holiday, that you have a really good time. A Happy New Year to all!

Friday, 17 December 2010

Bad Blogger!!!

I am a bad blogger! Sorry I haven't posted for so long! I have been busy with knitting, Christmas gifts and other items!
However, today was the last day of term ans although there will be plenty going on, I won't have so many deadlines to keep to.

A couple of weeks ago now, we had our last craft meet up of the year which was complete with nibbles and prezzies............. special thanks to Secret Santa!
As you will see, there is a birthday cake amongst the plates of goodies! Here, below, is the birthday girl!
Thank you so much for bringing your beautiful cake to share with us!

Today as it was the last day of school God provided the children with a good amount of snow to play in! This is what the Somerset high street looked like, just before we left for home:

Happy Christmas from Somerset in the UK!


It's now December 18th......... and we still have snow! It's taken everyone by surprise, we hardly ever get snow (except this and last year!) We certainly haven't had any before Christmas for a very long time!


 Not my snowmen, these! I wish they were! I passed them as I was walking back from a Christmas shopping trip.




Saturday, 30 October 2010

A Sunny Saturday...........

Actually that's a lie! It poured with rain this afternoon, but we were really too busy (and indoors) to notice.
Steve's Mum and Dad came up on a coach trip, for a visit. Great to see them! And only 3 weeks to wait til we see them again! Yay!!
                                           This was a surprise I made for Mum-In-Law.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Autumn Sundays

This afternoon we returned to the beautiful place we discovered last week!
We have actually been several times before, but were restricted to the outer limits of the RSPB reserve as we had Daisy with us. Daisy was our good friend the border collie cross, who came into our lives for 5 short years, from a rescue centre. She loved life and all of us, but seemed to have a soft spot for Steve, for whome she would lie down and watch at his shop all day, unless I came to visit and take her for a walk.



Daisy came with us on a Cornish holiday and enjoyed a windy walk in St Ives. That was back in 2008.






Back to today,




 Here are some of the photos Steve took today.

The path running along the right side of the canal here, used to be the Somerset and Dorset Railway. It carried peat from what is now the wetlands and passengers, post etc., It was part of the mainline from Burnham to Evercreach Junction.


Light levels were very variable today.



At one point Steve said 'wait!' and clicked the camera. I wondered what he was doing, here is the result....................................
The Autumn Shawl!




Sunday, 26 September 2010

Knit Club

Knit Club is still meeting here every first Saturday of the month and September was no exception. As you may know, I am a follower of Jacob's Reward Farm. They meet in the farm's Little Red Barn to spin, knit and partake of crafts of all kinds. Cindy and I have linked our two groups and she has been just great at sending video clips and great pics to me. She even sent a special one across for Steve to welcome him to the spinning fold.



You're a great bunch of ladies! We have also been sent the lovely green project bags and pins with the Jacobs logo embellishment on them...............thank you for those too! You can see them on Cindy's blog
http://www.jacobsreward.blogspot.com/

Cindy, here are the photos I took the last time we met:








This final shot is my lovely daughter, who as I write this is on her way back from London where she has been helping a Uni friend to set up an exhibition on Canary Warf, London. Hard to believe she is 27 isn't it?

A Visit To Wales

On September 23rd 2010, Steve and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary! It doesn't seem all that long ago that I walked down the aisle with my Dad and then stood next to a man who had bee at the church for the previous hour and who had become so nervous, he couldn't lok at me until the minister said'you may now kiss the bride'! He could have been marrying anyone! I am glad it was me! We have had some great times together. As every other couple, we have shared our low times, as well as the good times and of course look forward to many more happy times.


As of today, Steve is all set to create some more happiness all by himself........... as a wedding anniversary gift, I bought him his own spinning wheel!


Isn't she beautiful? We took a trip to Wales to collect her. We paid a visit to Clive and Joan's workshop. It is a handmade wheel and was owned by a lady who was really reluctant to part with it, but thank you, we are very glad you did! We were there for a couple of hours while Steve tried out the wheel, while I made friends with their little dog Billy. I am adding a link to Clive and Joan's site.
http://www.woodland-turnery.co.uk/
 We met them at Knit Camp,where their lovely daughter sat Steve down with a couple of their wheels and introduced him to spinning. We were particularly impressed, as they were both recovering from a heavy cold and this was the first time they had been at the workshop since. Just wanted to say how much we appeciated you coming out to meet us, and on a Sunday too!
Thanks to all of you for your help!

As we were leaving, Joan suggested a good place to stop for lunch. A garden centre called Secret Garden. Here's a link: http://www.secretgardenwales.co.uk/
We both recommend the Quiche and side salad!

We had a pretty uneventful journey home, but the good sunny weather and blue sky certainly helped to further the enjoyment of the day.

Keep spinning Steve!

A Fantastic Day!

      Isn't it great when you meet up for a day with a friend you haven't seen for months? Today was just such a day....... I met up with Leigh who I used to work with until she moved out of the area. We met at the bus station (we share the fact that neither of us drives) and then Dad suggested that we go to the local cafe for coffee. When Dad is staying we go there almost every day, but only when the weather's kind enough, as we invariably have his little Jack Russell, Billy, with us and of course, can only have a coffee if we sit outside.

Then after a few food purchases, we made our way home. After a light snack for lunch, Leigh said that she had been given a teacosy kit for Christmas, but that as she didn't knit she had shoved it out of the way and almost forgotten about it! So of course, as any friend would, I asked if she would like a knitting lesson. She said that she didn't think she would be able to learn, but I said, that there were few people who found they could really not do it. To cut this story short, she is one of the fastest students I have ever taught! She had it within about 10 mins! I think we were both amazed!


I think she has almost got it..................
.......................... Looking much more comfortable!


Later we had a tea which consisted of Cheese and Cucumber Flan (recipe to follow!) and salad with baked potatoes, followed by Strawberries and Clotted Cream. I provided the first course, Leigh provided the dessert......thank you, the strawbs and cream was wonderful and a real treat!
Then after sitting chatting for a while it was time to drop my lovely friend home. It is just as well Steve drives, as if we had been reliant on buses, we would have only had a couple of hours together! However, as we neared Leigh's home town, we were diverted a couple of times. After that, and a welcome stop for a very quick, qery strong coffee, we eventually arrived home at 11pm!

It was all worth it, I am thinking, as I get ready for bed. I have spent quality time with a great friend, who now has a new skill! Where will it take her? It has taken me to Scotland, Caused me to have the courage to set up my own craft group and through the crafts of both knitting and crochet,I have met and made yet more wonderful friends!

Last night something fantastic happened! Steve, who had attended Spin Night, when he accompanied me to Stirling, and been inspired by what he saw, expressed a wish to spin. So, when we arrived home, we checked out the price of wheels. We couldn't afford one right away. However, a friend, Anita, from the Group, when she heard of Steve's wish wanted to teach him. She later appeared with her daughter's wheel. That was Tuesday last week, last night everything clicked into place and Steve is now SPINNING! I am so excited as now we can manage all the processes, except sheering (and I guess that could be arranged!) towards producing our own scratch knitted garments! I am SO proud of him! Go Steve!!!

Home...........Back to Reality?

Well not quite! There was still a lot of fibre and chat going on! But before I get on to that.........


We arrived home at about 11pm Saturday night. Sunday, we had to be up with the lark, as DD#2 had to be at work half an hour's drive away and needed her Dad to take her. So we saw her safely there and called into a garden centre fpr a quick bite to eat. We then set off for Heaven's Gate, where our dearly departed dog, Daisy came from. We watched the dogs who are waiting for homes go through their agility paces. Some were very talented! I fell in love with a couple of greyhounds, and somehow managed to resist (with Steve's help!).

.http://www.maunsellock.co.uk/

Here's the link above, to the place where we often spend a Sunday afternoon so now you can picture us there most lazy Sunday afternoons! I was surprised that we weren't in any of the photos on the video. It's such a peaceful place and the little movie clip does it real justice,


The canal will still be there next weekend, the dogs were well worth the visit!

Friday, 13 August 2010

Knit Camp update



Monday
Today Steve and I did the Darn Walk again, this time with a lovely lady Tricotonrideau (Danielle), on Ravelry, from Ottowa, We were supposed to meet with Modeknit, (Annie), but my messages didn't reach her in time! Danielle took this picture of me while we were on the walk.


I was smelling the flowers and didn't even know I had been snapped!


During the afternoon, I sat and knitted and knitted in the part of the Uni called the Atrium. I tried to catch as many paople as possible to sign a card for Jo.

No pictures of the tea party, I'm sorry, but Jo didn't want anyone to take any. She had had so much pressure from so many quarters and all sorts of things that I don't want to mention here had not gone according to plan! Steve took a pic of me with  Ewa Kuniczak, here is a link to her website



http://www.feltheadtotoe.com/ She is a lovely lady and SO full of fun!

Here is a picture of the finished lap throw for Jo, which was given to her at the Clapotea Party. Thank you to everyone who contributed! Jo was very touched by it.



I hope you all aprove of the way I finished it.

Tuesday

Today was the day I had enrolled to be with Liz Lovick all day for her Introduction to Fairisle workshop. What a lovely lady! If ever you get the chance to work with her...jump at it! She is a great teacher! She will put you at ease straight away! Whether she is teaching you a knitting or a spinning technique, she will teach you that it's ok to make mistakes, after all, as she says, with knitting, you can always put them right!
Here is the link to her website:

http://www.northernlace.co.uk/NIFA10.html

While we were busy having fun in a rather hot classroom, Steve took himself off on a train trip (such a chore for him!), to Perth. He spent the time having a look round. He said that Perth is a good shopping centre which still retains many of the smaller independant shops and has a brilliant toy shop!

Wednesday

Today began wet. We had planned to go up to Abbey Craig, but thought that the paths would be rather soggy. We therefore hopped on a train and went to Edinburgh. On arriving there, it was still raining, rather hard by that time and we weren't sure exactly what we wanted to do, so we hopped on a tour bus for a described ride all over the city. We learned where Robert Louis Stevenson had spent his time writing. How the streets of the city had got their names, and where the Irish had settled when they had migrated from their homes during the time of the Potato Famine, amongst many other facts. During the circuit, a Museum of Childhood was mentioned. I thought this might be interesting, with the added attraction of being free of charge. If ever you find yourself in Edinbourgh, do go! It amazing! There are four floors dedicated to toys!  Unfortunately Edward Murray, although a collector of childhood items, seemed not to have liked children very much, but you can read more about that on your visit. Here is a link to the museum, with it's address:

http://www.gnws.co.uk/edinburgh/childhood.htm

We arrived back at Anam Cara where we stayed, after a tea of scampy and chips at Allan Water Cafe. Here's the link:
http://www.allanwatercafe.co.uk/
The yogurt icecream is very good too!

Thursday

Today we once again chickened out of doing the walk we have been promising ourselves all week! It was wet again over night, so once again we took a trip out on the train. This time, it was to see the Falkirk Wheel.
This was my first ever attempt at video on Steve's camera! Hope you think it's ok!



video



Friday
During the morning Steve andI had a date with a dye pot! We had a morning clss booked with Debbie Tomkies, Debbiet on Ravelry. We had so much fun playng with colour!


                                                        My yarn ready for the microwave

                     So many ways to add colour to the yarn. Sport lidded bottles are very good!

Aren't these colours fantastic? This is just a selection of colours produced by our class.


Have we been together too long We didn't discuss the colours we were going to use, but here is the result. Mine at the top, Steve's beautiful randon yarn at the bottom!

We knew we would need to conserve energy for the evening, I will come to that later! But there was a very local walk that we had been planning all week but never got round to. Up behind the university, which used to be a country estate complete with loch and castle, there is a wall, now falling down in places, with many gateways to the mountains out from the uni, take one of the pathways through a gateway and you find yourself clibing steeply! We didn't go right to the top, but through a lovely piece of woodland until we found a road. The road led us back down to Bridge of Allan. We then walked to the station where we took a train to Stirling where we knew our card for the savings account would work.


Sunday, 8 August 2010

A long train journey means great knitting time!..............

Steve and I caught the train out of Somerset at just after 9am and arrived in Bridge of Allan at 7pm. A long ride? Yes, but great for getting a good amount of knitting done! A bit more of Steve's hiking waistcoat mark2. One of the highlights of our journey was seeing a hare running across the fiedls shortly after leaving Edinburgh, the last time I saw one was when we first visited Mid Wales almost 30 years ago. What a privilage!

Last night we went for a walk round Stirling Uni campus. It really is as beautiful as the photos I have already seen! There was the added sound of the pipes, as there was a piping championship taking place somewhere. We also heard an owl which I think I have correctly identified as a Little Owl and saw many well fed rabbits. I'm not sure what the rabbits are fed with in Stirling, but I am sure it's more than just grass!

Today we did the Darn Walk, which starts at Allan Water and ends in Dunblaine. It was so peaceful! We heard several birds of prey, probably buzzards, and the tops of the trees were alive with long-tailed tits!
We walked to the end of the town of Bridge of Allan, towards the station and this is what we found:




Then we walked along by the river until we found the official beginning of the walk.


Any Craftlit podcast listeners might be interested. A little later we did indeed find the cave!















We continued to walk alongside the river until, suddenly, there was the cave.........

We couldn't help thinking of Ben Gunn! This was the view in the opposite direction..........

This sign was at the beginning of the walk, but later...........



All rather confusing really!
Along the waty, we smelt  the various scents of the pines, all beautiful. Breathed the almost neat oxygen thrown up by the riverand saw several birds we didn't recognise, heard what we thought were buzzards, but couldn't see them for the trees and caught this butterfly on camera:



We also felt the bounce of this bridge.
                                                  The sign tells horse riders to dismount!

The river was just beautiful!