Saturday, 26 April 2008

Every picture tells a story!

Is this the picture of our 'mid-life crisis'? We are now the proud owners of a Toyota Hilux Double Cab Truck! The Land Rover has gone, so has the caravan. Both with a touch of sadness because they represent many very happy memories of family trips. We have had the caravan since C. was 2 but it had languished unused in the workshop for a few years now as we have preferred the flexibility & freedom of a tent + cottage for our trips to the Western Isles & weekends away got lost in a sea of rugby & cricket matches. Why a double cab truck? 'Cos next month its getting a partner to allow Mr J & I (& dog) (& S&H if he ever wants to) the freedom of 'the open road'! One of these is on its way from the States as I type:

Its a Northstar demountable camper. It will give us the comfort of a caravan, with the off road & on road capability of a tough 4X4 truck. The camper can be 'demounted' & left on its legs for longer stays or left as a camper van for 'overnights'. Its on order from Niche Marketing in Lincolnshire where we paid a visit to last month. We were impressed by the American build quality & level of finish (our upholstery will not be pink as in the web site advert!). Needless to say, we are rather excited by the form that our 'crisis' is taking. We are seriously considering Orkney as our destination for this summers trip & hope to find some wild & exciting places to camp.

Enough of that. I haven't posted in a while. School is really busy & I didn't think I would have any FO's to post, however as you can see carefully draped on the truck back is my finished & blocked Melon scarf. It has been knitted with a £1 ball of sock wool, bought at the Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show! Here is Moss modelling the scarf before blocking & a closer picture of the finished scarf. The yarn is nothing special but the colours are great & it will make a good addition to my winter work wardrobe.

I have cast on a Luna Moth shawl in Malabrigo lace weight. This will probably be a gift for my Mum. It is beginning to grow. The yarn is lovely but without lifelines it wouldn't exist. For some reason (not concentrating maybe) I haven't found this pattern too easy(!) & have had to frog it several times but its beginning to click and it is enjoyable to knit! I haven't cursed the temptation that Clarabelle put in my way too much!

Hope that the spring 'view' of 'On the Hill' meets with approval. It still continues to snow in the alps ('snow alerts' land in my email & yet most of the resorts are no longer running the lifts or preparing the pistes!).

Something to look forward to this week is another meeting of the Ravelry 'At Home in Harrogate' group. This group in particular (& Ravelry in general) have really made a difference to my life I guess. I now have friends NOT connected with work/child/husband that share a deep passion. They are all supportive, funny, intelligent, caring women & I really thank my lucky stars I plucked up courage to respond to the first invite to join a Harrogate Knitting Group (Thanks Anne & Sue! -& thanks to Kelly for creating 'At Home in Harrogate').

Grinton Mill, Swaledale

Earlier this week we had a great afternoon out in Swaledale creating scenes & taking photos for son & heirs A level Graphics Control test. The word he has selected to work with is 'Echos'. This has developed (possibly) into 'Echos of the Past' & his work will be based around promoting a film of that (or something similar) title. One of the possible locations (there will be more needed) was Swaledale (northern Yorkshire Dales) with its history of Lead Mining. We all (dog included) had fun up at Grinton Mill & the Old Gang Mines, equipped with lamps, ropes, helmets, candles & cameras!Waiting for C. to emerge from the tunnel!

These are just a couple of my snaps taken as a record of the day. Maybe S&H will let me print the finished product after the exams!

This is the tunnel that led to the chimney on the moor top.

What's the story?

Friday, 4 April 2008

April in Yorkshire

....and I even managed a little time sat outside knitting! Snow is possible on Sunday!

Forest Canopy is blocked & I am delighted with the result. Whadyathink?
Another shawl is on the needles, but this time it was a case of frog first. The Wool Peddler is no more. I love other peoples wool peddler shawls as stalked on Ravelry but the plain navy Jaegar merino wasn't working. So inspired by a thread started(in my absence) on the wonderful & time consuming Ravelry 'At Home in Harrogate' group, about 'slow' living, organics, yarn diets (what's that?) and the like, 'Wool Peddler' became 'Candle Flame'.
Yarn & pattern seem happier together- more squishy. I have also opted, should you be interested, to opt for the 3 purl spacing between 'flames' to make a wider shawl. New on the needles are 'no purl monkeys'. This is another 'At Home in H'gate' KAL. The yarn is super soft merino & alpaca from the Natural Dye Studio & the pattern is a super easy, soothing knit.

The 'At Home in Harrogate group' met again on Wednesday. What a riot! I've seen less yarn & projects in some wool shops (or at least it felt like that!). What a bunch of enablers! Thanks guys!

Some garden time has involved sorting out the polytunnel (Thanks to MrJ's labours) & sewing seeds. So far: carrots, spring onions, Chinese Stir Fry Salad leaf & Italian Salad leaf, Coriander, Thyme, Basil, Chilis & onions. I have also undertaken extensive pot & tray scrubbing ready for the first instalments of plug plants to arrive.

About a month ago a neighbour & me got together to pour over the piece of porn known as the Dobies catalogue (not as good as yarn porn but quite good!) & encouraged each other to spend! Actually its worked out really well as we were able to share in some good offers, that would have otherwise delivered more plants than either of us could use individually.

As the weather is forecast to return to winter tommorow I think that a little extra insulation may be called for!