Thursday, 29 May 2008

Bruce is still the Boss!

Did I mention that me & Mr J had tickets for the Bruce Springsteen concert in Manchester? Maybe! He was awesome, the E-Street Band were awesome & I felt 25 again (age at first Springsteen concert we went to!) Nuff said! I even managed a little knitting before it got too busy (not alot of elbow room in Old Trafford!)
Old Trafford certainly was the 'Theatre of Dreams' on Wednesday night!

The knitting is 'Carolina, the Last Queen of Naples' -a another Monkey Toes pattern. In this case the queen has no purls(!) I love this pattern with self stripping Trekking XXL. According to sources on Ravelry they are stretchier than Jaywalkers!

Fawkes are finished. Photos to follow.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Time to blog.......!!!!

The last few weeks have flown by! Last weekend we had a fantastic weekend in Northumberland. When son & heir was small & before then we spent alot of time up there. The gorgeous Northumberland coast became a kind of family 'bolt hole' but then as things changed we stopped going. The last time we had done more than pass through the county was nine years ago. No reason really. My sister kept going, often twice a year, but not us. This year, though, dear sister, BiL (of the socks) & his sister & husband had booked a large house in Alnmouth with room for visitors! We set off at 9.00 & were parked on Alnmouth carpark by 11.00! It was grey & windy & wonderful to be back. Moss had never been. An hour or so wandering around Alnmouth and a lazy evening in the 'Boat House' and we wondered why we had been away for so long. By evening the sun had found its way to Northumberland and our supper time walk was rewarded with some interesting photo opportunities. Spot Moss on the right! Sunday morning dawned super bright & I took a solo stroll with the camera. The light on the estuary was fantastic. The sun was bright & the wind cool! After a fairly substantial breakfast(!) the plot was to head for the northern end of Embleton Bay & 'Football Hole' and to walk southwards along the beach. Moss thought it was great, so did the rest of us! A halfway turn around time found time for coffee, cake & kite flying.

'Football Hole' Sadly we had to head back to Yorkshire on Sunday evening, leaving Ju, Chris, Kerry & Wayne to have a fantastic week. I received this photo message in the week. It was my sister's birthday on Wednesday & clearly fun was been had by all! Happy Birthday Ju!

This week was S&H's last week at school! It was hectic, completing all the A level Graphics coursework. I think we all feel that we have lost part of our identity. Strange. My son doesn't go to Harrogate Grammar School (although he will be popping in for three fairly heavy sessions of exams in the next week or so!!!), he just 'used to' go to HGS. Anyway I think they had the kind of fun day on Friday that they will all remember for along time to come. 'Rites of passage' & all that!

I have managed some knitting time. BiL's thick socks were finished, delivered to Alnmouth & met with approval. They were photographed on the balcony of the 'Boat House'. It is a upside down house with the lounge & kitchen upstairs with the views. Smart move!I have also finished another pair of 'No Purl Monkeys'....

..and have knitted one and a half 'Fawkes'. This is a nice pattern to knit but a funny one to remember. That, I am pleased to say, seems to be a fairly typical comment on Ravelry. Not sure why. I would certainly knit them again but in a plainer yarn, another repeat longer & with a less 'square' heel. They may get finished today. I might even managed a bit of knitting in the sunshine as long as I can find a bolt hole away from the cold north easterly wind that seems to have been blowing for weeks!

We managed to escape out of the wind yesterday & catch the bluebells still in bloom in Braisty Woods near Summerbridge. Pretty as a picture! last thing, knitting in public! Do it! Some of the 'public' need to be educated. A few of the 'Nutty Kniiters' aka 'At Home in Harrogate' Ravelry group decided to grab an couple of hours knitting in 'The Smiths Arms' in Beckwithshaw on Wednesday evening. Nice pub, big tables, five ladies of varying ages sitting around and knitting, chatting & having a drink. Barman happy to carry across drinks, chef came out for a chat (another knitter it turned out), a cycling group wandered in, dressed in Lycra & flat shiny shoes & then a youngish couple sat at the table next to us, shuffled uncomfortably for ten minutes & left, muttering very 'un-pc' and incorrect comments about us! It may have been the five women aspect that they couldn't deal with, I don't know. I don't have any issues with knitting in public- planes, boats, cricket matches, pubs, cafes.... bring it on, but some are less comfortable with stares and inane comments 'What ARE you doing?''Are you learning to knit?' (not said to me, but to someone with a complex piece of lace on the needles!) and so for them & their knitting, knitting in public just has to be done!

Saturday, 10 May 2008


As promised, two latest socks in progress, one in Big Fabel & one in......just Fabel.
This is for BiL, in Big Fabel.
These are Fawkes in Fabel

Its a really enjoyable pattern to knit. Can't believe its Saturday & sunshine is in order. Off to put some order into the veg bed as its still in 'winter dug over' mode, plus all the stones that have risen to the surface over the winter. I should, as a geographer, know what that process is called! As a gardener its a B***** pest!

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Evening sunshine

I have just spent a happy hour in the evening sunshine, tackling a few chores in the garden. I have planted up some hanging baskets, sown another row of carrots & one of Italian Mixed salad leaf. I have sown a tray of Sprouting Broccoli and sixteen pots of 'Maradonna' French Beans. The polytunnel is pretty full, as my Dad also contributed quite a few plants at the weekend. It has been a hot day today -too hot for SATS exams! Hopefully this fine weather will last to the weekend! The first sowing of the Italian Salad Leaves should be ready to pick soon!
The auriculas by the front door.

When the son & heir was small he loved to 'play farms'. We reckon that this is what Moss likes to do as he takes up a position in the garden where he can see people approaching & run around barking at motor bikes & milk lorries that go past in true Border Collie farmdog fashion!

BiL should get his socks, partially due to the super speedy service provided by Scandinavian Knitting Designs & partially due to the fast growing Big Fabel, DK sock yarn! I have also cast on for Fawkes, a Harry Potter inspired design by the very talented but ,sadly, no longer with us, Gigi Silva. Photos of those to follow!

Monday, 5 May 2008

Am I a process knitter?

The socks I started for my BinL are going into the frog pond AGAIN. There isn't enough yarn (it was a 'bargain'!) & I messed up the pattern repeat on the second foot. The Candle Flame shawl is on about 200 stitches & I suspect the lack of a border is something of an issue. So?????? you ask, expecting tails of tears & tantrums. So????? nothing. I have enjoyed the knitting, the yarn will live again. The socks will be frogged to the ankles & re-emerge as fingerless mitts, The yarn from the Candle Flame shawl, will ,if frogged, will be re-knitted. I may knit another Prairie Shawl. "No knitting is wasted knitting" says the wise women Sieue. I get what she means. Sieue is a 'founder' member of the Ravelry 'At Home in Harrogate' group. There was some exciting news for the group this week as baby Noah made an appearance -Congratulations to Lou & Antony. The group has also decided to have a 'Summer Swap' -a knitted item, another knitting 'thing' & a non-knitting item to be gifted to your secret partner at the end of Summer (you know the sort of thing). Great! Then questions like....
Favorite Color?
Favorite Food?
Favorite Designer?
Favorite Blog?
Favorite Yarn?
Favorite Esty Shop/Online Store?
Favorite Thing to Knit?
Favorite Pattern?
Favorite Non-Knitting Related Shop?
Favorite Restaurant?
ETA: 11. Favorite Book?

...come your way! I am a Gemini for goodness sake! So far

Fav. colour is icy pale blue (and red). Fav thing to knit has to be socks (with shawls coming up fast on the rails), Favorite pattern(s!) is Embossed leaf socks & Forest Canopy shawl, Favorite blogs are Clarabelle & Yarn Spinner I guess as I always have to stop & read them straightaway if they pop up on Bloglines. As to the other questions...... Books...yes I have loads of favorite books. Its a mood/genre thing. I am working on it. OK!

Good job it didn't stretch to favorite music -did I mention I have tickets to see Bruce Springsteen in Manchester later this month?
I have one finished 'No purl Monkey'. Loving this pattern! I have just cast on Fawkes (a Socktopia pattern). Its not available for download at the moment but fortunately I had a copy saved. I went searching in my sock stash for something else to knit for BiL when I found some firey Fabel superwash & remembered Fawkes. Fawkes will be for me! Hopefully I will complete this months ASK challenge. Best buy some DK sockwool for BiL as I will see him in less than two weeks. BiL was the recipient of some Harry Potter socks using some lovely yarn from Bright Dyes. Unfortunately this seller doesn't appear to be selling yarn at the moment. Does anyone have any recommendations for other Harry Potter coloured sock yarn (preferably UK based -I don't want to be stung on postage/tax!)? Said BiL wants the set (Fortunately Sister is now knitting socks too- go girl!... and is on Ravelry!)
What is the world coming to, two fine days out of three in a Holiday weekend? Actually Saturday was fine, it p***** it down yesterday & today is warm and dry. The forecast for the rest of the week as SATS, GCSE's and A levels start is for warm sunshine! Typical!

On Saturday, in celebration of some decent weather AT THE WEEKEND & Ma & Pa's visit we took off up Wensleydale. First stop was an ice cream at Brymor Ice Cream. Raspberry was my flavour of choice & a good choice it was, although NOT in the quantities shown on the photo!
We then paid a visit to Jervaulx Abbey. I learnt recently that Jervaulx is a privately owned site, maintained by it owners out of love for the place & decided that we should go when we had the chance. I wasn't disappointed. The sun came out, there were only a few other people about & there was a real peace surrounding the place. The six of us (Moss came too) just wandered around taking photos. Son & heir was busy accumulating more shots for his A level Graphics portfolio (Echos of the past, part 2?). This is a selection of mine:

Moss can pose for photos when he wants to!

Me with my Dad.
Cowslips in May sunshine.

After a day of torrential rain yesterday in which the main event was a good traditional Sunday Roast (Beef & Yorkshire puds) today is warm & sunny so we took the truck for a ride (Moss had to stay at home as we are awaiting the back cover for it to turn it into a mobile kennel!). Our travels took us up to the head of Nidderdale & over into Masham & then home. S&H was the photographer for the day. I may borrow a few of his shots for my next post. The reflections on Gouthwaite Reservoir were stunning.