Thursday, November 30, 2006


Apologies to Susan Pierce Lawrence - in my last entry I stated the Forest Canopy Shawl pattern was free. It's not but worth every penny of the $6.50. I'd genuinely forgotten that I'd downloaded it and then printed it out. Thanks to Rachel for pointing it out.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

First shawl

Really enjoyed knitting Branching Out in different shades of Rowan Kidsilk Haze as Xmas presents last year and one of my ambitions for this year has been to knit more lace and more specifically a shawl. Encouraged by a lace knitting day at Colinette back in October this is the Forest Canopy shawl that I've just finished.

I'd recommend it for anyone wanting to take up lace knitting and the pattern is free
it's very well written, easy to follow, can be used for a wide range of yarns and grows quickly.

It's knit up in A L de Sauveterre's Whisper which is 100% Peruvian alpaca and this colourway is Summer Berries. In a perfect world I should have perhaps tried an extra repeat but was nervous that I'd run out of yarn to complete the edging. This yarn is lovely to work with and although I was apprehensive about the whole blocking procedure it was straightforward and the shawl is even softer now.

Knitting this has boosted my confidence enormously BUT think there's potential to develop a serious lace addiction. I'm busy knitting socks (Xmas pressies) but finding it a tad tedious so have to allow myself a lace knitting fix. Have started Kiri - hate the colour of the yarn I'm using Rowan Kidsilk Haze Meadow but loving the pattern so will probably do a small version, then repeat with yarn I like better.

Also on the needles are a pair of Broadripple socks being knit in Posh Yarns Sophia 4ply sock yarn colour Sweet Pea - this is remarkably thick for sock yarn (well thicker than I'm normally used to knitting with) but so soft and joy to knit with.

My body seems to be developing allergies and intolerance to anything and everything at the moment. I've been really unwell this weekend and it seems to be related to red wine and it seems that even a glass is enough to trigger a headache, high temperature and upset stomach. Hoping that it's just related to a mix of Shiraz Cabernet grapes not all red wine!!!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Into the mountains cont....

Well somehow or other blogger or me managed to loose the majority of the Into the mountains entry .......................

What I had wittered about was spending an interesting day at an Antiques and Collectables show. Hadn't known what to expect but it was an interesting mix of some very dodgy looking dudes who you woudn't trust with your granny, some people selling tat and you wondered how on earth they were making a living and some folk selling some beautiful and quality stuff. If you had the right house and were looking for the appropriate furniture there were beautiful pieces but the only things I really would have liked to have brought home were a needlework box at £300 and the most amazing sapphire and diamond ring £2,2000. What I looked at and should have bought was some bed linen. We need some new pillowcases and they had some really pretty embroidered ones and was going to go back for them but got diverted and didn't which was a shame because new shop bought cotton ones are nowhere near in terms of quality of the thickness and softness of the cotton.

Had a good day at the beach made all the better by the lowest and highest tides for many years. Tess had a good time as usual and we totally cracked up when she was busy guarding her stick whilst a young Borzoi had great fun circling her at a furious and frantic pace. It was exactly like a clockwork toy.

Highlight of the week was getting up into Snowdonia

This is taken just off the Watkin path that goes up from Nant Gwynant. The water in the pools is the most amazing shade of blue, possibly due to the metals in the water, possibly copper. There was a lot of mining at various sites around the foot of the mountain including at a site above this. We crossed the stream and then cut up across to some old mine workings which are off the shoulder of Lliwedd.
It was a remarkably hot day and you can see both the dog and I are looking hot and bothered.

I'm looking a bit happier here because the summit of Lliwedd is the high point closest to me, Snowdon itself is the peak in the middle of the picture. Tess hadn't been up on the tops with us before but she's a born mountain dog and loved every minute as long as we gave her regular drinks of water. I'd forgotten how horrible the descent was steep, loose, scree mixed with scrambling down over rocks.

I don't look too happy in the 2nd pic because found myself incredibly breathless. Yes I know I hadn't been in the hills for a while but this was worse than normal. It also happened on other walks that weren't so steep and got so bad that I lagged badly behind M and found it difficult to keep up a conversation on even ground. Both of us got quite worried about it and I knew it wasn't being caused by being unfit. Anyhow after a visit to the doctor and some tests it seems I've developed asthma which is a huge relief because can actually deal with it. A single puff from my inhaler means breathlessness, streaming nose, sneezing and coughing is all dealt with almost instantaneously and it also enables me to walk in the hills again. OK I still get puffed on really steep bits and will continue to do so until our level of fitness returns but at least it's now at a level that is normal for me.

The weather this autumn has been amazing - really warm the first bit of Sept and recently some incredibly sharp frosts. However it has meant some plants have flowered until very late on

This is a flower on our Nelly Moser clematis and this was taken on 31st October.

These are some fungi we found whilst we were walking off Craig Rhiwiarth down past Cwm yr ogof mine workings. Apparently they're one of the waxcap family. They really were this bright and stood out in the surrounding grass. Can see how folk get into foraging for fungi.

The cool clear weather meant that we had wonderful sunsets and stood watching this one - it was so spectacular. It's at times like this that I miss being by the sea, we get the spectacular skies but unfortunately there's always trees or something in the way!!