Monday, August 20, 2007

20 August: Weekend playtime

Read 4 weather forecasts and get 4 different stories. Look out of the window and you do just as well as the Met. Office. Long ago and far away I worked at the Met. Office for a few months, but that's another story.

Anyway, on Saturday we went for a walk that had been postponed from earlier because of a small optical disaster - DH's only pair of specs disintegrated and he had no spare pair. Now equipped with 2 new pairs of specs, he was ready for an expedition. As the rain was coming from the west, we went east, and managed to have our walk mainly in the dry.

We chose to re-visit one of the old railway lines which is now a footpath and cycle way. Last time we were there we met nobody. This time it was quite busy, with cyclists, walkers and several joggers.

After passing through pleasant woodland, far too gloomy to photograph on a cloudy day, we came to the new(ish) bridge over the A689.

A car park has been made near this bridge, and there is access to different routes.

A bit further along we sat on a couple of handy rocks and ate our sandwiches. As the rain seemed to be approaching, we started back, but by the time we'd got our hats and hoods in place, it stopped again. Didn't even need to resort to the magic overtrousers!

And so we returned to the old station, now a visitor centre and tea-room. From being an old railway line walk, this is now a major cycle route, so the car park has been transformed into a "Country Park", an old railway carriage has been converted into a classroom, and there is even a planetarium - we didn't investigate that, as it seemed to be closed.

Then on Sunday it rained all day.

So I got out the dyes and set to work on the 14 skeins of Blue Faced Leicester wool that I have spun recently. Instead of dyeing each skein a completely different colour, this time the aim was to have a range of purple colours. After steaming one batch on the cooker and putting a second batch over the pan, I decided to do the remainder in the microwave. Then I let everything cool down thoroughly before rinsing, then washing and rinsing again.

Previous dyeing efforts have turned out not to be colour-fast, with lots of dye washing out. In an attempt to improve this with the latest lot, all skeins were soaked in vinegar water before dyeing. And although the rinse water was clear at the end of the exercise, the newspaper on the floor where they are hanging up to dry in the conservatory has several coloured marks on it. Ah well, now I have to wait until the skeins dry. A photo may follow.


Murph said...

Thank goodness there was a little ray of sunshine from the Beeching disaster - railway cycle tracks!!!

KAZ said...

I'm glad that notice said 'the Prime Minister' as in a couple of years we'll have forgotten who he was.

That rock doesn't sound very comfy.

Granny J said...

Too bad all those old rail lines to everywhere aren't still running, though the rights-of-way do make for good trails.

Anonymous said...

hello again, its julie - this time i thought i would try knitting a bag with circular needles which i found quite difficult to start with, hence i am only knitting in garter stitch to begin with until i get the hang of it, so wish me luck, any tips would be appreciated
many thanks Julie

Lucy said...

I would like to see a picture of a blue-faced Leicester sheep...

stitchwort said...

Hi all - locally we have lots and lots of defunct railway lines turned into walks and cycle paths; easy going, but not always the best views.

julie - good luck! I'd have thought if you are using a circular needle, you would be just knitting stocking stitch. Tips are very difficult without pictures, or waving my hands about. Do try some of the knitting websites - you may find all sorts of help.

lucy - if you just google "blue faced leicester sheep" in the Images mode, you will find just exactly the pictures I would steal and show here.