Tuesday, September 29, 2009

29 September: Gibside

The approach road to Gibside was closed, the tea-room kitchen being re-fitted, but were we discouraged?

No - the shop provided soup, bread, coffee and shortbread, and we sat under the trees to eat.

We set out on our usual route, along by the river -

and there were flowers by the path -

Our return route took us through the walled garden, where there were other flowers in the same colour; this one was in a vegetable patch, attracting both a bee and a hoverfly -

and this one was under a fruit tree -

Other colours of flowers were available, but I liked these.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

24 September: Moo?

Having done my shopping, and having a spare half hour, I walked along the riverbank. Sadly, the ox has been graffiti-ed, but only on the front -

It was too bright to see the camera screen, so I wasn't quite sure how this picture would come out -

A couple passing by seemed amused. We aim to entertain.

Monday, September 21, 2009

21 September: Lowest tech

My Dear Husband showed me a passage in a book by Ray Mears about voyageurs in Canada - with sashes woven with fingers.

Intrigued, I consulted my friend Google, and found a couple of pictures and instructions in an article in the Northwest Journal. There were a bunch of threads still tied together from my first experiment with tablet weaving, so I clamped a dozen of them between 2 dowels, using Royal Mail discarded rubber bands to hold them tight, and quickly wove -

Not a very good photo, and there's a glaring mistake in the weaving, but it's a fascinating technique. It might not work so well with slippery threads, but thickish handspun is just the ticket - the pink is some of the first yarn I ever spun.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

20 September: Flowers and frolics

Summer is over - the house martins have gone, and my Dear Husband has washed the droppings off the porch roof.

There are still a few flowers in the garden -

-and even some bees still about -

While he was hosing down the roof, I was busy with the spare threads from my miscalculation on the previous tablet weaving. The perfect opportunity to try out another pattern -

This time the errors are being called design features -

Saturday, September 19, 2009

19 September: Further adventures with wool

There has been some knitting finished recently; a hat finished before we went away -

and a pair of socks knitted while we were away (all but the last few rounds) -

and in progress at present is a tablet/card woven band -

Discovering that the yarn spun for knitting was not so good for weaving, I spun some BFL specifically for weaving this band. When plied it measured 25 wraps per inch; one skein was then dyed brown to make a pleasant contrast to the creamy white.

My calculating was very wobbly when sorting out the warp yarns - first off, I cut twice as many lengths as I thought I needed, then found that (8 x 2) + 2 is not actually 20, and had to remove 2 cards -but hey, if you never get anything wrong, you never learn from your mistakes!

During the weaving I learnt that lumpy joins in yarn that are OK for knitting don't do so well in weaving, and had to work out how to replace a warp thread, then how to turn the cards carefully enough to avoid abrading another lumpy join.

The band is 1.25 inches wide, and when it's done, it's going to be a backstrap for further bands.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

12 September: Yorkshire

We had a lovely week in East Yorkshire, a part of the country neither of us knew at all. The weather was kind, and we stayed in an excellent cottage - actually a converted chapel.

We visited large houses -

- with tea rooms. There were gardens -

We explored towns inland and on the coast -

That's the beach at Bridlington, looking towards Flamborough Head.
And we walked -

A distant view of Hornsea Mere, which is apparently the biggest lake in Yorkshire.
We watched the wildlife from the garden of the cottage -

A Suffolk cross ewe and a Texel ram. The ram's harness carries a container of dye or paint so that the farmer can tell when the ram's work is done.

And there were a few amusing spelling errors; a display about farming had oxen spelled as "oxon" (well-educated animals?), and this was in a ladies' loo -

Thursday, September 03, 2009

3 September: A Wednesday walk

When you've been feeling poorly, with a pain in the chest that wakes you in the night, there is nothing as curative as a walk through the woods.

See what I mean? It was round about this point that the pain faded away, and I began to feel normal again.

Further on, we passed this wonderful old hollow oak, which actually had a small toadstool growing on the patch of moss inside the live outer shell.

In the end we had the longest walk we've done for a couple of weeks; excellent preparation for a short trip away. Which reminds me, I must sort out a bag of knitting to take.