Saturday, December 04, 2010

Winding up this blog

After much thought I have decided to wind up operations on this blog. I'm leaving it up and running, but won't be posting any more.

I am still knitting of course but rather less than before, and I don't have enough craft-related news to post very often. I will be setting up a new blog elsewhere which will have a different focus, I won't be linking across but if you'd like the link when it's live, email me via the address at the top of the page or ask me on Twitter :-)

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Photoblog: Portmeirion

The promised post about Portmeirion finally makes an appearance! I must admit I do most of my blogging (or micro-blogging) via Twitter these days, hence this blog is left rather neglected. If you're on Twitter please do say hello/follow, if you're not on Twitter, do consider joining! I have found it an excellent way to keep up with many online friends who I might not otherwise speak to very often, and it's also fantastic for fast-moving, as-it-happens news and commentary - for me that means Formula 1 in particular.

Anyway, back to Portmeirion. Many of these photos are wallpaper-sized (1650x1050, widescreen monitor format) so click on any you'd like a large version of.

I'll start with a photo I actually ended up taking on the way home. As we reached the final leg of our journey down, the view across the Lleyn peninsula was superb. It was the clearest I have ever seen it, equally so in the other direction towards the mountains. It was almost as clear as we headed home:

Our first port of call was a walk down through the village to the waterside. You are on the south side of the Lleyn here, and you have a view across the water to the "main" mainland:

On this day, the Italianate village looked truly Mediterranean. Stunning blue skies, sunshine, sparkling water, rich green foliage.

It really is Wales, and it was simply stunning!

After watching the world go by from a waterside bench for a while, we headed to the stone boat, Les Amis Reunis:

If you've ever seen the TV series The Prisoner (the original 1960s version) you will instantly recognise the stone boat. The village hasn't changed too much from when the series was filmed there, and is well worth visiting if you are a fan.

The late Patrick McGoohan stayed in a cottage called "White Horses" during filming. This is a view through an archway next to the cottage itself - it is situated a couple of minutes' walk from the stone boat and the main hotel building.

On the walk to White Horses there were some gorgeous shrubs in flower:

Back in the main village, this is the Green Dome, Number Two's residence in the series:

Back in the 60s, the green dome itself was actually painted wood (probably marine ply or similar). It was painted to look like verdigris. This was a typical piece of illusion employed by the village's creator, Clough Williams Ellis! It was probably more to do with cost than anything else. These days, the roof has been replaced with a genuine copper one. However it is taking its sweet time to start going green!

This is the Gloriette, overlooking the main square with the pool and fountain where "Rover", the huge white weather balloon/guardian of the Village would often appear. The Gloriette was used most memorably in the episode "Free For All" where Number 6 (McGoohan) made his election speech.

Also in the main square are two gold statues on pillars - as I had the DSLR with me I could take a reasonably close-up photo of one of them for the first time:

The Bristol Colonnade:

Like a number of the buildings in Portmeirion, this is a rescued building, transplanted from its original location. The lawn in front of it is famous as the scene of the human chess game in the episode "Checkmate".

After lunch we went for a walk in the woodland gardens, which include a small lake and a Japanese-style bridge:

If you've never been to Portmeirion, it is well worth a visit - we've actually stayed there twice, both times in Telford's Tower (which has an amazing view over the Piazza to Number Six's house), and visited on several more occasions over the years. Our interest came originally from The Prisoner association but even without that, it is a gorgeous place, and on this late June day was absolutely magical.

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Woolfest, York & Arnside

We had some time off at the end of June and early July, so we had a few day-trips. It's taken this long to find time to sort out the photos and sit down to blog them! I've also not been able to keep up with blogs in the past few months, trying my best to catch up!

This first post covers Woolfest, then trips to York and Silverdale/Arnside. The next post will cover Portmeirion which occurred in between Woolfest and York!

Woolfest 2010

This was our second year visiting Woolfest, and this year we just went on the Saturday. Once again it was an excellent event, we managed to see some of the sheep auction this time too which was fun. I have a few photos of the livestock again:

(I took a few more but they were a bit blurry - I switch the flash off on the compact camera as the last thing the animals need is flashbulbs going off!).

Here's Mitchells from the outside - from the back of the building taken from the car park above. Surrounded by hills and mountains!

Here are a few photos taken from the car on the A66 on the last leg!


We hadn't been to York for a few years and managed to pick a fine day to visit. Our previous couple of visits have been when we were staying in North Yorkshire on holiday, but this time we were heading into the city from the West. We use the Marygate car park which is essentially just across the road from the Museum Gardens, and next to the river. Thankfully with the aid of the satnav and my map we got to it from this new direction!

From the car park you cross the road to walk through the Museum gardens towards the main city centre area. Here are some of the ruins:

Once in the city centre you find some interesting sights. I think this is called something like street performance art? He was very good anyway!

We made our way up towards the Minster. Opposite the Minster itself is the Minster School - loved this sign on their wall:

We were intending visiting the Minster, but were rather horrified that instead of the donations boxes previously in use, there were turnstiles and an entrance charge of something like £8.50. Now this is still a "working" church and I did find something rather wrong with having to pay a fairly hefty fixed sum to get in. Yes, they do have to raise funds for ongoing upkeep and conservation work, and we would undoubtedly have donated, but this just felt wrong.

Anyway, plenty more things to see, including this rather stunning street (or rather wall) furniture nearby):

Quite a few renamed streets judging by the signs:


We also had a walk along the river:

Various water craft around, either travelling up and down the river or moored alongside.

See the bridge in the picture above? We decided to cross that and it was terrifying! Mesh sides and holes cut into the floor. I do not need to see the river below me thanks all the same!

Loved the name of this narrowboat:

Plemty of geese and other water fowl around too, this is a gosling foraging in the park next to the footpath:

Silverdale and Arnside

First port of call was Kays nursey at Silverdale, after a quick visit to the Wolf House Gallery (we may have acquired a couple of pieces of pottery there). Kays has been developed a little in recent years, there is now a wooden-construction tearoom and deck, this overlooks the rather amazing garden that is currently being worked on to bring it back to its former glory. No photos of that unfortunately but here are some of the flower beds that grace one side of the nursery:

On to Arnside, where although the breeze was "brisk" it was dry and sunny, with good views out over the estuary:

There were a lot of birds on the sands, we were surprised to see that a lot of them were mallard ducks!

Sand and water:

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Doctor Who Season 14 Scarf

Finally completed my Doctor Who scarf, knit in Cascade 220:

All the yarn details and more photos can be found on the Ravelry project page which is accessible by anyone. The scarf is approximately 116 inches long (just over nine and a half feet) after washing and blocking (allowing it to stretch a bit). I believe this is the shortest version of the scarf and is very wearable especially if you wrap it around you neck once!

I used my rotary cutter for the first time to trim the fringes, it did an excellent job and gave a very neat even finish.

In book news, I'm not far off the end of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. I've found it quite gripping especially the second half of the book.

Hopefully I should be back with a couple of photo blog posts very soon, of our "travels" in late June and early July.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Doctor Who Scarf WIP

This is my progress so far on my Who scarf:

I think I'm about a third of the way through. It's good TV knitting!

There is also some exciting news on the shop front. My Sheer laceweight yarn is featured in the new (July 2010) issue of Let's Knit magazine:

I was thrilled to be asked to contribute to the feature on laceweight yarns. The skein in question (Stargazing) has now sold, but my repeatable colourway "Space Odyssey" is very similar.

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Wednesday, June 09, 2010


Specifically, my first pair of socks. I started these a year ago, got to the heel turn, then put them aside for other projects. As part of a WIP-along I decided I should finish them - the second was completed in a few days.

I used Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks" as a reference, and one of the basic patterns converted to just plain stocking stitch. The socks fit very well - I followed the instructions regarding measuring feet beforehand, and swatched the yarn. The latter was one of the skeins of unidentified sock yarn that I dyed with Kool Aid some time ago. After struggling with the joins between the two circulars I was using, I eventually got the hang of a neater join, so the second sock was a much more pleasant and quicker knitting experience.

I will definitely be making more handknit socks in the future!

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010


Citron from Knitty, main body knit in Flamboyance Yarns Dashing merino sock. The pattern calls for a heavier laceweight yarn with around 500 yards, so the sock yarn ran out just after the increases for the ruffled edge. I used some leftover RYC Cashsoft 4ply in deep purple for the remainder, when that ran out on the last row I cast off with a paler lilac/mauve in the same yarn.

If I made this again I would probably use KFB rather than M1 for the increases - at this sort of loose gauge, the M1s are very obvious when the piece is blocked. I love the shape it creates, and I tried not to block it too harshly to retain as much of the ruching as possible.

I'm now working on a Season 14 Doctor Who scarf, as worn by Tom Baker (the fourth Doctor). WittyLittleKnitter is an excellent resource for Who scarf patterns and information. I'm using Cascade 220 for mine, substituting Beige for sand, and Goldenrod for Gold. I also got Christmas Red standard as the heather version is pretty much impossible to get here at the moment.

Thanks for all your comments on the last post, and particularly regarding "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo". I finally started reading it, but haven't got very far yet, it does seem good though.

I've just seen the news on John Simm Online that he has a new TV project, working with Philip Glenister. That was exciting enough in itself, but it also stars Max Beesley, so I'm one happy bunny today. We don't have Sky any more but it will likely be out on DVD soon after broadcast, judging by the current "Strike Back" made by the same people for Sky.

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