Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A grand day out

Taking advantage of the better weather, longer days, and a long weekend, we had a trip up to Sizergh Castle yesterday. We hadn't been there for some years, and there was little in the way of active renovation work going on this time. They have not long since completed major roof repairs, and the castle can be seen in its full glory.

This was also a good excuse to give our new-ish D-SLR camera (Olympus E-420) its first proper outing. Apart from a little cropping on a couple of the photos, and resizing, they have not been edited. I'm really pleased with the quality of picture, and so far I'm only using the basic settings. It's a world away from our compact digital, which does take great photos, but is necessarily limited in what it can achieve.

Click on the photos to see an approx. 1024x768 px size version.

Sedum growing on moss in a dry stone wall, just outside the new visitor centre building.

More of the wall.

Fern growing in more luxuriant moss on a tree, at the entrance to the limestone garden.

Small waterfall running into one of the pools, you can see Spring is well underway.

Taken from the top of the limestone garden, towards the castle.

Bog-dwelling member of the Arum family, I suspect!

Lovely reflections, even on an overcast day.

Looking into the Dutch garden.

This wall is a riot of colour and greenery in summer, I love the texture of the brick and the stark contrast of the bench.

You won't see this glorious green mossy roof soon, when the leaves unfurl.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tea Time cardigan

Pattern: Tea Time by Martin Storey, from Rowan Classic Summer
Yarn: Rowan Wool Cotton shade Citron
Yardage: 7.56 balls
Needles: 3.25mm and 4mm straights

I finally found a great pattern to use the 8 balls of Wool Cotton that have been lurking in my stash. I made size M after checking the schematic, as these designs tend to run large, and it's a good fit. There were a couple of mods, the first intentional (adding one inch to the overall body length), the second accidental (missing the last 4 stitch decreases on the neckline). Both seem to have worked out well.

I'm around half way through knitting a top-down seamless garment, Ms Marigold by Zephyrstyle, in Calmer. At the moment it is round-and-round stocking stitch!

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Porom beret

Pattern: Porom by brooklyntweed
Yarn: Jamiesons Double Knitting shade Leprechaun
Yardage: 170 yards (2 x 25g + 7g of a third)
Needles: 4mm and 5mm Addi circs, and 5mm DPNs

Great pattern with extremely clear charts, I love the finished result. I decided to use the original yarn, in the shade used for the Druid mittens, and also bought some Spindrift at the same time for said mitts.

My Tea Time cardigan is now awaiting seaming, so it should be finished very soon. I also started a Ms Marigold tank a couple of nights ago. This is a Zephyrstyle pattern and is knit top-down. I'm just at the point where I knit the two fronts and back separately until they join back up after the armholes end. There were some lovely examples in Calmer on Ravelry so I'm using the Kiwi shade again. It should only take around 3 to 4 skeins. Tanks/slipovers make great layering pieces so I'm hoping to make a few in the near future. My next one may well be in Kureyon sock.

I also finally got to grips with the sewing machine. I've wanted to learn how to use it for years, and finally took the plunge. I found I could indeed sew a straight line! There are plans for bag linings and skirts, and also fully-sewn bags, but I think my first project will be a sewing needle case. I've had my little selection of needles on a piece of scrap fabric for years, so it seemed a good starting point to make something respectable for them to live in.

Next up, learning to warp up my rigid heddle loom and using some sock weight yarn to make a scarf! I'm loving what knit and tonic Wendy has been making on her loom! And also very excited about the new F1 season starting at the end of the month, despite the very dodgy rulings on points/wins announced this week.

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