Thursday, October 29, 2009

Heather Hoodie Vest

Pattern: Heather Hoodie Vest, Knitscene Fall 2009
Yarn: Sirdar Denim Chunky, shade 509
Yardage: 5.08 skeins
Needles: 6mm straights and 6mm circs

Another garment that I am very pleased with indeed. The yarn is a wool/cotton/acrylic blend, handles very well, washes well and keeps its shape, and the cables really pop. It's also very cosy! The hood is of elven proportions and would certainly keep your head dry in a rain shower. The pattern is one I would knit again, maybe in a dark leaf green. The Mr thinks it looks like a top from the latest Robin Hood series and I'm inclined to agree.

Another recent finish was the Piper hat from Twist Collective:

Knit in Sublime Merino Silk Cashmere aran, a gorgeous yarn but a bit drapier than I think this needs. I made the slouchier version too and would knit this again using a wool yarn. The piping was done in Cascade 220.

I also turned the heel on my sock!

The decreases have also been completed and it just needs the main foot section completing next. I've also knit the right front section of Tender, my KSH cardigan, and am aiming to finish that before Christmas.

My current project is another Clapotis, using some Mirasol Hacho bought at the Black Sheep Craft Barn shop (a wondrous place to visit, there is a huge yarn pile amongst other things!). I'm going to the theatre in a couple of weeks' time and decided I'd like a more moody, autumnal scarf/wrap to wear. The photo doesn't do the colours justice, hopefully my next progress shot will be in better light.

The blog has also had a revamp, I hope you like the new look!

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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Holker Hall - photo blog

I am decidedly late in posting photos of our visit to Holker Hall on the first of October. We've been busy in the meantime with the ongoing decluttering of the house and garage. Lots of things have been re-homed, some things re-purposed (part cans of paint go to the tip where the Council collect and use them, for example), and unfortunately some stuff simply had to be chucked out. We still have work to do in the attic, but phase 1 saw 5 large bags of stuff collected by a charity today, in addition to the things mentioned above. At the moment the house is tidy again and there are no piles of stuff stacked up waiting to go elsewhere!

I'll update my knitting progress in a separate post, for now here are some photos I took during our visit. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, and considering the date the gardens still looked quite summery. Click on any of the photos to see a larger version.

Formal gardens near the house, still a riot of colour.

Beautiful blues and purples.

"Architectural" seed heads.

This is at the gate from the garden onto the parkland, leading to the labyrinth - they have carved a compass point showing North into the centre.

My favourite photo of the day. Gorgeous lichens on one of the standing stones making up the labyrinth. It's a modern construction but looks lovely.

View from the labyrinth across the countryside.

And the view back to the house.

A short walk from the labyrinth is this wonderful slate sundial.

One of the many and varied benches, this one is entirely held together with dowels.

Ducks in the cascade fountain - as we approached they all rushed into the water with much noise and splashing!

As we stood watching the ducks and admiring the fountain, the sun scythed through the trees and we were treated to a rainbow in the spray.

The ducks later calmed down and some came out of the water to preen (one suspects they were angling to be fed!). I've tried to find out what species these are, to no avail, does anyone know?

Late summer colour in the sunken garden.

"Here shall ye see no enemy, but winter and rough weather"

House and gardens - we also toured the house itself and it was great to see the rooms so brightly sunlit. Unlike many "stately homes" this house is lived in and there is no attempt to stop the natural light.

Holker also hosts a Motor Museum, with a lot of material related to Donald Campbell. The photo above shows a replica of the Bluebird car, and below the K7 boat. The car in particular is huge!

I would recommend a visit to Holker, it has been some years since we last visited, and it has been much improved. As we were walking down to the gardens to begin our tour, we were overtaken by Lord Cavendish, who greeted us very cheerily, and took the time to have a quick chat with us and some other visitors. Not something you expect to happen, and I think shows how very "hands-on" the family are when it comes to running the business!