Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lovely People

I had a lovely time last Friday when I went to my first ever Knit and Knatter session in Bishop Auckland a few mile away. Now I know why they are so popular the world over. All the people there were so lovely and friendly and were busy making such a broad range of articles and "knattering" all the time.
I am looking forward to more. There was also interest in spinning and dyeing and I am hoping to start up these hobbies again soon.
I bought an Ashford spinning wheel off ebay and picked it up from the post office this morning.
Unfortunately the flight has sheared off and the part under the hinge has broken in two. This was because the part had not been stabilised before transit and had been pushed around almost parallel to the main frame.The hub off the wheel has also split in half on a vertical plane and this has loosened all the spokes. The wheel wobbles dreadfully and has lost all its stability. I dont know whether anything can be done to repair these problems and have spent much of the rest of the day in a very weepy state. If Robert was here he would have been able to fix it but I only have some of his tools and don't know how to use many of them. The split hub looks like it has been like that for a while.
Anyway, I am in contact with the seller and will see what can be resolved. I can see it being a matter of blaming parcel force and fear that I shall be left with an expensive ornament.
I so badly wanted to spin, I was so excited, I turned down two others. Now I don't even feel like knitting and still have that sock to finish
Things will be better in the morning, I'm sure
Cheers Gillian

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Good Things come in Pairs

I bought this lovely wool at the woolshop in Christchurch in Dorset near to where my sister lives (in Mudeford). It stripes up beautifully and the colours are quite striking. the label says "Sirdar, Town and Country". It is described as 'wool-rich' which in England, means about 75% wool and the rest acrylic/nylon to help with the wear and tear on the heels and toes. It takes a bit of wastage to get the second ball to the same starting stage, so that the stripes match.
I have been saving all the left over sock bits to put together to make a hairy-rary Joseph coat one day.

These socks are being knitted with some 4ply baby wool from Australia so they won't last long because they are too soft and will be easily worn out. My aunt was thrilled to receive them yesterday as I sewed in the last thread of yarn. She says she will wear them around the house as "comfort socks"
I managed to get the pooling to match in both socks, although it's so colourful, it's hard to notice.
I can't wait to get dyeing again and create my own colour combos.

Very hard to see, but here is the last of the pairs.
This paddock contains two Shetland pony mares, both of which have had a foal in the last ten days.
The youngest one is standing in the middle of the field and the older one is lying down on the left, next to Mum. I'm keeping an eye on them. They are just over the bridge and can only be seen if you walk by because the wall on the bridge is too high so that cars and their passengers miss out!
If they come closer to the fence I'll get a better pic. Or I suppose could buy a better camera.

Cheers for now Gillian

Sunday, May 06, 2007

New lambs...New life

I have spent the last week settling into a flat in Wolsingham in Weardale. The view from my sitting room window shows the old market place which is now a car park for the town centre. The farmland and moors are in the background. There are delightful flocks of black-faced sheep with lambs all around at the moment. Some white, many patchy and some truly black. It makes me yearn for a spinning wheel again. I'm combing ebay already and will put a notice in the window of the local hardware shop which seems to be the spot for personal ads.
It is a very pretty town and although it is small it has an amazing array of services with everything from a butcher and a post office through to a Doctor and three pubs. The weather has been wonderful since I moved in and although the English are as concerned about global warming as anyone else, I think they are quietly pleased at what they see as an improvement to their climate.

This picture shows the road into town from a place called Tow Law which is one of the highest towns in England. Most of the buildings are built from the locally quarried stone and I am hoping to be able to buy one of the traditional cottages when my house in Australia sells. Everything is very much more expensive in England but I shall just have to live with it and must give up mentally translating all the pounds into dollars when I shop. It is too distressing.

The last shipment of my stuff from Australia is due to arrive on Thursday and it includes the pots and pans and plates ad glasses as well as many other necessities. I haven't cooked much yet and have managed with one plate, one bowl and a saute pan. Luckily I live above a cafe and next door to the bakery.
I got broadband on a couple of days ago and that has created serious inroads into my sock knitting time. I have done some ebay browsing and general googling to see what's on arond the place. Is there anyone nearby who loves to knit and spin? I hope to do some dyeing again too.

The batteries in the camera ran out so when I get some more I shall take pics of the sheep and lots of other nature marvels. I have started a collection of pressed wild flowers because there were so many I could not identify as I walked along the river bank the other evening.

I hope you are all well and events are keeping you busy and happy. Looking forward to hearing from you all.
Cheers Gillian

ps there is a lovely site on Wolsingham at

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I have found a lovely flat to live in. It is in the old Market Place in the small town of Wolsingham in the Durham Dales. The town is surrounded by steep hills, sheep with lambs and moors covered in heather. I should be able to get my own internet connected tomorrow and will be able to spend some time indulging in all your blogs and posting pics and more news.
Love to all for now Gillian