Saturday, October 27, 2007

Highlands and Islands

I managed to complete the cardigan while I was at Knit and Natter in Bishop Auckland on the Friday and Carrie Anne kindly took a photo of me in it to show you. Of course, dark grey does not photograph well but then, neither do I.
I wore it on the coach on the way up to Scotland on Monday and it was light, warm and comfortable. Sadly I now have to find a way to neatly darn up the large hole created by the kilt pin dragging on the soft wool!!!

To restore my spirits I have started on the football of tops I bought at the Wensleydale Longwool Sheepshop. It is a natural silvery brown and is so easy to spin. Yes that is my foot to the right to give you some idea of the size.

The journey to Scotland was long because we were based in the town of Garve and so we were well up into the Highlands. The hotel was very good and well organised to cater for the large numbers of people who all want to be fed at the same time. Our room is the top right in this picture and we looked over woodland and hills.

The nights were silent and black.
The days were spent visiting the Isle of Skye, lochs, castles, Culloden, Inverness and John O'Groats. We were very lucky with th eweather and were able to enjoy some lovely views and autumn colours.

This is a very small selection of the views.

I'm still searching for the best cheese scone and have a few to report on.
Since arriving in Darlington I have had a couple of local ones. The Arts Centre cafe does a formidable one for only a pound. It is the largest one I have ever seen and weighs in at quite a few ounces. It is tasty but hard going towards the end. Probably TOO BIG. 6/10
Coffee at Elliots did a pleasing-to-the-eye golden scone and I shared it with my sister ( that was so that we could fit in a slice of cheesecake as well). She declared it just right but I found it too salty and costly, so we gave it 6.5/10. We had one at Catkins too but I was a bit sconed-out and can't remember it so I will have to return soon.
Whilst in Scotland I had a towering, speckled orange one at a place where the coaches stop but I can't remember which one, so although it was surprisingly lovelier than it looked, it doesn't get a rating.

Cheers to all

Thursday, October 18, 2007

A Finished Garment (Well Nearly)!

I have been sitting at the window shown in this picture, glancing at the town of Darlington while I knit. The urge to make a new garment came over me last Thursday and I searched the internet patterns and fell in love with "Montparnasse" by Berocco in their favourite free patterns section and then on Friday I headed off into town to find Becky at her stall at the craft market.

She had some fabulous wool from Wensleydale Longwool SheepShop.

I wanted it in the grey but there were only a couple of balls available so I headed off to visit the shop near Leyburn in North Yorkshire to get some.

You know what it's like when you want to start on something right away.

Luckily I found the place and they had a gorgeous dark grey called "Storm". It took half an hour to get there and an hour and a half to get home because school was out in Richmond (I did a little detour) and everyone in North Yorkshire seems to go to school in Richmond.

But at last I got back home with quite a few knitting hours left in the day and sat down and cast on. A couple of glitches.....My tension was up the spout and I had to start again after a few inches.....I was short by one ball of wool because I knitted it longer, but I phoned them and the shop had one to me the next day.....The armholes were too tight but instead of undoing the sleeves and re-knitting them, I knitted a gusset for each oxter.

There it is in the picture waiting for me to pick up and knit about 220 stitches around the opening. I managed to get some kilt pins and a circular needle in town. I love Darlington. It sells everything I want, on the doorstep.

With luck and a neat stitch pick-up I will be able to finish it in time to wear it next week on my holiday to the Highlands of Scotland. Highlands, Loch Ness, Skye and John O'Groats.

I would have finished it sooner but my waterclour painting lessons have taken up some time too. We've done a lot of trees, foliage and bark and some attempts at water. They look good from a distance!

The holiday is a bus tour so I shall take a couple of socks to finish to complete a couple of pairs as well as a sudoku book, a couple of paperbacks and a big map of the Highlands so that I can map-read all the way and keep a track of where we are going. I cannot travel without a map.

More news on my return.
Cheers Gillian

Monday, October 01, 2007

Moving Home

I am about to close down and pack up the computer and all its attachments. I go off line here at midnight and PIPEX have not promised me anything closer than 3-7 working days to re-connect at the new address. I have employed WATSON'S from Darlington. They come in big, dark, green lorries with two "blokes" to do the lifting and carrying at....50 pounds an hour. They start at 9am Tuesday. I shall be waiting for them.

I found some lovely bedroom furniture on the internet, through M&S and rang up first thing this morning to fix it.

IT WILL NOT BE DELIVERED UNTIL MID-DECEMBER !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I want it. I don't want other I have no alternative but to wait. I could go on a long holiday and leave all my clothes lying on the floor.

I have packed everything and now wait for the Lorry to come

I shall sleep until about 3:30 or 4:30 am and then get up and make a cup of green tea with lotus flower and citrus.

Then I shall bathe and dress and climb up the step-ladder to take down the curtain rods and all the trimmings.

Then I shall move flats
Cheers Gillian