Monday, 29 October 2012

A sunny stroll, leaves and ladybirds

Yesterday was an awful day compared to the sunshiny splendour of Saturday.  A real washout.  Stuck in all day pretty much. Today was much nicer, so after getting the shopping done and having lunch, we set off around the park and cemetery to check out the lovely colours.

Late afternoon sunshine
We headed off up the cobbled alley to check out the leaf fall.  I can't help wondering why there is blocked up window or small doorway. Whatever could it have been? Onwards we went, only pausing to have a word with Sallydog about her pulling on the lead a bit too much!
Er... It's MY lead and I will take control little missy
Round the corner to see a splendid golden view.  Lovely.  We all agreed that Autumn is the most spectacular season
Took a left at the end of the lane and headed down to the Cemetery.
The entrance to Padiham Cemetery
It's been rather neglected over the last 10 or 15 years which is a real shame.  However, just of late, there has been some work going on to tidy it up a bit.  It's been a community service scheme so there is quite an improvement.  It's still marvellously spooky though!
Sunshine streaming around the disused chapel
Much neater now some attention has been paid to the older parts
Through we trundled and into Memorial Park which is handily next door to admire yet more glorious displays of autumn splendour and had to have ANOTHER word with the Sallydog about her hogging the lead.
I already TOLD you... this is MY lead
Memorial Park looking rather splendid
Finally we spotted something a little out of season.  A ladybird.  Maybe the last one we'll see this year.  Who knows....

On the needles

Here's what's occurring on the needles at the moment;

Sweetheart Dress

Sweetheart Dress by Tora Froseth
It's a super cute little dress that is knitted from the top down in one piece.  I'm using a Bergere de France yarn called 'Caline' in the Charlotte colourway.  Loving the cute heart motif around the top.  I think I will try and incorporate the same motif on the bottom edge even though it isn't in the original pattern
Heart motif repeated around the yoke.
There are also a couple of ongoing blankets.  There's a crochet ripple (shown) and I really must get my act together and work a bit more on my sock yarn blankie.  It's been languishing "in progress" for many, many months now.  Naughty me!
Crochet ripple blanket


Ok so I live on street and there's no residents only parking or anything like that, but I am really cheesed off with the manky 05plate Ford that has been parked right in front of my house for the ENTIRE weekend.

I don't mind if I can't park in front now and again.  It's a public area, anyone may park.  It's just downright rude to abandon your car for THE ENTIRE WEEKEND.

Makes it difficult to haul your shopping in, attach bikes to and from the back of your car and is just really inconvenient.

I am so cross that I am up early this Monday morning even though it's the half term holidays, hoping to catch a glimpse of the owner of the crappy ford and give them a really hard stare!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Once in a Preston Guild

2012 has been a year jam packed with celebration.  The Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics and the creme de la creme, the Preston Guild!  I must admit that I did not go to any of the events but joined in belatedly today by cycling the wonderful Preston Guild Wheel.

Tree lined avenue taking you into Preston
21 miles around the outside of Preston doesn't sound all that appealing but it turned out to be a pleasant surprise.  The riding is easy with only a handful of hills as it is rather flat in that part of Lancashire.  The greenway is really well signposted so you don't really run the risk of getting lost and it introduces you to aspects of Preston that are lovely.

I apologise to those of you out there who have always loved and appreciated Preston,  but up until today I thought it was another sad relic of the 1960s overdevelopment that utterly destroyed the character of so many market towns.  I'd only really been into the centre for shopping and the odd music or theatre trip.  Skirting around the outside gives a whole different view of the place.
Preston Docklands - Looks as good as any city I've ever been to.  Who would have thought?
The surrounding countryside is beautiful and, as we had a gorgeous sunny day, was the very picture of glorious autumnal colour and splendour.  The route follows the River Ribble and that too is a much grander affair that it is around my part of Lancashire.  Avenham Park is simply lovely. The docklands area is fabulous and I have no idea why I have never got around to looking at it before.  I will go back again sometime.

We started and finished at Brockholes which is a recently created wetlands reserve right next to the M6 Motorway but at the same time feels a million miles away from anywhere.  I saw a black swan on the lake there.  There was also a food and craft fair going on so got some yummy plum jam while I was there.
Interesting sculpture en route
So the riding was easy, the views were stunning at times and I have come away with a whole new opinion of Preston.

Who knew? Preston is a city of character and charm!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Home Made Bling

At work it is widely known that I love my knitting and crochet so quite often people will bring in projects or other crafty bits to show me.  I am a willing and appreciative viewer of such items!  Well one of the ladies brought in some bracelets she had made at a class at a bead shop in Penwortham.  It is called Beads Forever.  They were really impressive, and, as quite a few of us were oohing and ahhing, she decided to show us how it was done.

They are sewn beaded bracelets using tiny seed beads, firepolished crystal beads and square Tila beads.  I did the pink one with my friend who kindly supplied all the beads and bits and bobs.  But I got the bug so went to the shop for more beads and made the blue one a couple of days later.

Both have been claimed by the girls of course but I will no doubt be making more.
Being me, I didn't stop there.  I decided to venture down the micro-macrame road also and have a go at a knotted bracelet.  They are quite trendy at the moment.  Here's my first attempt.  I think it's pretty good. Just need some glue so that I can trim the final knots without the whole thing unravelling!

Brass band?

Music is flourishing here in Padiham.  Big girl took up euphonium last year but switched to a baritone. This was a size matter since the euphonium was almost as big as she is!  Anyway, progress is being made and she is parping away happily.

Little girl wanted to learn piano and is progressing well with that but she still felt like she was missing out on the action so she too is heading off to music centre and is busy getting to grips with the trumpet.
Trumpet and Baritone

Could this be the start of our very own brass band?

Out and About

Despite all the doom and gloom and screaming headlines, there have been one or two glimpses of decent weather.  Sometimes you just have to choose to disbelieve the forecast and head out anyway.  Quite often this is a decent risk and the weather turns out to be ok, sometimes it doesn't but sometimes it is absolutely gorgeous.
Good weather - in Yorkshire - in 2012 - Honestly!
Makes you wonder why you bother looking at the forecasts at all really.
Swaledale Sheep in the Yorkshire Dales
Nipped over to the Yorkshire Dales a couple of weeks ago and it was simply glorious.  Beautiful blue skies and sunshine.  Absolutely lovely.  The only real downside is that the rain over the summer months has made the ground saturated and quite boggy underfoot at times.  Parked up at Austwick which is a beautiful and unspoiled Dales village and headed off, in the wrong direction.  After a bit of confusion and intense map reading we got our act together.

There are lots of horned sheep around which I think are Swaledale sheep.  They sort of look intently at you as you pass by and then suddenly give out a little shriek and run away.  It's really funny.  You don't expect sheep to do anything except make baa noises.

We headed out to look at the Norber Erratics.  These are boulders of rock that were moved by glaciers during the ice age and are a different kind of rock to the limestone that you usually see.  Geologically important and the best examples in the country I am told.  Also, great to clamber on!
Clambering on the erratics
Erratic bolder - conquered!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Like waiting for a bus

Typical, I don't post for months and then do two at the same time!

I have finished some things over the summer.

Firstly girl cardies.  Two of them in King Cole's Splash DK.  It's an acrylic but it was what they both wanted them doing in.  It wasn't too bad to work with really and the stripes came out ok as well.  Love self striping yarns!  Big girl only has one button but Little girl has 6 of them.  They came free with Mollie Makes magazine and are like little red roses.  Terribly girly but just what she likes!

Front View
Back View
On the whole, I am really pleased with how these cardies turned out.  I am not the world's best finisher and sewing has never been a strong point.  I have totally ruined garments with crappy sewing up in the past but thanks to the joys of youtube I have been able to watch and learn how to do it properly and the results speak for themselves.  Still don't like sewing up much though!

Oh and I finally managed to make a pair of socks from the toe up with a short row heel.  Yes, you heard me right A SHORT ROW HEEL.  I just could not get the hang of this at all and would end up with hole-ridden nightmare socks.  Again, did a bit of research, watched a few videos and bingo! It just sort of clicked and everything fell into place.  Just look at my lovely short row heel!

Look no holes!

It's been a long, long, long time.. really has.

No reason.  Just life going on and a dash of laziness I suppose.

I did get the Three Peaks walk done but not until September due to a weekend of almost biblical flooding in the East Lancs/West Yorkshire area.  Sadly didn't manage to complete all that quickly.  Took around 12 1/2 hours altogether.  Both little Sally dog and I hobbling the last 5 miles - in fact, Sally dog did not move for 24 hours after the walk - we thought we had broken her!  Super fit Nick says he want to go back and run it.... talk about making a girl feel inadequate! Mind you he is a MAMIL!
Dog and PadihamKnitter (in shadow) knackered at the top of Ingleborough.  Third and final peak both of us almost broken!
Spent a wonderful week in the Lakes in a gypsy caravan, childfree as they were sunning it in Majorca with the grandparents.
It was so lovely and cosy with a little wood burning stove.  Bit small so there was also a cool little yurt for cooking and dining.
We had the most fantastic weather.  Honestly!  In the wettest, gloomiest summer any of us can remember we had a week of sunshine and decent temperatures.  On one walk in Langdale it was so hot it almost felt like Death Valley!  We even had a few dips in Lake Windermere.  Lovely
Look! Fabulous weather in the Lake District! Really!
Again - astonishingly good weather in the Lake District on several consecutive days.  Unheard of!
We also did a bit of walking in the Yorkshire Dales with the girls which involved checking out caves, waterfalls and money trees.
Yorkshire Money Tree - you can't get a penny off it.  I know, I tried
Exploring Victoria Cave in Yorkshire
Enjoying a snack up on Attermire Scar near Settle, Yorkshire Dales
Thornton Force - very impressive - the water looks the colour tea or beer because of the peat 
There was also some treetop trekking
So there was rather a lot of outdoor activity in spite of some of the most wet and miserable weather I can remember in years!  There was also a great family get together when a cousin got married last month too.  Been a bit busy!