Monday, 2 December 2013

2013 What you missed

2013 in Pictures by Padiham_Knitter
2013 in Pictures, a photo by Padiham_Knitter on Flickr.
Let me see....

Lots of camping, walking, appreciating lovely flowers, water, hills, sunsets, running, muddy shoes, cycling, more camping, a massive plume of smoke when the recycling centre set on fire, kicking back with the family, failing to overcome my fear of cows, appreciating the view, being in the clouds, being in the water, being on the sand, spotting sunbeams on an otherwise dull day.

All that good stuff really.

It was fun :)

Padiham Knitter - ultrarunner!

I took up running and decided I needed a challenge. Not for me the humble 10k or even a marathon. Oh no... I am really going for it. The Lakeland 50!

50 miles through the Lake District from Dalemain House to Coniston.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Over hill and dale searching for spring

Not posted for a while...blush...must do better.

I have been out and about quite a bit recently. Up in the hills in search of a view and an escape from the indoors working day. Inclement weather didn't prevent a little jolly out to Pendle Hill. It was quite rainy and blustery so we decided to explore the area around and about and it was surprisingly pleasant.
Spooky woodland around Pendle
Interesting shelter... or is it a witch's hut?
You may notice how well wrapped up we all are. I had hat and gloves still on at this point. I was beginning to wonder if winter would ever really end. The prospect of snow was still around and it was pretty darn cold as well. All the usual spring indicators were proving a little elusive. Would it ever be spring? We were seriously beginning to wonder.

The May Day bank holiday arrived and a long weekend was in sight. We decided to redo the Yorkshire Three Peaks walk. The forecast wasn't too bad, the grandparents were happy to take the girls for the day, so we duly set off. Unfortunately, the weather forecast did not prepare us for the unrelenting rain and wind we endured. After completing Penyghent and 3 hours of non-stop rain we were a bit fed up. Had there been any indication of the severity of rain we would not have even set off, or if we had decided to give it a go we would have been in full waterproofs. Once my feet were wet that was it. End of challenge and we trudged back to Horton in Ribblesdale (along with quite a few other equally soggy and fed up hikers!)
Summit of Penyghent in the rain
Then a funny thing happened. Despite avidly searching for spring and finding no sign of it, I was out for a lunchtime stroll and I noticed that the blossom was finally out. On further inspection it became apparent that spring had finally sprung, although it was more like spring had been out on the razz far too late and had quietly snuck back in the wee small hours.  Less of a spring and more of a stealth!
Blossom - at last!
Flower beds blooming - finally!
On the day I took the above photos I was not wearing a coat! Honestly, it was warm enough to be coatless. On the strength of the evidence I had gathered during the week, we decided to visit Spring Wood and see if the bluebells had finally come.
A carpet of bluebells in Spring Wood
The bluebells were indeed out.  Mind you it had got a bit colder and we were still wrapped up somewhat.  Time also for the annual bench shot.

Annual Spring Wood bench photo - gosh the girls are much bigger
than the first time we took this shot!
The original bench shot

Sunday, 21 April 2013

What's on the needles?

Well I did take some knitting along with me on holiday, as you do, but not a massive amount of progress was made really. Too busy walking, biking and hanging out at the pub! I did manage to start a pair of socks for myself which I have now finished.
Justifiable reason for lack of holiday knitting!
Holiday socks - well kind of.
I did knit another pair for a friend's daughter but forgot to take pics.

Got a jumper for younger girl on the needles at the moment. I am actually using some stash up for it too which is a good thing. It's some pink, mottled effect aran that I have had for quite a while.  Just a little v-neck sweater but it should be handy for any cooler moments (or if we get any more snow)

Scottish Sunsets

Oh my, the sunsets were so amazing that I felt they deserved a post all to themselves so here you go...


Applecross Bay sunset
Sunset over the bay from the campsite
Sunset over Rasaay and Skye
Yet another magnificent sunset
Simply breathtaking.

Getting away from it all

Over the Easter holidays we headed north to get away from it all. 10 hours later we were on the Applecross peninsula in north west Scotland.  Remote, wild and very beautiful. Truly a world away.

We had blue skies and phenomenal views over to Skye and Rasaay. We had incredible sunsets. We had snow too. It was quite chilly at times but that didn't stop us getting out and about on foot or by bike. here's only really one road there, the famous Bealach Na Ba and is a spectacular and hair raising trip along hairpin bends through spectacular mountains.
The famous Bealach Na Ba pass
The famous Bealach Na Ba pass after overnight snow
Applecross Bay
We stayed at the Applecross Campsite in a wooden camping hut. The hut was great! It has a little heater, lights and a powerpoint which was fantastic. This meant is was lovely and toasty at night compared to a tent and we could use a kettle and toaster so super easy for snacks! I don't think it would have been too pleasant in a tent overnight - especially when it snowed.

There's not much in Applecross really. Luckily, there is a pub. The Applecross Inn is a pleasant and surprisingly bustling pub that does nice food. We were there every night. There is also the Walled Garden down the road that also does lovely food. Lots of seafood to be had including Squat Lobster which I had never heard of before. Delicious.

I fell in love with the highland cattle. They are absolutely gorgeous and the babies are unbelievably cute. Saw lots of deer as well but didn't manage to see any red squirrels or aquatic beasties while we were there.  After watching the pixar/disney film "Brave" by way of research, the girls took every available opportunity to hunt for will o' the wisps but sadly, not a one was to be found on this trip.
Highland cattle at home in the highlands - so cute
Deer checking us out in Applecross
Wonderful, mossy woods but no wisps to be found within

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Some Finished Objects

Stripey socks - in Shoppel Wolle for me! Modelled expertly don't you think! I love them.
My colourful, fraternal stripy socks
Then there was some finishing on a long overdue project.  An AK Traditions doll for little girl. This is actually the third one I have knitted for her. The first two ended up being given away as emergency birthday pressies for her friends so she has been reminding me for ages and ages to finish hers. I have finally finished her. I decided to do the hair a bit differently. It's more like the dolls in Babes in the Wool by Fiona McDonald and I'm quite pleased with it. She has button eyes now but didn't when we did the photoshoot!
I like the big, curly hairdo
Love the stripy stockings
And finally, there were some more socks for little old me. I need them too as all my existing ones are getting a little threadbare and tatty.  Here's a pair in Regia - Kaffe Fassett Mist Landscape colours.  Nice!
Excellently modelled again I thought!
I do like Regia sock yarn

Wild weather and wild walking

Well I don't know what is going on with the weather lately. Just when it was getting nice and I went out one lunchtime WITHOUT A COAT, everything gets turned on it's head and we are back in the throes of winter once more.

Monday started off gloriously sunny and I even had to close the blinds in my office because it was just too bright. Then suddenly the golden glow was gone and this was what I saw from my window.
Blizzard Conditions
A bit of a whiteout, with the snow driving almost sideways past the windows. All the cars were crawling along with headlights on. At lunchtime! Then ten minutes later back to glorious blue skies and sunshine. Another ten minutes went by and the blizzard returned. Most annoying. Stopped me heading out for a trundle as I wasn't suitably attired for the changeable conditions. Grr!

Mind you, I am beginning to get used to all these polar conditions. The girls were off to see Horrible Histories with the grandparents at the weekend so himself and I decided to head for the hills. Ingleborough this time. We are doing all three Yorkshire peaks again prior to having another go at all of them in one go. It looked a tad dull but we were not to be stopped. The weekend before we had had to cancel as the boiler conked out and we spend all day waiting for the boiler man to come (he didn't show until the day after in the end so we were stuck in for no purpose.... Grr again!).

We wrapped up and set off. Took lots of layers, poles and my fabulous and girly pink rucksack. It was cool but not too bad. Looked a bit snowy up top but nothing to worry about.
Heading towards a snowy Ingleborough
In fact, the cool conditions made the walking nice and firm as it was rather frosty. It looked a bit ominous ahead but we pressed on - we are intrepid!
Polar Conditions
As we got higher, it got colder and windier. It was quite tricky going. We almost gave up. You couldn't see much so we had no idea how near the top we were. But we pressed on anyhow and made it! In fact there were other people at the top too so they kindly took a photo for us.

Chilly summit of Ingleborough
Gosh it was cold up there. After a bit of confusion in finding the path back down, visibility was not great up there, we headed back down to Clapham. Even made it back down in time to have a bit of a browse in the lovely Beckside Yarns wool shop in the village.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Crochet Cushions

I bought a "Lucy" pack of Stylecraft DK a while back and was intending to make a ripple blanket with it. However, it just didn't progress much and has lingered forlornly in a basket for quite a long time so it was time to do something about it. I ripped it all back, cursing my weaving in.  Can anyone tell me why on earth weaving in will persist in poking out when you don't want it to but is almost impossible to unravel when you don't like the piece anymore. It is one of life's great mysteries isn't it.

Anyway, I wasn't feeling in a blanket mood so decided on cushions instead.  That way I can have it all. Granny squares, patchwork squares and ripples. In fact, anything I feel the urge to crochet.  So here you have the first two cushions. Fraternal rather than identical just as I like it!

Jolly cushons
Patchwork granny squares
Giant granny square

Half Term Happenings

Time really does fly when you are having a good time doesn't it.  I can't believe that the half term holiday is almost done. It only seems like 5 minutes since they broke up for the week. Back to school and work for us all tomorrow.

We have managed to pack quite a bit into the week and still have a good old rest as well.  We have been really lucky with the weather this week.  Although pretty cold at times, it has been really sunny as well, meaning lots of time outdoors.  The girls have been able to play outside properly this week which they love.  They have been in the woods at the back tidying up and organising stuff - also making lots of washing!

There was a very girly day with friends round for tea and a sleepover.  Another glorious day so we decided to head out and about and enjoy the day
Girls just having fun- three of them wearing headgear knitted by me!
Feeling pretty warm in the sunshine - coats were off!
Purple and yellow crocus - a promise of spring on the way?
There was also a trip to MOSI (the Museum Of Science & Industry) in Manchester which was brilliant. Lots of interesting stuff to see there about gas, electricity, sewers, engines, aeroplanes, steam trains and my favourite bit, textiles.  Really interesting and spread over several buildings on the site.  We dashed around like mad things because the girls were on a promise of lunch at Cafe Rouge which they were looking forward to slightly more than the prospect of a look around the museum! It's well worth a visit.
The girls on the steam powered carousel at MOSI
After lunch there was shopping where I got a DRESS! Oh yes, I kid you not, an actual dress. You know, like ladies wear.  I am never out of trousers usually but this dress just called to me and now it's in my wardrobe awaiting some slightly warmer weather to be shown off.  Just need some girly sandals to go with it. I hope the world is ready for this!
New Dress
It's from Fat Face and looks like a 1940s tea dress. Love it's vintage looks.  Just need a floppy hat, a lacy pinny and a cake stand filled with Victoria Sponge to go with it!
Is this what wearing a dress could do for me?

Back in the hills

At the beginning of the week we got out for our first "proper" walk of the year.  Back to the windswept hill of Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales.  We packed a picnic and a couple of flasks (coffee for the grown ups and hot choc for the girlies), wrapped up and headed over the border.  It was glorious.  Really beautiful and sunny with blue skies but cold and crisp.  There was still quite a lot of snow on the hill tops and it felt almost like a winter expedition tramping over the still quite deep snow on the top.
Snowy Whernside in view
The really good thing about the recent cold weather is that it has hardened up all of the mud.  It's pretty boggy around this part of the Yorkshire Dales so a cold and crisp day was just the ticket for easy walking. That said, for the most part, the Whernside route is pretty good most of the way around.  There's just one part that is boggy and it was still quite snowy so good fun to cross on the way up.

The final haul up to the top is north-facing and there was lots of snow there.  We all felt quite intrepid trekking up through it all.  It was quite exciting.
Trekking up through the snow
Amazing views of snow and sunshine
We got to the top and stopped for our butties and very welcome hot drinks all huddled together like a family of penguins!  On the way back down we hit the more southerly flank of Whernside and the snow was much less here.
Heading back down the less snowy flank
And finally crossed the fields in the valley to reach the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct and the end of our walk.
Ribblehead Viaduct
The girls want to come again.  So do we. While it's not as visible as its neighbours (Ingleborough and Penyghent), windswept Whernside is always a pleasure to visit.

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Normality and vertigo

Sigh... I had a lovely week off so it's been a bit of a downer going back to work and normality.  I was quite happy walking, knitting and pottering about thank you very much.  It's a pity I can't find some generous benefactor to pay me for doing just that. Sadly, I have a yarn habit to feed (and bills and stuff) and so must go to work.

The snow disappeared pretty quickly and only a few little spots remain high up on the hills.  I carried on walking and the final stats were as follows

Miles: 121.6
Time:  44 hours 29 minutes 30 seconds
Kcal:  12454

Challenge for February is to follow a couch to 5K running program.  First session tomorrow morning.

Knitting wise, it's been a quieter week because I went back to work and time is short.  Managed to finish off a pair of socks and almost finish a second pair.  The first were some socks in a 6ply by Rico for a family member (very, very late Christmas pressie). Gosh they were a bit of a chore.  Just did not enjoy knitting them for some reason.

Socks of tedium!
The second were a pair that were intended as a gift for someone else but I just loved the jolly colours so much that I decided to keep them just for me!
Colour burst socks for me!
Got a cold coming on.  Very snotty today and lots of sneezing going on.  This is affecting my ears I think because yesterday I woke up with dizziness and felt like the room was spinning.  It was most peculiar but intermittent and I seemed to spend the day lurching around every time I bent over or moved too quickly.  Thankfully, it's not too bad today so I reckon it's tied in with the cold I seem to be getting.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Walking, snow fun and some new headgear

Well the snow stuck around tenaciously all week.  It was getting quite thin on the ground but deadly icy in some spots. I spent most of the week in my trusty walking boots.  Carless, as I think I mentioned last time, I have walked everywhere and it's been great.  I walked 38.40 miles in 5 days.  That's an average of almost 8 miles per day.  Really pleased with it.  I have met my 100 miles target and gone past it to 105.26 miles with a few days to go until the end of the month.

It's Saturday today and it's my hanging around waiting for girls to do stuff and big shop day.  It also snowed again last night.  While there is lots and lots of snow it's all a bit sludgy and thawing quickly so horrid to walk on.  Decided to buy a sledge and head off with the girls to the park instead.
Girls trying out the new sledge in the park
It was a glorious sunny afternoon and much too good an opportunity to waste indoors.  We wrapped up and had a ball in the snow.
Getting a push off
There was much shrieking and screaming but all in the best possible way of course.
The girls took turns then soon realised more sledging was to be had if they rode together
Not quite deep enough for a snow angel but enough to attempt it anyway!
As it has been so cold I decided some new headgear was needed.  After a bit of head observing while out and about it seemed that headbands/ear warmers are all the rage so that's what I decided to have a go at.  Used the quick and easy pattern from Village Stitches called the Groovy Girlfriend Earwarmer and ended up making 3 of them.  One each for the girls and one for Littlest Girl's best friend (it's her birthday this week)

Gift version with crochet flower
 I used a James C Brett Chunky yarn and had enough for two headbands.  I didn't want them to be exactly the same so I was really pleased when I went to Stitch and Bitch and came across some huge flower buttons. Just right!  Also got some King Cole Comfort Chunky in a turquoise colour to make a third headband for biggest girl.

Girls in their groovy earwarmers.  Just love the big buttons.
My week off is over and it's back to work and normality on Monday.