i knit because i can ...

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

'Pottering' in the Lake District ...

here at last, pictures of our wonderful break last week in the Lake district. the beautyof these scenes speaks for itself. the lakes themselves are so varied. Ullswater, where we were staying, is quite stark and strong, whereas Windermere is much softer and more cultivated. this picture shows the view of Ullswater from our hotel room. to wake up to such beauty in the morning puts peace in the soul and eases one gently into the day.
another view of Ullswater from a different vantage point. a walk round the lake yields equally beautiful sights and the mood changes with the weather, and the surface of the water as it reflects the sky and the mountains.

although my hip still doesn't allow of too much yomping, we did make some way up Helvellyn, one of the highest mountains. we also walked to the magnificent waterfall, Aira Force, a round trip of about a mile and a half, up hill and down dale, so to speak, so i was rather proud that i managed it. moreover, today my physio said she could tell i had done some serious walking, and it had done me a lot of good! :)

we paid homage to Wordsworth, visiting Dove Cottage, by Grasmere. sadly, since he lived there with his sister Dorothy, the view from the cottage to the lake has been filled in by other houses. nonetheless, the cottage was fascinating, showing how people lived in that area at that time. it took little imagination to think of them living with Wordsworth's family, him writing poetry, Dorothy her diary, walking in that wonderful scenery. of course, it was the wrong time of year for daffodils. can't have everything, i guess.

then we went round Windermere, to Near Sawrey, to visit Peter Rabbit's house, and here it is. for those not in the know, it is actually Hill Top, the first property bought by Beatrix Potter. she left it to the National Trust and it is maintained as she left it. all round the house are things which feature in the illustration for her children's books. another house full of atmosphere and redolent of its period. the little garden looks just like Mr Mcgregor's. at every moment it seems he or one of the rabbits might appear.

few people seem to realise that, wonderful though the books are, they are the least of Beatrix Potter's achievements. although she was born in London, she eventually settled here, and became involved in ensuring that the local breed of sheep, the Herdwick, thrived, and indeed survived, as well as helping in the early development of the National Trust. a wonderful woman indeed.

btw: did manage to get quite a bit more sampler border done! pix to follow soon ;)

Saturday, 18 August 2007

it's good to be home ...

got back yesterday, after struggling through mammoth traffic jam on M6 - apparently due to a festival - hmm. luckily for me, Peter was driving at that point, as my left (ie, clutch) leg still doesn't like stop-start driving. unlucky for him though, he was shattered, so i drove to London after the congestion had eased. did manage to get 3 parts round the edge of my sampler shawl though, so not all bad!

Lake District and hotel perfick!! will post some pix tomorrow. right now just too tired after spending all day catching up on phd. still, did get to see round Hill Top Farm, home of Beatrix Potter, and buy some (more!) books, including a lovely one of her illustrations. she really was the most remarkable woman, far beyond her children's books, however wonderful.

anyone who wants more info should look here and here and here. (and please don't mention Renee Zellweger in my hearing!)

oh, and we also went to Dove Cottage to pay homage to Wordsworth, see here. can't manage a picture tonight, but here's Benjamin Bunny, to keep you going ;)

Monday, 13 August 2007

as i haven't any new pix, here is ...

the Tardis, seen
in Sheffield, where I grew up
and where my mother and sister still live

i'll bring back some nice pictures of the Lake District, maybe even some rabbits, since we're going to Beatrix Potter country. Peter Rabbit here we come, yippee ;))))

Moth - or as Inspecteur Clouseau would say: meurth ...

this summer in England has, apparently, been very good - or very bad, if you are a lace knitter - for meurth. :( seemingly the warmer weather, and especially the lack of cold winters to kill off the little blighters, has led to them breeding in ever greater numbers, needing ever more supplies of food - and guess where they find it? :/ this has reached such a pitch that even no less hallowed a source than The Times featured the problem this week. i actually already knew about this, because my youngest daughter (mother of ellie, and knitted textiles BA student at Central St Martin's) had a mega-infestation in her (also mega-, but she's got a better excuse that me ;) ) stash earlier this year. she spent a long time picking out the good stuff from the bad and deep-freezing it, whilst cleaning out all the horrible little blighters and their leavings. - heartbreaking ;(

anyway, as i have caught two of the wretched little things in the past two days, this has led to me waging a great campaign to have all our sweaters, suits, jackets, etc, and especially my precious stash, out to check, clean and put back (at great expense, according to Peter, as we had to buy cedar thingies, until i pointed out the comparative cost of replacing even one of his lovely handmade suits!). we are using lavender, cedar balls and hanging cedar blocks. anybody else out there had this problem and/or got a patent remedy? all the dreadful chemicals that were so effective have now seemingly been banned. and a good thing too, i dare say. in any case they were a) smelly, and b) dangerous.

my second daughter once (aged 5), annoyed because all the attention was being centred on my newish boyfriend's 21st birthday, went upstairs, found a mothball (not easy, because i had hidden them really well, i thought), and ate it. she came downstairs spitting wildly because it tasted awful. nonetheless, we felt it prudent to take her to the hospital, where she was fed ipecacuhana and kept in overnight, resulting in our spending the rest of the birthday in casualty - result (for her!) but not for us, because the gourmet dinner i had planned in celebration was ruined - not the wine, though. so we drowned our sorrow! ;)

on a happier note, my Sarah Don, The Art of Shetland Lace turned up today. i am saving it to read on the very long car journey to Ullswater tomorrow. we are off for a few days R&R. i must say, i am seriously impressed with Lacis, from whom i ordered it only last week, result - for me! ;)

Sunday, 12 August 2007

sundays closed ... (said with a strong French accent)

Probably not many people will get the reference, but there used to be a comedian in France who was pretty rude about the UK, (just the one? you ask ;) ) and one of his 'insults' was the fact that everything, incl the pubs, was closed on sunday, the implication being that this was a benighted land, with little to commend it. i suppose that in today's London , with its constant claim to be a 24/7, vibrant city, you might be tempted to think that all that had changed. well, not really. for ordinary people life on Sunday can still seem
pretty slow. which is just a long way round of saying that although of late work on the phd has been progressing, and i have had a bit of a social life lately, life is pretty slow today, sunday. so by way of entertainment, i offer a couple of pictures of my husband, Peter - 'i don't do babies', caught in positions which bely his words! ;)

i have also added a list of my projects and projected projects, after the reading of which i thought i maybe ought to and lie down for a spell, it seemed so ambitious. having said which, other people's lists seem much much longer, so i guess i'm still an amateur! ;)

Saturday, 11 August 2007

susanna lewis - knitting lace

somewhere on someone's blog - but i can't remember where and who, due to being either pre-occupied with work, or suffering a senior moment, depending on how charitable is your point of view ;) - i read an appeal to write to the brooklyn museum to ask them to reprint the above book. so being a good girl i did as i was told, and wrote. well, to my surprise and delight, i got a very pleasant reply indicating that this was under serious consideration - thought you might like to know that, folks.

other than that, nothing to report except a) sampler still coming on, going round edges now; b) received Victorian Lace from the Attic and the new Rowan book; and c) flat to the boards with phd work. trying to get it finished before we have a short break in the Lake District starting Tuesday. Phew.

No new pix either, due to pressure of work (see above),so here is one of a grandchild :)

It's Ellie with her Nunky Jos, my No. 1 son, and I call it

Beach Bums!

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

close-ups of sampler

i have posted some close-ups of the sampler patterns for anyone who would like to put names to them. they can be seen here. the patterns and names are taken from Heirloom Knitting, starting at the beg of ch. 3, patterns. i think it will be interesting to see how these compare with the blocked version later.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

it's already tuesday, and i'm still running behind ...

spent a lovely long w/e with Peter's daughter and her lovely child, altho i suspect latter at 14 would object to being so called. they have a house in deepest countryside near Hereford, with chickens and ducks. the sun shone, the birds sang, and i did little but eat (incl new laid eggs!), drink and knit. we went to a car boot sale, which was a new thing for me. i could not but marvel at the things that were produced, purchased, and then resold in this strange world of ours. did pick up a lovely cakestand for a mere £2, then some of our favourite soap for only £1. people have been known to pick up real stunners and make 000s of pounds, but my impression was that most sellers are much savvier than that now.

since then, many plans for knitting. my sampler is now at the point of doing edgings. i am working my way through the patterns in Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting, to get a better feel for how lace knitting/knitted lace really works. i desperately want to become more original in my work, much as i love knitting other people's beautiful designs, and working samplers seems to be the way to go. it is good to knit simply to see what happens, rather than with the pressure of producing an acceptable finished garment, altho that is good too. but this way i feel i can just knit freely, and watch how things turn out. the idea is that eventually i shall bring this experience to bear on my own designs, watch this space.
in the meantime i have put up pictures of the sampler in progress. i feel it looks a bit scruffy, but then even the wedding ring shawl looked like an old dishrag until i washed and blocked it. tomorrow i shall try to put some pictures of the detail up on Flickr, for anyone who might find that interesting. ttfn ;)

Monday, 6 August 2007

my lifepath number is ...

Your Life Path Number is 7
Your purpose in life is to find truth and meaning

You are very spiritual, and you are interested in the mysteries of life.
You are quite analytical and a great thinker. You have many theories and insights.
A life of solitude is perfect for you. You need time to think and do things your way.

In love, you are quite charming. You attract many with your confidence and wit.

While you enjoy being alone, sometimes you take it to an extreme.
You can become too isolated, shutting out loved ones and friends.
Express yourself a little bit more, and you'll be surprised where it takes you!
just messing about looking at other blogs, when i came across this lifepath number thing and thought i'd have a go just for laughs (see above). now i don't believe in any of that stuff, still, mine is uncannily close to the bone - creepy or what!!! ;) perhaps you'd like to try yours?! here's the link if so: lifepath

Thursday, 2 August 2007

climbing slowly - but surely ...

here is Luke trying to escape his grandmama's clutches

well, the work is beginning to roll again, thank goodness. mind you the knitting's suffering, but you can't have everything, can you? did manage to wind a ball of the lacis shetland lace pashmina, ready for something else - but not sure what. well, plenty to be going on with, anyway.

in the meantime, here's a pic of darling Ellie looking very moody this w/e:

she'd just ended her nap, but was still a bit dopey.
shan't get any work done this w/e, as visiting Peter's daughter in Hereford for 3 days. still am taking a book for my research, and some - guess what - lace knitting. well, it's a long car journey both ways, and as i still can't drive (broke my hip joint on the last day of February, and am not out of the woods yet) something must be done to fill the hours.
incidentally, i saw a link to a website for a lace knitting museum, and am having to ration myself, it's just too gorgeous, and time-consuming!! ;) i've added the link right.