Monday, 30 April 2012

Garden, Cake & Cuppa

The blessed weather has been so different from yesterday.  I'm not complaining.  It got so hot after lunch that I took Mary-Jane indoors.  When we first went out, she had a coat, t shirt, tights and vest.  When we went in she had just her vest and skirt on!  As well as her hat, of course.  As soon as we got out side, she headed straight for the veg patch and started playing with the soil, helping Daddy dig.  I am so excited about planting seeds and potatoes with her. 
I think this is a beautiful image

The love of my life being watched over by the love of my life

This afternoon, Mary-Jane and I went to a MS Fundraising Cake and Cuppa at Gosforth Church Room - the same place she goes to Playgroup (although she hasn't been for a bit).  We were first there.  It got very busy.  We sat at a table that was for children.  Plates of home made biscuits were on the table along with icing pens and jelly tots to decorate the biccies with.  After the second biscuit, Mary-Jane got the idea, and wanted all hers decorating.  She even tried decorating them herself, but I had left the lid on the pen.  I must try doing biscuit decorating with her at home.  I have a gorgeous chocolate cupcake topped with chocolate ganache.

She was very shy at first, becoming more confident after 10 minutes or so, she did want to be within her arms length of me though.  She behaved very well.  She sat in the chair at the table for around 40 minutes before starting to become fidgety.  The room was very noisy with people's chatter.  I was so very proud of her.  She did feel relaxed enough to do some of her animal noises - cow, sheep, lion, owl and cat to the lady that I was sat with - who was very impressed!

I have been successful in my hunt for some yarn for her Rainbow TSJ.  I had another search on t'internet this morning and found the best price by far was from The Wool Sak.  Prior, the best price I had found was £1.49 per ball, plus p&p.  The Wool Sak was £1.19 and free p&p. The p&p is going up from today, as the postal costs have gone up by stupid amounts.  The only draw back was that you had to order ten balls.  Easily done.  I'm looking forward to the parcel arriving and actually seeing the colours and hoping that most of then go together so I can do the Rainbow TSJ.  And there will be enough for a few more garments for her too.  I shall certainly remember where to go to get this yarn from again.  It may be 'cheap and nasty' acrylic, but it is the most ideal thing for Mary-Jane at the moment, and the colour range isn't too bad at all. 

HK is planing to go fishing tomorrow.  I have MJ to myself.  I might continue with The Viking Trail.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Quiet And Steady

There has been high winds this afternoon and into early evening and lots of rain.  Not overly lots, from what I could see, but enough.  I think other parts of the country have had it worse than us. I haven't seen the news though.  We've naturally spent the say indoors, in our room.  I escaped to make a stilton and mushroom quiche and do the washing - all four loads washed, dried and folded.  I was going to make a banana and ginger parkin, but the bananas were over ripe and I needed three large ones and only had two small ones.  That idea got kicked into touch.  Plus I couldn't be diddled to go out and get some more.  I'll do it another time soon.

I'm getting on swimmingly with my ASJ.  I am getting louder and louder thoughts to do a multicoloured stripey TSJ for Mary-Jane.  I have even picked out colours.  My fingers were twitching terribly whilst hovering over the 'buy' button.  I didn't give in though.

I've been trawling some of my recipe books for ideas with the Viennese finger/whirls.  Some say to add vanilla extract or cornflour.  There is one recipe that adds cocoa powder to half the mix, then both mixes are spooned into the icing bag, one mix to each side, so it pipes out in stripes, like toothepaste.  I'd like to try it.  I've tried this method once before with different coloured icing and it didn't really work very well.

All in all, today has been quiet and steady

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Watching Daddy And Learning To Garden

We have had sunshine today, with a cool breeze - I had to put my two hour beanie hat on.  When the breeze subsided, it was quite warm.  The neighbours were out pottering around the garden in short sleeves.  I had my hat, cardi and fleece on, zipped up to the top.  Even HK had a long sleeved t shirt on.  We spent most of the day out there.  HK continued to dig the veg patch.  He is not far off complete.  Now we can think about what we want to grow and what seeds we have already.  I find this part quite exciting - deciding what to plant, then going out every day and looking for green shoots.  I love looking for the potato shoots and counting them each day.

Mary-Jane thought it would be a good idea to copy Daddy and play with the soil.  She was given a fork that belonged to her great, great Grandad Jackson.  I could almost feel a gathering of Jackson sprirts watching her as she played and learnt.

You can see where she has been forking over the soil.

She was even helping Daddy put weeds and pebbles in the bucket

All this fresh air and work makes for an appetite!  Fish fingers and potatoes al fresco was the order of the day - and with a clean plate to finish

I had some washing on the line.  MJ thought the basket would make a good boat.  She was at great pains to climb into it, and didn't want any help doing so.  This was actually the Moses Basket that she slept in when she was a tiny baby.

Some bits are so difficult to reach when you are only 20 months, that you have to stretch and stretch and lift your feet off the ground

Reviewing a job well done, watching Daddy.  She was absolutely filthy when she came in for her tea.  Not to mention shattered.  It was a case of Bath No2 of the day before tea.  She thoroughly enjoyed herself, and so did we.

Adult Surprise Jacket

I have started an Elizabeth Zimmerman Adult Surprise Jacket for myself.  I've wanted to do one of these for a quite a few years.  I am using Robin DK, which is an acrylic yarn.  I've got four shades of purple, as you can see.
I'm working the sixth ridge here.  This was last night.  I'm on the tenth now.  The more I do the more I like it.  I've got a good feeling about this.

I thought today about doing a multi coloured stripey one for Mary-Jane with similar colours as her chicken cardi.  I shall think on it and see what colours I can get my hands on next time I'm in Whitehaven.  I can see it in my minds eye.  There will be plenty of yarn left to do at least two tops or card's for her, if I do go ahead with this.

For my ASJ, I cast on 405 stitches.  Already the rows don't seem too long.  It is a pattern that I like alot.  I have made Mary-Jane about four of these jackets.

Friday, 27 April 2012

Veg Patch Underway

I am looking forward when I can start a blog post along the lines of 'I had a really lazy day today'.  It will come, I'm sure!  Mary-Jane and I did the weekly shop this morning.  I got back, made Mary-Jane's lunch and put the shopping away whilst HK took her in the garden.  Shortly after her finishing her lunch, we went back into Whitehaven for a blow out with Granma and Grandad.  HK had continued to be busy in the garden.  He had dug over half the veg patch and put our table and chairs out.  It was delightful, in a warm sort of way, to see them.  It does hurt to remember all the times we sat at the table at the old house.  I try my best not to remember, it is still like an open wound.  Even so, I relaxed a little, whilst we were sat there, having a cuppa and I was sharing my sandwich with Mary-Jane.  It seems quite sheltered here, compared with on the yard by the back door.  Hopefully it won't be long before I can take my knitting outside........

As soon as Mary-Jane saw the chairs, she was asking 'chair up please'.  The newly dug veg patch is just to the left.

The dogs had been playing and barking, getting MJ's attention whilst she was eating her biccies
I like this picture as Mary-Jane is holding on to HK's finger and he is looking down at her.

The slide still holds excitement for her.   She is wearing a poncho that I made for her quite a while ago now.

Evening has been relaxing.  I have not heard a peek from MJ.  I have watched three hours of TV (Game of Thrones, Alcatraz and Fringe).  I have been cracking on with my ASJ.  It needs the right level of concentration I can muster at the moment.  I have now done seven and a half ridges.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

A Brief One Before Bed

The market was a little slow this morning.  I came back with a dozen scones, but I did take down five more than last week.  I did try a couple this evening.  I think they could do with slightly more moisture, not much though, just to make them a bit lighter.  I might get them right soon!  I was talking to a couple who were on holiday.  They have been coming to Whitehaven each year for forty years.  They are from Newcastle Under Lyme, so it was good to have a chat with them.  Newcastle Under Lyme is about ten miles, give or take from Stafford.

I have been to a WI talk tonight.  It was by Gilly Fraser, who used to work for Border TV.  She talked on The Clydesdale Migration of 2006.  12 clydesdales were walked from the Isle of Skye to South Cumbria, a journey of 450 miles, to go to their new home.  An amazing story and well delivered.  The photos were really good and captured 'the moment'.

Prize Bingo is cancelled for tomorrow, I'm glad in a way as I'm getting pooped.  Just the usual weekly shop.  And eating lots of scones.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Baking Wednesday

Another day of not quite frantic baking and preparing for Market is now nearly over.  I have also been out tonight - but more of that perhaps tomorrow.  I have made 15 scones  each of cheese, fruit and wholemeal fruit, 12 mince pies and some Viennese Fingers.

 I say 'some' Viennese Fingers.  I was having problems.  First of all I thought the nozzle I was using was too small, so I swapped piping bag.  That was a mistake.  The second bag was more suitable to icing than a thicker biscuit mix.  So I tried to put every thing back in the first bag.  Of course I lost a fair bit mixture, so I made another batch up.  I didn't use a nozzle and made the stripes with a fork.  These turned out better than what I thought they would.  When cooled, I melted some chocolate - far too much actually.  I then dipped both ends of each in the choccy and left them on the wire rack to cool and set, as per instructions.  When I came to move the fingers off the rack, that is when disaster struck.  The chocolate had set the fingers to the rack.  Didn't see that one coming did you?!  I didn't particularly.  The fingers are quite fragile, so out of 36 I ended up with only 6 in one piece.  Bugger.  They do taste very nice though, nice and buttery, as they should!
 I have been told a way around this, by using greaseproof paper or the inner bag on a box of cereal.  A knife can also be gently used to pry them off as well.  I shall try this.

Here are most of my scones.  They look yellowy on top as I brushed them with beaten egg before baking.

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Luneray's Scones

I made Luneray's Scones today.  After some translation of weights, I was off and away.  The recipe is basically the same as the one I use.  I wasn't sure if I had to leave the scones in a round, then cut them and keep them in wedges.  And I wasn't sure how much I had to flatten them.  Please Advise!

After they came out of the oven, they looked to me like my scones, just not rolled out and cut witha  cutter.  They were slightly more crumblier, which made me wonder if I should've made them thinner?  As for the taste test - scrummy yummy!  HK and I had one each, Dad had one and Mary-Jane and I shared one.  We had them warm with butter.

These are two trusty sets of measures I use when following an American recipe.  I inherited their use from the kitchen here - they were here before me!  Auntie AnnInAmerica bought them over, I believe.  On the right are a set of cups, the left are teaspoon measurements.  Oddly enough, there is a half a table spoon and a whole tablespoon, but no desert spoon.

I have been wanting to try out the Rhubarb Quick Bread today as well.  HK said that I would be doing enough baking tomorrow, which I couldn't really argue with.  I did take a peek at the rhubarb in the garden.  There is more than enough ready to pull and bake with.

I have been getting on with knitting this evening.  I have been doing the SJ (Surprise Jacket).  I have got further than where I was when I frogged it, bonus.  The four shades of purple are looking well together, although I haven't quite got as far as a colour repeat - not far off!  I'm still having a really good vibe about this project.  I've not had such a good vibe for quite a while!

Monday Musings will resume next Monday.

Crochet - Thereby Hangs The Difference!

Crochet, something I only delve into now and then.  It is something I would like to master.  I know I will one day.  I know I have a mental block about it, I am slowly challenging it.  At the moment I do not have the hours in the day (or evening, my me time, it would mean that I would have to put my knitting down and I really don't want to at the moment).  I know the mental block will be lifted at the right time.  I had a mental block about sock making for quite a few years, then the epiphany.  Now I knit socks.  I had a mental block about driving around Birmingham, especially The Tunnels.  I can now do this with the greatest of ease and Central Birmingham, the city itself and The Tunnels hold no fear for me.  When I worked in Brum, I used Spaghetti junction twice a day.  It not longer phases me.

Back to Crochet.  Between the UK and US there is no difference is terminology.  The same words are used.  But, and yes it is a big But, the words mean different things.  Bit of a Bugger really!  Something you would really have to watch when using crochet patterns from 'the other country'.

One of my biggest drawbacks with Crochet was my tension.  It was always loose, particularly when the yarn had to be wrapped around the hook before it went through the hole (I hope that makes sense).  That is why I always stuck to Granny Squares made up of double trebles (UK).  At least that is what I think they are called.  After a while, tension didn't seem to matter overly much and if I used a thickish yarn, it kind of forgave my loose stitches.

I put this dilemma to LA at the back end of last year (or some months ago anyhow).  My problem we very soon rectified, with an explanation of how tension is created when the yarn is held in certain ways.  I needed to hold my yarn differently.  It was as simple as that.  If I don't concentrate too much, I soon revert back to my old way of yarn holding.  But on the back of this new learning revelation, I crocheted a beanie hat, making up a simple pattern and started making another.

Apparantly another difficulty a knitter has when they learn to crochet is the way the stitches are formed and the fabric that is created, this is quite different.  Crochet has to be seen as crochet and knitting has to be seen as knitting.  I guess you may only understand that if you go from knitting to crochet - or even vice versa!

Monday, 23 April 2012

Swings and Slides

Owing to Mary-Jane's recent trips to play parks and thoroughly enjoying them, HK and I have been having serious thoughts about getting Mary-Jane a swing and a slide as an early birthday present.  We have squirreling funds for birthdays and christmas.  We thought it was better to get her such outdoor toys/play equipment at the start of the spring rather than at the end of August when her birthday is, so she can get more use from them.  Not that she particularly understands birthdays and presents, she does understand fun, slides and swings.  We went to Argos in Whitehaven this morning after breakfast, and got her a slide and a swing.

HK had the slide assembled just after dinner.  Mary-Jane was thrilled to bits.  She even knew it was a slide when it was upside down.  In a short space of time, she began to learn how to climb up the steps, indeed she can now get to the second step by herself.  Not that I would allow her to climb any further unaided.

Here is the happy girl, with Granma, atop of the slide

Having lots of fun, giggling all the way

Running round to have another go, looked on by HK and Grandad

Mid slide

Aloft the slide, this time with Momma, with our neighbour watching the fun!

The swing is lots and lots of fun as well

It's that much fun, that Mary-Jane had to share with Mr Snuggles, he had a go on the swing and several goes on the slide by himself, much to Mary-Jane's delight!

When it was tea time, and time to go in, there was minimal protest from MJ.  I put her on the sofa to take her coat off, once this was off, she didn't budge for a good ten minutes.  She was one tired out little girl.  She had slept well the night before and fingers crosee, has slept well so far this evening.  All we can think of for reason for her very late night, was that she may have had belly ache, she has been a pooping machine since, going twice a day instead of once, but hey, you and her won't thank me for broadcasting her pooping habits to the world!

Her talking is coming on in leaps and bounds, she can string small sentences together - Mary-Jane have a nap, is a new one.  She can't quite say her name properly yet.  She likes to say 'night night everyone' and 'na night everybody' when she goes up to bed.

I ahve made the banana and fudge cake - have I already told you?  I will give you the recipe tomorrow.  It's tasty.

Knitting - I was going with the Crescent shawl.  I have started the lace section.  I have also realised that I am a bit too tired the last few evenings to concentrate properly on lace work, so I have put it down till I have a bit more about me.  I wanted some simple TV Knitting to do.  The mood came upon me a few days ago, to do the calculations for an Elizabeth Zimmerman Adult Surprise Jacket.  I cast on last night.  Tonight I undid it all and cast on again.  The stripes weren't quite in the right place and I misplaced the deacreases.  So after seven rows, I frogged it and started again.  I have done one row, but the decreases are in the right place and the stripes should work better.  I am using four different shades of purple, doing a ridge of each colour.  I have a good feeling about this project.  It doesn't seem as daunting as I originally thought.  The cast on count is 405 stitches.  It's not a Stash Buster Project.  I bought the yarn specifically to do this project a few months ago.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Scones For Luneray

Luneray is a friend of mine who lives in America.  We have been pen-pals and friends for a few years now.  Following talk of scones a couple of posts ago, I decided to dedicate a post to scones, as I know them.  Scones here are generally savoury, but they can be sweet.  They can be different flavours - plain, sweet, fruit, cherry, cheese, herb, bacon and onion, wholemeal etc.  The plain and fruity ones can be had with jam and cream.  The more savoury ones are nice with soup or stew - this is quite a local thing, more northern than southern, as far as I know.

These two beauties are wholemeal scones.  I think there are some particular standards as to how high and wide proper scones should be.  And whether they should be cut with a plain or fluted cutter.
A scone mixture can be used as a cobbler topping, a fruit or savoury/meaty cobbler.

They taste good, but I don't think they are Show Winning Scones!

The basic recipe for scones is 8oz self raising flour, a pinch of salt, 2oz butter, 1oz caster sugar (optional), 5 fl oz milk and 1 egg, beaten.  I tend to use buttermilk instead of milk.  Some recipes call for just 6oz flour.  I use either plain or self raising flour.  I do add extra raising agent - cream of tartar -  even when using sr flour.  For cheese scones I add 4 oz cheese, 1/4 tsp dry mustard and a pinch of cayenne pepper.

If I double these quantities I can get 15 decent sized scones.  I don't think I could mistake this type of scone for a muffin.  Saying that though, I do have recipes (which I'm not going to dig out at the moment, it's too close to my bed time to go rummaging) that are savoury muffins which bear some resemblance to scones. 

I won't even go into the debate of what your put on your cream scones first - the jam or the cream.  I'm definitely a jam first gal.  But then again I like the scone to be buttered first!

Scone - is it said 'scon' or 'sc-own'.  I'm with the former.  Scones can generate a lot of debate and strongly held beliefs!

Operation Tire Mary-Jane

Mary-Jane awoke around half eight.  This gave me chance to have a much needed sleep and a quick cuppa before she got up.  By quarter to ten, we were on the way to the Co-op to get HK some tobacco.  He ran out yesterday afternoon, so you can imagine how he was like, not having any baccy and the horrendous night we had.  HK carried her across the car park and she walked around the shop.  When we got back, HK went into the garden to mow some of the grass and the orchard.  Whilst I was making Mary-Jane her lunch, she had a walk in the garden with Granma.  They went to see the cows across the road and at the field at the back, but both lots were over the far ends of the field so MJ couldn't get close to them.

After lunch, I wanted to get out.  I did think of taking Mary-Jane somewhere in the car, then going for a walk or finding somewhere where she could have a run around.  As the clouds were starting to come in a bit, HK suggested that we stay in the garden, so if it rains suddenly, then we can go straight in.  A good idea.  Use what we have got under our noses.  The garden is big.  So we sat out and let Mary-Jane have a run around and burn her energy off.

We went to Gosforth Stores around three-ish to get sweetie supplies.  I have been enjoying hard boiled sweets in the evenings lately.  I haven't had any for a couple of nights, so a short trip out to get some was a nice suggestion.  Plus Gosforth Stores have loose sweets in jars behind the counter, just like a proper old sweet shop.  It's nice to pick them like that instead of pre-packed sweets.  I got some sherbet lemons, chocolate limes and mini pear drops.

I can hear Mary-Jane mooching about on her bed, it's about the same time she awoke last night, my tummy is going into knots in case we have a repeat of last night.

We stayed out in the garden until it was time to prepare Mary-Jane's tea.  That was when it started spitting with rain, good timing really!  We were joined outside by Rhinog and Bandit.
So fingers and toes crossed that we have a good night!  And if the weather is anywhere near the same tomorrow, we shall be out enjoying the fresh air again.  If it's wet and we have to stay in, I might just bake a banana and fudge cake.

Playing In The Sunshine In Beckermet

After the usual Friday trip to Tesco, I was itching to get out again, not too far afield mind, just out to enjoy the sunshine.  We went to Beckermet, to the play ground. It's only about half a mile, but we took the car as HK cannot walk that far at the moment.  Mary-Jane had lots of fun and we had much pleasure from watching her.  She had a few goes on the swings and seemed to like this.
Her favourite is still the  weeeeee slide.  She has sussed that once she get to the bottom of the slide, she can turn round and try to walk up as far up the slide as she can, turn herself around again and slide back down.  She ain't daft.

She had a good run round these stumps and tried to sit on each one

Life is one big adventure when you're nearly 20 months old

She ran between the slide, the swings and the wooden stumps over and again, I think she was just so excited and thrilled that she didn't know what to go on next.

She did have an investigate of the bench and a look in the beck beyond.  This is the same bench that I would come to with Mary-Jane when she was in her pushchair, and would be asleep by the time we were less than half way there.  I would sit on the bench in beautiful spring sunshine and knit some of my troubles away.

Mary-Jane also had a few goes on the bouncer.  She also klonked her facew and back of head on the bars of it, when she was stood investigating it, I don't think she expected it to bounce as much as it did!  In the background is St Johns Church.  This is one that I went to doing The Viking Trail (which I do have to finish).  It's the one where Mr Snuggles went AWOL.  The bridge in the mid-ground has a sign on it which says it was widened in 1900.

I thought Mary-Jane would have a good nights sleep after her adventurous day.  She went down well at her usual time.  She awoke about twenty to eleven and didn't settle back down until gone 3am.  Unheard of for her.  She didn't seem tired, although she was yawning. In the end we tried to settle her with us in our bed, something we have never done before and don't want to encourage.  All the usual things didn't encourage her to go on her bed and not scream and cry.  Both HK and I were shattered, beyond shattered.  I managed to get a few hours decent sleep after but HK didn't.  We have got everything crossed that MJ has a good night tonight, and in turn we do too.  Today I have been on Operation Tire Mary-Jane.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Busy Thursday

Another busy day is drawing to a close for me.  This morning was the Country Market.  It was a bit slow, but it does get like this.  I came away with two packets of scones and a packet of mince pies.  Each packet only had two items in, so that wasn't bad!  I ate the two cheese scones when I got in, and HK and Mary-Jane made light work of the mince pies. 

This afternoon was our Craft & Natter Beckermet group.  I enjoyed this once I had settled down and not jumping up every five minutes or so to do something or take pictures etc.  I finished my Cloth for a swap - that can be in the post tomorrow.
Me working on my Lydia Crescent Shawl

This evening was a WI Workshop at Bigrigg.  It was informative and it was good to speak with ladies from other WI's.  I'm starting to get to know a few other ladies now.  I'm also sharing thoughts of getting a teaching pack from CCFWI and putting on a crafting day/event.  From this I could see what they put together in a pack and see if I could put one together for myself (which I'm sure I could).  It would be a knitting one of course!

And now I'm fit to drop.  I was fit to drop at lunchtime, if the truth is known! 

Mary-Jane seems no worse for wear for her mis-adventures last night.  She has a tiny bruise on her face, the size of one of her finger tips,  and very slight red-ness on her cheek, other than that, no bruising or marks.  I have missed her today.  I don't like it when so many things happen all at once.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Cold Fell Again

I charged my camera up this morning and took it with me when I took HK to sign on at Cleator Moor this afternoon.  After we did the recycling, I said to HK that I would like to go the scenic route back.  I think he was kinda expecting me to say this.  Again I will have to apologise for not knowing the names of all the fells you can see.  There is so much for me to find out and discover.  The first two pictures overlap slightly.

This is further along, but not by too much.

Blakely Rise (Kinniside) Stone Circle.  Not one of the most impressive, granted, but a (reformed)stone circle nonetheless.  I couldn't stay too long as Mary-Jane was getting upset that Momma had stopped the car and had gone walking off.
The stones facing the opposite direction, towards the coast
The view from the other side of the road.  The stones are behind me

I did want to get some panoramic pictures of the coast and Sellafield, but couldn't find a decent spot to pull over, plus there was a car behind me, so I couldn't make any sudden stop, and I didn't want to pull over in a passing place.  I will go back and try again.

I have been busy baking for the Market tomorrow.  I have done my 'new' usual of 15 cheese scones, 15 fruit scones, 8 wholemeal and 12 mince pies.  I also made two 1lb lemon drizzle cakes.  I made them from a recipe for a 2lb cake (well to be baked in a 2lb tin) and divided that inot the two tins.  The result was that the cakes weren't as deep as I would've liked them to be, so I am not taking them with me.  I have tasted them, and they do taste good.  The lemon is sharp.

HK and I were dishing up tea, when we heard Mary-Jane crying on the monitor.  She was crying out for 'Mommy'.  I put my tea in the oven to keep warm and went to see what the matter was.  I walked into our roomfirst, as I always do, and found the adjoining door open.  I always close it.  I felt a tiny bit like I was stepping into a horror film.  I stepped around the door, and saw her cot was empty.  Her bedroom door to the landing was now open, and there was Mary-Jane heading towards the landing door, very distressed.  I scooped her up.  She had blood coming out of her mouth (only a small amount).  All I can guess was that she either was bouncing on her bed holding onto the rail, over balanced and fell out, or she climbed out and banged her mouth and side of her face.  We'll never know.  HK lowered the base of her bed to the lowest level.  Mary-Jane was so upset.  It took her a while to settle (nearly two hours).  I think she was a little frightened to be on her bed.  When she did go back on her bed, she did settle to sleep, thankfully.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Starting to Explore Cold Fell

It has been another nearly sunny day with what seems like icy cold winds.  I think HK is getting restless. We have been out twice today.  He also says he is itching to get out fishing again (hurray!).  This morning we went to the Co-op in Egremont for the usual bread and milk.  After lunch, HK suggested a trip to the tat shop in Cleator Moor.  On the way out of the house, Dad suggested going to Ehen Beck, just past Wath Brow.  We went to have a look, it was too cold to be playing out, more is the pity, we will be going back there.  I didn't take my camera for two reasons, one it needs charging and the other, I didn't think there was need to.  Wrong.

Ehen Beck is a place where I could go paddling, all places that I could go paddling warrant investigation.  I decided (being the driver) that we should continue on the road and see where it led to rather than turning around and going back the usual tried and trusted way.  It transpires that the road we took, known locally as The Cold Fell Calder Bridge Road, is used heavily by Sellafield workers coming from Cockermouth.  It is also mentioned in Alfred Wainwrights 'Outlying Fells' book.

When on top of Cold Fell, you can see a great deal of coast line and Sellafield Nuclear Plant.  We also drove past a stone cirle on top of Scarney Brow near Blakely Rise.  The circle is small, but impressive and can be seen a few yards from the road.  The circle is re-constructed, as can be seen that the feet of thte stones are set in concrete.  The circle has eleven stones set in a perfect circle with a diameter of 18 metres.  The tallest stone is 1.15 m.  The circle is known as Blakely Rise (Kinniside) Stone Circle.

We came to a junction, straight on was Calder Bridge and Gosforth, to the right was Haile and Egremont.  We went straight ahead.  If we had parked at the junction, and walked half a mile, we would have come to Monks Bridge.  It is the oldest packhorse bridge in Cumbria.  It crosses Friars Gill, where it passes a narrow deep chasm.  It was built and well used by the Monks of Calder Abbey.  The bridge is also known as Matty Benn's Bridge.  Apparantly Matty Benn was blind and her husband built the bridge.  Matty would sit on the edge of it, often knitting, awaiting his return from hunting, regularly with John Peel.  The monks built up the side of the bridge for Matty's comfort with the stone left from the monastry. It was named Matty Benn's bridge, with her name being Martha, but known as Matty.  I want to sit on this bridge, knitting, in the memory of Matty - and have my photo taken!

We can see Cold Fell from our front room window.  Indeed if it were light outside now, I could say I can see it as I write.  Another visit soon, with Camera!!!  Yes I am kicking myself.

Monday, 16 April 2012

Shizuku And Winter Apple

I had a few hours out this afternoon and went to Woodlands Cafe for the Knitting group.  We are doing well on numbers - ten today.  I gave M her belated birthday present, she liked it.  In the end I did not block it.  My thoughts were that M could block it to how long she wants it, plus I think it may stretch a bit with wearing.  Next time I will do it on a bigger needle.  The pattern is called 'Shizuku', it is designed by Angela Tong, and can be found for free on Ravelry.  I used Noro Kureyon, nearly two balls, out of my stash - another Stash Busting Project completed.

 The edging is called shape is called teardrops.  In all it is a quick, simple and fun project to do.  And like so many patterns that I like, it can be adapted to different yarns in principle, with a bit of jiggery pokery.
This is Winter Apple Shawl.  It is designed by Erica Jackofsky.  I did want to get a picture of me wearing it outside but time didn't permit today, so her it is, over-lit, on the back of the sofa.  I used James C Brett Marble Chunky.  My first non-stash busting project of the year.
Work continues on Lydia Crescent Shawl.  I got my mitts on the new Knit mag today, I've had a quick look through and am inspired by a couple of things in there, they are not my usual inspirations though!