Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Weekend in Kings Lyn

David had worked out the closest coastal area...well it seems that we have moved to the place in the UK the furthest from the sea! We also liked Kings Lyn, the last time we were in that area, so when got the urge to go away, we waited for a favourable weather forecast....and using the net, I found a bed for the night, and come Saturday morning, we had an early start.

Everything else was pot luck, and mostly it went well. The weather was the finest we had had for a few weeks and the journey went smoothly. First stop found us looking round St Mary in the little hamlet of Fotheringhay. The impact of the Church on the skyline was due in part to its proportions. Then we stopped in Wisbech, where I picked up some snowdrops etc in pots from the market, to help bring a little of spring to the garden back home.

Finally in Kings Lyn, we explored the old historic part bathed in a watery winter sun. The Custom House is open, and well worth a visit. As we walked around we were weighing up the best place to eat. The first and best place we found was Maggie's. That evening we had a delightful meal, delicious and with very good service. I definitely recommend this place and Nick Anderson the chef came out to chat at the end of the evening. Home made bread was ample and delicious, and excellent dishes of local food expertly cooked.

Sunday morning, on the way for our walk by the sea, we stopped at Castle Rising. The few hours we spent there and the meal we had the previous night, on their own were worth the drive. We did the full tour of the Castle, then walked round the village, spying two lovable Gloucester Old Spot pigs, sheep, snow drops, sheep a grazing etc. After fish and chips out in the open by the sea and a walk in the fresh air, we wound our way back home. Driving westward with the sun straight in the eyes we got home, in time t0 unpack and gently unwind.

Panic set in though, when I looked for my shawl to snuggle under as we watched our regular Sunday evening show: Kingdom, staring Stephen Fry, which by the way is set in the areas surrounding Kings Lyn. I had left my shawl at the hotel!!!!!! It had got mixed up with the bedding, as I had used it to keep warm.
I went to bed with a heavy heart having been told by the duty person at the hotel that none had been handed in but that the Chambermaid would be consulted in the morning. So many thoughts went through my head. I mourned my shawl, knitted up from a donation and handed out at the Wroughton Library Group, form whom we never knew. The Wool was lace weight and had been hand spun and dyed, I had the wind the lot by hand, then select the best fit from the coloured balls which I knitted up to a Shetland pattern. There are so many memories woven into this piece, I felt a sense of loss, but then gradually I started to think about the possibilities: would we be reunited, or would this be the opportunity to order new yarn from Shetland and knit up another one? I decided that either would be fine as I fell asleep.
Early Monday more phone calls to the hotel yielded good news. The duty staff member whom I had spoken to decided to phone up the chambermaid as she wanted to make sure that my shawl did not inadvertently get sent off with the early laundry. The shawl had been found on the Sunday morning but had been placed not usually used for lost items, so thanks to all, the shawl and I shall be reunited later this week via Royal Mail.
Monday was a very good day and the sun shone!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Blocking a Swallow Tail Shawl

Its the second time I've knitted this pattern which I took from my first copy of Interweave magazine. The yarn is a blend of cashmere and silk, and is lovely and warm, and washes well. The whole piece weighs less than 20 grams.
I wear the original one, most days, and it is like a warm breath down my back and no weight at all. I call this my tucker, and when I am wearing it, I feel wonderful, just like wearing some favourite perfume.

A tucker as in 'best bib and tucker', was an important part of a ladies dress dating back several centuries.
My knitting muse, the extreme knitter, and extremely good knitter, introduced me to lace knitting, and Sharon Miller. It was from Sharon that I bought my dressing rods. Today I had yet another further improvement in my dressing technique! I used the drying stand and whilst threading the rods through the edge of the lace, I discovered that I could use the corner construction of the drier to keep the rods square and tensioned. Along the long edge, as well as threading the rod through the edge, I also wove a wire in and out through the shawl and the mesh which forms the bed of the drier. The shawl is well aired and has dried far more quickly than on a towel which I had used up to now. On the towel I also found that it was not easy to anchor the pins themselves in order to keep the right tension on the piece to be blocked.
I started this shawl on Christmas Day and cast off the last stitch on 17 January, and now it is ready to give to a new knitting friend whom I met on an my first knitting day course led by Debbie Abrahams.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Happier New Year

I just can't believe how long it is since I last posted. Perhpas a New Year's resolution, will be to visit at leat once a week!

I shall forgive myself, s beeing poorly is not a nice thing, and I need to look forward to a new year with interesting things to do, kind people to please and be pleased by, and better health!