Tuesday 31 July 2018

Adding To The Stash

I've been a bit naughty lately buying some new yarn and adding to the stash.

First up is some Bergere De France Goomy 50. I've seen a few people knit the Yellow Print colourway into socks and I really like it so when I saw it was in the John Lewis clearance sale at less than half price, not only did I pop this into my basket but another three colourways ended up in there too. I wouldn't say this is the softest yarn I've ever used but it's fine for socks.

Whilst we were on holiday in Cornwall we popped into a yarn shop in Wadebridge. The Woolly Empire carries well known brands such as Stylecraft and King Cole and you can also find dressmaking supplies here too. Eleanor has asked me to knit a couple of things for her friend who's expecting her first baby so I thought it was a good opportunity to choose some yarn whilst Eleanor was with me. I bought two balls of the Stylecraft Wondersoft but one ball is already in use.

I've been wanting to order from Ellie's Craft House Magic Etsy shop for a long time and could resist no longer. Ellie names most of her yarn after songs and Strawberry Fields Forever is one of the first colourways she dyed up. I've been wanting a skein of this since I first saw it, isn't it pretty? I've got a bit of a thing for yellows at the moment, coupled with the fact that I was a big Duran Duran fan in the 80s, so I was always going to buy Rio at some point.

The yarn is scrumptious, beautifully soft, and just look at those speckles.

There's a post on the way soon telling you what I've got on the needles.

Saturday 28 July 2018

Some Good Archie News

We took Archie to see the vet before we went on holiday, primarily for his booster injection but also for a six month health check. It's quite important that the vet sees him on a regular basis now that he's been diagnosed with a heart murmur, and especially so since he was put on medication to slow down the onset of heart failure.

I'm always apprehensive when taking Archie to see the vet these days, it's concerning to think that there may be more bad news on the way, so imagine my relief when the vet told us that not only is he doing really well but she said that if it wasn't for the heart murmur, which is quite deafening, she'd consider him a really healthy dog.

She was surprised that his heart rate was that of a dog without a heart problem and his lungs were clear. We haven't seen any difference in Archie ourselves so it was good to be told that we're not missing anything.

Of course, he's been struggling a bit in the heat we've been experiencing, as have most of us, but I could feel that weight lift from my shoulders as we left the surgery. I know it will come one day but for now, our little doggy is fighting fit.

Wednesday 25 July 2018

After The Fall

I've said before how I enjoy books by Charity Norman but After The Fall is my favourite yet.

It's funny because I've been gripped from the very first page with a couple of her books, however, this one took a bit of getting into. Once I was a few chapters in, I couldn't put it down.

A five year old boy falls from the upstairs veranda of an isolated farmhouse. It looks like an accident but his mother, Martha McNamara, knows exactly what's happened, though she's keeping it to herself. Emigrating to New Zealand was a dream for the family but it quickly turns into a nightmare.

I've enjoyed every book I've read by Charity Norman so far, and there's only one now left for me to read. I do hope she writes some more soon.

Sunday 22 July 2018

Dorothy In Oz Socks

These are my Dorothy In Oz socks and I love them.

The Mercury Socks pattern by Kim Drotar has been very popular but I've only just got round to knitting it myself. It was a change knitting a lace pattern. I used Giddy Yarns in Helen's Dorothy colourway. It was a dream to knit with but in hindsight I should have used a contrast for the heels and toes as the colour pools quite a bit where the stitch count changes. A yarn will only provide a constant pattern whilst the number of stitches remain the same, once the number of stitches change the colours in the yarn will work up in a different way.

I love this yarn, inspired by Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, it contains the blue and white of her dress, the red of her ruby slippers and speckles of green and yellow to represent the Emerald City and the yellow brick road, so I've decided to call these socks my Dorothy In Oz socks. I think the yarn would look really pretty knit up in a plain stocking stitch too.

These are another pair of socks which are for me, I'm getting quite selfish with my sock knitting just lately, I think that's what becomes of knitting sixteen pairs of socks in one year and only two of those pairs finding their way to my own sock drawer. It will be nice to have some brand new pairs of socks to warm my feet this winter.

Thursday 19 July 2018


Number 40 on my 50 Before 50 list is Watch a sunset from a beach and I thought one of our evening picnics on Black Rock beach in Cornwall would be perfect for this.

The weather was beautiful, it had been a hot day but it was cooling down nicely much to Archie's delight. It's been rather stifling for him just lately but the evening temperatures are more to his liking.

We laid out a couple of blankets on the sand and ate a simple picnic whilst many of the families who had enjoyed the beach during the day packed up and left. There weren't many people still on the beach by the time the sun was going down.

It's such a peaceful time of day and rather special to be in a beautiful place watching as the sun disappears and makes its way to another part of the world.

We've been really spoilt with the weather on holiday, it was still warm enough at this time of the day to be in T-shirts without the need for anything to cover our bare arms.

There was a line of cloud just above the horizon, the sun bobbed behind it for a minute or two before making a final appearance.

The sky was such a beautiful colour but all too soon the sun had disappeared for another day.

Watching the sun set is such a simple pleasure in life but one we can all enjoy.

Monday 16 July 2018

A Wonderful Holiday

We're home again after our fortnight in Cornwall. We got back on Friday night after leaving at 10am, there were so many hold-ups with accidents, roadworks and rush hour traffic that it took nearly nine hours to travel the 327 miles, we usually do it much quicker.

We had a wonderful holiday, we had some really lovely weather for a change. We spent lots of time on Black Rock beach at Widemouth Bay, so called because of the black rock which juts out of the sea, but we also visited Trebarwith Strand and Constantine Bay, other favourite beaches of ours where dogs are allowed to run off their leads.

Archie loves it on the beach. He's still not all that keen on waves but he loves to run and splash in the rock pools, and it was good for cooling him down on the hot days we encountered.

We had a couple of cloudy days but there's always something to do in Cornwall. We took ourselves off to visit some favourite places like Boscastle and Tintagel, though we misjudged it the day we visited Padstow as what we though was going to be a miserable day turned out to be scorching.

We didn't miss out on beach fun though, we spent the evening by the sea instead and enjoyed a lovely picnic, as we did on many evenings.

The same thing happened when we visited Port Isaac, it started off cloudy but the sun ended up putting in an appearance. You can see the house which is used in the TV drama Doc Martin to the left of the photo.

We only encountered one instance of rain in the whole fortnight and boy, did it rain, it was torrential, however, it came out nice mid-afternoon so we still managed some time on the beach that day too. I think our worst day, weather wise, was the 4th of July. Not only was it cloudy but it was really windy too, and though it was still warm, it definitely wasn't a beach day. We decided to take the two hour drive to visit Lands End, the most westerly point of England.

Of course, we had to take a photo of the famous signpost.

It was a relaxing holiday. I took my laptop and plenty of knitting but hardly picked up either one. Instead, as is often the case when I'm on holiday, I did lots of reading. It makes a change to be away from technology for a period of time, though there's always lots to catch-up on afterwards.

I think the holiday provided Eleanor with some down time after being stressed during her uni exams, a couple of which she hasn't done so well in and has to resit. She suffers terribly with anxiety and this, unfortunately, comes out in her exam results. It's a good job that she's been getting high grades in her coursework as this will balance out her overall grades somewhat. On top of this, Eleanor split-up with her boyfriend of four years just before the holiday. It was her decision but still upsetting, for us as well as her as he's such a lovely lad and he had become one of the family.

The weekend has been busy. Saturday was spent catching up with all the necessary chores which are waiting after being away from home for a fortnight and yesterday was Eleanor's 20th birthday. It's hard to believe that both my children are now in their twenties and I no longer have any teenagers. We went out for a nice meal and today, friends from university are coming for a night out with Eleanor and her friends from Leeds.

Things are rather busy round here at the moment but I shall be round to check out your news in due course, it may take me a little longer than usual though.