Monday 26 September 2016

A shawl finish

Way back at the end of May I shared some photos of a shawl in the making, Antarktis by Janina Kallio, a (paid for) pattern on Ravelry.  I'm afraid I didn't pick it up again after that photo, and when I did I just wasn't happy with the yarn, I thought it might end up a bit scratchy for a shawl, so I ripped it back and started again with this lovely Ginger Twist yarn I bought when I was in Edinburgh earlier in the year.

Once I started it turned out to be quite a quick knit

And although it is probably a tad smaller than the pattern says it should be, I'm quite happy with it :-)

Here is a closer look at the eyelet pattern, which looks way more complicated than it actually was.

I have been stitching away on Elizabeth too but haven't taken any progress photos, I really am very close to a finish on her though.

Autumn came like the flick of a switch on Thursday, I have bought some plants for my kitchen window baskets and was going to put them in after work today but weather is telling me to wait, perhaps tomorrow it will be dry enough for me to do it.

My little 99p miniature rose didn't get the message that Autumn had arrived though and is having it's second flush of flowers :-)

I've never managed to keep one of these going before, certainly not one that flowered twice!
Does anyone know if I can plant this in the garden next year, perhaps in a container if not the ground?

  That's all for now, see, I can do short posts sometimes :-)

Until next time

Monday 19 September 2016

Sudeley Castle Part 2, other pretty Cotswold places and a Sea Life Adventure

I think I mentioned that Sudeley Castle is chock full of history, I love walking the grounds of these places, the gardens where royalty and people from our past have walked before, it's somehow very calming.

Katherine Parr lived and died here, although it seems that for a time her coffin was lost.

Bu thankfully she was given a final and fitting resting place in the church of St Mary in the castle grounds.

The church outside

and in.

You cannot take photos of the rooms in the castle which are still used by the family, which is understandable but you can take photos of the other rooms and the exhibitions.
(These were took on my phone so the quality is not too good)

The ceiling in Katherine Parr's room

 How about this for a loo, lol

The exhibitions were of Henry VIII and his wives, Richard III and a replica of his skeleton
and this reconstruction commissioned by Lady Ashcombe

 There were many lovely samplers and tapestries too

These were nice additions around the grounds

And I wouldn't mind this view from my back garden wall either!

There is also a pheasantry with quite exotic looking birds, I only managed to catch a snap of two.
This beautiful coloured one

And this rather stern looking one

I found plenty to do for the rest of the week too.  I decided to stick with the Cotswolds and took a ride out to Chipping Norton on Wednesday, which was a nice little town with quite a few shops, including this knitting shop which had a wonderful selection of yarns, I didn't buy anything though, I was very good :-)

It was still early afternoon so I took a trip over to Chipping Campden.
Now this was a proper Cotswolds village.

When you think of the Cotswolds you think of thatched cottages, right?
Lovely isn't it?

But then you turn round and see this.
Have you ever seen anything so pretty!

And a little closer, can you see the two birds on the roof?  I think that each thatcher has his own trademark and birds must be this particular craftsman's trademark, (there was a fox on another roof).

I could quite happily have stayed on that corner and sighed over this house for hours, I reluctantly walked away before they called the police.

The village itself was very nice although quite busy with traffic because it was picking up from school time, I noticed a couple of nice place that were serving afternoon tea so perhaps a visit back there soon will be on the cards :-)

Church on the high street

Clear blue skies made a perfect afternoon

I had a little wander around some of the side streets and all the houses were so pretty with lovely colourful displays in their gardens, I loved all these Dalia's, so pretty!

I could have stayed much longer looking around, well worth a visit.

I was on my travels again on Thursday, this time I had some company in the form of the little dude and we went to the Sea Life Centre in Birmingham.

We both loved the penguins who put on a great show diving in the water, i took a video on my phone but for some reason it won't load up onto my computer.

Oliver was obsessed with sharks that day

But Nanny loved the turtle.
They have one of those tunnel type of things that you walk through and everything is swimming around and above you, very good, i was mesmerised, but by that time Oliver was already thinking about what soft toy he was going to buy from the shop!

I'm quite pleased I got a good, (considering it was taken on my phone) photo of the turtle

Normal service has been resumed this morning with me back in the office, although weather wise I think I chose a great week, this morning was all change, it was dark and raining when I went out and there is a definite change in the air tonight.

It's a 3 day working week for me, I have Wednesday and Thursday off, nothing planned as yet, I might just have a Gilmore Girl fest with my feet up on the sofa if nothing else calls to me :-)

If you got to the end of this looooong post, thank you, I know I go on a bit sometimes, lol

Hoping to post a stitching and knitting update next time :-)

Until then

Tuesday 13 September 2016

A surprise win and Sudeley Castle part 1

Jo had a blog anniversary giveaway a couple of weeks ago, and guess who the winner was?

ME! Yayyyyy

It was such a lovely surprise, here's what Jo sent

All my favourite goodies in one box :-)
I love the colour of the yarn, more teal than the blue that is showing up in the photo and it is so so soft!  I'm going to have to go in search of another shawl pattern for this one.

Jo also sent a lovely card, and I have to tell you Jo that you have the neatest writing :-)
And thank you again for the goodies.

This week I have another 5 days off work and I wanted to make the most of the nice weather we are still having so today I took myself off to Sudeley Castle in the Cotswolds. 

I set off at 10.30 after the work and school traffic had all cleared and just an hour later I was in pretty Winchcombe.  I stopped there and sat in the car and ate my breakfast then had a little walk around, there are a few shops but not enough to keep you occupied for more than an hour or so, still, there were some pretty little roads and cottages.

Sudeley Castle is less than a mile out of the village, it is such an interesting place absolutely chock full of history, I could easily have spent another few hours there.

It is the home of Lord and Lady Ashcombe and is the only privately owned castle to have a queen buried in it's grounds, Katherine Parr, Henry VIII's last wife lived and died there and her tomb is still in St Mary's church in the castle grounds.  Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey and Elizabeth I all visited there. 

The first thing you walk through before reaching the the castle is The Tithe Barn

Then looking over a small pond you see the castle

That pond held my attention for a while because as I walked round I could see some fish coming to the surface.

I've no idea what sort of fish they are but they are strange!

My next stop was Richard III's Banqueting Hall, no in ruins but so interesting.

From here I went into the Knot Garden, created as a reminder of one of her visits, the hedges are clipped into a design which was on one of Elizabeth I dresses.

Through the other end is Elizabeth I in her privy chamber, (wonder who thought this one up)

I had a little walk around the grounds then before I went inside.

Yew trees seem to be a favourite in many of these historic places, I wonder if how we see them now is how they imagined they would be when they were planted.

You were allowed to walk in these ones, well, no one stopped me anyway!

.......To be continued

Until then