Wednesday, 25 June 2014

A sort of yarn along


I have been a bit quiet on here lately, mainly because of work related issues and stressors, but let's not dwell on those here. Sometimes we have to forget all those negative things going on in our lives, just in order to stay sane, and this is one place where I like to forget about them.

I am very lucky at the moment as I am away with my younger son and so this is only a sort of yarn along with Ginny. I have made some progress on my hat, (yes, I brought my hat away with me to knit - always  room for a bit of knitting in my suitcase) and I am really quite pleased with it so far, even though it is far from perfect.

But as to my book, Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant, I am finding that a bit hard going and I am not even half way yet! Progress is very slow. But I shall persevere as it is a book club book. 

Please excuse this post as it is a bit rudimentary - I usually write my blog posts on my computer.

Hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly.

Have a good week!

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Yarn along 3

Joining in with Ginny's yarn along - although I am a bit late this week!

Still knitting my Norwegian Snowflake hat but I can see I have made some progress since last week.

I apologize for the quality of the photo - I took it late at night when I was feeling pretty tired.

As for my book, well I finished reading The Amateur Marriage and I am now reading Sarah Dunant's Sacred Hearts which I am quite enjoying. This is the book we chose for book club. The story is based in a convent in Italy in 1570. Religion, Italy and the 1500's is obviously a common theme of Dunant's books as I have previously read The Birth of Venus which I enjoyed.

I hope you are having a good week.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Sunday afternoon in Sheffield


First of all, I must say "thank you" to everyone who left a comment on my last post - I have enjoyed reading them all, they were lovely and encouraging. Normally I do like to respond to each one but I'm afraid it has been one of those weeks when time has run away from me.  

So back to this afternoon when I have enjoyed some enforced relaxation. Now my elder son is at University in Sheffield, he has joined a brass band based in the city. Today the band had an engagement to play in Weston Park and so we drove up the motorway to Sheffield. It was my first visit to Weston Park and what a beautiful, well cared for park. 

We are quite old hands at taking younger members of the family to brass band events in parks so I was well prepared with my folding chair, my cup of tea in a flask and, of course, my portable project

But there was one thing missing. 
Now, I'm beginning to think I'm developing a particular sixth sense. 
I really wanted a coffee (well, I hadn't drunk a proper coffee for several days). So once I'd dropped my son at the Bandstand, I had a wander round the park, but didn't have to venture far before BINGO! I'd spotted a well-known coffee maker just outside the park. Suddenly I was a woman on a mission, and in very little time I'd ordered a small, extra hot, skinny latte and a cinnamon swirl. And here I am back in my chair, now properly ready for the concert to begin! 

I do like to see bandstands being used for their intended. purpose.

 And most are quite ornate - look at the ironwork in the photo below. And can you see the stained glass panel? 

Very appropriate! 

During the interval my son and I made a short tour of the park. 
The duck pond below was large enough to be a boating lake. 

There were lots of people enjoying the park, even though the afternoon was overcast and chilly. 

One group of people were having a bbq, another were having a child's birthday party and the 2 tennis courts were full. Before long we found ourselves just outside the park, drawn to this ivy-clad building we could see, which we learnt was Firth Court, opened in 1905 and part of the original University of Sheffield. 

What a grand entrance!

Here are just two of the four entrance doors with huge brass handles

And opposite Firth Court was the original Sheffield Children's Hospital, opened in 1876. The newer hospital building that adjoins this is an eyesore in comparison to the original building. 

Then it was time to head back to the park for the second session of brass band music. 

By now even my vigorous knitting was failing to keep me warm, so in someways it was nice to get back into the car, even if it was just to face the slow journey home back down the motorway. 

Since my elder son started university at Sheffield, we have been discovering different parts of the city and it really is a lovely city with some magnificent buildings and attractive open spaces. I look forward to seeing more. 

I wish you all a good week

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Yarn along 2

Joining in with Ginny's yarn along once again. 

This week I have just finished reading Anne Tyler's The Amateur Marriage. I quite enjoyed this book, the story was a little different and it was quite an easy read so I finished the book in just a few days. 

Also this week I started a new knitting project. I saw a great pattern for a Norwegian snowflake hat on ravelry. It is designed by Tim Doran, who has kindly made the pattern available for free download. 
(Yes, I know, I am starting to knit a woolly hat in probably the hottest week of the year so far!)
I am knitting it in Rico Essentials Merino DK which comes in a super range of colours. I am using just two colours. It's ages since I knitted some fairisle so I'm really looking forward to this challenge. 

I hope you are having a good week. 

Friday, 6 June 2014

a day out ....

... in Matlock, Derbyshire.

So it was the last day of the half term holiday and I was desperate for a day out. Now we probably visit Matlock and nearby Matlock Bath several times a year. It is not too far for us to drive, taking about 45 minutes but I much prefer to take the train which takes about 1 hour 15 minutes, including one change.

Of course, a journey on the train means a chance to read the newspaper, try my hand (or should I say, my brain) at the crossword and Sudoku, and to catch up on my portable project - my blue socks!

I love some of the stations we pass - the architecture is so much grander than anything we build nowadays. 

Matlock Bath is a bit of  a strange place in some ways - it is like a seaside resort but in the middle of the country, with fish and chip shops and amusement arcades found all along the man road. This place is heaving with people on high days and holidays!

The main street passes through a steep valley. I wonder what the rooms are like in some of these houses.

It really is quite a pretty place. The house at the back of this photo looks like a mini castle.

And just to make sure we get a bit of exercise, we always walk along the road, following the River Derwent, from Matlock Bath to Matlock - this photo is a bit deceiving because actually it is a very busy road.

And when we arrive at Matlock, there are lots of little shops and cafés to wander round but also this lovely park, complete with a miniature train....

that runs a very straight track.....

and is pulled by an engine called Little David!

There is a boating lake .....

and a children's playground with fountains (and WET children on what was quite a cool day!), pitch and putt, table tennis tables, a skateboard park, a bandstand and lots of open spaces for ball games! We had lots of fun with a bat and ball. 

And all too soon is it time to head to the station, for our return journey home.

But I doubt it will be too long before we are back in Matlock again!


Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Yarn along

Just joining in with Ginny's yarn along.
This week I have been knitting more of my socks - this is my portable project and I'm very glad to see that I have made progress since the last time I photographed these.  I am now on the second sock! I find knitting in the round with dpns very soothing - and I really don't know why.

And I am currently reading Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar - which I am enjoying - and have nearly finished.
I doubt I will have get much further on with my socks for next week's yarn along ... but we'll see!