Friday 28 May 2021

No Time To Post! Angels, Cradles and back to Durham.

No Time To Post!

 Now that things are moving on a bit more as restrictions ease I'm finding it hard to fit everything in.  How did I manage it before? we have all got used to life in the slow lane and now as things open up we don't have the excuse of lockdown to fall back on for not getting things done.

I run the website for my local u3a and am also the Group Coordinator, over the past year and a half apart from a few zoom meetings and a weekly quiz on the website nothing much has been happening.  Now people are wanting the groups to start up again which has meant holding a zoom meeting with the group leaders and trying to find a way forward.  Lots of the venues we use for our meetings only allow a certain number of people inside and others haven't even opened up again namely our Town Hall which hosts seven of our groups, they don't plan to open until the end of June and only if it's safe to do so. 

I didn't even have time to post last week because another thing that was put on hold and has once again come to the fore is the need to assemble the knitting and crocheting display we had planned before Covid in order to decorate our Train Station. We were going to do this to celebrate u3a day which is on the 3rd of June but judging by the number of people who turned up to help last week that's not going to happen.

I invited about six ladies to my garden in order to get the process started and there was only myself and Pamela the lady who runs the knitting group there to try and make some sort of start.

Pamela brought a huge fishing net, the plan is to assemble all the work onto the net and then hang it onto the fence at the station. We worked hard for 3 hours and then I called a halt, we were shattered! I have taken a portion of the net to work on and Pamela has taken the rest, I have no idea when we will get it completed because trying to find a day when people are free to help and one that is warm and dry is a challenge in itself. 

If you remember we decorated the Marina back here and it was such a hit we were approached by the person who looks after the station shortly afterwards to ask us if we would decorate the station. Hopefully once it's up it will bring some much needed cheer to the town.

Angels and Cradles

Along with the sewing of flowers onto nets, I have been continuing with the crochet angels and another part of the challenge for N.H.A.P. which is for for knitted cribs for angel babies. 

crib and blanket

When making them I realised that I have never used eyelet lace before so I learnt something new, it seems strange that in my 60 years of knitting this is the first time I have ever used it.

 I can't believe that I have been knitting for 60 years! and crocheting for 48 where have all the years gone, I wonder how many items I have made in all those years. How many years have you been knitting and or crocheting?

The making of angels will continue until the end of the month ...

my count so far is 23 the overall count is 2321 we are trying to reach 2500, I think that target will be reached and smashed by the end of the month.

Back to Durham

We promised ourselves a trip back to Durham once the lockdown eased, both to visit the Castle and to eat in a restaurant for the first time in months. 

The weather has been appalling throughout May but luckily the day we went it was dry and not too cold so another river walk was a must.  It was amazing to see how lush and green everything had become in just a few weeks.

We had our meal which was lovely, unfortunately the castle is still closed to visitors and you have to book in advance to visit the cathedral so that's a good excuse to go back again, not that I need an excuse Durham is a beautiful place to visit at any time.

It's bank holiday weekend here in the Uk and for once the weather promises to be warm so I have a long walk planned on Sunday to Hawthorne village remember the mud scenario back here, we have to go through the dene again to reach the village so wish us luck! it has been raining pretty hard here for last few weeks. If we manage to reach the village we going to have Sunday lunch in the pub there and then walk all the way back again, glutton for punishment springs to mind.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend whatever your plans are.


Click here to see the great parties I'll be linking to this week.

Friday 14 May 2021

Crochet Angels a Walk and a Bit of Growth

 In my last post if you remember I was full of enthusiasm for the  Patchwork CAL and planned on crocheting two blocks a week, my enthusiasm for that particular project seems to have flown for now, it may return later I hope so even if I manage to make enough squares for a baby blanket it will be fine.  Instead I have been drawn to making these little angels..

This months challenge for N.H.A.P. is for 1500 of these, they place them in their bereavement packs and like to have a constant supply, they have nearly smashed that target already. I have made six so far and plan to make many more as they are in huge demand.  

These little angels bring comfort to many and I've lost count of the number I have made in the past, I have made these with Dk acrylic yarn as requested, but I prefer to make them with fine crochet cotton and slip them inside a card to send to a relative or friend if they are going through a rough time or just to show that I am thinking of them. 

I remember I made one for my Aunty Kitty sadly now deceased, just before she was due to go into hospital, some time later she wrote asking me if I could make her another one as that one had been lost while she was in hospital and she had felt safe having it with her. I was touched that it had meant so much to her and of course made and sent her another. 

There are many angel patterns online but this is the one I am using and it has a video tutorial too.

The Walk

We have had a week of warm weather and lots of showers this week, I don't mind the showers with the hailstones and torrential rain as long as it's warm and not too windy I am happy.

Our walk this week took us to a place that I hadn't walked before Washington Wetland Centre. Unfortunately we couldn't get into the Centre as you have to book in advance but there is a circular walk around the river wear right next to the centre so we set off on that.  We never have a clue exactly where we are going on these walks and because it had been raining quite a lot recently it was like a mud bath in places so we were splashed with mud before very long  and turned back after a while as we had no idea of how far the trail actually went. We discovered later that if we had gone a little bit further we would have reached a bridge which would have taken us over the river and back to where we had started so we will do that another day when it's not so muddy. 

We seemed to have walked a long way and I was pretty tired by the time we got back to the car and as usual dying for my coffee fix. To my delight we found this place by chance.

We sat in the warm sunshine right by the river drinking a much needed coffee and ate a yummy sausage roll whilst taking in the beautiful view.

I checked my fitbit and discovered we had walked 6.37 miles, 14, 970 steps and 60 floors! we did walk up an awful lot of steps but I think 60 floors is a bit of an exaggeration.  

Our next weeks walk is going to conclude with a meal indoors as the restrictions will be relaxed to eat inside of restaurants for the first time in months so I'm looking forward to that.

The Bit Of Growth

With all the rain and the weather warming up my garden is showing some lovely Spring growth at last, here are the stars of the show for this week..

Japanese Acre
I love the lime green leaves, this tree is growing in a pot but still looks lovely every year.

Bleeding Hearts

Apple Blossom on my little Apple tree.

I hope that you all have a great week.

Friday 7 May 2021

A bit of a grumble

 Regular readers of my blog may remember that I bought a treadmill back in January with the money my daughter gave me for Christmas.  I have been using it twice a day since then and have really felt the benefits (once I got over the aching knees of course). I usually walk on it early morning and late afternoon, the other day it decided to give me an a mild (thank goodness) electric shock and then stop mid workout.  I'm annoyed because although I've only had it a short time I have managed to up my fitness levels to some small degree and once I stop a routine I find it's hard to get back into it again. 

I phoned the company and they are sending me a returns label and then they say someone will come to collect it, I will get a refund once they receive it, they don't do repairs and they have no more of them in stock.  I was quite impressed with the customer services they dealt with it immediately but I'm sad that my treadmill has died so quickly. 

In the meantime a friend has lent me an exercise bike which I hate but will try to use until I can get a treadmill replacement,  the bike in question is very basic and the seat is so hard! I tried placing a cushion on the seat but but it kept slipping off 😂 anyway it's forcing me to get out and about more which would be ok if the weather was warmer, we had frost as I set out this morning but luckily no rain and the sun was shining, I just love this view, the walk down to the beach with the sea in the distance

I even saw a friend on the way and stopped for a chat but at eight in the morning thankfully, there's not too many people about....

I left a member of the snail trail at the cave entrance for someone to find

When you've walked a while, climbing these stairs can be pretty tough I had to stop a few times on the way up so still some way to go as far as fitness is concerned.

I decided to walk back past St John Church I love going into the graveyard and looking at the ancient headstones, the inscriptions on many are too worn to read now.

The path to the dene is just opposite the church 

It's lovely to see signs of Spring even if the weather is still chilly


I have started the Patchwork CAL and in the main I'm enjoying it, but I'm trying to decide which is the best way to deal with all the ends, there are several methods and I'm in the process if trying them all, it's slowed me down quite a bit but I think that I will stick to what I have always done and that is weave them in every couple of rows.  You can crochet on top of them but that tends to distort your work at the sides. 

mosaic crochet square
I have used what is called the endless overlay crochet method with the second square and it's ok but I prefer to see the right side of the stitches on each row and because you work on both sides it's a bit tricky to get your treble placements correct there's a few mistakes there too and I'm going to have to pull it back a few rows.
I always enjoy trying out new methods of doing things but it is time consuming, that second square isn't quite finished yet and there are three patterns released each week  so I'm well behind but in no hurry so it doesn't really matter. I will enjoy starting my third square this weekend, if I manage to complete two a week I think that's ok, there are twenty squares altogether but I haven't even decided what size blanket to make so I may not need them all. 

We are promised a weekend of heavy rain and strong winds so I will be sitting cosy inside with my crochet and sewing, there may be a stone or two painted too. I hope that your weather is better than what we are promised and that you all have a great weekend.