Friday, 26 October 2012

Roman Holiday

Just back from an awesome couple of days with ds in Bath, home of the UK's only thermal hot spring- a warm 36 degrees Celsius. The spring water apparently fell as rain on the Mendip hills 10,000 years ago, sank through the limestone layers, was heated through geothermic energy to 96 degrees and then forced upwards by the heat and pressure to form the spring. The Romans built the original baths, and a holy temple on the site, and the Roman drains, sluice gates and overflow system are still working today, although only fragments of stone carvings and the steps remain of the temple complex.

It was my third visit to Bath, but the first time ds ever went. He is a young archaeologist, so was very pleased to visit the roman site. Here he is in front of steam rising from the Great Bath.

You can't swim in here any more, and exhortations are not even to touch the water, but there is a new thermal spa open to the public in Bath since my last visit, about eleven years ago. Unfortunately children under 12 are not allowed in any of the facilities, and 12-15 year olds may only go in specific baths, so we couldn't visit on this occasion. But never mind, it is another reason to go back!

Georgians elegantly dined and sampled the waters at Bath in the Pump Room. Ds pronounced it too posh to go in. But we did take afternoon tea in Sally Lunn's original tea shop. Here's my Sally Lunn tea, in which a Sally Lunn bun is served with jam and clotted cream:

Ds and I have a eclectic approach to tourism. Future Publishing is the source of the now defunct Nitro magazine for boys, which was very popular in our house. I believe they publish Mollie Makes, the Knitter and other craft titles as well. We saw several of their offices in Bath, but this photograph was taken outside the address where ds used to send his competition entries (he won once, to his great delight):

Crafters also have some special places to visit in Bath. Here's what I picked up at The Makery, a shop selling fabric and notions:

Other places we recommend:  the Georgian assembly rooms, where there are some fabulous chandeliers (free to National Trust members)

the Holburne museum of art - snuff boxes, silver spoons, ceramics, paintings, miniatures, more chandeliers (free entry)

Two days was only just long enough. I'm longing for the next visit and hope this will be in less than another eleven years.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Dearie dearie me

There has been very little blogging in October to date. Kids have been taking up a lot of attention. Dd's possible university plans involve a lot of discussion, helping her to refine her thoughts and arrive at decision (but there are so many of them! And they all look the same on paper!) I was organising the celebrations for ds's tenth birthday, featured in yesterday's post. Then there was that pesky thing called work. And in my spare time, I've been knitting, and playing quidditch for Ravenclaw house. But it's half term this week, so I am at home and finally have a minute to post on the blog.

Here's a few small projects I finished earlier in the month:

Strawberry tea cosy, for quidditch match:

That was a fun knit! And the FO is quite fun, too.

Gingerbread man, for no reason whatsoever, apart from I thought it would be fun to make:

Pair of Alice-style mittens to keep dd's hands warm while she works on her history essay:

Still working on my shawl, plus a cushion cover with fly agarics on it. More about that next time!

Sunday, 21 October 2012


Boys Who Are Ten like trips to the Climbing Centre. They don't mind if their mum brings her knitting along. They like cake, ice-cream, Skylanders Giants and the Guinness Book of Records.

Happy Birthday, ds! Here's to the next decade!

Sunday, 7 October 2012

Quiet weekend

It's very quiet here this weekend, as dh is away with work until Tuesday and dd had two shifts in her new weekend part time job. She has a proper paid job in a shoe shop (but is still volunteering a couple of hours in her charity shop). So it's just been me and ds, going to swimming lessons, to get Skylanders stickers, hanging out at home and watching TV.

While this is going on, I've been working away at my shawl. It's a pity lace doesn't look better in progress:

The FO will look better, I'm sure.

The red thread is a lifeline. Also, to try and keep on top of the pattern (8-stitch repeats in every other row) every stitch marker I own is now in that project, and I'm going to run out at the next chart. Will have to look for some paperclips!

Monday, 1 October 2012

Stashdown2012 #9

On 1 September, I stashed up for the House Cup term ahead. At the yarn shop I bought 2300 yards in total, made up of:
  • Sirdar smiley stripes 3 balls 312 yards
  • Fyberspates scrumptious lace 1 ball 1094 yards
  • Rowan pure wool dk 1 ball 136 yards
  • Sirdar aran 1 200g ball 260 yards
  • Wendy bliss merino 1 ball 120 yards
  • Sirdar crofter 1 ball 184 yards
  • Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran 2 balls 200 yards
Phew. That is a lot of yarn. But laceweight is very good value - 1094 yards for £17. It's beautiful too, look:

Also, most was bought with specific projects in mind and I started knitting from three of the yarns within the month.

In September, I used up:
  • Roughly 360 yards of Fyberspates scrumptious, on the needles to make a lace shawl by 30 November. It should take about 900 yards altogether and I'm at 40% of the way through.
  • 250 yards Sirdar smiley stripes making a baby hat and Puerperium cardigan
  • 140 yards DB Cashmerino aran making a butterflies and vines cabled hat. This was a test knit. It's lovely, but the FO is slightly too big for me, so it may be that this yarn eventually finds its way back into my stash again for re-knitting in a smaller size.
  • 130 yards of Rico essential cotton crocheting a robin, a lavender sachet and a coffee cup (don't ask...)

2300 yards in and 880 yards out. That's a net stash up of 1420 yards. I have some more yarn due to be delivered any day now, again for a planned House Cup project, but after that I shouldn't need to buy any more yarn this year. I hope.