(Warning! - photo-heavy post!)
Woke this morning at 6.30am to find it barely light enough to read ... OK, so the fact that it was tipping down with rain outside probably didn't help, but clearly the year is turning, and Autumn is upon us. Contrast this with Lynne, who also woke this morning to find it just light enough to read, but for her, it is Spring. Am feeling a little depressed at the thought of winter rushing towards us again (I have a slight tendency towards S.A.D.), so I think it's time for a big update, which will keep me busy.
This time a month ago, it was the day before we went to France, and it occurs to me that I have been a bit mean and not shared many holiday snaps, so here are a few of my favourite ones - and if you're really interested you can go to my Flickr gallery here to see more (that will save those of you who are already thinking 'Oh no, not holiday snaps ...!'). There may still be more to come, when I get around to uploading the children's flash-cards, and they will also go on the Flickr gallery.
Decided to treat the children by driving through Paris. THey have been mad keen to go round the Arc de Triomphe ever since they saw Jeremy Clarkson doing it on television, so here is just a little bit of the "dodgems" in progress (not very fast! but it is quite exciting). Needless to say, the whole family were reduced to hysterical giggling within about 10 seconds of getting there. My favourite bit was where the party of tourists on foot started picking their way through the traffic across to the Arc, but sadly no-one managed to get a photo of that bit, as John & I were too busy concentrating on where we had to go next ...
Emily managed to get almost all of the Eiffel Tower into one shot.
Here we are on the bridge at Avignon (again), but this time my hair is not in Rockabilly mode (hooray!) - Emily, on the other hand, seems to be having a lot of touble with hers.
I took the children round the Pope's palace, while John sat in the cafe in the square below (guess who enjoyed themselves more?).
But we all had a good laugh when Emily got attacked by a living statue - it was her own fault, she was making horrible faces at him, to try and make him laugh ....
Thanks to Beverley, we made it to Arles to see the arena, and the wonderful Roman cemetery. We had known about the Arena (but somehow hadn't connected that they were one and the same place) from the film 'Ronin', - which strangely enough was shown on BBC3 last week - and hadn't realised how big it is. The cemetery is just lovely - so peaceful!
I love cemeteries - Emily says I am very strange, but she is probably thinking of Buffy the Vampire Slayer - but in my experience, they are truly magical (hushed) places.
John's brother Jeremy and his family were in the south of France at the same time as us, staying in Juan-les-Pins, so we arranged to meet up one day at a halfway point, and spend the day together. After lunch, we drove up into the Haute Alpes part of Provence to see the Gorge du Verdon (apparently the world's 2nd largest gorge), This is a view of the gorge taken from 200 - 300 metres up. We were on a little viewing platform, and it was incredibly windy, but for once the camera didn't shake too much. There is a lake at the western end of the gorge (the Lac de Sainte Croix), which was created by damming the river Verdon, which I swear is turquoise colured, and most fetchingly has a heart-shaped island at one end of it (rather like those posh arty photographic calendars about the heart of the earth) . You can find a bit more info here anyway.
On another day we went to Aigues-Mortes, a walled city near to the Mediterranean. Many of the Crusades set out from this city.
Driving back through France. This is one of the astonishing churches in Le-Puy-en-Velay (where the lentils come from). The whole area is covered in ancient (extinct) volcanos, and many of them have churches or statues built right on the top. Wonder how they got it all up there ....
Have cheered up a bit and the rain has stopped, so here are some knitting updates:
Holly is working on her first big project, a scarf in Rowan Big Wool Tufty. She's had her eye on this yarn for months, and finally it was heavily reduced in a sale, so she has five balls to make a scarf. Cast on 14 stitches on 10mm needles, knit till you run out of yarn, then ladder every third stitch. She's nearly finished the knitting part, so then we have the fun of doing the ladders ... deliberately.
I'm working on a fichu for my mother in the Tilly Tomas Disco Lights that I bought from Stash. The pattern is from Vogue Summer 2006, and I seem to have just about enough for it out of one skein, except for the crocheted edge, which I am probably going to do in a matching / toning lurex yarn (either Rowan Lurex xhimmer or Twilley's Goldfingering, or possibly some embroidery thread - DMC do a good one in their Metallic Effects thread).
Yet another moebius, this time in the Wendy Moiselle that I bought the other month. I worked about every 3rd or 4th row in an elongated stitch to show off the ribbon-y bits.
Spinning: Emily was mad keen to have a drop spindle for her birthday last month, but as she doesn't know how to do it (and neither did I), I have had to teach myself first, so that I can show her. Here's the first attempt, which I actually managed to ply, and here's the second attempt, following a quick chat with Jan at Maidstone Knitters a few weeks back.
The second try was a lot easier thanks to the tip about splitting your tops into thinner pieces first. For those of you who like to know about such things, it's Blue Faced Leicester tops (and I bought it from P&M Woolcraft, along with the top whorl drop spindle). Guess we'll have to have a bash at Kool-Aid dyeing next.
Finally, you may have seen Yarnstorm and Ysolda's blogs recently, about the Odham's books. I promised Ysolda I would photograph the end-papers on one of mine by way of comparison, and here it is. There are quite a number of these books around, and for those interested, here are the titles that I know about / own:
KNITTING FOR ALL ILLUSTRATED
PRACTICAL KNITTING ILLUSTRATED
THE PICTORIAL GUIDE TO MODERN HOME KNITTING
ODHAMS ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF KNITTING
MODERN KNITTING ILLUSTRATED
KNITTED GARMENTS FOR ALL
KNITTED GARMENTS FOR THE FAMILY
COMPLETE HOME KNITTING ILLUSTRATED
Almost all seem to have been published between about 1935 - 1955, and it looks like Odhams Press were pretty keen on this type of book. My mother also has another similar book, PRACTICAL HOME DRESSMAKING, and I also have one about Home Mending. Knitting authors who wrote for Odhams are (among others) James Norbury, Margaret Murray/Jane Koster, & Catherine Franks.
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