Monday, 26 January 2009
Monday, 19 January 2009
This is a view looking south along the cliffline towards Sunderland. Marsden Bay has a sandy beach covered with pebbles, rocks, seaweed and the occasional flotsam and jetsam of the present day. The cliffs are riddled with caves said to be the haunts of smugglers in times past. The Permian Magnesian Limestone forms the cliffs and stacks and the bays are cut into the softer Dolomite. The elements combine to alter the face of this area and rapid changes follow stormy weather.
Wednesday, 7 January 2009
I have fallen in love with the DROPS pattern, no.110-34. It is so easy and adaptable. I did the red one in sock wool (Lana Grossa) on 4mm needles. I did it longer than the pattern (cast on 80 stitches) and adjusted the short rows to 66 and 52 stitches. I cast off when it wrapped round my head. I threaded some eyelash yarn through the holes left by the turn round at the short rows and I wear it turned up.
The beige one is knitted from some stuff I got from Sue's stash! at about the same time as the knitting bag. It is a 14ply acrylic from Target called Mosaic and I don't even know if Target still sell yarn. My sister is wearing that one turned up too.
The one on the needles at present is Rowan Tapestry, which always looks so lovely when it's stacked on the shelves in a wool shop that I had to buy a couple of balls even though I had no idea what I would knit with it. Well.....this hat seems to fit the bill/ball. In fact one ball seems to be sufficient so I'm still looking for a project for the second ball.
I'm knitting this one on 4.5mm needles cos the hats seem to suit a looser tension. This one is even longer than the other two and so will have a larger turn-up and be really cosy round the ears for a long ramble.
There's a lovely new wool shop opened in Barnard Castle, opposite the Butter Mart or Market Cross, so I made a visit today and spent a happy half hour selecting some yarns for a cardigan. It is a Berroco free pattern and uses a combination of yarns. As these are not available in the UK, I will have to do a lot of playing around with yarns and needle sizes. I bought a ball of Sirdar Juniper to start with. It is soooo pretty that I want to start knitting it RIGHT NOW. It seems that the Rowan Tapestry hat will become a WIP for a while.
I have reasoned around it by telling myself that I don't need a third hat straight away!!!
Cheers for now Gillian
Sunday, 4 January 2009
These gaudily coloured buildings are old pigeon crees (lofts). Once a common hobby of coal miners, the crees were built from any available materials and I think the gaily painted fence-tops at the front were to deter the birds from roosting there and to encourage them to re-enter their boxes. Sadly these are no longer in use. Many of the miners are no longer alive or able to care for their birds. Pigeon fancying and racing are still more prevalent in the north of England though, and I have seen the owners gathering in country lanes nearby to release the racers.
The fell has been occupied, farmed and mined for over two thousands years. The evidence of mining ranges from mediaeval bell pits to the shafts and drifts (adits) of the last century.
This pockmarked country shows the remains of the old mine workings. These indicate the locations of the old bell pits. The hole in the ground was the shaft and the miners dug down and around themselves to extract minerals such as coal and iron ore. When the hole got dangerous and the roof started falling, they got out and started a new one next to it. That left a bell shaped hole where they had been. The old holes were often filled with the spoil from the next hole.
Quarrying has scarred the fell along the line of the Cleveland Dyke in order to extract Whin stone for use in road building. This stone left the fell by railway. The picture below shows the remains of the Gordon House Colliery tramway which descended to the Haggerleases branch of the Stockton to Darlington Railway. The branchline ran along the valley of the Gaunless river, a tributary of the Wear.
Along the valley bottom are the remains of many "Bee Hive coke ovens". These were used to produce coke from the highly volatile coals of the local mines. The coke was used in iron smelting and highly sought after. The heat created in these closed ovens was sufficient to cause the firebrick lining to glaze with use.
We wandered back up the fell from the valley, past the horses and ponies, the Swaledale black-faced sheep, the chickens and the lads and dogs out rabbiting. The weather was fine and still and the views were distant as we sat on the heathland grass tussocks and had our picnic.
Today I woke to a few inches of snow. More has fallen since but the sunshine is encouraging me to go out even though it is too weak to melt the snow.
Tomorrow another ramble is planned and I am hoping that the snow will last so that I can make footprints.
Cheers for now
Saturday, 3 January 2009
I have managed to squeeze myself and some of my furniture into the small spaces it provides and have sent the rest off to auction. It has taken a couple of shuffles to get it comfy and uncluttered and now I proudly show it off. The upper picture shows the entry and half the sitting room.
The back door leads to the new, but much smaller, walled garden via a stable door and a future blog will display the garden in better light. The kitchen is small but very well set up and easy to use.
The small cottage I'm living in now is the previous home of the notorious serial killer Mary Ann Cotton. She was arrested from this house in the late nineteenth century.
More about this next time!!!!!