A chill in the air!

The days are certainly getting shorter and cooler and wetter! Last night it was time to turn on the lights around 7.30pm and our central heating is taking the chill off the house both night and morning.

Not too much in the way of Autumn colours as yet but yesterday I drove out to Stanhope in Weardale to attend a spinning group there. What a beautiful drive. Its been around 5 years since I went that way but its only 12 miles from home, in fact within about 5 miles there are the most terrific views on a good day.

After a few miles there is a cattle guard across the road, from there on you are in North Pennines National Park – an area of outstanding natural beauty. The sheep did not seem daunted by a would be fleece napper, complete with spinning wheel, they were lazily strolling either side of the road. I wanted to stop and take pictures to share with you but found there were not too many suitable places. The side of the road has been badly affected by weather and is very pothole strewn. Eventually I found a pull in and got out with the camera. It was at this point I realised I should have bought a coat! The wind almost blew me flat added to which it was very chilly.

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Right in the distance, in the bottom picture, I could see the North East coast. I wish I could have found a better spot to take some shots. The marker posts alongside the road are a tell tale sign of what the weather can be like up here in winter – they are snow markers! I guess I wont be going to the Stanhope spinners group in bad weather.

They were a lovely bunch of ladies drawn from many locations across the area and I met a couple of spinners who have been spinning for over 40 years. They had a wealth of knowledge and were very generous about passing it on.

My life seems very full of fluff and wool right now, I am so enjoying having Bertha around to keep me company. Last Saturday was Spin in public day where those who can, display to the public at large, that spinning is a pass time to be enjoyed. I joined a other spinners at The Knit Studio in Blackfriars in Newcastle spending a very pleasant few hours under the Walnut tree beside the historic buildings there.P1290428

These ladies too were most helpful with tips on how to get Bertha working more smoothly. So much so that a couple of days later I had this:-

P1290429This is the first yarn I have finished on Bertha. See, I have been busy.I have already started to knit with it. Ok its a bit lumpy bumpy but I want to actually use it – progress shots next time.

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What’s happening ?

Hello everyone!

Well, apologies for neglecting my blog but phew, life has been more than hectic!

This is my second week with Robert back at work and finally I feel some calmness with time to relax and put words on paper… well I suppose that should be on screen.

We have had a fair bit of family stuff in the last few weeks but have also been getting the house a bit straighter. This past week end we had a visit from Liz and Ron (with their friends Cathy and Dennis) who are on a tour of the UK as the final part of their Europe vacation.

I met Liz through our mutual love of knitting via the internet site Ravelry. We then visited with them at their California home and took a trip together to Lake Tahoe in April. It was lovely to be able to welcome them to the North East on a beautiful week end and show them some of our favourite places.

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Ron and Dennis at the Quayside

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Liz enjoying The Sage

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Here we are all together in Blackfriars Restaurant Sunday afternoon!

P1290360I have made a couple of acquisitions over the past week or so. The first is Bertha my spinning wheel who is going to keep me company and hopefully out of too much trouble this winter.

She dates from around 1965 –75, I believe, I bought her from e-bay. When we collected her the young lady who was selling told me she had been given the wheel by someone who was clearing out their Mums attic after she had passed away.

The wheel has been kept very well, the seller had not taken to spinning but had still looked after her. With a little oil and a few tweaks she was running well and we are enjoying getting to know each other!

My second purchase again from e-bay was a lovely rocking chair.

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This is so comfy … I am sitting in it right now…. in our smaller bedroom which we have turned into a den for our hobbies.

Number one question we are being asked at the moment is ‘how does Robert feel being back at work’… Robert being Robert is taking it all in his stride. He is getting to know what is required of the job he is involved with, getting to know new faces and renewing old friendships. All good so far. Mind – getting up while its still dark (6am alarm) is not going down so well with either of us.

And me? well as I said before I have not had a minute ….. so much I want and need to do the day flies over.

Second question…. do we miss our travelling and haRVey? again life has been so busy we just have not had time to even consider what we might have been doing. I confess I did have a couple of jealous moments when reading what some of our friends have been up to… Sue and Paul (www.soos-ontheroad.blogspot.com) were at Lake Superior….. and Aggie and George have been visiting too… in Utah and then up to see the presidents  at Mount Rushmore…Aggie

This is Aggie with a mutual friend of ours Vanmoose! and of course the Presidents

It seems our season is turning, cooler blustery weather this week with P1290414some rain too. So to finish off with here are a couple of images of the garden. The Japanese anemone are in full bloom.

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This one is looking down from the den window on the top part of the garden with the burn (stream) just over the fence in the top right corner.

I thought it might be nice to share some images of our home and surroundings so there will be more in up coming blogs I hope.

This will be first blog without my editor in chief (Robert) giving it the once over so hopefully there are no glaring typos else I will be in big trouble when he reads it!

Hopefully more soon! Elaine