Half a walk is better than none

I decided to follow in Dovegreyreader‘s footsteps and share a walk with my virtual friends.
Rule No. 1: make sure your digital camera is fully charged! I actually did the WHOLE walk but because of not living up to the Girl Guide’s motto of “Be Prepared” alas I am only able to share half of that walk with you.

The lovely Dovegreyreader lives in an area that has been designated of “outstanding natural beauty”. I live just inside the M25 (London’s orbital motorway) and not quite under the flight path of planes from HeathrowAirport. However, I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what I can show you during an hour’s roundtrip on foot from my house. Don’t forget now, on this occasion I can only show you approximately the first half.
So… let’s step out of my house .. and turn right.

This is the road that I live in. The redbrick wall belongs to my next-door neighbour, the Methodist Church and just beyond that you can see the Scout Hut. Further along and across the road is the Junior School that all my children attended, and just beyond that the level-crossing and the railway station. No school run for me and now I can almost fall out of bed and onto the train in the morning, I hardly have to walk at all.

Standing by the side of the track at the level crossing this is the view towards the station and on up to London town

Here’s the postman who cycled so fast he was almost off the village green, that used to be water filter beds, and heading for our local branch library before I “snapped” him.

On a little further and glancing back we can see the old redbrick Police Station from where the traffic police now operate so you can’t pop in and get them to nab a cat burglar for you. Back in the days when the children were small I did however, drag in No.2 child and tell the Duty Officer that he kept sliding out of his child seat. They weren’t exactly helpful, they didn’t threaten to lock him up as I had hoped, instead they let him try on a helmet and gave him a sticker. Needless to say he carried on with his Houdini tricks.

Enough of looking backwards, we pass a row of prettily painted houses.

and head towards St Mary’s Church on Station Road which runs parallel with the RiverThames.

Just before we get to the T-junction, a quick glance at the houses across the road.

A hop, skip and a jump and here we are right by the River Thames but no chance of catching a pedestrian ferry across, the sign says, “CLOSED”.

Well we’ve managed it as far as St Mary’s Church and it’s reassuring to know that “God Believes in You”.

The leaves are coming in to bud but haven’t yet obscured our view of the river.

It’s obviously just the weather for “messing about on the river”.

Unless you are in a car heading for the airport

Or in a bus off for a little retail therapy

However, we are out for a walk and maybe just a smidgeon of culture. Across the road is the house of the famous actor, David Garrick. You may have seen the portrait of him as Richard III by William Hogarth. When the road wasn’t quite so busy there was a tunnel underneath from Garrick’s House to the part of his garden that ran down to the river. And here it was that he built his temple to Shakespeare, now known as Garrick’s Temple.

It can be seen from both the river and the road and is open to the public at the weekends in the summer season.

Soon we will be able to get away from the infernal combustion engine and go looking for rabbits.

Yes, there’s an urban rabbit there, somewhere in Bushy Park, which is a Royal Park.
With an area of 445 hectares (1,099 acres). Bushy is the second largest of the Royal Parks.

Here we are off the road and just inside the park. Just in case we get lost, we have a map. We entered through a gate at the very bottom left, where the blue River Thames almost flows into the green Bushy Park.

Here is that part of the map in more detail and with our route marked out in red. We will barely nibble into that big blob of green.
You can only come with me as far as where the red line goes across the white flower symbol because that’s where the camera’s battery runs out! I’ll have to make my own way home from there.

If you are really interested, you can download a pdf map of Bushy Park.

Off to the right is the direction in which we are going to set off. In the distance is the Diana Fountain, dedicated to the goddess, not the late Princess of Wales.

Back to the left you can see the house that is part of Bushy Park stock yard from where they do whatever they have to do to look after the deer in this Royal Park. If you have really good eyesight, in the distance, to the right of the house, you can see St Mary’s Church that we walked past earlier.

Now we are entering a park within a park, the Woodland Gardens, so you will have to leave your bike and your dog behind.

We’ve just missed the daffodils

and the rhododendrons and azaleas are over

but we can still enjoy looking at all the shapes between the branches

I’m off home now, with my cloak of invisibilty on, you’ll have to stay here
till I come back for you with a recharged battery ……….

Perfectionists look away now

Well here we are at Sanquhar Stage 2! As you can see there are millions of imperfections just in the rib. the yarn is so fine that stitches just disappear and you cannot see where they have gone or what you have to pick up to recover them so I just resorted to stabbing at something to get my 2 black 2 white!!
It’s not just about losing stitches either. At the point where you change from one of the needles to another the needles secretly grab a piece of yarn that stretches between the two needles and pretend that it’s another stitch.
I don’t consider those problems to have been of my making but I am completely to blame for the silly idea of hanging my own cobbled together “combined stitch marker and row counter” on this Sanquhar Spiders Web. The result? A lumpy, loopy white bulge running up the rows that I allowed it to be in residence in!!! Aaargh! So I went back to a short loop of contrasting yarn – even that seems like a ships’s hawser – AND I UNWOUND IT AND ONLY USED ONE PLY!!

Anyway – whatever the result I have finished the rib and I have done my initials although they will probably turn out to be in the wrong place.

The next stage of the pattern is scary:
“Round 40-51: Work Pattern-C while working Chart-A at the beginning of the round.” !!!!!!

Pattern C is harmless enough – it’s just the black and whiteness of the little 22 stitches by 22 rows of pattern and I can say each row out loud to myself e.g 2 black, 3 white, 3 B, 3 W, 2 B, 4W, 1 B, 4W.

BUT the Chart A part is not harmless – it is a grid which is coloured in black and white AND has little symbols sitting on it for increasing and decreasing!!!
It’s all jagged and pointy because it is trying to represent something 3 dimensional in 2 dimensions!!!!

By the way – in case you haven’t guessed I was always hopeless at Maths and Science and “stuff” like that” The even scarier thing is that I have reached the stage in my life where I work out what change I need etc faster than YOUNG people. Yep I am officially middle-aged!!!

Now one of my dilemmas is (or should that be “are”?) are the 2 black at the beginning of Chart A the same as the 2 B at the beginning of Pattern C? I think I may have to take a LONG sabbatical from the “real” gloves and try this out on GIANT needles. The thought of 4mm is sheer bliss.

In case you have actually read this far you can see the delightful pattern that Glovegreyknitter
and I are “following” here.

And in case you are still awake there is alleged help about reading Japanese patterns here.
Help about the TWO sorts of charts. and

symbols for increasing (symbol like charity ribbon)decreasing (like a sideways “Y”)

OK You can go and have a sit down now with a nice BIG mug of tea and a choccy digestive.
…. I put the digestive in because I used to work with a Japanese girl and she absolutely hated digestive biscuits .. so that’s my revenge on the whole Japanese race for those horrible patterns!!

Ok I know that’s mean when some wonderful Japanese woman has gone to to all the trouble of CHARTING !!!! (calm down!!) out the Scottish Sanquhar pattern.

I’m going for a lie down ….. see you all in about 12 years time.

Scarf Round Robin

A group of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers are doing a Scarf Round Robin. Suggested constraints are 4mm needles, DK-ish homespun or home-dyd yarn, up to 45 stitches wide and each section approx 6-10 inches long. Mine has several different stripes from three diffrent dye sessions: orange, blue and purple.
My first section (on the left) was spun from a mix of orange and purple. Second section from the orange with some of the reddier bits from that same orange dye session. Third stripe from the blue, fourth from the blue with a few bits of the purple. Fifth and last stripe was spun from some of all three dye lots. It is all just knitted in moss stitch, so it won’t curl at the edges. I just wanted to celebrate the glorious mix of colours.

I’m so impatient, I want to send this off to the next person and receive someone else’s starter piece and add to that. I’m rather hoping that I will have to dye some fleece specially for the sections I add to everyone’s pieces

In Tandem Sanquhar Knitting

On the left Ladies and Gentlemen – the goal. On the right – progress so far.
I’m attempting to knit these “Sanquhar Gloves” in tandem with my erudite partner in crime dovegrey reader. When she get’s all crafty she calls herself glovegrey knitter.

In case you are not impressed this endeavour is akin to climbing Everest or rowing the Atlantic single-handed. The needles are 1.5mm and I couldn’t find them available anywhere in the UK. We had to send to Germany for them. That’s just the needles. The wool is 2 ply Shetland Lace yarn from Jamieson & Smith.

Watch this space!

Yesterday I decided that today I would . .

take some photos of what I have been doing since I last posted. Yesterday was a beautiful sunny day and today … it is wet and damp and miserable and definitely NOT a good day to stand outside and take photos.

Blue Wensleydale

Not it’s not a cheese, it’s some roving that my Devonian friend, Lynne, was going to learn to spin with. Due to a mystery injury she’s decided to give spinning a miss and so I promised to spin it up for her. She’s hoping for sock yarn but I’m afraid that my spinning is still at the “what you get is what you get” stage!!!

Winding the yarn around the daybed end resulted in skeins that could only be hung to dry in the shower. however winding around the back of the wooden armchair meant that the skeins were short enough to hang up over the kitchen sink. Here you can see how I set the ply with the aid of two full tin cans.

In A Spin

Spun up some of my hand-dyed fleece the batch I called “Beowolf”at the time – all greeny-brown and very earthy. I used some of it to crochet some simple square coasters to protect the tables at the cottage and left them behind as a thank you. My final skein of “Beowolf” came out as boucle – not quite sure why. The orangey-yellowy skeins were super-soft though.

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