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Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Texere, Coldspring & Bobbins

What a lovely few days away! I'll tell you all about it but, first, I want to show you River (which I blocked on my return). Here she is draped over a chair. I was a bit over-cautious with the blocking in that I was afraid to pull the edging too much so it probably doesn't look quite right. I also took the instructions literally and measured exactly six centimetres between the positions where I pinned. I want to knit another because I'd like to block the edging differently and don't really want to go through the process again with this one. I've decided that my interpretation of the blocking instructions for River (or my interpretation of how River should be blocked depending on how you look at it) is that the edging should flow in the same way as the ripples in the lace pattern itself. So, the edging should be pulled to a shape that is slightly more rounded than a point and in the same positions as in the pattern itself. In other words, my next River will have the edging blocked in a way that will follow the line of the ripples in River! Hmm ..... what do you think?

Here's another photo of River showing the full extent of her ripples!

The cast off method I used for River also didn't work very well because that edge turned out tighter than the lace cast on edge that I did. Since that time, I've been looking at the folder I've kept of UKHK members' posts regarding various methods of casting off and decided that the Icelandic method is probably a good candidate for next time. Don't you just love doing things not quite right; the best lessons are learned this way!

As regards the beaded knot, think hybrid of doughnut and spotted dick. It's something and nothing. After having spent time and effort blocking River, I can't imagine wanting to stuff it into this ring but each to their own!

I seem to have obtained three more balls of KSH in the same colourway which I will use to make Birch. More lace knitting and blocking practice! Must get better at blocking!

Anyway, I promised to tell you about our few days away. First stop was Morley near Leeds where we stayed at the Old Vicarage Hotel. From here we visited Texere and Coldspring. I didn't buy anything at Coldspring because there was nothing of interest to me at the time of our visit but at Texere I bought 14 balls of Alpaca Select to make a jumper for DH. This is 100% alpaca and luxuriously soft!

I also bought 20 balls of aran weight recycled cashmere and lambswool at only 90p a ball!

After a few days at the Old Vicarage, we left for Darlington where we stayed at the Ballantyne Hotel which we used as our base to visit family in Whitby and Durham. On Friday evening we had a family reunion dinner at Trencher's restaurant in Whitby. This restaurant is so popular that there are always people queueing at the door waiting for a table and, by the end of the meal, we all understood why. The food was delicious and the service impeccable. Despite our tight schedule, whilst in Whitby, I managed to fit in a visit to Bobbins. I wished that I'd taken my camera with me because Church Street where it's situated has tons of atmosphere - think cobbles, street musicians and fascinating shops - and Bobbins itself was wonderful. I could have stayed there for hours just browsing but I didn't have long because of our schedule. I bought a kit for a scalloped lacy throw in various Colinette Yarns shown below.

I was also thinking of buying one of the Whitby Guernsey Kits (again, for DH) but wanted his opinion first and he was unable to join me due to difficulty finding a parking space. There was some sort of music festival going on and there were Morris Dancers in the streets, etc, and parking was very difficult to find.

On our way home, we stopped off at Knaresborough. This is a place that I have often passed on my way up north and always wanted to visit but never quite got around to it. This time we determined to stop there and I especially wanted to see Old Mother Shipton's Cave and the Petrifying Well.

Reaching the well and cave involves a walk along the banks of the River Nidd which is very pleasant and we passed Castle Mill and Weir. Here are a couple of photos to show just what an idyllic spot this is.

The Petrifying Well, pictured below, was the subject of much superstition in bygone days because it was felt that anyone who went near it would be turned to stone! The well is fed by a natural lake about one mile underground that is so rich in minerals that any object that comes into contact with this water will, over a period of time, develop a mineral coating on its surface, hence the well's name!

The above photo shows objects hung at the well so that they are in constant contact with the water. The objects include teddies and Agatha Christie's handbag! The bears take around three months before they are sufficiently coated to be classed as petrified teddy bears and guess who has one on order?

A bit further on from the Petrifying Well is Mother Shipton's Cave in which her mother gave birth to her in 1488. At the time, her mother was 15 years of age, pregnant out of wedlock, and in danger of being driven from the village because she refused to tell anyone, even the local magistrate, who was the father of the child. She sought refuge in the cave because everything she needed - water, shelter, and solitude - were available there. She was not likely to be disturbed because the locals were so fearful of the place, they wouldn't go anywhere near it. Here's a photo of the inside of the cave which, as you can see, now contains a monument to Mother Shipton.

Mother Shipton went on to make many Nostradamus-like prophesies and, like Nostradamus, she was eventually proved to be very accurate in her predictions! I find the whole story and the place itself fascinating. On the walk back, I stopped at the Wishing Well. It is said that if a person immerses their hand into the Wishing Well whilst making a wish and then lets that hand dry naturally, the wish will come true as long as they don't tell anyone what they wished for until after it's been granted. Needless to say, I did dip my hand into the well and I did make a wish but I'm saying nothing more on that at the moment! Afterwards, we repaired to the nearby Yorkshire Lass pub for some solid and liquid sustenance before heading back south for home.


  • At 3:01 pm, Blogger Kellee said…

    What a charming village Knaresborough is. And your River...beautiful! Congratulations!

  • At 3:26 pm, Anonymous Jessie said…

    Your river looks beautiful -- I'm about to start mine! And on the topic of blocking, when I blocked birch, my blocking wires really came in handy. Alternatively you could use a string to get the straight edges. (The yarn harlot posted recently how she blocks lace.)

  • At 6:12 pm, Blogger Tracy said…

    It's like magic when you block lace isn't it? I pulled mine out with the pattern in the end to go with the flow and I have to admit to casting off at least twice as I did it too tight! Like you said though, it's a learning process the whole time. Looks like you had a wonderful time away.

  • At 7:52 pm, Anonymous Jackie said…

    River is beautiful! I love the way it just flows.

  • At 6:05 am, Blogger Debi said…

    Your River is so lovely!! But I'm with you, who wants to stuff it into that beaded thingy? Use the thingy for your hair and let River *flow*!!
    Also, your pics of your trip and the cool myths that go with them are amazing! I wish I was there too! Thanks for letting me visit thru you! :)

  • At 5:31 pm, Blogger scarletprincess said…

    Well I think your river looks fab and I agree about the knot thing- absolutely unnecessary!
    Gonna have to wait to start river now, but I shall sometime in the future. Thanks for the sunday walk through the towns- I loved the way you described everything and i'll bet you had a lovely time.

  • At 11:22 pm, Blogger Marie said…

    Your River is gorgeous, but I think I've said that before! Thank you for the sweet comment on my Birch.Looking forward to seeing how yours turns out. Will it be Dewberry too? Lots of lovely purple and blue colours in that post, so I'm guessing they are your favorites!

  • At 11:31 pm, Blogger Fred said…

    Petrifying Well was featured recently on Picture of Britain with David Dimbleby and really jealous that you've been there as looked picturesque in itself!

  • At 7:02 am, Anonymous Anna said…

    Sounds like a fantastic holiday and the colours of the Colinette kit look fantastic. Bet you can't wait to start knitting it up... :)


  • At 8:57 pm, Blogger yahaira said…

    your river is sooo pretty.

    btw what is an icelandic cast off?


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