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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

What I did on my holidays...

For a start, I knitted. Lots and lots.
On the train up north I cast on the Baby Cashmerino socks on my new Addis and started to get to grips with knitting two socks at once. However, when I say grip, I suspect that the deathlike vice in which I held my needles may not have been the most conducive grip to ensure even tension and avoid cramping. So far I'm not finding it the most comfortable experience but I hope to persevere. I think part of the problem is that the sizing (60sts on 3mm needles) already appears a little large. I didn't plan to knit that many stitches, but between being unable to work out what kind of pattern to knit and trying to keep the number of stitches on each sock even (stitch markers to mark the beginning of each rounf are in order here I think) I just ended up with that many. The problem now is that I'm not sure I can bear to rip back both socks (the hidden pain of knitting two socks at once) and start over.
Two trains and a bus ride later we had arrived in Grasmere and I was feeling the pangs of RSI. With autumn lurking just around the corner I felt inspired to pick up the Anna Bell Argyle sweater again. Over the long weekend I managed to finish the front and knit about 6 inches of sleeve (yay). The front has a slight (unintentional, though happily symmetrical) variation on the pattern. I somehow managed to miss the instruction "on RS" when decreasing for the neck shaping so it's more of a heart- than a V-shaped neck. I think (fingers crossed) that it will still look and fit ok and as the pattern is correct throughout I don't think that I'll have too much heart burning over it. I'm really looking forward to adding the ribbed edging around the neck and I might skip ahead to do that.
And whilst I knit (knitted?, knot?) I listened to the new series of Cast-On (yay). I am so happy that Brenda is back after the break and I can listen to her fantastic show whilst I knit and travel up and down the country by train. The new football season has already started so I'm going to be making a lot of trips up north to watch home games and the journeys just seem to whizz by with a couple or three episodes. I also downloaded a couple of episodes of CraftSanity including the Debbie Stoller interview which I really enjoyed. I'm especially interested to see the two new books which Debbie mentioned.
Of course I didn't spend all the time knitting and listening to podcasts. I went for two really great walks near Grasmere with my boyfriend. We stayed in a really great B&B called How Foot Lodge just outside the village on the road to Ambleside so on the Wednesday afternoon, just after we arrived, we walked back down the road until we came to a footpath to the lake. Then we just kept on walking up zig-zagging footpaths until we reached the trig point on the top of Loughrigg fell. On Thursday we kind of did the same thing. We walked up to Easedale tarn which is a beautiful walk and one that I know really well. When we'd got to the tarn it was still only 11am so we walked past the tarn and up the valley following a troop of walkers we had seen heading that way. And we just kept heading on up the path, past another tarn and up some pretty rocky slopes, until we reached one of the peaks, Blea Rigg Crag which had great views of Stickle tarn below and Windermere and the Langdale Pikes and (I think) Elterwater and Morcambe Bay across to Wales. The weather was just gorgeous and I wore my new Aran tweed walking socks (which weren't at all scratchy despite the bleak prognostications of the yarn shop owner when I bought the tweed). They were, alas, somewhat felted when I finally took them off after 6 hours of walking, but that's to be expected and it just adds to the cosiness. The view behind the socks (pictures will follow) is of Codale Tarn above Grasmere.

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