Heights, Hats and New Year

Hello All

Hope its not too late to wish you all HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! What is the protocol? I usually go with wishing Happy New Year to people I have not seen – since hearing the fading strains of Auld Lang Syne – until the end of January. What do you do?

Protocols aside a bit of housekeeping is needed on this here blog. I don’t feel I have finished 2017 off properly as I was smitten by a fluey bug at the tail end of the Christmas festivities and didn’t complete a post for the last walk of the old year. It was a Bussing It walk and everything!!! So here goes.

Somewhere in the mists of time … December 2017! …. J unleashed our first walk from Robert Swain’s “55 555 Walks” Bolton Le Sands to Lancaster. For me it is a particular pleasure to combine public transport with a walk, no worries about driving, parking, individually polluting the universe … that sort of thing. But little did I know as we set off that by the end of the day I would be facing one of my greatest fears. Eeek.

Innocently we tootled off on a very pleasant stroll through the Lancashire countryside chuckling at the punishments meted out to ne’er do wells of yesteryore.

The stocks at Slyne give a hint of a raucous past in this now ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ little village. Oh how I was chuckling … then.

The next stretch of the walk took us part-way along the Lancaster canal. My favourite: a really flat walk.

Although major road building – the Bay Gateway: Heysham to M6 link if you wanted to know – left us with a rather strange detour (not in Swain’s book of course) serpentining our way around the pillars of the new four-lane highway rumbling above us before entering the outskirts of Lancaster through a modern housing estate. Different from the Lakeland fells and cottages for sure.

And then as we walked through Lancaster’s Ryelands Park … gulp … the realisation that the walk took us across the Lune and that this would only be managed by bridge (swimming across would be pretty radical). Those of you that followed my travels in Germany will recall an annoying vertigo that decided to visit me while I was away. The thought of a scary bridge on the horizon brought that memory back.

J being the good friend she is suggested we walk to a much less high rise footbridge. But that meant skipping some of the walk so I girded my loins and up and over Lancaster’s Carlisle (foot and rail) Bridge we went. And do you know what? despite my qualms, fear of white knuckles, passing out part way (I think that was J’s fear) it was … drum roll please …. ok. I know what an anti-climax. It really was alright.

It was worth it too as the quays along this bank of the Lune, a salt marsh tidal river, are quaint and full of architectural interest. They also end in a good end stop at the oldest pub in Lancaster. The Three Mariners is not only a grade II listed building steeped in 500 years of history – even holding prisoners in its cellar when Lancaster Castle’s dungeons were overflowing – it also serves a fine pot of tea which comes with a jug of fresh milk and a spare pot of hot water. Tea heaven. Oh yes its also a paranormal haunt!

A quick hop across the road and we were back on the 555 Stagecoach bus home. A good way to end the walking year.

As to 2018? No walks yet. Recuperating from fluey-virus thing has grounded me a wee bit. Although now the hacking cough has subsided I am rather enjoying the snug loveliness of homely pursuits and a couple of thoughtful Christmas presents especially.

In the last few years my children have introduced new folks to our teeny tiny family. Their wonderful partners are extremely welcome additions and already know me well enough to supply fodder for my New Year needs.

A selection of beautiful wools from No 1 Son’s No 1, RS

From which one ball today started a cable-knitted journey to becoming a hat:

The free pattern from Margo Knits can be found here. Big thanks RS: I will soon have a warm hat so I can again embrace walks in my chilly county.

Thanks to No 1 Daughter’s No 1 RP I am happily putting up my feet and losing myself in an era that I love

Fabulous reading especially now the thumping head has receded. Inspired pressie.

On those happy and thankful notes I will love and leave you.

May 2018 bring you everything you need.

Until next we meet,

Moke xxx

Tiny toes and sore teeth

Hello All

Amongst the myriad chores that need doing time had to be made for some crafting this week. I know, life’s tough!

One of my colleagues has just had a baby giving me the opportunity to crochet a pair of bootees.

DSCI0157

These little cosies for toesies are very satisfying to make. From the neat teeny soles DSCI0163

to the finished pair

there is enough variety in the stitches to be challenging yet they are hooked up in a trice. What’s more they are very very cute. The pattern comes from my favourite crochet book “Crochet Unravelled” by Claire Bojczuk.

Today my own baby girl has been suffering with a very painful wisdom tooth and in between finding a dentist and sorting out treatment has spent a great deal of the day on the phone to mum! Bless. All I could offer were soothing words coupled with encouraging advice and – when she had cheered up – the confession that while I had been listening to her tale of woe I had managed to knit up a hat!

And here it is DSCI0164

Knitted from a free pattern on the Rowan website

DSCI0167

I used some of my Wool Clip stash for this Snug Hat pattern by Cathy Caron

DSCI0165

I had hoped to use just one of the 50g balls but the hat needed a tad more so I used a little of this lovely purple yarn to finish off the rolled band. What pleased me most – and this was after No1 Daughter had visited the dentist – was using mattress stitch to sew together the seams almost invisibly. DSCI0168

Altogether the right simple knitting project to keep you calm while having a long distance comfort conversation with an ailing girl.

DSCI0169

Unfortunately No1 Daughter still has a tender tooth but she is relieved to know she is doing all the right things, has registered with a dentist and made an appointment to have the troublesome tooth checked over. Hopefully in the meantime it will settle down.

Until next we meet. Moke x

PS She liked the hat. M x