Sunday, April 18, 2010

Border Country

A Swallowtail shawl by Evelyn Clark, knitted in Yarnsmith's Pure Alchemy in a colourway called Pankhurst, since it uses the suffragette colours.  This took only one skein of yarn and was an easy knit once I had mastered the nature of the pattern sections and realised how the nupps worked.  In this double knitting weight yarn on 4mm needles it moved along nicely.  I can see a few more of these in my future.

Plain socks for my husband in Regia Silk.  These have already seen some wear, although I was not very happy with the Kitchenering of the toe.  I feel it may prove a weak point.


How about these three?  We saw lambs in all stages of development on our recent trip north, but none so cute as these, on our stroll around the Howk at Caldbeck.  My husband even had a turn as the Good Shepherd, rescuing a lamb which had got itself trapped on a ledge under a bridge.  He did turn a bit pale when I explained to him the meaning of the word "scour", but he agreed that it had to be lifted out of its predicament.

We also saw plenty of ruined abbeys: Jedburgh, Dryburgh, Kelso...but Melrose took the prize for most interesting remains. 


Lots of intact masonry, carved capitals, statues, structures...much more than elsewhere.

Each day we tried to fit in a walk.  One, through muddy woodland, was to the Waterloo Tower, which had fantastic views. - from the base, as the tower isn't open.

Next on the list was Smailholm Tower, a pele tower just outside Selkirk.  Here there was a delightful surprise: a collection of brilliant costumed figure, too dramatic to be called dolls, by a maker called Anne Carrick.  Each tableau encted a scene from the old Scots ballads, "Sir Patrick Spens", "The Wife of Usher's Well", "Tam Lin".  The tower was on the land of a farm where Sir Walter Scott had recuperated from his chilhood illness, hence the link with the ballads.  The wonderful detail of the figures and the use of fabric in the costumes was an unexpected treat for me.

Finally, to our base on the Solway coast where unexpectedly good weather awaited us.  Lovely walks in the clear air, and magical sunsets.

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