Monday, October 24, 2011

Autumn Leaves

My box of Jamieson and Smith jumper weight yarns - how differently these appear in sunlight, or at least the heathered  and tweeded colours do.

A pair of Newfoundland mittens, knitted to replace a pair for an old friend.  What a joy to select the lovely colours, reminiscent of falling leaves, just as the weather turns to frosty mornings.  I have found this pattern to be addictive before.  This time, I could not resist making a second pair for myself after the first were in the post.  Such a simple pattern, slipping two stitches for four rows to create this honeycomb effect.  The bunching up of the rows makes this a very warm design.

Last week, our walk took us from Colne Engaine to Pebmarsh, where we were pleased to see a really lovely church.  Behind the altar were three woven panels in deep blues and old gold.  These had been woven by a local handweaver, and the tale of their constuction, from the sourcing of the fleecces to their weaving, was a fascinating one.

In the bright sunshine, red berries always lift my spirits.  Here, garlands of red were threaded through the hedge.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Another version of the Mary-Janes, this tine in a merino, silk and cashmere blend for a christening.  Hunting out this one skein of Sublime yarn added focus to my trip to Alexandra Palace, where the abundance of Sale yarns has sometimes led to the sort of purchase one regrets sooner rather than later.  This one pristine ball of yarn was a pure joy.  The little mother of pearl button takes me back to the early 70's and a trip to the flea market at Place de Clignancourt.  I bought five cards of these buttons  - row after row of lovely buttons on silver foil cards.  I have chosen them regularly to complete projects, but there are whole cards still to be used.

This Sunday to Maldon, where my husband had spotted the opportunity to walk across the causeway to Northey Island, the first landing place for theVikings, prior to the Battle of Maldon.  All I can say is that they can't have minded mud, those Vikings.  Holding a battle just here must have been a slow and messy business.

Lots of atmospheric shipping, including  Thames barges.

Along with hundreds of others, we walked over to the island and around the circuit.  In World War 2 the owner of the island was on a list of German targets, presumably because of the strange structure of the house, like a military lookout post.  It must be very bleak here when the mist rolls in.

We crossed back to the mainland well before dark, but this picture was taken facing the sun, which explains the strange effect.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

"Out through the fields and the woods..."

First, some actual knitting: a pair of tiny shoes from the mary-jane pattern by Lucie Sinkler .         These are two and a half inches long - perhaps too small for the intended recipient, but sooo cute.  A second pair, a little larger, is already on the needles.

On Friday, we decided to set out early from Earl's Colne, a noble- sounding village some four miles to the North of us.  The main village is nineteenth century, built around a once-thriving iron foundry.  All along the valley small iron-working enterprises have been set up by those who have learnt their trade in the now defunct works.

This fine memorial, in wrought iron, marks the site of the old priory.  It was based on a design from Constantinople.  Our walk took us out past the church, its tower showing elaborate flush work borders above the flint.

In many of the villages on the Essex/Suffolk border, the churches are larger and finer than the village now would warrant.  These tend to be "Wool Churches" - financed by wealth from the wool trade in the late medieval period.  Thus Lavenham and Long Melford, Stoke by Nayland and our village church at Coggeshall.