Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The High Life

This weekend to Basildon Park, a National Trust property near Reading.  We were looking for an interesting garden walk and a civilised coffee stop en route to lunch with friends.  Some years ago, we toured the house and were massively impressed by the fact that much of the interior was assembled after the war, using features rescued from other country houses which were being demolished.  Somewhere, we read that the couple had been looking for a Georgian property - and there just happened to be one, standing empty, on the family lands - something we can all relate to!

   Now, there is a little film feature of Lady Iliffe describing her first sight of the house, standing empty before the war, and then again seeing it in a much more perilous state after lead had been stripped from the roof when it had been in the hands of the Ministry of Works. More recently, the Christmas special of "Downton Abbey" was filmed in the house.

This time we enjoyed the sunshine outdoors, while it lasted.  We saw red kites nesting in a tree: huge birds when directly overhead.  Near the house, this mysterious group of very mature trees.

Following on from the completion of my Celtic Throw, I made this cushion, again using Nennir by Lucy Hague.  This one is made of Drops yarm, a mixture of wool and alpaca.  I started by knitting one repeat of the pattern and then took some time to grasp that I needed to knit it to fit a cushion pad.
I picked up stitches at each end and knitted to match the length, and then picked up the edges and knit outwards for two and a half inches to fit the width.  With the cabling centred like this it looks like a fragment of masonry, as in the Viking crosses.

I backed the cushion with a piece of Donegal tweed - I love tweed.  I particularly like the coloured slubs on this piece.  I back-stitched this together, while watching last week's "Sewing Bee."  Something about watching people customise items in set time limits.  Could this format work for knitting?  With clever editing, I'm sure it could.

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