Finally Blogger has kindly allowed me to post some photos. I thought I'd have forgotten about the holiday before that happened!
Sensibly the Bassenthwaite ospreys hadn't yet returned to the lake to start building their nest. They were staying where it was warmer and dryer (they eventually flew back to Bassenthwaite two days ago). We did go up to the Whinlatter Visitor Centre though and had tea and cake whilst looking out over these birdfeeders, mainly being used by siskins.
We did make a visit to the Alpaca Centre - unfortunately on a very dull day so no photos were taken and the fields were too muddy for us to go and visit the alpacas. I was a bit disappointed that there wasn't more yarn available there, it's mainly a clothing shop with some DK and 4ply alpaca (all Alpaca Select). I did get a lovely pima cotton top in the sale though! I've HAD to buy some new clothes as I've finally managed to put on weight! I've been trying for the last 10 years and finally managed it, which means that I also could no longer get into my walking trousers and had some trouble with my swimsuit too! Fortunately Keswick has some nice clothing and outdoorsy type shops. I also picked up some New Balance trainers at their factory shop. These trainers are great, I discovered them a couple of years ago. Not only are the trainers made in this country (rather than in an overseas sweatshop) but they come in WIDTH fittings, including NARROW width fittings. It was the first time I've had trainers that fit me! WOOOOHOOOO!
Then off to Caldbeck, the wonderful village which has the Woolclip in it! The pic above is the tiny little Fairtrade shop in a converted bus shelter (I'm always amazed how much they manage to cram into this shop!)
This is Priest's Mill, the old mill building which has been converted into several shops. The Woolclip is on the bottom right of the building and you can see Mum emerging from the gift shop on the left. The bottom middle is a goldsmiths and above is the fantastic Watermill Cafe.
These two pics are of the yarn section of the shop (they also have rugs, garments, some spinning stuff). Top are some hand-dyed skeins in beautiful colours. Bottom are the yarns in pigeon-holes. They had some local sheep's wool, local alpaca in natural colours, Herdwick wool for rug making and more hand-dyed yarn. Plus some kits hanging on the wall.
My purchases were - 2 balls of North Ronaldsay Aran wool from a farm at Raisbeck and 3 skeins of hand-dyed/hand-spun DK yarn in sock kit form put together by the Spinning Gallery.
A pair of hand-dyed mohair walking socks also from Raisbeck and the Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook. This is a totally fab book, read the review here. It covers spinning and dyeing your sock yarn and then turning it into socks and has made me feel all inspired. The photos are gorgeous.
I did, of course, also take knitting on holiday with me (as well as some books to read). This is the beginnings of Tubey, a very exciting picture:
And I got the Smith Socks finished:
Some adaptations to the pattern mean that I got them done using only one ball of DB Cashmerino Aran and two balls of Noro Silk Garden (just). They're lovely and snuggly socks:
(as there's a swimming pool at the holiday place I also had to defluff the legs. Anybody else tried "Sugaring" from the Body Shop? It works very well, although feels very strange to be smearing golden syrup all over your legs before inflicting vast amounts of pain on yourself)
Typically both of the books I took on holiday are still on the go (as with knitting I usually have more than one book on the go at a time!) so I'll have to review those in another post. Keswick also has a great independent bookshop, called Bookends. Here I acquired copies of Bleak House (having really enjoyed the BBC adaptation last year) and A walk along the wall about a man's journey along the Hadrian's Wall path (which I'm going to do someday).
Phew, think that's it for this post! Thank you Blogger!