Saturday, June 30, 2012

Cheltenham holiday yarn shops & purchases

As I mentioned in my last post, the number of yarn shops we found on holiday in the Cotswolds became slightly ridiculous.

These are the purchases we came home with. I've added the yarn shops to Knit Map, and my stash is on Ravelry which should link to the yarn shops too, as not all of them have websites.


A skein of Clicky Needles merino silk lace, from Miju Wools in Gloucester.
2 balls of Katia Olé sock yarn, from Budget Wools in Cheltenham.
1 ball of King Cole ZigZag sock yarn, from Blanshards Fabrics in Wantage.
1 ball of Opal Show Your Colours sock yarn, and a skein of undyed Bluefaced Leicester 4ply from the Bourton Basket, in Bourton-on-the-Water.
1 ball of Lang Yarns Jawoll Magic Dégradé sock yarn, from Ashley's in Cirencester.

We also found several other shops, including another one in Cheltenham and one in Broadway, where I didn't get anything (although I'd have quite happily lived in a town with any of those shops!).

Sunday, June 24, 2012


We had a lovely week in Cheltenham at the end of May. I'd been here several times before, for Greenbelt (blog posts for Greenbelts 2005, 2007, 2008, 2011) but never actually been into the centre before.
I managed to fit in a large number of yarn shops during our holiday, but I think I'll leave them for another post.

We explored various Cotswolds villages (along with their yarn shops). This is in Bourton-on-the-Water, where we managed to arrive before the coach parties...

We went in the Cotswold Motor Museum (more the OH's cup of tea than mine, but it was actually quite interesting!). It's very quirky, with lots of interesting displays (not all about cars).

 And wandered along the river looking for somewhere to have lunch.

We spent a day in Cirencester, apart from the yarn shop(!) there was the excellent Corinium Museum, where we could have spent a lot longer.
It is mainly Roman, but there are also sections on prehistory, the Anglo-Saxons, Civil War, and more recent history of Cirencester.

And wandered over to find the remains of the Roman walls around the town.

We revisited Chedworth Roman villa (last visited over 17 years ago by me on a school trip, and even longer for the OH!). It has certainly changed quite a bit since then. There's even a café now.

A lot of the  more fragile mosaics and things are housed in a proper building now.

 But I did remember looking down the site, the length of the villa.

 There was an audio-tour, which I usually avoid, but we're thinking about getting some at work so I thought I ought to test it. That's the spring behind me, still supplying water to the site - which is why they have to use disposable plates and cups in the café!

 And look - a hypocaust! Brings back happy memories of the Cambridge Latin course...

 And there was even someone dressed up as a Roman demonstrating natural dyes used on local wool and some weaving.

On another day we went to Gloucester, and apart from the yarn shop handily situated next to the cathedral, we explored the cathedral itself.

 You may recognise the cloisters if you've seen the Harry Potter films.

 Unfortunately there was a large seating platform set up right in front of the organ which disrupted the view down the nave, but you still get an idea of the scale.

On another day we did a slightly mad rush around three National Trust properties, as well as having lunch in Broadway (another Cotswold village, with, ahem, a yarn shop). I think my favourite was Hailes Abbey, a 13th century Cistercian Abbey - all in ruins now, but a very beautiful and evocative site. Although probably best avoided if it's raining as there isn't much cover!

Then onto Snowshill Manor, which is a completely insane house, stuffed full of collections of one man. I found it decidedly odd. Although the gardens are nice. It was a bit too dark to take pictures inside the house.

 And finally, Chastleton House, which was lovely, although a bit crazy as we arrived at 15:50, with last admission at 16:00 and then had to speed round the house before they closed up for the day. It started raining whilst we were there, so it was probably a good thing there wasn't time to look round the garden too.

I don't appear to have taken many pictures in Cheltenham itself. We arrived to find that the museum was closed for refurbishment, so the only pictures I took in the town itself were of the yarn shop(!), the church I went to on the Sunday morning and the park we found where the Transition Town people had set up communal vegetable plots.

And finally, on the way home we stopped off at the Uffington White Horse. This being Britain we'd gone on holiday in 29°C heat the week before and returned in cold fog so there wasn't an awful lot to see there.

And I think that's all for now. I have pictures of yarn purchases still to go, plus another weekend away we had in mid-June, and a day out we had on the bank holiday weekend.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Garden at the beginning of June 2012

We arrived back from holiday (more later - there were vast numbers of yarn shops!) just in time for my garden at the beginning of the month pictures. Although I did wait until the OH had mown the lawn.
Everything's looking very green as we've had so much rain, although a lot of things haven't grown as much as expected because it's been colder than usual at this time of year.

My cuttings and seedlings in the cold frame were looking good, I had to get the lettuce planted out quickly once we were back as it had grown dramatically whilst we were away!

All the roses had flowered whilst we were away. I love the variety of colours. All of these were planted by the previous owners of the house.

As well as the Sweet Williams I grew from seed.

Unfortunately I had a busy week ahead so had to get out there and garden in torrential rain as there wasn't any other time to do it! In the picture below my hair is as wet as it is when I've just got out of the shower! You wouldn't think it was June.

 It took a day's work to get on top of the weeding. I also potted up this fuchsia, grown from a cutting last year (my first attempt at taking cuttings) and of which I'm feeling rather pleased with myself!

 And these are the new plants we bought on holiday. Two are from National Trust properties, the others from a garden centre we stopped at on the return journey. But more about the holiday later on.