Sunday, 18 November 2018

Travels with my spinning wheel, accross the sea to France.

Sunday morning found us up and about early on but as our ferry wasn't until 8.45 we were pretty much the last van off the ferry pitches on the site ( pitches near the site entrance resrved for people getting early ferries)

First time on the ferry for puffin, first time for us for a few years :-) the ferry was busy so we grabbed a sandwich at the bar and chilled for an hour. We were joined by another traveller who was very familiar with Skye so the journey was passed most enjoyably, exchanging tales of good and bad experiences when traveling.

Our first destination in France was La Coupole, a former V2 launch site which is now a museum. As we arrived early afternoon we had a light meal in the café and asked if it would be possible to park overnight and visit the museum in the morning. They were happy for us to do this, filled our drinking water container and directed us to the overflow car park.

As you can see we were joined by another van. I spent a pleasant afternoon spinning in the sunshine.

We visited the museum the next day, I would suggest that you follow the link above for more details as I find it hard to put into words anything about the destruction caused buy these weapons.

I've posted some photos, I don't think they really need descriptions.


                From the cab of the van you can see the original trackway for the rockets.

We left the museum mid afternoon and headed south, stopping at an old campsite that had seen better days but did deliver bread to your door in the morning.

Tuesday, 13 November 2018

travels with my spinning wheel, early days.

We had been talking about taking an extended trip for some time and eventually everything came together. Working for the same company for 40 years entitled me to an extra 4 weeks paid holiday and coincided with our 30 years anniversary of being happily unmarried.

September 1st saw us picking up the van, loading the last few essentials ie jar of marmite, block of cheddar cheese, box of essential cooking spices etc and my spinning wheel. Two ukuleles, heaphones and Bluetooth speakers were added along with the usual knitting requirements.

As this was a Saturday, we had decided to leave around mid morning and head to a campsite about 10 miles from Dover. I must confess that we both like bridges and have crossed some interesting ones when out on the bike but being in the van meant I had my camera ready for a photo of the Dartford crossing.

Yep, I had set up online payment before setting off as well as obtaining the various critical air stickers for the van incase we strayed into the wrong areas at the wrong time in France and Germany however we saw few other vans with these.

By tea time we were camped up and on our way to the local pub for dinner and feeling excited about catching the ferry for the first time in 5/6 years.

We had read about people using Aires in France were you can park overnight with water and waste facilities but we like to have a campsite if possible, it gives us a better sense of security knowing where we are heading to especially on a trip like this. Maybe in the future we will be a bit more adventurist but for now we like the home comforts.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

I'm back!!

Well , to be honest I've actually been back in the uk for a while but really haven't got back into th swing of work etc so the blog went on the back burner.

The last post was early August when we were planning a road trip, getting the van services and fitted with an extra battery and playing with ideas as to where to go.

But first, a quick update on the TDF yarn which I eventually managed to get washed.

Fleeces arrived,

Castlemilk Moorit

Pagan Pride was visited.

Once the van was serviced, we picked it up and took it straight down to Uttoxeter, why Uttoxeter? simple because it was away from home and any distractions.
We stopped at the racecourse campsite and wandered up into the town armed with maps, books and tablets and tried to work out a rough route for the first week or so.

Did I mention that this road trip was going to take four weeks ? We have never had that much time together 24/7 before !!

Saturday, 4 August 2018

keep right on spinning

Post TDF

I still have to wash the yarn, hopefully I'll get chance later today or tomorrow to give the yarn a good soak and hang it out to dry.

oops , lost at yarn chicken this time!

When I 'd finished spinning last weekend I checked my yarn stock only to find that I don't really have much white or very dark grey. So since my wheel was still out I've spun and plied a bobbin of mule ( bfl cross something) and one of dark grey Ryland.

I'm planning on knitting again in the next few weeks so I'm already looking at fairisle patterns for some head bands and a hat or two. Another job will be to track down and sort out my DPNs as well as finding my charts for the hat crowns.

This weekend is also the riverside festival in Nottingham held on the banks of the river Trent and although I usually attend Pagan Pride this weekend I'm really torn this year as there is a band that I would really like to see at the riverside. Both events are free entry and I like the chilled atmosphere of Pagan Pride especially as I usually take my wheel with me. Riverside will be noisy and busy with fairground rides as well as music… tough choice really.

I'm in the process of meal planning for our road trips, more a case of working out what I need to take in the way of seasoning. oils, spices etc plus quick cook rice and pasta sauce pots. The plan is to buy fresh meat and veg as we travel so I really just need the basics that I would use in the kitchen at home. I'm also looking at packing a couple of sachets of Angel Delight and tomato soup...comfort food :-)

Sunday, 29 July 2018

end of the Tour de Fleece

Another year, another TDF grinds to the finish. Three weeks including a Music Festival, Nottingham Pride and a camping weekend.

Just over 500 gram of yarn awaiting a soak... typically today is wet and windy so it will have to wait until we have another warm sunny day.

Empty bobbins and spindle... except for one bobbin that I've just spotted as I type this. Just an ounce or so of brown ryland which  had forgotten about.

The spinning will continue as I need yarn to take on a road trip later this year when there will be plenty of knitting time.

It's been a fun 3 weeks, I've enjoyed seeing all the spinning in the Facebook groups and its given me time to bond a little more with my Louet Victoria.

Next job is to sort out the workroom and start to gather up the camping gear which is still scattered around the house.

Speak Soon xx

Thursday, 26 July 2018

Tuesday/Wednesday..the end is in sight

The days are starting to merge into one, at least as far as the spinning is concerned ! Tuesday morning gave me chance to spin at the wheel and again this morning so I am nearly at the end of the 1st bag of Jacob /Texel.

 Earlier today I had to travel to a nearby town for an appointment so I took the spindle and managed a bit more between answering questions as to what I was doing.

I also found time to skein up the three bobbins from the first week ( when I was on leave) and will give these a soak tomorrow morning. The top two are Jacob, the bottom is Ryland although very similar in colour.

and that's about it from me for today, I'm thinking that an early night would be in order plus I'm back at work again tomorrow. I can't really spin on the wheel at night because it has a rattle and I'm not really sure where its coming from but I suspect it may just be a noisy bobbin.

Oh, I managed to get filmed at the weekend! a full 2 second or so of me spinning appears at the beginning of the Yewstock 2018 video but it does appear to only be available on Facebook.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

post festival blues

..and a good night was had by all, especially the van near us !

Packing, getting home, emptying the van as it has a service and hab check due next month meant that by the time we got back,drink , food and sleep was the order of the day.

I managed about 5gm on the spindle, didn't photo it and crashed out :-)

I now can't get to my wheel as its surrounded by sleeping bags, cables, hoses, chairs and all the stuff that is normally kept in the van full time.

So Monday evening was spindle spinning, good practice for me and its now looking pretty :-)

I think this is all I had strength for anyway, a trying day at work and on the way home a car crashed into the bus and managed to get wedged there! we had to all get off and wait for the next bus which was now stuck behind this one unable to move. No one was hurt but I think the car driver felt a little foolish for trying to nip round the bus.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

TDF day 13 -15 I think

This is spinning for Thursday 12 - Saturday 14

As I was busy packing for a festival on Thursday evening, the amount of progress made on the Jacob Texel was minimum but I did spin :-)

By 6pm on Friday we were on the road again, this time heading for Yewstock over near Stoke on Trent. This is a new one to us but we thought that we would take a chance and really its a good excuse for a relatively cheap weekend away.

Being in the van means spindle spinning on the way there and whilst we still had some daylight, this is some Charollais top dyed by Velvet sixpence which I bought last year with the intention of saving for a longer road trip so it may become an ongoing project.

 Saturday morning I was up bright and early so crept outside to take a couple of photos and then set up my wheel for some peaceful spinning on the site. We were quite lucky that we were able to park almost on the brow of this hill, you can't even see the vans and cars parked at the bottom !

My idea of heaven, spinning wheel, headphone and my phone or tablet with radio programs downloaded on it.

 Whilst it was quiet I took my wheel into the festival, got a few strange looks. Quote of the weekend was "ooh, you're spinning ! I thought it was a homemade fan to keep you cool" and she was quite serious :-) The local film maker for the festival also had a field day filming me spinning from every angle so I'll let you know if it ever appears !

This was a small pub based festival, mainly locals and 100 or so people camping. The bands were good, especially one called the Hedge Gods so I looked them up on you tube..

All in all a good weekend with the added bonus of some serious spinning on Saturday

I hope to do some spinning today (Sunday) will update again real soon xx

Thursday, 19 July 2018

what day are we on?

I think this is day 12??

I'm losing count, however this is my Wednesday spinning, I gave up on the ryland as I really needed something that would spin easily and without too much effort last night.

I settled for what I hope :-) is the last of the Jacob /texel. This has been a fun fleece to spin but it was huge!!

Good progress and a good shade to include in my fair isle knitting. I'm packing some Jacob with my travel wheel ready for the weekend as I hope to grab an hour or two to sit and listen to music and spin outside.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

TDF day 10 & 11, back to the day job


Annual leave is over so my spinning time is GREATLY diminished, today's effort is a bit of Ryland.

and to distract you all from the lack of spinning, here is my go to wheel...

for some reason I always get strange looks at some spinning meets, and smiles from children.

Update, todays (day11|) spinning, spent most of my free time setting up new internet hub and now too tired to really do anything.

Sunday, 15 July 2018

TDF day 7,8,9


I always knew that this would be a minimal spinning weekend as we had arranged to take the van over to a campsite near Leyburn, Yorkshire Dales so we could meet up with some friends who were attending a motorcycle rally there.

I will start with a photo of the amount I spun over the three days....

Now this is the first time that I've really got to grips with this little Turkish spindle and I think I may take it on holiday later in the year as I found that I can spin on it whilst travelling in the van.

Anyway, back to the trip. We booked a couple of nights on the campsite and walked from there up into leyburn on Friday night for a pint. I still have problems with my foot/ankle /leg so the 3 mile round trip was a challenge but I made it although I was pretty sore by the time we got back.

I had a rude awakening at around 4am by what sounded like a peacock!! well I really thought I had dreamt it until a young girl walked past later waving a peacock feather around.

Started the day with some spinning, breakfast and a look round the site.

The site itself is located in a former quarry, a little bit weird as you have to go up a hill to get in then slowly work your way down the different levels looking for a pitch. We ended up at the bottom alongside the Wensleydale railway which, unfortunately, wasn't running steam this weekend.

There is still evidence of the limestone quarry as the remains of the kilns are still standing.

This campsite also has more wildlife that any other visited so far, ducks, moorhens, bats , rabbits, squirrels, hedgehogs and YES the peacock!

It was back into leyburn later on the Saturday ( on crutches this time) to catch up with the gossip after a brief stop off at the railway.

and before we left this morning, Ian found a present from the peacock.

All together it was a really good weekend, a little warm but we shouldn't really complain about that ! Just a little sad that we had to head back home so soon.