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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Customer photos

Do you remember the Salami Socks? Well, Tasha is getting married and her friend Emma offered to knit her some knee high socks for her wedding day.

Well, Tasha chose yarn from me and as they were knee high socks, asked me to dye up two skeins. I did this and sent them free of charge - my wedding gift - and Emma got knitting!

Look at these fabulous socks!

Aren't they great?

Emma had quite a lot of yarn left over so she made some mittens too!

After all that, she still had 50-60g left

and has sent the rest to Tasha who, apparently, is going to do something with them.

Can't wait to see what!

Some photos for you from Norway

There were so many things we saw and I took a lot of photos. Unfortunately, the camera clock had reset itself and I can't remember what day I plugged the batteries back into it and the date on the photos reads January 2005!

So I'm going to through a whole load of photos at you for you to enjoy! If you want to see the entire album, the click here

We were driving along the road and suddenly spotted a lot of cars parked by the roadside, we had no idea why and I almost crashed when I rounded a bend and saw this gorgeous waterfall!

Which led into this gorgeous rushing river.

This lighthouse was very near to the bridges and tunnels leading into/outof Copenhagen

The freshwater lake where the 'Wikings' swim!

They have Lion Bar icecream in Norway!!!

"Hmmm? What tub of ice cream?"

Lakes, mountains, snow and waterfalls

It was all too much for some!
We had a lovely relaxing weekend, even the kids didn't moan that they were bored!

On Sunday morning, we got packed up, emptied tanks, refilled other tanks and set off again. We drove for several hours then had to look for another site as our gas bottle was empty and we had no method of cooking except for our induction hob. The induction hob is powered by regular plug and the regular sockets only work if we have electric hook-up! I need to look into changing the regulator valve in the van to more European friendly, so I can buy a bottle abroad next time!

The site we ended up on was huge! But the map we were given for it was very informative and stated there was a beach right next to the site. Once we were all hooked up, we all went exploring. As it wasn't a dog friendly beach, Mum, Isis and I waited while the kids went investigating.

They came racing back to inform us that the beach stretched for miles - well 6km actually - and was just like beaches at home! We raced back to the camper, Alex and I got changed and went for a sunset swim - we were the only ones there and it was great!

On Monday, we drove down the rest of the Swedish coast, across the bridges and through the tunnels of Copenhagen and down the majority of Denmark before stopping.

The site we stayed on that night is lovely! Very clean and tidy, quiet and well spaced out. There are also free showers so we've all had a good clean up before tea.

Unfortunately, I then managed to knock a full, very boiling hot, cup of tea and the tea went all over me. I jumped up and ripped my clothes off before getting scalded, but in the rush to clean up, I kicked the metal leg of the pull out bed in the van and broke my little toe!

I'm fed up, in pain and exhausted. Going for a very early night tonight. It's raining....again. We're about 900km from Calais and we have 48 hours to get there!

Tuesday - the race is on, we have to be in Calais for the 8pm train through the tunnel, we have to get Isis passed through border control first and I have no idea how long that takes! My foot is absolute agony and disturbed my sleep a lot, but I've managed to get my boot on - I can't really drive the camper in flip-flops, the pedals are high and it's rather like driving a tank; my ankles and feet need the support that my New Rocks give me!

We got under way reasonably early and decided as we drove that we'd grab a takeaway this evening and crash in a resting place as we'd used sites for the past few nights due to needing the hook up.

The day passed in much of a blur to be honest, my foot hurt a lot and I was bloody exhausted. It has rained all day and now we're back below Sweden, the roads are busier, with a lot more lorries! That's terrifying to drive through in heavy rain!

I can't remember exactly where we slept (I'd stopped making notes by this point), but it was very near the Belgium border and we all slept in the camper as it was too bloody wet to put the tent up. It was cramped, but we made it through the night ok.

I drove all day and we made it back to Calais at 3pm! We got on the 5.20pm train and we were home by 9pm!

I had a fantastic holiday, I saw so much gorgeous scenery, I drove over mountains, through the longest road tunnel in the world and had a really good time.

But I'm so glad to be home!

Wednesday - Saturday

Wednesday - Drove a lot today - more mountains! We're camping by a lake this evening off the 35. We're all tired, crabby and fed up with each other. We've agreed to go back to Oslo Fjord tomorrow for 2 nights so I can have a day of no driving before heading back towards Calais.

Thursday - We changed our mind and headed for a site near a fjord on the map. There were signs saying swimming, but when we got there; the beach was stony. By the end of the day; Alex had slipped and sliced open his hand and Jess had been stung by a jellyfish! Moving on tomorrow!!

Friday 13th - Groan at the date! Shortly after going to bed last night, a huge storm settled in above us for the entire night! It was still raining this morning and stuff in the tent was wet! The skies here lie! It was a very red sky last night!

We're heading towards Bremmen, we'll decide what to do once there. We're all a bit fed up of rain and want to go home - but even logic dictates that if I drove all day; it would still take a few days to get back to Calais and we still have five more nights to go before we can go back through the tunnel!

We found a nice quiet park in Sweden, very clean and tidy. A beach - with sand - just around the corner and a water slide in the park itself.


I need the rest badly! My legs ache and my calves keep cramping so badly, I can barely walk!

I added to that by standing on a bee while putting the tent up! I'm looking forward to not driving tomorrow!

Saturday - famous last words! The first thing mum said to me this morning was: "We've run out of teabags!" So, I had to get dressed and drive 4km into Lysekil and 4km back before I could even have my morning cuppa!

We went down and had a dip in the sea after I'd drunk my fill of tea and eaten breakfast, it was ok, but the water wasn't anywhere near as nice as Norway - probably because it was the sea and not a fjord or lake!

I then spent the rest of the day lying in the sun, while the kids made friends with a local Swedish lad and a German family camped next to us!

Monday 9th August

I drove over a mountain today!

We had to stop on the way up as the engine was starting to overheat and then stop on the way down to cool off the brakes, but the camper made it up and over! I was gobsmacked! I honestly thought it was going to fail at the first mountain we came too!

Check out me knitting on top of a mountain!

How cool is that!?

We also drove through a lot of tunnels! The most notable being the Lærdalstunnelen which is just under 25km long and the longest road tunnel in the world!

That night we stopped at a resting place which had loads of picnic tables on all different levels and on the last/lowest level was a little circular area just the ideal size for a tent!

We had a good night sleep and in the morning we emptied the waste and chemical before setting off along the E13.

The E13 is a delightful little road! (Yes, read sarcasm there!) One minute, you'll be driving along an ordinary two lane road with a central line, then all of a sudden; you're on an extremely narrow road with no road markings whatsoever, lots of hills and sharp turns! We almost had a head-on collision with a lorry. Scared the crap out of me and I slammed the brakes on really hard!

The scenery was stunning, lots of water, tunnels and orchards! We bought cherries from a roadside seller - they were scrummy!

I wrote these notes that night:
I am so tired! I ache all over, my legs, feet, back and hips are agony! Although I'm enjoying this; the thought of driving for another week makes me want to cry!
We stayed at a site in Røldal that night and I slept like a log! We woke up to low lying clouds and another mountain!

We were starting to head back towards Oslo by now.


We reached Oslo Fjord early on Saturday evening. We checked out Oslo FjordKamp but weren't impressed by it so we camped in the carpark opposite. We wandered down to have a quick look at the fjord.

It was awesome! The sun was just setting and it was beautiful! There were rays of light off in the distance and the water was sooo still!

We sat and enjoyed the scenery for a bit before going to bed and the next morning got up very early so we'd have the fjord to ourselves.....which we did, more or less. There were a few people fishing, who sighed and packed up their poles once we hit the beach!

The view was just as stunning by day as it was by night!

The sun was already warm, the water still and inviting - we just couldn't resist so we rushed down to the beach and plowed into the water. It was like bathing in silk and so clear! We could see crabs pootling along the bottom, fish darting about and starfish too!

Isis was not impressed by all this, barked at us madly for being in the water and then - determined to rescue her mummy - plunged into the water to save me! She swam very well, considering it was her first try, but shook like a leaf once she'd reached me and I picked her up, so I left the water and stood on the beach with her so she could dry off and calm down.

I cast on a sock while the kids swum! Then, regretfully, we had a late breakfast and set off.

I drove for most of the day, with the obligatory loo and food stops and that night, Sunday, we stopped in a site right on the E16 by a freshwater lake.

We had a brief swim, after some discussion with a couple who would periodically emerge from their caravan, jump in the water a few times, then go and sit outside their van in the sun. He told me the water was warm - he lied, but then he declared "We are tough! We are Wikings!" He was a lovely little man, not much taller than me, balding dark hair and a little round belly LOL.

We had an enjoyable evening playing Scrabble and Canasta - Alex loved Canasta and we played it almost every evening after that!

We didn't bother with the tent that night and we slept under the camper awning, it was cold but lovely as we were very snug with sleeping bags, blanket and a duvet! Even Isis loved snuggling under that lot.

I awoke next morning to a huge muscle spasm in my right calf - of course, I couldn't get up from under that lot and it was agony (a few days later; a huge bruise appeared on my calf). We had a lovely swim in the lake before leaving!

We're off on holiday!

I am going to write a long list of posts about our holiday in Norway and I'm going to try and write them in chronological order.

This is post one!

We left home early enough to catch the 8am ferry to Portsmouth and we made excellent time to Folkestone. We arrived in time to catch the 12.50pm train through the Channel Tunnel to Calais. This was my first time through the tunnel.

It was.....weird. You drive your vehicle onto the train, then you just sit there while the train drives through to the other side. I felt slightly motion sick and my ears kept popping.

We arrived in Calais at 1.15pm and - while muttering 'drive on the right, drive on the right' - set off for our first campsite which is in Belgium. We got there around 3pm.

Everyone spoke passable English on the site, the oldest son spoke excellent English and I later heard him on the phone speaking Spanish. His mother managed to convey to me that he deals with most of the bookings as he understands a wider range of people!

We stayed in a little cabin that first night, it was quite cute really. Inside the door is the front half of the cabin which has two tables (one with a two hob cooker and one with a small fridge on) and a single bed with a pull out bed underneath. There is a partition and behind that was a set of bunk beds. The kids and I slept in there and Mum slept in the camper for the first night.

Isis was fascinated by the site and spent most of the evening peeking out from under the curtain which went across the door!

We left the site late the following morning after a good night sleep and drove along the A2 through to Germany. Unfortunately, there was a horrific 5 lorry pile-up and we were caught in a 3 mile tailback for a few hours. I hope no one was hurt badly. The Autobahns were horrendous, everyone drove so close to each other - I'd forgotten what it was like! - and nipped in and out of the lanes. I'm surprised there aren't more accidents to be honest!

We stopped in an A1 rastplatz for a dinner of bolognaise.

The rastplatz are great! We have nothing like them here! Some of them are just little alcoves off the motorway, with a lane for the truckers, but some are really elaborate and have another lane behind the truckers lane for cars, then behind that will be a green area with picnic tables, toilets, all sorts - one was even situated next to a lake! Some of them also have caravan fascilities too - you can empty your waste water tank, the toilet tank and refill with clean water! England is just so behind on this!

We camped in a few of those and although the traffic was loud, we managed to sleep once we'd adjusted to it being there!

The next day we drove for most of the day along the autobahns in Germany and through to Denmark and we spent Thursday night in another motorway resting place. Unfortunately, the traffic was very loud and it was a very busy resting place, so we didn't get a complete night sleep, then a noise (which sounded like someone jet washing a car) started up about 5am. Naturally, it stopped once we were all up!

We drove about 100 miles and stopped in Sweden for lunch at the side of the road. I was stressed and tired and Mum was snapping, so I took Isis out of the van and sat in the sun for a while. It was gorgeous! Fields of (some sort of) corn as far as the eye could see, it was a beautiful day and the fields smelled gorgeous!

I made these notes:

Corn files as far as the eye can see. No cars for the past ten minutes. I am sitting with Isis away from the van while they're eating lunch - everyone is snapping and yelling. I'm the only one doing anything tiring! I could just stay here for the next 10 days! The wind is warm, fields smell soooo good!
Of course, I didn't stay there all day and we set off again after lunch. We stopped at Bjorksgang (um, not sure on the spelling) campsite on Friday night so that I could get a decent sleep. A nice park, but very big! We saw hedgehogs!

Unfortunately, the sea smelled awful and the kids decided not to go swimming!

We reached Norway the following afternoon!

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The Craftofax!

After an inspiring conversation with Sharon on twitter recently, I decided to convert my old Filofax into a crafting journal. I wanted something similar to Ravelry; a place to list my finished projects, my handspun, make notes about these specific things along with pictures so that in future years I can look back at it and remember a bit easier!

I started last night and finished this afternoon.

I did this all in Pages on my Mac. First of all I went into Page Setup and I changed the size of the paper. Then I clicked inspector and I set all the margins to 0.63cm except for the edge that have the holes for the rings, they're set to 1.3cm.

Then I created a template - one for knitting, one for crochet and one for spinning - Start date, finish date, weight, fibre, size, needles/hook size and so on depending on which section it's going in!

The picture on the right shows the page about my felted bucket, on the left is the picture and on the right is the information I've written about that particular project.

I've also added a Notes section and I'm considering a calendar section to keep a list of crafting events around the country!

I won an award!

In fact, I've won two thngs this week!

First, I won the Creative Crafting Blog of Month award from the Creative Crafting group. Go on over and have a look at their site.

A bunch of women got together and decided to create an online crafting magazine. This months magazine is only issue 6 and I'm very honoured to have been given a prize! I've also been mentioned in the magazine by Diane who's written an article about drop spindling. Go through to the blog and click the little magazine and it will open up full size, Diane's article is on page 22-23!

Then I got a message via Ravelry to say I'd won a prize in the Tour de Fleece! I've won 100g of 70% BFL/30% Silk!