A new friend came into my life at the weekend, we spent a lot of time together as you are about to see.
My camera mysteriously disappeared when we returned from our holiday to Carmarthenshire in July, admittedly I actually found it last week but my father in law had offered us a barely used digital camera he no longer wanted for a bargainous £30 and as it's a much better camera than the one I had both lost and found we accepted the offer.
I think I may well be in love with it! I know it's only a compact digital camera, nothing fancy but OH MY the quality of pictures it takes vastly outstrip those my other camera was capable. It also has a flash of a quality able to get a picture in dark situations where my other camera failed spectacularly. The colours are also so much more vibrant. I am happy with my new friend.
The only issue we have now is my poor photography skills!
Our weekend was spent in North Wales under very upsetting circumstances. Mr Northernmonkey's maternal grandfather had died and we were there for the funeral. It went as well as these things can, I was told that the service was lovely but as it was conducted entirely in Welsh and my Welsh doesn't stretch beyond offering a cuppa, saying thank you and saying good morning/afternoon/night I was a bit lost. Mr Northernmonkey performed admirably as a pall bearer and I am immensely proud of him.
The weekend involved many, many, many, many "panads" (a cuppa)
A seemingly endless stream of scones occasionally interspersed with slices of bara brith (a rather delicious sort of Welsh tea bread)
The funeral was on Friday so on Saturday the in-laws took us and Mr Northernmonkey's Nain (Nana) out to Caenarfon for lunch. Caernarfon is a lovely place, if you ever get the opportunity I would recommend a visit. There are boats, these are privately owned ones but you can hire some or take a trip around the Menai Strait.
There are shops selling beautiful things, I had previously seen this gorgeous jug over at Attic24 and it was just as charming in reality, I was also delighted by the little button covered, cow shaped, milk jug! Sadly I don't get paid until Wendesday so had to pass these lovely things by.
There are narrow streets filled with beautiful old buildings, many are painted in pretty pastels. I had a picture of those but as it had Mr Northernmonkey with his parents I decided not to post it, I'm not sure they'd want a guest appearance on the blog!
Another picture of the charming little marina area, we ate near here.
We will definitely be making another trip to Caenarfon next time we're visiting family, hopefully next time I'll have some money and will make some pretty little purchases. I'd also rather like to sample some of the terribly exciting looking local ice-cream, yum yum!
I did fit in some knitting whilst we were away. I continue to work on my shawl and try not to panic that I'm going on holiday in two weeks and want to take it with me. I've said before that I'm not the fastest knitter and now I'm on my 5th pattern repeat it's taking around 10 minutes to knit across and about the same to purl back as I'm trying to make sure I don't purl the yarnovers together with my knit stitches and such. I will get it done though, I am determined!
I do think this pattern is especially lovely, particularly as it was in one of my knitting magazines. I am also LOVING the Violet Green laceweight.
I was especially charmed by this little stitch, sitting amongst the otherwise rather muted green (which no camera appears capable of picking up but believe me, the name of this colourway "Gooseberry" is very appropriate) is this one little stitch of vibrant blue/green. A little inconsistency in the yarn I've yet to find any repeat of, just enough for one little stitch to stand out from the rest. I love it.
I made some good progress on my never ending circle socks. This sock has been on going since July (I started the first one in early June finishing it in mid-July) I've just had so many other, more interesting knits to work on. I do love them though and am delighted that finally the heel is turned and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and the promise of a different pair of socks to knit!
One advantage my new camera has over the old one is a remarkably effective (in my opinion and compared to previous cameras I have had) Macro function. My old camera allegedly had one but it always ended up a blurry mess when I tried. This camera, oh yes it works. Close up shots of yarny goodness and little stitches on 2.5mm needles...lovely! I do love a good close-up, particularly when it involves knitting.
A functioning Macro mode also allows me to give a sneak preview of my top-secret knitting project. Top secret as it's for a surprise knitting swap and whilst I don't know that my swap partner has been reading my blog I don't want them to see their gift before it comes through the post. I did want to show off the soft, fuzzy stitches though. Mmm snuggly and knit on needles larger than 4mm, a refreshing change for me!
Finally the hats continue, I finished a few more at the weekend and hope to get at least 20 or possibly more (depending on shawl progress) in the next two weeks reading to post before we go away. Please note the bright green hat at the bottom left of this picture, you can't see here but I did COLOURWORK and I mean colourwork that isn't stripes, me, oh yes I did! Oh my. Pretty unbelievable as I have rather a colourwork phobia. OK so it's just alternating green and pink stitches but it's a start and my ability to pull that off without it becoming a bunched up mess gave me some faith I may successfully knit some of the colourwork mittens that I so covet.
I have plenty of scraps to keep working with to make more hats, if I could finish off all this yarn that would be rather spiffing I'd say.
Now there is soup to be made, a shawl to be knit and recorded weekend TV to be watched...here's to the coming week being happier than the last.