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Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Time out

With big daughter's Peru trip just under 2 weeks away now, we've been away this weekend to spend a bit of time together as a family without the usual hustle and bustle of routine life before she goes.

We went to mid-Wales, a bit further than our usual favourite places in north Wales, and stayed in a small village called Pennal which is between the seaside village of Aberdyfi and the ancient capital of Wales, Machynlleth.  It's part of the Snowdonia National Park, and the huge hills that we drove between to reach our holiday home are very green and beautiful.  Even in the rain (which it did for half the time we were there), you can see how bright and lush the hills are - fabulous!  



The rest of the time, the sun shone for us.  We headed to Aberdyfi and strolled on the beach - there's nothing quite like the sand between your toes on a sunny day!  


Aberdyfi is a lovely place with a long beach that stretches out into the distance.  Small daughter had her shoes off and was off across the sand before you could say "Jack Robinson", leaving the rest of us to follow at a rather more sedate pace.


The sand stretched as far as you could see ...



and looking back towards the village, the brightly coloured shops and houses stood out against the green backdrop.


We found ourselves a space in the shelter of the dunes whilst small daughter persuaded my husband to go paddling with her, having discovered that the sand was too soft for sandcastles. Neither of my girls even bat an eye now when my knitting comes out (just as well, as these are big daughter's Peru socks still on the needles!) and it was nice to take a few minutes in the sunshine before small daughter came hurtling back.



We walked back along the beach in search of ice cream, taking our time to walk along the railings to watch a boy catching crabs (he put them all back in the water) and look at the piles of fishing paraphernalia.  There's something very seasidey about fishing nets and ropes, isn't there?  


My husband and I have often talked about how nice it would be to be able to sail your own little boat around the coves of Britain, but neither of us have ever sailed (learning to canoe in the local swimming baths isn't quite the same!) and for now it's staying on our to-do list.  We do like to look at the boats as we pass though, and there's something about that sound that boats make too - you know, the one where the sail ropes clinks against the mast (I'm sure there's a technical term for that but you'll have to forgive me no knowing it).  We love it!



It was such a lovely, sunny day.  We took our time exploring the village with our ice creams, watching the tide rise up the slipway ...


and finding more streets with painted houses.  Such a pretty place, we were sorry to have to make our way back to the car to leave.


Back at our holiday home, small daughter wanted to head for more water, but this time it was the pool.

There were two pools, one outdoors for sunny days such as these and one indoors for when it rained.  Small daughter, being something of a water baby, was in her element!  But she had another reason for wanting to head to the water ...

She wanted to try out her mermaid tail!



This is what she chose to buy herself with some birthday money from earlier in the year.  I must confess that I did try to dissuade her when she was browsing online, but once she had bought it and tried it out in the water, I was converted.  She had a wonderful time being a mermaid, and could really zoom about once she got the hang of how to use her fin.  She had great fun!

The other place that we were close to was Machynlleth.  Big daughter needed to revise (last A level exam this week - hooray!) and small daughter took the opportunity to stay with her so my husband and I went on our own to explore the town.  Machynlleth was the seat of Owain Glyndŵr's Welsh Parliament in 1404.  Owain Glyndŵr was a Welsh prince who led a rebellion against the English during the reign of Henry IV, but the rebellion failed and he went into hiding.  There are several buildings which relate to the time; if we had been there for longer it would have been interesting to visit.

We found a cafe next to the clock tower and took the opportunity to have a brew, just the two of us. It doesn't happen very often!


It was also World Wide Knit in Public Day so out came the socks J.


The first pair of Peru socks are finished now, thank goodness - I was starting to worry that with all the adjustments I needed to make that big daughter would have gone and come back before I finished them!  I got plenty of knitting done over the weekend, so the first sock of the second pair is nearly finished and I have just under two weeks to complete the second.  It might take a couple of late nights to fit it all in with everything else that's going on, but I'll do it!

I'm really very pleased with how these socks have turned out.  The yarn is a very natural purple colour and I like that.  It isn't as soft as with other sock yarns that I've used, and it does have a distinctive woolliness to it that won't suit some people at all, but they are good solid socks and I am hoping that they will protect big daughter's feet very well.  She's pleased with them too, which is a Very Good Thing seeing as she's going to be the one wearing them.

I've reinforced the heels, soles and toes with heel stitch and I'll show you how to do that with your own socks in another tutorial (after the 8ply DK socks, I promise!).  Big daughter can feel the difference on her feet and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will help to stop blisters which are not fun when you have a lot of walking to do.


We did see a flock of chocolate brown sheep as we drove through Wales, more noticeable because every other sheep that we saw was white, and for a moment I wondered if they were the sheep whose wool I was knitting.  Probably not, but wouldn't it be funny if they were?

I've got an exciting day on Thursday because I'm off to the Sirdar mill in Yorkshire as part of the Knit Now Online Knitter of the Year Awards.  There's a tour around the mill and a chance to meet up with the other winners which I'm looking forward to very much.  I'll be sure to take lots of photos so that I can show you when I get back!

I hope you have a lovely week, whatever you are doing!


12 comments:

  1. What lovely photos! I could almost smell the salt air. Love your blogs, they make my day!

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    1. Thank you, that's a lovely thing for you to write! xx

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  2. Glad you had a lovely day out and that the socks are progressing well!

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  3. Ohhh what a beautiful place, the beach, boats, slipway and pretty town. Small daughter's mermaid tale is brilliant - I know a little girl who would love one! Big daughter is going to have the best dressed feet in Peru. Do learn to sail one day as there is nothing quite like viewing the coast from a sailing boat and being at one with the elements.

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    1. It's definitely something we'd love to do, we'd just need to work out the logistics of it as Winwick is not by the sea! :-) xx

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  4. It is always lovely to spend time with our children that grow up far too quickly! My Sam just returned from London and is heading to Iceland in three weeks, together with his 'little' sister. They are going with scouts, how exiting.
    Wales looks like a beautiful part of the country. I have never been but it is on my list of things to do. I have ticked of the sailing, did a one day sailing course with tiny boats years ago. It is not for me! But I do like to spend time on a bigger boat and a capable skipper.
    I quite fancy a mermaid tail myself, how ingenious. I am not surprised your younger daughter is enjoying being a mermaid. Have a lovely week. x

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  5. So pleased you have discovered beautiful Aberdovey.
    We have a holiday home there, ( which we rent out,) on the front.
    Let me know if you would like the details. It's a little gem.
    Also.....I have only just discovered your wonderful blog and am now the proud
    owner of my very first pair of hand knitted sox. So thank you very much.
    Regards Elaine
    elainemorgan80@yahoo.co.uk

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    1. We probably walked past your holiday home! We're definitely going to go back again, and I'm so pleased that you've knitted a pair of socks - I guess mine aren't the only pair that will be knitted on the beach! :-) xx

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  6. What a lovely time you had! The scenery is stunning. I'm intrigued with the mermaid tale, and those socks look fab.

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  7. Just bought your wonderful book, happy to support your daughter's trip. I've been wanting to learn how to knit socks for years but never had the courage to try, I frogged the first sock after 35 rounds, when it was obvious it was going to be too big. Back up to round 40 and getting nervous about the heel. Thank you for your blog! I haven't visited the UK in over 40 years, so I'm enjoying the pictures and wishing I could go back.

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    1. That's wonderful, thank you Josephine! (Incidentally, today you have contributed towards purchases of waterproof matches and blister plasters so thank you! :-) ) If you've already had the confidence to frog your first sock and re-start it then you've made a huge step and you should already be super-proud of yourself. Do shout if you need any help, and don't forget that our lovely Facebook group is there for help at any time if you're on FB and would like to join :-) xx

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