Looking, seeing — come in and stay a while?

This is the season of tourists – lovely people with time to browse and money for a holiday projects.  I am happy to say we have return visitors – “oo we visited last year and just had to come again” – and those who find us on-line “please drop in and visit in person” and some who just pass through Lampeter and find us………DSCF6038

At the Old Post Office — since we moved in the address has been a blessing – it’s a land mark (ask google maps) and its a quite beautiful building.

It was built in the 1930’s, the foundation stone says 1933. There are I’m told, 83 such buildings in the UK built by the GPO as multipurpose buildings (PO, telephone exchange, sorting office, and PostMaster’s accommodation). Ours has many of the original features, high ceilings and an air of  authority – it looks like a Post Office should. That is why it is a Grade 2 Listed Building to protect its authentic originality.  Inside the original doors the moulding and panels are intact (some hidden by wool!), the majority of the counter is still here all be it turned round. On the outside we have a proper red letterbox and a red sign – we look like a Post Office should. Just like buildings built to house Banks, solid and dependable and familiar.

However, that is just what people (especially visitors) see is – a Post Office.  At least once a day someone asks “Are you the Post Office?” The PO services were moved to the Co-Operative supermarket in around 2008. After four years of living in this space, it has stopped surprising me that people only see the vestige of the previous life of this building. Afterall we see red as a colour before we see anything else. And well it looks like a Post Office! What does surprise me is how many people blame me when it isn’t a Post Office. Sorry, but it’s not my fault the PO moved nor can I take down the red sign that still hangs outside (it is part of the ‘Listed’ status). But you are welcome anyway………..

It is a lovely space to work, please excuse our red sign that misleads you in, thank you for visiting and please stay a while.

Oh, think of me as I wander off to the sorting office to collect our post every day. Thanks to the original purpose of the building we don’t have a letter box of our own!!

Galavanting

In March I escaped to Scotland for a holiday and spent time at Edinburgh Wool Fest. Busman’s holiday so speak. I don’t often get away but last weekend I have been off exploring again. Visiting very old friends (from University days many moons ago). They have a farm on the north end of the Isle of Man. I don’t go to easy to get to places. Before we set off they had told us they were thinking of taking on milking sheep!!

Well that surprised you didn’t it!?  Surprised me too largely ’cause, well we don’t do we? Even if you come from a farming background, milk comes from cows doesn’t it? When I thought about it I do know sheep can be milked. Feta comes from ewes milk and even good old Wensleydale Cheese was originally a ewes milk cheese ( I don’t know if the breed is a milking sheep). Deep in our history eating sheep’s milk was normal. Many of our tall UK sheep breeds were dual purpose milk and wool. Why eat your assets!!

The breed they are looking at is Zwartbles originally from The Netherlands where they are milked. We have had a little of the wool from a local herd but there is none in the shop at the moment. I was sure I’d seen some somewhere……..thats when I realised that the just cast on cardigan I was planning to take as the travel project was….. John Arbon Harvest Hues  which is a Merino Zwartbles blend.

 

It is a 4ply so I’m working on a 3.25mm ( with my sloppy knitting I needed to go down a size to work on stocking stitch). The pattern is a top down cardigan in garter stitch. I like the top down technique because:  one it lets me fit the neck first (the tricky bit if you are a big girl) and two if I have a fixed amount of stash yarn that bit get done first and the length isn’t such a panic. The sleeves get finished last so they can be shorter if I’m running short too. I like how you can cast of for a neck edge and provided you get the proportions of stitches right for the front, sleeves and back you just increase regularly for and get a Raglan sleeve top and the stripes match!!!

I’m working on circulars they are easy to travel with as you can scoop it all up with the needle points out and the cable holds all the stitches together. However I do get people trying to work out what on earth I’m making as the unconventional piece of knitting grows!!  The wool is a little fluffy at the moment but  it is knitting well and in the garter stitch it is making a thick light fabric and so far I have used about a quarter of the gold colour skein (100g) and almost 1 skein of the sycamore green. Plenty left of that purchase to get to the end …. a test run for some Manx wool maybe.