Welcome to my blog. I live, knit and craft near the Northumbrian Coast (but not too near – the waves won't be splashing my knitting!).There's a story in every stitch, every grain of sand, every blade of grass. I thought I'd blog about it…
Yesterday’s jaunt took us to Amble. It was a bright, breezy day and a run down the coast was definitely in order. We ended up for our snack at Radcliffe’s Cafe Bar. Close to the harbour and the new apartment development, this place was inspired by the cafe bars that the owner visited while touring Europe on a motorcycle.
I’ve had lunch at Radcliffe’s several times and the food is great, but I hadn’t realised that they serve scones until I was there last week. The menu includes a variety of open sandwiches, soup and lots lots more. Last time I had a goats cheese, beetroot and caramelised onion chutney open sandwich and it was delicious. The bar stocks a good range of continental beers and craft gins.
There were both cheese and fruit scones available (so we chose our favourite cheese ones). Our lovely server offered to warm our scones and they each arrived with a generous pat of butter in a little dish. The butter was hard from the fridge but this soon softened on the warm scones…and what wonderful scones they were: nice and cheesy, light, with just the right amount of crust – probably as good as a cheese scone gets! When I said how much we enjoyed them I was told they were freshly baked on the premises that morning.Our coffees were served with a tiny cookie on the side – a nice finishing touch.
Radcliffe’s is also dog friendly, with water bowl and treats available. Buddy the Labrador always enjoys visiting. There is plenty of seating outside, though that always seems optimistic in February when the cold wind is whistling through the masts and rattling the rigging at the nearby boatyard. I have been in the summer, when the beer garden is buzzing – there’s a great atmosphere inside too.
It’s the third Friday of the month and that means I spent this morning at the Amble Pincushion. Recently completed work by group members includes a toy cat, a cobweb scarf and some baby blankets. There’s a lovely sweater on the go too, in pretty heather, pink and cream, being knitted in a lovely light, soft alpaca mix boucle yarn.
We all fell in love with the stripy cat, made with yarn and magazine pattern won in a raffle held at a previous meeting of the group. He’s a cuddly toy, but could have a weight put inside to make him into a doorstop.
There are some great courses coming up at the shop in the next few months: I’ve booked on to the mosaic one. We’ve also arranged a trip to a knitting-themed show at the Alnwick Playhouse next month.
After meeting K for a lovely lunch, I took a leisurely drive to Alnwick, so I could pop to the shops before the second knit and natter group of the day. The wind was really getting up as I was leaving Amble and I pulled in by the river Coquet as there is a great view of Warkworth Castle.
The birds had come quite a long way up the river where it is more sheltered. I watched a couple of cormorants feeding. There were mallards and black headed gulls too. Usually you can see herons on this stretch of the Coquet. Today I could just make out three of them sheltering among the trees on the opposite bank.
It’s that busy Friday that happens once a month when both the monthly group and the weekly group I’m in are on the same day.
First up this morning was the monthly group at The Amble Pincushion. Knit and Natter sessions are on the 3rd Friday of every month from 10am to 12, cost £4.50, including refreshments , raffle entry and 10% discount in the shop on the day. This lovable giraffe toy was made by one of the group for her baby granddaughter. It seems to have started a trend because, by total coincidence, another group member won a knitting kit in the raffle, to make, as you’ll have guessed……a giraffe.
We were talking about the newly-refurbished Alnwick Playhouse too. The shop team have been getting regular updates from one of the staff members who is a member of the Alnwick Stage Musical Society who will be performing Jesus Christ Superstar in late March. This will be their first show to be staged since the renovations.
We were also discussing casting on and binding off. I learnt the cable cast on method when I was little and used nothing else for years until I learnt the thumb or long tail method fairly recently. I now know there are absolutely loads of variations to use depending on the look and amount of stretch needed. Some are very plain, others are quite decorative. We were all pouring over a book that one of the group was given recently, that had full instructions for each and suggestions of the sorts of project each would be most suitable for. It’s always great to learn something new.
My local GP surgery has started running a variety of activities beneficial to health, through their social prescribing initiative. The knit and natter group are thriving – it’s a lively group with a purpose – dozens of items have been made for good causes by the group over the last few months – they meet on Friday afternoons.
One of the GPs has done voluntary work in a clinic in Zambia, where baby clothes are scarce, to the point that newborns had to be wrapped in newspaper for warmth. We started by knitting “fish and chip baby “tops, blankets, bootees, hats to go to the clinic and others nearby.
We continues with this and have also been making items for premature babies at RVI, Newcastle, hats for the homeless and twiddle muffs for dementia patients. Here is what group members have made in the last week alone
There’s more waiting to be posted off to where it’s needed.
My tiny contribution this week was a pair of bootees made with yarn left over from a pair of socks I knitted recently.
To view discussion, click on the title of this post
I’m in two knitting groups: a weekly one and a monthly one, both Fridays – today was one of those Fridays!.
The Knit and Natter Group I’ve been in longest is at The Amble Pincushion https://amblepincushion.co.uk – which sells all sorts of yarn, fabric, haberdashery and craft materials – it has the most amazing range of stock for it’s size. The group meets in the upstairs training room (there is a programme of workshops and courses too) on the third Friday of every month from 10-12. It costs £4.50, including tea/coffee/biscuits and entry into the raffle, and 10% discount in the shop on the day,
A while back we reviewed some cotton yarns for a knitting magazine and our verdict appears in this month’s edition.
We nattered about our pets, our parents and of course our knitting – Anne was on hand to help with problems and queries. We were also celebrating the arrival of a new grandchild for one of the group. Here is our work in progress: two ombre shawls, a red aran cardigan and a Santa Claus tree decoration for the new baby (not in the picture) – the dark blue piece at the bottom is my current experiment – if it works out I’ll tell you more another time.