Category Archives: Knitting

Ordnance, Yarn And The Pub. 10th June

Weedon Bec

Ruth on the back of Jellicoe

What a wet and miserable day. Although it seemed to have rained constantly I think we have got off lightly compared to others. There were still plenty of boats moving. If we’d spotted NB Mountbatten and Jellicoe earlier we’d have stopped them for some coal, but they were heading past us before we realised it was them. We had no plans on cruising today and it turned out that was a good decision.

We’ve always passed through Weedon Bec before, pausing for a pint of milk at Tescos to the east of the canal. This time we were going to explore the west side, the proper Weedon Bec.

A small basin now marks where the canal once had an arm, a small housing estate has been built over part of this as access is only by road.

Secret steps down from the canal

We climbed down the steps from the embankment and walked under the canal and then the railway, back up the hill on the other side where we could see by the large wall we were where we wanted to be.

The Royal Ordnance Depot was built in 1802 just before the Napoleonic Wars. It was positioned more or less in the centre of the country away from possible invasion along the coast. Here small firearms and cannons were stored and repaired, there was a barracks, and a military prison. The site remained a secretive arms distribution centre for around 150 years, still being used during WW2 and into the 1950’s, finally being decommissioned in 1965.

Numerous buildings

The original site was added to through the years, but now stands pretty much as it did originally.

The visitor centre

There is a visitors centre, sadly not open Mondays and Tuesdays and you are welcome to wander around. The site is now owned privately and the buildings are rented out to local businesses as workshops or offices. There were far more vehicles than I’d imagined and it seems to be a busy place. A fascinating place too.

Building 14 I think

A book shop and cafe are in one of the first buildings you come to, those will have to wait for our next visit as I was interested in finding one business in building 14. Downstairs is filled with vintage cars and parts. Mountains of rush seated chairs were piled up, none of this was what we were looking for, in the end we were guided to a set of steep steps on the end of the building. A familiar face was walking to them anyway.

The canal no longer joined to the Grand Union

Riverknits, Becci and Markus, moved into a space on the top floor of building 14 a few months ago. They used to work from their narrowboat dyeing yarns and were running out of space. They moved off the boat into a house and continued to use the boat as a dye studio, but they missed waking up on the water everyday. So in the end they hired a space at the Depot to work in, redecorated their boat whilst they still had the house and now live back on board.

I’d come for a nosy really and with the intention of buying some yarn so that I can make myself something, something really nice. Becci showed us round their space. on the boat they could only have one dye pot going at a time, but here they now have space for several. On the boat the yarn once dyed and rinsed would be hung from the grab rail outside to dry, but now they have lines of clothes rails all lined up.

Becci and some of their yarns

A quick look at patterns on the internet gave us an idea of how much yarn I’d be needing. DK weight was going to cost me a lot as I’d need a lot of skeins, 4 ply more manageable on the pocket and now manageable with my fingers after several pairs of socks. But which colour?

My yarn waiting to be wound into balls

A vivid turquoise jumped out at me from the wall of yarns, Becci could dye me some up but off the shelf it was only available in DK. I’d been trying to choose something other than red, but now I was just drawn to a varigated red called ‘My heart bleeds wine’, not all red honest. The pattern I’d chosen needed just over 4 skeins so I chose a mini skein in a rich blue which pulls out the red more. I’ll use this on the pockets or band or somewhere.

All done

Byrn their 3 year old kept Mick amused playing transformers, whilst I was given the chance to wind my skeins into balls. This by hand would take around an hour for each one, so a lot of TV would have to be watched. I’ll stash these away for a while, I’ve got lots that needs to be done before I’m allowed to get carried away knitting something for myself.


A walk down the other side of the depot, a closer look at the fire engine that has the most extreme crackle paint effect I’ve ever seen. Then we walked into the village for some bread.

Just one of many

Weedon is an old village, two villages that have gradually merged together.

Wonderful wonky windows

As you walk around large thick creamy yellow stone walls with thatched roofs and small windows take you back to Tudor times. Around every corner another building catches your eye.

£190,000 would have got you the house on the end

A lovely end terraced house has just sold, it’s front door down a little alleyway.

St Peter and St Pauls

Weedon not only has the canal but also the West Coast Main line cutting it’s way right through it. The church of St Peter and St Paul is sandwiched between the two. The interior quite dark today due to the weather and failing lights. Yesterday there had been a full peel of the bells, shame we missed it.

It was quite dark so not many good photos

Later on this afternoon I got a message from our friend Heather on NB Bleasdale, she’d spotted from my facebook picture that we were in Weedon, so was she. A meeting was arranged in the Plume of Feathers for a catch up over a few drinks. Our paths haven’t crossed for a couple of years, so the hours ran away with us. We ended up being the last people in the pub with the front door locked. There was no rush to leave so we managed to avoid the down pours. Hope the weather improves for Heather as she is catching a lift from Lincoln to cross the Wash at the weekend.


0 locks, 0 miles, 2 sets of secret steps, 1 Royal Ordnance Depot, building 14, 480 grams of yummy yarn, 9.75 fingers twitching to start, 480 grams hidden, 1 fire engine, 1 transformer, 1 pretty village divided by the railway, 1 photo, 1 car show missed, 3.5 hours catching up, 1 very wet day very well spent.

Mrs Tilly’s shop

Yarn And Wine. 26th May


A box full of panto

Saturday was a work day, all but one job ticked off my list. The last remaining job will take a bit of time and thought which will come easier with a fresh brain. I now have a full box of bits and on the flat days of cruising to come heading southwards I’m hoping I’ll get lots of those bits painted.

A proper roast

The weekend being a Bank Holiday it feels like we have three Sundays all in a row. So on the first of these we decided to have a roast, chicken with tarragon butter under it’s skin. Very nice it was too.

Down on the floor

Second Sunday morning Mick decided to give under our corner cupboard a good clean out. This is a triangular cupboard that pulls out giving access to the corner of the galley. The bottom contents of the deep corner cupboard come out in a drawer which is pulled out by the triangular piece. This all works very well, until too much crud collects, we are starting to get marks on the oak floor.

Thanks Tilly for your assistance!

Tilly is the only one who really knows what goes on down there and she wasn’t being any help what so ever. Nothing for it but to get down on the floor and lie flat on your belly. All the dust, cat fur etc was swept out. Still no improvement! I adopted the horizontal position with Mick gently moving the cupboard. We’d assumed that the marks were being made by the wheels, but watching as the unit moved the marks where in front of the wheels, the worst mark no where near a castor.

A spare piece of card from my model was used to see if there was an obstruction under the plinth on the leading edge of the triangular cupboard. Sure enough there was. The cupboard was lifted slightly and a good sweep under with the card cleared a large bit of grit. We’ll have to keep a better eye on this.

The blue boat came past this morning, our summer is complete now we’ve seen them. They don’t recognise us now we’re no longer yellow.

As lunchtime approached we stepped off Oleanna to head to the pub, well it was Sunday after all. A short chat with Nick from NB City of Durham, he’s been a long standing blog reader following us from our yellow days. Nice to meet you.

Sarah and Nikki

The Star was where we met up with two old friends, Nikki and Sarah. They used to be Stage Mangers at Hull Truck, then after we moved to a life afloat they started to work at the SJT in Scarborough. They now live in Wem just under an hours drive away.

A few days ago my yarn order still hadn’t arrived in Rode Heath, so I placed another order under Micks name and got it sent by priority delivery to the ladies. As soon as I knew that my order had arrived I cancelled the missing one, asking the company for a refund and mentioning that I’d paid for DPD delivery on the successful order. Later that day I had a full refund and got the delivery charge returned too.


Today as soon as welcome hugs were over I was handed my parcel. 100 grams of variegated German yarn in two shades. The numbers were what I’d ordered, but the picture on the band suggested that they would knit up with stripes, this was not the effect I was after. Time and needles would tell. I refrained from starting straight away, there was lots to catch up on.

Food was selected, two roast beefs ordered which despite being on the menu were not available today! So alternative pork was chosen. We hadn’t expected great things on the food front and we weren’t disappointed, mediocre at it’s best. But the glasses of wine flowed and the company more than made up for it.

This is the better of the photos, I think the camera had had a touch too much wine too!

They came back to Oleanna to meet her and Tilly for the first time. Three years ago they were going to stay with us for a night in Nottingham when Tilly was only about six months old. More wine was consumed, Sarah sticking to coffee for the drive home. It’s always lovely to see them, hopefully next time they will come cruising with us.

The knitting needles came out later. A tension square needed to work out my pattern and to see how the yarn knitted up. It soon became obvious that the website sample had lied. Yes there are numerous colours and shades, these on the sample looked very mixed up. But row after row the stripes appeared and continued. I’ve got enough knitted to work out my tension and pattern. Tomorrow I’ll see what happens if I split the ball of yarn in half and try knitting alternate rows, will this jumble up the colours to achieve the required effect?

Website sample, just the right effect
Stripes! Not the required effect

0 Locks, 0 miles, 2 Sundays so far, 1 car left to sort, 1 full box, 1 roast chicken, 2 boaters lying flat, 1 bit of grrrrrit, 2 lovely ladies, 1 pink parcel, 2 balls of yarn, 1 month late, 2 roast beef pork, 1 wine filled afternoon, 1 stripy tension square.