Apples, Gardens and Aotara

Emily Woodhouse Extreme Adventure Knitting

Hi Knomads,

You know I said that I’d eventually get Mum in front of the camera with her cowl? Well, we had a bit of a photo-shoot!

A couple of weekends ago, we went to Cothele, a National Trust house in Cornwall (just). They were running apple grafting workshops and I wanted to go because – well, who doesn’t want to know how to graft an apple tree? Cothele has a huge apple orchard and a traditional cider press (the size of a barn). Apples are just their thing. By grafting apple trees, we’re keeping rare local varieties alive. Great idea.

Don’t know if this is quite the right variety, but it’s meant to be purple!

Turns out many other people thought this too. Mum and I got there pretty early, so I hit the queue with a (only) a 20min wait. One hot chocolate later and I was back upstairs in the education room. Except, the room was now full of people waiting. Queuing. What we British do best. Imagine sitting in a children’s shoe shop the Saturday before school starts, but the ticket machine has broken. Lots of grumpy adults sitting around and getting slightly irate. I guess it pays off to arrive early sometimes.

Apple grafting, like school shoe fitting, takes longer than you expect.

Luckily, it is fairly straightforward once you get the knack. You’re making the top of a tree and the bottom of another tree stick together. The slice you cut out of each has to pair up nicely or the poor tree will just die. Think two piece jigsaw puzzle.

Anyway, I successfully sliced and bound my two bits of tree together (and rubbed the end off one of my knuckles by accident: Head Gardener wasn’t very impressed). My little tree is in the back garden now and fingers crossed it’ll wake up when spring comes…


Knitwear in the Open Air

I have a small obsession with this pot.

Cothele’s garden is beautiful. Well, I think it’s lovely. It’s been sculpted into hundreds of little tiers on a steep slope down to the river. I love the greys of the stones and slate, the deep wet greens and murky blue of the water. We always seem to go there when it’s raining. Or almost raining. A cloud hangs in the air so that, although you don’t think it’s really raining, you still manage to get soaked. Good job I don’t mind being damp.

We wandered around looking for photogenic areas to show off some knitwear. With all the steps, railings, hidey-holes and benches, there was quite a lot of choice!

I have decided to call Mum’s shawl Aotara. This is a celtic word that invokes the idea of a journey, represented by the interlinking knot pattern.


Just kidding. I completely made the word up. But I think it sounds rather nice, don’t you?

You can see the woven cross-like pattern better in the picture below. It has three repeats around the cowl with a bobble in the middle of each. Surprisingly simple to knit too, for a celtic knot done in the round.


We were also trying to photograph a pair of gloves I’d designed. These are, as yet, unnamed (post your suggestions below – made up words totally allowed!).

After a long time spent trying to make the beautiful iron railings work in a photograph, we started to get a bit silly…


Mum harassing the snowdrops

It’s actually really hard to get the photo you want. Perhaps I speak for myself here. But I’ve not had that much photography experience and am really looking forward to learning how to ‘paint with light’ properly.


Hopefully both of the patterns will be on Ravelry soon.