Monday, 10 February 2014

Walking Through the Rowan Landscape: Hartington. . .

One of my favourite recent Rowan pattern books is last fall's Autumn Knits, a collection of designs by Marie Wallin which has several wonderful cabled sweaters that are definitely on my to-knit list.  But I was also intrigued by the names of all the patterns which seem to be places in Derbyshire,  some of which pop up on my ramblers' walks.  So whenever we're going to that county, I scan the countryside for the natural inspirations behind the designs. 

This is Hathersage.

I went walking near the village last September and yes, it is indeed a horizontal landscape, full of edges and ridges and striations in the rock. The pattern fits, and it was a lovely walk, but it's not really my style of garment, although I love the colour. 

I was far more excited to visit Hartington because I really want to knit this namesake sweater.  Isn't it gorgeous?

So on a recent walk in the area, I kept a sharp look-out for triangular peaks and valleys.  Yep, found plenty; it wasn't hard - we had to continually walk up and down them.

The views from the tops of the hills were of fields enclosed by criss-crossing stone walls, also referenced I think, in the sweater's design.

I also loved the springy wind-blown tufts of grass that accompanied us on our way down one of the slopes.

At times the landscape looked almost gothic.  You can just see the opening of a large cave in that triangular outcrop in the distance. 

It had been a day of mixed weather, to put it lightly.  During our five hour walk we experienced rain, sleet, a short bout of hail, and lots of strong winds.  About half way, the rain mercifully stopped and the sun tried to peek out, giving us just enough time to dry off before it started up again.  And there was a LOT of mud.  But as my friend S always says (or shouts through the gusts) - you do feel alive. 

Our last half mile back to the village of Hartington was done on the road as we'd all had enough of the mud. But it did afford a good look back at our up and down route.  I know from this angle, the hills look quite puny. 

Until you are at the bottom of one looking up. 

Still, I enjoyed the walk immensely.  And I'd love to live - albeit briefly - in a Rowan catalogue which I could do if I knit that Hartington sweater and wore it while tackling this walk again. I'd lose the dog though.

The next place I'd like to visit (both in a knitting and rambling sense) is Wye (named for the river).  I love the cabling at the top.

I also love Derwent which is a lost village, buried under the waters of the Ladybower Reservoir (which I did get a glimpse of during our Hathersage walk).

And Tissington, named after a picturesque village in Derbyshire (not been there yet).

1 comment:

Dayana Knits said...

Oh wow, what an adventure! Sometimes I feel so out of my element reading so many Rowan patterns and knowing diddly-squat about the UK. Thank you for this tour, I really enjoyed it. It also made me take another look at Autumn Knits -- I really hope you dive into Hartington. :)