Thursday, 17 December 2009

Now its only 8 sleeps! Yikes!

So , I still have the following to do before Friday 25th December :-
Socks to finish
Socks to start (because I frogged one I hated and now I think I may just do a scarf!!)
Two scarfs and a hat to block .
Mittens and a Hat to start , because the yarn ran out and the suppliers don't have any more. Then I had to look through all my gorgeous SKEINS of yarn and BALL them up . Still waiting on the first yarn , but the balls look nice though!
Secret Santa to wrap , this has been done for ages , so I am being busy/lazy depending on your viewpoint!
Christmas Cards to write and post - that ain't gonna happen anytime soon!!!
Helping out at Santa's workshop , wink wink ; ) ; )
Sunday School Nativity and Christmas Treat
The usual cooking , cleaning , dealing with (brats from hell) delightful children .....
There are no photo's today , I shouldn't even be on the computer but I need somewhere to vent!
Deep Breath ! Sigh! Off for a Cuppa !

Thursday, 10 December 2009

14 sleeps to go!

And I have a lot of knitting (and sewing to do!) . My wee sheep project bag is keeping my Christmas secrets for me , do you like it ? I am making some of these for my lys Once a Sheep(website under construction), I just couldn't resist this fabric when I saw it , and made some for my friend Karen as a wee Yarn Store opening gift too!
There is one for every season , I think my favourite might be summer ....
Apologies for the poor imac camera image!
Had DS2 Nativity today , and he carried out his duties of a cow very well , but he was very unhappy as he couldn't see me . Too many people squeezed into to0 small a hall! Still got a picture of his outfit afterwards .
Although I suspect he may have wanted to be a sheep ......

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Lost mitten !

Going back to the scene of the crime to no avail , mitten had not been found or handed in , sigh!
And it is bitterly cold , there was a white frost this morning all over the ground , with some icy patches too . Brrrr , definitely hat and mitten weather.
So , since I needed a pair of mittens , and I had just knitted the lovely Ishbel hat in Jamie Possum Paints yarn , I decided to knit a matching pair of mittens .
I left the hat in Karens' yarn store to show folk what size of hat you could get from one ball of the Possum Paints , I think quite a few folk tried it on and bought some yarn to knit it with!
Thankfully there was one ball of the blues left , which made a lovely pair of fingerless mittens with some left over . When I knit these again I will do the full mitten , as they are so warm and cosy! I used the vine pattern in the Ishbel hat for the cuff , casting on 40 stitches to fit round my wrist then continued in my simple mitten recipe . Will post it on ravelry soon .
This is the pink shade of Possum Paints , I had a hat in it a while back which I lost (can you see a pattern developing??) , however this will be for my MIL who is much more careful than me .
Now to start Beanie for DH who lost the one I bought him , I've got some lovely Rowan DK in black for it!

Monday, 30 November 2009

Fishers of Men

Happy St Andrews Day to all around the world who share this Patron Saint!
Scotland is going St Andrews mad today , school has dress down and wear something Scottish (never seen so many wee boys in kilts and C U Jimmy hats , and never seen so many tartan ribbons and dresses either!) The music on the radio was all Scottish bands this morning , but no "White Heather Club" or Jimmy Shand and his (accordion) band!
This year is the 250th anniversary of the birth of the poet Robert Burns , Scotlands National Bard , so all this year Scotland has been celebrating "Homecoming" , a call for expat Scots , or those of Scots descent to visit and enjoy all things Scottish . My pal Lilith has her "Homecoming" yarn collection which finished at the end of the year , so have a peek and buy before it all goes !
And I have been a wee bit busy , here are some (blocked) knitted items , they may be gifts !
Here is my Icing Swirl Hat , blocked and much slouchier , I should really sew in the loose ends though , finishing never was my strong point!
And here is my second Ishbel , knitted in Old Maiden Aunt "Ysolda" colourway , alpaca/silk fibre mix . It is such a delicate beautiful shade ,reminds me of fine bone china .
And talking of Ysolda , here are some more photo's from Saturdays visit to Once a Sheep !
Here is Anne looking swell in an Ishbel Beret and Damson shawl/scarf !
This lady thought she didn't suit hats , I think not , Snap-Dragon Tam looked perfect on her!
And here is a Stitching Time Bletherer , the lovely Liz trying on the snap-dragon flip-top mittens , try saying that after a few Islay Malts , eh!
On the subject of mittens , I have lost one of my beautiful handspun hand-dyed , hand-knit mittens ! Sob ! So I will have to knit another pair tonight as it is so cold .
Anyway , wherever you are , whatever you do , have a wonderful St Andrews Day !

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Whimsical Little Knits at Once A Sheep

The pictures tell the story , I have quite a few more photo's which I will publish tomorrow !
These two lovely ladies came to visit today , Ysolda and Sarah ! Ysolda is wearing her Vivian design jacket , and Sarah is wearing a gorgeous knitted dress , pattern called Noyaux by Cirilia Rose .
They brought all these beautiful samples of garments and toys knitted using Ysoldas' patterns from her Whimsical Little Knits and Whimsical Little Knits2 books . The books "went like snaw aff a dyke" , and we got our books signed by the designer herself!
Irene got to try on the Peak Island Hood ! That's Karen and Ysolda laughing along with her !
Kimmie got to try on the Emily capelet , it is so very her ! I can see one being knitted soon .
There was tea and cake and lots of people buying books and yarn , lots of chatting and laughing and trying on things .
Liz got to try on the flip-top snap-dragon gloves (matches your Rav name Liz!) , Anne got to try on Damson shawl and Ishbel beret which really suited her . I didn't catch the ladies name who tried on the Snap-dragon beret , but it really suited her .
It was a lovely day , met so many folk who are on Ravelry too . Thank You Karen for being such a generous host , and Thank You Ysolda and Sarah for visiting us !

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Stormy Weather

Well , I did finally make it to the Once a Sheep preview night once the weather (and the removal of an upturned car) calmed down a bit.
It is all so lovely , the yarn , needles , spinning wheels and supplies..........sigh !
The official opening was yesterday , and what a grand day . Tess came down from Johnstone , and Angela came up from West Kilbride . And lots of the knitting group and locals showed up too . There were gifts and cards handed in , and the lovely Yvonne sent Karen some flowers !
The weather started to misbehave , but not before my sister treated herself to some gorgeous Manos Wool classica , and my Mum bought a wonderful Noro pattern book (which I will borrow at some point in the future !)
And next week Ysolda is visiting with her Whimsical Little Knits 2 book . I have the first one, bought back in September , and have knitted at least three items from it (4 if you count my latest project , the lovely Ishbel beret)
I love Ysolda's designs , they are very "knittable" , well written and look great . I practically live in my Ishbel shawl , and will be knitting a few more of these for gifts too.
Finished another one for my Mum , and will be casting on another soon , after I've finished my Ishbel beret . I bought some gorgeous Jamie Possum Handpaint yarn for this project and it is knitting up a treat.
Will need to get some more photos up soon , my camera has finally give up the ghost, time for a new one I think!

Thursday, 19 November 2009


I am in a very grumpy mood ! Its to do with the weather , or rather the gales and rain , LOTS OF IT! It is disrupting everything ! DH is stuck in traffic jam a mere mile and half from home .
AND tonight is Preview night at Once a Sheep , my good friend Karens' new yarn and spinning supplies store . WEATHER IS KEEPING ME FROM YARN! Bother!
Rant over , anyway , did take a wee peek in today and WOW! its looking good , lots of lovely Debbie Bliss , Noro , Natural Dye Studio , Manos del Uruguay...... AND the needles , gorgeous knitpro wooden needles , a lovely Joy spinning wheel , soe gorgeous spinning accessories .....mmmmmmm .
Beginning to get annoyed that the weather is keeping me away from all this , humph!
The weather and I will report back when we are both in a better mood!

Monday, 2 November 2009

Autumnal Storms

Well , its been a busy few weeks since I last posted . My good friend Karen is "bizee" getting her shop all ready for its grand opening in December , my other good knitting buddy Carrie is now Stateside in Seattle (remember the second "t" !) and I've been helping out at school on their "Room on a Broom" themed project .
We had two "Goodbye" evenings for Carrie , one at her house where we presented her with our gift of an Ashford Traveller Spinning Wheel , and another at the Tontine Hotel where we all had a lovely meal and signed Carries Treadles for her to keep - and we were naughty at both! lol
In between all this , Karen and her family and a few volunteers have been busy painting , laying floors , sorting leaks , ordering yarn .......oooohhh more yarn soon! And , her poor Dad has been in hospital too ! It is so exciting , and I can't wait for the shop to open at the beginning of December .
In the meantime I have managed to finish my Ishbel in Knitwitches Silk and Mohair , colourway Delphiniums . It is actually the small size but I used bigger needles , and voila , a large one ! I still have quite a wee bit of the yarn left .
Here is a dreadful photo courtesy of photobooth on my mac , camera is on the blink!
It is so warm and soft .
And comes at least halfway down my back .
It can be worn over the shoulders like this .
Or just hanging nicely over the arms - here is my lunch a bit of a made up recipe , and it turned out tasty!
Salmon and Beef Noodles
Ingredients :- Green pepper , spring Onions , mushroom , ginger finely chopped (or ground ginger from a jar) , sweetcorn off the cob , Straight to wok noodles , beef stock , soy sauce , oil.
Fry the onions and pepper in the oil and soy sauce (a good dash) , add a little water then add mushrooms and ginger and fry for a few mins . Next add the noodles and beef stock (as much as you like, or as little) , then add the sweetcorn that has been cut off the cob. Cook over a high heat for five mins , the take off the heat. Add some broken up poached salmon , mix ,then serve in a large bowl .
Eat as a soup or a stew and with toasted wholemeal bread! Mmmmmm!
Mum was right , Hunger does make a good kitchen!

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Feeling miserable!

Well , DS2 did indeed pass his cold on to me! And his brother and his father..... so we are all feeling a bit under the weather and very very tired.
I had hoped to visit friends this weekend , but that is out of the picture now, however I will need to organise some outings for the boys as it is their October Holiday week.
After last weeks frogging fiasco I have cast on and am knitting two "comfort" projects , one is the lovely cashmere/silk and another in the silk/mohair .
Guess which patterns ? Go on...... post your guesses in the comments you might get a surprise .
As promised in previous post -:
Here is the Vine leaf pattern for the Fingerless Mitts Cuff and Finger edging , mitt pattern given in last post :-
Round 1 - K3 YO K1 YO K1 S1 K2tog PSSO , repeat 4x (24 stitch patten only)
Round 2 and all even numbered rounds Knit
Round 3 - K2 YO K3 YO S1 K2tog PSSO , repeat 4x
Round 5 - K1 YO K1 YO K3 S1 K2tog PSSO , repeat 4x
Round 7 - YO K3 YO K2 S1 K2tog PSSO , repeat 4x
Round 8 - Knit
K - Knit , YO - Yarn Over S1 - Slip one , K2tog - Knit 2 together PSSO , Pass slipped stitch over K2tog .

Friday, 16 October 2009

A couple of recipes .... and some good news!

Have had a lovely couple of knitty days , yesterday and today , both of them spent at the lovely Carries' home , as well as a lovely lunch at Innes cottage .
Wednesday morning there was a crowd of us being very busy , there was spinning , knitting , a lace shawl being blocked and a wee one to entertain!
But one of the best things to happen was the news......that Onceasheep will be a shop ! (Actually Karen got her premises and will be opening an Artisan Yarn Store very soon .... watch this space!)
More good news when I returned the lovely Innes to her beautiful cottage ..... her article was printed in the Ashford Wheel magazine along with photo's of her spinning (in her mutch) and wauking the tweed cloth! Unfortunately the fabulous photo of her DH and cousin in their handspun , handknitted sweater holding a sheep in the blazing July sun was NOT included! Shame!
Innes has been spinning since before the "interweb" , and got her instructions by snail mail from her aunt in New Zealand . Her yarn is fabulous , and she also dyes it using natural plants/shells etc. Anyway , I promised her my recipe for fingerless mitts to use in her "studio" . (Got a wee chance to knit some last night at Carries , and my hands are smooth with the lanolin this morning! )
A Fingerless Mitt Recipe
Copyright M Gilchrist 2009
NB : Use larger pins to make bigger sized mitts , alternatively cast on more stitches. Try out different needles / stitches to get desired fit, remember it may look small to start but handspun stretches exponentially!
Knitting terms :- k1 - knit 1 , kfb - knit through front loop of stitch then back loop to make a new stitch
Take one ball of handspun , bulky weight , about 100-200 yards , divide into two .
Take one ball , a set of 5/6mm dpns and cast on 24/30 stitches over 3 needles.
Join to knit in the round (careful not to twist) , and start your cuff pattern (Innes has 1x1 ribbing , I have an eight stitch Vine lace pattern*)
Once you have knitted a long enough cuff (2-3 inches) in desired pattern continue by knitting until it measure 2-3 inches.
Now to start the thumb gusset : -
row 1 - at start of round kfb , then knit to last 2 stitches , kfb then k1
row 2 at start of round k1 kfb , knit to last 3 stitches kfb k2
row 3 , k2 kfb knit until last 4 stitches kfb k3
row 4 , k3 kfb knit until last 5 stitches kfb k4
row 5 , k4 kfb knit until last 6 stitches kfb k5
row 6 , k5 kfb knit until last 7 stitches kfb k6
You can continue increasing the thumb gusset in this manner until you feel it is big enough , but I stopped there!
Next round , knit until the last 6 stitches, STOP .
Take the last 6 stitches from the previous round and the next 6 stitches (12 stitches in total for thumb gusset), and put them on a holder or some waste yarn.
Re-join round , and work body of mitt by knitting in the round for another 2-3 inches .
Finish by repeating the "cuff pattern" at the top , then cast off , leaving enough yarn to be sewn in .
Now to pick up for the thumb , listen carefully !
Take the 6 stitches that would have been at the start of the round and put on the needle , pick up 4 stitches (this is to close the "hole" ) then knit the next 6 stitches (I used three needles again ).
Knit in the round until thumb measures 1/2 inches , then cast off
Sew in Ends!
Using second ball , start Mitt 2!
A Simple Cookie Recipe (to be eaten wearing Mitts!)
Note - if you cook these cookies a bit to long they become crunchier and are technically biscuits , they still taste good , they still disappear like snow off a dyke!
Its all in "old money" , based on Bero Book recipe , when given a choice of sugar/choc chips choose one (or a mix of all three , just remember to keep to weights!)
4oz butter , 3 oz sugar (brown.granulated.caster) , 6oz flour , 2tbsp milk , 2 tbsp golden syrup , chocolate chips (white.milk.dark)
Cream butter and sugar together REALLY WELL , until crunchiness of sugar goes. I tend to knead butter in my hands , put it and sugar in bowl then beat them together until my arms develop muscles like Popeyes!
Add milk and syrup (try not to lick fingers after adding syrup!)and beat into mixture .
Add a third of the flour and mix in until mixture is sticky again , repeat until all flour is mixed well in. Cookie dough will be sticky but not wet!
Chocolate chips are added now , about 3oz (Scotbloc chopped works too)
Place small "dods" or "blobs" on a greased baking tray and do not be particular about how they look , put in oven at Gas Mark 4 (160deg ?) for 10-12 minutes , or almost brown . Take out and leave for 5 minutes to cool as they are very HOT and SOFT (betcha can't!) , then use wooden spoon to fend off small children grabbing handfuls of cookies !
Best get back to nursing a small boy (who is trying to wink at my by holding one eye shut!) , he was sent home from school yesterday apparently ill , but his teacher laughed as he sprinted towards the car holding a sick bowl!
* Will publish tomorrow!

Friday, 9 October 2009

Knitting and Reading

At present , I am supposedly finishing off some WIPs , and supposedly starting some KAL socks , supposedly .
However it is cold and grey outside , and I really want (another) hat , really !
And I really want to knit up my cashmere too, mmmmmmm!
I'll guess I'll stick with the WIPS for present (especially since some of them are just that ..... presents! lol)
Got very excited in the library yesterday , found the "adapted for children" version of Jules Vernes' "Journey to the Centre of the Earth! " Had been trying to read the original version to DS1 , but we both got a bit baffled by the terminology and 19th century language. (OK , read that as DS2 got bored!)
And today got my Mum the perfect gift book , biography of Agatha Christie (my Mum is the original AG Nut! )
And me , well I am still looking at the Whimsical Little Knits book ..... I so want to knit that HAT!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Handspun Handyed yarn for Hands!

Its walk to school week this week , and although the weather has been lovely and sunny , it has also been very cold . It is officially mitten and scarf weather .
After buying Ysolda Teagues Whimsical Little Knits , I was impressed by the Ishbel scarf/shawl and beret , so they are now on the official "knitting queue"! , but I also wanted some mitts that gave a flavour of Ishbel , so to speak.
This year , I want my outdoor accessories to co-ordinate , and with that thought in mind I dug around my stash and found a gorgeous blue bulky handspun and hand-dyed yarn from Old Maiden Aunt . I also found a skein of knitwiches kid mohair and silk in a delphinium blue shade, perfect co-ordination.
But first, I need mitts , fingerless ones , and here they are , a cobbled together pattern, using the vine pattern from Ishbel for the cuff and fingers , with stocking stitch in between .
They are so cosy , and baby Abby took a shine to them today at the flavaknits Wednesday meetup . The colour is inspirational , I just love it .
There were only 24 stitches on the needles to make these mitts , and they only took two days to finish . Perfect Timing .
If only I was quicker with some of my other WIPS!
Now for the Ishbel hat and scarf , not sure what I will start on first . Probably the hat!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Economy Gastronomy !

I read in the newspaper last week that the "Glasgow Cookery book" is being revived , and a new edition published .
The Glasgow cookery book was the bible for (female) students of the Glasgow "Dough School" or the "Glasgow and West of Scotland College of Domestic Science" which was its proper name , and many of the recipes are still good for today. (Although I am NOT boiling my lamb shanks for 9 hours to get my stock for Scotch Broth , the new version will no doubt amend this , but my 1945 version insists on it!)
These are the recipe's my gran would have used , many of them are so familiar , although modern technology means they don't take as long to make. (Blenders , Food mixers , bread makers ....) Many of the ingredients needed for these recipes would have been available to those on the lowest of incomes , and it comes as no surprise that the first chapter is on Soups . Soups would have been a main meal for many a household in post-war Britain . Some of the recipes only use a few ingredients , and there is no "hard to find fish wine Thai vinegar or wotsit" that Nigella and Delia love to use .
I like the entry for Cauliflower soup that says " for a vegetarian option substitute two sticks of celery for the Ham* !"
* Ham would have been used to make the soup stock ,
And there is the aptly titled - Reheated Meat dishes , like Hash or Shepherds Pie .
Some of the recipes I have never heard of though - obviously belong to a different age like Fricandeau of Veal (serve with Espagnol sauce ??) and Roman Pie !
And I am not sure that the farmer supplies the lamb ingredients required for this recipe though , and I don't recall Gran making this soup either.....
Its the soup recipe at the bottom of the page - Sheeps' Head Broth !
Really don't fancy that one!!
There are my lamb shanks, simmering away nicely in the pot on the cooker, they smell so good. It's blackface lamb from a local farmer , and not only does it smell good it tastes DIVINE . Blackface sheep are the commonest sheep in Scotland , meat is great, sheep is hardy , however the wool is too rough for spinning/knitting clothing from . I am sure it must be used for something , perhaps Carpets .
Scotch Broth and Bangers 'n Mash for dinner - can't get more British than that can you ?

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Frogging Time

I am having a frogging time of late , if I am not tinking back mistakes in the Monkey Socks that I am knitting , I am ripping out whole projects - Ouch!
My latest indecision and bad knitting karma issues, is with the lovely scarf pattern from Knitspot called Fernfrost. I started out using a wonderful Skein Queen yarn of Cashmere and Silk in a lovely Teal colourway (crikey a bundle of knots would have looked great with this stuff!). I kept getting the (written) pattern wrong - so frogging ensued. Eventually I used the chart , hey presto it worked. Spoke too soon , needed to tink back . Worked again, oh no, more tinking back! ugh !
Decided it would be better as a one pattern repeat scarf (Stole has three repeats of pattern). Sigh. More frogging of the gorgeous cashmere .
Rummaged around stash and found the gorgeous aqua Unicorn , that's the ticket.
Cast on wrong number of stitches . Found out after two more froggings! Eventually got the right amount , and knitted up one pattern repeat (32 rows)
This . Is . It .
I like it . I really like it now . I am even getting into a rhythm with this pattern since I am only doing one repeat .
Trouble is , I think I really want to do three repeats of the pattern in this yarn, I like it so much.
BUT , I am talking myself into doing some gloves to match, so it will be staying at one repeat just now.
Three repeats .... now that calls for a different yarn .
How about some gorgeous Skein Queen Cashmere and silk in a lovely Teal colourway !

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

I know I should be ....

Vacuuming the carpets , dusting the surfaces , sorting the laundry (again !) wiping the kitchen worktops , putting some bleach down the toilets (three guys in the house only one girl , its a nightmare for me!) .
However .....
I will have a Cup Of Tea , Do Some Knitting , then fetch the boys from school .
Then ....
I will bake Muffins , with blueberries .
Just because ...
Thank goodness my boiler is installed tomorrow , it is getting a tad chilly here .

Monday, 28 September 2009

In the News today....

There was an article in a newspaper today extolling the benefits of knitting . It was well written , didn't fall into any "cliches" , and even pointed out that Knitting wasn't the "thrifty" option because of the hours put in to produce a finished item . The lady who wrote it was called Lorna Martin , who moved to the Shetland Isles as a child and was taught to knit Fairisle patterns by her teacher.
I liked the fact that she pointed out that although knitting is often associated with grey-haired females of a certain age , the main growth area in the knitting boom is amongst the under 35's ! Apparently sales of yarn and needles from John Lewis have increased dramatically in the last few years .
Here is the web-page of that Knitting article
At present I am trying to dramatically increase my "output" of knitting . I have started some gift knitting , amongst which are Monkey socks in Sunshine Yarns , Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes , meant for my young cousin . They are coming on a treat , especially since I had to start again after the first attempt was turning out too small . I had used 2.25mm needles , but had to go up to 2.75mm . I thought the bigger needles would make the yarn a bit lacy as it has a high twist in it , but it is turning out nicely .
I have done 4 repeats of the pattern , just another two to go before the heel. Lost a stitch last night and had to rip out a whole two repeats , ouch! Back on track now.
I've also started the Fernfrost scarf pattern although its not worth showing 5 rows done ! I am finding using the chart is easier , and I make less mistakes than I do with the written pattern . Using my Skein Queen Wisp yarn , so lovely !
Is anyone else starting some gift knitting yet ? (In my defence one of the projects is for a birthday! )

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

All the leaves are brown.....

and the skies are grey!
AND my boiler has died , so a new one is needed NOW!
Just as well I finished my Icing Swirl Hat , at least my head will be warm ......

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

I Knitty Weekend

I am still recovering from a fabulous weekend in London , at the Iknit show weekend. Two days of yarn goodness and workshops!
Its great to go to something like this , where everyone openly admires the knitwear , and we all play Pattern bingo (Feburary Lady Sweater , check , Pinwheel sweater , check , Cookie A socks , check! lol )
Three of us from Flavaknits went down together , and met up with some of the girls from Tramway knitters at the event . We were a gaggle of schoolgirls , chatting non-stop even though we had been up since 4.30am on the Friday morning to get our early flight!
Thankfully I had finished my Noro Cardi in time to take it with me - it is so cosy and I love it . I will be wearing it out shortly !
The great thing about Noro is that it is better NOT to block it , as you lose some of the texture and shape . This one curls at the edges beautifully , giving it a great casual look , that looks good with jeans .
I just love the way it stripes too! This pattern was very simple , although it needed a bit of tweaking , and was great to knit at knit night or in front of the TV .
Its a winner!
Now I promised myself I would be good at the Yarn Market at Iknit , as I have a ton of stash back home just crying out to be knitted .
But I wasn't!
And yet , I could have been even naughtier...... if all that yarny goodness hadn't been so overwhelming!
Excuse the poor macbook photo's , my DS2 has pinched my batteries for my camera to use in his Nintendo Wii (Star Wars Lego is soooo addictive!)
From left to right , first up is Ysolda Teagues' Whimisical Little Knits book , which encouraged me to buy the gorgeous Manos del Uruguay wool classica yarn and Knitpro DPNS! Why ? so I could start the Icing Swirl hat ! (Still not finished , don't ask why , least said soonest mended etc. )
You can see the peak of the hat , its the dark teal knitting at the top right.
In front of the yellow Iknit ticket is the Skein Queen Cashmere and silk blend 2 ply in Teal , next to it is Easyknits alpaca/silk blend in a red colourway called O-negative . Just behind that is natural Merino/silk laceweight from Hammonds (have little pots of dye as I want to try dye-ing that!) Its not too easy to see as the button is hiding it!
Perched on one of my Knitpro DPNS is a large button in Ash wood , from Toft Alpaca , just lovely (as was their yarn!)
And the two little scrunched up bits of knitting at the front are the projects from my Estonian Knitting class , where we learned both multi-colour knitting and lace knitting .
It wasn't just all yarny goodness , the food was great too! Lovely little sandwich shop close to the halls was where we has lunch on the Friday (Joes Sandwiches) . And on the Saturday evening , we went to the Anchor and Hope pub where we had the most fantastic dinner , Venison Shank , Poached rabbit , Pumpkin Gnocchi...... and the deserts ! WOW! It was like proper home cooking! Kimmie tried the delights of the home-made Damson Gin too (the rest of us had the wine) . The staff were so helpful and pleasant which added to the experience.
It was such a great but exhausting weekend , I am just beginning to recover now , and my Yoga class helped too!
Now to start saving and training for next year!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

I can see clearly now the rain has gone .....

and the dark clouds and the flash flooding , traffic holdups .... yesterday was awful weatherwise , which was a pity because it was DS2 first FULL day at school . Up until now he had been in school until lunchtime , but yesterday he got to stay for lunch ..... and so did I . Parents were invited to come along and have "school dinners" with their offspring . It was good , but not as good as I remember . Still distance lends enchantment as my Gran would say .
Today , I spent a pleasant morning with the Flavaknits girls , having a coffee and a chat and trying to finish my Noro cardi . Finally it is cast off , and now for the difficult (boring) bit , the SEWING.
But first lunch . It is quite peculiar having lunch on my own after all these years having wee ones keep me company , so something comforting was in order.
How about Beef Noodle and Vegetable soup *. My lot aren't fond of noodles but I am (got me through my student years!) I used a beef stock cube , some "heat in the pan" noodles and a load of vegetables PLUS some fresh finely chopped ginger.
Soup to warm the soul . I just dissolved the stock cube in boiling water , added the vegetables and ginger , once it was warmed through I added the noodles for two minutes , and voila ! a filling soup .
Now , will it set me up for a bit of sewing - I hope so!
* Edited to add : sometimes noodle soup requires a FORK as well as a SPOON! I have changed my T-shirt!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Time Flies !

The last days of the school holidays just flew in , and soon it was time to wash and iron school uniforms and get DS2 prepared for starting school!
He just can't wait to go here , thought I had put the camera away , but , AHA , no .
Big Brother is a veteran of Primary school now , and the obligatory photo's at the start . DS2 is a bit fed up of all the fuss !
Off they went as happy as the proverbial larry ! DS1 likes his new MAN teacher . DS2 just likes school . So can't complain.
Managed to finish my Cookie A Sunshine socks this month , with yarn from my 2009 Sock KAL swap - NDS Dazzle sock yarn , just lovely and squishy and wonderful . Pattern is gorgeous too !
Now , I am on an official yarn diet (ahem..) so no yarn until Iknit , and then just a little. I need to knit up all my yarn stash before the moths try and eat it up!
So I came across a pattern in Twist Collective online magazine that I just adore - its this Vine Yoke Cardi designed by Ysolda Teague . I have two shades of New Lanark yarn that would be just perfect for this . AND it is knit in one piece , side to side , very clever .
Now this pattern for Anne Hansons gorgeous Fernfrost scarf I have been eyeing for a few weeks . Its a definite for some gifts and I want to knit one for me too . I just love how the design captures the patterns that Frost can make on windowpanes .
Its not quite scarf time yet - however the weather has been quite biblical , sudden heavy rains almost flooding the place (thank goodness we live UP a hill) , interspersed with glorious sunshine - except in Hamilton I hear ! I think the weather is trying to tell us to get knitting those warm clothes anyway , as it won't be long until Autumn . (In Scotland anyway , hehehehe!)

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

Last days of Summer

Soon it will be time for the children to return to school . DS1 is sad because he doesn't like school , DS2 is excited because he is starting school ! And today Grandpa took them to get some pencil cases and lunchboxes . One Happy Child , one Miserable Child . Comedy/Tragedy , two sides of the one face ?
Bit like life eh ?
Sadly , DH s' Uncle passed away after a short and unexpected illness . Fortunately he was able to spend his last few days at home with his family .
So , I have decided to knit up some squares for Comfort Blankets for the MacMillan Charity , as sponsored by The Knitter magazine . Its a worthy cause , truly!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Summer Breeze

Had a lovely morning at Karen's today , with a load of knitty pals. For a change the Sun actually came out , although it was quite breezy ! Wednesday mornings usually find us all at Cafe Flava , but while the bairns are off school its at someones home! Made some scones this morning before I left , and due to the fact I was running late as usual , they were warm when I got to Karens' house. And my what a spread was there when I arrived . Moira had brought some lovely cakes , there were croissants and muffins and home-made Blackcurrant Jam ..... and for those of us who wanted to be healthy there was a bowl of grapes......which we ate AFTER the goodies!
Of course there was some knitting as well as eating! Karen had finished one of her Cookie A Angee socks , in a lovely charcoal/chocolate colourway , Moira brought a preemie knit jacket , so tiny and cute , and Val was starting some socks in a gorgeous blackberry shade of yarn she bought while visiting Helsinki . Kirsty was knitting a baby jacket in a lovely shade of blue and cream , a bit like Devon ware ! And me , its all about the socks again .
I have two pairs of socks on the go just now , one a gift for a friend , and the other my Cookie A Sunshine pattern socks . And I'm loving them both ! I also have a couple of WIPs that are calling me back to them , and I may pick them up anytime soon too. But first the socks , I am loving both the patterns , so fingers crossed they work out . My Sunshine socks are a mystery until finished , unless you've seen them in person! My other ones I can show here .
The yarn is Fyberspates space-dyed sock yarn (I think its BFL) , and the pattern is one specifically written for the yarn. Its a lovely wee cable effect , and I think it looks great . The yarn is so soft or cuddly as DS2 would say.
Had a bit of a knitty weekend , last weekend . Visited K1yarns to see the Knitting Goddess Trunk show . What a divine selection of yarn . Now I have been a bit naughty lately with buying yarn , but I couldn't leave without this , the colourway is Rhubarb Crumble and Custard and its a lovely BFL sock yarn - Cedric likes the colours very similar to him!
I got to meet Joy aka Knitting Goddess , and another two Domestic Goddesses , namely Helen and Theresa (or Terry!) from the Cookie A KAL . They had brought along some gorgeous Gingerbread and Carrot cake . Would have been rude to decline it!
Another surprise at the weekend was the arrival of my twin Unicorns , colourway Aqua . Just beautiful aren't they ?
Had to buy two this month as I missed out on last months , but these beauties more than make up for it . I can see some lovely Christmas gifts being made sometime soon .
But this , this one brings out the Selfish knitter in me , this is Arauncania sock yarn , purchased from the lovely Nan's shop , Stitching Time in Hamilton . And its MINE all mine , not sharing . Cedric loves this one , its him to a T !(Its mine Cedric!)
What I can share with you , is my scone recipe , courtesy of the Bero book! Well its loosely based on the Bero recipe !
Ingredients are :- 200g / 8oz of Self-raising flour . 100g / 2oz of margarine or butter . 50g / 1oz of caster sugar . 1 large egg mixed with some milk (enough to get a good loose dough mixture)
Turn oven on to Gas mark 7 or 350deg F
First mix the flour and sugar in a bowl then rub in the margarine to this mix , make sure the margarine is completely rubbed in and part of the floury mix.
Then add some of the egg/milk mix , enough to make a good (not too sticky) dough .
Empty the dough on to a flat work top and pat down to about an inch or inch and half thick .
Get some cookie cutters and cut out your scones ,then , place them on a greased baking tray .
With a finger or two , dab some of the eggy milk mix onto the top of the scones to "glaze" . Some folk use a wee brush , I can never find mine!
Put in oven for ten minutes to bake .
Put kettle on to boil , and set out milk jug , sugar bowl , cups and saucers for some tea!
Get out some butter and jam , plates and knives .
Put a little boiling water in tea pot - then empty . Put in tea (bags or loose choice is yours!) and fill with boiling water . Leave to infuse , perhaps cover with knitted tea cosy!
Remember to take scones out of oven , transfer to a serving plate , then enjoy morning/afternoon tea !

Wednesday, 29 July 2009


Well I finally gave up on the Eunice pattern/Smooshy yarn combo . It just wasn't doing it for me so I frogged. It always depresses me to do this after all the hours and work I put in , but I know if I am really unhappy with something there is no alternative. So frustrating , but hey ho life goes on .
I had a lovely weekend at Inverness visiting friends , and the boys all really got on well playing the usual boy games , and watching similar TV programmes . The sun shone and we had a marvelous barbeque and plenty of wine! (thats the adults not the kids , they got high on Ribena!)
The only drawback is the long drive of approx 200 miles (probably piffling by American Standards) , and the various roadworks/holdups . It took me about 4 and a half hours , not including the stops . Also DH was working so Mummy here was doing it all!
Still it is a very pretty drive and I recommend the cakes at House of Bruar , plus a wee walk along to the falls of Bruar. Its funny Blair Atholl Castle is close by , but I've never visited it yet , must make a point one day .
Well after the Eunice debacle , I was feeling a bit put off knitting socks. Fortunately , I has signed up for the Send a Skein swap in the 2009 Sock Knitalong forum on Ravelry (members only , but its free to join so follow the link!) And I received the most gorgeous skein of Natural Dye Studio BFL Dazzle sock yarn in the most amazing colours - BUT, you can't see it until I knit it all up in Augusts pattern , which will either be Cookie A Monkeys or Sunshine. Don't want another Eunice situation! And , I am knitting another pair in Fyberspates as a gift for a friend . So I'm not toooooo put off!
Ahh , the sun is shining now - better get out and enjoy it while I can!

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Now there are pictures

I am having difficulty getting a decent picture of Kiri , here it is blocked with Cedric having a lie down on it . It is very sheer , due to the fact it is a fine fingering weight yarn knitted on size 4.5mm needles . I am pleased with the result and would try again , but use stitch markers next time. It has encouraged me to try some more lace patterns , so watch this space ! A favourite has to be Ann Hansons Fernfrost Design Scarf .
I think I was just having a panic moment with Eunice , here is my photo update . I like the sock and the pattern , and it will be a cosy bulky sock , most likely for wearing in the house . I'm just going to keep knitting and stop thinking about it ! The yarn does look gorgeous , and it feels good too.
I finally wound my skein of Old Maiden Aunt Merino/Cashmere sock yarn into a ball , and an going to make a textured shawlette . The "recipe" for this is on Ravelry , and I saw a shawl made from 2 skeins of Old Maiden Aunt yarn , it was so gorgeous . So I had to download it straight away . Hopefully it will be good enough for a gift . The yarn is gorgeous to knit with , I just keep cuddling it !
I think Cedric has designs on my OMA project , time to get knitting !

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Moody Knitter!

I am halfway through July's Cookie A KAL pattern from the Sock Innovation book , called Eunice . And I'm still not sure if its the right yarn/needle/colour combo . Does anyone else feel like this from time to time ?
I love the pattern , its challenging enough without being too complex .
I love the yarn , it lives up to its name , Dream in Color Smooshy , its really IS smooshy .
And the circular needles I am using are not causing my RSI to flare up BUT they could be a wee bitty smaller (and then they probably WOULD cause my RSI to flare up , and I can't afford anymore Osteo just now ).
And the sock looks good too , albeit a wee bit loose , but fitting not too bad . Hhhmmmm ....... maybe I'm just in a strange knitting mood , maybe I just need to NOT think too much and keep knitting .
At least my Kiri is now finished and blocked (badly , but still blocked) , pictures later when I've charged up the camera. It looks lovely and feels great . And it has whetted my appetite for some more lace .
Perusing the Old Maiden Aunt site , I followed the link to Anne Hanson Designs site , and MY OH MY !, those scarfs / stoles / shawls are a site to behold . I've already chosen one or two scarf/stole patterns , and then , of course , I will need to visit OMA to get the necessary yarn .
Moody ? Me ?

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Forest Fun!

Just back from a lovely relaxing holiday at Center Parcs , near Penrith in the gorgeous English Lake District . The lodges are set in the Whinfell forest , which is home to the original Squirrel Nutkin , the red squirrel . Its so lovely to get up in the morning and see the rabbits bobbing about outside , have the pheasant and his Hen visit , and see the small animals and birds scurry away as the Sparrow-Hawk swoops down .
And then there is the BIG Pool! where you can learn to swim , or just play , or do both !
"Hurry up Mum , the wave machine is about to come on !"
And there are plenty of Play Parks to have fun in , and climb , slide or perhaps ....swing .
"Hey , Mum is quite good at this pushing thing isn't she ?" Yeah! not bad"
But what really makes your heart melt is the babies , the ducklings , the moorchicks and the original ugly ducklings.....or Cygnets! Not ugly at all , just so cute . But watch out , Mum and Dad don't let you go too near , or you'll get a peck!
And I discovered a class called Lavender Relaxation , WOW! Fabulous! I was so relaxed I literally floated for the rest of the day !
It was such a fun relaxing time , and who would have thought you would be able to have a barbeque right in the middle of a forest! Yikes , thankfully it was a small (and tasty) one , and all the meat got cooked right through .
I even got a little knitting done , half of my Eunice sock and almost done on the edging of my Kiri shawlette .
Don't you just love the Summer Holidays!

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Crafty Business

And here it is , finally , my Cafetiere cover ! Tried it out on Wednesday when some of the Knitting group girls came over for morning coffee . Seemed to work a treat , or was it the fact that it was very hot outside that has something to do with keeping the coffee warm! We'll find out later .
Had a lovely afternoon Shop sitting for Liliths' yarn studio , here is one of my companions during my shift . He's a cuddly sheep who's guarding the gorgeous fibre in that tub . I was allowed to look , not touch!
And here is another of my companions , Chookiebirdie Owl , he's keeping an eye on those beautiful hand-dyed balls of yarn . Doesn't say much Owl , its all in the gorgeous eyes!
And this is one of the works of art on Liliths wall , colours just like Monets' Waterlilies paintings .
And here is another work of art , its kinda like installation art , as it keeps changing (something to do with the yarn having to be sent to customers .....)
Beautiful yarns , gorgeous colours !
So , in between packing and posting parcels , having cups of tea , I did a little knitting. The start of my Cookie a KAL , pattern Eunice , yarn DIC Smooshy. And I sat in the big fat comfy leather armchair and knitted , whilst some lovely fiddle music played in the background (are you jealous yet ?)
Only one visitor , a lovely man named Eddie , who came to see how I was getting on and ask where the wee doggie was . He'll be back soon , no worries !
Hope you are having a lovely time Lilith , its a pleasure to Shop sit while you are gone !