Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Christmas Blog

Advent is almost over and Christmas is nearly here . The children are getting hyper excited , and have tantrums on a daily basis . The adults are getting ratty and tired , and wanting to hibernate for the rest of winter . Soon it will be the holidays , and we can all relax and enjoy ourselves .
I took part in an Advent Swap with the Waldorf Mamas' group on Ravelry again - its been another lovely swap , good to take time out from the Christmas preparation madness .

My swap partner was a lovely lady from Germay called Ramona , who sent me this lovely Angel , and Walnut decoration . Its exquisite .
She also included an lovely postcard with its gorgeous illustration from In the Land of Elves .

This was my gift to her , a knitted angel , pattern courtsey of Elizabeth Zimmerman (Christmas Fiddle Faddle) , knitted in rare breed Wensleydale from the Isle of Arran and Kidsilk Haze .

I have cut out a lot of Christmas knitting , not enough time and I am too tired . Still to finish MIL jacket , but that will happen soon. (The above is a little something for someone! , lol) .

Tonight is my Knitting group night out - I am looking forward to it , as we have our secret Santa too .
Just hope I don't fall asleep!

I know this is a sad and difficult time for may but I read a piece by Charles Dickens which some may find helpful ..... I find it quite lovely . not select the merriest of of the three hundred and sixty five days for your doleful recollections, but draw your chair nearer the blazing fire.... . Look upon the merry faces of your children . Dwell not upon the past ... reflect on your blessings - of which every man has many - not on your past misfortunes of which every man has some . Fill your glass again , with a merry face and a contented heart!

Christmas Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Busy Times

Not content with having umpteen projects on the go , I plunged in and bought yarn to knit DS1 a Christmas Sweater . My DH and sons are not known for their love of the handknit garment , but I have made things for them that they do wear from time to time . I'm hoping I'm onto a winner here , as the sweater is stripy , knit in the softest yarn and is the colours of Gryffinfor House from Harry Potter .
He likes Harry Potter , and stripes , and hopefully will love the sweater . Its another Debbie Bliss pattern from her 9 to 5 knitting book of childrens' knits .
Fingers crossed I finish on time and he likes it .
Just now there is lots of organising for the Moorfoot Primary Parent Teacher Association Fund-raising events . The big one is our Christmas Shopping night this Thursday Evening , its very civilised with Bucks Fizz and nibbles , and wine and soft drinks served all evening . There are lots of tables selling gifts from local shops , Once a Sheep has got one too!
Oh , yes , I've also signed up to another OMA KAL (idea for a christmas gift here) , which is colourwork mitts .
Looks like I won't get much sleep for the next few weeks!

Thursday, 10 November 2011

The C word

After the Debbie Bliss Event , most of us went a little DB daft - buying up patterns and yarns of garments that suited us . It also brought up the C word , Christmas !

The garments I liked the most were knit up in the Riva yarn , a variegated chunky which feels like whipped air it's to soft . I have decided to gift the item I am knitting , and fortunately I don't see the recipient on a daily basis so it should knit up quickly .

I am also steaming ahead with my Karise shawl have completed one of the lace pattern repeats , its a lovely uncomplicated knit , good to take to the knitting group with .
Tonight I have my knitting group which I look forward to as it so much fun , it always ends up being quite .... bawdy ! But its very good for the soul too !

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Bad Blogger

Haven't been much of a good blogger lately , meant to post every day , oh dear!
Boys are much better now , and we've been busy .
The weekend was taken up with drama classes , a trip to the local Model Railway Exhibition in Greenock Town Hall , and a coffee morning after church to raise funds for our Sunday School Christmas Party .
I also managed to finish two loopy scarfs which will be Christmas gifts for my former teachers' twin sisters .
I also managed to get some more of the stocking stitch section done on my Karise Shawl , and am about to start the lace section now - woohoo! The Old Maiden Aunt merino/cashmere mix yarn is gorgeous to work with , and the Gothic colourway is one of my favourite .
I cast on last Wednesday when the boys were on the mend . They had cabin fever , so I took them out to our favourite cafe for Hot Chocolate and cake , and got started .

This is the most recent picture , taken this afternoon , there is very little natural light , so its difficult to get a true picture of the colour .

You could tell the boys were getting better , one was impersonating a cyberman , as well as annoying his brother !

The other was reading and doing his best to ignore said annoying brother , and everyone else for that matter .

One event I didn't get photo's at was the Debbie Bliss morning at Once a Sheep yarn store in Gourock . Debbie arrived at 10am , and the place was queued out! There were LOTS of garments to try on , and boy did we get a surprise . Garments that a knitter may have written off as being unsuitable , were beautiful when tried on , and suited all sizes and shapes . Many did suit the curvier lady , and my good pal Sandy became a model for the morning! I bossed her into it , and it was the icing on the cake when Debbie took her photo to include in her facebook page!
Lots of kind people had donated baking , so we drank and stuffed our faces too , and got our books signed by Debbie - she was really lovely and very unassuming too . Poor Karen , the owner , was quite exhausted at the end of it all , but thoroughly enjoyed as we all did .
I think the shop may have to restock lots of the yarns and books , as they were flying off the shelves (oops how did that happen!) .
It was such a lovely morning , and we were sad to see Debbie go , hopefully she may make a return visit sometime .
And now back to the knitting!

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

I cast on .....

.... my Karise Shawl . The yarn feels divine .
Hopefully I will have more time when the boys are back at school ....
tomorrow! Hehehe!

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

November Small Shawl KAL

Here is my pattern and yarn for the Old Maiden Aunt Small Shawl Knitalong !
The yarn is a merino/cashmere blend in Gothic Colourway from OMA , feels so soft and I love the purlple/red shades in it . The pattern is Karise by Karina Westermann , which I bought when it first came out , and now have the opportunity to use .
This KAL starts today and finishes on the 30th November , when hopefully the shawl will be cast off and blocked . Lilith is putting up prize draws throughout the month , just to give the KAL a wee bit more excitement .
Hopefully I'll cast on tomorrow , the boys are under the weather with colds , and so am I . I need my sleep so and early night tonight .
Tomorrow's photo should be a bit more interesting!

Monday, 31 October 2011

Finally , its Halloween . I still haven't decorated , and the pumpkin needs carving but it will get done on time .
Its been a busy October , the holidays saw us take the train to London and Legoland (which had fabulous fireworks) . My cousins new wee baby was born too , and she is gorgeous . Having Downs Syndrome though means that she is finding feeding and breathing a bit challenging just now , but that should pass and every day she just gets better !
DS1 has his Scout Halloween party tonight in the Scout Hall , last Wednesday was the School Halloween Disco in the School Hall , as well as one today for DS2 and his class. DS2 also had his Anchor Boys Party last week , so we are almost all "Halloween'd out" .
DS2 is sporting a bandage just now , due to the fact he caught his finger in the car door before going into Karate on Friday . A trip to A and E revealed he had chipped the top part of this finger bone - OUCH! Although his disappointment over not getting to karate almost outweighed the pain of his finger .
On the knitting front , my Mum got her Rowan Drift jacket only 2 days after her birthday - the back has an accidental design modification that she is happy with , and it looks lovely on . Its a gorgeous red with hints of purple shade , really pretty . I'm having a short rest from knitting , well, until tomorrow when I start my Old Maiden Aunt Shawl KAL ! I am using Gothic Cashmere blend OMA yarn and knitting the Karise Shawl . Can't wait . Preparing tonight .
I am also going to try and write a blog post every day for November , to get back into the habit . My good pal Rosie does a "blipphoto" everyday , along with a short paragraph about it , they are lovely "snapshots" into her daily life , which is what I wanted to achieve with the blog too .
Well I am off now to carve a pumpkin - Happy Galoshins ! as we say in Scotland !

Monday, 3 October 2011

Mrs Tiggy-Winkle

I am taking part in a swap organised by one of my Ravelry groups . For those of you not familiar with (Craft ) swaps , here is how they work - : a theme is chosen and posted on the Ravelry group , people put their name down and provide the necessary info for the swap (hate blue acrylic , love brown alpaca , that sort of thing) , the moderator of the swap puts a dollar/pound value limit . Dates are set , swap partners and addresses given and off you go . Sometimes however , even though there is a monetary limit , someone receives a huge package full of goodies , of a much higher value than given . This can put some folk off participating , as you don't want to appear the green meanie  . I have taken part in various swaps , some amusing (Dr Who Jelly Baby swap) , some mentally challenging (Fibonacci Hat swap) , and some just for the fun of it .
This swap is for fun and is organised by a lovely Irish lady on the Waldorf group . Now I am not a "Waldorf/Steiner" educated person myself , nor are my children , but I do like some of their ethos . Growing up in 1970's UK , some of what is called "Waldorf" was actually part of mainstream education back then , mainly craft and nature . (Obviously the blatant sexism and racism of the 1970's isn't Waldorf , but that wasn't really part of the education system per se .)
This swap was to reflect the season and what would be put out on the "Nature Table" , and since autumnal leaves and seeds don't travel well , it meant something handmade , along with a verse or story .
Here is Mrs Tiggy-Winkle , along with my lovely Autumn felted basket full of knitted leaves and acorns . Mrs Tiggy-winkle will be flying out to New England soon to my lovely swap partner who sent me my Autumnal felted basket .
The pattern is from Ysoldas' Whimsical Knits 2 , and is a sweet and enjoyable knit .

For some reason Hedgehogs are quite scarce now - when I was young there were lots of them in the woods behind our house where we used to play (we called it "the glen") . Our dog would sniff them out to play with them and catch lots of fleas from them as he rolled them about with his nose!
Hedgehogs also eat the garden nasties like slugs , so are a gardeners friend .
I hop my swap partner likes Mrs Tiggy-Winkle , and forgives my bad sewing technique for the eyes and nose . I will miss her and may need to knit another .

Thursday, 29 September 2011


I have a severe case of startitis just now - its all for a good cause but its becoming a bit overwhelming.
There is the pair of socks for my Dads' birthday (yesterday) which I am knitting the OMA Merino/Bamboo in Midnight Owl . Then there is the cropped jacket for my Mums' birthday (next month) which is knitted in Rowan Big Wool/Drift , and should be quick if I focus on it! And don't even talk about the Aeolian or Arisaig (or Rose jacket for that matter) .
However , this is also the time of year I like to knit up some hats and mittens for the Shoebox Appeal run by an organisation calledBlythswood , who deliver Shoeboxes full of good and useful items to Eastern Europe and Pakistan . They also issue out a paper telling you about who the shoeboxes go to ....... it is a very humbling read .
A Very Kind Person has given me some yarn (in a box funnily enough) , and some of this will be perfect for mittens and hats , especially for small people as well as big people!

The multi-coloured pinks and purples will be perfect for little girls and the blues and browns for wee boys . Should get some done for the grown-ups too from my box of plenty .

The charity are also looking for cash donations , this helps with the delivery costs of the shoeboxes . If you could donate any that would be magnificent .

The boxes are sent out at the end of October , to make sure they arrive in time for Christmas - better get cracking then!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Go West !

Autumn is finally here , the leaves are changing colour and the storms keep blowing up . The temperature has definitely become cooler , it is time for the woollen knits to come out .
There are several birthdays soon , DS1 is almost 11 and my Dad is well over 11 !
Its difficult to know what to get for Parents these days . Not much is actually "needed" , and the "nice to have" they have in the plenty .
What he doesn't have is hand-made socks! Or rather handmade socks with gorgeous OMA yarn - Midnight Owl Merino with Bamboo (good for mens' feet as antibacterial)

Bought this yarn today - my good pal Rosie and I made our way to West Kilbride to Liliths' studio to visit our friend Ange who was shopsitting . Just lovely being surrounded by all that gorgeous yarn and fibre , the colours , the texture, the shiny and sparkly yarns , the soft and squishy fibre . There were a few folk who popped their heads round the door and a few other pals who popped by too , Jane and Gwen . It was lovely to see them in their home town.
And just down the street from the studio is the " Wee Deli " , which we visited for lunch . It does a fabulous Soup and Sandwich deal priced very reasonably , and it was delicious . If you are ever in West Kilbride I recommend you visit it too .
Back at the we had tea and cakes as we knitted and chatted , so relaxing and fun , a perfect day .
This is my latest knit , its for a Waldorf swap , and it will go West soon too. To the USA. Can you guess what it is ? Hopefully it will look like a Hedgehog soon as it's the wee Hedgehog from Ysoldas' Whimsical Little Knits 2 , and I am loving knitting it .
The body is knit on dpns , increasing every alternative row , the spines are knitted separately then knitted together with the body , such a clever construction . The body is Rico Merino aran , divine to knit with , and the spines are Debbie Bliss Glen yarn , an alpaca / merino mix . It feels very soft and cuddly. Hopefully the recipient will love it . I may need knit another one to keep as it is so cute .
Best get a move on so I can start the socks , these birthdays come too quick!

Monday, 22 August 2011

You in your small corner

And I in mine - from my small corner today , this is the first Coffee Break sock finally finished . I couldn't work out the spiral effect from the graph provided so just continued the pattern straight up and added a nice manly thick rib since its for FIL .
The yarn is gorgeous and a pleasure to knit , however the chart for the spiral effect had me completely baffled so it took me a week after ripping out several times , to decide to modify the pattern . Also , I think FIL would prefer a plainer pattern , being a traditional Scotsman .
Was feeling frustrated that I hadn't finished anything , so I think a little change to my usual (lack of) routine . Now the children are back at school , it will make it easier to focus my energy on finishing things AND getting the house in order (although the last one is a pretty steep order).
It feels good to sort things out , get them done , tick the boxes then sit back and have a coffee break .
I've got addicted to the quick crossword in the paper recently , some days I get it done quickly , other days I struggle to understand the clues . Sometimes I go back the next day and the clues become clearer , so I go on to finish it . Result .
However , in reading the other parts of the newspaper , I am getting more confused and things are becoming less clear to me . Newspapers can do that , the reporting of news has always been (a wee bit verging on the) sensational (broadsheet) , or completely sensational (red-tops) .
Apparently (after these riots) our Country is in moral decline . Although there was a picture of over 20,000 people who came out in a show of unity and grief over the deaths of 3 young men . There was no fighting or mud-slinging there , just a dignified father who inspired his city , and made me proud to be part of this country . And the people came out to help with the clean-up and provide for those in need , was , too , inspiring .
Also , those who partook in the rioting are to be dealt with more severely than your usual crooks . Naively I thought the law was impartial and not arbitrary . Why should someone be dealt with more severely than another for committing the same crime ? Why are we putting petty thieves in with hardened criminals and setting them up for a life of criminality ? What happened to community service ? Why is the government interfering with the law and where is Cherie Booth when you need her ?
What is the British Government doing to Britain ?
And why is the stealing of goods and the jailing of thieves front page news when the death of people ends up six pages in ?
What is the British media doing to Britain ?
I look at Norway which has just come out of a months mourning for the victims of the massacre , and I get a peek at the beauty of human dignity. I don't hear shouting for more restrictive laws , or mobs bent on exacting revenge on the perpetrator .
It appears that if we don't ask these questions , if we don't rise above exacting revenge , if we care more for possessions than life then , yes , that is moral decline . When we lack tolerance and civility , when we blame the very least in our society for its ills , we have moral decline .
I don't believe we do have moral decline in this country , there are too many good , decent , caring people . People who give up their time and money freely to help others , run charities , look after the vulnerable , provide for the less well off , give company to the lonely .
Its time the politicians in charge actually met the people who truly "run" the country , the true and the good , the "Big Society" . Don't make their job harder .
Try and be a little more like Norway , shining like a clear pure light in a dark world .

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Guild Day Out (and back to school!)

Well , its back to school for my two this morning - neither was too pleased about it but they put on a brave face and said goodbye to the rabbit before they left.
DS2 was trying to see if she wanted to join him at school - don't think so !
Grin and bear it like men (cough) , or was that grimace and bear it .
Had a lovely weekend , Saturday was the Guild day out to the Summer School Exhibition through in Queen Margaret Uni outside Edinburgh . Five of us met at Once a Sheep shop in Gourock , and the very kind Ange drove us through to the Uni , which is near Musselburgh . It was a very inspirational as well as aspirational exhibition , as there was Certificate of Achievement projects on display and the Summer School class and tutor work . The weaving Certificate of Achievement project on display was amazing and caught the eye of Ange , who is soon to embark on her own C of A in Weaving . I am not sure if she was inspired as much as overwhelmed by it all . The spinning project was fascinating and I was amazed at some of the handknits from handspun that were "rejected" as part of the project for various reasons , two beautiful Estonian Lace shawls were not accepted - High standards indeed.
Also many of the tutors had put on displays of their work , and they looked fabulous - sadly can't remember who this one belonged to , I just loved the gorgeous spindles and the Estonian Lace Shawls !
Next to Janet Renouf-Millers display was this fabulous dress and shawl by Di Gilpin . Janet had her handknits from handspun yarn , as well as some lovely crochet pieces too . The yarn was so soft , and her chevron cardi is just gorgeous (its just peeking out the left had side of the photo !) . She is truly a talented lady . We meet her in the "suppliers" hall , after she had finished her last class , and she was looking forward to the meal and ceilidh later that evening celebrating the end of another Summer School . Janet teaches regularly at Once a Sheep and her classes are always sold out very quickly , she is a super teacher .
There was also the chance to borrow from the Guild library , usually based in Sheffield , and we all took out books that we wouldn't otherwise be able to buy - there was felting , spinning , weaving , textiles ...... so many to choose from . And a few wee items were bought by some of us , Kimmie got lots of gorgeous fibre especially the hand-dyed fibre from Ripplecrafts in 200g plaits . There was a raffle too , so we bought out tickets and popped the spare one in the tubs in front of the prizes we desired . Ange and Jane were ambitious putting theirs in the Drum Carder and Knitting Loom tub . I opted for a felting kit , and Kimmie put a ticket in for the Woolly Sheep .
And she won it! She was very excited and she ran up to collect it . The man calling out the raffle announced that ours was the first new Guild of Weavers , Spinners and Dyers in 25 years! We got an applause . I also won the felting kit , but sadly the rest of the group did not win the carder or loom , sigh . However, we also got to meet lots of nice new people and network a bit for our Guild which was lovely .
Next week the Guild are attending the Broughton Gathering , outside Biggar where there are competitions etc. Should be another good day out .

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Coffee Break

Having a wee coffee break just now , and trying to knit up quickly this lovely sock pattern from Easyknits called ..... Coffee Break !
The yarn is hand-dyed and was included as part of the Sock Club 3 . The shades are coffee-ish and the pattern represents the coffee bean . Perfect for DH's Dad whose birthday is very soon , and who loves all things coffee .
The yarn is Blue-faced Leicester , very soft and stretchy and a treat to knit . The pattern is a very simple one to remember , and looks great , hope my FIL likes them .
Easyknit yarns and patterns are gorgeous , I first came across them when I went down to the first Iknit event in London about 4 years ago (?) and me the ever charming Jon Dunn and his lovely partner Roy (a talented cook) . Since then Easyknits has really taken off , and Jons' patterns and yarn have been featured in magazines like the Knitter . He is also in demand for his teaching skills , and his tutorials for Socks etc. also feature in magazines . He finally gave up his day job to concentrate on his Yarn activities , which I personally think is super .
Sadly London has been host to the most outrageous riots , and many good ordinary people have been caught up in these dreadful events including the area where Jon and his husband live . Local business' destroyed , town centres laid to waste , people living in fear . The post office where Jon sends out his wonderful yarns has been almost destroyed and for what .
So while I am knitting these socks , I am thinking happy thoughts and hoping and praying that these communities will recover soon , one stitch at a time .

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Have got my computer back , also got new batteries for the camera so can use it again ....... when I retrieve it from DS1's room .
Might get a chance to take come pictures and upload them too.
Today is lazy Tuesday , I got a lie in and kids are lounging about watching TV and eating cereal by the box load . We'll head out later when DS2 has a party to go too .
Last week was wild and fun at the Mayhem Kids club at St Johns Church . A lot of hard work by some very dedicated and talented people of all ages meant it was a great success , the kids had a ball. It was a Space and Alien theme , and meant there were lots of kids walking about Gourock with jet-packs made from plastic bottles and brightly coloured paper . The teenagers had a great time too in the evenings going to Lunderston for a BBQ and heading up to Xscape for Laser Tag .
Yesterday was lovely - had a craft and coffee morning where some of my pals came round to knit n stitch and have a good blether . Think I made decent coffee for a change and the pancakes turned out okay too .
On the knitting front , getting on well with the Aeolian shawl , but don't think I will have it done by end of August . I have done 9 repeats of Yucca chart , so almost at the Transition . Request for hats is not going well , need to check up what exactly is wanted and it seems to keep changing . And the pom-poms .... least said soonest mended .
Finally bought Little Red in the City , and the book is really growing on me , I can see it being a really helpful book , and have sorted out yarn and patterns to do - could I have some done as Christmas gifts ? We'll see!
But for now , its back to dong nothing.... just great! Oh and hopefully I won't lose my computer although the patter of smallbutgetting bigger feet might just change that!

Monday, 25 July 2011

A Lovely Day

Had such a lovely day today . Some of the knitting group came round for a morning of knitting , coffee and baking!
The children came too had had a smashing time playing out in the garden , or on various computers or just sitting crafting .
Had a near disaster when baking the cookies this morning , went to take them out of the oven , burned my finger and almost dropped all of them in the sink full of bubbly water - Yikes . Thankfully most of them survived , but the ever talented Noah and Freya had brought round some fab Brownies and Empire Biscuits anyway.
They were almost done by lunch.
Have lots of projects on the go just now , but was approached recently by a local shop to knit up some Hats'n' stuff for them .
Wool is lovely , and the colourway is their choice , quite dark for me .
It's a bulky yarn so it shouldn't take long to knit up , hopefully they will like the design .
Then I'll need to work out the 'n stuff!

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Granny would be proud !

My Great Grandmother and Grandmother were both beautiful and expert crocheters . My sister also inherited the gene ,and although she says she can't really crochet , she can do beautiful things with a crochet hook .
I , on the other hand , did not inherit that gene , the first time I tried to teach myself crochet I ended up with a four dimensional object .
However , my good friend Rosie recommended the Beginners Crochet workshop , that Karen holds in Once A Sheep yarn store , taken by the very talented Janet Renouf-Miller .
And after much practice , this is what I made ( the other two squares are not quite right , but were good practice ) .
Excuse the grainy macbook photo - DS1 has hidden camera again , no doubt with several thousand snaps of lego for his stop-mo shorts for Youtube!
Anyhoo , think Granny would be proud of me now , with this Granny Square . Can't wait for the intermediate course!

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Time for ....

(My new Kitchen clock - looks like a pizza board!)
a few more repeats of the Yucca Chart in the Aeolian Shawl .
Now I have got my rhythm with the knitting and bead attaching , finally enjoying this knit .
The beads are not quite uniform , but given they were a job lot for a few pounds , I think they look great . And there will be 2250 beads attached by the time I am finished , phew!
Have my good pal Seona to thank for this Knit - A - Long (madness) , and of course in a moment of weakness , I joined in .
AND agreed to knit the large size shawl , which is done in lace - weight yarn and on 3mm needles - I have completely lost leave of my senses!
If that's not enough , I am itching to cast on for Karise - Karies' new shawl pattern knitted in OMA yarn - and I have the yarn too -- oooooo.
I could blame this all on housework avoidance , but its just another case of severe startitis .
I am also about to add another "craft" to my skills (fingers crossed), I have a Crochet class on Saturday at Once a Sheep yarn store . This is a craft I have never quite gelled with , but would love to learn it properly . My Grandmother and Great Grandmother were beautiful crocheters , a gene I did not inherit. Hopefully Saturdays' class will remedy that .
There is a (not so) small boy bothering me for his laptop and camera , and he won't go away .
Could've sworn these belonged to me at one time.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

I "heart" the internet

Dontcha just love the internet .
You see a pattern on Ravelry you like .
You purchase it using paypal .
Thirty seconds later its printed out all ready to use .
Priceless !
See here for the Karise shawl pattern by Karina Westerman - just lovely!
And if you don't have access to ravelry - Sign Up .

Friday, 15 July 2011

Holiday Time

It has been a while since I blogged - too long , perhaps . Time to make time for it again - Thanks Linn for the nudge ;)
Spent a wonderful week in Majorca , our family Summer Holiday , with the children and their Grandparents . Weather was wonderful , very warm with occasional cloud cover and gentle sea breezes , which took the intensity out of the heat . There was a wonderful pool at our aparthotel which also helped us cool down when the Sun was high . Having not seen too much sun before we left , I was worried about burning , but we all managed to avoid it (just) , thanks to boots Soltan sun lotions and being sensible .
There was a definite change to the resort this year , we've not been for a couple of years , but it was obvious . A lack of people , a quietness , everywhere . I didn't mind it at all , I love it when a resort is not too busy , but for the business's and Restaurants this can't be good .
This year though , I managed to climb the Calvari Steps in Pollensa , even though I chose the hottest time of day . There are 365 steps in all , the children were skipping up , putting me and my vertigo to shame!
Looks a gentle incline , doesn't it , Hah! don't let that fool you !
Here is the view from the top , just along from the Chapel . Hat is on as hair is sticking to head in the heat , and the cardi is on to protect pale skin from the 30+ degC heat . Cardi is my summer knit , pattern is a Louisa Harding pattern called Percy and I used a Debbie Bliss yarn called Amalfi, a silk, linen, cotton mix . It can be a bit splitty like a lot of cotton yarn , but it has a beautiful drape to it and feels gorgeous .
The views from this vantage point are marvellous , you can see for miles. However the heat saw me taking sanctuary in the coolness of the Calvari Chapel , and viewing the beautiful altar piece and wonderful paintings . One of the paintings is of Fray Junipero Serra , the Majorcan Franciscan Monk who founded the chain of Missions in California .
The cats , however , were just happy to take shade in the shadow of the building , as cats do !
Deo Gratias! indeed.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

Saint Patricks' Day

It's not about the actual Saints Day , its about our day at a local school , St Patricks
Three of us , Eileen Innes and myself visited St Patricks School as part of the Clyde Coast Guild of Weavers , Spinners and Dyers , to showcase some carding , spinning and knitting .
As part of their class project the pupils had learned to knit and made some smashing wee teddies and a blanket which was then donated to the Baby Unit at the Maternity Hospital .
They were all quite subdued when we arrived , but got very excited when asked to try some carding , Innes was on hand to ensure Health and Safety so there were no nasty scratches.
Eileen enthused them further with her spindle , and she passed around various fibres for them to guess the origins. Lots wanted to try out the spindling , and most were better than me!
Innes and I got some to try some spinning on the wheel , that took some effort to get co-ordination , but when we got round to showing yarn winding on the Niddy-Noddy every one wanted a go !
Innes did a talk on natural and acid dyes and passed round her samples , not many wanted to hold the sample wool dyed with mushrooms grown on horse manure! However they were fascinated by the various natural dyes , but when asked what they could find in their kitchen to dye with , one wee boy said Kitchen Towels!
One of the funnier moments was when we gave them a silk hanky to stretch out as far as they could , there was lengths of silk flying everywhere , and the teacher felt the need to calm everyone down!
One wee girl did ask where you would get a spindle , I think Innes mentioned something about making one with a pencil, some plasticine and a CD .
Overall , I think it was a very successful afternoon all round , the kids were fantastic and seemed to enjoy our wee demonstration .
We might even be invited back next year!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Elves in the house

I think there must be elves in my house , I turn my back and the laptop disappears as well as the camera. And now the batteries have run dead in the camera , very strange .
Also, little video shorts of lego mini-figures appear on my desktop , don't know where they came from .
I recently got a new phone , an all singing dancing acess to internet and a million other things I don't understand as well as my 7 year old!
Oh , and it has a camera , which is great when I "lose" my other one . Except it doesn't seem to be able to find bluetooth on my laptop and vice versa , sigh!
I have it sitting On my laptop and it still can't 'scan' it .
So you won't be able to see the progress on my lovely pink Louisa Harding Cardi , knitted in Debblie Bliss Amalfi , a linen, cotton and silk mix yarn .
Or the 'awesome' cookies I managed to make after the'disastrous' ones - recipe out the Dinner Lady Cook Book , and they really are good, there are only 6 left out of 18 after 2 hours!
I'm quite busy on the craft front this week .
Tomorrow , three of us from the Clyde Coast Guild of Weavers Spinners and Dyers are visiting a local primary school to showcase some spinning , carding fleece , and knitting . The class had learned to knit as part of their Project and are very keen to try out related activities , I'm sure we will make it fun for them .
On Saturday , I take a Sock knitting workshop at Once A Sheep , where I teach folk how to knit a sock from the cuff down , then how to knit one from the toe up . It should be fun , and i get to do my favourite type of knitting - socks.
Also , as part of a KAL (Knit Along) , I have got my pattern and yarn (just awaiting beads) to start a Shawl , pattern called Aeolian . This was a mad idea hatched up by one of my fellow knitting buddies! The pattern is complex and the casting off of the edging takes almost Three (3) hours !
Still ,keeps me out of mischief .
Phone still hasn't sent those photos' - see its those elves again .

Monday, 6 June 2011

A "B" month !

This month we have had a birthday , or rather my youngest son had his 7th Birthday!
Now when you are 7 , you have a celebration on your actual birthday , and then a party to celebrate with your pals . DS2 was a bit unhappy at not getting the day of his birthday off school , but a party at the local Laser Matrix more than made up for it . How can you be unhappy when you get to run around with florescent vests , shoot at your pals , then finish up with slushy drinks and pizza (or hotdog) ?
And there is chocolate cake with Rowntrees Random sweets and a candle that says 7!
It was a very good birthday , and the lucky boy also got to spend his birthday money on some Star Wars toys and Lego the next day . Mummy got to put the empty boxes in the recycling bin and tidy up the house putting away the various toys , Such fun!
And the next "B" was actually "Bees Knees" , or the local Bees Knees awards hosted by the local Chamber of Commerce .
The owner of our Lys and good friend got through to the final of the Bees Knees Awards , one of three in that specific category . Hurray ! Sadly , although We obviously DO think she is the Bees Knees , someone else won that category . Sigh!
Karen very kindly invited me to join her at the Awards Dinner along with her family and some other friends, it was such a super night despite the disappointment . I knitted an emergency Damson (shawl pattern by ysolda) in Rico cotton , to go with my dress I would be wearing. Although I didn't have time to block it , I was pleased with the result . The dress and shawl will accompany me on my holiday later this month .
And here I am with the two boys doing their best to mucky me up before I go out , lol .
Some more lovely knitwear on show - the girls scrub up well don't they ! Only kidding! Rosie and Kimmie looked beautiful , Roy was very handsome himself .
Here is Karen with her lovely DH , wearing a gorgeous dress and HER emergency Damson . She adjusted the pattern so much its almost NOT a Damson , the yarn is OMA merino in Lon Dubh with black Kidsilk Haze - just beautiful .
And now back to the Holiday knitting , plus a wee something other . My good pal Sandy had the most dreadful misfortune , her house burned down and took with it her spinning wheels and stash . Thankfully the insurance will rebuild the house and replace the material things , but its the gifts that were made (and lost) that can't be replaced as such . Well actually they can! The friends at Once a Sheep got together to give her a wee care parcel of goodies , and so did lots of other knitty pals from all over . Hurray for knitty friends!
I have one wee extra thing , its coming soon Sandy I promise!

Friday, 6 May 2011

Spring is sprung ... almost

Nothing like knitting with Noro Silk Garden to cheer the spirit , especially in these lovely spring colours .
I tried my best to match the two fronts , and the back with the two sleeves , so the contrast would only be between the back and front . The stripes were quite wide , and I felt they would not mismatch well , usually I like Noro to mismatch as much as possible and it usually obliges . It is a close match but not perfect , just like life!
I love these buttons as they go well with the colours but draw out the green of the Noro .
I will give it a little press , but I don't like to block Noro too much , in case it loses its "oomph !" The yarn is quite springy , but the silk gives it a bit of drape .
Come and see it soon in Once a Sheep window , where it will fit in with all the other gorgeous knits .

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Spring Please !

Easter Holidays have been a bit of a washout - still the boys like sleeping in , playing in their pj's most of the day and being indoors. Just as well .
I've also been able to catch up in some reading , have just finished Marjory Fleming by Oriel Mallet , a lovely book from the people at Persephone .
Received the Persephone Biannually , a publication by Persephone Books with articles on their latest books for summer , the authors , a full listing of all their books and an update on their Events . It also has a short story by featured author Diane Athill, and a fabulous article by Maureen Lipman talking about her time playing the actress Joyce Grenfell on stage .
This lovely picture is on the front page - showing a lady knitting outside in the garden , shaded on her Swinging Seat .
Diane Athill , the featured author, came from a very upper class English background , her grandmothers house had 20 bedrooms and a thousand acres of land! This is a painting of Diane's mother before marriage and motherhood - can you see what she has on her lap ? Yes , even the upper classes (pre WW1 ) took up knitting socks !
Well , with the Rosewood stole finally finished , I am now doing some knitting that will be on display in my good friend Karens' shop . It is a Noro Silk Garden cardi and the pattern is Design 8 from the Jennie Watson Noro Flowers 2 Book - a lovely lacy effect on the front with a plain back and sleeves .
Here is the left front , I think this lace pattern is really effective with the Noro .
And here is the back - I just love the colours in this shade of Silk Garden number 304 .
Excuse the poor quality of the photo's , using my photobooth on the macbook as the camera is hiding again .
Will just finish with a quote from the Biannually by Maureen Lipman - "Joyce (Grenfell) once asked a room full of children what the word frugal meant . One little chap said ' to save' , and she ..... suggested the class might all write her little stories that contained the word frugal. The prize winning story went as follows; The princess was imprisoned in the tower and she shouted 'frugal me frugal me !'"

Monday, 28 March 2011

Bit of a guddle !

In a bit of a guddle just now . Had a new kitchen put in recently , which is wonderful . Then new flooring needed to be laid and now all that is left is for the tiling to be done .....
However , a new kitchen requires some new equipment too - like my new kenwood food processor , and some new crockery and ........ the money only goes so far , will need to take it slowly .
There is still knitting , sisters scarf is almost done , only a month late ! And there is some other knitting too coming up soon .
Back to the guddle .

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

100th International Womens' Day

as well as Pancake Tuesday!
For the last few months lots of busy knitters have been knitting squares and sending them into the Tramway in order to make a blanket of 100 million stitches to represent the 100 million women "missing" in the world .
Here is a link to the garterstitch100 group blog - there are some photo's , but they do not show the full extent of all the knitting and sewing done .
Glasgow Knit n Stitch group have greatly contributed to this event , knitting squares and sewing them up each week . Some of the ladies have made huge blankets out of the squares for display . Gloria took in her knitting machine and did a power of work too , teaching as well as knitting .
And in a couple of windy wee towns further down the Clyde , several other knitters made and sent in their contribution too !
A huge blanket was sewn together and is displayed in the foyer of the Tramway , and , starting today , there are 100 events happening to celebrate 100th International Womens' Day .
I had a lovely morning sitting with Laura and Vanessa from the Glasgows' Womens' Library (based at the Mitchell Library at Charing Cross) who had a wee table out with all their flyers , whilst I stitched some more squares along with Ella from the Knit n Stitch . There was some ladies doing henna painting , "threading" , and there was lots of music and dancing going on too . It was a real celebration and great fun .
And yet there is sadness , that in the world today there are 100 million women , missing , not there , gone .
There is still work to be done to make sure every women is wanted , valued, appreciated .
And we should remember to Thank those who do so much , who never look for recognition , who are sometimes taken for granted . True heroes.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Happy Birthday to everyone born today!

You share a birthday with me , my sister and my friend (and her twin!) !!
I was three when I got a special Birthday gift - my sister . She has a special birthday , but I won't say as I'd give my own age away .
I was hoping to get this done for my sisters Birthday , however I still have a full skein to knit up , so it may be a wee while before she gets it - not too long though . The yarn is so soft and warm , I think I am slowing down subconsciously , it really is a dream to work with .
I have been very fortunate in receiving some lovely gifts - took pictures of a few of them .
This is a beautiful Lace book written by Margaret Stove , a lady from New Zealand , and has some fabulous designs in it . I hope to try some soon , starting with the scarves and working my way up to a larger shawl . Most of the designs are knitted in very fine laceweight and knitted on 2mm or smaller needles - yikes!
These gorgeous fingerless mitts knitted in Rowan felted tweed , were give to me by my fellow birthday celebrant! Such a beautiful shade , the yarn is just lovely .
I am going out with my sister and parents this evening to celebrate a bit more with a nice meal . The boys have been told they will dress up and behave like gentleman - we'll see!