Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Its cold outside!

Minus 5 deg celsius to be precise . Still its cosy in our wee home . Lots of knitting and spinning going on just now , some may be gifts ,  some is mine , all mine! Haha!
Finished knitting the beret from Ysolda's book Saturday Treats , using some very lovely handspun yarn that Secret Santa gave to me about 2 years ago . Its a leafy green colour so perfect for the leaf beret .
Have started a kidsilk haze scarf too , with some beads , but this one will probably be a gift , as will the handspun yarn I made with some lovely fibre from Easyknits called Plum Pie .
Had a particularly lovely time last week , went down to Basingstoke to visit my DH who works there now . With the exception of some dreadful train journeys' , had a great time going into London to visit the Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at the Tate Modern . Wonderful exhibition with seven different rooms each under a different heading , relating to what the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood were doing at that specific time . It took me two hours to go round everything , my feet were aching but I did not want to leave . Sadly it finishes on January 13th , so won't get another chance to see it again .
On Thursday I took a very pleasant and short train journey to Winchester , ancient capital of England . Such a beautiful medieval city , full of interesting nooks and crannies and the market was in full flow when I arrived . I headed to the nearby Cathedral to have a look inside and see if I could find Jane Austens' grave . A tour had just started so I joined in , and the docent was very knowledgeable and interesting . Its such a beautiful sacred space , and not only did I see Jane Austens' grave , I found some PRB designed stained glass windows in the Epiphany Chapel! (Edward Burne-Jones to be exact) I must say the Winchester Bible gave me shivers down my spine , here was a handwritten document made over 800 years ago , beautifully done and , even with my limited latin, I could understand . Who was this talented scribe?

Jane Austens' grave inside Winchester Cathedral

Crypt of Winchester Cathedral which floods at certain times of year - with Antony Gormley scuplture

Coffee in the Refectory

Friday saw me take my youngest to the Yule night at West Kilbride , a half hour drive down the Ayrshire coast from Gourock . My friend Ange has kindly offered to feed us too , so after dinner we headed out into the frosty evening to the Santa parade , then Thom and Callum played with their light sabres (cheap nasty ones on sale in the street) , while Ange and I popped into the shops . All of them had drinks and nibbles , and very tasty it was too . At Old Maiden Aunt - Liliths beautiful studio , we stopped for a while , chatting to our friends Gwen and Rhiannon and Ziggy the dog . Poor Ziggy disgraced himself by relieveing himself by the big suitcase in the studio, Ooops!
Karie , Elaine , Lynette and their partners all came down from Glasgow for the evening , and it was great fun . The "boys" (big and small) and Lesley chatted about Star Wars , while much mulled wine and tasty baked cookies and cakes were consumed. Fabulous! Karie even brought her Danish cakes.

Saturday , we took the kids into Glasgow to see the lights , visit Forbidden Planet (boy heaven!) and have some Pizza . It was mobbed , but we did what we went up to do , somehow the boys got early "gifts" at forbidden planet - Dr Who figures and a James Bond book . A bemused German chap asked about Dr Who , apparently they have just started showing it on German TV.

My two crossword buddies and I went back into Glasgow on Monday , a bit more civilised , coffee at Tinderbox in Princes Square while the school choir was singing , a look around the Continental Market down by St Enoch Square , a bit of Christmas shopping and a bit more eating .

I guess Christmas has begun!

Monday, 12 November 2012


Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday , and with two boys in uniformed organisations there would be at least one in the local Remembrance Sunday Parade and Service . Poppies were purchased by the dozen and STILL most got lost .
However , while the maturer among us were thinking deep thoughts , and feeling all very moved by the tragedy and sorrow of war , my two little angels
found this a wee bit difficult .

DS1 felt the Parade would be too long and cold , and interfere with his social activities , not realising that most of his friends would be there too! Three tee-shirts under his Scout Shirt didn't convince him he would be warm enough either , but I was trying to avoid the Michelin Man look , so that's all it was! "Why is is so cold on Remembrance Sunday?" , "Its November !!" said I .

"Whats the silence all about?" asked the youngest , having been taught for most of his life what it was about . "Its a bit boring!" he said . "Yes , darling , I am sure the poor soldiers getting shot to pieces remarked that it was boring too!!"

Its strange but that two minutes does seem like an eternity. A baby cries and has a dummy stuck in its mouth to sooth it , it doesn't work . Some joggers and cyclists pass by in brightly coloured gear , focused on their activity , giving the parade a backward glance . A toddler purloins a bag a sweeties from Daddys' pocket while he is deep in thought , and the Ex-Service Men and Women at the War Memorial look like living statues , immovable as the stone memorial they face . And an elderly lady squeezes the hand of her husband , who stares straight at the parade , and remembers a different day . The Town officials lay their wreaths , as do the uniformed organisations , all very solemn as it should be . The clergymen speak loud and clear in comforting tones , and even the National Anthem does not get carried off in the wind but sounds respectful .
And it is bitterly cold and beautiful. A beautiful remembrance.
The children are quiet afterwards as they drink their warming hot chocolate , and return to their normal activities .
A trip to the battle fields of Flanders for every school child ? Yes Mr Cameron , and hurry up about it!

Have started a great deal and finished not a lot , but progress is being made .
Started these Snowflake mittens in March , have ripped them out about 5 times now , but am progressing at last - did this while watching/listening to Operation Iceberg , super programme .

Also got back into spinning a bit more - here is some of my spun yarn - lovely merino/silk on left , merino/silk noil/angelina on spool and BFL on right .

Also managed a weaving class this month taught by the lovely ange of knit1girl1 blog , and made a moebius scarf . It was great fun , but the tension in my shoulders from the concentration , aarrgghh! Am being persuaded a bit more on the weaving , may try it out a bit more soon , especially the new techniques we were shown . Its great fun!

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Wakey Wakey Rise and Shine

Its back to school today for my younger son , luckily for my elder , the Secondary Schools have an extra in-service day so he is still off school . Still getting up at the usual school time , and helping mum with the shopping isn't what he had hoped to do .
The latter part of last week was so wet and windy , and we canceled our Dumfries trip , and made do with visiting the Science Centre , which the boys adore . Although my older boy is now teenager in training , so "no photo's please" and "really this is too young for me now " are his sorta mantra's .

You can tell from this photo - "we are not amused!"

And a trip to Gran and Grandads' for the kids meant I could visit Glasgow University Public Study Day entitled Re-inventing Scotlands' Woollen Tradition in the Lighthouse on Mitchell Street in Glasgow .
There it was lovely to see were many familiar faces of knitty friends whom I hadn't seen in a while , and some beautiful knitted garments being worn and shown!
I got to see the famous Shetland Cobweb Shawl knitted by Lilith for Elaines' wedding day , and it got filmed for STV!
The talks were interesting , and the Knitting Salon benches by artist Trevor Pitt amazing . There was a lady knitting a gansey and there were several gorgeous ganseys on show . There was a slide show about the Mirrie Dancers , and a presentation by the Shetland Museums curator on Fairisle - visit Elaines' blog as she has a superb post about it .

One of the lecturers from Glasgow University gave a talk on the introduction of a new Post-grad course on textile conservation , and the lovely Karina from Rowan was demonstrating crochet using Rowans British Sheep Breeds wool .

I even got to treat myself to some fibre lovelies courtesy of Ripplecraft and Fibre Forager - aren't they gorgeous!

I have now completed the front and back of the baby sweater , and hopefully will have the sleeves done soon . Its for my niece who is one tomorrow! I look after her a day a week , so will probably keep it here so I can look after it too !

Hopefully getting out tonight to knitting , it has changed to a Tuesday evening , which is good as my youngest is starting cubs on a Thursday. However with DH working away , getting a babysitter can be awkward , hopefully Grandpa will make it though .

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Local Heroes

It is the October Holidays , or mid-term break to give it the official title ,and one of our favourite holidays . Usually , the weather is cold but bright , and the trees leaves are turning gold , red and brown making the landscape very colourful .
We are forgoing the usual trips the theme parks , and having a "staycation" instead ,with a wee trip to Dumfries in between .
Yesterday afternoon , we visited the Riverside museum , which contains Glasgows' transport collection , and berthed outside is the Tall Ship .
Its an unusual building , designed by the architect Zaha Hadid , but once the children stopped running off in every direction , or constantly asking for something to eat , we were able to enjoy the layout and design of this lovely building . The windows which make you feel you are looking at a landscape painting , the way to can view the exhibits from the floor level and then see some more of them from the first floor level . The Main street (old Glasgow street) with its old shop fronts AND interiors were great fun too .
And obviously it had its Shipbuilding section , with two wonderful Stanley Spencer paintings of the Clyde shipyard workers at work . These paintings were taken during the second world war , when Stanley Spencer was employed as a war artist at Port Glasgow and Greenock Shipyards , and show the detail of shipbuilding , the cramped conditions , the physical and often dangerous work . I also loved the detail of the clothes the men wore , one an had on a very intricate fairisle sweater .(One of my favourite Stanley Spencer paintings is of "the Glen" in Port Glasgow at the end of the war , it shows very bright and colourful children , spinning over the railings , skipping and having fun -this one is housed at the Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.)
As with most children , the attractions of the exhibits wane and the siren call of the cafe and shop take over , so after a restorative drink, and a wee look round the shop we headed home .
But mum was on a cultural roll , so today we visited the local Inverclyde museum , "The McLean" in Greenock , housed behind the (James) Watt Library . It is a really wonderful old-fashioned museum , and has stuffed animals , trays of butterflies and insects as well as some Egyptian/Japanese/Chinese/Indian exhibits . There are sections on the local industries , Shipbuilding , Shipping , Sugar-refining , Pottery , Ropes and Woolen Mills and so on . There is also some excellent paintings (a few JD Fergusons , a Cadell and Peploe for starters!) There were obviously a lot of wealthy people , and a huge amount of industry in the area that this beautiful wee museum feels a bit small too contain and display it all .
Sadly , what is missing is a comprehensive history of the area , which would celebrate the intellect and talent of the area , the beauty of the architecture that wasn't destroyed , as well as inspiring the local inhabitants . When we fail to document our history we lose it and our sense of identity . People can then dwell on the negative things about the area , instead of being inspired to reach for something better , and improve the area they live in .

The boys got bored - they do not share my passion for history , unless its about electronic games! Time for home.
Well , at least I get out to my knitting tonight - have been fighting with the little baby sweater I'm knitting , it may have been better if there had been a chart for the lace section , still it is taking shape .
Sorted out my stash and projects the other week , and am determined to make my way through the projects until I get (some of ) them finished . It would help if I stopped casting on new projects!
I think my wee (not so beautiful) stash cupboard IS struggling to contain it all.
Still socks don't count! Nor do gloves!
However I think the chunky cardi that is in the lastest Rowan book might - but not if I knit it quickly .
I am being pestered again - why do they need to eat!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Finally Getting Back

Finally getting back to blogging . Had a surprise last time I looked at "comments awaiting" , to see that the famous Carol Bentzen had posted! I had found a knitting kit 2 years ago designed by Carol , which was a lovely Angora yarn with a pattern for a sweater (year apparently 1987) , shoulder pads and "fuzzing" brush included too . Sadly Carol didn't leave a contact email , as I would love to know more about her designing days and what she is up to now . But I love that she eventually married the reported who interviewed her for the Greenock Telegraph! I haven't knitted the yarn , but have a yearning to knit the original pattern , as its just like something I wore in the 80's myself!
Its been a busy weekend in Inverclyde , lots to do especially since its Open Doors weekend

Here is the list of beautiful historic buildings that had their doors opened this weekend .

I visted the Dutch Gable House , The Fire and Rescue Museum (formerly the old Fire Station) , the Mid Kirk (built 1761 and modelled on St Martin-in-the Fields , London.) and today I went to the Old West Kirk (or Auld West Kirk as I knew it) . This last building is of enormous historical importance , being the first post reformation church in Inverclyde , built with permission granted by James the 6th of Scotland in 1590 , and was where the family of James Watt worshiped . After the congregation grew and moved into new premises , it fell into disrepair but after an outcry of locals was rebuilt in the mid 1860's , William Morris and Co was commissioned to design the stained glass windows , and there are lots of them - outside of London galleries it is Pre-Raphaelite heaven! Windows have been designed by Rossetti , Madox Brown and Burne-Jones .
It has two galleries for the local lairds , a Sailors Gallery with a ship above it , and a Farmers Gallery with a plough above it . I recommend contacting the Kirk to request a viewing if you are ever in the area.
As with a lot of older churches , this is one of three , two which shall be eventually closed down and no longer used as churches . Personally I feel that the historic importance of this building to the local area and culture is too important to losand hope the Church of Scotland take advice from Historical bodies before they do anything daft!

I have been knitting , but not much! Finished my Debbie Bliss Winter Garden Sweater and love it to bits . The yarn is expensive , but for a chunky yarn beautiful and almost light and delicate to touch . The colour is a heather shade of purple with tweedy flecks , and the pattern is a plain broad rib and round neck design. Its the sort of pattern that would suit all shapes and sizes , and gives me a bit of shape . As usual I have lots of socks on the needles , and a few sweaters too - two , both in 4 ply which need to be attented to soon as I need a few more winter sweaters. I also want to cast on a lovely Ysolda Teague design called Lauriel , from her Little Red in the City book .
Again , I will probably stretch myself!
I also have a Rowan pattern on the needles that needs attention too , its intarsia and I am not very confident with intarsia, but I shall knuckle down to it this month and see how it goes .
Its good to be back!

Saturday, 21 July 2012


Its this time of year that the Rowan Magazine comes out , as well as some new Rowan yarns/colourways . I gave in , I bought the book and oh what beautiful patterns , I am tempted by most of them . Sadly I don't knit that quickly or have unlimited funds , so I will choose my pattern/s carefully .
At the Thursday night knitting group , the colourwork patterns in the book got a big thumbs up . There was much oo-ing and aa-ing over them , working out colour combinations and so on . Then the resident Yarn seller introduced some new Debbie Bliss Yarn books too, that, and the sale of Rialto yarn was too much for some, who bought a whole sweaters worth on the spot - you know who you are Seona!
I am psychi-ing myself up to buy the latest Debbie Bliss Yarn Winter Garden and its book . There is a lovely chunky sweater I NEED to have .
There is also a lovely aran sweater in the new BFL Aran book too!
Ahhh! Too much temptation!
Talking of temptation , there are quite a few of my favourite indie dyers who seem to be bucking the trend and doing very well with their online shops . I am not surprised , the yarns and colourways are fabulous , they have well managed clubs every so often and they are just lovely people !
Obviously one of my favourites is Breagh - Indie dyer Innes from Inverkip who sells her yarn through the Once a Sheep bricks and mortar shop only. Innes does a fabulous kid mohair/silk range called Clyde clouds which is to dye/die for!
Old Maiden Aunt is another of my favourites . Lilith has her studio in the craft town on West Kilbride , snd her yarn range and colours are fabulous , you could quite happily drown in them . I knitted my sister a stole using the merino cashmere blend and everyone drools over it . I also love one of the latest colours which is similar to a blue Police Box from a certain programme . The annual clubs are also a sell out , and each month members receive two types of yarn in a secret colourway plus some special "extras" . The colours are then released for the general public at the end of the club .
Another favourite is Easyknits run by John Dunn-Ballam , who I first came across at the first Iknit event in London a few years ago . His website is a flash of bright colours , fabulous yarns and cooking recipes' as well as patterns . There are sock clubs , shawl clubs and fibre clubs at different times of the year . New colours sell out very quickly , and are bold , bright and a little bit brash . Its a bit like a sweetie shop!
Then there is my "oldest" favourite , Natural Dye Studio , who has recently re-located to Devon from Suffolk , and who has the most amazing naturally dyed yarns ever . The colours are gentle but bold , the yarns are so squishy and huggable , every newsletter is covered in pictures of temptingly dyed yarn crying out to be knit .
It can get too much for a girl - I think I'll go and lie down for a bit! Enjoy !

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

oh- oh ! Its raining again

So I am looking through my holiday pictures to remind myself of sunnier times! The photo below is an image of the moon which reflected the fiery red of the sun , quite magic.

The boys are visiting their grandparents , and DH is away on business , so I have a quiet house . No cleaning tonight , a night off and some lazy me time to knit and watch tv.
Sherman sock beginning to take shape , pattern needs a little concentration at this point as top of foot and sole have separate patterns , on different pages!
Still, am enjoying it immensely , just love the feel of squishy sock yarn on double pointed needles , seeing a new pattern take shape . Ah simple pleasures!
Have just seen the latest Rowan Magazine 52 - it is full of lovely chunky jumpers and colourwork cardi's , so come pay day a copy shall be mine . I am a relative newcomer to Rowan , having only started to collect their biannual magazine since number 28 . However even if I knit nothing out of them , I love to look at the gorgeous knitwear in them , especially if its by Kaffe Fasset .
I love the colours and texture of the yarns , I love knitting with them and wearing them .
Ah well , back to the socks!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Summer Reading

Summer Holidays are for catching up with some good reading , its one of lifes' greatest luxuries to lose yourself in a good book.
Now to quote a friend - certain books are not my thing but I am not judging - my taste in books is not always the usual summer reading.

Spending time in Spanish Majorca (also have relations who live in Spain) , I thought a book with a Spanish theme would be good summer reading , so over the last three summers I have read novels by the Spanish author Carlos Ruiz Zafon - Starting with Shadow of the Wind , then Angels Game and finally this summer Prisoner of Heaven .
This books ties in with the other two , but is shorter and more humorous than the last two . The story revisits the characters , Daniel Sempere son of a bookshop owner and Fermin de Torres his protector, from the first book in a later era of post-civil war Barcelona , but includes their histories from during the Civil war in Spain . There are gruesome descriptions of prisoners lives , murder by the Police , disappearances of people , and the restrictions in life of this period , but there is also alot of gallows humour .
However the crux of the story rests on books , the writing of them , the good ones ,the bad ones , the good writers and the bad ones and the use of good writers to "re-write" the stories of the bad ones and so on .
I like this book , but found it too short , and the ending a little disappointing as there were more questions than answers .
Shadow of the Wind was excellent , Angels Game good but the body count was bordering on laziness on the writers part , Prisoner of Heaven good , too short and disappointing ending.

My other Summer book was a biography of Charles Dickens - which is better than it sounds .
I am reading quite a lot of Dickens just now - and enjoying it more than I did in my teens.
However the man behind the books is just as if not more interesting than them.
Clare Tomalin does an excellent job in making what should be an academic book very readable.
Dickens turns out to be a myriad of his characters in one man , generous and giving , cold and indifferent , affable and friendly , sharp and uncaring .
Towards the end of the book I felt exhausted reading of all his activities , his walking , his acting , his writing books , writing letters , setting up newspapers , his traveling on the continent , keeping up and entertaining family and friends , his good works, setting up a home to rescue street women , he was like a tornado who finally lost power .
His parents while loving were quite neglectful of him and never spoke of his time in the blacking factory , they also took advantage of his famous name racking up countless debts that he paid  .
He was a fabulous character who unfortunately didn't seem capable of encouraging his own children to do well.
Only one managed to get to University and persuading his father not to take him out of school age 15 years.
His poor wife , who gave him 10 children, lived in obscurity after he "separated " from her to carry out a secret affair with a young actress.
This was part of his life that the early biographies omitted , the affair had been kept secret in line with the mores of the time , and it was his daughter who finally wrote about it.

I am no book reviewer , but I do love books , so next stop this summer is the library.
Also , I have a ton of fabulous knitting books that I'll be referring to , as I want to knit up more socks and lace .

Socks to start - this pattern from Ysoldas' Whimsical Little Knits 3 , called Sherman.
It has a disappearing loop cast on at the toe (toe-up) and a shaped sole , so lots of new things to try.

And the yarn - this sportweight Regia yarn 150g of cuddliness - I started to knit another pattern with it but the sock was too big , that's when I found Sherman .
The yarn and needles for this pattern are slightly bigger than usual , sportweight yarn and 3mm needles - hopefully a quicker knit , but its the pattern and different methods I'm more interested in.

This is a link to the disappearing loop or circular cast-on youtube video - its simpler than I thought.
Putting the kids to bed a little earlier tonight so I can focus on my knitting in peace .

Monday, 16 July 2012

Holiday - ay !

Where to start ... have just spent a lovely morning with my knitting group Chez nous . My cookies turned out well (there are none left) my scones not so well (there were 3 left , they were like biscuits!) It was great to catch up with everyone , as some of us were not long back from holidays , while some were just packed up to leave later that morning.

The last few months have been a blur of fund-raising , event organising etc.etc. for the school PTA . My eldest is in Primary 7 , and he had his Leavers Service , his final school trip and his Leavers Party ALL on the same day. On his last day the whole school turned out to applaud them all as they left Primary School forever - it was all enough to turn Parents into an emotional wreck especially as the wee girls all seemed so overhwelmed and started to cry! They boys seemed to happy and would have preferred to go out to the refrain of "Schools Out for Summer" instead of all the applauding ,crying and so on . Although mine did go a bit quiet later on as the though of going to secondary school sunk in.

One of the Office ladies at the school is also our dear own sunday School Leader at St Johns Church , and she is retiring from Sunday School this year. The other teachers all clubbed together , and I headed to my LYS to purchase the necessary equipment to make this - Frill edged stole from Debbie Bliss Rialto Lace book - without the frill edge ! I also had enough to get a heart shape brooch pin for it too .

Sally had no idea what she was being presented with at Church one Sunday , and it wasn't until later when she opened it to discover what was in the bag. She was so delighted with it , and came over to thank me for it at the leavers service at school a few days later .

We have since been on our Family holiday , along with Gran and Grandad to Majorca - here is a selection of some of the photo's to give you a flavour - It was too short a time , but really lovely . The aparthotel and pool are just lovely , the beach and views are gorgeous , the town is lively enough but not loud and garish . The food and coffee were great!

I would go back tomorrow , but we'll need to wait and save up for next year .
Thankfully , I have invited the girls over most Mondays until the end of the school holidays - time to improve on my scones and get a little knitting done . Time also to blog a little more too .

Friday, 11 May 2012

Alls quiet ...Mums lost her voice!

It started yesterday tea time , my voice began to get croaky . The previous evening at yoga , I kept having coughing attacks during relaxation , which made it very un-relaxing . By the time I went to PTA meeting it was getting worse , and by then end (mainly because there was a lot of talking to be done), I was desperate for a cuppa and to stop talking.
Still , a sofa and some sock knitting will help cure me - hopefully!

Remember the shrug I was knitting for a friend to wear at her nephews wedding - that was still unfinished on Monday ?

Got it finished! Minus a lacy collar and a few extra inches added , plus lots of beads , it looks and feels great . May have to make one for me too!

It went perfectly with her dress , and hopefully will keep the chills away especially since it is so cold again .

Had a marvellous weekend in Inverness at my friends last (holiday) weekend , the boys get on well with my friends boys too . On the sunday her eldest went to his athletics while the rest of us went to the park! My eldest soooo wanted to NOT be here , especially as his younger brother is an obvious embarrassment .

The sun was actually very hot , but then it clouded over and as we made our way to the car , the heavens opened and it.....hailed!

Mmmm , maybe seeing now where this nasty cold came from - back to the sofa.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Another 5 minutes!

Been buzzing around today doing Parent Council/PTA stuff today , then shopping ( and oops where did that nice new linen blouse come from?) and cooking and housework ......
So , it was time to take 5 minutes , and show off what I have been doing in between everything else .
This is the Kidsilk Haze Shrug out of the Sarah Hatton Book , Vintage Inspired Knitting Projects - its for a friend to wear with her outfit to a Wedding in May. Which is soon. So I had better hurry up! I love the wee beads on it , the go so well , and sparkle in the light .

And this is my first attempt at weaving , thankfully the knitters loom had already been "warped up" , so all I had to do was weave! I have read the instructions though and will be warping up once I have finished weaving this piece . The warp is a cotton yarn in silver and purple shades , and the weft is purple merino, blue/green cashmerino and a tweedy blue shade so far . Having a rummage to see what else I can use . Not sure what it will be , if anything , but it is a first attempt so I don't suppose it needs to be anything .

And now I have an orderly queue waiting for MY computer - off to have a cup of tea!

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Shhh , sneaking onto my own computer

My boys are getting bigger and their entertainment consists of mainly electrical gadgets - one of which is MY computer . They film lego video shorts and upload them , then spend the next 3 hours watching other peoples videos via Youtube!
I booked an hour this evening to go on my own computer - I am negotiating for a new one ALL FOR ME!
Here are a few things I have been doing inbetween knitting socks and cardi's , and doing the usual parenting stuff .

Making small knitting project bags for family and friends .

Spinning some of my friend Innes' amazing hand-dyed drum carded fibre , with some navajo plying too!

Stove top dye-ing with food colouring , this is some mohair I bought from Scottish fibres. Had to recard it to spin it .

Also dyed some Falkland roving I had spun into singles with food dye , came up a  lovely tea rose shade .

Other projects on the go :- Kidsilk Haze Shrug from Vintage Knitting booklet by Sarah Hattton (for a friend). Sparkly socks from OMA KAL from ages ago . A little spinning AND some Weaving .

Yes weaving! All those expert weavers in the Clydecoast Guild have finally won me over,  however,  it is a Knitting loom , I am still a bit scared of the big ones . Pictures to follow once I book another hour on my own computer .

They had better make their fortune from computing when they are older!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Knit weary , Blog weary

Sometimes , I slow down and get rather weary , its an effort to knit , its and effort to blog , and its an effort to bother about apostrophes too!
Its an effort to post on Ravelry , its an effort to go on Ravelry .
Life is missing its zing . A friend told me the Dutch name for it , I forget , but it basically means Spring Tiredness , or maybe its , hurry up Spring I am tired with all this Winter !
Had a lovely weekend visiting my friend in London just there , the weather was glorious , and I got to see my favourite museum ever , after the Kelvingrove . The Natural History Museum . Specifically went to see the Scott of the Antarctic , which was excellent and very busy . It was set up in a model of the Hut they built out in Antarctica , with various objects and letters displayed , along with some audio and video footage . Also there were lots of the original photo's taken by Scott and his team , as well as the maps they drew up of the areas they explored . All in all it was very enjoyable .
Have lots of knitting on the go just now , and seriously need to finish something to give me a boost . I have a 3/4 finished childs sweater , 1/2 pair of socks , 1/6 pair of mitts , and an 1/8 of a sweater . And I've joined in a KAL for a shawl - think I may have bitten off more than I can chew! I am aiming to finish the childs sweater soon , and I desperately need more socks so will charge ahead with them too . (Just a thought , I have finished two pairs of socks already , so thats not too bad. )
I've also made a few wee project bags , and hope to make a few more soon , I've really enjoyed getting bak into sewing . Perhaps that will be my key into Spring Joy!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

A toast to the lasses!

There was a discussion on Radio Scotland this morning about "all male" Burns Suppers - Don't think Burns would approve , "he was ower fond o' the lasses !"
I like the mystery surrounding this lass !

(Taken from epistle to Mrs Scott)
"...the gust of joy , the balm of woe "
"the saul of life , the heaven below ... is rapture-giving women"

Happy Burns Night

Thursday, 12 January 2012


Everything feels a little slow just now , including me .
Slowly knitting DS1's sweater and hat , slowly knitting me socks .
Slowly sorting the house - or trying to get hold of tradesfolk to sort our disintegrating roof! Slowly painting the downstairs WC .
Slowly getting back to cooking proper meals ..... well! All I cook just now seems to taste bland .
Its just that time of year , my body is saying hibernate , but life is saying kick it up a gear .
Maybe its all to do with mt DNA !
Tonight though , is a bath , bed and a good book!

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Some photo's

A photo of the kids on Christmas morning - lots of wrapping paper too!

My MIL , delighted with her new knitted jacket - pattern from Debbie Bliss Riva magazine .

Yarn newly plied and off the niddy-noddy , some lovely merino/tencel from Feltstudio , plied with a deep blue corriedale from Ashford .

Yarn twisted into two skeins , approx 50g each!

Now back to the WIPS!

Sunday, 8 January 2012

And a Happy New Year

A Happy New Year to you All ! Here's to You and Yours,  Health, Wealth and Happiness for 2012 (Or a decent cup of tea and five minutes peace!)
Not only am I getting bad at blogging , my camera skills have gone too ! The jacket for my MIL was finished 3 days after Christmas , but she was delighted with the final result . Photo's to follow soon .  A little teddy I had knitted (and forgot to photograph) , was received with great delight too .
I should probably start my Christmas knitting now , but there is so much else I want to knit this year .
Socks ! And lots of them ! For Me , and maybe some others .
Sweaters for the Children (one on the go just now , stripey number from Debbie Bliss 9 to 5 book , its gorgeous but will DS1 think so ?)
Colourwork - can I revive the floral colourwork coat I started LAST January , progress so far 3 inches!
Sweaters for ME - need to resurrect Arisaig , progress so far 4 inches!
And the Kiddyprint sweater definitely needs resurrected and finished , after 6 years!
Spinning ! The Guilds Challenge this year is called Clyde Coast , a piece (or pieces) hand dyed / hand - spun / woven / knitted / crocheted , and to represent the Clyde Coast . Mmmmm.
OK , no more ! (exclamation marks)
It will be a busy year this year , knitting apart . DH will be looking for a new job mid year , as his present one will finish 6 months earlier than anticipated . DS1 is starting Secondary School in August , so there will be two school runs to negotiate . And after the storms there is some work to be done outside and inside the house .
I also want to get back into reading blogs too - some I have missed as the owner(s) have been out of blogland for a while . I will update my blog reading list in the side bar too . And I will need to tidy up the layout of this blog .
I just hope I have energy for it all .

Oh , and the Walnut Tree decoration ? It has a lovely glass pebble inside , reflecting all the colours of the rainbow . Its all away in the decorations box now with the Angel , such a lovely addition to our Christmas tradition. It will come out again at Advent this year .