Friday, 1 October 2010

Goodbye September

Goodbye September..sorry I missed out on a blog post!

By now you probably think I have dropped of the face of the earth...but don't despair.
My lazyitis has just flared up...though I have been occupied by one or two things inbetween.

Exciting news though...the Mister & I have set our wedding date!!! I am to be an April bride!!
Promise I will divulge more soon.

Right now I am waiting on a delivery of fish & chips ..yum yum!

Thursday, 26 August 2010

Knit Camp Part 3..Purchases

Okay it's about time I finally showed you my purchases from Knit Camp. I was amazed how restrained I actually was considering the great wares on offer. I attended the Marketplace on the Friday and Saturday..I felt like a kid at Christmas! Saying that would you believe it if I told you I actually came home with money in my purse? Seems crazy now. I think perhaps I was overwhelmed having never been to an event of this size before and seen (and stroked) so many lovely yarns.
My first yarn buy was a neutral grey skein ('Blizzard') from Easyknits. Its 100% Blue Faced Leicester wool. I tried resist bright colours and buy a shade that would go with some things in my wardrobe. However, some pretty rainbow Knit Col by Adrafil soon caught my eye and begged to be bought (..and so it was done).
Next I stopped at Shetland Lace & Fair Isle supremo Liz Lovick's stall and picked up these cute stitchmarkers made by the lady herself.
After much deliberating at the Lomond Tapestry Centre stand I opted for their Angel yarn by France De Bergere. The ladies were very patient with my indecisiveness and also gave me a free pattern for a tunic top using this yarn after I cooed over the sample knit on display.
I gasped with glee when I caught sight of the Textile Garden stall..lots and lots of pretty buttons in every shape, size, material you could imagine. This is one of my favourite online shops that I recommend to friends and will continue to do so. This time I opted for wooden Scottie dogs..big & small.
My big purchase was Knit Pro interchangeable needles from Scottish Fibres. I knew these sets came in Acrylic tips but was bowled over by a rainbow colorway (once again). Having bought these I left feeling like a 'proper grown-up knitter'.
So, that's most of it (I think there's maybe a few odds & ends still lurking in my bag I may have forgotten about..hmm, I wonder?).

Monday, 23 August 2010

Knit Camp Part 2

Okay I've been back from Knit Camp for over a week and I still haven't completed my blog posts about the event..oops! Well, here I am so if you are still interested let me share with you some more.

One of the nicest things to happen to me at Knit Camp was the opportunity to meet a fellow blogger. I have been following Alex's blog for a couple of years and enjoy reading about her life in the Netherlands. Alex is very sweet lady who I would have like to have talked to longer (or let her get a word in edgeways..I fear I 'blethered' too I was very glad to learn she enjoyed her trip to Scotland and plans to return. I hope one day to get myself back to Amsterdam (previously a favourite holiday destination of mine) and perhaps pop in to their Monday night S'n'B.
The University campus where Knit Camp was held sits on the edge of a small town called Bridge of Allan. I didn't get the chance to stroll around, but I was fortunate enough to visit the absolutely amazing Allan Water Cafe. A sit-in chippy I had the most scrumptious haddock and chips I have ever tasted! (Cecelia this picture is especially for you!)
Followed by delicious strawberry ice cream (they had so many flavours!)
Enough about food (I'm just making myself hungry!). Back to Knit Camp and something to make the yarn lovers amongst you drool..the Marketplace

Despite some vendors pulling out before the event (understandably perhaps due to mixed messages on organisation) the Marketplace was bountiful. A great selection of stalls with the most beautiful goodies..making it very hard to choose just what to buy (sigh).
I've gone on enough for now so please be patient with me and in my next post I shall share with you just what I spent my kudos on (and some of my favourite vendors!)

Sunday, 15 August 2010

KNIT CAMP...part 1

I now have something to blog about..hooray! Last night I returned home from the UK's very first Knit Camp. Now for those of you who don't know let me fill you in a little...

Knitters came from all over the world to this week long event held in Stirling University's very picturesque campus (it really was a stunning location even to a native Scot). Classes were run teaching various knitting techniques and were led by some of the biggest names in international knitting circles.
However, not long before the actual event things came across somewhat chaotic. Many tutors flying in from the U.S learnt their work permits were not yet in place causing more than a few problems. Things eventually fell into place..tutors arrived and some classes rearranged. Despite a backlash on Ravelry (worldwide knitting forum) everyone on camp seemed really happy and pleased to be there.

As I was only staying for two nights I opted to stay in the Stirling Management Centre (a little more comfortable than the halls of residence so I'm told by fellow campers). At breakfast I was lucky enough to have the company of many of the tutors who all seemed to know each other but were very welcoming to this wee Scottish lady (who barely knows her combination knitting from her continental!). Norah Gaughan and Annie Modesitt shared their discovery of 'haggis dogs' which I'm glad to say I've never tasted (a variation on hot dogs I presume?).

On my first afternoon I attended Jared Flood's Koolhaas hat class (a pattern which I have owned for a while yet could not make head nor tail of!). Jared is an excellent teacher and very patient. He took the time to show the stitch technique to each one of us individually (it was a class of 12) and repeated the process if we didn't get it the first time (guilty). I was very nervous as I'm not a very ambitious knitter but I was there to learn and glad to report that I left with new skills.

I can now cable without a cable needle and follow a simple chart. I am also confident I can now complete the pattern...result!

Part 2...lovely people and pretty purchases

Friday, 16 July 2010

Hello July..where was I?

Oh Heavens above!! seems dear little blog I have neglected you for far too long.

How can make it up to you?

I've been uber lazy watching far too much TV (including Wimbledon & parts of the World Cup). I've watched oodles of movies and also worked my way through HBO's 'Rome' & 'The Tudors' boxsets (watching all that romping caused me to drop a stitch or two, haha).

Will some photos of colourful knitting perhaps go some way towards making amends?

This is my latest project and I am considering it somewhat of an experiment. I needed to try new things and stop playing it safe with simple garter and stocking stitch projects. This is called the 'Old Shale' pattern but is known more commonly in the UK perhaps as 'feather & fan' . A while back (I'm talking at least 2 years!) I attempted a cardi in this stitch pattern and made a right old mess of it (it still lies abandoned in a bag way back in my yarn cupboard). I didn't take the time to try it out slowly and therefore quickly lost patience and interest.

I just decided to knit up scraps of acrylic in random colours but I'm starting to quite like the way it looks. 48 repeats should be suffice for a small only 34 repeats to go.

Other knits in the last month have included a very ugly jumper in a very ugly yarn called Wendy Mosiac..ughh. My Knit Club bought 60 balls of the stuff when it was being sold very cheaply at Perth Knit Show. There was a very good reason it was cheap! Ghastly stuff. However I played my part and used up 5 balls to knit a jumper for Project Peru. I wasn't moved enough to take's no great loss..haha.

An old school friend of mine was very pleasantly surprised to find she is pregnant with not one but two babies. So, I decided to whip out my Dulaan pattern once again for two cute little twin sweaters. I used James Brett Marble DK and each one took only 90g of yarn.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Quick Check In To Blogland

Oh..hi there!

I am so behind with my blogging I don't know where to start. There is no exciting news that has kept me from you, or long-winded excuses. Just plain old laziness (and possibly a new found addiction to Mahjong on Facebook).

I'll leave you now with a little something that's kept me busy today. A favour for a friend who has just redecorated her kids room in a space theme.

Once I'd started it was quite enjoyable pottering about with paints again. Maybe this simple project will spur me to do something a bit more ambitious later on. In the meantime there is lots of knitting to be done.

I've just recently finished a new batch of Teddies For Tragedy. They are so quick to knit whilst watching movies with the Mister, but they take a bit longer to sew up and stuff. For a couple of weeks teddies 'carcases' have been lingering. Thankfully they are now done and will be sent off to orphans in Malawi soon.

Gavin says lined up they look like a teddy boy band. So I give you...'Bear-Zone'.

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Okay, it's time for me to share with you what I bought at the Knit Fair in Perth. Well, to be truthful I didn't buy a lot because I am saving all my yarn purchasing kudos for when I go to Knit Camp in Stirling this August. However....

I did buy a whole kilo of James Brett Marble Chunky because despite its acrylicness its beautifully soft and smoochy and the colours are wonderful. I bought the blue colourway as it reminds me of the beach...water, sky and sandy hues.

It was a bargain at £15 too.

There is enough in this pack to knit perhaps 2 jumpers...I need to check out some simple patterns.
At the British Yarns stall I bought some wool..yes REAL wool from sheepies. It's a Shetland 4ply in 2 very nice greeny shades that remind me of tweedy jackets often worn with kilts.

I did buy 4 balls but alas I must have dropped one on the train.
I tried not to cry too much but thanked the yarn gods that it was not my 'prize' buy I lost.

Ohh so now you are perhaps wondering what that may be?

Okay..I'll share..
It's a skein of lovely, lovely Colinette Jitterbug in the brightest colourway I have ever seen. It's called 'Mardi Gras' and I feel some party socks may be required from this. Any pattern suggestions?
Of course at £9.95 it wasn't really within the days planned budget (and I have a heap of sock yarn in my stash already!) but imagine my surprise when I opened my packed lunch to find this little letter and a £10 note from my beloved.

Isn't he a star because not only did he prepare my delicous sandwiches (I was in a rush as usual)
but he funded my yarn habit. He's a keeper for sure xxx

Monday, 17 May 2010

On Saturday I attended 'Scotland's Only Knitting Show' in Perth with some members of my local knit club. We took the 45 minute train ride from Kirkcaldy to Perth then hopped on the free shuttle bus which took us up to Perth Racecourse where the event was held.

The knit fair is in it's third year, the location is great, the sellers fantastic but it hasn't really grown much since year one which is slightly disappointing. It is run by the machine knitter's guild so initially the emphasis was on machine knitting and although there are now more merchants catering for us hand knitters there seems something still lacking. I would have perhaps like to have seen more outside (it was a beautiful day albeit a teeny bit breezy) and perhaps even a bit of alfresco knitting going on. I think everyone was too busy filling their shopping bags to take a step back and just enjoy the day.

Also I forgot I had my camera with me (doh) until just before hastily I snapped a few shots. Let me show you some of the good bits.
Some pretty handspun yarn from Ripples

Yummy Noro yarn..that I fondled.

I also met Jo Watson from British Yarns. She is also the lady responsible for organising Knit Camp 2010 taking place here in Scotland this summer.

It was really nice to met her in person as I am so excited about attending the event in Stirling this August. I've been saving all my pennies for this, hence the reason I resisted all the lovely yarn shouting my name at this fair.

I'll share with you in my next post what I DID buy and maybe the knitters amongst you can help me decide what to knit with it.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Normal service will resume shortly!!

Friday, 23 April 2010 still happens

I know I haven't posted about it for some time but there has been knitting going on. Granted nothing astounding but knitting all the same. The jumpers above are from a pattern on Feed The Children's charity website. I've knitted it a few times previously and its quick and easy. I knit the stripes in rows of 10 so I know at a glance exactly how many rows I've done. There's no raglan so shaping is minimal but my favourite thing about this particular pattern is the neck. You pick up stitches around the neckline ,knit 2ins of rib then double it over and sew the cast off edge inside. Its thick and stretchy with no need for buttons.

I've also knitted up another Dulaan jumper for charity. It's another speedy knit but it's really cute. Done in a nice yarn this can look really special despite it's simplicity. I use arcrylic for my charity's cheap and easier to wash.

Pictured are also 2 different baby mitt knits..handy (excuse the pun) use of odds and ends that linger in my ever growing stash.

Awaiting blocking is my third go at Mary- Heather Cogar's Simple Things Shawlette. I used some left over sock took around 60g (of 4ply).

It's an unusal colourway..perhaps not everyones cup of tea. I like to call it 'Mint Choc Chip'

Also awaiting blocking (I find that process so tedious) is my own variation on the same shawl. I just did more of the yarn over repeats.

I used some Paton's Studio Mohair (now discontinued but still available at reduced price from MCA Direct) which I found lingering. I bought this yarn originally to knit myself a cardi which fell by the wayside.

Currently on the needles is another teacosy for a friend..share that with you when I'm done..hopefully after the weekend.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Country Air

Good thing: I have been getting out and about with the Mister, in the car.
Not So Good Thing: It leaves me too tired to keep up with my blogging.
Irony: I've actually had some kinda interesting things to blog about.

So, first of all let me tell you about my day out yesterday..there was some spontaneity which occurred mostly due to the one day heatwave we experienced. I have no idea what the temperature was but it was warm enough for the Mister to don his shorts!! You read in April! He is usually such a cold blooded creature and complains incessantly of not being warm enough.

We took the short 20 minute drive North to visit my dear Mother in Auchtermuchty (what a difference having the car used to be a 3-bus trip spanning 2 and a half hours!). I think it's the first time since we got our car 'Bella' that we haven't had the heating at max. We drove along with our sunglasses on, windows open, singing along to Lady Ga-Ga (well I was..and quite badly..ha ha).

Departing dear Mama's we headed in the opposite direction from home..seeing where the road would take us. We hadn't headed far when we felt a bit peckish and saw a sign for 'Loch Leven's Larder' and deduced that 'larder' meant 'food'.

It turns out 'Loch Leven's Larder' is the loveliest farm shop I have ever seen..a real find. As we entered the car park we were greeted by this particular friendly face.
Isn't she a beauty? Her name is Marmalade but she was too busy chomping on some huge carrots to give us much time.

The farm shop had some of the loveliest produce and a great spacious cafe serving scrummy food.
I did mean to take a photo of my meal but must have been so impressed I forgot and tucked in at double quick speed (it was a very tasty panini filled with locally produced chicken and roasted peppers with a side of salad and rice..yum!).

Situated between the Lomond Hills (seen in the very top photo..still showing tiny traces of snow) and the breathtaking Loch Leven (which I hope to get closer to and spend some time at another day), it was a really pleasant place to visit on a sunny day.

Post Script: Sun didn't last is mostly cloudy and decidedly chilly..ah well.

Saturday, 3 April 2010

Seafield And A Bit Of Sun

I was reluctant to get out of bed this morning (nothing new there) as yesterdays forecast was rain, rain, rain. However, when I finally did awake from my slumber and draw back the curtains I was surprised to be greeted with beautiful sunshine.

Having made no plans and not being very good at spontaneity I didn't know what to do to take advantage of this surprisingly pleasant weather.I like to 'be prepared'..after all it was the Girl Guide motto and I was a super keen Brownie. So 'whittling wood' or 'making a campfire aside' I was at a loss for ideas.

The Mister and I ended up taking the short drive to the local beach. We live in a coastal town but our house is about 3 miles inland and although I've been down the promenade on numerous occasions I'd never made the walk to the shore. We thought we would check it out and see if it was a suitable place to take the dog now that he is ever so slowly getting eased in to car travel. (Patch has already managed 2 trips to the towns central park this week and enjoyed the woodland walk as well as trying to jump in the lake alongside ducks and swans.)

Seafield is a sandy beach with the ruins of an old harbour wall. I have been told that seals can often be spotted bathing on the rocks. The land behind our walk used to be the site of Seafield Colliery which closed in the 1980's (as many coal mining pits did). The towers now demolished and replaced with a new housing estate with sought after sea views.
Later after taking in all the fresh air we stopped for a burger...needs must.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010


The other day I stepped out into the garden to enjoy the morning sun and the beauty of our miniature daffodils as they caught the light.The Mister placed our newly purchased compost bin in a good spot, presumably ready for this seasons grass cuttings and the like.

Fastforward to this morning and it's a whole different picture.....
Thankfully most of that snow has melted throughout the course of the day but other areas of Scotland have been hit hard causing chaos. It seems the new wellies I bought just before Christmas are getting more wear than I bargained on. Hmm. Not happy.

A couple of weeks ago a friend asked me to knit some 'Hug' scarves for her neices (in super thick Sidar Bigga yarn). I was happy to oblige but at the time pondered who would need a thick cosy scarf in April. Now of course they seem the perfect gift....I may even have to knit one for myself before the week is out!