Thursday 29 December 2011

Back to Blogging..Bye To Xmas

Scottish royalty dontcha know?
Yeah, I haven't blogged for ages. I have a dozen feeble excuses but the most feasible is an amalgamation of pure laziness combined with laptop trouble. My Dell laptop was 6 years old..full of junk and barely ticking along which was not helped by our extremely slow Internet connection. Trying to post a single photo on this blog took an age, so planned posts were often abandoned midway.

On Boxing Day (after a couple of months indecision..and driving Hubs nuts by my incessant 'going on') I finally bought a new laptop. Being the frugal Scottish wifie that I am I didn't want to spend much money on a machine just for checking emails, online shopping and of course blogging. I'd seen spanking laptops with all the bells and whistles at purse tightening prices. I'd seen cheap laptops that were the ugliest pieces of plastic ever to exist and with processors not much more advanced than my old Dell Inspiron.

My new purchase was PC Worlds Boxing day special. It's a HP (Hewlett Packard) with a 2nd Gen i5 processor (which I have learnt is possibly more than I need to do what I do). The best bit is it was £399! Chuffed!

The photo at the top of this post is of my little brother and I on Christmas Day. It was a great day with my mum, bro and SIL here. My lovely husband did all the cooking. Despite good company, fabulous gifts and yummy food it's nice to get back to 'normal'

Hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!

Thursday 8 September 2011

Easy 'Peasy'

My W.I.P has become a F.O and for those who do not understand knitter's lingo I will translate. My 'Work In Progress' has become a 'Finished Object' and I can now rest my needles and breathe a sigh of relief. The pattern for this knit is called 'Peasy' and is available via the knitty haven  that is 'Ravelry'. The pattern was not difficult but for me it was long and this is my first ever completed garment for myself..yup a cardi for the ole knitting lady

Circular needles to hold so many stitches

The pattern is a top-down raglan knitted on circular needles (but not in the round) It's knitted 'all-in-one'. You cast on  the front left side, then the sleeve, back, other sleeve and other front. It means a lot of stitches and for this particular pattern a lot of long rows of stocking stitch. Easy but tedious. The front consists of a small lace panel which for me was an introduction to lacework.

After the lacework & sleeves completed
 Pleased to report the finished cardigan fits well and although I took it with me today ironically it was too warm to wear it. Still I'm sure it won't be too long until this changeable Scottish weather denotes cardigan wearing opportunities.

metal floral buttons

Friday 2 September 2011

September...and weather for soup.

Recently we had our first organic veggie box delivered from Bellfield Organic Nursery and much to our amusement there was a couple of vegetables we had never encountered before. I think it's fair to say before now most of our vegetables came from a can...prewashed, pre chopped. In our organic treasure chest came 8lb of potatoes, 3lb of carrots, 2lb of onions, beetroot, lettaces, a savoy cabbage (complete with very organic slug!), courgettes, baby cauliflowers and the ones we pondered upon...a kholrabi and a romanesco.


Over the last week of August and now into September we have seen the temperatures drop somewhat here in Scotland. We have not had the greatest of summers (unlike the heatwave England seem to have experienced) with only a few sporadic hot days some time ago now. Autumn is definately upon us..the nights are drawing in (it's getting dark out by about 8.30pm already) and the central heating has once again been switched to 'on'.

It seems to me it's time to look out those woolly garments and most definately time to make soup...yum! With a wealth of vegetables that's exactly what I set about doing much to my husband's dismay..he doesn't really like me in HIS

lots of chopping

let the cooking commence

stick tae yer ribs

The result was a very hearty red lentil and vegetable soup which even Hubs agreed was delicious. I have a feeling we are going to have a cold winter in these parts and my soup will be just the ticket in months to come.

Tuesday 30 August 2011

The Alien Has Landed.

Meet Arnold! I got a rare knitting request from hubs when he saw this pattern and as I took over a year to finish his last request (Sackboy) I thought I'd get started straight away to avoid
'Arnold' (as he was named ) is around 16" from head to toe and around 17" from arm end to arm end. The pattern was from booklet called 'Irresistible Gifts to Knit', which was inside the Simply Knitting magazine.
The yarn is a new colourway (Aqua ) from Patons..part of their Fab Dk range but with a great self patterning effect and at only £2.20 (from my LYS..prices may vary) for 100g was a great buy.

Arnold now takes pride of place in the middle of our bed (...hmmm ever heard the expression 'three's a crowd'?).

Wednesday 27 July 2011

Sun, Sudoko & A Sheepy Peg Bag

My lovely husband is always busy..even on a sunny day he can't sit still for long. Yes, after a couple of weeks of heavy showers and a few thunderstorms the sun has returned. It has now been here for 5 whole days (it's won't last!). The dog and I have been sitting in the garden and whilst I amuse myself with alfresco knitting or Sudoku, Patch chases bees. The Hubs will sit for all of 5 minutes drinking his mug of tea before once again getting restless. Wash the car, clean the windows, move plants or put on a load of washing..I kid you not...and yes he is a keeper. It's fair to say he does most of everything that needs to be done around here and although he may not think so it's all totally appreciated. As far as the laundry goes, he does it with military precision and when he hangs things out on the line (believe it or not I can't reach) everything has it's place...undies on one line..pj's on the next and jeans and tops on the other. I like a man who is organised and Hubs is like this in everything he does which is handy when I am as scatty as they come (and have to write everything down to retain it!).

For months he has been complaining about the state of the peg bag which I have promised to repair or make a new one...needless to say it slipped my mind (time and time again!).

Out with the old...
Then we went shopping and a new peg bag was

...and in with the new!
Sometimes it's the simple things that keep a harmonious home. Thanks Hubs for being such a star and agreeing to pose for some humorous photos for this post.

Sunday 10 July 2011

Seaside's a knit thing

A few weeks ago I borrowed this pattern booklet from fellow knitter and friend, Mary. It's by Sirdar and is entitled Seaside Babes (pattern number 352 for those interested in purchasing). It contains 14 knits ranging in size from newborn to 7 yrs so it's pretty good value for around £6 (I will definately be buying my own copy I'm pleased to report that I've already knitted 4 items with too much difficulty (but like most knitters..I hate the sewing up..sigh.)
The first item I knitted was a wee cap sleeved cardi with piquot edging in the first size (0-3 mths). It was my first attempt at this edging stitch so although it wasn't perfect I was pleased with how it turned out after I redid this part using a bigger needle so it wasn't quite so tight (I was knitting so tightly I snapped my Knit Pro acrylic needle,weep)
I also did this cardi in the same yarn (yes it's acrylic..please do not recoil yarn snobs out there) but in the age 1-2 year size as a gift for my friends wee girl. I think these knits would benefit from some kind of blocking or a damp press..but to be honest it's not something I usually bother doing with acrylic knits.

I then knitted this little tunic top in the 0-3 month size just to try the pattern..thinking I might knit the bigger size for friend's 4and a half year old if I liked it. The outcome is okay but it wasn't that an enjoyable knit..I had a bit of trouble lining up those blooming eyelets whilst shaping and I'm a bit concerned the neck might be a bit tight. I have 2 friends expecting babies this autumn so I'm hoping one of them has a girl with a reasonable sized

My latest knit from this booklet..I'm pretty proud of..if I do say so myself (and I do). It's a bigger kid's size than I usually do (I like to finish projects quickly..hence the preference for small items) as this is an aged 4-5 yr old. The pattern is really easy but looks fairly effective so it's definately a winner. The picking up of 268 stitches for the button band was a bit daunting at first (I've only ever knitted the band seperately before..with like 5 sts at a time) but I took my time and managed to do it quite evenly. I even found some patience to sew this up neater than my usual bodged thumbs up all round. It took around 250g (maybe less).

Now I'm just on the hunt for some suitable buttons...and thinking of those old fashioned leather ones..what do you think?

close up of easy pattern

Tuesday 5 July 2011

One Woman Knit Camp

Knit Camp? Well kinda,..on my
We have spent most of the day's been raining. However, even in dreary Scotland we occasionally get some sun and the last couple of days have been glorious. Unfortunately, by the time our pasty skins get climatised to 'tropical' temperatures of's over all too soon. Every year it goes like day we are wearing our coats and the next we are sitting out back, perspiring in little more than our underwear. By the time most of the Scottish contingent hunt out the dusty bottle of sunscreen they are already sporting skin the colour of a cooked lobster.

When the sun was shining I went my back garden. Regrettably, I can't really enjoy sleeping 'under the stars' in recent years thanks to my sleep apnea which requires me to be hooked up to the mains on my Bi-pap machine each night. Not sleeping out didn't stop me setting up camp though..and to be honest it made for a great shaded area when the sun got too strong. Needless to say the tent was also favoured by my four legged friend Patch..who liked to hog the cushions.

Patch..happy camper
 I even managed to find a few hours peace (between the neighbours cutting their grass/ dogs barking/ kids screaming) to get in some quality alfresco knit time. Then of I'd already mentioned..the rain returned. The husband being the all-round humorous chappie that he is locked me out..cue the sorry sight of Little Lou trapped under canvas (hubs let the dog indoors...of

It may not be obvious..but it was raining heavily here.

Thursday 23 June 2011

Amsterdam...there's cake!! I am finally summing up our trip to Amsterdam (which was ages ago now). The weather was slightly disappointing considering only the week before we arrived Amsterdam had been experiencing glorious sunshine and high temps. It was showery but not cold (well not cold to us hardy Scots
Here is a couple of photos of Dam Square in the city centre. The first photo is taken from the fifth floor window of Madame Tussauds. The second photo shows the war memorial also in Dam Square.


This is the Hubs sitting having a "much needed cuppa" in the Museumplein. We had just been round the Van Gogh Museum and although we appreciated the artwork (mostly) the place was mobbed, meaning you had to shuffle around the art exibits which got a bit frustrating after 5 floors. It could have been that everyone had the same idea as us to get out of the rain but I suspect from previous stories I've heard the place is always busy. We bought a print of Van Gogh's 'Bedroom At Arles', a painting I've loved since studying the artist at High School.
Van Gogh a la wax (Madame Tussauds)
 I dragged my new husband in and out of almost every tourist shop in the city..despite our home already giving house room to numerous pieces of blue & white china in various forms of clog, windmill & kissing couple.  
I relented from buying myself some fleecy clog shaped slippers (sigh).
I did purchase a small bar of chocolate just to have some Dutch chocolate. After tasting it I shall stick with my Mars bars (UK version..I hear the overseas variety suck...something crazy about low fat regulations or suchlike...meh).

I could now go on to flood this post with photos of 'funny tall houses' and canal after canal but hey you can see all that on the tourism sites I'm sure. Let me share with you now something close to my
Granted I'm not a 'foodie' as such, I'm a bit picky to be honest but I do like a good dessert.

Exibit 1: vanilla cheesecake
Exibit 2: Apple Crumble Cake
The first was enjoyed by Hubs on an afternoon cuppa stop at a cute cafe off Dam Square called De Drie Graefjes. He has been searching for the perfect cheesecake (in comparison to this vanilla delight..I tasted was amazing) since we got back with no avail. I swear every supermarket variety has been tried and tested (they don't do cheesecake in Scots bakeries on the whole). The second pic is the "awesome" apple crumble cake from Bakkerswinkel on the Waarmoesraat (I know I've gone all American in my description but 'braw' didn't quite cut it). This place is like cake heaven and I wish they did mail I swear if I lived in Amsterdam I would weigh 20 stone.

Okay..before I say 'tot zeins' to's the canal pic.

Saturday 28 May 2011

Honeymoon & Knitty Overlap

Its been over a week since me and 'Hubs' (for that is what he shall now be known as) got back from our wee honeymoon in Amsterdam. We chose that as our destination because I can't fly far (goofy lungs) and it was in Amsterdam we spent our first romantic trip away in 2002 (just before we moved in together). It was our tenth trip to the city but we hadn't visited in 6 years and imagined many changes but it was just as if we had never been away. It was nice to be somewhere familiar and we agreed to revisit some places and be sure to visit the places we had always meant to see but never quite got around to.

Going Gaga over the Lady

Day one it was raining when we arrived so we ducked into Madame Tussauds, somewhere we always avoided for no particular reason other than seeing it as a typical tourist trap. We surprised ourselves and had a great laugh cosying up to the waxy looky-likies of Lady Gaga and Justin Beiber. If you don't take it too seriously ,its a lot of fun.
I liked the way you could touch the exhibits and not just view them from afar.

When we left Tussauds we got checked into our hotel and along with maps we were presented with a 5euro discount coupon for the waxworks..doh!

We had booked into the hotel we had stayed in on our first trip which we envisaged as a being 'romantic' notion. Lol.

After unpacking and finding somewhere for a bite to eat (Italian..I had pizza, he had lasagne) we headed to Cafe De Jaren to meet some knitters. This light & airy, spacious former bank is the location for Amsterdam's Stitch 'n' Bitch group every Monday evening. It was great to meet fellow knitters and Ravellers especially the very lovely Alex who I had the pleasure of meeting (albeit too briefly) in Stirling last year at Knit Camp.

It was great to also meet with Andy, whose blog I have followed with great interest since 2007. He was kind enough to present me with a signed copy of his book 'Travels With Greeley' which I am glad to say without hesitation, I am thoroughly enjoying.

I'm only sorry I didn't have more time to speak with everyone at the group as they seemed like a great bunch.

If I ever visit the city again...I will make sure I'm there on a Monday.
Thanks also to a great husband who was most gracious in indulging my knitty obsession. He even accompanied me to a tattoo parlour where I completely lost my mind & got myself a knit related tat. I think it represents not only my love for knitting but the relationship Gavin & I share.

For those of you who don't get's an abbreviation of 'knit two together'.

In my next post I'll share a bit more of our trip..knitting not included.

Friday 27 May 2011

Sporadic Blogger's Lament

I really want to get back into blogging more regularly (okay, how many times have I written THAT since becoming a sporadic blogger? ). I often have a lot to say for myself, some of which could be aired on a blog..some of which probably should remain in my befuddled head (for the protection of others as well as I like to share places I have visited, mainly local sights such as the beautiful coastal parts of Fife where I live (and the many cakes I eat along the way!!).
I like to discuss my latest knits, yarny purchases and fantasise about all the amazing things I want to knit next ..but never quite get get round to (sigh).
I enjoy sharing stories about the things that make me smile..especially my naughty little dog and my cheeky handsome husband ('husband', I'm still getting used to that word..I like it..'my husband'
Lack of this sharing is caused by many things but one of them is certainly not spending enough time online...I AM ALWAYS ONLINE (slight exaggeration but I'm certainly surfing the net at least a few hours each day). Here are a few websites I blame for eating those hours away:
  • Ravelry..of course. Knitters online paradise where you can share your penchant for all things yarny..browse patterns ,show off your creations and get lots of useful advise.
  • Wikipedia..I've been warned it's not always accurate but I look up everything here from placenames to pop songs.
  • I.M.D.B (Internet Movie Database). Often when watching a movie we'll say "oh he/she was in something else we watched recently". It'll bug me if I don't remember and I'll have to look it up so that's where IMDB comes in. Then I'll look up actors bio's and find out whose still alive (but perhaps no longer kicking).
  • Ebay..I hardly ever buy things (a lie) but I always look to see if things I have are listed and worth anything (but never sell them).
  • Facebook. Love it or hate it you are probably on it and like me have no doubt snooped to see if the cool kids from school are now fat or bald (or both).
Watch out..I'm 'getting ma blog on' and have a few posts to get written. In the meantime hop on over to my hubby's new blog..he's got some great photos on there.

P.S Be warned I'm experimenting with new blog styles..lotsa changing.

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Married..17 days

I have now been a married woman for 17 whole felt it was only fair to share some photos with you. We had a wonderful day and evening with all our family and friends.

My dress was made from satin & tulle by a local seamstress, to fit my 4ft 6 in frame (thats height..not Hubby's kilt is a contemporary charcoal suit with faux horn buttons & the tartan is named 'Hebridian Heather'.

My bouquet I knitted myself using a lily pattern by Claire Farrell Scope and improvising the roses & leaves. I then wired them individually before binding them all together (a process which proved sore on the fingers after a while).

I also knitted our cake topper which seemed to get more attention than the REAL bride & groom. I adapted the Alan Dart wedding cake pattern, omitting the cake & dressing the groom in a kilt instead of a morning suit.

I put a little heart under the kilt for discrection..haha.

It was a great day spent with family & friends. It was very emotional marrying my best friend and partner for over 10 years. Thank you Gavin xx

Sunday 24 April 2011

Married Now...eeeek

******WE ARE MARRIED******

Just a quick snapshot taken on a mobile phone, hopefully more photos soon. We had a beautiful day. Fantastic being man & wife....and a great party to boot. More news soon..once I

Wednesday 13 April 2011

10 days til Showtime

Sorry folks, keep meaning to update my blog..just never seem to get round to it. So many distractions...knitting, Ravelry, Facebook..oh then of course there is 'real life' and our wedding. Yes, unbelievably it's only 10 days until Gavin & I tie the knot..time has flown by. Thankfully we are pretty organised so not too much to worry about...just a few I pick my dress up this Friday. I have completed my wedding knitty projects. All is good. Well almost..The Mister has been suffering some pretty serious eye problems and has been diagnosed with Reoccurring Corneal Erosion causing him quite a bit of discomfort and a few trips to the eye clinic. Wedding eyepatch jokes have been made (poor lamb).

Sunday 23 January 2011

Wedding Prep

So, wedding plans are going well so far. Our date is 23rd April .. is now only an unbelievable 13 weeks away. The Mister and I have been together 10 years (how time flies!) and had talked about 'making it legal' for some time now..AND NOW WE ARE ACTUALLY DOING IT!!!
I didn't think I'd be nervous but must admit there are a few butterflies fluttering but it's more excitement than anything. "Our big day" strange it sounds.
The ceremony and reception are to be held in a local hotel where it has to be said, is impeccably clean with that old fashioned 'good service' (which seems to have become a rarity).
Hotel booked, celebrate booked, music booked, seat covers booked, invites out, rings bought, outfits in motion, photos arranged, flowers and cake still to be confirmed. I think we are doing okay!
I'm planning to be a proper little bride all dressed in white (yes white!!) and Gavin will be cutting a dash in a contempary kilt.
Hoping to get some yarny goodness in the mix somewhere too...obviously.

Friday 7 January 2011

Goodbye 2010...

...Hello 2011!!!

Yes, it's taken me longer than expected to get back on the blogging bus but I'm here now and intend to make it a long haul journey so if you wanna come along for the ride that is my simple little life, you are most welcome.

New year, new start? I was hoping so...last year was punctuated with so health ups and downs I never felt like I had a clear run at anything. Needless to say spirits got low from time to time from sheer frustration and cabin fever but you just have to get on with it and be thankful for what you have.

I'm thankful for :
  • The love of my Mister..he can be a grouchy sod but has a heart as big as a house and has stuck with me despite my health issues and ever growing yarn obsession. So this year after 10 years together we have finally decided to make it legal and tie the knot. I'll keep all the details for an extra girlie bridezilla post in a day or so.
  • A roof over my bed, food in my belly and a cosy little loyal dog by my side.
  • The health I have may not be great but whilst I can still, walk, talk and knit I consider myself pretty well off. As a UK resident I am fortunate to benefit from free health care and whilst many complain about they NHS system I am very grateful for what it does for me.

Key words for 2011 are: motivation, positivity and optimism.