Sunday, August 27, 2006


Here's the evidence of one ball of Orkney Angora St.Magnus DK knitted up in the Kiri pattern. Last time I checked my stitch count I had 211 so it's shaping up nicely. I'm enjoying working with the yarn and loving the zingy colour. Unfortunately the colour is not too accurate in this picture. It is not an entirely solid colour, there are slight variations in shade, but I think it's really pretty. I still have my work ahead of me as I've got two more balls to work through.
In other knitting I have been working away on both my Simply Lovely Lace Socks from Interweave, and psyching myself up for the surface embroidery on my Eva jumper. Hopefully more pix when I get some daylight shots.
I've also been playing with colours on the Dulux paint colour palette pages .
For craft purposes of course, heaven spare us from decorating the house. You can make a scrapbook of colours you like within various moods, and they suggest complementary tones and that kind of thing. Great for would-be Kaffe Fassetts! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Triumphs and disasters!

Okay, now that I know Carol has safely received this and is happy with it, I can tell you about my Rowan Home and Hearth Exchange project.

(Carol, Orkney Angora is mighty fine! Started my Kiri shawl in it, scrummy!)

Some of you may recall I had got a hold of 50 balls of Sirdar Indigo yarn at the last Creative Stitches at the SECC. Well, I got the chance to put some of them to good use for this year's exchange.

My first project turned out to be a disaster, in spite of the best of intentions. It was so nice of you Mhairi to call it a near-disaster, unfortunately, it was a full-blown disaster.

I had to come up with a substitute which would be quickish to knit, would not weigh a ton, was homey and hearthy, virtually foolproof, would suit someone who lived in a warm climate (California) and liked denim colours.
So, I made these table mats from the Sirdar Indigo. I'm guessing that you recognise the pattern as the ballband washcloth pattern from Mason-Dixon. I made them a good bit longer than the pattern because 1) table mats are longer than dishcloths and 2) Sirdar Indigo shrinks lengthwise in the first wash.

So I made one pair with the descriptively named Dark Denim and Light Denim alternately as main shade and

contrast and one pair with Mid Denim and Ecru.

(Just as an observation, that's a very yarn-efficient way of using up the full balls with no wastage. Not that I would have begrudged some extra balls from my 50!) I also made a wee jug cover from Rowan 4ply cotton and added a couple of wee Scottish goodies to the parcel.

If Plan A had worked out okay it could be as heavy as it wanted, as Carol was in the UK for a while and I had her temporary address, but as time was marching on and the time for her to return to America was looming I didn't want to go mad with the weight.

Ok, plan A.
To make a pyjama case from mitred squares with a knitted front and a fabric back . Keep the colours consistent, but vary the stitch pattern on the different sections to show off the relief due to the deliberate wearing effect you get with denim yarns. Some lace, some texture, some colour, blah blah blah.

Here's how the swatches worked. Yes, swatches plural, she who does not swatch. Stocking stitch mitred squares, double decrease on each right-side row, ends up rhomboid, swatch washed at 60 degrees, SHRINKS IN LENGTH not width, ends up square, Bob's your uncle. No qualms whatsoever about knitting up the pieces.
Except when the pieces were finished and washed at 60 degrees (twice) then at 95 degrees eek, they did not shrink one iota. The piece above has been through three washes and some very assertive stretching and still looks like a kite/ shite. I look the pieces on holiday to Mull with me hoping to come up with inspiration to make it all work out, but none came.
The pieces do kind of align together, but they want to become a tee pee, poking up in the middle. J thinks it would be ideal as a cover for a canary's cage.
I WILL be able to do something with it I'm sure, but it is far far too big for a pyjama case (cos it didn't shrink), and the amount of doctoring it would have needed didn't make it a viable option for an exchange whose time guidelines were already marching on.
If the worse comes to the worst, I could frog it and use the yarn as normal yarn, but I am more likely to find some use for it as a, as a.... large denimy thing, without which no home is complete. In case you're wondering, the table mats shrunk perfectly well. x K

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

If you like knitting...

If you like knitting, get yourself over to
K1 yarns new ONLINE shop!
You too can enjoy the delights we experience in Glasgow.

If you don't like knitting, sorry you have stumbled onto this single-minded blog.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Happy Birthday to KEDkrafty!

Today is my blog's official birthday!

I did first log on some time in June 2005 with an inspirational message like "Hello," or "Testing 123," but it wasn't until August 20 that I finally started blogging for real.

So, thank you very much to all my visitors, commenters and lurkers this past year. X K

(I do have knitting to show you, but I am not at home so I don't have access to the photos. Hopefully get a chance to show you over the next few days.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Midges beware!

Here's the next addition to my arsenal in the war against the midge!

I wanted to try out the stitch pattern for the Kiri shawl (which can be found on the sidebar of All Tangled Up ) and have something usable at the same time. So, voila, another head scarf for the collection, this time with extra sun-reflecting properties.

I used Rowan 4ply cotton and really enjoyed the pattern. Thanks very much Polly.
My only reservation is the edging. When I embark on the full scale version in Orkney Angora I will have plenty of time to work out what I want to do about that. I would like to find an alternative to starting the edging on a half-open leaf. I have a few ideas swimming around so I'll see if I can adapt or come up with something.
This should be a nice clear picture of the stitch detail.

This is the heid bunnet in action. Yes, I look like

a First Communicant

a woman with pants on her head

a Puritan maiden

a schoolgirl from yesteryear

St. Bernadette

a peasant dancer

a nun

a knitting fanatic


but guess what - I LIKE IT!

Real Kiri will probably start tomorrow, all being well. x K

Monday, August 14, 2006

Okay, you asked for it!

Here are all the items completed during the 97 day yarn diet for your perusal.
I haven't been saving them up, I've just been posting about them as and when- they've been here on the blog over the last three months.
(I haven't just sat and worked this all out, it was all logged as I went along, I'll just transfer the relevant bits.)

In order of completion and photo-
Colours for fun, not links.

DB Cotton Cashmere
Midwest Moonlight
DressingTable Mat -140m

Jonelle wool blend
Tiny leaf lace shawl -10m

Rowan Summer Tweed
Deep Cardigan

DB Maya
Braided Mischief scarf

Rowan Kid Classic
Lace Leaf Shawl

Venezia Color Lang Yarns
Shetland Triangle

Jaeger Baby Merino 4ply
Baby Cardigan

7 balls Sirdar Indigo
Sneak preview!
Failed Rowan exchange pyjama case

Present for Rowan Exchange
Not yet received

Which gives us a grand total of

I've got a little something blocking which I hope to show you tomorrow. x K Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Four letter words - Y.A.R.N D.I.E.T

Glad you agree with me about my gifts from Sarah.

Now, I must share the good news-

The yarn diet is over!

I survived! Now I'll have find to find something else to witter on about obsessively.
Do you know, in a strange kind of way, I sort of enjoyed it.
I committed to 90 days, and I got to 97 days.

During that period 3583m,

yes three and a half kilometres of yarn, were made into items and 0 m of yarn entered the builiding.

Angel Kathleen says, "May I add at this point that only finished objects were taken into account?"
Devil Kathleen says, "But you finished some things which had been languishing just so you could count the yardage for the whole item towards the yarn diet tally."
Angel Kathleen says, "Yes, true, but at least I got some more finished objects for my trouble and have also cut down the number of WIP, which was getting out of hand."

Normal everyday Kathleen is just so glad it's all over and I have made a tiny bit of an inroad into my stash. I must spend a little time over the next couple of days tidying it up a bit to see if I can spot any improvement.

Fanatics will be wanting to know what yarn signalled the end of my abstemious period. It was Orkney Angora St. Magnus D.K. 50% lambswool 50% angora, bought from K1 yarns last Friday. (See sidebar for K1 yarns.)

Ha ha, I am a free woman!

Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 07, 2006

Parcel of knitted goodies.

Feast your eyes on the wonderful array of gifts which Sarah from Louisiana has sent me as part of the Rowan International Exchange!

Everything was beautifully presented too.

I have forgotten to add in the almond hand cream which Sarah sent too- I was too busy using it to remember to let it pose!

Thank you very much Sarah for the very generous gifts you have sent across the Atlantic.
I am delighted with all of them.

This a lovely large cushion made in Rowan Chunky Print and other yarns. The back is made of an extremely soft suedette fabric in a toning slate grey colour. It is no wonder Sarah's little one kept saying how soft the cushion was!
The colours will go well in my living room and I'll show a pic of it in situ when I've cleaned up a bit...

This picture shows hand-knitted socks which fit perfectly- if I had thought this through I'd have taken a pic of me wearing them.
They are heavy socks for round the house on colder days. The colours are beautiful, but haven't come up quite right in this picture.

Here you can see a knitted and felted tub in what appears to be Chunky Print or similar storing some lovely Lantern Moon 4mm ebony needles (told you she was spoiling me) and a knitted flower which may become a corsage, you never know.

In this picture you can see a big tin of New Orleans French Market coffee, as well as some beautifully scented rose soap in its own handknitted cotton cover. There is also a super soft fuzzy lavender sachet for my drawers.

All in all I am delighted with my exchange gifts as Sarah has been so thoughtful and generous.

In a couple of days I will show you what I am sending to my person (not Sarah) and if I am strong enough I may even spill the beans on my disaster.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

I love this picture. It is a view of Duart castle, as seen through an archway at Torosay castle. I think this will be my last entry about Mull for a wee while as I have knitting goodies to show you. Someone has been spoiling me! Posted by Picasa

Eas Fors waterfall 2005. boo hoo, I want my long hair back. Why did I have to get those stupid highlights? Posted by Picasa

Eas Fors waterfall 2006. Same waterfall, different midge bonnet. The actual falls are really big, but you would have to perform a death defying stunt to get them from this angle. Posted by Picasa

Picnic at Torosay Castle. What to munch? What to munch? We offered the birds some cherries, but they preferred crisps! Posted by Picasa

Beautiful lilies outside our holiday cottage at Aros Mains. We had a look at them every day, there was always something new to notice. Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 04, 2006

Trip to Isle of Staffa

If you look closely you will see this pup is posing with a tiny little perfect wild field orchid! And a dandelion thing.

There used to be a great blog out there called Woolywarbler, where Tracy used to show us all her beautiful colourwork and keep us up to date with the adventures of her doggie Disney. Alas, that blog is no more, and sorely missed, but at least I can show the adventures of our own Disney lookalike, who is called -Disney of course!

Anyway, Disney came with us on our boat trip to the Isle of Staffa, which is an uninhabited island famous for its "Giant's Causeway" type geology. It's quite spectacular really. I have tons of pictures but I've chosen just a few. You get the boat from Ulva Ferry on Mull, enjoy the wildlife en route and then spend a while on the island itself, which is great. While I was away singing in the cave, J was getting dive bombed by territorial birds, which he assures me is not so great. Must ask him what kind they were. Scoors or something. :-)
Added later, the birds are called Skuas. He is English, I was assuming he was swallowing an r somewhere. Posted by Picasa

The beautiful water sets off this amazing "causeway". It really is something else when you see the hexagons in the rock for yourself. Posted by Picasa

Basalt colonnades formed by the cooling of volcanic lava around 60 million years ago. Posted by Picasa

On this visit to Staffa I made a point of making time to go into Fingal's cave. I sang a few bars because they say it's a natural cathedral. I don't think I was deep enough into it to get the full effect plus I didn't want to overly scare the other holiday makers. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Scene from our picnic spot at Martyrs Bay, Iona. The colour of the water there is just beautiful, as Heather says. Bright shades of blue and turquoise above that lovely pale sand. After the picnic we went in for a swim. Real swim, goggles and all. J swam out to the boats. The real reason I came back in after a while was because I could feel my skin getting too much sun. It wasn't the *bracing* water. No really, I was starting to get used to that. A bit. Posted by Picasa

Martyrs Bay, Iona. Lovely weather that day. Posted by Picasa

Silly cows drinking the sea water at Fionnport, which is where you get the ferry for the 5 min crossing to Iona. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Got to start somewhere...

... so why not with the Mull Highland Games on Thursday July 20th?
I had never been to any Highland Games before, and although we arrived well on into the afternoon, we got a good taste of the event.

Here's the iconic view of the Caber Tossing event. What I loved most about this event was the judge, who, while being an expert in his field, was about 190 if he was a day. He is obviously THE authority on caber tossing in the Mull area. You can see him there in his bring orange raincoat and kilt.

Here are a few more shots taken that day before we wimped out because of the rain. Don't get me wrong, it wasn't a total washout that day, or any day during the two weeks, but it was getting a bit wet for lightweights like ourselves. Posted by Picasa

And they're off! A bit of serious running as well as fun runs such as the ladies overseas race for a bottle of wine. I don't mean these guys were in it for the prizes, which were token gestures, but some Uni clubs and the like had travelled the distance for events such as the mile. Being a champ at the Highland Games must have a certain cachet. Posted by Picasa

Dancing competition. Chose this pic because you can see a bit of dancing, natch, plus the setup with the judges' tent. It wasn't a traditional ladylike dance, there was a lot of stamping and fist clenching - I think it represented a battle or a trade or something. Posted by Picasa