Thursday, May 31, 2007



Snugs are a cross between a snuggle and a hug.

I live to educate :-)

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I've been tagged!

I've been tagged by Sam to give you seven random facts about myself. So, here goes, with some not very deeply delving, blog friendly facts

1. I can't drive.

2. I studied French and Hispanic studies at The University of Glasgow . In order of fluency my foreign languages would be 1-French 2-Spanish 3-Portuguese. I hadn't used my Portuguese for years until recently, when I started reading what the Portuguese online papers had to say about this story . My reading comprehension is still good, but I'd be hard pushed to carry on an in-depth conversation now, my Portuguese having lain dormant since 1993.

3. I am VERY clumsy. My family will immediately vouch for this. My work colleagues were recently surprised when I mentioned how clumsy I was because I have learned to mask it more as I get older. I'm not very much more co-ordinated or dextrous now than I was years ago, but I am more conscious of my capabilities and limitations now.

4. I am VERY messy. This has not improved over the years unfortunately. I actually like clean, tidy places but I find it hard to make it happen and keep it that way. One of my major downfalls is that I don't tidy up until the place is tidy. I tidy up until the mess gets to a level I can live with. Not wise because before very long, just a few things lying around tips it over to unbearable again.

5. I don't see the point of pets whatsoever. Please don't try to convert me, I just don't get it and I am 36 now, I'm not going to get it so save your breath. I do however like to sing Gipsy Kings songs to my in-laws' dog who is the Gypsy Boss. That's more of a coping mechanism than a rapprochement between myself and the canine world.

6. I have seven lovable siblings.

7. I love snugs.

Bonus fact- I have a secret rebellious streak which means that I won't be passing on the meme.

Now go and check out Sam's blog ! x K

Monday, May 28, 2007

Slinky scarf

This is a quote from my blog on February 19th, after DH and I had visited the Bon Marche shop on the rue du Bac, during a lovely trip to Paris-

"You may also notice the scarf lengths in two colours of crushed velvet in the top picture. They were bought in the Droguerie concession within the same store. Must get the sewing machine out and rustle up a posh scarf for myself. I can see a beaded edging of some sort in my mind's eye."

See, some of my passing notions and lofty plans do come to fruition!

Your eyes are not deceiving you- the two sides of the scarf ARE different colours.
Plus, there are subtle colours hiding in the folds of the crushed velvet waiting to be hit by a certain light.
I hand-stitched in the beaded edges because I wanted to make sure they were really secure and machined up the sides, leaving a wee slit unstitched so I could turn it out and hand sew the last wee section.
I love my new posh scarf :-)
P.S. If you haven't had a chance to look at my Californian gift yet, please see the post below.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Gifts that R-O-C-K !

Ok, to bring you up to speed-
Last year I became friendly with an English Californian knitter called Carol through the Rowan International Home and Hearth exchange.

(She's the girl I made the denim table mats for.)

She's an avid reader of this blog and has got my tastes sussed down to a T.
On a recent trip back to the U.K. Carol sent me these beautiful presents-

Blue Moon Fiber Arts
Socks that Rock
Hand Dyed 100% Superwash Merino Lightweight
in Purple Rain.
Aren't the colours beautiful?
The yarn feels wonderful too.

Abuelita Mexican hot chocolate drink, which is yummy with its cinnamon kick.
There were six (now two!) blocks of chocolatey goodness, which you blend and melt in warm milk - it's rich but not heavy, very tasty.
This one is because of the Spanish connection. She knows I'm a Spanish teacher and likes to keep me up on how Hispanic culture is celebrated in her neck of the woods.

Now the teachery bit-
abuelo = grandfather
abuela = grandmother

If you put the suffix -ito (masculine) or -ita (feminine) onto a noun, it's a diminutive, implying smallness, endearment, affection. So, abuelita means granny or nana or dear old gran or such like, hence the lovely Mrs. Doubtfire lookalike on the packet. Hot choc just like gramma used to make. Yummy.

Thank you very much for your thoughtfulness and generosity, Carol xxx.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


Ha ha, she still knits!
This is a blanket for my great nephew- or niece-to-be, maybe for when they are in their pram or buggy when the time comes.
To me it looks nice and wavy like a beach when the tide goes out. And I just happen to have an archive shot of that very phenomenon at Balcary Bay- be prepared, that's my motto. ;-)

I'm sure you can see it is made in the good old Feather and Fan stitch you'll get in any stitch library, but I have only done the eyelets on every second pattern repeat. I did start and end it with
eyelets in every section just to get the scalloped edges good and distinct.

When I first picked up the needles again in 2001(inspired by this book *) John Lewis did its own yarn under the name Jonelle which it uses for its own brand items.

The person or committee who decided to do away with that must have their head in their hands. Canning that range just on the brink of a boom in knitting and handicrafts.

Anyway, this blanket is made of 5 x 100g balls of lilac Jonelle Cotton Rich Easy-Care DK which is a cotton acrylic microfibre blend, very similar in feel and composition to Rowan's All Seasons Cotton although it's DK weight as opposed to Aran weight. Yarn snobs, before you give me pelters, remember that this for a little one and is to be chucked into the washing machine and tumble dryer.

Who says I never use up stash yarn? We were laughing one evening at the knitting meetup at the Tron Theatre that I found a receipt in the bag of yarn. April 2002!

It's 65cm across and 80cm in length so hopefully when junior arrives (s)he can be nice and cosy in the car seat or buggy.

Various views against rocks, sand and DH's beloved new rug.

*I tried to get a link to Rowan mag 29 on Rowan (as you do) , English yarns, Upcountry etc but it seems to be unavailable now. I did get a link to one available on ebay for about two and a half times the original price!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


A special shout out to my big sis who has discovered the world of blogs!

Back in the day I used to watch her make lovely cabled school jumpers and such for my nieces, bet she's getting itchy fingers to pick up the needles again.

Could tell you were bending a little when you were looking at the Swallowtail Shawl "in person" at Easter! :-)

I've often remarked on how we (I) go back to the same beloved colour combinations, without even being conscious of it.

Well, continuing the theme, I hadn't even remarked on the similarity of some of my recent projects until it was commented about on here. The shape, the component forms, -I see what you mean!! So, it's not just the colour I'm drawn back to now, it seems.

Thanks for your kind comments about the doily and bag. I'm crafting away for Scotland at the moment here.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

CD Bag

I've made this drawstring bag from some Ikea fabric.

"Belinda Fabric" 100% cotton, designed by Caroline Abild Jessen 2005 (although I bought it in 2006).
Wait for it...£1.59 per metre! !

It has light wadding and polyester lining and I hand-quilted some of the shapes.

Again, DH gets credit for naming it - the circles on it are like decorative Compact Discs, and of course it is to be used for transporting things like shoes back and forth to CD as Castle Douglas in good old Galloway is known. If it's lucky it may even get to travel further afield.

I've got plenty of this fabric left so I think I'll make a big laundry bag without the wadding for separating out your cleans and dirties while on holiday.

BTW I do still knit and I have one FO and one very nearly FO to show you in a couple of days.

Happy crafting! x K

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Crochet doily

Ali, could you please email me at about holiday recommendations in Galloway?

Thank you very much for your kind comments about my crochet scarf and patchwork cushion.

The experimentation continues!

I have learned that to make a flat circle you must increase each round by the number of stitches you started with. (Sounds like a card trick.)

So, in this example I worked 12 (British) trebles into the original chain ring.

Round two - Increase one in each stitch, by doing two trebles into each stitch end. (Don't know proper crochet terminology.)

Round three- Increase one on every second stitch

Round four-Increase one in every third stitch etcetera, thus creating 12 new stitches every round.

Still many imperfections, but enjoying the learning process.

If you had told my Home Economics teacher all those years ago I would be making lemon coloured doilies from crochet cotton she would have laughed in your face.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Beginner's patchwork cushion

This is a hand-quilted patchwork cushion I've been making. Got it finished today because we were off work for a Bank Holiday.

During the Easter holidays I picked up a beginners' book about quilting in the Gem Shop, Castle Douglas, as well as a few Fat Quarters.
Yeah, like I needed more craft stuff in the house.

Although I didn't follow any pattern to the letter, it did inspire me to make this quilted cushion, or pillow as the book would have it.

I chose this layout and colour scheme because I liked it, but I've since found out that Alex Anderson, the author of my book, is pretty famous in the quilting domain and has her own quilting programme in the USA called "Simply Quilts" on HGTV. (My upload method just now won't let me do you a link, but that information should be enough to get you there.)

Anyway, I've been reading up on it and watching the video clips on the Simply Quilting site and found out that this is an analogous colour scheme, and an "Trip around the World" block setting. I've found the whole thing very interesting, and following some leads I have found out a hundred things about COLOUR THEORY, about which I was almost entirely ignorant before. Fascinating stuff.

Look out for some more patchwork and quilting from me in the future, but for now I leave you with this "Blue Monday", thanks DH, cushion.
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The back is done with a 20" inch square of the "interest" fabric.
I had to fudge like there was no tomorrow because I forgot about the seam allowance.
I had to "make it work" because I had no fall-back fabric for the back of the cushion, but that meant stitching in part of the pattern for the patchwork squares on the front. Or should I say , shapes on the front, once I'd done my shaving they weren't squares anymore.
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Not a particularly clear picture, but I am pleased at the way the zip insertion went.
I did this section by hand as I was working with varying widths of fabric (varying numbers of layers).
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Trying out the layout of the pieces.
Sometimes I can see crafty things more objectively when I photograph them and appraise how they come over visually.
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