Thursday, December 31, 2009

Night falls on a decade

Just in case you're wondering, THIS IS THE MOON!!!

Couldn't resist getting the tripod out and taking a picture of the moon over Balcary Bay and Hestan Island. It's casting such a magnificent glow over the water and wet sand. It's so bright you could knit a couple of rows by it.
A neighbour lady called it a blue moon because it's the second full moon in a month.

I'm including a shaky hand-held picture so you can believe me it is the moon.

Can it really be ten years since we geared up to celebrate the dawn of a new millenium?

This decade has seen a lot of tears, but I don't want to dwell on that, I'm just going to linger on the thought that this decade brought me my beloved Jonathan, and for that I will be eternally grateful. And by that I mean, eternally. x K

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Spoiled again this year!

There is a very uplifting tinge to Christmas this year because of a new addition to the wider family. A beautiful five-year-old has joined my in-laws' family, who as well as being someone to knit for, has also really enhanced Christmas. It really IS Christmas when there are little ones about, and I grab any excuse to release my thinly-veiled inner child. What fun.

I also feel very spoiled with my beautiful gift from DH, which was membership to the Old Maiden Aunt yarn preview club this winter. There were three instalments (Oct, Nov, Dec) and we got a foretaste of some of next season's colours on a variety of sock-yarn bases, as well as some extras and members' goodies thrown in. It was great fun, and the best bit is if I love any of the colours (which I do!) I can buy them in the normal way next season. Thanks DH for a marvelous gift. Old Maiden Aunt Webstore

Before I give the details of the goodies I mustn't forget how generous my in-laws were too. As well as giving us a joint household gift, I was also given a wee special voucher for the Outback Yarns section of the Gem Shop in Castle Douglas, a small but well stocked yarn department about the size of your broom cupboard. I must've been not too naughty this year.

Ok, these are the details of the yarns lying loose on the frost, in the third picture.
The range is the forthcoming "I made you this mixtape".

Back l-r
(Orangey) "Put on the Day" in Superwash Merino 4-ply
(Purply) "Derelict Daughter" in Merino-Cashmere-Nylon 4-ply
(Turquoisey) "Seen the Ocean" in Merino-Cashmere-Nylon 4-ply
(Greeny) "Bitter Bug" in Merino-Bamboo 4-ply
(Browny) "Midnight Owl" in Superwash Merino 4-ply
(Weirdy) "Strange Rock'n'Rollers" in Merino-Bamboo 4-ply

Hope Santa was as good to you all as he was to me. x K

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Greetings

Happy Christmas everyone!
Here's to a peaceful one.
Lots of love, K x

Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Saint Andrew's Day!

I haven't blogged in ages, there's a good reason for that, but in the meantime I would like to wish everyone a very Happy St. Andrew's Day.
God Bless Scotland, and God Bless You! x K

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My end of the bargain

Here's what I made for my swap buddy for the Veiled Knitters' Exchange.
I can show you this now, knowing it has been well-received.

When looking for something to knit it was very important to read the questionnaire to find out what my recipient, yarndoggie, would like rather than knitting something I wanted, so I tried my best to make pattern, colour and yarn choices which suited her needs.

I made this Fallen Leaf Scarflette which was designed to be worn as a neck scarf, although yarndoggie may choose to wear it as a Chapel Veil. The pattern's by Cotton and Cloud.

It's made from the discontinued Rowan DK Soft and not Kidsilk Haze, which is the yarn called for. I do have some KSH but yarndoggie did not want a yarn which would shed, so I thought the DK Soft would be nice to keep the slight fuzziness while addressing yarndoggie's concern.

I can really see one of these in the future for myself because I really enjoyed making it and the result was very satisfying. 'Twas a little tricky reading the pattern from my screen as I had no access to a printer, but it was very much a fun knit which presented very few problems.

Yarndoggie says she is a girly girl so I added some beautiful Old Maiden Aunt sock yarn in Fraoch to appeal to her love of all girly colours Linky and to let her see the talents of Scottish based independent dyer, my friend Old Maiden Aunt . Must get some of this beautiful colourway for me me me! I was silly and forgot to photograph the yarn before sending it, but hopefully these links will keep you going.

I also threw in a wee tartan dishtowel, just for fun. x K

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The rest of the goodies!

Here are the rest of the goodies from my parcel from America.
You can see that Dawn picked up on my love of blue!
In the foreground there is some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in shade Midnight, which is the same yarn my two hats were made of.
Then there's some Cascade Yarns Fixation, which has 98.3% (yes really) cotton and 1.7 % elastane to give it that stretch for ribs etc.
They are fab because they are not yarns I could get hold of all that easily here, but my favourite is some local yarn which wenchciara bought at the State Fair. It's 100% lightweight wool (4ply-ish?)
from Sandy's Sheep Shop in Walkerton Indiana. The colour is a heathery shade called Lake Blue and has 44o yds in the cake- I can see a shawlette in my future.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Veiled Knitters Exchange on Ravelry

First blog post in a month! This work thing fairly gets in the way of hobby-time, doesn't it?
Well, the first post back after my break is about a pleasant subject- an international exchange on the Veiled Knitters Group on Ravelry .

I'm not a veiled knitter as such, but I do have a penchant for head-scarves, kerchiefs and all sorts of head coverings so I fit in there.

Here are some pictures of parts of my generous gift from wenchciara in Indianapolis.
What I can't show you at the moment are the yarn goodies she sent ie. some Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, Cascade Fixation and some beautiful artisan yarn from the State Fair. I forgot to bring them away with me to photograph. :-(

I can show you my two heid bunnets, worn as intended (as snoods) and as slouchy berets.
I love them! One is Lacy Starfish Snood by berrymama and the other is a simple hat with very nice tailored looking decreases on the crown.

I have posted my offering off to America (to a third party) and I hope it doesn't take too long to arrive so I can show you my handiwork. In the meantime here it is all wrapped up in Scottishy paper. x K

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Old news

This scarf has been ready for a couple of weeks now.
It's a sideways scarf in Patons Australia Jet, a yarn I was not familiar with until I saw it in the bargain bucket in the Gem Shop in Castle Douglas.

It's a very pleasant yarn to knit with, and I'd be happy to use it again, but it's discontinued and I think I scored some of the last stock the Gem Shop had. It's a wool-alpaca blend, chunky weight, and splices really well, so I expect it would felt like a dream.

The colours blend nicely in my view. The "rosewood" (my name) shade in the solid colour is continued as a core thread virtually all the way through the variegated colour and the shade of the solid blue colour is speckled regularly through the variegated colour. Nice forethought in my opinion.

The intended recipient for this scarf doesn't care for it, so it has been set aside for the time being.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Just my luck!

On Ravelry I have been appointed as a guest moderator for the thread-

Is racism alive and kicking?

in the remnants forum via their Mod Attack scheme at the moment.

Couldn't I have been appointed to-

Are six-week old pandas cute?*
Is learning a foreign language worth it?*
Is lace knitting addictive?*

*Sadly these threads do not yet exist. Maybe that's why I haven't been appointed them.

Have any of you readers been asked to guest mod something on Ravelry? x K

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Sometimes you have to believe your eyes....

A larger than the published large size of Ishbel.
This is what I managed to get out of my 300 yard skein.

Remember, this is a me-sized T-shirt.

Nice and wrinkly, but good for scale compared to the other photo.
Posted by Picasa

....rather than the pattern.

Remember, this would have been one row away from completion.

Small sized Ishbel, what the pattern would recommend for my 300 yard ball of yarn. x K
Posted by Picasa

Monday, August 10, 2009

Candytuft Fairy

How sad is this?
Photographing and blogging this card just so my beloved can see it?

It is to the layout specified in Clare's Challenge of the Week over at docrafts.

Leapt through hoops to get this card together because my card-making stash is out of reach.
Had to be a bit more resourceful and use things like a fairy from some wrapping paper, beads and button from my knitting kit and I even stamped my own FAIRY paper.

x K
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


It didn't take long to become at peace with the fact I had to rip out a portion of Sea Ishbel.

I've now re-done more rows than I frogged, which is always a good stage, and I got a chance to weigh the skein when I got to the bit where the shawlette would have ended.

48g left

Ok, you get it, it would've meant "wasting" almost half a ball, and that isn't going to happen, so onwards I plough with the rather lovely, if I may say, Sea Ishbel.

I'm not in a very linky mood, but my ripping experience is nothing compared to the recent frog-fests of merinomills, tigerlilith and kariebookish, so no more will be said about my measly couple of dozen rows. x K

Saturday, August 01, 2009

As Others See Us Exhibition

We thoroughly enjoyed a photography exhibition we saw in Kirkcudbright town hall last week.
It's part of the whole Year of Homecoming celebration here in Scotland and consists of portraits of important and/or famous contemporary Scots who have chosen and excerpt of Robert Burns' poetry and expressed what it means to them.

This link
should take you directly to the artists' page, giving some examples of the portraits and the tour dates. Click on any of the thumbnail portraits or any of the sitters' names to see more.

The photographers Ross Gillespie and Tricia Malley take some aspect of the chosen lines of the poem and portray it in the portrait. Definitely worth a look if it comes to venue near you. x K

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Three steps forward, two steps back.

I've picked up my Sea Ishbel in Old Maiden Aunt Bamboo Blend again.

I've been enjoying making it, getting into a good rhythm with the pattern and enjoying seeing the motifs progress, and the yarn is lustrous and a pleasure to work with.

I've been trying to ignore a nagging feeling that the small size is turning out too small to be practical for me and have soldiered on and done the transition and edging charts.

I just can't get away from it, it's awfy awfy wee, even taking potential blocking into account. I've shown it next to a KEDkrafty-sized T-shirt for scale. In pictures two and three it's meant to be one row away from completion.

So I've taken the tough decision to pull it back to the end of the main section and repeat sections B and A again, maybe even several times. The thing which has really been the deciding factor is- look how much yarn I've got left! The ball had 380 yards at the outset and the small-sized Ishbel apparently takes 330. I feel as if I'm left with far more than 50 yards. Feels more like 50g than 50 yds! Unfortunately my digital scale is in the flat, and I am not.

It's a slight pain, but I'll probably thank myself in the long run for having a more usable scarf and for making the most of the lovely yarn. I must have admitted this possibility on some level because, most unlike me, I put in a life-line after the last chart A.

Off to do some frogging and re-knitting. Good job I like knitting. x K

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Well-Dressed Head Part Two

Here's a swatch-style headscarf of Gail aka Nightsongs shawl.
It's in Patons 4 ply cotton and I love it love it love it.
The leaf motif is gorgeous and those big massive double yarn over holes down the centre look cool.

Any issues with the pattern?
More issues than TIME magazine.

If I knew you in real life and you said you were going to try this shawl as your first lace project I would fling myself to the floor and hook my arms round your legs.
The instructions are confusing, the charts are laid out in an unusual way, the symbols mean different things from what they usually mean, there are typos and there is so much advice on the internet about how to interpret the pattern, some of it entirely conflicting.

If you know your way around a lace pattern, are prepared to suspend what you know while still knowing what you know, are good at "reading" your knitting and are not afraid to rip back from time to time, I'd say, go for it, you'll love it.

I love my beautiful black lace heid bunnet. x K

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Off for a swim to England BRB

Or maybe to the island.
Or maybe to the buoy.
Anyway, be right back.

I make more of a wake than the QE2, hee hee.
x K

Well-Dressed Head Part One

Here's a headscarf I've made from King Cole Bamboo Cotton blend DK.

Ravelry link

The main part is knitted in stocking stitch from the wide end down, the five last stitches being left live.
Then the edging was added afterwards to the diagonal sides. It is the lovely edging from Brooklyn Tweed's Girasole. Thank-you Jared Flood.

I only have one ball of this yarn, bought from Drop in for a Yarn in Dumfries just to play with. I would very happily use this yarn again.
Considering it is made up of a dozen thin strands of the bamboo and cotton mix I didn't find it splitty, but I would say that it shows up inconsistencies in tension. If I was making a garment out of this I would also watch out for creasing- it basically stays the way you put it so if you lay it away nicely it comes out pristine and if you stuff it in a bag it comes out crumpled. Give it few pats and it starts to smooth out for you.

It's funny, I wouldn't walk the streets of Glasgow wearing headscarves, but being down here amid fields and cows and sheep and horses and llamas it seems fairly natural, even if you have absolutely no dealings whatsoever with the cows, sheep, horses and llamas! x K

Monday, July 20, 2009

Heavier weight Felted Tweed

I am very very very excited about the forthcoming Rowan Felted Tweed Aran and Felted Tweed Chunky yarns.

I am not even one tiny little bit excited about the designs to showcase them in Rowan 46.

Pluses Rowan 46: It arrived nice and early for this Rowan International Member.
Minuses Rowan 46: There is nothing in it I would knit.*

*except maybe a stole but I can't see it well enough to tell.

I was surprised to receive this copy of the Rowan mag because I don't remember renewing my subscription. It seems that one of us is mixed up about dates.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Of course the pictures are different...

... there are more daisies in these pictures than in the last!

And of course there are several more rounds of the blue and then the two rounds from the bit of the Noro sock wool I kept back, but the difference is barely noticeable.

We're up to 96cm diameter now, which although not big, will be ok for a lap blanket.
It is not blocked but I don't imagine that will make much difference.

So I got up to 35 trebles per segment, so 70 per side, thus 560 trebles on the last row.

I have treated myself by making a headscarf starting at 121 sts and working DOWN for once.

I am delighted this is finished, not least because I showed it to my mother-in-law who loved it, which is marvelous news because I was afraid she would find it too scratchy.

She had no idea that she was in the frame to receive it when she was enthusing about it, so she's definitely getting it now.

Think I'll give it a wee bath now. x K