Thursday, 31 July 2008

SP Question 8

What is your favorite supper for a hot summer evening?
Salad, salad and more salad! A variety of baby leaves, sweet baby tomatoes, olives, avocado, smoked ham, swiss cheese, seeds, perhaps some mayo, perhaps not. And strawberries and cream. :-)

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

SP question 7

We are all creatures of habit and when it comes to sitting down to knit, it's no different…
What is(are) your favorite place(s) to knit?

Anywhere comfortable! My living room couch is the usual place. I also like to sit and knit at RTT where there's good company too! I would love to sit outside in the garden but it's rarely the right kind of weather here - either too hot (my garden is very sheltered) or too windy or too cloudy and midge-ridden!

What supplies (besides yarn & needles) make the setting perfect for knitting?
Well, there's a hint in the last reply... good company for a bit of craic! or a good film on tv (preferably Hollywood's golden age - Cary Grant, Humphrey Bogart, Bette Davis or Katherine Hepburn!) or a decent 2 hour episode of a decent whodunnit like Inspector Morse! Plus a pot of good tea and a nice biccie!

SP question 6

Question #6
What is your favorite type of project to take along on holiday/vacation?

Er well, er... I don't have such a thing, not being one to take many holidays, if any...!
Not very helpful, am I?!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Lookee wot I got!!!

My first SP parcel arrived today - all the way from the States. I came home to find this behind my front door (name and address disguised!):

Look - my Secret Pal even has her very own SP address labels (address disguised again!). What a clever cookie!

Even the girls were excited too!

Here's the reason why - the first thing I pulled out of the parcel was a packet of doggy jumbo dental sticks! What a lovely lovely thoughtful thing for my SP to do. Thank you SP!!

I thought - what's that smell?? Oh, it's peppermint! Breath freshner doggy sticks! Great! Just what they need (if you get my drift)! They were a bit dubious at first, as if they too were thinking, "What's that smell?" but they then ran away into the garden with them!

Jet "got tore in" (as we say) straight away:

Jazz was a bit more unsure and sniffed it for a while at first:

Back inside, I unpacked the rest of my goodies and here they all are, some still unwrapped:

I am gobsmacked! What a lot of stuff. Look at the gorgeous colours of the yarns!! The first thing I pulled out after the doggy sticks was the lime green Tofutsies!

It's GORgeous! I am so thrilled. When I got to the Lorna's Laces yarn - look how clever my SP has been with the lime green and purple theme! - I could have cried! I wish I'd taped myself!
It is soooooo beautiful. Who'd have thought they'd do a purple and green yarn?! My Sock Wars III instruments of death were knitted in Lorna's Laces so I know how just beautiful this yarn is. How lovely...
And look - an American knitting magazine that I've never heard of! And LOOK - a book on cupcakes!! LOL How lovely, it's full of really fun recipes and ideas!
You can see the two little parcels, each wrapped in a cotton scarf! What a lovely touch. One green and one purple - of course!
Here is what was wrapped inside the green one:
A lovely little delicate tin box. And inside it was:

A set of five handmade (by my SP) stitch markers, in a yummy lime green! They are positively edible! How perfect!
I want you all to see how beautifully those wee parcels were wrapped:
And nestling inside the purple one was:

A little butterfly candle! So here's the whole stash, unwrapped (including my big toe):

I forgot to say I'd opened the card - that's it on the left, from my very own Special Pal. :-) But WAIT - I found something else I'd put to one side!

It's the cutest thing! A Fergie the Frog Kritter Craft Case!

"Fergie the Frog can store your favorite [US spelling of course!] sewing, quilting and crafting tools..." This is just perfect for me as I'm always looking for needles and things that I've put down somewhere. It's already housing my lovely new stitch markers.

So here now is the total parcel contents:

What a truly wonderful generous present. What a thrill! I really am so touched and grateful.


Friday, 18 July 2008

Doggie update

Here's an up-to-date photo of my girls:Jet, the mother, on the left, Jazz, the daughter, on the right. Jet had 3 teeth taken out this week and a wart removed from the pad of one of her back paws. She's a new girl! Seriously, she's a quite different dog from when I first got them. I noticed a difference last week when the antibiotics from the vet kicked in but now the teeth are gone she's much more energetic, fun-seeking and affectionate! Clearly the teeth were hurting her badly.
They are really lovely girls, even if not always as obedient as I'd like! I'm working on it and have now got Jazz returning the stick so I can throw it again. That feels like quite an achievement, I must say, having never trained a dog before. Jet being more affectionate is a lovely development - I had felt she was a bit distant and perhaps not happily accepting me as top dog but clearly she was simply in pain!
Here's another of them in the water:

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Vogue knitting patterns

Are they all so incomprehensible?! As mentioned previously, I'm knitting the wedding shrug from the spring/summer 2008 VK. Well, almost ALL of the pattern has been replaced with a correction on the website. I'm thankful I checked there before trying to finish it. Even so, there are still mistakes in the correction! I know because, in trying to get the tension/gauge of the yarn I'm using to fit the pattern, I've knitted, frogged, knitted, frogged, knitted, frogged and knitted the pattern, so I'm very familiar with it and understand its structure. And I think there might just be another knitted and frogged in there!
I'm a bit shocked that so much of the pattern has been replaced and that the corrections also have errors. Am I naive to think that VK is the best thing?? I've always loved the magazine and have some from the 80s, when I was last into knitting in such a big way. I collect them for inspiration and for techniques. But if the techniques in the patterns aren't right...?!


I really should have posted last Thursday that I managed to get along to a feltmaking day with Meg at RTT. We all made fairies. Me being me, I had to do something complicated and mine has a tartan (almost - it was my first time!) dress. I'll add a photo later. Meg used to make and sell fairies and I really appreciated why she did - it was a lot of fun, especially adding the identifying features like hair! Sandy's has even got a set of bagpipes!! Hopefully we'll be making lots more.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

SP12 2nd Fourth Question(!)

Perhaps the other fourth question wasn't an official one, or something, as this one arrived in my inbox marked 4th Question. Hmmm!
1) Where is your favorite place to go for vacation/holiday?Well, I don't really take holidays on a regular basis, never really could afford to. I now live in one of the best holiday destinations in the world -today at one of the beaches on Skye (where the sea colours were tropical - above) I even remarked to my daughter, "And we're not even on holiday!" So I don't (again!) have an answer to this question.
2) Where is one place you'd like to go?
Ah, well, now you're asking! There are many places I'd like to experience - Venice, Orkney, Shetland, Isle of Lewis, Harris - all the Outer Hebrides. And I very much want to make a return trip to the Grand Canyon and stay for a while.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Inspirational MASSIVE rethink on stash building

While I tried to sleep on Saturday night - unsuccessfully due to the anticipation of soon having two dogs in my care! - I was finally inspired (I've been waiting a long time for it!) to create knitted artwork. The idea of knitted pictures isn't new to me but this idea of more than just pictures - creative exploratory expressionist artwork - which could only ever be unique to the creator, ie me! - is. I guess it's an expansion of the idea of freeform but it wouldn't (I think) look much like freeform at all. My first idea is pretty set in my mind and something dawned on me regarding stash building - that I will need a large and varied stash in order to be able to choose yarns for knitting the artworks. RTT has a large selection of donated yarns which I will be able to pick and choose from but these are mainly plain old yarns and I would also like to build a really varied stash of my own, with lots of different, unusual and textured yarns. And I will probably only need a little of each!! Yippee!! I now have the excuse to covet and accumulate after all...!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now I just need to find the time to do it. My new girls are going to take up quite a bit more of my time. :-)

Guess who's living with me now!

After all that disappointment on Friday night about the dogs needing rehoming, I got a phone call on Saturday evening to let me know that the other interested party hadn't followed through and that the dogs' owners wanted me to have first choice. What a turnabout!! It all moved so fast after that and I travelled south to pick them up yesterday!!!!!!!!!
So let me introduce to you... Jet and Jazz, mother and daughter, aged 10 and 8 respectively:

This is a photo taken (as you can see from the date) at their previous owners, which I've included cos it's a closeup. Here's a photo of us with my grandson in sunny (for a while!) Glencoe yesterday:
While it's wonderful to have them, it's very much tempered by the fact that it was very emotional for the previous owner which, in turn, was emotional for us. We drove away feeling very sad indeed about the whole thing. It was heartbreaking for him to say goodbye to them, and heartbreaking to witness and be the prime mover in it! I'm sure the girls think they'll be going home sometime soon, but they seem to be fairly content with things as they are just now. I now have a full 2 weeks holiday from work in which to get to know them and to spend lots of time with them. I'm still feeling quite tentative about the whole thing, just in case the previous owner changes his mind and wants them back!
They are beautiful girls, just lovely, very friendly and placid but also ready for fun at the least notice! It was quite something to get up to happy tail-wagging dogs this morning!! I had to do a day's work today but was able to take them into the workshop with me and they lay quietly while I worked. Walking them is going to be so good for me! I just love having the excuse and purpose to be out of doors!!

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Sickness and missing out

I missed out on a day of feltmaking at RTT this week... :-( It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. Meg of the now ex-Skye Fairies had folk making new Raggy Fairies and they are just beautiful. I don't have photos but might be able to get a hold of some. Sandy made one with bagpipes!! They're adorable. Meg is back next week for more of the same so, even though I'm on holiday, I'm going in to have my turn!

SP12 Fourth question

Oooo... I just noticed this on Ravelry, it didn't come into my inbox.
1) What yarn (that you don’t have/haven’t used) would make your stash “complete”?
Oh this isn't any easier to answer! I would love to try some Noro though I'm not sure which one, Silk Garden, maybe? It's the one that has a long colour change. There are just so many beautiful yarns out there, the vast majority of which I've only seen on the internet... I just love all the variegated ones in delicious colours in delicious yarn mixes. I cannot answer this question!!
2) What yarn do you never want to be without?**
Ooh, I'm not much help, I can't answer this one either. Variegated sock yarn, I think... I think!

Friday, 4 July 2008


Hmmm... Researching my SP's list of preferences, I remembered that I also love Ylang Ylang. Gosh, yes, I love Ylang Ylang! And Bergamot. Yum.

Rethinking stash building

I've just found the Pattern Ideas facility under Yarns in Ravelry. This allows you to look at patterns that you can use for your stash yarn. Hmmm... Having a look for my SP's desired yarns, I came across some fabulous patterns for the yarn she is coveting! Perhaps I suddenly see the value in building a stash of beautiful yarns!!

Feeling better - and disappointed

I'm feeling quite a bit better today. I went into work in the afternoon, though I still felt quite rough while I was there.
I'm feeling really disappointed tonight as I'd hoped to get to meet a couple of dogs this weekend who are needing rehoming. It was through a specific site and I first enquired on Monday night but it wasn't til tonight that I managed to get through to the owners. They have someone else who's interested and coming to meet the dogs this weekend. They didn't let the site owners know this, which is naughty, as the site owners put only one person at a time in touch with the owners to avoid - huh - disappointment.
I am soooo disappointed that someone has got in there before me. As soon as I saw the dogs on the site, I said to myself, "There they are," ie MY dogs. I've been trying to stay realistic and not get my hopes up but this pair were just perfect for me. I don't want to say too much about them, in order not to identify them... *big big sigh*
Knitting-wise, I'm getting along with the Lace Shrug and my armwarmers are on hold until I have the brain power to tackle the creation of the pattern again!
Meanwhile, I'm soaking up Big Brother!! How sad am I?!

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Sickness and stars for SP

I'm not well today... :-( I'm not at all sure what's wrong but I woke up with a very bad throat and a sore head after a night of very broken sleep and crazy dreams. I knew before I went to bed that something was wrong, I could feel it in my throat. I could barely speak when I first got up this morning but it's got better as the day's gone on. In the end I stayed in bed, dozing in and out and listening to the radio, til nearly 2 pm!! I guess it's some kind of virus. I still don't feel well but I'm better than this morning.
It occured to me that I've never let my Secret Pal know that stars are my thing! Some people like hearts, some like butterflies, some even like frogs, or elephants, or cats! Stars are my thing. In the early 70s when motifs like hearts and butterflies were in, I decided on 5 pointed stars. Only 5 pointed stars, mind! They don't have any other kind of significance (not pentagrams or anything witchcrafty!), except that I like them and find them pleasing to the eye. I even have two star tattoos, though I have to say I regret them and would warn anyone off getting a tatoo. Life and tastes change and tattoos are very permanent!

Blog revamp

I was getting frustrated with the previous layout as it left no space between one post and the next. I miss the strong green but this is a good alternative, I think. I might change it again but am content with it for the timebeing!