Sunday, 28 September 2008


Tha mi sgiiiiiiiiith. Bha mi ag ionnsachachd Gaelic ann an Ath Leathann le Daibhidh Grannd agus tidsearean.
I am tiiiiiiiired. I've been learning Gaelic in Broadford with Daibhidh Grannd and teachers.
The course was organised by Cli Gaelic and was a 6 day intensive using the Ulpan method (that's the lovely Daibhidh in the photo in the link). It was just fantastic, really effective and such fun! We covered 24 units of the 216 which lead to fluency, and we were guinea pigs for the next round of trainee tutors. One of the tutors is hoping and intending to start classes locally so we can continue with the learning. I really hope it comes off as I so want to consolidate how much I've learned this week. The week was hectic and exhausting - I'd come home and walk the dogs and fall into bed as early as possible! Well worth the experience, though, and so much fun.

Last SP Question

If you were told you could never again buy yarn, would would your last yarn
purchase be?

Oh how can I answer that?! Something from Noro, I think, because I've never tried it. Or Colinette Point 5 which I just love, in the brightest colours!

If you were told you could never knit again, what would be the last thing
you'd knit??

Oh! What a thought! Oh dear, something very very large, I think, so I could knit it for as long as possible. Perhaps a freeform coat or wall hanging.

In a given year, how many times do you buy yarn?
Not as often as I'd like. Perhaps half a dozen.

And what is your favorite place to buy yarn from? A festival? A shop? Online? Dish your favorite places!!
I wish I did have a good local yarn shop in the area. There is a small gift shop that sells some nice yarns at very nice prices(!). I love Shilasdair, in Waternish on Skye. If I had a shop that had lots of different types, so I could handle and compare, that would be my favourite.

Lastly, with Fall in full swing in many areas, what is the one thing you
look forward to most?

The demise of the midgie! At last I've been able to walk the dogs without having to smother myself in Skin so Soft.
Cool days, I love the cool weather.
Crisp bright winter days.
Snuggling up by the fire while the weather roars outside.

Saturday, 20 September 2008

My latest parcel from SP!

This actually arrived last Saturday (13th), my daughter was too late to pick it up from the Post Office for me on Monday and I finally got it on Tuesday morning. I was blown away, yet again, by my Secret Pal's wonderful thoughfulness. Here is a photo of the whole stash:

The appropriately purple and green theme continues and can you see what she's done? She's replaced my broken bamboo dpns!! And with better quality ones, too!

And look! There are some Kool Aid powders to dye yarn! Yippee!! I can't wait to give it a try, just need to get some undyed yarn now.

There's a lovely wee wooden star necklace - how thoughtful is that?! I wore it all week. (Took it off for a bath the other morning and am wondering where I put it...)

And will you please look at the lollipops?! What can I say?! Here's a close-up of the green one. Isn't that a lovely touch? Stars, purple, green...!

That's a really lovely woven bag in the middle, in my colours, of course, purple and green! How amazing. This is perfect for keeping my circular needles in!

But what blew me away and brought me to tears was the information about the bag on the little ticket that came with it:

I just thought this was so considerate and thoughtful (is there a difference between those two virtues, I wonder...!), and tied in so appropriately with my work at Rag Tag n Textile.

(Talking of which, it's been nothing but admin since I got back from having the flu and too much of it! I've not had a chance to do anything creative there since July. This coming week I'm taking part in an intensive Gaelic course on Skye so won't be getting down to anything creative in RTT til October!! Not that they really need me, the co-ordinators and the textile operatives are producing some fabulous stuff now. The website should go live soon...!)

Back to my SP. I have been so touched and amazed and delighted with the fantastic gifts from my SP. I know others have had bad experiences in the past but SP has been nothing but great for me!

Thank you, my dear Secret Pal, for all your wonderful gifts. I feel very spoiled indeed! It's been a total joy.


Gosh, I'm tired...

It's been a heavy week at work and I've not been sleeping well. My car broke down on Tuesday and I might have damaged the heads in the end - I need to get some investigative work done to be sure, so it could be a huge job or it could be a fairly small one.
I got the Lab Rescue stuff off in the post on Wednesday (courtesy of someone else going to the PO!) and it arrived on Friday. I haven't heard yet how it went today but Carolyne was delighted with the knitting. I just wish there'd been more. And I forgot to take a photo of the Amanda's Squatty Sidekick once it was felted. :-( It shrank beautifully and was really cute. I must find something more to knit and felt in that yarn, Twilleys of Stanford Freedom Spirit.

I've been taking part in Hat Attack 2 but have been disappointed and frustrated at how little time I've had to do the knitting! I finally got the darn thing finished today but, although the tension appears to be right even on the finished article, it's 1.25" too short. Grrrr. I really really do not want to have to knit this pattern again - I did not enjoy it and I don't like the finished design.
I love the Therapi yarn though! Even if there are some infuriating knots in it. It's very soft and lovely to knit with. I'll be delighted to receive a hat knitting in it.
But there's a much more important event this week which deserves a post all to itself...

Monday, 15 September 2008

A litter of Rascals!

Aren't these so cute?! I really really should be in bed but I had to take the time to put these up! I knitted up most of the black ones last night (leaving the sewing up til daylight), completed all the sewing up and stuffing (gosh, I hate sewing up!) and knitted and completed the 2nd yellow one today. A busy week ahead so I'm not sure I'll manage to get any more done. I'd partly knitted a 3rd black one but ran out of yarn! Need to pick some up from RTT tomorrow.
I swear the one on the right looks like Jazz when she's feeling sheepish!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Puppies and felting

I have finished one of the Rascal dogs for the Lab Rescue fundraiser, but it's been commandeered by my grandson! He wants another one with a red collar, to match my dogs (even though I no longer use the colour-coded collars!).

What I like best about this pattern is how the head is stitched on so that it can swivel! It's very cute and only about 2.5" high. I'm intending to get busy tonight and tomorrow, knitting more, as I have a very busy week at work and likely won't get much done during the week. I already have one yellow one almost finished.
At Rag Tag n Textile today, we had a feltmaking workshop with textile artist Meg Miller. In the morning we made flat felt, adding bits and pieces to make patterns, abstract or figurative, and in the afternoon we made a felt flower, along with a felted split-bead centre and felted stamens. It was a lot of fun, if wet and messy and leaving us with wrinkled fingers! Photos to follow later (they're on the work computer!).
The new cafe, Sheila's Cafe, is open in Balmacara Square and we had lunch there. If anyone reading this is in the area, you must visit it. The food is simple and excellent - hearty lentil and ham soup, filled rolls and sandwiches, yummy home baking, teas and coffees - and extremely reasonably priced. A bowl of soup and a filled roll was less than £6! It's going to be a favourite with us for sure and a much-needed social focal point for the Square residents.

Monday, 8 September 2008

Brea and puppies

I've finished the Brea Bag, I finished it on Friday night, watching the finale of Big Brother 9! I haven't blocked it, as is a bit obvious from the photo, and I suppose I really should get into the habit. I'll either carefully steam press it or may even felt it. I haven't yet decided. I haven't yet felted the other bag so they could go in together, though I know the yarn used in the Brea Bag won't felt so easily.

In the meantime, I've already completed one of Jean Greenhowe's Rascals, in black with a blue collar. They are really cute and I'd like to do a pile of them for the Lab Rescue fundraiser. I do hope I'm going to have enough time. I'm back at work now and the week's going to be full. Photo to come (I left the wee rascal at work by mistake!).

Monday, 1 September 2008

My own stash

I've just added a pile of yarn to my Ravelry stash, having completely forgotten I have it! So my own stash is beginning to look a bit more respectable. I'm going to use up the Stylecraft DK Wool on felted items, as it's a bit too rough for the children's jumper I'd planned. It means I can work my way through the felted patterns I've collected over the past year. I'm not sure it'll felt too well but I can give it a try.
In the meantime, I've finished the bag I was knitting for Lab Rescue, it's just waiting to be felted. It's called Amanda's Squatty Sidekick and I've knitted it in Twilleys of Stamford's Freedom Spirit, a lovely easily felted yarn that I was saving up for a bag for myself.
I've also made a start on the Brea Bag, using the Stylecraft DK in cinnamon, a lovely warm deep orangey/brown.

A gob-smackingly enormous yarn stash