Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Prestongrange Knitting Group

Prestongrange knitting group is held at Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum in East Lothian Scotland.The museum is run by East Lothian Council and opens between April and October each year and it is was here that a group of mums rediscovered their love of knitting, during the "Long Hot Summer" of 2005!! It all happened by accident really, as after school a few mums would pick up the kids and head off down here for coffee, chat and peace. Peace because there is room for the kids to roam around within sight of the visitor centre, where the mums enjoyed some time to catch up on each others news over a cup of tea or coffee. The founder members, or the people to blame for this group are Spinningfishwife and myself. It all begun when she asked for my help to wind a skene of yarn and that is how our group was formed. The next time we were down out came my knitting and a few other mums joined in, we taught a few more to knit and basically the rest is history! We decided to meet there every Monday afternoon since that seemed to be the best day for all concerned as it fitted round other family commitments. However a few of us spent most of the summer there!! Roll on April when the Museum re-opens and we can get back to our regular meetings and the kids can burn off their excess energy. Believe you me, its not just the mums who are going stir crazy, the kids are missing it too.

As you can see by this photo the kids are all dressed up and having fun. This happens on most occassions that they are out at Prestongrange. Over the summer there is little room in the back of our cars for the various dressing up costumes and a huge arsenal of weapons. Here you see them dressed up as characters from "Lord of the Rings", but they can just as easily be characters from "Star Wars" or what ever happens to be THE action movie at the time. They tend to re-enact their "battles" on the expanse of open ground between the visitor centre and the woods at the back of the site. Spinningfishwife and myself have knitted some of the costumes to look like chain mail, and we have scoured the charity shops far and near for various items that the kids can use.

Come rain or shine the kids just love to come out here and if it is raining it certainly does not seem to dampen their spirits or prevent the planned visits as there is a childrens area within the visitor centre, where they can draw or play board games or read books. Over the summer there are various workshops help within the complex that the kids can attend. In fact next summer Spinningfishwife and I have been appeoached to carry out a few knitting workshops for the kids.

Within the visitor centre/museum there is an exhibition about the history of Prestongrange and it houses various artifacts from the site.
More about Prestongrange and its history at a later date!

RAK's, SP's and other gifts

This arrived for me this morning (02/02/06) from my SP7 spoiler. It really took my breath away when I opened it, because inside the lovely pink bag there was 8 beautiful stitch markers and 2 skenes of the most gorgeous silk yarn from curiousyarns in London. 1 skene was called saturn and the other called smooch. (The colours are actually brighter than they are in the photos.) It is so so so soft all I want to do is cuddle it. There is 430m to each skene and I think I will knit a summer shawl with them, pattern yet to be determined.

This amazing Chelsea silk yarn, in a beautiful blue/green colour was sent to me from Monkeemaven all the way from Texas. I'm not sure what I will knit with it yet, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that I will wake up one day and it will be "talking to me" !!!!!! (No I do not normally hear voices.....)I took this photo with my son's cat...yes I know it is made of wood, but we live in an appartment and there is already several cats in the block so Robert just has to put up with a wooden one.

On 27th Jan 2006 I recieved a package from my Mellow SP spoiler. It contained a daily disaster fridge magnet,I luv 2 blog postits and a breast cancer wrist band. Unfortunately the pictures I took did not come out, so I will need to take more later.

This wonderful Fleece Artist yarn was sent to me from Stariel. I have never seen or used this yarn before, but I really like the feel of it. I have started a pair of socks with it and will post a picture as soon as I can. She also sent me some Reese's peanut butter cups which i just love and hadn't seen since I worked with the US Navy based here in Scotland in the 1990's.

This is my first Random Act of Kindness (RAK) and it is hopefully winging its way to Canada at the moment.....

Guess who is going to get it?.........

Bubblestiggy enjoy!

I've done it.....up loaded a photo to my blog

I've finally managed to do it, thanks to my friends hubby who fixed the soft wear in the computer so I could use it.

This is Ronan and Robert and this photo was taken on Sunday 22nd January 2006 when both won their respective "Player of the week" trophies at rugby. Ronan plays for the Primary 5's (age 9-10) and Robert plays for the Primary 3's (age 6-7), even if he is only in Primary 2!

This was the first time both had won the trophies on the same week. Had to take it when we got home, because I forgot to take the camera with me to the game!

I have now edited some of the previous posts to include pictures....so please re visit these posts to see some WIP's and FO's.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Robert Burns.......25Jan 1759-21July1796

Who is he....well he is none other than the great Scottish Bard, and why have I decided to make an entry in my blog about him, I hear you ask. Good question too, but be patient, all will be revealed.

Well it all started when Ronan came home from school yesterday with a sheet of Scottish poems and he had to learn one, or if he didn't like one on the sheet he could choose an other. Needless to say he wanted an other, so there was nothing else for it but to go on the internet and do a search, (whatever did we do before it?) and I came up with a couple of likely candidates..... "The Sair Finger" by Walter Wingate, which is one I remember from school and "Mince and Tatties" by Anon. He will most likely coose the "Mince and Tatties" one since it is shorter. I must admit I like it too.

I dinna like hail tatties
Pit oan my plate O mince
For when I tak my denner
I eat them baith at yince

Sae mash and mix the tatties
Wi mince into the mashin'
And sic a tasty denner
Will aye be voted "smashin'!"

Glossary - hail=whole, tatties=potatoes, pit=put, oan=on, mince=ground meat, tak=take, denner=dinner, baith=both, yince=once, Sae=so, wi=with, sic=such, smashin'=wonderful

I also have an other reason for mentioning Robert Burns, because when I was tracing my family history I discovered that I have a proven connection to "The Man, himself"! Maybe thats why I like poetry and I have been know to write some myself when the mood takes me!!! (But I promise I won't inflict that on you!!) How is he connected, well I discovered this site http://www.burness.ca and then I discovered that my gt gt gt grandmother, Mary Burness was a 3rd cousin, twice removed to Robert Burns. Her gt gt gt grandparents were William Burness and Christian Fotheringham. William's brother James was Robert Burn's gt grandfather. Robert Burns was actually born Robert Burness but changed his name to Burns in 1786. His father was born in Stonehaven Kincardineshire Scotland, but moved to Edinburgh then Ayr, where Robert was born on 25th January 1759 (247th anniversary of his birth this year). He died in Dumfries Scotland aged 37 years on 21st July 1796. So there you have it, I have a famous ancestor. I also have an other one ( not so famous) but I'll save it for an other day...

I've been TAGGED.....not Tangoed!!!!!!!

I've just been tagged by spindiva, so this is a meme for spin.........

4 jobs you've had in your lifetime.
Psychiatric Nurse
Army nurse (QARANC)

4 movies you could watch over and over.
Love Actually
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Pirates of the Carribean
Dumbo ( or most Disney films!)

4 places you have lived.
Gourdon (small fishing village on East coast of Scotland, where i was brought up till 16 years)
Inverness, Scotland (The capital of the Highlands!)
Glasgow, Scotland (The city of Culture)
Musselburgh, (Known as the "Honest Toun" and situated just south east of Edinburgh, where I have lived with hubby for the past 10 years)

4 T.V shows you love to watch.
Lost (and I will be now that it's finished!)
Don't really watch t.v much, far too busy on chat or at work!

4 websties you visit daily
My blog
Knitty Coffeeshop
A Haggis Hunt 2005-06

4 favourite foods
Ice cream

4 places you'd rather be right now.
With hubby
With kids
With friends and several bottles of wine
In the sun

4 bloggers you are tagging.
Yorkshire Gal

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I have never been involved in an SP before and now I am involved in a few, or at least I will be in the next few weeks. However I seem to be having problems with my blog, it seems to be stuck in December when I type in the URL, and not showing my latest bloggs and I don't know how to fix it. I just hope this one arrives in the right place since it has the answers for my SP questions.

  1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibres?) Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? I have never used Lion Brand or Red Heart yarns, but I do prefer natural or natural/mix yarns. (with a higher % of natural fibres to others).
  2. Do you spin or crochet? I crochet, but I did get a drop spindle starter kit for my Christmas which I still have to try.
  3. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in? I currently store my straigt needles in a narrow material bag( which is too small) and my circular needles and crochet hooks are just loose in the bottom of a box.
  4. How long have you been knitting? Would you concider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced? I have been knitting for approx 35 years and would concider myself to be intermediate/advanced depends on what it is I'm knitting!
  5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list? Yes I have an Amazon one.
  6. What is your favorite scent? (for candles, bath/shower products etc?) Citrus for bath/shower products. Vanilla or spicy for candles.
  7. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy? Yes I have a sweet tooth and just love anything chocolate.
  8. What other crafts or DIY do you like to do? I don't really do any other crafts at the moment and its usually my husband who does the DIY, I just tell him what to do!!!!
  9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3's? I like all sorts of music, mainly easy listening. My favorite artists are Emmy Lou Harris, Eva Cassidy, Bob Dylan, Neil Young (acoustic), Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, Runrig, Robbie Williams, KT Tunstall and Scottish/Irish folk music. Yes my computer plays MP3's.
  10. Whats your favorite colour? Any colours you just can't stand? Black, Purple or varigated bright colours. I don't like Yellow or Orange.
  11. Whats your family situation? Do you have any pets? I've been married to David for 13 years and we have 2 sons, Ronan aged 10 and Robert aged 7. As we live in a flat we do not have any pets. I am a non-smoker. I have an allergy to long haired cats, but for some strange reason not short haired ones!, and 100% acrylic fibers make me itch. I have a wicked sense of humour too!!!! Incase you haven't noticed yet - I can't spell and this appears to be a genetic thing! I have several hobbies, which include tracing my family history, doing historical research of the local area, coaching kids rugby, reading, spending quality time with my family as much as possible. As a family we love to go to the movies, eat out, walk and swim. Both the boys play mini rugby for the local rugby club where I am a coach and the Child Protection Officer. David just comes along to shout encouragement at the boys. After I have done all that I need to find time to work-full time as a psychiatric nurse in a unit for adolecents with mental health issues and as a volunteer member of the Children's Panel in my local area.
  12. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens and ponchos? Yes I do wear hats, scarves and mittens. I do have 2 ponchos but they have only been on a few times.
  13. What is your favorite yarns to knit with? I don't really have a favorite yarn, but I do like nice soft yarns.
  14. What fibres do you absolutly NOT like? 100% acrylic
  15. What is your current knitting obsession/s? Don't know if I actually have a current obsession, but I have been knitting a lot of socks recently and am currently knitting myself a shawl.
  16. What is/are your favorite items to knit? Scarves, Socks, Shawls and sweaters.
  17. What are you knitting right now? I am currently knitting myself Stora Dimun Shawl from "Folk Shawls" by Cheryl Oberle. I am using Noro Silk Garden in colourway 232.
  18. Do you like to recieve handmade gifts? Yes I do love to recieve handmade gifts.
  19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? I learned to knit on straights so I do tend to do most of my knitting on them but if there are lots of stitches (like with my current project) I will use circulars. For socks I tend to use dpn's.
  20. Do you prefer Bamboo, aluminum or plastic needles? I prefer bamboo or wooden straights and dpn's and Addi turbos if using circulars.
  21. Do you own a yarn winder and/or a swift? I own a yarn winder, but would love a swift, maybe next christmas from my hubby!
  22. How did you learn to knit? My mother taught me when I was about 6 years old.
  23. How old is your oldest UFO? It must be about 2 months or so old, unless I have not yet unearthed one hidden at the back of a cupboard that I've forgotten about!!
  24. What is your favorite animated character or an animal or bird? I don't really have one but I suppose I do like Winnie the Pooh. My favorite animal, if you could call it that is a dolphin.
  25. What is your favorite holiday? That would have been the first family holiday we had abroad when Robert was about 18 months old. We went to Spain and had a great time. Since then we have spent a lot of time camping and last summer we bought a new 12 man tent, which we plan to use a lot this summer.
  26. Is there anything that you collect? I collect china thimbles.
  27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have? Interweave, Vogue, and an other thats name escapes me at present. I also buy Simply Knitting and any other knitting magazine that I find in my local bookshop/newsagent.
  28. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? There is a list of books on my Amazon wish list. I would also like to get the pattern for the peacock feather shawl and a set of Denise needles ( thats an other christmas pressie I think) and any sock yarns that I can't get in the UK.
  29. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn? As I got a drop spindle for my Christmas I would like to learn that, also I'd like to learn to Tatt.
  30. Are you a sock knitter? What are your measurements? Yes I am a sock knitter and I prefer short "trainer" type sock as I have a chunky leg!!! I also have wide feet. Length of foot (from back of heel to tip of toe) = 10.5" (27cm), width of foot = 10.5" (27cm). Help I've got a square foot!!!!!!!! Shoe size 7 (UK)
  31. When is your birthday? My birthday is 22nd August.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Its a new year.

Well I can hardly believe that we are a third of the way into January already, where has the time gone?

Unfortunately I did not manage to get all my christmas knitting done in time, will have to start sooner this year. I still have a fluffy cardigan to knit for my friends 4 year old and a toy Llama for my husband made out of Llama fibres that a friend spun for me....I hear you ask, Why a Llama? Well David just loves the Llama song (http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/llama.php) and for a joke I was going to knit him one for part of his xmas. He might get it for fathers day from the kids! (but only if I get round to doing it, or maybe next xmas!). The items that I did manage to finish for xmas were a cashmere and baby merino scarf in "branching out" pattern for my mother, a pair of trainer socks for my older son, Ronan who is 9. He thinks they are great and really keep his feet warm. I also knitted a pair of socks for an other friend and she just loves them too. She had them on with her big boots when she went out on New Years Eve and said that the warmest bit about her body was her feet. I also knitted 3 New Fizz scarves to send off to relatives in Alabama and 15 "Funky Fur" scarves for various friends and relatives.
I crocheted a curly wurly scarf in torquoise and white for my niece, and in her words it was "mega cool", so I take it she liked it!!!!

Speaking of christmas I recieved some great knitty stuff. I got a carved wooden nostepin and a carved wooden tapestry needle holder and a drop spindle starter kit which includes roving, all I have to do is learn to use it. I am looking forward to doing that as one of my friends has said that she will teach me....I only hope she has a lot of patience.

What have I managed to knit so far this year, actually concidering it is only the 9th, I have done quite a lot really. I have finished a pair of trainer socks for myself, a sweater for my younger son, Robert who is 6.

It was knitted in Sirdar Denim Ultra which was done on 10mm needles and only took a couple of days. It has already been in the wash twice so I suppose that speaks for its self, concidering he has always refused to wear a handknitted garment since he was able to say NO! I have also done a sweater for Ronan made from the same yarn and pattern just 2 sizes bigger. It is done only have the ends to sew in....yeuch! I am currently knitting something for ME. I am knitting Faroese Shawl called Stora Dimun from "Folk Shawls" by Cheryl Oberle. I am knitting it it Noro Silk Garden, colourway 232. I just love the way it is turning out and can't wait to finish it and actually wear it. I had originally bought the yarn to do a jacket or sweater for me but after buying it, it "spoke to me" and said it wanted to be a shawl and who am I to disagree with the yarn......