Saturday, July 29, 2006


Wey hey, I managed to get "rid" of the kids up to my parents last week!!!!!!
With the weather being really wonderful DH and I took the opportunity to go out for the odd beer or three after work without having to worry what the kids were up to........FREEDOM/BLISS!

Its the school summer holidays here in Scotland and granny and granda wanted to have their "fix" of the kids over the summer (without DH or I), so last week DH took them off on the train from Edinburgh to Montrose where they were met by my father. They spent the last week "up north", in the Royal Burgh of Inverbervie, just south of Aberdeen being totally spoiled!!!!!!

They helped granny with the garden. Here is Robert busy filling the watering can so she can water the flowers. (Under the supervision of granda!!!!!)

Here is Ronan with granda, neither doing very much!!!!!!

The weather was great and they spent a lot of time in the inflatable pool in the back yard. They also went down to the beach, which is rocky, so they caught lots of small fish and crabs in the rock pools. Robert was disappointed that he didn't catch one big enough to eat!!!! My parents are both keen lawn bowlers so they took them down to the bowling green to have a few games of bowls, which they both seemed to enjoy. They also spent a day at Stonehaven, where they built sand castles on the beach and had ice cream at the harbour. On an other day they all went walking along the disused railway line to Gourdon, this is the village I lived in till I left home at the age of 16. (and where my blog gets its name!!!!!!!)

They both spent a really brilliant evening in the company of my niece Keira and her horse Laddie.

Here is Ronan being lead by my sister-in-law. Ronan has had some riding lessons in the past but he's not too keen on them. But he does enjoy the odd ride on Laddie.

Robert on the other hand is usually terrified of all animals, just loves Laddie and gets all excited when he knows he is going to see him. This is only the second time on a horse and he would just love to have riding lessons so I guess that's something I need to investigate!

Here they both are feeding one of the Shetland ponies which is also kept at the same stables as Laddie.

I went to collect them on Wednesday and stayed over till the Thursday so I could also spend some time with my parents. I also managed to spend some time with my granny, who is 91.

We arrived home on the Thursday just in time to have dinner and go to the rugby. Me, I was quite happy to spend the evening just chilling, but the kids insisted on going to the rugby as they had missed it!!!!!

Did I miss the kids when they were away.........YES, did they miss me..........Who knows?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

All things stripey!

A dear friend from knittyboard has just had a significant birthday and graduated from High School so I thought I would send her a belated surprise pressie (and hopefully it arrives this time!!!!! The one I sent in January still hasn't arrived and the UK post office has no trace of it.....So goodness knows where it went, but she certainly didn't get it!!!!!!!!)

Ages ago I promised her a pair of "tigger" sox to keep her toes toastie in the winter....... Well I wonder if these are "tigger" enough for her? They are knitted with Opal Tiger self patterning yarn and certainly look more like a tiger than I thought they would, coz the ones I knitted with the Opal Zebra yarn didn't really turn out like a zebra!!!!

When I was in my local bead shop earlier this week looking for beads for the stitchmarker swap, I spied these round "tigger" beads, so I just had to make her a set of "tigger" stitchmarkers to send with the sox.

OK so blogger has now allowed me to upload my stitchmarker swap pics.

(l to r)blue/green twisty glass bead with 2 smaller blue/green glass beads, 5 small lilac beads with a lilac flower, tigger striped large bead with 1 orange and 2 black glass beads, 2 purple/blue glass beads with 3 smaller purple glass beads, 2 blue and 2 pink small beads with 1 large smiley face flower bead.

(l to r) 2 elongated blue glass beads with a "rainbow" crystal bead, painted Indian wooden bead with small round wooden beads, amber, green and clear crystal beads, "petrol on water" rainbow tear drop bead and smaller round ones.

I hope to get all these packages out at the beginning of next week as I still have some small "surprises" to finish before posting!!!!!!!!

Stitchmarker Swap

I've been involved in a stitchmarker swap on the knittyboards.

Here are some of the stitch markers I have made for the swap. Well there would be a picture or 2 if blogger would upload them, but for some reason this is not to be tonight. However I did manage to upload 1 picture on the stitchmarker swap blog, so you can see some of them there. I promise I will post the pics as soon as blogger allows.

I've really enjoyed making the 8 sets of stitch markers for the swap!!!!! All are different, some are made with glass beads, some with wooden, some plastic, some crystal and some a mixture of mediums!!!!!!! Some of the beads I bought in the Bombay Store in Bradford when I was at SKIPnorth earlier in the year.

Just imagine........I had a genuine excuse to go to my local bead shop. It is an amazing place and I can spend hours and lots of ££££ there too!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Drum roll, please!!!!!

Ok, as promised, here are the pictures!

Well it started out like this.......3 wheels of pencil roving from Twist Fibre Craft in Fife, which I bought at Woolfest, but you know all that already. What you want to know is how it turned out!

So it went from that to this in just a few days! Hell its knitted on 8mm needles with double thickness yarn, so it doesn't take too long to knit.

With 8mm cast on 60 stitches and knit in stocking stitch as follows.
With yarn A work 8 rows
With yarn B work 3 rows
With yarn C work 13 rows
With yarn A work 5 rows
Keeping to the 4 stripe sequence, change from yarn A,B and C until 7 repeats of the stripe sequence is done. Cast off. Sew in all the ends and then sew along the bottom and up the side, using 2 strands of roving. Don't pull too tightly or roving will break.

Using 3 strands of any one of the colours, cast on 3 stitches and knit in stocking stitch for approx 2 meters. Cast off. Sew in ends.

Closure flap
Using 4 strands of any one colour, cast on 20 stitches and knit in stocking stitch for 10 rows, cast off and sew in ends.

When mine was finished the bag was 64cm x 52cm.

Place it in the washing machine, with 2 pairs of jeans (for agitation of bag!) and 1/2 measure of washing powder. Set on 40 degree wash , make your self a coffee and wait!
I actually had to put it through the wash twice before I got it to the size I wanted!

Once the bag has felted, pull it into a longer shape. (you can be VERY forceful with it at this point) I managed to put mine to 37cm x 36cm. Spinningfishwife gave me a great tip. Find a cereal box approx the size you want, place it in a plastic bag then pull your felted bag over it, thus keeping its shape whilst drying. It worked for me, I used a large Weetabix box!!!!!!

Assembly of bag
Once dry, sew the closure flap on to the bag.(I used some embroidery thread in the gold colour). Make a hole large enough for your button to go through, by pushing scissors through the flap. Sew button on to bag. To attatch the strap, make a hole on each side of the bag, by pushing scissors through, then push the strap through the hole tying a double knot to keep it in place. Remember that the strap may stretch a bit so don't make it too long.

The yarn is VERY hairy once felted, but can be shaved using an ordinary razor. (I think I will borrow DH's razor, when he's not looking and shave my bag, coz it is VERY hairy!!!!!!!)

(Pattern and instructions by Twist Fibre Craft Studio)

Fanfare and drum roll now required, coz here it is ......................................

The finished bag...........Woooooooo Hoooooooooo!!!!!!!

I really like it, don't know when I'll use it, but I'm sure I will use it. I really enjoyed doing this, so who knows, there might be some more felting projects in the near future. I quite fancy doing some Fuzzyfeet from Knitty to keep my feet warm in the winter!!!!!!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

It's done!

It's official, my first felting project is done! The bag is now sewn and measures 64cm x 52cm! The cord is done and the closure flap is done.

As I write this it is all being battered about in my washing machine, along with 2 pairs of DH's clean jeans! I'm keeping my fingers and anything else that I can cross, crossed, in the hope that it turns out OK. I'm sure it will, but you know..........When its a first time project.......It might not turn out as you hoped it would or it should!!!!!

Pictures of before and after to follow, once it is done.

I've seen them..........

Yes I've seen Spinning Fishwives kittens! I saw them tonight when I dropped off my boys at her house for a sleep over. They are so so so cute and gorgeous and so full of fun. Missy is a grey female tabby, and Theo is a dark grey/blackish tabby, and they just love playing. Unfortunately I didn't have my camera so I don't have any pics, but pop over to Spinning Fishwives blog and you'll see them there.

What else have I done this week?

Well I went up to pick some strawberries and peas at Spinning Fishwives allotment when she was away on holiday. The strawberries were amazing, much better tasting than those you buy in the supermarket.

Here is one of the strawberries that we picked, just had to take a pic since it was such a wonderful shape....Tasted nice too!
The peas were great too, reminded me of when I was a small girl picking the pea pods in my Grandfathers garden.

I was back on night duty at work so this meant I had more time than of late to knit and read. I've finished knitting the bag with the lovely wheels of roving which I bought at Woolfest from Twist Fibre Craft Studio

Here is a picture just to remind you of the colours. I am currently sewing it together, then it will go into the washing machine with 2 pairs of DH's jeans and hopefully it will be a felted bag when I remove it from the wash. (Well it will be after a few tweaks and the button, flap and handle is sewn on)Before and after pictures to follow if all goes well!!!!!!

I've also read 2 books this week, one being.............

this one, which I also managed to find at Woolfest. I read it in a couple of days or should I say nights. I couldn't put it down, it was great. Now I'm on the hunt for the next one, but there lies a problem.......You can't get them in the UK, so I have put it on my wish list and hopefully it will be out here soon.

I also read the latest Kathy Reichs book, Break no bones, the ninth book featuring Temperance Brennan, a forensic anthropologist. It was great too and only took a couple of nights to read.

Yes I did do some work when I was there it wasn't all reading and knitting!!!!!!

Also this week I had time to do some rugby coaching on Thursday night (before going to work!), this week it was at DH's work, Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum and not the Rugby Club. This was to tie in with a sports exhibition they have on at the moment and the Culcutta Cup being there this week too. For those who don't know, the Culcutta Cup is the cup that Scotland and England rugby teams play for every year, and this year Scotland won it.

Here are the kids all lined up for a picture (Ronan, back row with navy/white striped top and blue bib, Robert front row, with same top, no bib and Spinning Fishwives son is 2nd from the right in the back row)

and here they are listening to one of the coaches (Calum) before they start to play.

and here they are "getting stuck in" to a game!

Well I suppose that's been it for this week, so far. I have a day off today and the weather is supposed to be hot, hot, hot so who knows what I might get up too!!!!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

1st Knitty SP7 package

Wooooo hoooooo my first Knittyboard SP7 package has arrived, all the way from Dusseldorf, Germany. For some strange reason I thought it was coming from the USA, so it was a surprise when I saw it hadn't.

One not very exciting package, but boy did it hold some very exciting things.......
The kids were at home when it arrived, it being school holidays, so it was like Christmas....They both crowded round to see what goodies were hidden in the box! DH went out of the room muttering,something about, more b****y wool!!!!!

The kids were ecstatic coz right on the top was a huge bag of "Haribo" sweets......

Here you see one very happy little boy sitting on my bed with the big bag of sweets. I wouldn't allow them one till I'd taken pictures. He was the one that dragged the box through to the bedroom to take the pics. He is also holding a small toy footballer which also came in the package and once the bag of sweets was opened there was an other small toy. It was a car. We don't get small toys in the bags of "Haribo" in the UK so the kids were really pleased. Thank you SP for being very thoughtful and sending the toys for my boys.

OK so what else was in the package?.............

A sheep tea towel, which was wrapped round 6 balls of On Line Linie 60 yarn, in the most gorgeous blue colours and is 100% wool, so might land up being a felting project, black sheep keyring, 2 glass tea light holders with fish painted on them, box of 6 vanilla tea lights, bar of Lindt orange chocolate (mmmmmmmm yummy), and a ball of Trekking XXL sock yarn in blue tones.

There was also a very nice card with the package, but I forgot to take a picture of it......Sorry.

Here is a close up of the On Line yarn


one of the black sheep keyring................

Thank you "Lavender Goldfish", you rock!!!!!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Wonderful Woolfest Weekend (the goodies)

OK guys I've now managed to sort through all the bags and take photos of all the goodies which I bought.......So be prepared for yarn related overload!!!!!!

What is this strange contraption, I hear you ask, well it is a saving sock stand. I thought this was a great idea for using up that last bits of sock yarn. Basically you knit a sock, push the top of the sock through a hole at the top of the stand, place in the wooden bung with a slot cut in it and voila, you have a money bank, to save for your next visit to Woolfest!!!!!! I thought they would make great pressies for kids so bought 5 of them. (The sock is for display purposes only and one I knitted earlier!)

I have been looking for this book for ages, but normally you can't buy it in the UK, but Doreen at Scottish Fibres had a copy, so I VERY quickly snapped it up!
I just love murder mystery books so this was a MUST and Spinning Fishwife wants to read it after me.

I also bought 3mm and 3.5mm Rosewood 60cm circular needles and size 2.5mm and 3.5mm ebony dpns from Doreen at Scottish Fibres.

The wooden shawl pin was bought at Twist Fibre Craft Studio.

At the top of this picture you can see that I also bought a pair of huge 22mm (approx) wooden needles so that I can knit "holes"!!!!!! I can't remember which vendor they came from.

I spent a lot of my time visiting and re-visiting the Jamieson and Smith Shetland stall and must admit I would have liked to have bought more but the purse wouldn't allow it. Here you see 2 kits which I bought,

1)The Shetland "Old shell" shawl pattern and 5 balls of blue variegated 1ply (YES 1ply)cobweb yarn.

2)The Shetland Cobweb wrap pattern and 4 x 25mg balls of black 1 ply cobweb yarn.
I must be mad, but I'm really looking forward to making them sometime in the near future.

I bought 2 other patterns from Jamieson and Smith, they were the Shetland 1 ply "Sheelagh" shawl and the Shetland cobweb "Gibbie" shawl.
From the Knitting and Crocheting Guild I bought the pattern for Fiber Trends "Pacific Northwest" shawl.
Here you see the free pattern I got when I bought some sock yarn. It is for short row heel socks.

Ok so I bought 22mm needles, well from the ridiculous to the sublime.......... These are 0.9mm metal dpns bought from Mo Bear. What I'm going to use them for I have no idea.....but I just had to have them....You know how it is?

This little lot came from Twist Fibre Craft Studio........ they are 100g gold lopi roving, 100g green lopi roving and 100g rust lopi roving to make a felted bag with. I have never felted so I'm looking forward to that project too. I also bought a nice bone button to fasten the bag with (that's it sitting on the gold roving!).


I bought 3 sheepy things (only 2 in the picture).....What are they? (tell ya later!)

I also bought some sock yarn....Do you honestly think I could have resisted the temptation to do that? Of course not, however I was very restrained, I only bought 3 balls!
2 balls of wine coloured Regia silk to knit some nice lacey socks for moi and 1 ball of blue Fortissima (project yet to be determined) They were bought from the same stall as the money sock stands.

I also bought some nice blue "fuzzy" yarn to knit "holes" with, using the huge needles. This yarn was bought from the same stall as the needles.

Nearly forgot.....A wooly sheep keyring (no pic as its on my knitting bag)which I bought from Doreen at Scottish Fibres.

I also have an other photo, but it is full of "secret" goodies, so not to be posted yet....Just Incase!

OK so what are the sheepy things that I also bought from Twist Fibre Craft Studio?

Well, have you guessed yet?

They are..............................................................
tape measures........yey sheepy tape measures.

I think that's it, no more goodies....Money all spent. Need to knit a sock and start saving for next year!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Wonderful Woolfest Weekend (day 2)

Saturday dawned bright and sunny, we just knew it was going to be hot, hot, hot! After breakfast we were once again on our way to buy the things we had missed on Friday!!!!! Again we were early and spent time sitting, chatting and knitting with, surprisingly, the same two women from Lincolnshire we had sat beside the previous day!!!!! Bang on 10am the doors opened and in we all spilled ......where to start, what did we NEED to buy? Spinning Fishwife had been on a spinning theme the previous day so it was knitting things for her. I decided it would be stuff to make christmas presents that would be my main purchases and some things for my secret pals from blogger and knitty. I had also decided NOT to spend much money....ha ha ha, that didn't last for long! I went into Twist Fibre Craft Studios from Fife and bought some lovely yarn to felt into a bag. I have never felted before so I'm looking forward to that project.

At 11.30 there was a demonstration of sheep shearing in the sale ring so off we went to watch. Spinning Fishwife couldn't resist buying one of the fleeces. This is HER sheep being sheared..........

......and this is it laid out once we got back to the camp site!!!!! It is a rough haired fell sheep and she thinks she will spin it and make a rug from it as it is too coarse to knit with.

We also visited Doreen at Scottish Fibres, from just outside Edinburgh. I bought some "secret" things here for my secret pals and some beautiful ebony dpns and rosewood circulars.

We had arranged to meet some friends today, one being my blogger secret pal from the last round, but due to circumstances outwith her control she didn't manage back today and I had missed her the day before. We also met Ruth and Blueadt whom we had previously met at SKIPnorth earlier in the year. Ruth had brought along her Hitch Hiker spinning wheel, the first one in the UK!!!!! We chatted for a while then said our goodbyes and we all went on our merry way.

We went to look at the exhibition stuff, boy was some of it amazing, like this......

............. crochet peacock shawl.......

......and this picture made completely from the flax plant.

Spinning Fishwife couldn't resist the temptation and had a go on this Muckle Wheel which was being demonstrated by medieval re-enactors.

This Muckle Wheel was built by Chris, (seen here in the picture)

and demonstrated by his partner (also in the picture with the wheel)

Now we were getting tired (the heat had finally caught up with us!)and really we had bought EVERYTHING we wanted and some!!!! So it was time to head back to the tent for some relaxing and to look at what we had bought and discuss what we were going to do with it all!!!

We had decided that if it was a nice night we would buy a mega Indian take away and eat it alfresco or if it was raining all 8 of us would decend on the curry house!!! It was a nice night so alfresco it was......

It took up the whole table, but it was excellent and we all enjoyed it.

Once we had eaten all 8 of us placed our purchases out on 2 ground sheets and to be quite honest we were totally amazed at the amount of yarn etc that we had bought!!!!!!

Here are the 8 of us with our purchases.....I dread to think what the total cost for all this was!!!!!!! VERY Scary thought that!!!!!

Since it was a nice night we all sat up till the light faded and we could no longer see to knit. A perfect end to a perfect weekend. We all agreed that, all being well, we would be back next year at the same camp site to do it all again!!!!!!!

Sunday morning saw us all strike camp and say our goodbyes and set off back home.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Wonderful Woolfest Weekend (day 1)

Spinning Fishwife and I set off for Cockermouth on Thursday afternoon to spend a few days camping without kids and hubbies. However our main reason was to go to Woolfest (as I had said in my previous post). We arrived at the Graysonside Campsite just outside Cockermouth having only got lost once (I was the navigator) and this was not our fault. The instructions we had downloaded from the internet said bear right when in fact it should have been bear left, but hey we found the Woolfest venue then went back and found the campsite. The camp site was small but very friendly. The only criticism I would have was that there wasn't enough toilet/shower blocks (only 2), which meant we had to queue in the morning, but we all managed ok.

We were soon joined by other knitters from as far afield as Cornwall to Inverness!!!!
They were Sue, Becca, Glittrgirl, Scumkitten, Purlpower, Knit-Wits Anonymous, Flossie Knits, The Knit Nurse. Once all the tents were erected and beds blown up etc we relaxed and chatted before cooking our dinner.

Here we are, all sitting round eating dinner and chatting!!!!!

We sat around till long after the sunset, chatting, knitting and having a few glasses of wine or beer.

This is the sunset taken from the door of our tent.

Spinning Fishwife and I were up bright and early next morning, showered and breakfasted and ready to go by 9am. Woolfest opened at 10am, but we had decided to get there early so we could get the car parked and didn't have to stand in a long queue. We took Sue with us as she didn't have any transport and was going to walk. Most people in the queue were sitting knitting waiting to get in and there was a very friendly atmosphere. We met some really nice people whilst sitting waiting for the doors to open. Once they did ......WOW....The sight that greeted us was totally amazing, both Spinning Fishwife and I were totally mesmerised by the sheer amount of yarns etc all in one place, it was a knitters/spinners dream come true!!!!!! We wandered up and down the isles ooohing and aaahing and pointing things out to each other. For some reason I didn't take that many pictures inside of all the yarns etc, but I did take some.

Just look at the size of these needles....................

There were two Alpacas, but they didn't like being petted!!!! Having said that they seemed quite happy having everyone looking at them whilst they ate their hay.

This is Bruno, a North Ronaldsay Ram all the way from the Island of North Ronaldsay in Orkney, and he DID like getting his head scratched!!!!!!

We shopped till we dropped and boy were we about dropping when we decided to call it a day and go back to the camp site to rest and relax to do it all again the following day!!!!!! We arrived back to the tent just in time, as the heavens opened and we had a thunder storm. Very comforting sitting in the tent knitting listening to the rain on the roof and listening to Glittrgirl, Scumkitten and Purlpower etc singing in their tents to send the rain away!!!!!!! Must be a Geordie thing!!!!!

After the rain went off we cooked dinner and once again sat around chatting, knitting and having a few glasses of beer/wine before retiring to bed early, in readiness for Saturdays shopping!