Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Driving Knitting Egg

Yesterday we drove through to see Hagos's mum in Ayrshire. I have a thing where I like to have easy access to my current projects. So when I'm on the chaise longue at night, watching TV with Meg on my lap, I like to have my laptop, knitting, reading book, notebooks and pen, and a small plate with two pieces of dark salty chocolate within easy reach. Likewise when I travel I put most of the same in my laptop bag. I used to have a similar thing when I toured. My projects would be found stuffed down the side of my bunk bed. I think it's my version of a security blanket.

So, yesterday on the 3 hour round trip, I cast on and started knitting the TV jumper. I LOVE this colour of wool. It's so gorgeous. And much as I like the quick results of chunky knitting (see below) I think my preferred wool weight is 4 ply. It's just so satisfying.
I finally picked up and continued my chunky ribbon jumper again last weekend. I knitted one whole sleeve in two evenings of TV-watching. So quick! Oh, and also cast on the second sleeve, as you can see. This is exactly the same as the jumper I knitted my friend Lynsey a couple of winters ago. And the same as the green version I did for myself a few years ago too. 
When I've finished the whole jumper and sewn it together, I'm planning to dye the whole thing BLUE! I had thought of doing the same to Lynsey's jumper. This white/pink/blue combination isn't my colour scheme at all. But when I finished Lynsey's I didn't have the courage to dye the jumper in case the whole thing felted, which would have left me present-less (I think I made it for her birthday). But, with my own jumper it doesn't matter so much. I think a deep or petrol blue. I'll post the results! Should all be finished in time for WINTER.
And this is a gratuitous shot of an egg. Isn't it a beautiful thing to find first thing in the morning? Perfect in its imperfection. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wool Scones Chickens

I've had my eye on this wool for a while. I love this part of the colour spectrum - yellow, warm yellow. This will be my winter TV jumper. I ordered it from a company called Love Knitting, and I love that it came in this gauze bag. Little details like this make a difference. I would definitely order from this company again. 
Today we had no bread so I quickly baked scones to go with our soup. It was either that or nothing. And I love my own scones. They're light and delicious just with butter.
I've been spending a lot of time with my animal friends lately. The new chicks, and Swann (our goose) take a fair bit of attention, but I like to make sure the old girls are given special treatment too. This is Yoko, one of our original girls. 
But the chicks' antics are very entertaining. This is Bread. We think Bread is a cockerel. He's a beautiful creature. Amazing colouring. Bursting out of his body. He reminds me of the Incredible Hulk because I can almost see him expand, he's growing so quickly.
This is Delphis and her wee family. They're so cute when I see them coming towards me. I just love them. They are mixing well with the other hens and goose. I'm so impressed by Delphis's qualities and dedication as a mum. And they love her so much.
This is The Secret Herb Garden in Damhead. A new place we were told about. I loved it, particularly the shop, which sell such diverse items as bee suits and glassware, pencils, soap, chocolate honeycomb… I particularly covet The Tub/The Hub? I don't remember what it's called but when Virginia Woolf wrote about A Room of One's Own she could have been writing about this. A gorgeous room, with a desk, a window and two armchairs. I want it, badly.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

A finished jumper!

I finally finished my Rowan Tweed jumper. The above photo doesn't capture the colour. It's much more of a lush, deep green. It didn't take long to sew the final sides and arms. I didn't try to do it with any kind of delicacy - it was more like sewing fabric together - there is a seam! I'm really pleased with it. And glad it's finished.
I'm in an intense period of work at the moment. Colleagues on holiday, a new colleague just started and staff movement. My brain was so tired by the time I left on Friday, and I have another two weeks of the same! So, apart from yesterday where we went out to McDonalds for my Godson's birthday, we have been hunkering down and not doing much. I actually got a fair bit of housework done this morning, without it feeling stressful, but the rest of the weekend has been spent on the couch, under a blanket, sewing together my jumper, watching old episodes of Strictly Come Dancing (a great series from 2011!), reading Famous Five and Donna Tartt, and also re-watching The Sopranos. It's felt so good.
I could do with another few days the same. Looking forward to my 2 weeks' holiday in August.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014


Life has been far too serious recently. We are in desperate need of silly, lighthearted fun. When I feel stressed I distract myself by thinking about knitting and colour and texture and fabric and patterns.
I'm planning next winter's mittens. I'll probably go with the reindeer/moose design in the first photo, but really like the 'Dancing Grannies' design above.
We met my parents, sister and brother-in-law in Moffat for lunch at the weekend. Of course we had to go to the sweet shop (great sweet shop) and buy Moffat Toffee. It is an amazing sweet. There were lots of exciting sweets in the shop, but we restrained ourselves.
And this is Lollipop! The chicks are growing so quickly. They FLY out of their bedroom in the morning (into an enclosed run) and are exuberant and sweet.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


The Book Festival brochure was published today - very excited about it. Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 24th June. I'm most excited about Sarah Waters. Must be ready, online, at 8.30am to book my tickets.  
I couldn't resist this Moleskine notebook today. I love the colour of the cover. I love Moleskine notebooks. I could buy lots of them (and I have bought a few)
I got everything from Blackwell's bookshop at lunchtime today. I went to buy A Girl is a Half-formed Thing. I managed to resist the 3 for 2 offer. It always stumps me. I usually go into the bookshop to buy one particular book. That book has a 3 for 2 sticker. But because I hadn't factored that into the visit, I then feel I have to find two other books. I'm usually on a time constraint. I often manage to find one other book I wouldn't mind reading. But can never find a third. I then put both books back on the shelf and walk out empty handed. I wonder if the person who dreamed up the 3 for 2 incentive realises how many sales they have lost because of this offer?

Sunday, June 08, 2014


I love stationery, and recently went to the local bookshop near my work to ogle the Moleskine notebooks there. And I saw these. Two plain, two ruled. A four pack.

I also love book cover design - or, I like book cover designs that have integrity to the work. I hate montage book covers. As if someone who can't be bothered thinking has got a splatter gun of images and vomited over the book. 

I love the simplicity and vibrancy and consistency of the Penguin book covers, as above. 

I like when a book is seen as a work of art in itself. I also hate when there are quotes on the front of a book, or when the writer's name is in a larger font than the title of the book. Or when the writer's previous book is mentioned! I have very clear ideas of what does and what doesn't constitute a good book cover. I also dislike when the book cover is changed from the hard back to the paperback (unless the change also has integrity to the work). 

Maybe I should do a whole post on book cover designs? I studied it and found it fascinating when I did my first degree in London. 

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Homemade handkerchiefs

I don't know why, but I've been really keen to make these synchronised swimmer handkerchiefs. They're such a silly thing to make, but I really like them!
According to Google, women's handkerchiefs are 8x8", and men's 12x12". I figured out from half a metre of fabric I could get ten handkerchiefs if I had nine synchronised swimmers on each. The un-hemmed size was 9 1/2" x 10 1/4". 
I used different coloured thread to hem the hankies: yellow, purple, green, pink, and blue. Picking highlights from the material.
I plan to put some of them in with my friend's present. And keep the others for myself.