Friday, 23 March 2018

Edinburgh Love. . .

One week later and I'm still trying to absorb all the inspiration and activity that was the Edinburgh Yarn Festival.  Five full days of meeting up with friends, rushing around the marketplace, popping into a class and a talk and living off lots of coffee, adrenaline and far too little sleep, took their toll and I arrived back exhausted and with a nagging cold. I haven't even unpacked my yarn purchases yet and while my list of things to knit - I saw SO many amazing garments - has grown and grown, I've been almost paralyzed in trying to organize my knitting this week.

I will blog more about my purchases and plans when I can get my head around them, but for now, I'm just going to look back at the fun I had in the city itself - which is half the reason for going there!

I had travelled up a few days earlier with the Liverpudlian, hoping we'd get to do some hiking in the Pentlands. Unfortunately, when we took the bus up, we found the lower levels far too icy and we were slipping and sliding.  So we abandoned that idea, took the bus back to Stockbridge and walked the several miles via the waterway to Leith.  There was sunshine on Leith when we arrived and it's quite a pretty place.

We also went up Arthur's Seat which is such a gem of a place to have in the middle of a busy city. This is the view of it from the castle.

And when you are at the top, the views in all directions are spectacular.

We also visited the National Museum of Scotland which is a magnificent building in its own right with great views (such as the one of the castle below) from its rooftop terrace. It's well worth a visit - lots of interesting stuff to see.

 I also love popping by the Dovecot Studios where I was amused to see yarn being put on a pedestal! Well, why not?  Especially when you see what happens when you weave these colours together.

Incredible isn't it?  That centre just glows.  It's all part of this exhibition and will be hanging there until May.

Thanks Edinburgh - you were fantastic as always!

P.S. OK - one quick yarn purchase photo. How could I resist the Jamieson's of Shetland booth?

Friday, 9 March 2018

In Which My Knits Reflect the Weather. . .

March certainly didn't herald the beginning of spring in the U.K. Instead we got the "beast from the east" - snow, sleet, and minus temperatures, all from weather systems hitting us from Siberia. Our condenser pipe froze and we were without heat or hot water for four days.  We got off lucky - many people got stranded on the highways, or had no water at all after thawing pipes burst.

And at least it didn't happen during the Edinburgh Yarn Festival which is next week - what a disaster that would have been!

I just realized that all three knitting projects I cast on during the last ten days or so are using various shades of grey yarn.  Coincidence?

I have knit the front and back of Spin Me Round by Francesca Hughes. I'm using Blacker's Westcountry Tweed DK which has the most lovely tweedy bits of colour among the grey. I wanted a pattern with a lot of stockinette to show off the smoothness of this yarn but with just a bit of texture so it wasn't too boring to knit.  I am at the stage where I am pondering how long I want the sleeves to be.

Kate Davies keeps releasing a pattern each week as part of her West Highland club and it's now become almost automatic that I'll be stash diving and casting on.  Highland Rogue is a long and wide cowl that wraps around twice and only a really soft yarn will do. I reached for one of my favourite blends - BFL and Masham - from the Countess Ablaze. This colourway is called Grey Skies Over Manchester.  Yep, that fits the weather bill.  I have renamed my cowl Weather Rogue.

It's an easy six row repeat and produces quite a squishy fabric, although you have to knit 64 inches in total so this is a long-term project.  I thought it would be perfect to take for train knitting up to Edinburgh.

But  Kate's also released Stronachlachar, a wonderful cabled short-sleeved top. It works both on its own or as a nice layering piece.

I really wanted a neutral colour for this as it will go with a lot of my wardrobe. I also thought it would be a lovely summer top, but too warm if knit in pure wool.  So I have cast on with Blacker's Lyonesse DK, a mixture of wool and linen. This should give it a nice drape and be quite comfortable to wear in the summer months. It is knitting up quite quickly and I am loving the twisted cables.  I think this will have to be my main EYF project as I'm quite addicted already.

Mind you, I'm already itching to cast on her latest release - Myrtle.  Simply gorgeous.  I may look out for some yarn for this when I'm at EYF.

One more week - so very excited!