Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Alhambra is Blocking!

I can't tell you how much I love, love, love the colours of this yarn ... it shows up much darker when it's wet, but the dark spots are actually a fabulous plum colour. BTW, I'm very happy with the blocking wire kit that I ordered from Knitpicks. It sure makes life easier, especially when I'm currently addicted to lace knits :)

I may have never shared this about myself before, but I have a 'thing' about doorways & entrances ... to houses ... hidden side streets, you name it. Here are some more pics of my recent trip to Scotland, starting in Falkland Fife, where I spent the day visiting my cousin.

First stop, the local church --notice the gorgeous stonework at the arched entrance.

Love the herringbone brickwork with the wrought iron gate -- so classy!

I especially like this one ... my cousin explained that in the old days, when folks got married and moved into their new abode together, they would carve both of their initials above the door post, along with the year of their marriage ... how sweet is that???? What's truly amazing, is that the building is not only still standing, but inhabited!

The tiny round sign on the left says 'The Weaver's Cottage' ... also built in the early 1700's and currently occupied by someone who loves container gardening! Look how old and worn those steps are ... imagine how many pair of feet have climbed those stairs over the years??

Falkland recently won the award for best decorated town in Scotland. Can you guess why??? Every house is overflowing with gorgeous flower pots/gardens! I couldn't believe the size of some of the begonias -- the colours were stunning!

I was all set to buy up and move there, until my cousin told me the price -- a tiny 600 sq. ft. cottage goes for 250,000 pounds -- that's $500,000!!! It's a very desirable place to live -- so pretty, plus it has it's very own palace on the main street. Like a fairyland.

I was walking the walls in Berwick, England one day and came across this doorway -- soooo pretty! My dad grew up only 6 miles from the English border, so it's nothing for us to cross on a daily basis (no passport required!) and go shopping, sightseeing, have lunch, whatever, and then back to Scotland in time for dinner. Pretty amazing!

I'll leave you for now, with my favourite 'entrance picture' of my entire trip. At the end of the road where I was staying with my aunt, is a private residence/property solely geared for retired gardeners. It's absolutely gorgeous! There's a wonderful winding, forested path that takes you around the outskirts of the property and at the end of it was this sight -- stunning in it's simplicity.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Birthday Boy

A certain young man recently had his 1st birthday and was soooooo not impressed with having to wear a birthday hat ... if he could use his words, he probably would be saying, "Get this thing off my head, right now!!!!!"

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I really like the Alhambra pattern ... although, I must admit, it seems endless!!! I feel as though I've been knitting this for years. I'm using a sock weight silk/merino blend that I got off etsy and absolutely love. The copper and plum combination is even more gorgeous in real life. I usually do at least one pattern repeat in an evening (16 rows), but honestly, it doesn't seem to be getting any longer. It's getting cooler here, so I would like to start wearing it!

Yuck, yuck and double yuck. I loved this yarn when I ordered it from Hello Yarn, but clearly, this wasn't the pattern I should have chosen. Now, I absolutely hate it ... all that work for this end result :P*****. It's been suggested that I could dye it and I have given that some thought ... perhaps a cranberry? Would you care to weight in? What are your thoughts? Or, does someone really love it and want to trade me some great yarn for it? I'm open to suggestions!

More pictures of Scotland ... above is what is commonly known in Scotland as a 'Heilin Coo' ... translation, a "Highland Cow" (actually, 'Bull', in this case). These things are hairy, massive and tres smelly. It was suggested that the fur could be spun into yarn, if I cared to and I could knit myself a sweater, but all I could think of was how I would smell on a rainy day, once it got a little wet. Blech!

Here we are, back in Eyemouth at the harbour's edge. Above are Jock & Jenny, with their 4 cygnets. It's a lovely story, really ... swans mate for life ... but one year, Jock came back by himself ... no Jenny. It was assumed that she met her demise. The next year, all were surprised to see Jock return with a new wife, also now called 'Jenny'. This year, they became the proud parents of 4 cygnets, who are now almost full grown and starting to grow their white feathers. The town has adopted them all and treat them as though they were their own.

I was walking along the pier, on my way into the village, when I spotted these fishermen and asked if I could take a photo. I love the quick Scottish wit ... without even a pause, the one on the right said 'yes', but that it would cost me 4 hours of "X.X.X" in return. It was on the tip of my tongue to suggest that the likelihood of him even lasting 20 minutes was slim, but I did want the picture after all, so all I said was "you'll have to speak to my husband about that"!!!

I could sit on the pier all day long and just watch the fishing boats coming and going ... you can always tell when they've got a big load of fish as the seagulls are swarming, looking for hand outs.

Friday, October 3, 2008

I'm B-a-a-a-c-k!!

I'm still recovering from jet-lag (a week later!) but thought you might like to see a few photos of my trip to Scotland. Warning: no knitting content ... but I promise there will be some in my next post, as I did actually find a knitting shop in Scotland (no small feat!).

Acres of heather, all in bloom.

This is the fishing village where my dad grew up ... on the east coast of Scotland, right on the border of Scotland and England.

That's the harbour, with the North Sea beyond, taken from the highest point of the local golf course. This is a deceptively beautiful sunny day ... the area has a climate zone unto its own. Gale force winds and driving rain are the norm. I gave up on having any semblance of a hair-do while away, unless it was nailed down with Joico Ice-Mist (wonderful stuff, that!). If it's windy, while raining, you don't hold your unbrella over your head, or you'll take off like Mary Poppins! You need to hold it like a shield in front of you, as the wind causes the rain to come at you horizontally!! Thankfully, those days were very few and we actually had quite mild weather.

The white house (life/coast guard) at the far right is at the end of the street from where I stayed with one of my aunts. My cousin & husband live at one end of the street; my aunt lives in the middle and until last year, my granny lived at the other end. Sure made it easy for visiting! It's the strangest thing to be related (albeit sometimes distantly) to just about everyone in the village ... stranger still to see your last name on many of the tombstones in the local cemetary.

This is the beach with the tide out ... the large white house in front is where one of my aunts lives. This house is over 200 years old and it is reported that Robert Burns -- the Scottish poet (think 'Auld Lang Syne') resided here at some point. My uncle was an architect and he redesigned the interior of this house as well as designing several homes in the area.

More to come!