28 July 2007


Woollie first! My little surprise package (WIP 1) is on its way to it's new owner! It's wrapped in some net with some ribbon that I bought in Norway - a traditional Norwegian design! I hope it makes it through postal strikes to its destination!

My latest WIP (3) - a little teaser..... I am enjoying this embroidery business and will reveal what it is I have been making once my parcel arrives.

Wanderings today took me to one of my favourite summer places - there is something about picking berries that is relaxing and therapeutic - don't get me wrong - I wouldn't like to do it for a living but it's a great way to pass an afternoon and I really enjoy eating the "fruits of my labour":

We picked redcurrants and raspberries - my friend is making jam, jelly and cordial - I am not nearly so talented - mine will be going in the freezer to make muffins and to fill my porridge during the winter - can't stand the stuff unless it has berries in it - but apparently oats are good for lowering cholestoral and are a slow release food which keep you fuller for longer so I have to try to eat it!

26 July 2007


The second in my occassional series on craft about my home. This time it's a felt picture - one of the first felt items that I owned. It was purchased in the Percy House Gallery in Cockermouth in the Lake District on a visit with my parents a few years ago. It's a beautiful piece with folds of green felt interspersed with small felt iris flowers and every so often glass pebbles that the light shines through - although I am too scared to hang it in the window as the colours will fade! Irises are one of my favourite flowers and it is lovely to see this sitting on my mantlepiece all year round.

24 July 2007


This weekend I wandered to the pretty town of Worcester about 30 miles SW of Birmingham. My friends have been living there for about 12 years and we try to get to their place at least once a year! This year the journey was a little more traumatic for some than others. The summer has yet to arrive in the UK and this weekend has seen some of the worst floods in the last 60 years - Worcester and places south - Tewksbury, Gloucester and Upton upon Severn - have been severly flooded - so much so that Tweksbury became an island. Luckily my friends don't live near the river in Worcester so we were ok! Two friends took 3 hours to go 30 miles on the motorway on Friday night but at least they made it - many people spent 9 hours on the motorway completely stationary - someone even asked a postal van stuck on the motorway if they had any copies of Harry Potter on board!!

Despite the weather we enjoyed our weekend. We visited Worcester centre a couple of times and went to see the magnificent Witley Court which was one of the grandest houses in England in Victorian times, hosting lavish parties in it's conservatory and ballroom and with some amazing gardens, all this destroyed in a fire in 1937! There were no BBQs and not a lot of time was spent outdoors but we were grateful to have running water and electricity when homes in towns nearby were without both!


The trip also provided lots of rest and relaxation and when not playing with the kids, I was busy sewing another little WIP. The embroidery and the design coming to me as I went along! Number 2 is finished and I have started number 3! I will reveal all soon!!

19 July 2007


I've been tagged (a couple of times actually) by Kate and Barry for the 8 random things about me and by Uschi for this, which I think more than covers the 8 random things about me:

Living in Dundee (as now), not knitting (used to be addicted to cross stitch till I discovered knitting), spending time with family and friends and working!

Living in Dundee, knitting (addicted to it by then), spending time with family and friends, working and running!

Grapes, Chocolate, Raspberries, Raw Carrots, Liquorice Allsorts

I have a really bad memory for songs so I doubt that there is one beyond Baa Baa Black Sheep or Ten Green Bottles that I know all the words too!

Go on a gap year travelling the world, volunteer more with the National Trust, work part-time, send my parents on the holiday of a lifetime - oh and I might let my brother go to and learn a new craft - like willow baskets or painting

Eating too much chocolate, talking too much, getting changed to go out running and then not going, staying up too late, drinking coke!

Travelling, conservation volunteering, swimming outdoors (not something that happens often in Scotland as you can imagine), spending time with good friends and family and sleeping (which I never seem to get enough of)!

Skin tight jeans, a bridesmaid's dress - I've got 5 in my wardrobe, very short shorts, anything from the eighties - once was enough, tap shoes

My MacBook, my digital camera, my octopus (it's a childhood thing), my gardening gloves, my knitting

Wow - at least that gave me something to blog about!

As for woollie - I have finished my WIP from the last blog and here's another little snippet! I've started my second in a series now!! It's taken my mind off knitting which is good as I seemed to be in a bit of a knitting slump and am finding it difficult to get excited about any pattern - does this ever happen to anyone else?


I am off wandering this weekend - to see friends in Worcester - back soon!!

16 July 2007


Finally some woollie to report on - just in case you were wondering what this blog is supposed to be about! I have been knitting a blanket - lots of little squares from Debbie Abrahams "Blankets and Throws to Knit" - well ok I have managed 1 square so far and then started the next square and had the bright idea of not knitting squares but knitting rows - it was a bright idea until most of the way through the third square in a row I realised I hadn't knitted enough of my second square......ripping time was had by all!! Then I decided to knit a cabled square and have had to rip it twice already!!

Then I got the idea to stop knitting and start something else - so here's a little WIP - can't show you it all because it's going to be for the child of someone I met on my blog...... pre-felt - felted in the washing machine and a little embroidery going on!

For all those into ceramics and crafts - check out my friend Eva's new blog The Crafty Shrimp where she has posted a fantastic green bowl that she made at pottery class....or indeed if you are interested in food check out her other blog The Golden Shrimp where she has some fantastic foodie photos and recipes!

15 July 2007


Summer pastimes!! Yes I said summer - it almost felt like it this weekend! Yesterday was an all time favourite past-time - berry picking in the almost sunshine! Cairnie Farm is an all time favourite berry farm and despite the weather the strawberries and the raspberries were delicious (oops - are you not supposed to taste them when picking?) A lot of the strawberries had rotted on the bush due to all the recent rain and sometimes when you leant towards the bush, instead of the smell of ripe strawberries there was a distinct whiff of fermenting fruit!! Elsanta is certainly a very sweet variety! After picking berries we had cake and smoothies in the cafe and wandered the farm shop!

Today the sun shone and after a run I came home to make some picnic foods - pasta salad, raspberry smoothies, salsa and hummus - so that I could meet some friends in the park for a picnic - only our second of the year and the first was in April! Weather has been too depressing for picnics! An afternoon in the park with friends is one of the best mood enhancers ever!

14 July 2007


Over at Prickly Pear Blooms a follow-on from the original Pay it Forward crafty exchange has been started. I have agreed to participate over at Stephanie's new blog. So

"I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange. I don’t know what that gift will be yet and you may not receive it tomorrow or next week… LOL… but you will receive it within 365 days, that is my promise! The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog."

The first 3 people to comment on my blog requesting to join in will therefore receive a piece of WOOLLIE GOODNESS from me as long as they promise to Pay it Forward on their blog! I have no idea what I will make or do but that's all part of the fun!! Remember the goodies must be hand-made and we can then all look forward to receiving something nice in the post, instead of bills!

Just leave me a comment and paste the promise into your blog!!

13 July 2007


This is the start of a new weekly series on my blog (at least it gives me something to talk about every week) - craft items, lovingly made by creative people, that have taken up residence in my home.

I see other people who often post "corners" of their home, but I only have a one bedroom flat - so not so many corners, and also not a lot of storage so my "corners" are usually full of clutter!! I plan to post a piece a week, if I have any info on it's maker I will post that too and also how it came to be in my possesion! If any one else wants to share craft pieces in their home then let me know so I can pop over and take a look! Or perhaps when I run out of my own (it won't take that long) I can guest post someone else's favourite piece!!

NO. 1 - Little Woollie Horse!

This little woollie horse was made by Pear Tree Studio out of a recycled sweater and purchased in 2005 at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen Annual Fair! Based at Lake Sunapee, I visited the fair when I was on holiday at my aunt's home in Eastman, New Hampshire. I made sure I extended my stay long enough to ensure I could pay a visit and I was not disappointed
- so many inspiring crafts in one place.

What I love about the horse is it's woollie mane and the beautiful little carrot!

11 July 2007


Avid readers (do I have any - heehee?) will be beginning to notice a pattern in my life - the suns come out and I go to Tentsmuir Beach!

About 10 miles from home, at the end of a single track road, lies a forest, a pine forest, with wildflowers, lichen and mosses, deer and butterflies, amongst the vast array of green and the smell of a pine forest in summer. Make your way through the forest and you come to one of the most amazing beaches I have ever seen - cross the sand dunes, through the marram grass and over the vast expanse of sand and you come to the sea!! In the sunshine the water glistens and dances and you are tempted to swim, put your feet in the water and that temptation quickly leaves! Wander along the beach looking at driftwood and storm debris, listening to the waves lapping the shore and finally if you're lucky you'll come across the seals!

It's a great spot to contemplate life and to realise how lucky you are to live in such a beautiful place!

08 July 2007


Part of the charm of the Lake District for me is it's vast number of sheep and in particular a breed synonymous with the area - the herdwicks . Approximately 99% of all herdwick sheep are kept in commercial flocks in the Lake District. The herdwicks can be traced back to the 12th century and have been bred over hundreds of years to be territorial so herds can be left in unfenced terrain and will not wander, with the ewes teaching their lambs.

The author Beatrix Potter fell in love with the Lake District whilst on holiday and bought a number of farms in the area where she chose to live, including Hilltop and Troutbeck Farm. She became an expert on breeding herdwick sheep and when she died in 1943 she left her 14 farms to the National Trust together with her herdwick flocks on the understanding that no other types of sheep ever be farmed there.

I went on a National Trust holiday once and their photographer was there to take photos for their website and brochures - if you scroll to the bottom of this page you'll see me and the other people on my holiday running into the sea off the coast of Cornwall after a long day at work I'm in the red t-shirt

What I love is that herdwick sheep exhibit such a range of colours. When the lambs are born they are pure black, by the yearling stage they have white legs and heads and brown bodies - they look like "Guiness" sheep and then by the following year their bodies have become grey! Magic, colour-changing sheep, dotted on the hillsides and fells of the Lake District!

05 July 2007


Just thought I'd show you what I bought at Woolfest - I behaved reasonably well - though I did only have £2.50 left in my purse on exit!!

With so much yarn on view it is often difficult to choose.....
1. Some dyed tops to decorate a felted bowl that my mum wants me to make.
2. Small balls of yarn wound like lemons - I want to know how to make my wool look like that!! This time so my mum can knit a farm full of fields.
3. A peach brooch.
4. Lots and lots of natural yarn -700g for £4......knitting a baby blanket full of squares!!

02 July 2007


This time I can actually write about a "Woollie Wandering" as I went to the Lake District with my parents for a few days and then went to Woolfest with some friends from knitting group (and my mum!)

The Lake District is one of my favourite places - beautiful scenery, wonderful colours in the landscape - so many shades of green that it is hard to imagine - and lovely towns and villages. We always rent the same cottage and for my science buddies out there I attach a photo of the plaque above the door! OK Blogger seems to have taken a dislike to the photo so I'll tell you what it said

"John Dalton - the Discoverer of the Atomic Theory was born here Sept 5 1766. Died at Manchester July 27 1884"

From the visitors book we could see that a number of members of the Royal Society of Chemistry had visited on the 7th of June to award a national recognition plaque for the cottage to commemorate the work of John Dalton who revolutionised chemistry through his work on atomic theory. You can read about it here!! When he died 40000 people lined the streets of Manchester for his funeral procession!

En famille I visited a number of beautiful lakes, valleys and waterfalls around the area - with my brother, father and I regularly stopping to take the same photos - it must have been quite a funny sight!! We drove the Honister Pass, visited Borrowdale where I'm sure hobbits must live, saw the wild ponies at Mungrisdale and the towns of Keswick and Cockermouth.

On Thursday afternoon I helped my friends from Twist Fibre Craft to set up their stall for Woolfest which was great fun - putting a multitude of coloured roving on the shelves, hanging the signs etc. I don't think I would be too biased in saying that they probably had the best stall there!!

Friday my mum and I went to Woolfest in the morning for a wander around and it was just an amazing feeling to see all the fibre and yarn and to be surrounded by an amazing amount of creativity!! Obviously all too much for my mum who retired to the first aid tent feeling faint!! You'll be pleased to know that she recovered!! I didn't buy very much that morning - I was too busy taking it all in, but by the Saturday morning when I met up with my friends from knitting group I managed to part with my money more readily!!

As well as wool by the ball, there was also wool in its natural state - Herdwicks and Manx Longhorns: