On our Shetland trip, we spent an afternoon dying sock blanks. I had heard about this and had seen a few people knitting g socks from hand dyed blanks but I really didn't have any idea hat the day would involve. Out teacher was Niela Nell, a wonderful and talented designer living on Shetland. It was a busy and action packed workshop. We each started with cream sock blank (a machine knit rectangle made from two balls of Jamieson's yarn). We mixed colors and began to paint our yarn. You can see how garish my blank looked when I finished (I had no idea what I was doing!). Then Niela's helpers cooked our yarn in the microwave and rinsed it in a large sink. It was a crazy to see how much color was seeping out. I was actually reli fed to see how much my yarn had softened in color. This afternoon, we unraveled our sock blanks (they were in our box of yarn that we had mailed home).
I have never knit socks but I think this is the perfect yarn for a first pair.
On the reading front, I finished another audio book and a Kindle book. Now that I am heading back to work, I will need to really work at getting some more squares completed on my bingo card but it has been a great motivator.
Thanks again to Mary for the book bingo fun and to Kat for our Wednesday Unraveled gatherings.
I am not really sure where to begin with my Shetland stories so I will start with this place. Burrastow House is on the west side of Shetland and served as our home for the week. You need to know that we had the most amazing weather. Everyone kept telling us that is was not usual. On our arrival day, it was cool and a bit windy but the sky was blue and the hills were so green. In the afternoon, it began to rain lightly but we all had our rain jackets so we headed out for a pre-dinner hike. We were like a group of sheep, following our leader (Mary Jane Mucklestone) single file, up the hill and over the stiles tha divided the fields. We didn’t get too far because the rain and wind picked up. I was happy that my boots and jacket kept me dry, just as advertised.
Burrastow House has comfortable rooms and gathering spaces. We spent a lot of time in the conservatory, knitting, sipping coffee, tea, and wine, sharing tips and patterns, and enjoying the light. Breakfast and dinner were served in the dining room and I have to admit that this was probably the one downside. You put 13-16 women in a dining room and the volume goes up and up. But the food was amazing! Pierre (the proprietor and chef) served us wonderful meals and went out of his way to make sure that those of us with dietary needs did not feel left out (dessert every night!).
Our days were full of adventures. Each morning we would leave Burrastow House and head out for tours of yarn shops, farms, and, museums. We learned about the wool business, sheep keeping, and the history of Shetland knitting. Everyone had a piece of the story to share.
At some point we would eat our lunch and hike or take long walks through hills and fields, sometimes green and squishy, sometimes rocky. This was my favorite time each day. And after the rain that first evening, we had sunshine and blue skies each day.
In the evening, after dinner, my daughter and I would head out again with our new friend Karen. There is light enough for walking until 11 pm so we made sure to make the most of those long days. It took us three evenings to find the seal beach but we persisted and had a great time watching the seals swim near the shore, eyeing us with curiosity. That was really an adventure.
I will share more about the hiking next time but I came home with an increased desire to return to Scotland for more hiking. My boots still have a lot of miles to tread.
I am a novice traveler but I think I am flexible enough to make it work. And of course, this place is just beautiful! Knitting, hiking, great food, history, tradition, and lovely weather. The only unraveling was a few rows of cuff! The internet is not good so I will get back to regular posting next week.
Last Friday I headed east to join my quilting friends for an annual retreat. I am not quilting much these days and with the chaos and stress that has been my life lately, I contemplated skipping this year. In the end, I was happy that I went. I stitched up four new project bags, a pair of pants for our tiny person, and a gadget bag that was much fussier than I would normally tackle but since I sewed this one alongside one of my friends so it was fun. There was a fair amount of unsewing (the quilting equivalent of unraveling). There was also good food, catching up, coffee, wine, and plenty of laughter.
Between sewing projects, I made some good progress on my most recent knit. I don’t think I will finish before I leave but this could be my travel knitting, at least for the first part of my trip. Then I will need to acquire the materials for another project once I get to Shetland. I still need to make some final decisions on travel clothing. I have two smallish books to take and leave along the way and two audio books on my phone. Departure time is so close!
Thanks for hosting us Kat!
I am looking for ants. You see I am anxious to see my peonies bloom and I know that those little insects help unstick the tight buds. But, in typical June fashion, all I see are raindrops. June gloom. Oh well. Lots of other things to look forward to on this first day of a new month.
Two days until our tiny person is six months old,
Nine more days of school,
One graduation ceremony,
Three more admin meetings,
Two weeks to get ready for a 10k,
Twenty one days until my annual quilt retreat,
Thirty days until #grandshetlandadventure.
Thanks to Carole and Kat for Think Write Thursday
I am re-reading my Shetland magazines, thinking about what to pack, and dreaming of being out of cell phone range for almost 3 weeks!
This week is getting filled with those kind of tasks that you would rather would hand over to someone else but there is a long weekend coming up so . . .
Thanks Kat for hosting us each week.