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.
We left Seaburn and headed to Edinburgh on the train. Trains and planes are wonderful for uninterrupted knitting time. In about 48 hours, I have made great progress on my Chopped Green Ginger Tea hat. I should be able to finish this afternoon. I am knitting this hat with a skein of yarn brought to me from my daughter’ last trip to Edinburgh in 2015. Seemed a fitting travel project.
In Seaburn we met up with Lucy of @lucylocketland. She has a lovely little shop and hosted a special knit night so we could meet some of her knitting friends. Fiber folk are so welcoming! Lucy’s little shop is filled with beautiful wool and handmade crafts. If you ever find yourself in northeast England, I recommend a visit.
This morning we dipped our boots in the North Sea. After a few days in Edinburgh we will head for Shetland. More adventuring to come!
Thanks Kat for hosting our Wednesday’s
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!
Mostly I want to greet each day with a heart that is watching for treasures and blessings. It’s time to really live on the half full side of the table, to look for good, to celebrate, to listen, and to pause. January 5, 2017
This is what I wrote the first week of January and looking back, I think I have done fairly well. There have been a few mornings when I wondered how I would get through the day but only a very few. Now, to stay on this course, that would be a very good thing.
Today was the last day of school – at least for the students. I sat at my desk and read the wonderful thank you notes I received from students, staff, and families. I got more than a few hugs and heard some lovely stories about the school year. I have a beautiful vase of sunflowers to brighten my desk as I close out the school year and gifts cards for coffee and books. And the icing on the cake, our tiny person came home with me for the afternoon so his teacher-mommy could get her classroom closed up. Life is good on the half full side of the table.
Thanks to Kat and Carole for asking us to look back today.
I am happy to report that the Unraveled project from last week has been replaced by a new version. I am so happy with these new colors and best of all, this is stash yarn. Just a few more rows before I begin the decreases. I will make sure to have better light this time around.
I finished another Book Bingo book – with a day of the week in the title. For this square I read Monday Mornings by Sanjay Gupta. I thought it was going to be non-fiction when I placed the library hold but it was a novel. Interesting and not a tough read. It would also qualify for a book to TV series although I have never heard of the show.
The unraveling in life right now centers around caring for an aging parent. The golden years are not for the faint of heart. Fortunately I have our trip to keep me distracted. I am spending some time with travel books this week, looking to make a list of sights we want to see in Amsterdam this summer. Our weather has turned warm so I put some frozen pineapple in my wine marguarita- mmmmm. Hope your week is going well. Be sure to visit Kat to see how others are unraveling.
There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing. Robert Burns
Today is the birth date of Robert Burns, Scottish poet. There is a tradition of celebrating with a dinner which I am determined to host some year. Not today. But since my yarn escapdes have been less than stellar this week, I thought I would mention it. And I believe I might put a visit here on my list of things to do in Scotland this summer.
On my needles but destined to come off the needles this weekend is my Anisos shawl. After getting the picot cast on finished, I cautiously started the first chart. On row 3 I made an error that I don’t have the skills to repair. So I will unknit and start over. I am determined to stick with this project. I believe it will teach me much. Take a look here to see how lovely this shawl will be.
I have been listening to Alters in the World by Barbara Brown Taylor and I am going to get a paper copy of this book. The chapter on pain came on right after my conversation with dad’s doctor about pain management and elderly folks. Very good stuff.
We are on the down side of the work week! Hope you have wonderful yarn and books in your days. Visit Ginny, or Kat, or Mary, or Karen to get inspired.
This year is coming to a close. It will take me awhile to sort out everything that has happened in the last month. What I do know is that I have much to celebrate. I have so much lovely yarn, quilting projects to keep me entertained, great books to read, and an amazing family.
I finished Commonwealth and have been enjoying listening to Ann Patchett read Truth and Beauty. I picked up an Ann Hood book at the library and hope to sink into that this weekend. And yesterday, this beautiful book arrived – Royal Mail, I love that. I am eager to read everything I can about Shetland before I head across the pond for an amazing Grand Shetland Adventure next summer.
I cast on (again) the Annabel cardigan. Next up will be the Rob Roy hat followed by a new-to-me cast on – picot edge cast on.
Finally, I saw this fun idea on Nancy’s blog and thought I would play along. This week is getting better already!