Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Loot

I'm having trouble posting pics - hopefully these will turn out....

Before I get to the loot - I have to brag.

I finished my first “warshrag” last night – Yeah!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">Finished!

I absolutely love the Mason Dixon book – whose official title is so long – I’m not even going to try to remember it… Here it is cut and pasted from

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Mason-Dixon Knitting : The Curious Knitters' Guide: Stories, Patterns, Advice, Opinions, Questions, Answers, Jokes, and Pictures”
by Kay Gardiner, Ann Meador Shayne

They make simple projects seem somehow new and different. I mean – come on – why would I want a hand knit washcloth? I would never normally have made one – but these are too cute. I really like the style. I am still constantly amazed at what you can do with just two stitches – knit and purl.

I also started a baby bib – the pattern is also from the same book. I didn’t take a pictures yet – but I pretty much almost finished it last night with about 2 hours of knitting. I can’t believe how easy it was – just garter stitch – yet it still looks great. I get to find a cute button to put on it too. My friend Mary Ellen will love it!

Now - on to the loot....
I am also finally getting around to posting some pics of my loot from my Scotland! I was actually extremely surprised at how few yarn shops there are in a country that has more sheep per acre than people! It was so hard to find yarn that I had to Google Scotland yarn and only found out about some of the shops I went to through other people’s recommendations. Most shops didn’t even have websites. Another thing I found strange is that most department stores have yarn. They have a “haberdashery” section – which I found quite charming. All the yarn, fabric and sewing supplies you could ever want – all in one place.
I visited Liberty Department store in London and although their haberdashery was quite beautiful and had an immense selection of every kind of needle art that exists (enough cross-stitch, loop rugs, yarn, needles, threads, feathers, and fabrics to make any textile lover blush) they were rather limited on their selection of brands. In fact – even though they had a very long wall dedicated to yarn – they only seemed to carry Rowan – but they still had a fabulous selection. I got some wonderful Rowan Cotton Tweed in three shades of denim – Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">here

and a Rowan pattern book. I think I’ll make a very lacy Victorian pillow case I saw in the book with my new Cotton tweed.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">here

Another find in London was at Camden Lock Market (love the sights!) It was just a little shop - selling touristy things - but they also happened to have yarn. It was the first yarn I spied on the trip - so I may have bought more than I should have - if I had waited... But - it was very unique - and although not wool - I liked it.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">camden finds

On to the Scotland finds!

My favorite shop by far was a little place in Ullapool. It is called Unlimited Colour Company. (Don’t you just love the way the Brits spell?) It is just a little unassuming shop from the outside that carries the best yarn (and carpets) I’ve seen in a while. It’s on the only main street in the town – across the street from the best fish and chips shop ever by the way!

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The lady who owned the shop, Polly,

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">polly

was the sweetest thing ever! I walked in and as soon as I saw the gorgeous yarn in the back of the shop – she could tell I was a yarn lover.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">the shop

Wiping the drool from my chin – I went on to explain where I was from and how much I loved her stuff. I couldn’t stop oohing and aahing and she seemed to have had just as much fun as I did showing me all the different colors and styles she carried.

Most of the yarn I loved was hand dyed by a woman in Wales - her line is called Isis. I couldn’t stop petting it – she had it all draped around the walls and it felt like walking into a rainbow.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">yarn

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">more yarn

Polly also had some of her own personal yarn stash for sale – which I could tell was breaking her heart to part with. She had had accident which left her partially paralyzed on one side. She could no longer knit. She had been a quite a famous knitwear designer in her past and as we got to talking – she brought out a catalogue of some of her designs. All I can say is wow! She is a master. It’s such a tragedy that she can’t knit anymore. I spent over an hour in her shop and came home with these goodies:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">the loot!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">details

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">more

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">more

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">more

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">and more

I think I gave my husband a heart attack while I was gone - because I left while we were waiting to check in the B and B. I said – I’m just going to have a little look around town. (I mean how long can it take to walk the only block in town – right?) Well – it took me five minutes to find the place and an hour to get out again!

Another yarn find was my gray/black Harris Tweed Wool. I went to Scotland hoping that I would possibly find some real Harris tweed. The only tweed that can ever be called true Harris Tweed - is that made by the people of the island of Harris - and since I wasn't able to actually get to the island of Harris - I didn't think I'd get very lucky. BUt! Low and behold - I did manage to find a little shop that carried some Harris Tweed. They weren't even a yarn shop really - just a little shop on the Island of Skye in Portree called Over the Rainbow. I was breathless when I found it under a rather benign display of jewerly and other odd objects 'd art. But - I did find some and it came home with me :)

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">Harris Tweed

The label is hand written... and it does say Harris wool!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">label detail

Although it's a bit scratchy - I just have to make a sweater or something fabulous out of it!

All these random little yarn shops in the middle of nowhere - surely - I'd find something in the big city of Edinburgh - right?

Wrong. I found the only shop that I could find mentioned on Google to be within walking distance of the old city -Drummond Wools - and it was a big dissappointment. Very little selection - mostly Rowan and not much of it either. Hardly any wool at all! I did buy some sock yarn -

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because I had to get something - right! But I wasn't too happy that I trekked almost 2 miles from my B and B to get there.

Other than yarn - I also came home with some highland critters...

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a Hairy Coo

a Sheep

and Nessie!

and some tasty goodies!

My husband collects coke - so we got the official cokes of the World Cup and of course some McVities, Cadburry's, shortbread, and my personal favorite - Prawn flavored Walkers Crisps!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">Yum!

All in all - it was a great trip. I can't wait to start knitting with my new yarn!!

If all else fails to make me happy - I always have my program from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest with my man Christian Slayter.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting">Isn't he dreamy!


Nic said...

OMIGOD all that yarn is gorgeous. It looks lucious too.

Seeing the CHIPPY reminds me of one of my favorite comfort foods that I can't get here. CURRY CHIPS. Twice fried french fries smothered in curry sauce. OH DELISH!

Shelby said...

wow!!! It's all so beautiful!! You have incredible taste!

Lindsay said...'re washrag looks a heck of a lot more intricate and tasteful than my dishcloth. To my surprise, it has been used AND it didn't disintigrate or experience colorwash-out upon contact with washing chemicals! The wonders never cease. Hope yours is similarly satisfying:)

Anonymous said...

Hi - I'm thrilled that you visited Polly's shop in Ullapool! I live in the UK in the South East and we are frequent visitors to Scotland. I met Polly a few years back while researching Scottish craftspeople for my City and Guilds course and loved her shop, designs and yarns. She is a total inspiration to me and a lovely lady. I don't know if she is still in business there but I hope so!
Best wishes