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!
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 Amazon.com:
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 – ">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.
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.
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!
">fish n chips
The lady who owned the shop, 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.
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.
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:
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 :)
The label is hand written... and it does say Harris wool!
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 -
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...
a Hairy Coo
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!
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.
">Isn't he dreamy!