Tuesday, March 18

Madder by the Minute!

Now that I have written the title, I discover I am terribly pleased with myself as not only am I mad (as in cross), I have been natural dyeing with madder (and others too). Sadly, that's as smart as I have managed for weeks.
Anyhow, apart from grumping about having a tooth out last week and the seemingly perpetual ache from that (it DID not want to come out but I will spare you the details...) I am now grumping about the Building Control Section of Scottish Borders Council who have changed their minds and want us to amend our plans again for the cottage. Whatever the outcome (and we are investigating how we can appeal against their decision), we will effectively lose any chance of having the cottage ready to let this season at all. It's enough to send me looking for the sloe gin!
In between sulks I have had some fun dyeing these sportweight yarns with natural dyes, for sale on The Border Tart, and also dyed wool tops for spinners and felters. The new puppy Midge has been helping with garden clearing. This involves returning to the house from every trip to the garden with another little treasure in her teeth - from gravel to sticks, leaves, dried grass, mud, hen poo - hmmm, life in the country, eh?!
Looking forward to a post-Easter Woolgathering at the end of the month - always a great opportunity to indulge in lots of textile talk of one sort or another. Then maybe it really will be Spring.

Monday, March 3

Mad March Days

Amulree, Perthshire

Time for a catch-up - weeks have flown by at Shambles Chateau. H and I were in Perthshire for five minutes and Edinburgh for two days. The weather was variable so we got good and soaked in the city, pushed about by the wind whistling down those beautiful classical crescents and wide cobbled streets. Clocked up three exhibitions of one sort or another - the SILVER exhibition at the National Museum of Scotalnd was really impressive and very educational. The modern SILVER FOR THE STARS silverware made for some of our Scottish celebrities was fantastic - this link is to the teapot made for Billy Connolly.
I also took the opportunity to check out the Jerwood Applied Arts Prize 2007 finalists' work in jewellery which was on display in the posh new part of the Museum. Hugh was deeply unimpressed and stood by the window overlooking the Courts, watching the innocent and the less innocent wandering in for their hearings.

After an abortive attempt to see The Bucket List on a big screen (Hugh forgot his glasses, but don't say I told you) we wandered back along Queen Street and called in at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery and viewed the amazing talent of the artists who submitted work to the BP Portrait Award 2007 .

So, that was the culture bit. I also managed a visit to the newly opened K1 Yarns boutique by the Grassmarket (they have seats for bored partners/children) and succumbed to a hank of sock yarn from oldmaidenaunt which I have no intention of knitting personally, and a lovely turned wooden crochet hook which I have put to use (picking up dropped stitches in the hat below!).
These bits of nonsense are a beanie for Hugh, two egg cosies made from felted handknit socks that had worn out beyond re-re-darning, and one from some hand dyed yarn. The egg cups are IKEA's - I think someone in the buying dept got carried away as there were thousands remaindered and they will do fine for the holiday cottage.