Saturday, July 24

to Jupiter and back in a day

We had an awayday this week, to Jupiter Artland which is a lovely place to explore.
It is a contemporary sculpture garden in the grounds of Bonnington House, outside Edinburgh. Works by many leading artists have been commissioned and then constructed in situ, with the relationship of each artwork to its topographical location being a crucial feature.

So there!
It's open four days a week and we were lucky to have a clear, dry and at times very sunny day to enjoy there.
Above is a view of Life Mounds by Charles Jencks, and below is Over Here by Shane Waltener. It's knitted on circular needles with four different coloured fishing lines in a design inspired by Shetland lace.
And here we see Mr Roberts enjoying a latte puchased from the groovy caravan cafe. The wellies were advisable as some of the paths through the woods were squelchy.
As Bonnington House is a private residence there are some nice domestic elements visible too, like this dinky hen house
As the route we took did not return us to the entrance and shop, I can't give a good account of its contents though I am sure they'd have been tempting. One fun thing I did take in, though, was that they had Rob Ryan's deliciously designed parcel tapes for sale. He's a very talented man who does papercuts on a big, and sometimes giant, scale.

Tomorrow's a lovely summer Woolgathering, with knitting and stitching, cakes and coffee, and a great catch-up with my friends...come along if you can!

Wednesday, July 14


As hens age they often lay bigger eggs, but some are more aesthetically pleasing than others.....don't know which one was responsible for this effort today but I suspect she'd probably like a little rest now.

Lots of things to attend to:
Cottage visitors this weekend - note to self: clean windows loathsome task, check over kitchen, bake bread, check for speedy spiders already making new webs, lay out towels, pick a few flowers - hopefully I can rustle up something not too greenfly-ridden.Woolgathering on Sunday 25th - all welcome, of course - I've done a page that you'll see over at the top right to tell you what we do. Always lovely to catch up and see who's working on what. These are new yarns I have just washed, some of them spun with fibre from my Woolfest haul.Border Union Show at Kelso on 30th and 31st July - we'll be there with a stand to promote Hugh's off-road business FarxFour, with fresh coffee and home bakes for all so come and find us at the far side of the West Ring.The first blackcurrants need picked. Strawbs nearly finished; the resident frog in the bed has done a grand job of keeping the bugs and slugs away but there's a wee moosie been tucking into a few prize specimens. Plans for boozy treats with some of these fruits....Various tasks in readiness for Southdean Show on August 21st, and I'm on duty in the tea tent again this year and I get to make up the jar for Guess the Number of Sweets in the Jar - two great jobs for me!

Thursday, July 8

Knitters Unite!

Can you resist these? They make you smile, and every one that's made and sold brings benefits all round. Check out the website and find them in Fair Trade stores - there are masses of different soft toy animals in wool and cotton as well as great sheepy teacosies and accessories

Kenana Knitters started in Njoro, Kenya 1998, to help rural women find some much needed form of income using their spinning and knitting skills.

They're a self-supporting knitting co-operative, they pay themselves a fair wage and the sales fund a range of welfare projects in Kenya.

Knitting is ideal. It requires minimal equipment, can be done in snatches when time permits. When the rains come and the family crops and vegetables need tending, not much knitting gets done, but in times of drought and crop failure, when the family garden is bare of supplementary vegetables, money can now be earned to purchase the necessities of life.

The group generates two forms of income; buying the wool locally then creating more work by turning the wool into marketable products such as toys, bed-covers, scarves, hats and other accessories.

Saturday, July 3

Happy Snaps

Ok, let's have a bit of eye candy!

Here we see my first and last purchases of the day at Woolfest. I have my lime green Herdy mug from two years ago, my natural undyed Herdy sheep money bank from last year and those clever Herdy folk have guaranteed my continuing support by bringing out stylish teatowels. They are FAR too good to submit to dish drying and will probably be refashioned into cushion covers or bags and why not?
The fibre? Glorious stormy grey and rich bordeaux dyed Shetland by Wheeldale - I bought some last year and was very pleased to find them there again. Also below is one of those irresistable blends of merino and silk from Wingham Wheeldale also had bags of Teeswater locks which shouted BUY ME - what could I do? And the buttons, well I was overwhelmed at the choice from McAnaraks but finally settled on these ones, for projects as yet unidentified...And p/hopping? A whizz of an idea - generous knitwear designers give their patterns for free to Medecins Sans Frontieres - you choose your patterns, make a donation and get busy with the needles!There were lots to choose from at Woolfest where they raised over £1000, egged on by Clare's enthusiasm and ably assisted by Natalie at the YarnYard next door. Find p/hop right here and get busy! You know you want to...

p/hop = pennies per hours of pleasure