Tuesday, 20 September 2011

A Close Secret

I love the windy closes that extend away from Edinburgh's Royal Mile like veins on a leaf. Their unassuming, dark entrances provide no clue as to what treasures lie beyond. I chanced upon this one on a wander while on the phone.

Dunbar's Close garden, off the Royal Mile
I had to draw on powerful reserves of altruism in order to blog about this peaceful plot of orderly vegetation; perhaps a secret garden should by definition be a private pleasure, lest it become, simply, a known garden. Not to be confused with a gnome garden.

Anyway, I highly recommend Dunbar's Close for those weary of foot or spirit - or those who entertain fantasies of being a seventeenth-century lady, taking turns about the garden before finding a sunny patch to do some stitching. 

Salisbury Crags
A little while down the Mile, the landscape in front of the Parliament ('here for tae represent aw Scotlan's folk') is provides a more dramatic background to my knitting. As for what I'm working on - that is a close secret too, for the moment.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

A Day at the Museum

The entrance hall - note the sad lack of fish! The coin-dodging carp that used to take up much of this space were the main attraction of the museum for me as a child.
The National Museum of Scotland reopened this summer after a three year refurbishment project. As far as I can recall, the last time I visited it was on an ill-fated semi-date: the guy was a smoker, which I disapproved of, so I playfully hid his cigarettes in the Ivy Wu Gallery, which he disapproved of. Luckily there was no awkward games of hunt-the-tobacco when I went yesterday with my friend Alice - just lots of marvellous creatures and wondrous objects.
A massive prehistoric deer
A glowering T-Rex
An astronomically interesting room...
... replete with astrolabes and other other-worldly paraphernalia for measuring other worlds

A giant trilobite scuttling up a wall
Ptiny pterosaurs flapping overhead
There were details I'd forgotten I remembered from the museum's previous incarnation, like these beautiful Victorian radiators wrapped around columns. 
It was a super day; I will have to go back when I am less cold-y and more able to take everything in. Have you had any exciting days out recently? Leave a comment and let me know! In the meantime, I plan to curl up, drink cinnamon tea and knit my snuffles away - I hope you're all having lovely Sundays.
Plenty of fun to be had in the gift shop.

Friday, 2 September 2011


It's been such an horrifically long time since I last posted, I feel like the only news that would justify the silence would be something along the line of, 'I gave birth to twins, won a sea battle, and was additionally elected Pope'. Instead I have nothing of real interest to report- I've just been rather down over the past few months, and haven't felt much like knitting. Actually, that's not quite true - there have been a couple of abortive projects that I might share with you - but in general, I've been going through a real creative dry spell. This morning, though, I turned up 24 hours early for a breakfast appointment, and thought I might gear up the creaky cranks of the ole blog machine. I'm using my unexpected solitude to swatch for Vitamin D by Heidi Kirrmaier (not sure how to do the link on my iPhone).

Edited to add photo.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Brooching the Subject

 I thought of a pun; I took some photos of some brooches. That is all.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Not Just Any Tam, Dick or Harry

... a very special Snapdragon Tam, in some very special gift yarn.

I am really enjoying the pattern so far, and indeed knitting in general - I hadn't realised just how much I'd missed the soothing, soul-salving stitching. 

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Boo's Attic Yarn

A friend and I paid a visit to the Made-It Market (Facebook link) yesterday. It was a fairly small affair in the Guildhall, with tables sporting cute cards, cool anime accessories, handmade chocolate, and a stall of those meaningful words ('love', 'friend', 'feelings') in a typewriter-y font glued onto stones. There was also some rather exciting yarn, from a local dyer who doesn't seem to have a website yet, but who can be contacted at boosattichomeATgmailDOTcom. I couldn't resist this one-off skein of laceweight - it's not the softest yarn I've ever stroked, but the colour is mesmerising: a dark, sensuous, velvety claret (the colourway is 'Cherry Valance'). I think was is the first time I've met a dyer in person, and it was most interesting to hear how she achieved this intense shade by dyeing over an oatmeal coloured yarn. 

Also, how adorable is this little key charm included with the skein?!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Spring Sprung

The trees are bearing boughs of blossom, chicks are chirruping outside my window, and I have been experiencing a flowering or rebirth of interest in things stitchy. I went through something of a creative dry spell, and it was difficult to keep up a craft blog while I wasn't making anything to post about. There's nothing like a real, pressing need to do some work on my PhD to  make me engage in a variety of displacement activities, from knitting, to running, to putting together outlandish outfits, to emptying my penny jar (it contained £1.58). 

The weather was truly glorious today, so I dug out some crumpled summer clothes and took myself off on a promenade to soak up the Cambridge. I found my sandal-ed feet inexorably drawn to this fine fabric shop, where I managed to resist the temptation to buy, but did daydreams about handmade sun-dresses. I'd dearly love finally to befriend my sewing machine... perhaps this will be the summer of sewing.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Handmade Fashion Photoshoot

Myself and some of my knits are to be featured in a spread on 'Handmade Fashion' in Varsity Newspaper. It did mean hauling the yasteroid around Cambridge, which has grown considerably since I first documented its existence, and is now about the size of Malta. I almost took along my current project - a jumper knit in the round on circular needles - but I was worried that wouldn't look like knitting to most people, so rustled up a pointless garter strip to use as a prop. I'm rather pleased with the photos, taken by the talent Edward Quekett - this one features my Irtfa'a shawl, and Forecast cardigan. I can't wait to see them in print!

Wednesday, 26 January 2011


Gosh, it's hard to get back into the swing of blogging after a break! I feel like I should have something really momentous to say to justify the silence, but I don't, so here is a picture I took today of a postbox, as a reminder to myself to keep posting.

Monday, 17 January 2011

A Swift Catch-Up

Apologies for a blog silence tend to be tedious so I'll keep it brief: more than two months without a post - man alive, what have I been doing?!

Well, acquiring an antique swift for Christmas, for one thing...
 I can't really use that as excuse for not blogging, though, can I...

I'll resolve to do better, and make a swift getaway.
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