Tag Archives: sutherland

Fibre Fests abound!

Like proverbial buses, fibre fests seem to come all at once. Two weekends ago it was Edinburgh Yarn Fest, the one I’d decided not to go to, in the name of energy and penny conservation.

However, the excitement was building via social media and I was beginning to feel very deprived so at the last minute we decided to throw the pacing out of the window and have a wee visit. Like last year, it was amazing; as much yarn as you could possibly want as well as a few (though not nearly as many as Woolfest) other quirky yarn related stalls. One of the best things is seeing everyone’s gorgeous hand knitted creations, it made me want to cast on even more projects. A Yarn Fest is the perfect place to show off that cardi that normally looks a bit crazy cat lady or wear the Westknits shawl in eye blinding neons. I took no photos, I’m afraid I was far too busy exploring everything.

I had two days of pretty frenetic activity, with lots of walking and dealing with bright lights and loud noise as well as falling off the keto diet wagon spectacularly. I thought I’d got away with it as there wasn’t a crash immediately afterwards but by the following Thursday I was pretty zonked. 

This weekend just gone was the Dornoch Fibre Fest, a slightly smaller wool event just down the road from us. The fibre fest team do an amazing job of organising it and Dornoch gets wonderfully yarn bombed in the process.

We went along to the opening talk, by Debbie Zawinski, a spinner, knitter and walker who travelled around Scotland in search of local fleece to spin and knit socks. It was fascinating to hear about her adventures and she has written a book if you’d like to know more.

I also managed a couple of hours visiting on the Sunday, the festival is getting larger and larger each year with lots of local yarny types with lovely stalls. Finally I had a happy chat with Helen from Ripplescrafts, who must be exhausted as she had also been selling at Edinburgh. I was amazed she actually had any yarn left!

I’d love to describe more details but I’m pretty fatigued today so I’ll leave you with some photos.

Silver linings

Have you come across the Pussy Hat Project? If you’ve seen the news or been on social media over the last day or so the chances are you have.

I’ve felt very humbled to be part of a community that has produced this and it’s reminded me that there usually is a silver lining to whatever happens in life.

Take my health condition, without it I doubt I’d have had the opportunity to set up a moderately successful baby wrap weaving business which in turn introduced me to some amazing women (you know who you are!).

We most likely wouldn’t have moved either, yet by doing so I’m now living in our house. You know, the one we have been meant to live in all along. 

I love living in Helmsdale, I’m a city girl at heart (disappointingly) so being in the midst of a village with all the sounds of habitation around me is very reassuring.

The house is perfect, not a kit house without character like our old one but a home filled with light and colours, quirks and comfort. I look around and have that glow of contentment every day.

Our small garden is filled with birds too, so I watch them squabbling over the feeders and strutting about in the mornings, along with two very interested dogs!

There’s a walk in the nearby hills that is accessible by car and follows an old disused road, it’s something I can manage a little of once or twice a week and it has fabulous views out to sea and across the strath.

So despite the fears I held about leaving my studio and bungalow in the middle of nowhere, everything has worked out well, very well indeed.

Now, I promised some more photos of my Find Your Fade shawl, it’s worn all the time but I managed to do without it for a few minutes in order to fulfill my commitment.

New start

It’s been so long! This is the longest time between posts ever, in the three years I’ve been blogging.

Do I feel guilty? A little but to be honest there has been so much going on that I’ve had neither the time nor inclination. I’m still not sure whether or not I’ll continue with this, however, I’m sure you have better ways to spend your day than read about my dilemmas.

So on with the news…we finally moved, at the beginning of August, to Helmsdale. It’s a small fishing village on the North East coast of the Highlands and it’s very quiet and peaceful. It’s a little different from living in a field and we have actual proper neighbours, can walk to the shop and library as well as now being opposite a medical centre (très useful as you can imagine).

the harbour

our view, look street lights!

So a month on, we’re fairly settled and are very happy.

Obviously, there has been some downsizing in respect to my studio. I’m now residing in our spare bedroom and space is a little tight but it’s fine, I am downsizing the weaving per se too so I’m sure it’ll work.

Health-wise I’ve been up and down which was to be expected with such a big change; Mr Weaving Heart has been incredible and has pretty much single handedly managed the whole move and has been super patient with my limitations.

There has been a lot of spinning going on, both wheel and spindle and I’m in middle of another spin along so I’ll leave you with some of the latest projects. Thanks for sticking with me.

spindle spun fibre from Nunoco

Cria alpaca from Knivesmire Alpacas

Camping it up

It occurred to me that maybe a post is slightly overdue. I’m like the proverbial buses, you’ll most likely get three in the next 24 hours now.

Ok so here I am, here you are, what would you like to read about? The most recent weaving project? My latest additions to the spindle collection? Or perhaps our recent camping trip? Well seeing that that’s three ideas and I’ve decided on three blogs posts (maybe not in the next 24 hours) let’s start with the camping.

Now I do realise that other folks’ camping trips aren’t the most riveting reading so I’ll just tell you a little bit about it then leave you with some photos of that little corner of the Highlands that became Greece for two days.

As a way of having a break from the weaving we decided earlier in the year that a few more wee trips were needed with the emphasis being on spontaneity. So with a heatwave forecast and a house to view, we set off to the North West Coast.

The house was a no no (too cramped) but we came across a little place called Talmine, complete with golden sandy bay and campsite right next to said bay. The temperatures soared to 26 degrees and I had to buy some sun cream. This is unheard of and the first time my freckles have made an appearance in the six years we’ve lived in the Highlands.

We had no phone signal, walks, funny tasting cups of tea (like you do when your water comes out of plastic container) and a night drifting off to sleep to the sound of waves lapping the seashore (actually, truth be told, that’s really noisy at 4am). It was absolute bliss and the only kind of bliss that comes with the unintentional.

Dornoch Fibrefest

This is just a quick post in between setting up the stall and joining the other stallholders for our opening talk this evening but I thought you may like to see what Mr Knittingkitten and I will be up to to this weekend.

If you’re around why don’t you come and join us at the Dornoch Social Club? As well as us, there is lots of lovely fabric, more woolly stuff, workshops and, of course, cake!