Friday, 2 January 2015

Happy New Year to One and all :)

Sorry, I missed the post where I was going to give a little countdown to Christmas and wish you all festive greetings!  The countdown went at a stupendous rate, preceded by a little vist to Glasgow to catch up with family and then travel back home with my eldest son for his Uni Xmas break - proceedings gathered pace as soon as I got back and it was Christmas day before I knew it - pheeeew :)  And, as everyone knows, once you are caught up in the festivities - well, you've got to hold tight, and jump in with both feet - so we did!

Our break has been smattered with family visits, meals aplenty, long lie-ins and late nights.  I decided to take up a little knitty project at the beginning of the hols so I would come out at the other end with some sense of achievement, other than long hours spent in the kitchen, overdose of chocolates and other such festive delights, ahem . . .   

While in Glasgow I visited a little yarn shop near eldest son's student flat and picked up a couple of balls of yarn in an earthy copper blue/green shade (yes I did go to Glasgow and come back with only two balls of wool, and no other shopping - what an achievement!!)  I set to making this pattern which I'd got on Ravelry last year, and had a notion for . . . 


Really enjoying making this although I wish I'd chosen a more feminine colour (I must have been homesick for the Outer Hebrides when I purchased it in the Glasgow Yarn Shop!!).  It's my first time following a knitting chart as opposed to written instructions, so a really good learning experience too.

Here's where I'm at with it today . . . 


Clock the little lego figure at the top left of the pic - actually there's only half of him left, hehe :)

Very traditional Celtic/Hebridean/Scottish etc. - liking it a lot!  It has a 3 button fastening, so looking forward to choosing some nice buttons to complement the pattern/colour :)

We've had a very relaxing break in between dashing back and forward to Stornoway to replace food supplies!  (OK, and drink!).  The weather here has been great just up till the New Year - and now we can just curl up in front of the open coal fire for a day or two before going back to work.

We took a relaxing stroll along Gress beach on Boxing Day, that's about the sum of exercise, but it was very nice!


It was mobbed with people, haha! . . . 


We did a little beach-combing or beach-scouring . . . 


crab shell amongst the seaweed . . . 


and clock the lovely turquoise colour of the lobster pot washed up on the beach . . . 


I hope you all had a lovely festive time over the last couple of weeks.  Ours has been fab especially with eldest being home on his hols - we'll be a bit down hearted when he goes back to Glasgow next week :(  I'll have to keep going with crafty projects to cheer myself up!

Well, off to have left over fish pie from New Year's dinner - yum!  It was very nice yesterday and should be even better today :)

All the best for 2015 - let's hope it's full of health and happiness . . . . . . and creativity of course!!!

Sorry, no resoloutions yets - I've been too busy on holiday-mode, perhaps next week :)

Bliadhna Mhath Ur from the Hebrides!
Alison xxx

Monday, 15 December 2014

A Tale of Two Scarves . . . . .

Well, I have actually managed to make a couple of handmade gifts this year . . . . hurray!!  The crochet seashell scarf is finished, complete with scallop border . . .


I'm quite pleased with my modification of adding the scallop pattern to the beginning of the scarf - I think the edging was too pretty to 'square' it off as the pattern suggested.  I finished it during a power-cut this week - lots of thunder and lightning here!


I made the scarf about 100 cm long as that seemed long enough to tuck it under a coat or jacket as I think the recipient would do :)  Great pattern, only problem is I want one for myself now!  It was so nice to see Alessandra's version here - we've been crocheting in tandem, how cool!

I really wanted to have a go at a man's scarf then, so made a simple vertical scarf using half-trebles.  It worked - I'm so delighted with this simple scarf and it only took a few hours to make . . .


I chained 165, then continued in rows of half-trebles (starting chain of 2 at the beginning of each row) - 3 rows of each colour.  I used Lion Brand Wool Ease and a 6.5 mm hook.  It measures about 54.5 inches long (138 cm) and is 5.25 inches wide . . .


I'm not sure if its manly enough or not???!

Anyway, I'm sure the recipient will tell me :)


And this weekend . . . we had snow - yippee!  Youngest made a snowman . . .


Isn't he cute?  He didn't last long sadly - as you can see the snow is melting already, aw :(

Christmas preparations are ongoing here - hope yours are going well wherever you are :) :)

Bye for Now!
Alison xxx

Thursday, 4 December 2014

So much to make . . . . so little time!

Aaaaaagh - it's that time of year again, so many plans to make homemade gifts . . .

I keep getting distracted at the moment by lovely patterns in books and online - it's relaxing not to have to come up with my own designs! 

Today I set off to my craft space to do a little sort-out and possibly look for some yarn to make a quick scarf as a pressie maybe.  I came across a stash of King Cole Big Value Chunky acrylic yarn I'd used for a previous project - hmmmmm, that looks good for a scarf maybe??  Quick dash onto Ravelry to see what came up for this yarn - came across a lovely pattern which I happened to have in a book already - bingo!!

Well, before I knew it I was standing in the middle of a guddle of craft stuff and yarn, hook in hand and a yummy ball of bright pink chunky wool . . . . . . there's no time like the present!


The pattern is Chunky Seashell Scarf by Nicki Trench (Cute and Easy Crochet).  Isn't it great when you can start a project there and then, LOL :)

This is a lovely easy pattern using a 7 mm hook - I think I'm really going to enjoy it, and it's working up a treat today already . . .


I've copied out the two main rows of the pattern so I don't have to lug the book around the house while I crochet! . . .


I've just returned to this book in the last week or so . . . . really lovely patterns!  I bought it initially when I was a beginner crocheter so only made some quite basic patterns.  Looking at it last weekend though I decided to have a go at the Russian dolls near the back of the book.  This was a lovely weekend project - I made the largest of the four dolls - it was a treat to make . . .


I'm not sure if she'll be a gift or not yet, but I loved making her and hope to make the rest of the set later - perhaps a Xmas holiday project?  I hiccuped a bit at the reverse double crochet stitch (which I Googled later) in the pattern, but managed to fudge a bit of a fix up!

I'm waiting for some yarn to make some other Xmas gifts (also inspired by this book!) so I'll share them with you soon I hope :)  (Or maybe just a sneaky peek!)

I was really disturbed by the TV images of the Black Friday shopping mania in other parts of the UK last Friday - VERY scary stuff, thankfully we didn't have scenes like that here in the Hebrides!  I'm avoiding the shopping queues until I really have to :) :)  How about you?

Bye for Now . . .
Alison xx

Saturday, 15 November 2014

A little bit of Xmas crafting . . .

I can't remember what led me to Little Treasures shop/blog on Thursday, but whatever it was it led me to purchase a lovely pattern for crochet snowflakes, which I spied previously.  I know you can get lots of free snowflake patterns on the internet, but her patterns are so beautifully written and illustrated, they really are for keeps :)  I wasn't disappointed with my purchase, and it came with a freebie 'holly and berries' pattern - how cute was that!

It was great to just get on with some self-indulgent crafting!  I set to making the snowflake (there are two in the pattern BTW) straight away, using some 4 ply cotton yarn from my stash.  Later in the evening, I couldn't resist having a go with the holly and berry pattern, using some DK acrylic yarn and a 3.5 mm hook.


A little close-up of both creations (the berries are filled with polyfil stuffing) . . .


and the snowflake (I used a 3 mm hook and Lyric Puppets cotton 8/4) . . .


Just for info - I spray starched the snowflake once it was finished using Dylon spray starch - it worked quite nicely.

Some possible uses for the holly and berry decoration - adding them to one of my crochet slippers perhaps, hehe  . . .


A little bit OTT, but I was having a bit of fun by this point!

A little summary . . .


I had a little play-around with adding one snowflake to a card, which worked quite well too :)

I'm so chuffed with both these patterns!  Great for adding to Chrismas gifts, or just to add a little festive touch around the house - I'd definitely recommend trying them out.

It's a stunning, calm day here in the Hebrides - you can see the Scottish mainland hills very clearly, just gorgeous!


Wouldn't it be nice to get some lovely, mild winter weather - we'd better make the most of today in any case!

Cheerio an Drasda :)
Alison x

Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Change of Plan . . . .

A whole month without blogging - yes I do have a decent explanation though, honest!  After much head-scratching, soul-searching (well, just a little bit!), humming and ahhhh . . . ing, and all manner of other metaphors, I have finally decided to lay 'Tweed Delights' to rest. Eventually the retail side of my tweedie crafting antics has gradually petered out, just as my interest in a much wider range of crafts eg. crochet, embroidery, sock-knitting, fair isle knitting, etc. has expanded.  

So no more 'Tweed Delights' - my website has gone, but I now hope to continue with my crafting and blogging.  The journey continues, but in a slightly different direction!  Perhaps I will now get time to line this tweed jacket I made over 20 years ago - it has hung in my wardrobe all that time (how's that for a W.I.P.  - work in progress, hehe).  I'd also love to make another pair of these Egyptian Socks by Nancy Bush, which I knitted last Winter - I'm thinking another pair in red and white this time - they were such a joy to make : )


So no more online selling, but lots more personal crafting to come I hope :)

October Holidays seem a long way ago now, but we enjoyed ours anyway.  A lovely visit to Glasgow preceded by a chilled out week at home, being vaguely domesticated.  Scones, crochet, and big mugs of tea . . . .


Well, must dash now and catch up with eight years of housework! Yikes, yes, eight years since Tweed Delights started - where did that time go?? :)  Anyway, I'm pleased how things have evolved and I'm looking forward to a smooth transaction from craft retail to . . . . well, more crafting adventures - wherever they take me!  I'll keep you update here at any rate :) :)

(I have accrued a huge amount of crafty skills over the past few years - my thoughts right now are how to maintain and adapt these skills, to share them perhaps - lots of Tweed Thoughts!)

Cheerio an Drasda, and see you soon I hope :)
Alison x

P.S.  A HUGE thankyou to all my lovely customers/friends, over the last few years - you are the BEST! xx

Friday, 3 October 2014

Switching craft . . . .

Oh well, I've put the very mild, but persistent shoulder ache down to my crochet antics - perhaps a little too much over the summer, but I did find it very relaxing and enjoyable to pick up in between everything else that was going on.  I tend to keep my left shoulder quite rigid when crocheting (I'm a right handed crocheter and hence use my left hand to tension the yarn), it all fits together to explain why I might feel an ache in my left shoulder.  I found this blogpost quite interesting - isn't it nice to see a man crocheting!! 

I've decided to go back to some knitting as I really miss having some kind of needle-craft project to hand.  I really enjoyed the speed of crocheting - it works up so fast!, also the creativity of it - so many possibilities :)  But I've never had any issues with shoulder aches with knitting so I'm going back to it for the time being.   Guess what I'm starting with . . . .


I had these two balls of sock yarn in my stash which I picked up cheaply on E-bay.  My recent yarn purchases have been for crochet projects - Oh Dear, so I may have to adapt them for knitting projects, at any rate I can't buy any more yarn for the time being!  I'm going to make a plain old basic pair of socks (Vanilla socks in the US??) using Ann Budd's basic pattern.  I enjoyed having a little browse through my sock knitting books though - they're such a lovely resource to have . . . 

I may have to knit something else up while doing the socks - I think I may feel a scarf coming on!  Anyway I hope taking up some knitting work will mark the return of my crafting mojo which seems to have faded a little of late :)  I know, I know - where's the tweed, I hear you say!!  Hmmmmm - I'm working on it . . . . . :) :)  I'm sure I'll feel inspired soon(ish!)

Have a lovely weekend :)
Alison x

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Pancakes 'n slippers . . .

I've been a little absent of late - a shoulder ache had put a halt to my crochet projects and I  just took a complete break over the last week and a half (or two!).  I love my crochet but not enough to suffer aches and pains!  I'm still being cautious and it might be a sign to get the sewing machine out and do some real (tweedie) work, hehe :)

Youngest has been practicing his culinary skills and made some lovely pancakes last weekend (and this weekend!).  They were very yummy - although he did manage somehow to drop an egg yolk on the pavement outside the house first . . . . don't ask, hehe!!!  (em . . . we didn't use  that egg yolk just in case you are wondering!) . . . 


Prior to the shoulder ache/injury I was making these sweet little crochet slippers (another Mamachee pattern).  I added a little crochet rosebud to mine . . . .


I think they turned out really sweet :)


. . . they look quite dainty on, like Cinderella slippers! . . . . I'm thinking Christmas pressies here :)


Better think of getting the sewing machine out soon before I forget how to use it.  My poor tweed collection will be collecting dust - Oh Dear!

Cheerio an Drasda :)
Alison x