Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Yes that is a lump of coal you see! It's traditional in Scotland to go first footing on Hogmany (New Year's eve) and tradition has it that you bring a lump of coal to put on the fire, some whiskey and that you be male, dark and handsome! Of course it's difficult to meet all that criteria so often the coal is dismissed and folks bring the whiskey to put a glow in their cheeks instead...that makes everyone feel Bonnie!

So raise your glasses for a wee toast

A guid New Year to ane an a' And mony may ye see
(A good New Year to one and all And many may you see)

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Xmas Knits Revealed

So it is the day after xmas or what is referred to in Britain as Boxing Day (Quick wikipedia definition for those not familair-Boxing Day is a traditional celebration, dating back to the Middle Ages, and consists of the practice of giving out gifts to employees, the poor, or to people in a lower social class.-Of course mostly what it's about these days are boxing day sales and more consuming......not having any servants ourselves we did donate some gifts to a family in need on time for xmas.

In light of all the over purchasing of goods that goes on at this time of the year (and I admit to a bit of over spending myself) I do make an effort with the handmade and finally I can share my productivity now that the recipients of the gifts have done their unwrapping!

For my niece in new Zealand- The Molly/Monkey Bag (Made up Pattern)

For her younger sister Maddy-Elijah by Ysolda- intended for Maddy but being looked after by Molly until Maddy is responsible enough for an elephant!

For my two brothers- The Shetland Shopper- My take on the string bag (and I know there are some great patterns out there for string bags but I felt compelled to come up with my own) using a basic shetland lace and made entirely in the round -free pattern coming soon!

For my daughter and one for Granny too- The Noro Striped Scarf a la Jared Flood

(Grandpa got an Unst Cap)

For my ocean mad son-A Dumbo Octopus pattern by Hansigurumi -check her out for more fun ocean friends and yes there really is an octupus with elephant like ears at the bottom of the ocean!

...and for my dearly beloved some more Fuzzy Feet.....(I think I've made about 14 pairs all told...not all for him)! Great pattern!

What was so special for me this year was that my daughter wanted to knit gifts for her family too.....I am so proud of her accomplishments and thrilled that she sees the joy in creating and giving.

Mr Froggy!- Very happily received by her younger brother! (Pattern made up by Maya)

Coral reef bag-Also made up by Maya and also happily recieved by Sage!

Noro Striped Hat- Made for Dad (little bit of help given on the shaping but mostly the work of Maya)

...and she's working on a scarf for me!

I got a lovely wooden yarn swift ......displaying a fuzzy foot yet to be felted (destined for me as I've never actually made myself a pair) created last night with yarn I received from my sister in New Zealand....first time anyone has given me yarn as a gift .....I was sooo happy!

Also on display on the swift but not being done justice in that photo is some gorgeous yarn I have treated myself to- a sport weight merino/silk blend, hand-dyed by CayaColourYarn( someone I 'met' recently via ravelry) destined to become a Gudrun orginal design in the near future. These photos aren't great either but I tell you it's a lovely hue of cornflower yellows!(And which this colourway is aptly named).

Wowsers...that was a lot of pictures...well done if you made it this far! for more swifting and to finish the other fuzzy foot as it's actually getting nippy enough in Fresno for some slipper socks!

Hope you all are having a festive/fun time whatever you celebrate (or don't)!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Don't Dis your Daemon!

My husband and I took our kids to see the Golden Compass last weekend. We all mostly enjoyed it as an action-packed, visually stunning experience (David and I had read the books so knew a lot was missing and had our own complaints about that)..however this post is not a movie review. As a result of the release of this movie there has been a lot of Daemon talk within the family-in this household and with family in Scotland and New Zealand.

Daemons,for those who don't know the book or movie, are animals that are like guardian spirits that stay with their human and reflect their inner Dad started thinking about what his daemon might be and that got the rest of us started....we came up with our own to begin with.....David reckoned his was something that liked to get out for walks and help him write his brother thought his was a duck (still not sure why).....and my daughter Maya was intent on hers being a snow leopard (her favourite animal and a daemon that is in the movie).

Then we were directed to here.....answer 20 questions truthfully and have your daemon revealed.......
Turns out Maya's is a snow leopard! (link to her blog to see her daemon-yes my 8 year old has a blog too)!
My son's sage was a gibbon -fairly appropriate
David's a fox.....perfect for getting out for walks and fueling his brain with plot....

...and mine...was a spider!

When this was revealed I had to admit to feeling disappointed...did not like the idea of a spider crawling around me especially after all the black widows I've found in this house (and subsequent dreams I've had) I answered the questions again....still a spider......I dismissed the whole thing and didn't save my daemon! It wasn't until my dad pointed out the weaving/spinning aspect of spiders that I realized how apt mine was and what a fool I'd been! However on my 3rd, 4th and 5th attempt I didn't get my spider back!! So I'm telling you now....don't dis you're daemon! I hope I haven't offended mine too much.....I'm going to believe he's still there spinning knitwear design ideas into my head and hands!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Feeling The Xmas Craftiness?

First off all credit for posting about this craft goes to Kat Coyle who blogged about these God's Eyes recently and inspired me to make some. It was such a fun and successfull experience for the whole family (well my husband didn"t participate but my 6 and 8 year old loved it) that I had to share with those who hadn't come across it before (and most of you Americans may well know all about this but it was new to this Scottish immigrant)!
For instructions visit Kat's blog for a cute little print out. We went for shortish sticks (probably about 5 inches in length) as we wanted these to be tree ornaments. As you can see from above we had all sorts of oddments of yarn and beads to use ....the possibilities were endless.
I made one slightly larger yellowish one to crown the tree and I think it's my favourite tree topper ever!
This is certainly manageable for age 5-ish and up...the yarn has to be wrapped in a certain way so "Over and Under" became my 6 year old's mantra for the duration of the activity! A fantastic way to display some of the leftovers of lovely yarns and a cool non-traditional festive decoration..whether hung on a tree or not!
For info on the symbolic aspect of God's eyes go here!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Little Black Dress Is Live!

I know I've blabbed about this already but she has now been published along with some other lovely things on's been a good week on the publication side of things....but more on that later!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Slipped Hours

Announcing another pattern available to buy through the Sanguine Gryphon's etsy store!
I designed this for her patterns section using her lovely "Dance" yarn (100% silk noil). It is a reversible (as in front and back) raglan worked from the bottom up. The slipped hourglass pattern is worked into the raglan on the body. The sweater is lightweight and silky against the skin.This yarn truly was a joy to work with. Gryphon has other beautiful hand-dyed yarns available for purchase and some other patterns too. Go check her out!

(Photos copyright of Sanguine Gryphon)