Village Life

Random | Saturday October 9 2010 | 10:25 pm | 1 Comment | Tags: , , |

I thought I’d share a few things about where I grew up as I am here visiting family at the moment.  I’m in a village in western central Scotland called Strathaven, about 20 miles south of Glasgow.  My family came to live here when I was 6 months old and I haven’t actually lived here since I was 17 and moved away to go to university.

Fact Number 1:

You don’t pronounce the ‘th’ in the middle of Strathaven!  You say it like this ‘Str’aven’

Fact Number 2:

Strathaven has a castle!

Fact Number 3:

A Strathvonian invented the purl knitting stitch!  Well this has been alleged!  It is reported in many sources, such as here and here, that Purlie or Pearlie Wilson invented it.  But it is also reported, here, that:

‘James Wilson redesigned the structure so that the purl stitch could be utilized to eliminate the need for a seam. Local weavers bestowed the sobriquet, ‘Pearlie’ or ‘Purlie’ on him because of his clever modification. Long after his demise people wrongly assumed that he had earned his nickname by being first to introduce the purl stitch.’

Fact Number 4:

Harry Lauder, famous for songs such as ‘Stop yer tickling, Jock’ and ‘Bonnie Hielan’ Mary’, lived out his later life in Strathaven!

Fact Number 5: (this one’s my favourite!)

The local newspaper, Strathaven Echoes, has a column in every issue detailing ‘New Books in the Library’!  Yes, really!!!  Have you ever seen that before?  Even more interesting… the newspaper office also doubles as an ice cream shop!!!


Nice weather for…

Random | Sunday October 3 2010 | 12:10 pm | No Comments | Tags: , |

Ducks!  Staying indoors and watching an old film!  Crochet! 

Manchester, where I live in North West England, is well known for rain.  And lots of it.  In the past few weeks we’ve certainly seen a lot of it. 

I don’t mind what the weather does, coming and going of its own accord as it does.  I know the moods of a lot of people, including my mum, are quite affected by it and can become quite down when it gets cold, dark and damp, but strangely it’s one thing that doesn’t bother me.

My only problem with the weather (OK, I admit there is one) is that I’m very bad for not looking out of the window to consider the weather when choosing what to wear!  Will I never learn?  Probably not!!

Here are a couple of pics of the rain battering down.  The view from my living room window:

Through my bedroom window I can normally see a lovely view of rooftops across suburban Manchester, but not today:

I need to go out now and get some food shopping but after that I feel a cosy afternoon of crochet may be in order when I get back.  Now I wonder what films are on…..!


What a week!

Blogging,Random | Tuesday August 31 2010 | 12:53 pm | Comments (6) | Tags: , , |

I’ve had a heck of a week, and one that I certainly don’t ever want to live through again.  As a result Happy Stats are cancelled this week as I’m finding it very hard to celebrate anything.

I was told at work last Thursday that I am to be made redundant after over 11 years working in the same place.  I will be here until just before Christmas and there is a chance during that time something else will come up and I could be redeployed, but I have to admit I am already be finding it very hard to stay motivated and positive.  It wasn’t completely unexpected, but I certainly wasn’t ready for it right now and had hoped that other options would have been discussed and considered before it came to this.

I’ve heard and thought ‘oh, it could be an opportunity’ and ‘what about doing more craft based work’ and yes either or both are a possibility.  But for now I need to think a lot, wallow a bit, get used to the idea, get angry, get upset and then eventually start working out what I’m going to do.

On top of that, the very next day actually, someone very close to me had some tough news health wise and it did give me a bit of perspective.  However, it’s horrible when everyone is so upset and worried and all I want to do is be there and help.

I have managed to get some respite in crochet over the weekend and been back working on the granny stripe blanket but I’ve been so tired its not really given me any pleasure.  I am hoping that once I’ve caught up on sleep and got over initial shock and upset that things will start to feel a bit more normal.  Not least because I have present making to get done this week.

Normal frou-frou should be resumed soon but in the meantime, I intend to pootle about a bit, moan a bit and have a good boo from time to time.  But don’t worry, there will still be crochet!  There will always be crochet!


Colour on a rainy day

Craft,Random | Tuesday August 3 2010 | 8:11 pm | Comments (4) | Tags: , , , |

I’ve been getting a lot of lovely comments recently, particularly on Flickr, about the colours and colour order of the stripes on my granny stripe blanket.  It made me realise that I haven’t shared what the shades or yarn are or what colour order actually is.  So here goes: 

  1. 1023 Raspberry
  2. 1061 Plum
  3. 1241 Fondant
  4. 1019 Cloud Blue
  5. 1422 Aspen
  6. 1316 Spring Green
  7. 1432 Wisteria
  8. 1390 Clematis
  9. 1084 Magenta
  10. 1081 Saffron
  11. 1132 Shrimp
  12. 1246 Lipstick
  13. 1083 Pomegranate
  14. 1067 Grape
  15. 1034 Sherbet
  16. 1003 Aster
  17. 1068 Turquoise
  18. 1062 Teal
  19. 1065 Meadow

All yarn is Stylecraft Special DK.

I chose to use a repeat colour pattern for this blanket as I like the order of that and if I didn’t I would forever be scrutinising it to find combinations I am not happy with.  OK, I guess the other side of that coin is that you see lovely ones that hadn’t been anticipated, but I won’t think about that too much.

I haven’t done any crafting other than the granny stripe blanket for ages now and I am quite enjoying having just one large project to focus on.  However, I have had a whole weekend off crochet which as dampened my spirits a little, particularly when I needed a bit of a lift.  I was finding that my right wrist was getting quite sore after I had done quite a lot of crochet this past week.  I have read many times about crocheteers and knitters who end up with wrist problems and I really don’t want to have that.  So I rested like a good girl.

There is one, and only one, advantage of not crocheting!  It meant I could paint my nails!  How is nail painting linked to crocheting?  You may well ask!!  I love to have colourful painted nails but find that on the evenings I crochet I can’t do my nails as they are never fully dried and set before I pick up my work and as a result I get dents on my polish.  If I leave it until after I have crocheted for the evening I get dents in it from getting ready for bed. 

It may be a minor thing in the scheme of things, but it always makes me feel a little cheerier!


Monday’s Gone!

Random | Tuesday July 27 2010 | 12:15 pm | No Comments | Tags: |

 I just had to share this!




Boxing Clever

Random | Sunday July 11 2010 | 11:56 am | 1 Comment | Tags: , , |

I’m always impressed, and more than a little jealous, at the remarkable ‘finds’ that people find:  beautiful old crockery, immaculate hand embroidered linens, colourful vintage glassware!  I never find anything.  Until now that is!!!

On a recent incredibly hot day Caveman and I stopped at a local ice cream parlour (don’t you love that term? ‘ice cream parlour’ it just conjours up images of the 1950’s for me) which was next door to Wowie Zowie.  It’s a great retro shops which sells, in its own words, ‘fabulous vintage things from the 20th century and beyond…’

And look what I found!!!

Can you believe I walked right round the shop once before I spotted this!!??  It’s a really beautiful old cantilever sewing box.  It is in brilliant condition and even inside the drawers are really clean.  Although I am very untidy, I do love places to keep things, even if I don’t always put things in those places!

This is a great little piece of furniture, beside the settee, to hold all my little bits and pieces of sewing and crochet equipment which do need to have a place.  These are actually the things that I am good at putting back because I find nothing worse than getting into a piece of work and needing a thimble or a particular type of needle and not being able to find them!

I might line the drawers with pretty paper just to add to the delight every time I open them and I am yet to fill it up.  Maybe that will be a gradual process as I use it.





I’ve had a very busy few weeks with lots and lots of housework and organising because my sister and her two kids have been to visit this week.  We had a fab time wit lots of icecream, laughing and fun.  They left on the train yesterday and I was more than a little sad waving them off.

Also had an (unsuccessful) job interview which took up a lot of time in application and preparation so still somewhat disappointed after the amount of energy I put in. 

I have found a plenty time between those activities to crack on with the granny stripe blanket and I am really enjoying that.  I have found it goes particularly well with Wimbledon and World Cup!!! 

So back to normal now with nothing major on the horizon for a while but it gives me some time to get on with some making and doing.  The other benefit is that I now have quite a tidy house, which really isn’t normal (that table top in the pictures is normally covered in sewing machines and related paraphernalia), and might help keep my mind a little straighter.  Hopefully I will be able to keep it up.  Time will tell…

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