Wednesday, August 9, 2017

So Many Knitters; So little Time!

After leaving Glasgow, we made our short way by train to the little town of Musselburgh, a quiet retreat outside of the busy Edinburgh. It is named for all the mussels that are found on the beaches there. Cathy didn’t like Edinburgh very much -- “Too many people!” she said. She did visit Kathy’s Knits in the city which only stocks products from the United Kingdom.

Durrow Shawl
Catherine, the storekeeper, added a few rows to me while Cathy perused the merchandise. She found an intriguing pattern that she just had to have. It is called Durrow and is the creation of a local designer, Lucy Hague. Just look at that cable work! I have no idea when Cathy thinks she is going to make it; she cannot even keep up with updating my blog!

On the Fourth of July, we traveled the short way from Musselburgh to Haddington for the day to meet some knitters, spinners, and weavers at the Haddington Poldrate Mill Art Center. Marie met us at the train station and took us to the mill where we met Denise, Catherine, and Vicky.

Marie and Denise (behind) and Vicky and Catherine (front) gave us a warm welcome.

Look at their fantastic workspace for teaching the fiber arts!

We knitted and chatted for a couple hours on a very rainy day. It was quite cozy inside the mill.

Marie knitted this cool Fair Isle pattern from memory with yarn from North Ronaldsay in the Orkney Islands. It was the same yarn she used to test knit a sock pattern in Debbie Zawinski’s book, In theFootsteps of Sheep. A few weeks later, we would find ourselves on that remote island of North Ronaldsay!

Denise’s hands flew through the stitches of her rows of a stitch called gradual drop stitch which she recently learned from her spinning tutor.

It was a fun day in Haddington, I sure hope we get to go back to visit those ladies again someday!

Here is what the mill looked like on the outside. It used to be a corn mill.

Here is an update on my growth and all the contributors. (At least Cathy thinks she got them all correct!)

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

I LOVE Scotland!

We arrived in Glasgow, Scotland, after a chilly 2-day stopover in Reykjavik, Iceland, from where I was taken to the village of Alafoss for a day tour with Ragga Johannsdottir of Icelandic Culture and Craft. This is where first industrial mill was located in Iceland and where lovely Lopi yarn is made from the warm wool of Icelandic sheep. After Ragga gave a little history of the area and took us to the wonderful Alafoss Yarn Store, she and the other visitor, Heidi, each contributed a few rows.

Antje (right, proprietress at the Yarn Cake) and customers helped out!

Once we were in Glasgow, I got over to the West End to visit a really wonderful little yarn store, The Yarn Cake, where you can enjoy both yarn and cake IN ONE PLACE! Sit and knit, drink tea, eat cake, shop for a wonderful array of yarn! How can life get any better? Well it does. Don’t we wish all proprietors of yarn stores were as friendly and helpful as Antje (pronounced An’ tee-ya)? Immediately, Cathy felt right at home laughing and joking with her and the sweet contractor who comes in regularly to be sure there are no moths in the shop. (Smart yarn shop owner!) The lemon polenta cake was delicious along with the two pots of tea that Cathy imbibed! Antje added a few stockinette rows to me, and while she was helping some customers, a couple other visitors inserted some garter stitch rows between Antje work. All the while, everyone talked and laughed and had a good old time.

Look at this cute pair of cardigans
Alison (at the Sparkle Horse) made 
for  a friend's new twin grandsons!

Okay…yarn, cake, laughter, conversation, a lovely store and NOW….We moved down the street to The Sparkle Horse—yes you read that correctly…The Sparkle Horse, one of the most popular pubs in the West End of Glasgow. And what was going on there? A “Stitch ’n Bitch” meet up of 9 women who crowded around a table, eating delicious pub fare, drinking some nice ale, and sharing patterns, advice and knitting. What a hoot! They meet here twice a month—what a fabulous knitting venue!

Knitting at the Sparkle Horse!

Two days later, Kate (the mother of Elspeth, who was our host at the AirBnB home where we stayed) came to visit and she LOVES to knit. So, of course, Cathy passed me to her! Elspeth’s friend, Emily was there too, and she added a few rows as well. Then, Elspeth, herself, who does not knit, but who does know how to crochet, wanted to add something. She is the FIRST crocheter to add to me! We were not sure how she could add a crochet row to a knitted row easily, but her mum, Kate, wisely suggested that she add to the beginning end and voila!

My first crochet addition, double crochet and scallops, by Elspeth Berry!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Look at Me Now!

After my sojourn to the Vashon Sheep Dog Trials, I am LOOKIN' GOOD! 

More knitters added to me on Saturday and Sunday and I am now a foot and a half long (46 cm to the rest of the world). So many cool stitches and yarns.

So far 16 people have contributed and I am only on my first stop on this around-the-world journey! Lois Yunker remarked, "You're going to have to get a bigger bag!" as she handed me to the next knitter.

It was fun to visit the Farm Girl Products tent and meet these lovely ladies, JoAn and Sarah.

Here are the stats so far:

Stay tuned...

Sunday, June 11, 2017

First Stop: Vashon Sheep Dog Trials!

My Guest Appearance at a Great Festival

My first two days at the Vashon Sheep Dog Classic have been a blast! Yesterday was Worldwide Knit it Public Day--and knit they did! Knitters of all levels have been contributing to me and I am taking on a lovely shape. But first, a few images from the weekend. Check out these GIANT balls of yarn along with their needles and drop spindle. It took a watering trough to hold them!

At midday, when they bring in a fresh flock of sheep for those dogs to chase around the field, these C-UTE piping and drumming girls play for the crowd. They have been playing at the Trials for several years and have become Vashon celebrities here.

There is lots of spinning going on in the Fiber Village here at the Trials. These ladies enjoy demonstrating their skills in this ancient craft to visitors, young and old.

And, of course, quite a few knitters added to my size:

My mom could not wait...she is blocking me (so far) today. Photos tomorrow!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Traveling Scarf Embarks

June 4, 2017    Vashon Island, Washington

I am the Traveling Scarf. My mommy birthed (knitted) my beginnings in Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii in the USA back in  May of 2017, using a silvery wool yarn that she handspun from an unknown sheep on Vashon Island.
Now I am ready to embark on my journey, which may or may not take me around the world, depending on my mom’s whim. 

Accompanying me is a sweet little journal where contributors can record something about themselves and how they added to my size.

Look at the cute knitting needles I’m sporting. My mom’s friend Myra Willingham on Vashon Island offered them to us to travel along and help the friends we make add to my growth. Myra had them custom made by Twin Birch Products for the 2017 VashonSheep Dog Classic, which is my first stop. Notice the sheep dogs on the heads—one has his tongue stuck out panting after apparently successfully penning a herd of sheep!

The Sheep Dog Trials begin on Friday, June 9...I am very excited to begin meeting my creators.