Sunday, 29 August 2010

Sunday Shadows in Broughty Ferry.

My knowledge of flowers is pretty hazy. I often think I know what something is called, but the truth is that I'm just guessing most of the time. This lamp-post shadow though, reminded me of what I think is called a Lupin. The chances are it's called something else entirely but it does look a like a long stemmed little bud to me.
We had our 'summer' holiday at the beginning of July and it's seems like a long time ago now. That is perhaps why we have been out and about playing at being tourists for the last couple of Sundays.
Today we went to Broughty Ferry which is only about forty minutes away from Alyth and had a lovely walk along the front at the side of the River Tay.

I did wonder if I could pass this shot off as a shadow shot but there is a big clue there which you just might spot if you look closely...
Can you see the train on the second bridge?
The Tay road bridge is at the front with the Tay rail bridge about half a mile further down the river. If you walk along the riverside under the rail bridge you can still see the supports for the original Tay Railway bridge standing out of the water. It collapsed on 28th December 1879 during a terrible storm. Most of the passengers on the train that was crossing the bridge at the time died due to the cold water rather than drowning. To be honest, I hate crossing the bridge. I know it's not going to collapse but I always find myself looking out for the old supports in the water.

On  a lighter note... We found the biggest thistle I have ever seen in the ornamental gardens in Broughty Ferry. My husband is 5ft 8in so you can see it is quite a large thistle.

A lovely walk along the shoreline.

And a visit to Broughty Castle for some local history
Then it was time for a late lunch at the Chinese Buffet on the City Quay in Dundee.
Home on time to join Shadow Shot Sunday at heyharriet 
I've got to deliver a child to swimming club now but will be checking out some more super shadow shots this evening. Have a look yourself. There are lots of lovely bloggers to visit.
Fiona x

Thursday, 26 August 2010

My Creative Space

I'm hoping that when I check out the other Creative Spaces at kootoyoo I will find that I'm not the only person to have been distracted today. I fully intended today to be a jewellery day, and even tidied up my boxes of findings..

But then I noticed that my shelves were really messy. They have been pretty messy for a while but I was obviously looking for distractions today so I tidied  up my shelves of stuff. I even cut little inserts for the big boxes so that I  can see where all my little boxes and bags are.

Then I looked out the back window and spotted this.

This fabulous heron can usually be seen flying around the Den of Alyth and swooping down into the water at an impressive rate. Today he decided to perch on my neighbours roof. I have no idea why, but maybe he got distracted too.
On my way back into the shop I had to pass my little box of crochet hooks sitting invitingly, beside my bag of yarn.... Well what would you do?
Five more squares for my next throw.
This throw is kind of a sampler of lots of different stitches, patterns and textures.
It's probably about 60 squares short of being a blanket at the moment but I'm really enjoying the process.
More Creative Spaces, and possibly, more distractions over HERE
Fiona x

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Sunday Shadows

Okay I admit it. We didn't actually go to Paris today to take photos of shadows.
We did go to Dundee to buy a guitar case.
But the guitar shop was shut.
So we went to Dundee Museum and galleries.
We had never been before are were really impressed.
So.. no guitar case, but lots of history, art and culture, including the current Titian exhibition.
Oh ! and a nice cup of tea and croissant at the outdoor cafe.
What an amazing building and what a lovely blue sky.
Sometimes it's good to take the time to really look at your local area.
You don't have to do all your sightseeing on holiday.
I'm off for a look at some Sunday Shadows HERE at Hey Harriet.

Thursday, 19 August 2010

My Creative Space

I'm still working on scarfs for the Great Scottish Winter. I'm pretty sure there will be a big demand as we are expecting snow in September. It is possible that the weather forecasters have got it wrong, but it's always good to be prepared. This is where my crochet obsession is proving invaluable. Who would have thought there could be so many different ways to loop wool around a little hook?
Today's scarf features a 'V-stitch'
Feel free to join in.....
Start with a chain which is a multiple of 3 chains plus 4 (e.g.19 = 15 +4 or 22=18+4)
For the foundation row work one treble into the fifth chain ( we are on UK terms here. I think UK trebles are US double crochets) do one chain then one treble into the same chain as the first one.
It should look a bit like this.
Miss two chains then 1tr, 1ch, 1tr into next chain.
Repeat this to the last 2chains. Miss 1ch then 1tr into last ch.
Turn the work and do a 3ch turning chain.
Do 1tr, 1ch, 1tr into the chain space of each V shape.
Repeat to the end of the row then make 1tr into the top of the turning chain from the row below.

Turn and do the same again as often as you like until your work is the required length.
I usually use a hook one size bigger than that recommended for the yarn so that I get a more open lacy texture. It's good to play around with different sizes though and see what happens.
Hope you enjoy.
Maybe another stitch next week ?
Have a visit to kootoyoo for more creative spaces. There are soo many clever people out there.
Fiona x

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

How to pass an hour....or so

I've been thinking about tutorials recently. I love when I come across a 'how to' post on the blogs that I visit and I reckon it's only fair that I share a little something in appreciation of all the lovely tutorials that I have enjoyed. Now taking into account my dubious photography, and having realised just how tricky it is to point, shoot and knit at the same time.... Here is something simple that my friend Cathy showed me. 

If you are anything like me, it's quite possible that you will have some fancy/fashion yarn at the back of the cupboard. Something which caught your eye, which you just had to buy and which you still haven't found a purpose for. I think the pink one was called Firefly but I'm not sure about the other one. They usually come in 25 or 50 gram balls and 25 should be enough for one scarf.  Recommended needle size for these yarns is 3.5 / 4mm but this little pattern uses 10mm needles and knits up really quickly.
There are no fancy stitches, just knit.
Here is one I made earlier.

Start by casting on one stitch.
Knit one
Increase one stitch
Increase in both stitches
Then increase one stitch in the first and last stitch of every row.

Keep going until you have around 80 stitches, making sure that you have about 3-4 meters of yarn left for casting off. I usually aim for 86 stitches, but if you are running short of yarn you can get away with 70 stitches and still have a nice wee scarf.
Cast off loosely then weave in the ends.

 The only problem is that every time I make one I sell two and now I'm needing to replenish that empty corner at the back of my wool cupboard...
Hope you enjoy, and thanks for all your tutorials.
Fiona x

Sunday, 15 August 2010

Sunday's Shadows.

Look what I saw today.
If you ignore the poor framing and the red and white No Entry barrier at the bottom, I think it's pretty cool.
We had a run out to Dunkeld today and enjoyed a walk along the river and around Dunkeld's ancient cathedral. It dates back to the early 1400's, hence the ongoing restoration work which explains the No Entry barrier. I just loved the way the sun was shining through the arches which are so bright on the ground and yet everything else is in shadow.
I often visit Kylie's blog Chasing Purple Dreams HERE She is a very talented artist and I love to see how her work develops. Kylie often takes part in Shadow Sunday HERE at Hey Harriet.
So for the first time I am about to join in and send this shadow shot out to join lots of other super shadows.
Visit Hey Harriet if you want to see them all.
Fiona x

Thursday, 12 August 2010

My Creative Space

My space this week is pretty busy. There are just under five weeks till Perthshire Open Studios
and just about five months till Christmas which means lots of preparation, lots of making and lots of controlled panic..
My pattern this week reads like this..
*knit 1, solder1, crochet 2 tog. Rpt from *
insert 1 tea then start again.
 Have a visit to Kootoyoo for some more creative spaces.
You can also visit Perthshire Open Studios on Facebook HERE

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

What a difference a little box makes..

I've been making some little silver rings this week. I keep them very simple, mainly twists and coils. Sometimes I like to add texture, either by hammering or by feeding the silver through the rolling mill along with textured fabrics. So far I have had some lovely results with lace and cross stitch aida.
If anyone has any handy hints on photographing shiney things I would be eternally grateful. I always have a bit too much glare from the flash which really isn't the look I am after.
Anyway.. This week I got some new boxes delivered, and I love these little ring boxes. I had been making do with other boxes but they weren't quite right, and whilst my rings are handmade, they looked a bit 'tooo' handmade in the wrong boxes. Does that make sense to anyone else but me?
Since the minimum order for ring boxes was 50 I think I am going to be making a lot more rings in the future.
Fiona x

Monday, 9 August 2010

Can anybody tell me where the summer went !!!

Now you wouldn't be far wrong if you thought I was talking about the weather. Talking about the weather is one of the most popular past-times in Scotland. And to be perfectly honest there has been plenty of weather to talk about. Since the schools broke up for the holidays at the end of July we have had everything, everyday apart from snow ( maybe shouldn't have said that..)
However, what I was really questioning was how we have reached the second week of August without really noticing. My youngest daughter goes back to school next week and I am amazed at how quickly six and a half weeks have gone by.
That kind of explains my lack of blogging recently. I was distracted by STUFF. Days out, shopping for new school uniform, weather beaten holidays, cinema the way I loved Toy Story 3 in 3D. Have also been catching up on some reading. Nothing high-brow or intellectual, just fun reading. If you like gritty thrillers I would seriously recommend Lisa Gardner. Real page turners. If you like something a little sillier, I would suggest Agatha Raisin books by M C Beaton. Agatha Raisin is a 53yr old nosey parker who keeps stumbling upon murders and kind of accidently solves the crime. She's not exactly Miss Marple but she has amused me this summer.
Oh and my lovely little net book came back from net book hospital and is as good as ever. Not too expensive to repair but I did need a new keyboard.... so I am now keeping my tea at a very safe distance.
Normal blogging will resume any time soon.. so much to do.. so little time.
Fiona xx