Remember the alpaca I was spinning a few weeks ago? It has metamorphosed into a chunky lace cowl for which I have just released the pattern. Whoop!
Etive cowl is a soft, cosy, lofty cowl that’s really quick to knit. The lace pattern is suitable for beginner knitters and is perfect for handspun yarn. It’s available to purchase on Ravelry here, Etsy here and Craftsy here. I knitted this up as a birthday present for a friend. She used to work in a posh knitwear shop on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and would always say how soft (and unaffordable) the alpaca scarves were.
I’ve just started a new spinning project which I’m pretty excited about (although I haven’t got very far with it). I’m spinning a gradient batt into colourchanging yarn, which will hopefully become a lace hat in the near future.
So far I’ve carded the batt:
Tore it into strips:
And spun about 10 grams. Why only 10 grams?? We’ve been inundated with guests! My brother, my cousin, his best friend, his girlfriend and his housemate all dropped in this afternoon. He lives in Birmingham and stopped by on his way to visit his Dad in the Highlands. And last night we were dogsitting for a friend (the same friend who now owns the Etive cowl above). So we’ve been spending a lot of time playing tug of war with a squeaky toy pig.
And generally being overwhelmed by cuteness…
Just added a new free knitting pattern to Ravelry and our sister website, Littletheorem Knits.
Knit 1 Pearl 1 is a cute little storage box knitted in superbulky cotton tape with pretty pearl detailing. It’s really quick too, definitely less the a one hour project. You can find the pattern on Rav here, and on Littletheorem Knits here.
In other news, it was my first week back teaching after the summer and my first week at a new school. Very pleased to report that everything’s going great so far. Even the commute’s pretty quick and easy! Still finding time to do lots of knitting, spinning and cooking after school (thank goodness). The picture of the alpaca handspun last week is half turned into a chunky lace scarf. And here’s a pic of Friday night’s dinner: veggie tapas for two.
We’ve also starter to house-hunt more seriously. After 7 years of living together in rented flats (good and bad!), Dunc and I both finally have full time, permanent contracts and can get a mortgage (whoop)! We looked at a house this afternoon that was lovely. Small and quirky in a quiet, leafy street, really beautiful inside with a big garden, buuuut…. it’s sandwiched between two disused industrial units. You can’t see them, but the road down to the house would be pretty scary at night, and there’s a lane behind the house with lots of empty beer cans. Not such a good sign… Think we might keep on looking for now!
So the last week of the holidays has come and gone, back to school tomorrow (booo). I’m actually pretty excited, I’ve just finished my first year of teaching and I’m incredibly lucky to have a full time job for this year. Having said that, I will miss having so much time for crafting and have spent the past week crafting like a demon.
On the needles:
Pictures aren’t great, but this will be a lace wrap based on traditional Estonian lace stitch patterns. The nuppy bit is meant to look like a lily of the valley plant. It’s very pretty but nupps drive me up the wall! I’ve had to use a cocktail stick for the p7togs.
On the spinning wheel
Been spinning up some fawn alpaca to make a scarf for a friend’s birthday. So soft!! I’m thinking just a simple twisted moss stitch pattern I can knit in a zombie-like state after work…
On the drumcarder
Lots of lovely batts! Soon to be posted in my Etsy shop.
In my shopping bag…
A beautiful (and gigantic!) batt from Spin City. It’s a lovely smooshy blend of faux cashmere, merino, soysilk and firestar. I think this one might turn into a lacy cowl… And they sent a free mini batt too! Think I might ply it with some plain coloured merino and make some slippers.
Out and about
And to top it off we went up a few hills. Camped out in Glen Etive on Thursday night, which ended up being pretty horrific. The midges were as bad as I’ve ever encountered which made cooking tricky (our dinner was half burned, half raw and totally inedible), and my hipflask was jammed shut so no whisky. Had a nice wee stroll up Ben Dorain the next day though, and climbed Beinn Garbh and An Stuc the day after. Pictures above are of Beinn Garbh and An Stuc.
I try to eat vegan twice a day, partly due to eco-friendliness, partly because I love veg and partly to try to lose a bit of podge. Anyway, I think my vegan recipes are pretty damn tasty so I thought I’d share one….
For the noodle salad:
Half a pack vermicelli rice noodles
1 desertspoon sunflower oil
2 tsps sesame oil
1 desertspoon soy sauce
1-3 tsps thai red curry paste (again to taste, depending on how spicy it is)
zest and juice of 1 lime
salt to taste
1 ripe mango
1 red pepper
About a third of a cucumber
1 pack of fresh coriander
3 or 4 spring onions
For the tofu:
1 pack tofu
Half a head of broccoli
3 or 4 spring onions thinly sliced
1-3 tablespoons green curry paste (depending on how spicy it is, I used tescos own and it was pretty mild.)
sunflower oil for frying
soy sauce to taste
First prepare the salad. Soak the rice noodles in boiling water for three minutes until soft. Drain and toss with the sunflower oil. Mix the sesame oil, soy sauce, thai red curry paste, lime zest and juice and salt to make the salad dressing. Peel and slice the mango into chunks; slice the pepper, cucumber and spring onions and roughly chop the coriander. Mix all of the above together in a serving bowl and check for balance of seasonings. Chill until you’re ready to serve.
For the tofu: Cut the broccoli into small florets and the tofu into chunks. Heat the oil in a pan over a high heat and add the tofu, broccoli and thai green curry paste. When the tofu is nicely browned and the broccoli is tender, add the spring onions and soy sauce. Give it all a good stir and serve immediately with the salad.