We’ve been off on holiday this week, but the weather’s been manky so don’t have many pictures to show you…. Spent the first couple of days applying for jobs, seems like there’s no time to get things like that done during term time. We had one pretty nice day on Tuesday so went and climbed Ben Vane. It’s one of those hills that looks quite small from below but actually has about ten false summits so you end up pretty grumpy by the time you do get to the top! It was a nice scramble though and we even got a bit of sunshine.
Went up to Inveraray on Friday. We’d been up in February for our anniversary and climbed Ben Cruachan in the snow. Ben Cruachan has a hydroelectric power plant inside it (!!) and we went on the guided tour of it this time round. Very strange being right inside a mountain! Also had a look round that Castle in Inveraray, lovely grounds too but sadly it was tipping it down.
Very Disney Castle-ish and pretty inside too. We stayed at the Brambles B&B which was really lovely, really good breakfast in the morning too! Then we climbed Beinn a’Chochuill and Beinn Eunaich the next day. Would have been a lovely walk if it hadn’t been for the rain, wind and fog! Not many pictures sadly given the weather conditions but we did catch a glimpse of two curious sheep right near the summit of Beinn Eunaich:
And I released a new knitting pattern this week!
Felted Lace Wrap is a quick, easy lace knit that works up fast in worsted weight yarn. The wrap is lightly felted to soften it up and give it a fuzzy, worn-in look. You can find it on Ravelry, Etsy and Craftsy.
Yarn: Croft Wools Aran weight Gotland yarn, one 250g skein. Available by mail order from http://www.croftwools.co.uk/wool.html
Gauge: 14 sts = 4” with 6.5mm / US 10.5 needles before blocking.
Needles: One 40” 6.5mm / US 10.5 circular needle.
Extras: Two stitch markers
Dimensions: 16” x 60”
Long weekend for Glasgow schools this week, so I had Friday and today off. D managed to get time off too so we went up north for a bit of fresh air and exercise!
On Saturday we went up Buachaille Etive Beag. It’s one of my absolute favourite hills. Amazing views and a beautiful airy ridge for really not much effort at all. And the weather was gorgeous, maybe a tiny bit hazy but a perfect temperature. Great walking weather! Here’s some pics:
We stayed in a “microlodge” at the Blackwater Hostel in Kinlochleven. They’re a bit like a cross between a shed and a barrel, but with two beds, a telly, kettle, microwave etc. All you really need and very reasonably priced.
Next day we climbed the “three Sgurrs” at Ballachulish. The weather this time was immaculate. I don’t think I’ve ever climbed a hill in better conditions. From the top we could see all the way out to Jura, to Skye, we could see munros in Torridon, and beautiful views of hills nearby. Wonderful views to the Mamores, we’re planning on doing the ring of Steall in the October holidays now.
An auspicious start to the day with a field jam-packed with sheep:
A scramble up the spur to the first top, Sgurr Bhan:
Then round a breathtaking ridge to the first munro top, Sgurr Dhearg:
Here’s the panorama from the top, absolutely unbelievable! (You can click it for a better view.)
Down to the low point, then a bit of a scramble up to the final top:
What a walk! Feeling pretty sore today!
We went back to stay with my parents in St Andrews this weekend. It’s my birthday on Tuesday so we had a family weekend at home to celebrate. Checked out the new wool shop in St Andrews (I forget the name but it’s on Bell St if anyone’s visiting and wants to seek it out). They had a lovely selection of undyed alpaca and handknitted scarves. Really cute soft toy alpacas too, would make a lovely present for a knitter’s kid! Bit on the pricey side, but it is St Andrews so I’m sure they can find plenty of people who can afford it. And I think the rates there are horrific so fair play to them…
Didn’t spend long in town, but I’ve got lots of lovely pictures of windswept beaches for you! On Saturday we walked along the West Sands in St A’s. The tide was right in, and it was overcast but the sea was amazingly calm. There was a huge flock of sanderlings flying in unison which was very pretty. Here’s a couple of pics anyway….
Sunday was much sunnier, and we headed out to Tentsmuir forest for a walk. It’s a pine forest just north of St Andrews by a huge beach. You see lots of seals there in Summer, but at the start of Autumn, it’s just amazing for finding mushrooms!
Here’s a small sample of the mushroom pics!
Here’s a nice foresty pic:
And some of the beach:
Knitting-wise, things have been a bit up and down! I knitted up as much shawl as possible with my gradient yarn from the last post, but there just wasn’t enough for an anywhere near decent shawl. Back to the drawing board and I think I’ll knit up a hat with it instead. Got an interesting idea for a twisted rib hat that I think will look nice with the colour change…. More on that hopefully next week!
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.
Just got back from a great camping trip around the highlands of Scotland.
First night we camped in the Lost Valley in Glencoe. This is a great wee walk that we’ve done several times, the walkhighlands page is here. Midges were horrific though!
Feeling adventurous, the next day we climbed Aonach Eagach. It was pretty flipping terrifying. Swears were sworn, lives flashed before eyes, but we made it. (To be fair, Dunc neither swore nor was terrified, that was just me.) Here’s some pictures:
Looking back, I’m glad I did it, but that was certainly one of the scariest days of my life!
Next, we went to stay with my aunt and uncle in Fort Augustus. Nice, quiet and restful. They’d recently aquired a new puppy so we had some nice walks along the canal.
Spent the rest of the holiday up in Torridon. Spent a lovely afternoon in Shieldaig. There’s a nice walk around the coast there and the weather was perfect (and no midges!). Walkhighlands link for the walk is here.
Really good tea/giftshop in Shieldaig too: Nanny’s. Can highly recommend the fruit scones! Bought some wool from local sheep there too. Thinking about knitting up a Starsky and Hutch Teacosy.
Also bought some wool from Croft Wools, a massive 230g skein of worsted from their own flock of Gotland sheep. It’s currently wound into a ball the size of a football and turning slowly into a cardigan. Here it is pictured next to a tape measure to show how gigantic it is.
We also climbed Beinn Eighe. Sadly it was another cloudy hill day, but when the cloud lifted a little the views were stunning. More photos!
And that’s about it. Back to sunny Glasgow!