Big Knitting!

A year ago I visited a delightful wool shop in Aberlour called Three Bags Wool Three Bags Wool and saw these giant-sized knitting needles!

IMG_5002.jpg

Instead of knitting normal yarn the owner had sourced tweed/blanket off cuts from the local woollen mills to use. I was ‘in love’ with the novel idea and just had to get some.

My first project was to knit some seat pads for our garden chairs. All went well but the weather was not very encouraging so 3 and a half pads later the project found itself stashed in favour of my ever favourite sock knitting.

Last week the sun shone and the garden furniture came out of the shed and I unearthed the seat pads. Great as long as there was only 3 of us. Re-newed enthusiasm and the 4th is now complete. Here are two on the garden bench, all set for a wee sundowner at the weekend.

IMG_4981.JPG

They were very comfy.

IMG_4985.JPG

And the sundowners were very enjoyable too!

 

 

 

Not a walk in the Park!

Archaeology takes many forms- something I am becoming more aware of since joining NOSAS (North of Scotland Archaeology Society). Last weekend we ventured to the area around Helmsdale to investigate some archaeological sites. One of which was a hill fort on top of Ben Griam Beg. At less than 2000 feet a mere pimple on the Highland landscape.

P6045263.JPG

Yes that’s the wee pimple up behind the cottage. From where we left the cars to the top it was 6km ‘as the crow flies’, and there was definitely a few times I wished I could have sprouted wings!

The walk to the cottage was pretty easy going and covered about half the distance. It was a beautiful day and a perfect place to stop to refresh ourselves before the ‘push’ to the top.

P6045302.JPG

The cottage was uninhabited but is used by various people employed by the estate and also as a holiday cottage from time to time. Inside one of the outbuildings there was an interesting record of some of shepherds and workers who had been there.

P6045299.JPG

Refreshed with coffee and chocolate we started the second, more demanding stage. Before too long we had broken into 3 groups. The super-fit mountain goats, the fit folk and the ‘OMG what on earth gave me the idea to sign up for this’ group. I was in the last group and it was a definite wake up call to do something about my lack of fitness especially as most of the people in the other groups were older than me!

After a lot of huffing and puffing and catching our breath stops, we reached the top!

P6045269.JPG

and joined the others for lunch.

The purpose for the climb was to examine the wall structures. Although, Ben Griam Beg is listed as the highest hill-fort in Scotland there is some debate about whether it really is a hill-fort. We, especially the more knowledgeable archaeologists among us, were to look at the evidence and put forward our opinions on the matter.

There were definitely a lot of stone walls to consider

P6045289.JPG

and an interesting stone in one of the walls which definitely looked like it had been used to  grind meal (?) in.

P6045292.JPG

After a good look around and much discussion the ‘jury was still out’ on whether it had been a fort but most people doubted it. However, no-one could come up with a satisfactory explanation for all the wall structures. More information about the supposed hill-fort can be found at http://canmore.org.uk/event/651911

 

Although it had been a slog to get to the top it had been worth it. It is definitely an interesting site whatever it is.  I was also blessed with a close viewing of a female ptarmigan with 2 chicks and a hare- both now in their summer colours. Some lovely flowers were also starting to bloom in the rocky, heather landscape.

P6045280.JPG

Yes, it might not have been a ‘walk in the park’ to climb Ben Griam Beg but I’m so glad I didn’t give up and made it to the top. That evening I really felt I had earned my large portion of chips and battered stuffed jalapeño peppers at the well-known La Mirage restaurant in Helmsdale. Washed down with a glass of wine, of course!

IMG_4905

Interesting light in La Mirage restaurant.

 

 

 

 

 

Inherited WIP.

As if I didn’t have enough WIP’s I have now inherited a nearly finished sock!

IMG_4927

On the way back from Islay a few weeks ago I was passing  the time on the ferry by knitting a sock. A new friend saw me and was delighted to find someone who knitted with 4 needles. She had recently been helping to clear out a woman’s house who had died and found the WIP. Originally, she had thought to try to finish the socks herself and then donate them to charity. Not being much of a knitter when she saw me knitting I provided a solution to getting the socks finished! I agreed to give it a try.

Last  weekend I saw her again and was greeted with ‘I’ve got the knitting, if you’d still like it!’

IMG_4930

I was relieved to see it came with a knitting book which I assumed contained the pattern.

IMG_4932

It appeared that the socks were to be a pair of Men’s Ribbed Golf Socks, but when I read over the pattern and compared it to the already knitted sock the original knitter had made a modification to the look. Not only had she decided to knit the turnover top with a contrasting band but she had also changed it to include cables.

IMG_4931

So just a wee bit of extra thought and working out to do, then!!

Hopefully my tension won’t be drastically different, but as I usually knit using the European way I’ll have to change to the British way to finish the sock.

Anyway, nothing ventured as they say!

I’m not sure when I’ll see my friend again but hopefully I’ll be able to present her with a completed pair of socks by then.