Sunday, January 27, 2013

Seven Days

Finding our feet again, after a lost week - trying not to plunge straight back in, but to ease ourselves back into the fray. During this past Seven Days, we have:

:: Blown away the cobwebs with a walk up the hill.

:: Watched calves dance in the twilight

:: Found signs of Spring already

:: Enjoyed our garden produce with every meal

::  Been to the Cinema

:: Planned, dreamt and been inspired

:: And  breathed the scent of  flowers.

Another Seven Days before us - I wish you joy in each one. xx

Friday, January 25, 2013

Giveaway winner - and a Burns song about sheep

Thank you - thank you for all the kind comments on the Giveaway post. We wrote out all the names of you lovely people who had entered our draw, cut them out, folded them and put them in a bowl. Although he was watching his favourite TV show of the moment at the time, James managed to take a couple of seconds out to draw the winning name. It was Lori-Ann from California! Congratulations - I am very happy to be sending these books to you - can you email me your address when you get a moment.
And here we have been celebrating Burns night - as today is the Bard's birthday. I love this tune - and the slide show of old paintings of shepherding scenes is wonderful - so familiar even today.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Seeing the light


Thank you all so much for your good wishes. We are mostly recovered from our 'flu, and beginning to - very slowly - catch up with the world again. The returning strength of the sunlight is such a tonic for us. Very soon, now, the year's work will begin in earnest, so an enforced rest was probably a good thing.
I thought I would take the chance to catch up with all you lovely Yarn Alongers today. To be honest, I don't really have much to show - mainly been plodding away with the ripple, but there are a couple of new things around.

Blocking at the moment are the various pieces of my Moorland Inspired crochet bag. I have been picking this up now and then over the Autumn. It is, as you see, basic solid granny squares for the panels, and a couple of handles. I have used colours from the Stylecraft special range, which reflected the colours of the land around me at various times of the year, and linked them together with a rich peaty brown. I am really pleased with how it has turned out. I have some nice plain linen to line the bag with. Hopefully it will appear complete on my ravelry page quite soon.

You can see the colours I have used quite nicely on this close up of the bag straps.

My current wip is another blanket - a smaller one this time - with a lot of pink in it! I'm not saying too much about this yet, as it is a surprise;) I love working on this - again using Stylecraft special, which is a really lovely yarn to crochet with, and washes so nicely. The pattern is loosely based on this one.

I am also quite in the mood to knit a little something for me. This beautiful Sublime Organic Merino calls to me from my stash, everytime I open the cupboard. But what to knit? I only have just over 600 yards, so my options are limited - maybe a short cardigan or shrug - not a shawl (although I do quite like this ). Ho-hum...more time on the Ravelry search required methinks.

I am reading my Christmas gift - Full Moon Feast, by Jessica Prentice.  I love this book - it was probably written just for me! It is all about food and how it connects and binds us to the gifts of creation - physically and spiritually. Beautifully written and I don't want it to end.
Popping over now to visit Ginny and all and see what everyone else is knitting and reading.

ps - still a few days to enter my new year reading giveaway!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Service is interrupted.

We are all down with different stages of a horrible 'flu here, so not much will be happening in the way of blogging this week. Just able to stagger out and feed the animals and crawl back under the covers. My, it is years since I had a proper 'flu as opposed to a bad cold, and there is a difference, I can tell you. Sympathies to anyone else who is or has been suffering.
Meantime, though, don't forget to visit my giveaway post xxx

Friday, January 11, 2013

This Morning - A passing moment

So happy to be joining in again with Soulemama - capturing a moment that I want to remember and share.  Wishing everyone a most magical weekend.

Please don't forget to join in with my little giveaway xx

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A wee New Year Giveaway

Life has been pretty hectic here in these first days of the New Year - feeling a bit like the flock of starlings that live in the few trees we have on the croft - fluttering around madly from one thing to another.

Of course a lot of our time has been taken up with this little lady! She is just so cute and such fun that it is hard to tear ourselves away. But I am not going to say too much about her right now, as I am planning to do a post at the end of each month as we go through the Crofting year.

And we have had a couple of days of feeling not very well too - just enough to stay off school and snuggle on the sofa. Yes - that is the ripple and yes - it is still not completed!  But at least it is now long enough to cover his toes, and, what better for a poorly boy, than to cuddle under a soft cosy handmade blanket - even if it is only half-finished?

Now - despite my neglect of this space over the last few months, I have still managed to clock up 500 posts! I think that calls for a wee celebration, don't you? Sorry it is only a herbal tea there on the table (Pukka nightime blend - very nice), Alongside my latest (secret) crochet project, is a pile of lovely vintage paperbacks. These are a series of semi-autobiographical novels about an English woman moving to a Hebridean island in the 1940s/50s. I remember my parents having these books when I was small, and I thought the titles were most peculiar. The Sea for breakfast? The Hills is lonely?
But then I read them as a young teenager, and immediately wanted to be a crofter!  I admit they are a bit patronising in that "middle class person goes to live with the natives and pokes fun at them sort of way"  but only mildly. They are funny stories of a way of life that has been sadly lost to us. I was in our local and wonderful charity shop a few weeks ago, and just in was this lovely set of old copies, with the covers I remember from my childhood. If course I just had to have them, and thought at the time it would be a lovely giveaway idea.
So, I am, indeed, giving away this set of 5 vintage books by Lilian Beckwith* If you would like a chance to win this set, please just leave a comment below and I will draw a name on 25th January. Just the thing to escape to on these long Winter nights ahead - or long Summer beach days, depending where you might be. And you never know what might happen - maybe I'll bump into you at the sheep dipping :-)

*I am giving away the set as one,rather than splitting them up, because I think you need to read them in chronological order.
Titles are: The Hills is Lonely; The Sea for Breakfast; The Loud Halo: A Rope in Case; Beautiful, Just.`

eta - please don't post anonymously - let us know who you are! I am happy to post worldwide.

Friday, January 4, 2013

This moment

Taking a moment - to share a moment - a moment I want to pause, savour and remember. Happy to be joining in, once again with the wonderful Soulemama.  Wishing you a weekend full of joy and friendship.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

A Day of Hope

The days between Christmas and New Year have been pretty wild here. Violent storms, 80mph gusts, drenching squalls have been the way of it. Fiona's calf was due to be born on the worst of the days. We have been stationed at the windows, binoculars at the ready, constantly - obsessively watching her for signs of imminent labour. Every time she lay down or moved slightly apart from the herd, had us calling out to each other in rising panic. Not only was it Fiona's first calf - it was ours too, and we were pretty nervous. Fiona, however, seemed oblivious to our silly alarums. She sailed about the field as gracefully as ever, finding sheltered places - enduring the elements in the way cows do. The rest of the herd were with her, of course. Was it our imagination, or were they just a bit more attentive to her? During the worst of the gales, the older cows lay down at her back, bearing the brunt of the blasts from the West. I am convinced they were protecting her. 

 But the days and nights wore on with no let up in the weather or change in Fiona's condition.

Hogmanay, though, was a beautifully calm night. The herd, conveniently, lay down on the grassy plateau outside our bedroom window, basking in the still moonlight. We went to bed early, although we were up several times checking her by torchlight - thankful that we only had to open the window and look out.

And then - by first light of the New Year's morn, we thought we saw... could it be - was that a shadow, or a ...?

Yes - it was a tiny little black calf. A wee beauty!

We kept back, - watching anxiously, as the dawn grew pink, but they knew what to do!

And, of course, all the Aunties had to visit first.

But, it was bitterly cold, the ground was soaking wet and there were a few ravens hovering around, so we decided to bring them into the big trailer we had ready - just for a day or so.

Well done Fiona - are you going to introduce your baby?

She is a beautiful black Dexter heifer calf. 

Her name is Hope.

New Year - New Life - A Wonderful Beginning.

Sending you all wishes of Hope for the year ahead. xxx

Linking in with Friday's Nature Table.


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