Scarves, scarves and more scarves!

Three of 12 - sounds like a Grimm fairytale  title or the name of a Borg soldier!

Three of 12 – sounds like a Grimm fairytale title or the name of a Borg soldier!

Two days ago…

It’s amazing how one little inspiration can turn into a major project. About four weeks ago I was flicking through my knitting books looking for something that would be simple to do so that I could knit them for my kids. In Jane Brocket’s Gentle Art of Knitting she has a few scarves that are just lovely and I nearly made one of them. However, I was a tad stressed in the run up to Christmas (having had a November of birthdays to contend with including my own) and didn’t want to follow a pattern, so inspired by the Moss stitch creations in that book, I decided to do one of my own. I bought chunky wool and used size 8 needles, cast on 21 stitches and knitted in Moss stitch ’til the ball of wool was finished. Well, I actually didn’t do this at the beginning…instead I used size 6 needles and one-and-a-half balls of chunky yarn, knitting over 25 stitches. The first scarves were wider, but took longer to do. The simple pattern I ended up with was a lot faster. In the end, I knitted ten scarves as Christmas gifts for friends and family: one each for my kids and hubby; one each for my mum, dad and father-in-law; one each for two friends and their daughters. I also knitted one for me (finished yesterday) and have started another for my sister who saw the boy’s lovely green scarf and wanted one for herself. I love the green scarf and am thinking of embarking on an expedition to Glasgow to get the yarn I want to do one for myself.

Other home-made gifts including some papercut pictures for the kids and I used a Little Girl’s Rose Barrette pattern from the Purl Bee to create brooches for my friends and their two kids and hairclips (as we in sunny Scotland call barrettes) for my girl. She loves them and is currently wearing them whilst watching Phineas and Ferb.

So how was Christmas for you? Ours was great. We went over to my parents’  house where we were totally spoiled by my mother who put on an excellent spread as usual. The whole family was there and the kids (six in total) ran around in a pack…even my one-year-old nephew joined in. We had a great day, but were all exhausted. Thank goodness for Boxing Day and Marks & Spencer!! We spent that day chilling out and catching  up on Christmas Day tv (Dr Who…those snowmen were scary!) and eating M&S party food (ie shove in the oven, easy-to-make, very little effort food…which was delicious!).

In the run up to the Big Day, I was feeling exhausted, wrung out, but after a few days off and lounging about (which I don’t normally do) I am starting to feel normal…well, as normal as I can be!! Ha ha! (Said it before you could Ian!). I even made bread today. I love making bread, but had lost my bread ‘mojo’ until today when it returned with a flourish. I love the Spanish rustic loaf (tomorrow’s bread) from the Hairy Bikers’ Baking Book and the sweet breakfast bread which I made tonight. Mmmmmmmm!

Today…Hogmanay

Over the weekend, we caught up with some friends, which was fun. Although  my head feels a little fuzzy today (damn you wine!), but it was great to see them.

Regarding writing, I completed what I hope is the final final draft of DarkIsle 3 plus I put together a teachers’ pack for the second book, which I hope will be useful to teachers and their classes.  Am going to go back to the book for adults I’m halfway through. I really want to get that finished to see if I can get it published.

This afternoon I spent a couple of hours cleaning up my study which was stuffed to the gills with a lot of Christmas type stuff like packaging and some decorations and other bits and bobs that I hadn’t had the time to tidy up until today. It’s amazing what you find…my row counter for one, which I thought had been lost forever!

I also ventured outside and was nearly blown away as I walked round to our local shop to pick up some milk. Talk about blowing the cobwebs away! Mine were blown way up to the Artic!!

Anyway, I must go…my current reading book – Dodger by Terry  Prachett (bought for me by my lovely hubby who buys me the current Prachett every Christmas) – is calling to me. I am really enjoying it, particularly as Charles Dickens appears as one of the main characters in it. Never thought I’d read a Dickens/Prachett combo in one book.

Happy New Year when it comes!

Dawn xxxx

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How fantastic are these??

These pictures were sent to me by Caireen Lamont, teacher at Duncan Forbes Primary School in Inverness, whose P7 class last year created these fantastic drawings and book reports about DarkIsle.

Their great aren’t they? I love showing artwork that kids have created that relates to DarkIsle.

Thanks to all the kids for their fab drawings and book reports. I love them! xx Here’s the  Book Report of Dark Isle.

Right on to more mundane things…what’s been happening chez moi this week. Truthfully not a lot. I’ve been looking at finally getting round to creating something from wood. I bought a book about it last year and haven’t yet gotten round to doing anything with it. It’s difficult – I don’t have a lot of free time. There’s always something else needing done first. Anyway, now that the kids are both at school, I do have some free time on a Thursday morning (an no excuses!) so I could be doing something with that, couldn’t I? Watch this space for more.

Talking of Thursday morning me time, this week I finished an assignment for a wee course I’m doing and a papercut picture (I finished cutting it out) that I got from Making Magazine. I’ll share that papercut with you next time. I need to mount it on paper first. I’m quite pleased with it as it was my first time doing a complicated papercut picture and you can see the mistakes, but it’s still a nice wee thing. I’ve also been knitting a sock I’ve been knitting for quite some time. I’ve finished its twin, but I’ve just not been inspired to finish this one. I’m forcing myself to do it! Hopefully that’ll be finished soon too.

This week I’ve been taxi driving for the kids to their various Halloween and other parties, swimming lessons and other things. They’ve had a ball dressing up as Wonder Woman (the girl) and a surgeon (the boy). I have not been doing: any writing (bad Dawn!) or baking. I just don’t have the inclination to do either this week. Here’s me all inspired to write after reading about Dickens and now that has waned. Sigh.

Anyway, here’s a promise I will make now: next week I will WRITE, I will KNIT and I will create a school pack for DarkIsle: Resurrection.

Dawn xx

Sunshine, school and sewing

Geilston Gardens

It’s raining outside, so to cheer everyone up here are a few wee pics I took at Geilston Gardens last week when the sun was splitting the sky and there were no sounds but the singing of the birds in the trees, the buzzing of insects around the many plants in the gardens and the screaming of my kids as they fought each other as usual.

Actually, they weren’t too bad. Sometimes their battles reach epic proportions where they are whacking each other, but they didn’t do that on this trip. There was a bit of bickering, that’s all…phew!

Geilston Gardens

The boy started school on Wednesday and his sister went into primary 4. I think I was more nervous for him than he was. He took it all in his stride and didn’t cry when my husband and I left him in the classroom. Everyone kept saying to me that I would cry and I assured them I wouldn’t…and I didn’t. I am just not the type to bawl cos my youngest is growing up. Instead, I enjoyed the thought of having more free time to myself to do more writing and creating. I knew he was happy, so I was happy. He’s continued to enjoy school and has a spring in his step every time I drop him off at the school gates. I think my daughter has been needing to go back to school. She was starting to get bored at home. I’ve noticed that the reading book she’s been given already is a lot more advanced than last year, which is excellent because she’s turning into a right wee bookworm (like I was at that age) and this can only be encouraged!!

So what’s been happening chez moi? Not a lot. Just waiting to hear from my publisher about DarkIsle 3 to see if I need to do any final tweaks to it. Am hopeful it will be out in time for Christmas, but I’ll let you know once I know. Been doing a wee bit of sewing and knitting. I made my son a sandshoe bag from some material I bought at Mandors in Glasgow (my fave fabric store). The material is fab: bright colours, images of Minis on it…v nice…so I made the remainder into two cushion covers and I still have some left over to make a bag for me. Will take some pics for the next post.

Dawn xx

Geilston Gardens

It’s always nice to hear from readers

Got a lovely surprise today when I looked at my comments. There was a really nice message sent from the Primary 7 Blue Reading Group from Duncan Forbes Primary School in Inverness. Just wanted to say a quick ‘hi’ to the group and their teacher!! I’ve replied to your comments and thanks for such nice messages!

 

Dawn xxx