Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Of pumpkins and turnips

Hallowe'en has been and gone, and this year I carved two neepie lanterns, although I don't seem to have a photo of them together, and knitted a pumpkin. The pumpkin pattern was one I saw in a magazine, just when I fancied a quick, easy knit. The wool is Wendy Ramsdale, which I'd never used before, and is absolutely gorgeous.

Neepie lantern dribbling wax
I hung one lantern up outside the house and the kids took the other with them when they went guising:
Neepie lantern in action
When I took the lantern down from outside the house I managed to spill candle wax all over my hoodie so I've learned how to remove candle wax from clothes now! Actually I knew in theory how to do it but had never had cause to try, and now I know that ironing the item between layers of brown paper does actually work! Well, up to a point anyway - it got most of it out and I've just put the hoodie through a wash to see if the rest comes out.  See, you're never too old to learn something! Talking of which...

Usher Hall, Edinburgh
I graduated on Saturday! BA(Hons) in Humanities with Literature, and a very lovely graduation ceremony it was too.

Open University graduates are of all ages and, as was pointed out in one of the speeches, have almost all been studying under awkward circumstances - while working, while bringing up children, while caring for someone - so there was a real sense of achievement. I graduated from a traditional university 22 years ago having had a traditional student experience  - study, party, study, kid myself that sitting on the beach with my notes meant I was studying, beach party, study, repeat... As a young student I had a great time, learned a lot (not all from the studying part of it), and wouldn't have missed it for the world, and I did have a sense of achievement then. But really my only responsibility then was to remember to feed myself - and I wasn't even very good at that! Studying when you have actual responsibilities is a different kettle of fish entirely and I was taken by surprise at how amazing it felt to graduate with all these other people who had squeezed studying in here and there, fitting it in around families and commitments and responsibilities. So, it was a really nice, happy day!

Friday, 14 October 2016

Inky stuff

I really did aim to blog more regularly this autumn - so much for that! It's been a busy few weeks one way or another, and Friday swings around with the inevitable thought 'What? Already??'

One thing I've been doing recently is Inktober - a drawing a day with ink for the month of October (obviously), which you then share on Instagram for the delight (or secret supercilious amusement) of the masses. I'd resisted Instagram up until now because I was put off by all those filters that people got excited about when it first became popular - the ones that made them all look like duff family photos from the '70s. I have plenty of genuine duff family photos from the '70s of my own thank you very much. But that seems to have worn off now, and I can see why a lot of ex-bloggers go for Instagram and the like for a micro-blogging experience as it's instant (and yes, I only just got that) and very easy. I quite like rambling on a bit though, which I can't really do from my mobile, so I think I'm a blogger at heart.

I'm not going to share any more of my drawings on here because most of them are a bit rubbish really, but if you are interested I'm Peeriemoot on Instagram. Rubbish or not though, I'm really loving Inktober. I'd heard about it on a Ravelry group and thought it could be a good way to get myself to do a bit of drawing. And so far it's worked as I've managed every day - whether drawing, sketch or just a doodle. I've been doing publicity (posters, flyers etc) for the PTA's Hallowe'en disco recently so rather than just using whatever free clipart I could find I've been inspired to do a bit of my own stuff to use as well, such as my friendly bat:

I must admit to being very very pleased with the fluffiness of my bat!

I'd better finish now. It's Miss M's birthday and I've still to ice her cake, no doubt to appear on Instagram later!

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Ooh post!

Yay, the Shetland wool week annual arrived - time to sit back with a mug of coffee and a chocolate biscuit!

Monday, 19 September 2016

It's spaghetti time

Spaghetti time is when you cast on a million stitches (okay, 307, but that's bad enough) and your knitting looks like bedraggled spaghetti for the first eight or nine rows. At least the circular needle makes it curl up in a pleasing shape!

Things have been busy at Casa Peeriemoot and there hasn't been a lot of time for knitting, or not for the kind of knitting that requires concentration which is a little unfortunate because this particular pattern has a lace row every fourth row, and being me, I need to concentrate on this. And count. Very, very carefully. However yesterday I got a bit of time so the first lace row is Done. Yay! This will be a shawlette somewhat like the turquoise one I made in June, though it might take a little longer as I rashly threw caution to the wind and chose dark blue yarn. It's lovely actually - dark blue with flecks of turquoise and purple - but I really need to get the lace bit done before the equinox because this will require natural light and plenty of it! Remind me to pick a light colour next time..

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Very minor acts of creativity

Sometimes there's not a lot of time for being creative, but occasionally I can cram a very minor act of creativity into five minutes. Ages ago I bought a shopping-list notebook that had a magnet on the back. It lived on the freezer and was very useful but far too big. I think it was designed for people who do one massive weekly shop, but as I live within a five minute drive of a Lidl and a Morrison's, I'm more likely to do a smaller shop several times a week, and consequently my shopping lists are a lot shorter. The notebook was handy though because I could jot things down as soon as I realised we were running low on something. When it eventually ran out I got a very small (A7?) notebook and used that instead, tearing the magnet off the back of the old notebook and sticking it onto the new. I'm onto my third tiny notebook now and I really disliked the cover of the latest one. They're just cheap notebooks from the supermarket so they're ripe for a smidge of personalisation.

The kids had just had to cover some school jotters (notebooks, exercise books, whatever you want to call them - in Scotland a school notebook is always a 'jotter') and I had some gorgeous map-print wrapping paper left over from this so I made the boring, practical notebook a bit prettier. And transferred the magnet yet again - eventually there'll be so many layers of giftwrap attached to it that it'll be thicker than the notebook!

The trouble with a spiral bound notebook of course is that I can't get the cover completely, well, covered. But I like to tell myself that the blue strip behind the spiral binding almost matches the sea on the map..

Friday, 26 August 2016


Some flowers I saw today when I went for a quick walk after a slightly tedious trip to the retail park - ridiculous to sublime in one fell swoop!

Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Stealth shawl

Large, triangular and almost invisible.  Which just goes to show how lush my garden was looking yesterday afternoon!

So this is my Boneyardish shawl, which started off as a Boneyard shawl, but I completely forgot the garter ridges until way too late. I don't think it matters though. The wool is Colorimetry (dyed by my friend Purplejen) and I'm pretty sure it's 'Shetland Jumper'. Although I have a number of her hand-dyed wools I actually got this from another friend who wound it all into very neat little cakes (I really must get a ballwinder) and then decided the colours weren't really her after all. They are however very me, so that worked out well!

Miss M modelling again, because I'm rubbish at selfies. And really because she's a much better model than me.

This was a very quick summer project, an easy knit-until-the-wool-runs-out effort, which I actually finished while we were in St. Andrews so when I'm wearing it in the middle of winter I'll have some sunny, summery memories associated with it. I'll probably wear it neckerchief-style with the point at the front when I'm wearing my stupidly v-necked winter coat. Not going to think about winter now though, the sun is still shining, just!