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full circle

A belated happy new year to you! I hope it holds good things for you and those around you…

Gosh, I’d hoped to get back to this space a bit earlier in the year but we’ve had a bit of a slow start! I had a lovely, lovely trip back to Australia for Christmas- there really is nothing like being with family and close friends at that time of year and it was so great to be able spend some time with my dad who’s been unwell- that was the main reason I headed home again so soon after my trip in September but, thankfully, he’s on the mend so thank you to all who have asked about him.

After our first Hogmanay, Scotto and I headed up to Glen Lyon, a weirwood-ish glen in the southern Highlands, for a few days… A tiny one-room cabin with a wood stove and not much else meant we spent most of the time sleeping, reading, knitting, walking the beautiful glen, watching films (including the incredible The salt of the earth) and just reconnecting and recharging. Heavenly!

Sheep and fold, Glen Lyon

Sheep and circular sheep fold, Glen Lyon

And then, for the past few weeks, I’ve been pushing myself to get started making for the shop but, while I really do enjoy cold weather, I have found the short days a bit of a struggle- my body just wants to sleep! But I’m back into it and next winter will no doubt be easier ; ) We’ve been blessed with some sunny, rain-free days recently, which makes going out hiking so much more appealing, and even had some snow last week, our first real snow since we arrived!

Tobogganing at the Botanics

Tobogganing at the Botanics

Snowy rosehips

Snowy rosehips

Robin in the maples

Robin in the maples

So what does the year hold? If the last year was all new beginnings- a new country and culture to explore, a new business to build and new friendships and community to foster- this year is all about consolidating! It’s time to focus on what, of all the new, is most important, energising, viable and interesting. I’m so grateful for the incredible opportunities that have been presented to me- and there have been many- and I’m excited by so many things that I’ve felt my attention and energy go in many different directions which, again, has been so lovely but I just haven’t been able to keep up and so ended the year feeling a bit overwhelmed! My thoughts have also been at home with family, my dad in particular, and so I need to learn how to keep both my and their needs in perspective. So consolidation is the word of the year!

So what does that mean on a practical level?

  • I’ll be continuing the Harris Tweed and stranded colourwork joy in the shop but will be adding some lovely new things that I’m currently working on- so stay tuned there! As part of that, I plan to make a trip out to the Hebrides and to spend some time on Skye in summer. And I’ve also been adding some skeins of yarn to my personal dye experiments and am very excited to introduce some botanically-dyed yarn to the shop very soon.
  • I’m just finalizing dates for spring knitting classes at fluph, Ginger Twist and Queen of Purls but I have some classes at Ginger Twist over the next two Sundays, including one on Portuguese knitting! At this stage, there are some places still available- you can find out more here.
  • There will be more botanical dyeing classes at Glasgow Botanics this year too! I’m just locking in some dates but hoping for early April and mid-June… And I’m really excited to be getting my hands dirty looking after the dye garden at the Botanics! I can’t wait to get my hands in the earth…
  • I’m also super keen to meet more producers of wool and yarn and am planning to attend some lovely woolly events this year. I’ll also be teaching or selling my wares at some, including Unravel Farnham and Joeli’s Kitchen Retreat in February, and Edinburgh Yarn Festival in March and have my fingers crossed for Woolfest and Shetland Wool Week too… There are also field trips to visit sheep planned with lovely yarn friends Jeni, Leona, Louise and Mel : )
  • Scotto and I are really keen to make more of the incredible landscape here and so planning some good longer walks for the coming months- perhaps even some munros! And, having put on a bit of a winter coat during the last month of hibernating, I’m in dire need of a spring health boost so am excited to collect cleansing herbs in spring and am also on the lookout for a good yoga class- any suggestions?
  • I’m really keen to find some more space for personal knitting… especially some layers that are so essential in Glasgow! Patterns currently at the top of my queue include Lohman (minus the shawl collar in Rowan Scottish Tweed), Outi’s beautiful mittens (in Jamieson and Smith Shetland Supreme) for Louise’s Nature’s Shades KAL and another Pomme de Pin fro my favourite Amy Christoffers (in Shetland Organics 4ply).

So that is the plan for the year! As always, I know things will change in their way but I really hope to finish the year feeling that bit more grounded and solid in what I’m doing and that bit more connected to the place where we are living. I’ll keep you posted. What about your plans for the year?!

(Incidentally, it’s exactly a year today since we left Australia and so there’ll be a few posts over the next few days, encapsulating our first year in Scotland… special moments and things I haven’t shared to date, mostly because of time but perhaps also because it sometimes takes tie to recognise the significance of a thing. I’m looking forward to revisiting the year and hope you enjoy seeing some more of it too!)

my new dearies

Three lovely new things to share! First is my new room.

Two sided table. Walls still empty.

Enough room to spread things out…

Bowls of treasures, needles and my small fabric stash  just fit into the dresser ; )

9 boxes full of yarn- Is that a big stash?! I’ve lost perspective ; )

Preparing for the last new class for the term, on seamless knitting

Sample of the class project

I’ve been doing a lot of class prep in here (and some making too) and it is a truly beautiful and peaceful place to work… I can’t tell you how lucky I feel to have my own place to work, think and dream.

Antique crochet doily in the window

Secondly, the kitchen is in- happy!!! Cooking and baking have commenced, which is bliss. It also means that we’ve been able to put all but our bathroom things into their right rooms (if not cupboards yet!) so life is pretty much back to normal, only more beautiful. And we have hot water! No bathroom for a while yet but plenty of room for hot cat-baths… photos of the kitchen to come.

And the third joy is my new deerie.

Sweeet!

I love him so much, especially those antler buds! He has pride of place at my worktable and his expectant expression have been inspiring me to get making in here.  He was made by my lovely and super-talented friend Raynor, who recently put together a program of classes at Crafternoon, a new cafe focused on giving people everyday access to craft (he’ll be looking after crochet and I’ll be on knitting- both are aimed at beginners and are project-based modules that introduce the various basic skills as we go, a different approach that I’m looking forward to trying). He makes and writes super-cute stuff and is pushing all the right buttons– you might like to check him out.

Happy day to you!

quiet time

The days between Christmas and New Year are my favourite time in Melbourne- it is a lovely time for long walks in the quiet streets and some solid, post-celebratory snoozing. A fitting accompaniment is the new(ish) Gillian Welch album, which I am enjoying getting to know… this one is a slow unfurling- in some ways very much like her earliest albums but more personal and less obviously “old-time”.

So far, I like these two best.

Am also listening to new Martha Tilston- with the exception of a few swirling festival tracks filled with way too much flute and djembe for me, I like it- though not as much as Of Milkmaids and Architects. She has a beautiful, bare voice and some lovely lyrics.

Wishing you an equally chilled-out break…