Sunday, July 26, 2009

A survey! And meditations on The Swatch

First: the survey is up! Thank you all so very much for all of your comments and thoughts on the survey, on knitting, and on the intersection of personal identity and knitting. I've saved all of those emails, and they've inspired me to do a lot of thinking -- always a good thing. I've incorporated most comments, as you'll see, and I appreciated every single one of them. I also got some fabulous help from two friends and colleagues who are knitters and who have a great deal more professional experience with surveys than I do; they are sadly blogless, but I think the survey makes much more sense because of them. And finally, three brave beta testers helped me out by taking the survey to be sure I hadn't missed something as I put it together online. Thank you all!

So, without further ado, here's the link to the survey:

You can cut and paste that into a browser and you're off to the races. I'm hearing that this takes about 20 minutes or so to fill out. I have also put a button in the sidebar (oh-so-creatively labelled Knitting Survey), so you can click on that. If you find this interesting, and are willing to point people to the survey either in person or through your blogs, that would be fabulous. The link above should work, or you can send them here to click the button (I think, in theory, that I could also give you the bit of code for the button, if you're really excited about advertising the survey for me; let me know in the comments and I'll email you about it). I'm pretty excited to start reading all of the responses. (Of course, the next step is to start actually analyzing the responses. I haven't quite faced up to what that's going to mean yet, so I'm sticking with excitement.)

I have another finished object today, but I'm feeling much less excited about this one. I've been putting in some serious time with the summer shell (Rav link) this week, hoping to finish it before I leave for the Golden Gate Fiber Institute tomorrow morning. (Not that I'll be able to wear it, even if I would wear it; I hear temperatures are hovering in the 50s. I'm very excited about that, actually, and have visions of Shawl That Jazz dancing in my head.) So I cast off last night after watching the Tour de France, washed it and dried it, and spent some time this morning weaving in ends and sewing on buttons.

I'm thinking that was all wasted work and that I'll be ripping it out. The only good thing is that maybe the yarn will be more pleasant to knit with now, having been washed. See what you think (and excuse the dorky look; this was a quick photo shoot in the midst of packing and doing laundry).
Do you see what I mean? Maybe this will clarify the problem.
That's my cranky face. It's saying, "Waist? What waist?"

What's particularly annoying about this is that I knitted the entire bottom half in 2x2 rib for exactly this reason. I wanted some shaping. So I cleverly (I thought) began the ribbing just below the bustline. In order to keep the decrease from being too dramatic, I only put in every other rib for the first couple of inches (so it was a 6x2 rib, essentially), and then went for the full 2x2 effect. I thought it was going to be great. Annoyingly, the swatch told me it was going to be great. Even after washing, the ribbing on the swatch drew in, and it shrank as much widthwise as it did lengthwise. The sweater itself, before being washed, pulled in nicely below the bustline. But here again we see the difference between the way a 5x5 inch piece of fabric acts, and the way a garment acts. Sometimes that difference doesn't lead to tragedy, sometimes, though...
I don't know. I can't decide whether I'm OK wearing it as a casual summer layering piece, over tank tops and t-shirts, at least for now, or whether it's just too unflattering and embarrassing, and I should rip it out yesterday. I'm tempted to take it along to the institute this week, where one of the classes I'm taking is a class on garment design. Maybe I could get some pointers for the next effort. Opinions?

And speaking of the institute, I will be gone for the next week, which means no blog posts and no email (I can't find in the description of the conference center any mention of the availability of internet access, so I'm not going to lug my computer). As much as I'm not excited about packing up and leaving again after only two weeks at home (and with the prospect of only two days at home between this trip and Sock Summit), I am very excited about the institute itself. The organizers have been tremendously patient with me as I've worked through several different travel plans (I was going to drive when I thought Rick and the girls were going to come one way with me to see Grandmom, but that won't work out for various reasons, and I wasn't relishing the thought of 16+ hours of driving by myself, so I'm flying; this, of course, necessitated all kinds of dithering about whether now is the right time to buy a folding wheel, but apparently it is, heh). The location of the institute is one of my very favorite on earth, on Point Bonita, a ten-minute walk from Rodeo beach. Fog, sand, cold, windy beaches. I'm taking one class on garment design and one on spinning. I will be learning a ton, and I'm guessing that I'll get to make all kinds of lovely observations of knitters and spinners in their natural habitats. I'll bring my camera, I promise.

So, I'm off. I can't wait to see all the survey responses start coming in, so if you have twenty minutes and are willing to answer questions about knitting, I hope you know how much I'd appreciate your participation. Thanks!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Today is all about lace. But first, thank you all so much for the feedback on the questionnaire. It's still in the last post, and I won't be putting it up until at least tomorrow, so please feel free to continue to comment. I've read everyone's suggestions, and written back to everyone for whom I have an email address. I'll be incorporating almost everything, one way or another, so thank you!

I think I mentioned that while in Scotland, I saw the potential for lace everywhere. I wish I were better at conceptualizing how to turn an image of lines and spaces into actual lace knitting, but, figuring that the only way to do it is to try, I took lots of pictures so I have some images to work from, and once things settle back down this summer, I'm hoping to have time to play. Play has been sadly lacking lately, and this seems like a good inspiration.

Lace carved in wood:
In stone:
In archways:
(That last one is the abbey on Iona.)

There was texture, too.
All kinds of shapes available for inspiration.
And, of course, there are the beautiful lace patterns available here at home.
That there is a Twinings scarf; I used three pattern repeats in the body, plus the edging.
(The pink above is much truer to the actual color.)

It's knitted out of Briar Rose yarn (Chris, it's SeaPearl, isn't it?) for Sock Summit, so if you're going to be there, you should definitely come and pet this one -- it is absolutely gorgeous, and so silky, it drapes beautifully.
I need to get a modelling shot, so you can really appreciate what a gorgeous bit of lace this is; maybe I can get Chris to model it for me at Sock Summit.

Meanwhile, other knitting continues. I got the latest of the Rockin' Sock Club shipments and cast on immediately. This is such a cheerful yarn; Tina says she was thinking of heirloom tomatoes when she dyed it up, and I can see all of the colors of my favorites in there.
Some folks also think it looks like chile peppers; I can see that, too.
This package also came with a sticker; a little swapping ensued, and I ended up with the one I liked best.
If only you knew how true this is. (We can't be the only family out there who constantly finds interesting dead things on the beach, can we? Can you say, dead octopus?)

Monday, July 20, 2009


I still have at least one more Scotland post tucked away, plus one finished object to block and show you, as well as Younger Daughter's socks to photograph and display (not to mention the new pair I cast on), but I've been fiddling with this questionnaire, and I think that I need to get it out of my head and into the real world for some knitterly feedback. I am not yet asking anyone to actually respond to the questions; that will come very soon, once I've uploaded it to Survey Monkey (which will happen after I figure out how Survey Monkey works). My goal is to solicit responses sometime towards the end of this week (!!). Right now, what I'm hoping is that some or all of you might be willing (and have time) to read through these questions and tell me a) whether they make sense, and b) whether I'm missing some really obvious question that I absolutely ought to be asking in the final questionnaire. My leaning as a researcher is towards transparency, and towards the involvement of the "research subject" in the research itself: in defining the research question, and in refining the analysis of the data; hence my request for input at this stage.

Also, I should probably mention that I have not had access to incoming email since about 6:30 am yesterday (apparently I can send messages out, though); IITS peformed one of its "updates", the result of which is usually that something breaks catastrophically and leaves me stranded in a world without contact. I'm checking my Ravelry messages, though (which doesn't help at all with the work email that I'm sure is piling up). At least this time I'm not the only person whose email is down, which (I hope) should lead to quicker action.

Updated to add: I just started receiving email in my inbox. Huzzah!

So, without further ado: Questionnaire, Beta Version. (Note, for the purposes of this post, I am not including all of the reassuring verbiage about anonymity etc; it will most definitely be there, though.)

1. Age:

2. Sex: (circle one) Female Male

3. (Circle one): Single Married/Partnered

4. Children? (circle one) Yes No
If yes, how many?
Grandchildren? (circle one) Yes No
If yes, how many?

5. Highest level of education achieved:
High school Associate’s degree Bachelor’s degree Post-graduate degree

6. Annual household income:
< $10,000 $10,000-$25,000 $25,000-$40,000 $40,000-$60,000 $60,000-$80,000 $80,000-$100,000 >$100,000

7. Would you call yourself:
- Someone who knits
- A knitter

8. If you would call yourself “a knitter”, what marked the transition, for you, from being “someone who knits” to being “a knitter”?

9. How old were you when you first learned to knit?

10. How long have you been knitting?

11. Who first taught you how to knit?

12. Why do you continue to knit? What makes knitting so addictive or compelling?

13. What have you learned from knitting?

14. Approximately how many hours a week do you knit? (circle one)

15. How many projects do you generally have on the needles at a time?
1 2-5 6-10 >10

16. Approximately how much money do you spend per month on knitting (e.g. yarn, patterns, needles, bags, notions, etc)?
<$50 $50-100 $100-$250 $250-500 $500-$1,000 >$1,000

17. Do you have a dedicated knitting area in your house?

18. Do you have a stash of yarn? If so, would you call it a small, medium, large, or extra-large stash?

19. Do you also participate in other fiber crafts? (circle all that apply)
Petit point

20. Where and under what circumstances do you usually knit? (circle all that apply)
At home alone
While watching TV/movies
While listening to the radio/music/audiobooks
At my children’s activities (e.g. sports games, recitals/rehearsals, practices,
playdates, etc)
While talking to friends
With my knitting group
At my local knitting store
While waiting for appointments (at doctors’ offices, post office, etc)
During meetings at work
On the bus/train/airplane
In airports, bus stations, etc
At restaurants
At the theater

21. If you knit in public (e.g. outside of knitting-oriented venues such as a knitting store, or outside your home), has anyone ever commented on your public knitting? If so, were the comments positive or negative? Can you give some examples?

22. What image do you think non-knitters have of knitters? Do you think it’s generally an accurate image?

23. Who makes up your “knitting community”? How would you define that phrase?

24. How often each week do you interact with other knitters? Where do these interactions take place? (At your local yarn store, knitting group, blogs/blog comments, Ravelry, other?)

25. Where do you get your knitting inspiration (e.g. to try new yarns, patterns, techniques, etc)? (circle all that apply)
My local yarn store
My knitting group
Knitting blogs
Pattern books
Knitting classes
Longer knitting workshops
Knitting conventions (e.g. Stitches West)

26. Are there any topics of conversations or words or phrases that you associate with knitters? If so, can you give some examples?

27. Where do you learn those topics/words/phrases?

28. How many projects, approximately, do you complete each year?

29. What kinds of projects do you usually knit? (circle all that apply)
Baby clothes
Household items (pillow covers, tea cozies, etc)

30. For whom do you mostly knit? (circle all that apply)
My immediate family
My extended family
My friends

31. Does part of your income come from knitting or fiber-related activity (e.g. pattern-writing, making knitting notions/bags, working at/owning a yarn store, knitting for other people, etc)?

If so, approximately what percentage of your annual income comes from your business, and what form does that business take?

Actual knitting tomorrow -- stay tuned.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Blue Skye

Thank you all for being so patient with my travellogue here; it's almost over, I promise. And I am trying very hard to keep at least some fiber in each post. You'll notice, though, that there just haven't been that many sheep pictures; I don't know why that is, as there were plenty of sheep. Maybe there are more on the girls' cameras? I'll have to check...

Meanwhile, I believe the next stage of our trip was the Isle of Skye. Rick and I had been there once before, right after we were married, and loved it. We camped there and stayed at a little B&B in Portree; the funny thing is how we each remembered different parts of the trip. I kept insisting that we'd visited Dunvegan Castle. Rick had no memory of it (until we went again, when he developed a vague remembrance). He, on the other hand, remembered at least two hikes that I couldn't recall to save my life. I wonder what this says about our different foci when travelling?

In any case, we arrived, at last, at the hotel that dad had found in Portree, and every one of us promptly declared it to be the absolutely best hotel ever. I want to go back and stay again. Now. The view from our window was so beautiful, I happily sat and knitted away that first evening, in the late light from the window.
Those are the Black Cullins in the far background there. They're covered in clouds, and that whole first day, we could watch rain coming from the mountains, over the water, and right to our front lawn, just in time to call the girls in from playing. The full moon that night was equally gorgeous.
We'd heard that it was going to rain the next day, but that the day after that there might be a chance of clearing, so we decided to hold off on a big hiking trip for a day in hopes of good weather, and headed off to Dunvegan Castle, one of the oldest still-inhabited castles in Scotland (the MacLeod of Clan MacLeod lives there with his family).
No pictures were allowed inside, but there's an amazing collection of artefacts throughout the castle, including the Fairy Flag, so old that its history is shrouded in mystery, and the drinking horn from which future chiefs of the clan, at their coming of age, must drink nearly (if I remember right) two litres of claret, without stopping or setting it down. You've got to love tradition.

The view from the gunyard.
That flat mesa (I know they're not called that in Britain, but come on) in the distance is called, appropriately enough, MacLeod's Table. Can you imagine having a family history in one place so deep in time that features of the landscape share your name? I can't. It must feel different, somehow, to walk through a space that has been touched by one's ancesters dating back 1,000 years and more. I know that many Native Californians that I've worked with over the years feel that way, and I catch glimpses of it on the edges sometimes, out of the corners of my eyes, as it were, but in a culture that for so long has embraced movement, the new and different, the next horizon, displacement from place seems to be part of the cultural zeitgeist. I know that when I've told people that I would have trouble leaving California, not because it's such a fabulous place culturally or politically or (heaven knows) financially, but because I know the shape of its hills, I know the brown they turn in the early summer, and the way that brown changes in its nature as the dry season continues. I know just what the first blush of green looks like, as new grasses emerge under the old. I know when the fog is going to come in, and how far, and what the thunderclouds look like to the east on days when I wake up feeling the damp in the air. And if I can know these things during one short lifetime, imagine if I had a thousand years of knowledge behind me, how hard it would be to leave, how long I would miss it.

Our indoor day also (thanks to the patience and encouragement of my family) included a fiber stop. In reading one of the latest issues of The Knitter (love that magazine, btw; more on that another time), I saw a small piece on a dyer and her business, called Shilasdair. When I saw that she dyed her yarn using plants from the area around her home in Skye, I knew we had to go. And go we did. It was a long drive, on tiny winding roads, but we got there, and were greeted warmly with an offer of a cup of tea of coffee. I forewent the beverages in favor of fondling yarn.
Lots and lots of yarn. Above the yarn was a list of the plants that were used to dye each color, and each yarn label contained that information for the particular color. We even got to go into the dye studio.
There was a display of the off-island dye agents used (cochineal, madder, indigo), and then there were the local plants hanging from the beams in the back.
The plants from Skye mostly give yellows and greens, so she overdyes to get the full range of colors, which were vibrant and absolutely gorgeous. I also saw this hanging on the wall:
I don't know if you can see that it says "Navajo Dye Chart" at the bottom; it looks almost exactly like the one I saw hanging at Tierra Wools in New Mexico. I love the fiber world. And, of course, I bought yarn; two sweaters' worth and a pattern. I'll show pictures of that soon.

The next day we took a ferry to Loch Coruisk, a loch in the Black Cullins that is only to be reached either via ferry, or by a long (if I remember correctly, 12 miles each way) hike. We chose the ferry. And we were so glad that we did, because not only did the lovely ferry operator give us a verbal tour of all of the islands we could see from the boat ("on that island, there are five people, no wait, four right now, one of them's off to college"), but, as we were tooling along to the loch, I saw dolphins playing, and we went back for a closer look. They came right to the boat and jumped and played and swam in the bow waves, and we were all delighted.
They're small dolphins, about four feet, and they were a treat to watch. We all felt like we'd started the day right, and it only got better. We also saw seal pups on the way in (the pictures just don't do them justice), just a week old and wobbly on their flippers, and when we got there, the sun came out and stayed out for good. The back of my neck got sunburned, even.

Our goal was to hike to the head of the loch, and hike we did.
It's a wild place, full of bogs and rocks and tussocks. Older Daughter managed to go knee-deep into a bog, but she recovered nicely and carried on, in spite of wet socks. We had a lunch break along the way, and lay on the sun-warmed gabbro of the Black Cullins out of the wind to eat our bread and cheese.
After some scrambling, we made it to the head of the loch, and looked onto the surrounding mountains.
The only person we saw during our whole hike was a single man, who was running, shirtless, around the loch. We all agreed he was insane.

When we got back to the ferry landing, we still had a little bit of time, so Rick and I left the girls with my parents, dabbling their feet in the water,
while we took the camera and made a run up the sides of one of the mountains for a picture of the loch as it poured into the North Atlantic.
And then we looked out onto the ocean.
Perfect. And after our drive home, and a dinner of the best fish pie I ever hope to have in all my life, the day ended as all perfect days should end.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Second installment

I realize that I really need to get a move on here with this story, or I won't be done telling it before it's time to leave on the next adventure (and yes, there is another one in between now and Sock Summit). I have also nearly finalized what I think is going to be the list of questions for the knitting questionnaire, and I'd thought to post them here first to see if you all think a) they make sense and b) they cover what needs to be covered, before getting them up onto SurveyMonkey. My big goal is to release the online survey to you guys, my trusted feedback-givers, before heading off to Sock Summit where I'll be soliciting further participants through the use of little fliers.

So, I believe I left you all in Inverness, where we stayed for mere hours before getting up (very) early one morning to catch a bus to Orkney. Which is very far north. Probably about as far north as I've ever been, barring Fairbanks, Alaska (which is just over 64 degrees, compared to Orkney's just over 59 degrees). (I pointed out to Older Daughter that she has now been further north and, after last summer's trip to NZ, further south, than most people ever go.) All of this northness meant, among other things, that at this time of year there was a lot of light on this trip. There were maybe about four hours of darkness at night, and that was all. Rick and I were regularly reading by the light from our hotel windows at 10:00 at night. And the kids kept protesting that it couldn't possibly be time to go to bed, as "Mama, it's still light out!"

So, off we went on a bus, and then a ferry, to Orkney. It was incredibly cold and grey, no views on the way over, and we were glad to be bundled.
One of the goals of the particular trip we were on was to see some of the oldest ruins on Orkney, which dated back at least 5,000 years, so that's what we did. The sun even came out for us later, showing us just how gorgeous Orkney can be (look at the colors in that water! it rivalled anything we saw in the Caribbean).
That there is a 5,000-year-old village that Older and Younger Daughters are standing on. It was built and then buried for insulation (using, archaeologists think, detritus taken from an earlier midden heap; very clever use of resources, and an indication of how much longer people had lived on the island even before this village). Each house was cleverly arranged inside, using flat slabs of stone for everything: bed boxes, storage containers, a shelving unit, everything. And there were underground tunnels running from house to house. All extremely clever, all perfectly suited to the environment, and all an excellent indication of just how cold and windy it must be there during much of the year, to make such housing necessary.
We all commented on the similarities to the dry-laid walls at Mesa Verde, and then kept being blown away by the fact that these were thousands of years older. Older Daughter couldn't get over the fact that she was standing where people had lived and gone about their business so long ago.

We also saw one of the stone circles on the island, quite a large one, and mostly intact.
Our bus driver kept being cranky because people were late getting back on the bus, but honestly, 15 minutes is not enough time to really see something like this.
The sky was clearing, and the views were magnificent.
But we did eventually have to head home. Our second day in Inverness included some lovely hiking (although we forgot to bring bug spray, and had a serious run-in with blackflies, alas). I think the girls enjoyed the opportunity to run around and climb things for a while.
We also visited the Glen Ord distillery that afternoon, which had a fabulous tour, and a tasting room that was worth lingering in for a while.

Then we were off to Skye. The plan was to take a detour along the way at the Inverewe Gardens, which Helen had highly recommended, and I could see why. They're fabulous, and we were so glad we went, but I have no pictures, because it absolutely poured while we were there, and Rick was (understandably) unwilling to bring his new camera out in the rain. But we put on our rain gear (that's why we brought it, right?) and explored and all agreed that we were so glad we'd stopped.

Of course, everything couldn't be easy, right? As we continued on towards Skye, or beloved (ha) rental car got a flat, on a very tiny road with no cell phone reception. Luckily, Rick was willing and able to change the tire (of course, the rain chose that moment to recommence), but it certainly added to the day's journey!
There was another slash just like it on the other side, too.

Whenever I wasn't driving, I worked away on a pair of socks for Younger Daughter; I made the cuff interesting and the rest plain stockinette, so I could knit while watching our progress (someone had to keep us on the road). I finished the first one on the trip, and am working on the second now, during the Tour de France, which is so exciting this year that I have to be able to watch the TV, and not my hands.
Isn't the cuff fun?
I'm knitting these out of Knit One Crochet Too Ty-Dy Socks yarn, in the Blueberry Fields colorway, on size one dpns. Younger Daughter is pretty excited about them, and I think they'll make good school socks.

Tomorrow: Skye, and a yarn adventure.

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's been how long?!

Wow, those two weeks went fast. I suppose that's a sign of just how much fun we had. This is also post three hundred, and I can't believe how fast that went, either. It feels like I should do something special to celebrate, but if I wait to post until I think of something, I'll never get started, and there's a lot to tell (and show). In fact, there's so much that I'll break it up into a series of posts. Two weeks of travel can generate a lot of photographs, especially since we took along Rick's new camera and had a lot of fun with it. I have a whole series of doorway/window photos, not to mention what I think of as lacework photos (the stonework in some of the buildings we saw was fabulous). I'll share those separately.

We flew into Edinburgh, and arrived in time to take a nice long walk around the city before finding somewhere for dinner. As hard as jet-lag can be for me when travelling east (I always do better going west), that kind of arrival timing works out well, since all we had to do was keep moving until it was time to go to bed. Even the girls managed to stay awake and cheerful (I was impressed). Rick dove straight in and had haggis for dinner. I had a nice Strongbow from the tap.
I won't do a day-by-day description, but whilst in Edinburgh, we went on a tour of Mary King's Close (absolutely fabulous, although no pictures, since it was really dark down there under the city)(the ghost bit sort of freaked Older Daughter out for a night, but she recovered), saw Greyfriar's Bobby,
and lots of fabulous architectural details.
(I love the eye in the middle of that swirl; see it?)
We also went to Edinburgh Castle. The girls' one request prior to the trip was to see castles (California having a dearth of real castles), and we attempted to meet that demand right away. The view of the city was gorgeous, grey weather notwithstanding (I love grey weather). (Rick was getting artsy here.)
My stay in Edinburgh was capped off by an absolutely delightful visit with Helen, who has spent the last several months sending all sorts of fabulous recommendations for places for us to visit during our trip. It always feels a bit odd to meet someone in person with whom one has a correspondence, I don't know why, but this turned out to be like meeting an old friend. We settled down for coffee and talked and talked until Rick came and found me and reminded me that it was time to rejoin the family; I only wished we could have visited longer! Helen also presented me with some gorgeous Scottish yarn, which I can't wait to knit up. I may make this my Sock Summit knitting, so I can show it off.
Old Maiden Aunt, and isn't it gorgeous? It's like chocolate and coffee, mmm... Rick already has his eye on it for socks for himself; I may oblige him, we'll see.

The next day we left Edinburgh, too soon; I loved that city and will definitely go back someday, there was so much more to see than we managed. Of course, we didn't leave without trouble. We'd reserved (and paid for) a rental car which was (according to the rental car company) supposed to be able to seat seven plus five pieces of large luggage, five pieces of small luggage and two golf bags. We figured, therefore, that we'd be able to fit six people and their concomitant gear (we pack light). The car we got, though, was a glorified station wagon. It was a Vauxhall Zafira, which can either be a station wagon, with plenty of trunk space and room to seat five, or one can pull two extra seats out of the trunk space, thus having room to seat seven, plus room for two small backpacks in the trunk. No joke. The rental car folks told us that it was the largest car they rented and what we'd agreed to (we later found out that, in fact, that wasn't the case at all, and that they'd screwed up badly and didn't want to admit it; we paid for a far larger car than we got, but we're working on that now). It could have been tragic, but we squeezed everyone in, luggage on laps and under feet, and went to a local sporting-goods store, where we bought a box for the roof rack, Rick installed it, and we were on our way in a matter of hours. We weren't going to let anything stop us. (We later found out that since the rental company made such a big mistake -- and since we left them with the roof box, because there was no realistic way to get it on the plane -- we should be fully reimbursed.) So we were off to Stirling Castle en route to Inverness.

We all agreed that it was a proper castle with a nice imposing entrance.
(Obligatory tourist shot.)

The girls think they'd like being royalty.
They're being "prim and proper" there. (It didn't last long.)

Rick wanted to know why we couldn't have a roof like this in our house. (Look, ma, no nails! It's a hammerbeam roof, made with no nails; this is a restoration, but is based on the way the original would have been constructed.)
I told him it's because we're not royalty.

I think I'll leave off here, with us on our way to Inverness and from there to Orkney. In the interests of keeping some knitting in what is ostensibly a knitting blog, I'll end each of these posts with some knitting. I worked on this while travelling and just finished it yesterday.
That's Hillflowers, which I knit as a sample for the Knitspot/Briar Rose booth, out of Briar Rose Harmony. Aren't those colors gorgeous?
This pattern really shows off the colors in a hand-dyed yarn. I'll definitely be knitting one for myself sometime sooner rather than later.

OK, more soon, but meanwhile, it's good to be back.