Sunday, 19 March 2017

What - no golfclubs?

My incredulous husband made this remark when he heard I was going to Dornoch, home of the famous 400 year old golf course, with its Royal title, which is ranked number 5 in the world.

This weekend, though, I was attending the Dornoch Fibre Fest with my friend, Alison.  It was knitting needles and crochet hooks rather than drivers and putters, and balls of yarn rather than the white dimpled variety, that we had in mind as we travelled three hours north to the picturesque cathedral town.
The event is a celebration of fibre and woollen crafts and comprised classes, demonstrations, drop-in sessions as well as retail opportunities and was held in two venues in the town.  The gaily decorated lamp posts helped direct visitors from one hall to the other.
Alison and I aren't newcomers to the fibre festival circuit, having enjoyed previous trips together to Edinburgh Yarn Festival last March and the Highland Wool Festival at Dingwall in May 2015.

It was a delight to see stallholders we'd met before and some new vendors too.  Here's Helen from Ripplescrafts, Laurence and Clive from Gongcrafts and Julie from Black Isle Yarns.  It was lovely to blether and I may have purchased some yarn from them all along the way!
Fibre festivals are friendly, colourful, enticing places.  At Dornoch there was squishable hand-dyed yarns from dedicated small batch producers as well as beautiful undyed natural fibres.  There were cute kits to make kids garments, fabrics, threads, spinning supplies and all the knitting accoutrements and paraphernalia one could wish for.  Sellers and buyers shared their love of crafts, inspiring each other and swapping pattern details, and there was a happy atmosphere.
As well as enjoying morning coffee and lunch at the venue, and to keep up our energy levels, we visited Dornoch Patisserie and Cafe for coffee with warm white chocolate and raspberry bread pudding - delicious!  I just loved the illustration on their menu.
The festival also featured a cushion competition.  Entries could be of any design using mixed media so I entered the baable cushion I'd made which I wrote about here.

I was absolutely thrilled to learn I'd  won first prize.  My cushion also won the prize from the Shetland Sheep Society as I'd used Shetland wool for the sheep in my design.  Double first!
My prize was a beautiful candle bowl from Tain Pottery - in a design exclusive to Royal Dornoch Golf Club as they sponsored the competition.
So I didn't take my clubs to Dornoch - but I did come home with a prize from the golf club!

Saturday, 4 March 2017

Love is...

Today is my wedding anniversary.

Twenty three years if you're counting from the day we got married - but...

... we've been together way longer than that!

According to internet sources, the traditional gift to mark a 23rd wedding anniversary would be something made from silver plate.  I think I can safely speak on behalf of us both when I say can hardly think of anything we'd like less.

Things aren't much better in Italy where the gift is water.  Necessary, of course, but hardly a present everyone is clamouring for.

The card manufacturer, Hallmark, even has an alternative theme for a 23rd wedding anniversary - and that is air.  (They do suggest balloons, hot air balloon rides or airline tickets as possible gifts though.)
That got me thinking about what I could give my husband that he would really like.  After all these years together, we've both given, and received, some amazing presents.  Right now we don't need expensive gifts.  Time to get creative, think outside the box, remember that I'm focusing on purpose this year.

What if I could re-purpose something?  Something much loved in his life but in need of tlc.  What does Geoff care for more than anything (in his wardrobe)?

The answer is this much loved, but rather ancient, lambswool jumper from Boden - which recently wore away at one elbow.  I picked up the stitches, knitted a patch and needle felted it into place as the wool round about the hole was fraying badly.

In case you're a darning aficionado, and are aghast that you can see this repair, let me introduce you to visible mending and the wonderful work of Tom of Holland who says -

The Visible Mending Programme seeks to highlight that the art and craftsmanship of clothes repair is particularly relevant in a world where more and more people voice their dissatisfaction with fashion’s throwaway culture. By exploring the story behind garment and repair, the Programme reinforces the relationship between the wearer and garment,  leading to people wearing their existing clothes for longer, with the beautiful darn worn as a badge of honour.

So for this wedding anniversary I'm giving Geoff his beloved jumper back, mended again and keeping the air out of the draughty hole in the sleeve.  (The eagle-eyed will spot a previous mend in the front, darned expertly some time ago by his Mum!)

Happy anniversary, darling.

(Geoff is offshore right now but we'll go out for a nice lunch to celebrate when he comes home, possibly wearing something a bit smarter!)

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