Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Greetings

No-name turkey is celebrating her second Christmas with us.  She has grown into a fine bird and we hope she will be with us for many years to come.

I'm not a great traditionalist when it comes to Christmas - we enjoy a walk out if the weather is suitable and a chance to think about future plans and dreams.  This year, though the forecast was a bit iffy and it was certainly pretty chilly, the sun was out and we decided to take a run out to Luskentyre to give the dogs a good run on the beach and pay our respects to past generations at the nearby cemetery.

I'm not sure what I expected, taking into account that there is still an awful lot of snow about, but the beach was magnificent coated in snow and frost - hard and crackly and very sparkly.  The above shows Bramble and little Heather facing inland and you can see the snowline at high water mark which stretched up over the marram and onto the dunes behind.  Bramble kept dashing up out of site in the grass - maybe there were rabbits about!

Not to be outdone, here's Pippin on the sand with the sea behind and the island of Taransay (remember "Castaway" in 2000?).

With an eye to next season, this afternoon I got out a bag of recently arrived lambswool produced by Hynchcliffe and purchased from Uppingham Yarns (  The colour on my camera is not that great indoors because clockwise from top right is baby pink, cocoa, charcoal and pastel blue.
These will be used as weft for the linen warp I have currently in the loom and will become beautiful fluffy scarves which will be on sale from the loomshed next year.

We wish all our readers a happy holiday.  But those for whom today is a sad occasion due to bereavement are also in our thoughts -  may you find peace.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Weather first, then more interesting stuff!

First of all, yes it's been cold here, and yes, we have had a bit of snow, and here is an iconic picture of one of our Hebridean Ewe Hoggs looking like a sugar dusted christmas cake decoration.

Between them, this lot scoffed an entire bale of hay today.

The Cheviot ram just managed to get into the bottom left of the picture.  He hasn't lost an ounce of condition during tupping and still looks as chunky as he did in November.

Remember the angora goats I saw at Sallies tapestry workshop in Great Bernera the other week?  I've spent ages trying to decide what to do with it - having no experience with mohair whatsoever. 

Anyway, I think I've cracked it.  Here's the recipe for processing angora goat hair.......  First of all, steep it in a solution of Hebridean Soap (I use lemon and eucalyptus liquid soap that Linda makes up for me) and hand-hot water.  Leave it for a few hours - don't agitate it too much in case it felts. 

Then do the same thing again. 

Then use a bit of Merino Lanolin Wash (available from Skyeskins at Waternish, Isle of Skye) and soak in cool water for 30 minutes. 

Take it out, spin the excess water out in a horizontal spin drier (not the sort that's in a front-loader automatic washing machine). 

Stick it all on a towel and let it dry in a warm spot, turning gently every now and again.

At this stage, it must be completely dry before you start picking it or it will tangle and stretch.  It will be lovely and shiny looking now - anything that looks dull or short or bitty can be discarded as it will bring the quality of the whole batch down.  The bobbin below was spun direct from picking - didn't go through the carder at all.  A bit of thick and thin and a few curly bits did find their way in.  Thought it would be more curly but I think that mohair - unlike Wensleydale which is big and bold and right in yer face - is discreet and elegant and very understated but just reeks of class!

Then I hanked it up.  As a single its a tad twisty but taking into account that its got to be washed, re-hanked, dyed and then wound and then used in a shuttle for tapestry, I'm counting on the slight overtwist to even out by the end of the operation.

As a point of interest, the black hanks hanging next to the mohair is some Wensleydale spinning I'm doing for Teoshandspuns at Broadford, Isle of Skye.  So Teo, if you're seeing this - I am doing it, really...

With all this fabby fibre fun indoors we aren't really noticing the snow creeping up outside the front door, but if you are - take extra care and don't venture outside unless you are well-prepared (ie crampons, ice-axe, huskies, fully-provisioned sled and (on a special seasonal note) reindeer). 

Thursday, 9 December 2010

A feed delivery just in time!

Though our weather has not been as cold or as snowy as others in the UK we have been disadvantaged by mainland conditions, and lorries containing our essential supplies have been taking longer than usual to arrive.

Yesterday we were are the supermarket in Stornoway and there were lots of empty spaces on the shelves.  Fortunately we have simple tastes and everything on our list was in stock - except the rich tea biscuits.

Down to their last bit of hay, the sheep have been waiting for the Lewis Crofters lorry to arrive at the gate, and today it did!  So it was cheers all round and a dash for the feed shed to put the bales and bags away before we got mugged (or should that be "fleeced"!)

The snow has more or less disappeared near sea level at least, but it's now blowing a gale.  So batten down the hatches....

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Tapestries to die for.....

Every so often I find something textiley here that takes my breath away.  A couple of weeks ago I went over to Great Bernera on the West Side of Lewis to meet a weaver - Sallie Tyszko who has a studio "Driftwater Weaves". .  Sallie moved to Tobson from the Highlands a couple of years ago and brought her skills in tapestry weaving.

To start with, she has these amazing Angora goats - gorgeous and curly, they look right at home in the rocky landscape and their fibre is shiny and smooth, like short silk.  Sallie is also a hand-spinner but is busy making new tapestries so she asked me if I could do a bit of Angora for her.  In past years I've spun cashmere from goats, but this is something quite, quite different.  Will post up some piccies when I've really got going.

Above is one of Sallie's looms - this one an upright tapestry loom which is more comfortable to work with as the weaver doesn't have to bend down all the time.  There is a work in progress of some shilisdair (flags).  Sallie is a talented artist too, and makes sketches and paintings to base here tapestries on.  She dyes up all the colours she needs and is trying to use as much hand-spuns as is possible - which is great for me!

The tapestry above is a finished work based on a scene where she once lived on the Black Isle.  the driftwood framing is charming and so well-suited to the work.  You need to see the tapestries up close to appreciate the variety of textures and shades used.

The work below is simply stunning.  It's woven on transparent fishing line for warp and is sparkly and very dramatic.  The beads really do look like air bubbles.

I would advise adding Sallie to your itinerary if you are heading towards the Western Isles next year - her studio is a treasure trove of colour and texture, works in progress and finished pieces decorating the walls.

Meantime, we, like the rest of the UK are experiencing unseasonal snowy and very cold conditions.  Looks great but is proving a bit of a problem to get around.  For once I had stocked up early on road salt, de-icer and screenwash so have been congratulating myself since. 

If you are going out this weekend, please take care.

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Spotted in Tokyo...

Well, after two weeks scouring the shopping malls of Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka (yes, a tough job but someone has to do it!), when I got back to Scalpay on Friday I had seen only one item of Harris Tweed.  That was a natty pea-green jacket worn by a Japanese gentleman who was in the queue with us waiting to get into the annual exhibition at Nara. 
However, my spy in the east has sent me the photo below of a display in a shop called Beautiful and Young United Arrows.

Lots on the agenda now I'm back.  Some hand-looms to set up, some special spinning, some new linen..
Today we packed up the wool clip ready to be collected by lorry tomorrow, so its good to see the back of all that!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Winter is Here....

     This morning saw a light dusting of snow on top of the Clisham - the highest mountain in the Western Isles.  I would have taken a picture but my camera is packed away in my suitcase waiting for an early start tomorrow morning.  Scalpay Linen is going on tour again to the Land of the Rising Sun - this time hopefully to include some travel south and more visits to textile orientated venues.
     Apparently knitwear is a la mode this winter in Tokyo, so I have packed away some handspun and some needles (no, not in the hand luggage, though I am hoping to get away with a discreet crochet hook to while away the long haul).  Only fly in the ointment is that our friends from across the channel seem to be engaged in some sort of industrial action and the status of the airport in Paris is a bit iffy at the moment.
      So I am hoping there will be textiley photos in the blog over the next couple of weeks.  Blogging has taken a back seat just lately because things have been so hectic in the loomshed, but now its time to relax and do something different.......

Saturday, 9 October 2010

New Rams on the Block!

Monday was one of the highlights of the crofting year - Ram Sales at the Auction Mart in Stornoway.  This year it was held in the afternoon/evening.  There was a crowd of rams waiting to be sold, and a crowd of crofters hoping for good prices.

Before the sale proper started there was the best ram in the auction competition - ably judged by John Murdo, the grazier of the Shiant Isles. 

I did the bidding, as usual, and we ended the evening with three lads who travelled home with us in the back of the pickup.  It had been a long auction and we were famished so we dropped off at the Bangla Spice takeaway and restaurant in Church Street, Stornoway for curries.  I had a Rogan Josh, and O/H had a Korma.  It is a very nice place with good food and a comfortable ambience.  Unfortunately, having spent hours in the fragrant company of a bunch of rams, and having ram-handled ours into the pickup I think we did not represent the people of Harris in the sort of way we might have done otherwise, and there must have been gasps of relief and shots of air freshener following our departure.  Anyway, the service was superspeedy!

On arrival back in Scalpay I couldn't resist taking a photo of the new Cheviot ram when we opened the van door to let him out.  Just with the light of the torch, we felt a bit like sheep rustlers in the pitch dark, except we were bringing them in, not taking them out.

Next morning everyone was happy to come for some crunch and all have now settled down on the croft - busy building up condition and limbering up for their duties which start on the first Saturday in November.

When downloading the camera I came upon this cloud picture which we must have taken in error.  It is such a peaceful one, and shows a glimpse of blue sky, so is worth recording for posterity on the blog.  Having said that, today has been really gorgeous - end to end sun though a bit blowy latterly.

National Mod in Thurso starts tomorrow I believe.  Choirs from local schools will be competing, so we wish them all every success and hope they all have a great time.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Oh what a beautiful morning.....

Well, the sun is shining, the sky is blue (over 50% of it anyway!) and I'm raring to go.  At least I would be if I had calculated the yardage of thick ends for my Hobbit Linen.  As it is, I've got 16 sections sitting on the warping mill and am sitting in the house furiously treadling away on the wheel twisting up enough for the final 18 sections.
Sorry no pictures today - pc in slo-mo mode so don't have time to wait for eternal uploading.
Second sewing class at Tweeds with Style in Drinnishader on Tuesday evening went interestingly.  Turns out my sewing machine was horribly clogged up with bits - understandably since I've never cleaned it.  And my needle was blunt.  Fortunately the problem was sorted out quickly and I now know the bits to unscrew and where to dust inside to keep it bright and shiny.  Also turns out that I can sew in a straight line - bit of a surprise there.  Homework this week is unpicking everything we did at class and sewing it in again.

Another bit of interesting news is that I heard Sallie Jayne Avis - the bridal wear designer and maker from Ness has used the white herringbone linen which I wove for her last year - it is now a lovely bridal coat incorporated with frilly drapy bits and beads.  It looks just gorgeous.  Join Sallies Facebook and see on page 3 of the photos "Scalpay Linen".  It is so amazing to see our cloth being used - it really brings it alive. 

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Traditional Fare - something to do while its raining!

Today, ladies and gentlemen, we are going to make a traditional dish - so please pay attention.
Ingredients you will need:  3lb self-raising flour; 1 1/2 cups (use a small mug) brown sugar; 1 1/2 cups currants; pinch of salt; 3 tablespoons margarine; 1 1/2 tablespoons black treacle; 2 teaspoonsful ground cinammon; 1 teaspoonful bicarbonate of soda; 2 eggs (free range) beaten; milk to mix. 
A square cloth of a firm weave - I use a pillow case that was originally unbleached cotton (gosh, remember those?) opened out flat; a bit of string to tie it up; a large stock pot of boiling water and three hours spare....

Here are the ingredients before we start.  Put everything into a large bowl (or very clean plastic bucket) and rub in the margarine.  Add milk to make a stiff dough - you know you've got it right when it alll sticks together - but beware of overdoing the milk, it should stick to itself, not to you! 

If it looks like the picture above then you've got it about right.

Take your cloth and put it into a bowl.  Cover with boiling water from the electric kettle and then wring it out - be very careful because after all, the water is boiling and scalds are not part of the recipe.
Lay the wet hot cloth out flat and put a handful of flour on it.  Smooth it out and then put the mixture onto the cloth.  Make sure the flour covers the mixture.
Gather the cloth up firmly around the mixture and tie very tightly with a piece of cord.  This is very important since you don't want water swilling in and out of the cloth whilst its cooking.
Lower it carefully into the pot of boiling water and simmer for three hours - turning it over half way through.
Don't forget to open the window while its cooking unless you want to take the wallpaper off the walls!
After three hours, carefully remove it from the water - again taking full cognizance of the fact that it will be very, very, very hot.  Remove the cloth and place it on a plate.  Allow to cool.
Slice and eat - on its own, with butter or jam, or fried with bacon.  If you don't like the rind then give it to the dog.
This dish is known as a Duff, a Dumpling or a Pudding depending on where you are.  It's very filling and lasts for some days before it goes dry. 
This recipe is by courtesy of Mrs Ferguson and I am sharing it with the world as its definitely too good to keep private.

Tomorrow I'm off to Grimsay on Uist for the Michaelmas Open Day event on Saturday.  I shall be taking my camera so hope to have some photos for a future post.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Lots of things to tell you....

Loads has been happening since my last blog.  We had big problems with our dial-up internet access in the house which meant I only had the broadband in the shed and since the shed has been packed out almost every day during opening hours, there just hasn't been the opportunity to update the blog.  However, now we have a dongle for mobile broadband (which isn't actually broadband since we don't get broadband mobile here, instead it works at the same speed as dial-up!), so we are communicado again from the house.  It does get very complicated living here sometimes....

Daisys lamb is growing up fast - here he is enjoying a bottle.  Sadly this morning we lost the first lamb we hand-reared, from Braxy.  It was such a cold night with gale force wind, low temperatures and driving rain that I guess it was inevitable that at least one lamb wouldn't make it.

On a more cheerful note - Harris Dog who emigrated to the US has been travelling again.  Here he is at Damariscotta Lake in Maine enjoying the company of another new friend - Marley the Corgi.  We look forward to getting further updates on his adventures from Sandy.

Lots of really interesting folks in the shed over the past couple of weeks - Lorna the corset maker from Edinburgh took some of my white herringbone linen which she said would look fabby and has promised to send me a photo when complete, which I will post on the blog.

Carin from Australia who is heavily into tweeds and tailoring visited for the second time bringing examples of her designs.  Carin has a company called "Taigh an Truish" which, translated from Gaelic means "House of Trousers".  Apparently there was a time in history when the Gaels were prohibited from wearing tartan, kilts etc but they ignored the rule when they were at home.  If they travelled away, they would leave their highland dress at "Taigh an Truish" and change into lowland dress.  Then on the way back they would change again!  Carin is hoping to move to Harris in the future and continue her business from the heart of the tweedlands.  We wish her all the best and look forward to welcoming her.

Jean, Treasurer of the mid-Essex Spinners, Weavers and Dyers Guild, visited armed with two gorgeous grey Shetland fleeces which she swopped for two Hebridean ones.  Jean does a great deal of hand-spinning and also is a great fan of Natural Fibres Ltd in Launceston.  She took some photos and we had a great time chatting about spinning, weaving, fibres, etc etc, and the time went too quickly.  She is hoping that her guild will be able to arrange a crafting tour to the Hebrides which sounds like a great idea.

If you're a vegetarian, best skip over this paragraph...  At the beginning of the month we had a delivery from BruHighlanders - .  They stay at Brue in west Lewis (we got our dog Bramble from Brue and also collect Hebridean fleeces from a croft in the same area) and produce prime highland beef which is really spectacular.  We've already had a joint and some mince from the pack and it is delicious.  I would recommend them to anyone who is in the market for locally produced meat from , beautifully cared-for animals.  Don't know why it's taken us so long to decide to try local beef - we already produce our own lamb/mutton, eggs and chicken.  Together with potatoes from the croft and sitting in front of a peat fire, what more do we need for the perfect life?

Actually, I can answer that - my last Hebridean Harris Tweed was turned back by the stamper at the Harris Tweed Authority.  Haven't asked why yet, but imagine its either a "Friday-afternoon" tweed (ie really badly woven!) or I've got the weights all wrong.  Anyway, its good to know that the HTA are dancing on their toes and keeping up standards.  Interestingly, on the same day I got an order from our customers in London who sell to the entertainment industry for costumes etc. for linen cloth to go to New Zealand for use in the new production of "The Hobbit".  That news bucked us up no end as its been a while since Scalpay Linen was out in public - last outing I think was Glyndebourne a couple of years ago, though I think there was a little something in the TV version of "Merlin".

Here is the left hand side of our new Harris Tweed which is on the loom just now.  Had a really bad time with the accent threads which were just not right at all, so I swapped them for some of the space-dyed Harris wool which featured in an earlier blog and they fit in very well.  Have had some very encouraging compliments about the look of the tweed.  Seems to have the right number of shots per inch and nice straight edges so hope this one will go through the stamper ok.

The new training for weavers in Harris is due to start in January 2011.  We were down at the workshop in Harris where the double width looms are set up and the project seems to be progressing well.  The Hattersley weavers will get training on their own premises - as there is less work for the Hattersley looms from the mills the intention is that these weavers will be setting up their own small businesses around the looms, in much the same way as Scalpay Linen operates.  Adverts inviting applications will be appearing in the local press very soon.

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Congratulations to intrepid climbers Emmett and Macleod

We spent the afternoon and early evening today riveted to the TV watching Tim Emmett and Dave Macleod tackle a new route up the overhanging 600 foot cliff of Sron Uladail in North Harris.  It was just amazing watching them and by the end I was completely exhausted!!  Congratulations to everyone involved in the event - and what a wonderful opportunity to showcase our magnificent scenery and heritage. 

Thursday, 26 August 2010

OK, at last we are back to some creative stuff!  Today I was at Shawbost mill dropping off the Hebridean Harris Tweed and the last linen (purple, red and white) so I feel I've done something a bit useful after a period of being in the doldrums.

Last week I decided to dye the light colours of Harris wool I have in stock so my loom pixie hanked them all up for me and I spent a jolly, if sweaty, morning in the kitchen mising dyes, boiling pots and rinsing out hanks.  All my Australian landscape dyes are used up now - but what's the point of having them in a packet when they could be brightening up the world on a bit of yarn?

Here are a few of the hanks before I wound them onto cones on the Munty.  They are all crimped up because they're singles and not very stable.

Once onto the Munty cones they look quite different, and then, when put through the winder onto pirns ---

Well, they are really yummy.  The Harris Tweed I have in the loom looked wonderful on the warping mill, but was rather disappointing on the loom and I've been struggling to find a weft that will do it justice.  The accent threads I used were far too dark and heavy and made it all look very peculiar.  So I've whipped them out and replaced them with the space dyed yarn above.    Can't wait to start weaving to see what difference it makes to the end result!

Here's a cute photo I took of Baggy the duck in conference with Bramble - not sure what was being discussed but it ended with Baggy making a grab for Brambles' toes!

Anyone who is interested - and I know a lot of my visitors here are - might like to know that the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers 2011 Summer School details is in the current edition of the Journal and also on their website -
There is a wide range of courses available for - particularly of interest to me is the "Colour in Tapestry" one which looks like it could be useful in giving me some basics of colour work as well as a chance to learn a type of weaving I've never tried before.

If you're not a member of a Guild or don't subscribe to the Journal, I would advise you to look into it without delay.  There is even an online guild for those of us living in out of the way places!

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Scarves, Eggs, Shows and what I did on my way home from Stornoway last Wednesday.....

Another long gap between blogs I'm afraid.  Not sure why, but guess it's just the time of the year.  So much to do!  Here is our current project - making scarves.  Fringeing and finishing.  There will be a variety of different materials - Linsey Woolseys, linens and Harris Tweeds, so something for everyone.

We went through a spell when there were very few eggs in the nest boxes, then discovered that the hens had found themselves new places to lay.  Here is a very cosy spot we discovered in the byre, and who can blame the hen who thought that a nice sheepskin nest was her idea of heaven!

And talking of eggs - how's this for a whopper!  Weighing in at 113g - we haven't found which hen laid it, but guess that watery eyes and crossed legs might be clues.

On my way home from a trip to Stornoway on Wednesday, I got accidentally locked in the public toilet beside the Kinloch Historical Society premises near Balallan.  The handle came off the door and left me trapped inside.  I had to dial 999 to get released, so I'm taking this opportunity to thank the lads from the Stornoway Fire and Rescue Service for their speedy response to my plea for help.  In future I shall try to make sure and "go" before I leave home!

We didn't get to see the annual meteorite shower this year - unfortunately the weather has been too cloudy for that.

Last Friday was the North Harris Agricultural Show and it was a good day out.  Baggy the Aylesbury drake won a second prize, one of his mates won a first, and the cockerel who used to look like a starling won a second.  So all in all, a good result for the Croft 37 Poultry.  I spent the afternoon spinning Falkland wool on my Ashford Traveller wheel in the crafts tent, and it was a very relaxing enjoyable time chatting to passersby.  There's not a huge amount of spinning going on here these days, so its a real pleasure to devote some time to it.

Monday, 2 August 2010

Daisys lamb and the new tweed

It's a long time since I last added to my last blog - things have been very hectic with lots of visitors to the loomshed, weaving, warping and winding to do, lots of croft work, agricultural shows to attend and really rainy weather.

Here is an update on Daisys little lamb.  Her input into his upbringing continues to be minimal and he has now joined the lamb gang - the lamb on the right gives an idea of the difference in size between the lambs born at the right time, and Daisys lamb.  However, he's feeding from the bottle well and shows lots of interest in everything.

Here's my latest tweed - another Hebridean Harris Tweed ready to go to the mill when they open after the summer holidays.  With about 8 yards to go I finally cracked and put in a contrasting warp.

When it has been finished, I'll post a photo of it - quite an unusual colour combination but it seems that almost every colour goes well with the Hebridean brown.

It's the North Harris Agricultural Show at Willow Park Showground in Urgha on Friday, so the loomshed will be closed then.  We are busy polishing up the chickens and cockerels and hope that the weather is good enough to take a good selection with us.  Last year I seem to remember, the weather was so tragic that I only managed a couple of ducks - though they quite enjoyed it. 

Publication date for the new edition of Events Monthly - the free paper in Lewis and Harris is on Wednesday so if you are reading this locally, don't forget to grab a copy to see what's happening during the coming month.

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Birth Announcement

To Daisy (formerly of Bunnavoneader)
The gift of a son

Safely delivered yesterday at around 6pm. 
Mother and son doing well despite the atrocious weather.

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

Scalpay Dog goes Globetrotting

One of our Hebridean Harris Tweed dogs - woven by me and sewn by Martina has found its way across the Atlantic to a new home in Hampton, New Hampshire (above Boston on the map).  He certainly looks very comfortable and we see he's made a new friend - Sammy the cat - already.  Lazy days, relaxing by the pool, surrounded by trees and supping on maple syrup - what a wonderful future! 

Hands up who remembers the little ducklings hatched by one of our scatty buff orpington hens in June.  Well, here they are now.  Mum still keeps a watchful eye on them from a distance, but they definitely know they are ducks, and so does she.  She adopted another couple of chicks from a previous brood and seems to have taken to a life of domestic bliss with some enthusiasm.  

On Sunday morning we saw a Peregrine on a light pole opposite the house - too far away to take a photo, but near enough to see the characteristic zebra striping on its chest.  What an amazing bird.  There are rabbits under every stone and in every patch of bracken at the Outend (wonder if the population explosion has anything to do with the mink eradication programme?) so we hope that the selection of birds of prey visiting us will increase.

Yesterday we had our annual visit from our buyers in London who sell to the theatre/films/tv etc costume makers.  Latest news is that some our linen was used for the BBC series "Merlin". 

Monday, 12 July 2010

Reviewing a Really Busy Week

     Last week was the busiest so far of the season.  We welcomed over 50 visitors to our loomshed and now need to spend some time replacing stock - a nice problem to have!  Many thanks to Sandy & Co from the States who always bring delicious maple syrup when they visit, as well as lots of enthusiasm and news. 

     Also, we paid a visit to Harris Tweed Hebrides to pick up some cloth they have been finishing for us - below is a green and white linen - 12 x 12 herringbone.  Some striped, some checked with green and some checked with natural.  About 28m all together. It's got a very nice feel to it, whilst still retaining our signature "tweedy" effect.

This is our new Harris Tweed.  A few weeks ago I showed it on the warping mill ready for beaming.  It's a burnt orange with Hebridean wool as the warp, and the weft is the burnt orange, twill weave and single width as always.  Completely unique.

And here is a close up of it with the orb mark.

Currently there is another Hebridean Harris Tweed on the loom, but the next to go on the beam will be this one pictured below.  A striking mix of pink, blue and three highlights on a colour gradated warp - in either a twill or a 2 x 2 herringbone, whichever looks better.  Weft will most likely be pink.  We are really excited about this tweed - can't wait to start.....

And finally, we are still waiting for Daisy and her pal to lamb.  According to the calendar, daddy is now most likely to be Mr 4-Horn Hebridean, fresh back from his working Christmas and New Year in Galson.  So maybe Tuesday or Wednesday will be lambing day.

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Ladies in Waiting - Daisy and her pal

The other day, we were at the end of the croft checking if any of the stock which wasn't on the summer grazings needed shearing when we saw Daisy the cross Cheviot and her pal.  Thoughts of how well they were looking and how plump soon gave well to astonishment when we realised that they were both in lamb!  Don't know who the daddy is, don't know when the lambs are due but we're waiting daily for the patter of tiny hooves again!

Incidentally - you can see our tree on the top right of the photo.  It's a Rowan and is old and gnarled and about six foot tall.  But it's a tree, and as such is a highly treasured asset of the croft.

Last weekend saw a lot of yachting activity in the North Harbour - here's a picture of three of them at anchor enjoying a peaceful stopover.  One crew even managed up to the Outend to visit the loomshed.

And finally another croft scene - we have a glacial valley across the croft with steep cliffs that the sheep can't get to and so there is a variety of plant life flourishing there.  Here is a patch of honeysuckle.  Tonight the perfume from it was totally glorious - the air was warm and still (yet surprisingly the midgies were not out) and you could smell it from twenty metres away.  We didn't want to come indoors tonight - a perfect summer evening, definitely a memory to tuck away and enjoy again in the depths of next winter.