Thursday, 24 April 2014

FO: Skye Light

Oops! I did not mean to leave it that long between blog posts - apologies! This week has been rather hectic; hopefully I'll be able to tell you about that, sometime. But first, I've been looking forward to telling you about a fabulous day I had back in December. My lovely former landlady (Hannah) kindly gave me some undyed sock yarn and also offered a 'dyeing day'; all I needed was an idea for colour. Now, I will be the first to admit that my creativity has limits, and being able to dye my own yarn left me somewhat paralysed by choice.

But then I started thinking about things past – maybe because of the time of year (as I said, December), or the changes that were on the horizon for the then New Year. I thought back to January 2009 (5 years ago!?); ahead of our final term at Uni, a few of us went to visit the Isle of Skye. We got on a bus tour in Edinburgh and drove out into the Highlands – my first time there. The scenery blew me away (definitely figuratively; almost literally given the shocking weather!)

Sadly, all I could find were these two low-resolution, poorly-taken photographs. Despite that, I hope they give you an idea of what this trip was like: beautiful if grey, with a light that seemed kind of ‘wet’. I thought I’d try to capture that in a yarn, if possible.  

Off I trotted to Hannah’s, with all this whirling around in my brain (along with the usual PhD thesis malarkey). We had a lovely day dyeing the yarn, nattering, drinking tea, and going to IKEA to pick up some essential vases and accidental Christmas decorations. I was pretty pleased with the result. 

And what pattern to knit with this little beauty? Why, the Old Man of Storr Shawl [rav link], named after one of Skye’s notable landmarks. Ironically, not one I have seen particularly clearly, because the path was far too wet to walk when we were there, but a fascinating geological feature nonetheless.

I used the pattern as my starting point, but essentially knitted it until I ran out of yarn. I've ended up with a small shawl / large scarf jobby - either way, I love it. 

It now reminds me not only of my first trip to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland (with dear friends), but also of a day’s dyeing yarn (also with dear friends), so I really enjoy wearing it. 

Friday, 11 April 2014

Where I've Been For The Last Three Months

Ooops, that was quite a hiatus! And not an entirely intentional one. Blogger tells me that I last posted on 17th January and since then, I've been concentrating on finishing one big project: my PhD thesis. The culmination of three and a half years of work. A 239-page book containing nearly 54,000 words of novel science research.

Yesterday, I submitted it. While this does not mean I am now a Dr (I have to do a viva before that), it is a very important step on the way. As you can see, it means I can work a little less and enjoy life a little more, starting with tea and cake in the nearest cafe. As far as you, dear reader, are concerned, the important implication is that this means I can blog again :)

See you again soon!
PS. I really will try and shake my academic writing style off. I sound weird, even to me.