Happy, belated, Easter!

blue sky glen feshie 1sun on the river feshie 1my lot 1feshie bridge 1feshie bridge easter monday 1feshie bridge easter monday in sunshine 1all together easter monday glen feshieHello!  I hope you have had a good few weeks and that you had a lovely time over Easter.  Sorry to have been so quiet – there’s lots going on here and I’ll be able to start sharing a little more about the plans that are brewing soon.  In the meantime I desperately wanted to have a catch up so today’s post is a wee sum-up of our recent outdoor activities……..photos of some of the beautiful places we’ve been lucky enough to spend time recently.

The first set of photos is from Easter Monday when we spent the day we spent pottering in Glen Feshie.  It is a beautiful area right on the edge of the Cairngorms and much quieter than many of the other easily accessible spots near Aviemore.  I have very happy memories of swimming in the river with my dad, in the pools at the beautiful Feshie Bridge.  I guess it would have been around 15 years ago and after a hot and long day walking in the mountains, ticking off some Munros, the swim was such a welcome cool down…………days like that are quite rare so definitely to be remembered.  This time the river was far too high, and cold, with snow-melt to contemplate swimming!

1rosemarkie beach 1rosemarkie easter fortrose harbour home ignoring the dolphins easter sunday markie beach easter sunday rosemarkie morning run These photos were taken on walks from home over the last 2 or 3 weeks.  The photo of Katie playing on the beach makes me laugh.  The rest of us were watching dolphins but Katie, after a fairly cursory glance, started digging holes and playing.  We realised that she doesn’t really remember a life where you couldn’t see dolphins on a regular basis – to her it is quite normal and so the fascination wears off pretty rapidly!

I don’t know what it is like with you but we’re still wearing winter jackets and, although the day length is so much longer (wonderful), it’s really quite cold out………..I’m sure some warmth will come eventually but I’m beginning to feel that it would be nice to go out without having to wrap up quite so well!

Chamomile Hat in undyed British wool

islay in chamomile hatnatures shades along british wool clare devine chamomile hat british wool natural shades chamomile hat blue faced leicester british woolchamomile hat british natural wool

 

I’ve been having a lot of fun working away on this Chamomile Hat.  I finished up a few days ago, and then made and attached the pom pom yesterday (after a quick instagram conference regarding whether the pom pom was too big ~ consensus = couldn’t possibly have a pom pom too big!).  Islay spotted it as soon as she came home from school and immediately put it on.  I had planned for it to be mine, but she loves it so much, and it looks so good on her, that it’s now hers.  She went off to school very happily this morning complete with her bouncing pom pom!

The pattern is the Chamomile Hat by Clare Devine.  It is very well written and was a real pleasure to knit.  The main wool is British Bluefaced Leicester from West Yorkshire Spinners, bought at Ginger Twist Studio.  The contrast colours were leftover from the *wee snake I knit for Katie years ago (the snake is still going strong and gets lot of play) and are Rowan Purelife, also British Wool.  All three are natural shades, with the Rowan being a mix of breeds to give the marled colours.

I knit the hat as part of the Knit British and Brit Yarn ‘Nature’s Shades Along’.  I loved the inspiation behind this knit-along ~ to showcase the beauty and versatility of British, undyed wool.  I would have loved to go for a bigger project but time and budget prevented that – and I’m so happy to have made a hat that my wee girl loves…..plus it meant that I didn’t have to do the modelling!

Details over here on Ravelry

*I had a wee read of the post I wrote about Katie’s snake (3 years ago now) and was interested to see what I said about the Rowan Purelife, and that I was commenting back then how good it was to use British undyed yarn – I still feel that way, possibly more so now!  And, I love seeing how much my knitting has progressed in the meantime, I’d still class myself as very much a learner but I’m definitely improving!

 

Skiing near Tomatin

scottish highlands birch in the snow winter highland scenekatie tomatin ski katie ski katie's offsnowy falls ski downhill islay goes finn goes angus skiislay ski big three ski tomatin snow hills and blue skyHello, and happy February.  I’m barely adjusted to the fact that we’re in a new year, let alone mid-way through the second month already.  We’re leading a very full, but pretty satisfying, way of life at the moment……the weeks seem to whip by in a barely coordinated frenzy of children’s activities and events.  But they seem to be happy and thriving and John and I are managing to cling on and pretty much keep everything heading in the right direction.  I’ve always been a firm believer that the children shouldn’t do too much and should have quite a lot of down-time  – but with four children, especially since the older ones are beginning to compete in a fairly serious way, we’re deinitely on the verge of not having us all at home together as much as I’d like.

So, days like today are very special.  We are all at home today as it is half-term and, with perfect winter weather, we made the most of our day together by taking the children skiing.  Skiing is one of my very favourite things but we haven’t been able to go since we had Islay and I subsequently stopped working.  Even skiing at home in Scotland is pretty expensive – but as we really want the children to experience the joy of being out in the hills on skis my parents very kindly bought them second hand equipment for Christmas (Cairngorm Ski Club has a fantastic annual 2nd hand kit sale – a somewhat crazy but worthwhile event!).  We headed south from the Black Isle towards the Cairngorms and pulled off down a small road near Tomatin – after a wee hunt around we found a perfect slope above the road.  Deep powdery snow and beautiful views of the surrounding hills.

The children all did well – the snow depth helped keep their speed under control and made falling fun……….walking back uphill was hard work but they were great and kept at it.  We were out for about 2 1/2 hours, I think that was enough given the amount of energy being expended.  Tomorrow is forecast to rain  – but if that proves wrong we’ll be back skiing again.

We’re all snugged up at home now, full of hot soup and fresh air.  Fingers crossed we’ll manage another ski day or two before the end of the winter.

Hoping you’re cosied up too and enjoying your February.