Wednesday, 31 December 2008

New home for Lamsey

Well the big day has arrived - Lamsey is moving to her new home at the Outend on Scalpay. We sat waiting outside for Sheila and John Finlay to arrive, Lamsey was a bit confused as all the things were happening that would normally mean food - the tinshed door was open, Tony and Leda were mooching around the yard, talking to Hamish and Lamsey but no food. Sheila and JF arrived in the big blue truck with Bramble the collie and Heather the terrier. Before Lamsey could be moved the earring had to go in - a lovely lilac one, all done very painlessly in the expert hands of JF and then into the back of the carpeted truck and off to the new home and food! Hamish, Bramble and Heather all dashing round the house yapping and being generally doggy. Joan arrived from up the drive to see the leaving! It was Joan who had been involved in the rescue of the very young Lamsey. Sheila brought some eggs from her flock - you can see pics of them on her blog and some lovely yarn that she had spun from the rovings that were hooked out of the skip by me a week or so ago. Sheila is going to call it carloway yarn, the textures are great here is a pic of the yarn in various stages of processing, it is soft and nubbly, not sure what to do with it but I think a hat and maybe a neckwarmer with the very soft yarn that Sheila has spun with silk - it is beautiful - thank you!
Keep an eye on Sheila's blog for more Lamsey news and Happy New Year

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

belated christmas, home,beaches and lamsey

The others, Joan and Sheila, live on the Minch side of the island whereas I live on the blowy side! Sheltered at the head of a sea loch that opens onto the North Atlantic, we are sheltered by Taransay but I just think it funnels the wind through making it even more wild! Anyway here are some pics - of the house with the mountains, one of the beach at the end of the road - Huisinis with white shell sand and turquoise water, the island in the distance is Taransay.
Christmas was over very quickly because of the move! The packing continues - my friend Michele came round today to help and we did quite a few cartons but I do need the bubble wrap - hopefully it will arrive tomorrow!
Lamsey is moving to Sheila and John Finlay's tomorrow, they are coming to collect her in the morning. She has been 'mehing' at the window today and generally objecting to the weather and perhaps not having too much company because I am busy with the packing! Here are some pics of her at a day old! John Finlay is looking forward to having her and has planned a cheviot/blackface x with black hebridean. Sheila is licking her lips at the thought of the fleeces that will come from this pairing!
Knitting is on hold at present, have got some colourful socks on the pins as well as a hat from some plant dyed wool that Joan gave me for Christmas. It is lovely to knit with and the colour is great - will get some pics for you!

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Lizzie's home!

Lizzie - student daughter is home (she is on the left in the pic with friends Emma and Nikki) She very nearly missed the checkin time at east midlands airport and I had visions of her spending her christmas in edinburgh airport. Anyway she arrived at Stornoway airport at 6.50 - last off the plane as she had brought me a huge bouquet that she had put together at a lovely flower shop - flowerworks in leicester, the flowers have to go at the back of the plane hence the delay getting off. Lots going on whilst she is at home but right now she is snoozing!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Hamish in his new coat

Here he is wearing the coat, thinking he'd prefer to be outside and don't expect me to say thanks!

T'Mill, blown down barns and well dressed westie and a lamb!

Well what a few days it has been! The wind is scary and I have to check that we are still here and we are although Lamsey's shelter is probably on it's way to St Kilda!
Went out for a christmas lunchy do on Thursday via the mill, it was pretty blowy up over the Clisham but arrived at the mill safely. Lots of lovely yarn for my stash, all in hanks. Asked about roving for Sheila - 'Oh' they said ' we throw that away - it's in the skip outside' Hmmm, so loaded up with wool and tweed and spied the skip - one of those great big ones but open at the ends. Went and had a nose and lo and behold bags and bags of roving type stuff - bearing in mind I was in my 'party' clothes rather than skip raiding gear I hoiked myself in and plodged around found a few bags that looked likely, boy was it cold my fingers had got to that snap off stage, so decided to extricate myself - that took some doing. Always much easier to get into a skip than it is to get out in my experience! Loaded it all and off we went having to use the wing mirrors cos of all the wool. tweed and rovings. Lovely drive over the Pentland road to Stornoway.
Sheila and John Finlay came round on Friday and collected the three bags in exchange for a frozen piece of their lamb/hoggett that had been taken to the abbatoir the last time Lizzie was home in November. I'll cook it slowly with some herbs and red wine and I am sure it will be delicious. Outside it was blowing a hooley and we still had to get to Lewis to take pictures of our blown away barn up in Ness and get Hamish to the vet for his vacs.
The barn in Ness had started to blow away at the end of November, with the roof lifting on one corner. Whilst we were waiting for it to be repaired the rest of the roof lifted and was hanging on precariously which meant the whole structure was dangerous with bits of roof flying around Ness. It was decided by the Comhairle that it had to come down so Danda and his digger went in and did the job.
I have been knitting Hamish a lovely warm tweedy coat in Aran weight tweed, I got the yarn from t'mill (getting in practise for the move to Yorkshire). Here are some pics of him in his new coat - I think his body language says it all! He is probably thinking pleeeaaase don't make me wear this ..... Hamish is very vocal and patrols the garden looking for things to fume at - cats, birds, sheep, anyone who dares to walk around the loch head, Donald John's pick up and of course the working collies, who visit occasionally to see what all the noise is about!
As it was quite fine yesterday I took some pics of Lamsey and here she is looking lovely, her fleece is beautiful. She has to have an eartag for when she moves to Sheila's - apparently a lamb being moved would have two eartags in case one gets lost or falls out. It is like us having our ears pierced so I hope there is local anaesthetic available!
Oh well back to the packing!

Wednesday, 17 December 2008


One thing I shall miss on moving from the Hebrides are the rainbows - they are amazing mainly because of the air quality - no pollution and the colours are so clear. Big bands of colour and beautiful arches - still looking for the post of gold, haven't found one yet! These pics were taken on the road at Dun Carloway (going to the mill!), you can just see a secondary rainbow to the left of the main rainbow. The end of the rainbow went into the loch maybe there is no pot of gold if it finishes in the water!
You have seen pics of baby Lamsey well here she is very grown up and looking very glamorous - well in sheep terms she is good looking with the toe of someone's welly in the bottom of the picture. Here is Hamish looking forlorn he was refusing to eat as he frequently does. He is offered Caesar, aren't ALL westies supposed to love it? Well Hamish doesn't - sheep poo mmmm yummy but dog food no! We have these battles - major guilt trips for me, he has not eaten for 3 days as he protests about whatever is in his bowl. He does like brown toast with butter and marmalade but who wouldn't? Hamish is laying on a Harris tweed shawl from weaver in Shawbost, it washes beautifully on 30c, doesn't felt and looks as bright as did when it was new - adverts over.
The garden doesn't look like this now - Lamsey has given it a quick trim and it is now very bare and well clipped. It will look beautiful next summer after the pruning it has had this autumn!
Getting the dog sweater/coat on the needles.

Lamsey, bits of paper, sox and wool

Have been having a chat with my friend Sheila about her adopting the lamb and all the paperwork that is involved, anyway Sheila will speak to Donald John, the crofter at this end, and Lamsey can be moved so watch this blog and Sheila's blog for more news on Lamsey. Anyway Lamsey - who had a bit of a rough start in life is now 6 months old and has an amazing fleece, she is blackface/cheviot x. The fleece when parted looks as if it has been crimped and Sheila (weaver and spinner) has been licking her lips since first seeing Lamsey during the summer. However Lamsey has taken the hump today for no particular reason - I shall put it down to hormones! She is trying very hard to turn her back on me however, mine is the hand that feeds her! Hamish the westie and Lamsey spend most of their day tearing around the garden together, she doesn't understand when Hamish comes inside and wants to follow him in, she sits outside the door slumped on the doorstep meehhing loudly to anyone who will listen and generally telling everyone how badly treated she is! The picture shows her when she was days old. You can see why she wants to get inside - maybe she would like to join Hamish on the sofa!
Here are some pics of my socks that I have knitted for christmas pressies, I will be making some more for sale after the big move to Yorkshire on January 5th. Look at the the lovely handpainted merino wool that has come from Oz and the undyed lopi wool - not sure what I am going to do with the merino wool but the lopi is going to be made into a chunky throw - thought about weaving other textures through it once it is made - ribbon, string, piping cord - will see what it looks like when knitted up on big needles, thought I would knit it as a diamond just to add interest. Lizzie will be home next week and will no doubt have an opinion and lots of ideas! Going to use the pale green tweed to make a very smart sweater coat for Hamish, he had a trim, shampoo and set last week and is feeling the cold a bit - although he keeps jumping in the burn and getting very wet up to his knees. He had a bad experience when he was little down on South Uist when he ran out into the sea not realising that waves can be very big - since then he has been very careful about just how much he is prepared to get wet! Being a westie and frightened of water does have it's limitations!
Isn't this tray lovely - it's been painted by a friend Abi, who lives in Leverburgh. She paints these beautiful trays with either a crab, oystercatcher, gull or lobster. She also paints plaques with similar designs. It is so lovely I am rather reluctant to use it!
I am sending Shelter e cards this year to my friends whose e mail addresses I have, they are free and the idea is that you make a donation - great idea.
Tony (my husband) has just made some bread and the smell ... mmm think I'll go and cut a doorstep - whoops there goes the healthy eating - the bread is not the problem it's the butter and the jam!

Monday, 15 December 2008

bear, tinshed and house

I am Leda (aka Shortlegs the sheep) and I knit and work in tweed, bake bread, do some calligraphy and a bit of photography too all under the name of the Tin Shed. I am about to move from the beautiful island of Harris to the Yorkshire Wolds to a big old farmhouse and although I will not have a tin shed there the name will continue.
The big move is happening at the beginning of January. Kenny MacLennan is going to try to get the big lorry down the drive to load - the drive is narrow and has dry stone walls just inside the gates - should be fun! Running up to the move I have been having major clear out of stuff - furniture, household things, garden furniture and pots, a wooden big bear who has gone to live in Aird Ashaig and lots of other things which will please Kenny, who, when he moved us into this house said he had never seem so much stuff!
Have joined forces with my friends Sheila (Scalpay Linen) and Joan (Harristweedbagandsocks) in creating a blog. The three of us together formed SassyGael during Summer 2008 - to promote local craft fairs in Harris for local craftspeople. We had a very successful season - happy craftspeople and happy customers! Sheila and Joan are going to continue with SassyGael next season. We all had a great time and learned a great deal from each other and about ourselves too!
Anyway the three of us are going out next week with Lizzie , my daughter, who is home from University for Christmas. Lizzie is studying textiles at University and her dissertation is going to be around Harris Tweed. Our favourite haunt (the only haunt really on Harris) is the Inn - we usually eat scampi and puddings but this time it will be Christmas fare.
I have been knitting socks for Christmas presents using self patterning wools mainly in stripes, it is really fun to work with. Will get some photo taken so that you can see. Will also be selling these socks in the new year.
Went to the mill last week and picked up a lot of hanked 100% wool in good colours - a lovely raspberry, purple, donkey brown, navy, peaty brown and a foresty green as well as some tweed which I am going to make into big bucket shaped bags lined with hessian for dumping the knitting in or magazines or even logs!

strand line at huisinis