Gifts from a Scottish treasure island…

Ok I admit it. My crafting ‘cupboard’ is becoming somewhat unruly! To be honest, I am no longer only taking over a cupboard – I suspect Mr D has now lost all hope of ever laying claim to our study as it gradually morphs into my craft workshop!

The problem is, quite simply, that I have developed an inability to admire pretty fabrics and soft skeins of wool without feeling the urge to purchase just a little bit each time! The net result is a growing fabric and wool stash, a lengthy project list and an exasperated Mr D!

My Mum and Dad recently added to the stash (yippee!) during a trip to the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. Over the past few years, Mum, Dad, Mr D and I have all enjoyed exploring some of the stunning islands off the west coast of Scotland, such as Coll, Tiree, Mull and Barra. This summer my parents decided to do a bit of island hopping across The Uists, Harris and Lewis – some of the most westerly islands lying off the Scottish coast. They were extremely lucky with the weather and enjoyed it so much that Mum has already booked to go back to Harris next April.

Of course, Harris is famous for its intricate, luxurious and increasingly fashionable Harris Tweed. I cannot wait to have the chance to visit one of the mills to witness the weaving of Harris Tweed, by hand, into beautiful designs. In the meantime, I will need to content myself with one of the latest additions to my fabric stash – yes, some lovely Harris Tweed! I was delighted when Mum presented me with this gorgeous mix of off-cuts from The Harris Tweed Company at Grosebay on the Isle of Harris.

There is so much here! Four large and four small pieces – which means there is plenty of scope for all sorts of projects. I haven’t quite decided how to tackle each piece yet but I think there will be a mixture of cushions, doorstops and perhaps a tea cosy? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to best use this special fabric? I would love to hear your ideas!

Not only did my Mum and Dad bring back a bag full of tweed treats – these appeared too…

… three balls of Harris DK wool. I just love the colours and have decided that they will work well in a fair isle pattern – possibly as a cushion front. The problem is, I have never tried fair isle knitting before – there’s nothing like some gorgeous wool to inspire a challenge!

So, two brilliant gifts presenting their own unique dilemmas – what should my Harris Tweed become and how do I master fair isle knitting? Wish me luck!

Mrs D xx

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