Wednesday, 31 July 2013

WIP Wednesday: Rowan Gozo & Drops Cotton Light

I've been feeling the urge recently to create some human-sized things! I don't know what it is about the height of summer, but it makes me want to buy tonnes of yarn and start making snuggly winter things. ...which makes zero sense, but it does mean I am always super prepared for October?

This is as much a WIP Wednesday as it is a budget yarn recommendation. I'm trying to be a bit more thrifty when making human-sized things, so I thought I'd try out Garnstudio Drops 'Cotton Light'. It is a cotton/polyester mix which is currently 90p per ball on, which is a pretty amazing price. Reviews warned me that the yarn is great for knitting, but not so much for crochet as it can be a bit splitty, but for 90p a ball I decided I could live with that.

I haven't really found it that much more splitty than any other cotton I've worked with. Cotton is lovely, but can be very unforgiving. Drops Cotton Light is a very nice budget cotton mix, and is crocheting up beautifully! If you are a Row@n member you can access a bunch of patterns online, and I decided to crochet one of their newly released (for free!) summer crochet designs - Gozo, by Maria Wallin.

This is an excellent companion to my Lovefilm free trial. Which I suspect will stay long after it has stopped being free (but I will pretend not to notice.)

alice xox

Thursday, 25 July 2013


Something pretty exciting happened the other week. I finally got to see some really old, scrappy bits of animal skin with some barely decipherable words on it in a totally useless language!

Photo from the British Library

By which I mean the Beowulf manuscript, of course. (It does contain other things beside Beowulf, but that's what it's most famous for.) I'm just trying to downplay how stupidly excited I was. Beowulf is one of my favourite things in the world, and seeing it finally was really awesome. For those who don't know, it's an Old English poem I studied a lot for my undergrad, and I wrote my dissertation on it. It's not doing so bad in the popular culture stakes thank to Seamus Heaney and a dreadful CGI film, but it's still not something you'd generally come across. (You could do worse than reading the Heaney translation, if you're at all interested!)

For a scruffy little manuscript, it's kind of a big deal. It is quite scruffy, but's that understandable. It's old as balls and escaped a pretty nasty fire. It was so old and fragile and beautiful! I've been trying to see it for so long, but it's been being restored the last two times I was down in London, so I was half convinced I wouldn't get to see it this time. I ran right past it first, wailing that it wasn't there, and Gav had to drag me back and point it out. Then, I did a pretty ridiculous impression of an excited child at Disneyland, glued my face to the glass and inconvenienced all the other visitors. Whoops.

You're not allowed to take photos inside the Library, and while I can see on Flickr that other people have not been so obedient (!) I didn't take a photo. Maybe I'm just institutionalised, but it's a lovely place and while it's my instinct to take a photo as a souvenir, I feel like it would be rude to ignore their rules. So, I bought a little book from the gift shop which has some cool photos of some of the pages.

In other medieval manuscript news, the Lindsifarne Gospels are currently back oop north in Durham! This makes me very happy, because London steals all our things. Whilst I totally understand why, I think it's really ace that they're getting a tour back up Northumberland way. I'm a romantic like that, I love historic artefacts being in geographically appropriate places.

Thank you for reading about my old stuff, I hope this hasn't been too tedious 

alice xox

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Whistlestop Tour of Aberdeenshire

A couple of weekends ago, my dad came to visit me up here in Haggisland. Aberdeenshire is full of awesome stuff, but not having a car, I kind of miss out on a lot of it. So, dad was kind enough to treat me to a whole weekend of automobile excitement! The weather alternated obligingly between beautiful and sunny and miserable and moody. The latter may sound like a bad thing, but you haven't seen gorgeous Scottish scenery properly until you've seen it wet and dramatic. Beautiful!

So, we rented the smallest car we could get and went off on an adventure...