Monday, August 30, 2010

Lindisfarne to Iona

The wool I blogged earlier this month was bought while on holiday in Scotland. And then I bought some more, also 'local', also undyed.

On the first full day of our stay in Scotland, we went to Lindisfarne, and on the last full day we went to Iona. We didn't go to the abbey in either place (to be saved for another trip): and although the two islands are on the opposite coasts of the UK, the monastery at Lindisfarne was founded by St. Aidan from Iona.

Lindisfarne is cut off by the tide for a few hours at the time, and we thought we'd have time to walk round the entire island. We didn't: the walking guide said allow three hours for a three mile walk and this was surprisingly accurate, but it didn't tell us about the nasty spiky seed heads that caught onto trousers (jeans were OK) and spiked through onto the unhappy teenager. I made my first crafty purchase, a small cross stitch kit of a celtic cross. It came from a shop called Celtic Crafts, which was mainly a gift shop with a few small cross-stitch kits. It was small, but also covered with backstitch. I completed it during the holiday, and took photos at the nunnery on Iona.


We weren't staying at Lindesfarne, but in Coldstream, within a mile of the border with England. However, we went from there to Edinburgh a couple of times, and saw several shows at the Fringe. I went to K1 Yarns, a nice little yarn shop, but nothing tempted me there. Another shop which might interest craft-bloggers was the Grassmarket Embroidery Shop, a few minutes walk from K1, at the far end of the Grassmarket. It had a somewhat intimidating display of work in the window, and when I went in, there were racks of embroidery threads and other materials. The shop keeper was friendly and in the back room were some kits. However if you wanted to design your own work, this was the place to go.

Halfway through our trip, we drove to Loch Awe. We actually went through Stirling on the Saturday of UK Knit Camp and Ravelry Weekend 2010, but we didn't stop. We had a long drive to the banks of Loch Awe and the remote holiday cottage we were staying in.

We did various touristy things: a day in Oban, where I bought my First Yarn in Ages. It came from a croft (I think) a little way north of Oban.

On the last day we had a coach trip to Iona. We went from Oban by ferry, then a coach took us across the Isle of Mull, before another ferry took us the short distance to Iona. We walked to the end of the Island, and stared at the Atlantic.

Then back to the village, where I photographed my completed cross-stitch in the nunnery. We looked in the little gift shops, and I was unable to resist it: more new wool, a beautiful, soft, snowy-white ball of shetland, spun on Mull - we had passed the mill on the coach.

Having missed the Ravelry day in Stirling, I also missed the Festival of Quilts - even though we drove through Birmingham on the appropriate day.


Shan said...

What a lovely trip!

Nice little cross-stitch - I am getting back into it lately and really enjoying the precision, after sticking to knitting for five years.

Penny said...

Yes, cross-stitch has been calling to me at the moment as well.