Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Arran part two and yarny progress!

Hello there!
Today I want to share with you some of the other places we explored during our short break on Arran. Over by Blackwaterfoot on the southwest side of the island is King's Cave, one of the locations in which Robert the Bruce is said to have encountered the spider. We chose to walk to it from the forestry car park which makes it into a nice hour and a half circular walk. When you reach the shoreline there are a series of caves in the sandstone cliffs...

But there is no doubt as to which is King's Cave!

I can honestly say I have never seen such a grand entrance to a cave before! Inside the walls are covered in carvings of various ages...

Some even have dates on them...

We were glad we had brought flashlights so we could have a good look around. Then on the way back out I spotted something else...

Probably not a descendant of the famous spider but proof that someone has a sense of humor!
After walking back to the car we drove over to Whiting Bay for a picnic lunch. Afterwards, just as we were getting ready to set off from the car, the rain started, but we live in Scotland (!) so on went the waterproofs and we walked on past the soggy tourists huddled under the trees looking miserably at the skies. It turned into a very wet walk but actually it was rather nice to be under the tall trees in the torrential rain as we climbed up the glen to Glenashdale Falls. Another bonus of the weather was that we only met one other couple the entire time (a welcome change as Arran as become a lot busier with visitors since the RET scheme was introduced). The Falls themselves were quite spectacular and well worth the climb...

We decided to take the option to walk out to the Giant's Graves instead of going straight back down the way we had come. The rain had stopped by the time we got there and the views were pretty good too!

We said goodbye to Arran the following day after a morning of steady rain and a high volume of midges (UGH!! My major reason for staying away from the west coast in summer!). The skies seemed to be brightening over the island again and I bet they ended up enjoying another lovely evening. 

Once again we opted to sit inside on the crossing and I made a little more progress on Stormy Seas...

After looking at various patterns on Ravelry and having a good think I decided to put armholes into my Vortex circle, give it sleeves, and thereby turn it into more of a cardigan (something I do wear). I measured the distance across the back of one of my sweaters from one armhole to the other and when the diameter of my Vortex matched that I cast off all the stitches between markers 2-3 and markers 6-7. On the next row I cast on the same number of stitches and continued going round in pattern again. I bought another Colourwheel, had a play around with front shaping and ended up ripping a lot of knitting out - twice!- before deciding to just stick with making a big circle . When it was almost the diameter I wanted I stopped knitting in pattern and knitted 16 rounds in garter stitch so the border would lie flat. I cast off with a picot cast off (thanks Youtube!) to give it some extra stretch and make a pretty edge. Now I am happy with it, but when directions say the picot bind off is time consuming they sure aren't kidding! At the point where I was ready to begin casting off I had 488 stitches which was taking me about 20 minutes to knit all the way around once. It then took me 20 minutes to cast off between the first two markers, which was just one eighth of the way round! It also really gobbled the yarn - I had 93g left of the second Colourwheel by the time I was finished. Then it was time to pick up some stitches and make sleeves. I had two balls of Patons Fairytale Soft DK in blue left from knitting a sweater for Little H a couple of years ago, the color is now discontinued so I can't get any more but I figured there was enough there for sleeves? We will see! This is where I have gotten up to now...

I also joined the squares I had made for Ebee's Flower Square Blanket so now I have eight rows completed...

My goal is to make and join 2 rows a month for the next few months so it will be ready for my daughter by the time the temperatures really start to drop.
Lastly, spurred on by all your kind comments about the Seriously Southwestern Socks, I made an effort and finished the second sock! Hubbie is really pleased with them, has declared them the comfiest socks he has ever worn, and requested more! I have yarn and a (much simpler) pattern picked out for him, but am hoping to finish Stormy Seas before I start something new. (I really would like to get three more things finished off my WIP list before I add something else to the mix but I'm sure you all know how the daily struggle with temptation goes! ;-)). Anyways here are his finished socks...

I hope to be back soon to show you what I worked on in June when I should have been working on UFO's! Until then I hope you are enjoying a lovely week with lots of creative opportunities :-)


  1. The pictures from your trip to Arran are quite stunning. Thank you for sharing them. I can travel the world "virtually" through my blogging friends. Stormy Seas is looking so beautiful. Those socks are so fun!!! You do such beautiful work.

  2. Hi Helen I did enjoy been out hiking with you again and visited all the links you added and enjoyed learning more. was interesting reading more about the burial sites. Your shawl cardigan is stunning throw it my way if it does not fit LOL Hubbies sock look so comfortable lovely perfect heel fit, but oh boy lots of knitting in those them there socks!!!!

  3. There you go again, Helen, making me miss home .....apart form the rain and the midges! :) Your cardigan looks amazing, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that you have enough yarn to complete the sleeves. The socks are just gorgeous, glad your hubby liked them.

  4. Great trip round the countryside and caves!
    I like your big circle, I'm quite intrigued by how it will look with sleeves added.
    Love the sock model!


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