Thursday, 9 October 2014

Skye - All the Rest

Now for (some of) the other places we visited while we were holidaying on Skye. And the craft related part of course.

Portree is the main town on Skye and we were here a few times during our week's stay. There's a harbour and some beautiful views - have a look.

Can you see the tiny fish? They're just in front of the seaweed.

I spotted this van in the car park and thought it was really cool. Sheep on a knitting needle.

There are some lovely shops in Portree and a nice place to have coffee called Café Arriba. That's a plum and orange scone - delicious combination!

As you head out of Portree towards Staffin you come to the Old Man of Storr; an amazing rocky feature that is hard to describe so best just to let you see it.

If you continue on past the Old Man of Storr and through Staffin, you come to a turn off for the Quiraing.

The views from here across the sea are just amazing. The sea in shrouded in mist on this occasion; Skye isn't called The Misty Isle for nothing.

And yes, that's the road you travel to get up to, and back down from, the Quiraing. On previous visits to Skye the husband and I have walked up to the Old Man of Storr and also the Quiraing Prison. If you look back at the first picture of the Quiraing, the Prison is the part between the spiky rocks in the middle of the picture and the cliff face to the left.

Another day we headed to the Waternish peninsula where we came across this old cemetery. The air is so pure here that the lichen grows thickly on the walls and gravestones.

The location was beautiful; so tranquil and still.

We called into the Skye Shilasdair Shop where they sell naturally dyed yarns. They grow a lot of the plants used in the dyeing as well. We were able to see the dyeing being done when we visited a few years ago but this time we just spent some time admiring all the yarns in the shop and all the hand knitted garments.

I bought one ball of Local Hebridean wool. It's a light Aran weight so worked using 4.5 mm hook or needles. It was chosen by the husband for a new winter hat (which has been completed since we got home).

For those of you who have never been to the Isle of Skye, most of the roads are single track with passing places. Most of the land is used for common grazing so you will find sheep and cattle wandering along the roads.

Even hens! Why did the hen cross the road?

The sheep like to find warm, sheltered places to rest in.

Skye isn't a very big island but the coastline is very long in comparison and getting anywhere takes time because you have to go out the various peninsulas and back again. We weren't going to go out towards Elgol this time but in the end we decided to go as far as Torren and the Blue Shed cafe where we stopped and had tea and a sandwich.

Of course there are stunning views.

I thought their weather forecasting was very novel. You predict the weather by using this forecasting stone and the key to conditions on the board.

Much closer to base, in Glendale, there is an alpaca place. We paid a visit one day (on the way to the Red Roof Cafe!!).

Of course I had to buy some of the alpaca yarn. Look, the label even tells you which alpaca it came from!

Just a few more scenery type photos. This place was close to where we were staying and we saw seals sunning themselves every day.

The light on Skye is always amazing. This was early one morning from our bedroom window.

For those of you who are interested in what I got up to with hook and needles here we go. I brought some of this chunky yarn with me and used it to make a bowl with the intention of filling it with heather. This has been done since we got home and I'll let you see it in another post.

Using more of the same yarn I made a couple of small baskets for keeping yarn in.

I made quite good progress with my cotton blanket. In fact, looking at the picture, I can see I made very good progress while I was away! This is crocheted using Sirdar cotton, using fifteen of the colours available. No two squares are the same. A few are done using the same square pattern but the colours are different. In total there will be 144 squares making a king sized blanket (each square measures 6").

They hold a craft fair every Tuesday during the summer months in Glendale Community Hall. We went along and I bought a rag rug kit, a giant ball of Harris tweed in a strip (to use on my peg loom) and some Harris tweed off-cut for making Christmas decorations.

On car journeys I was able to knit because I didn't need to look at the garter stitch and could enjoy the passing scenery instead. I managed to knit the seven strips needed to make a lap blanket. Now I just need to join the strips and make a border.

Phew!! What a long post so well done for sticking with it. I got lots of lovely comments about my last post on Skye so hopefully you'll leave more for me this time too.

By the way, this isn't quite all the rest about Skye. I have one more post to do but I think you'll agree it's worth it.

Thanks for reading and I hope you'll come back soon.


  1. Wow! What a fantastic place to see, so much variety and amazing scenery to drink in. I LOVE that sign, common sense sometimes has to be explained :-) The cemetery is also fascinating and the head stone with so many generations struck me as obviously the family all have kept in one place rather than moving away as is the case nowadays. Thanks so much for sharing x

  2. Hi, I came across your blog whilst looking for Yarndale posts, but what a fabulous bonus to read about your time on Skye and see all these wonderful photos! I completely adore the west Highlands / west coast of Scotland, although I've only stayed on Skye once, and your photos are making me wish I was back there! A blog about crochet and Scotland is my kind of blog!! I'm looking forwards to your next post :-)

  3. What a beautiful and interesting place to visit. I particularly enjoyed seeing the cemetery, for the same reasons as Chel. I really enjoyed this post, thanks for sharing.

  4. You have been at the dyers house, too!! It was so beautiful.
    We stayed at the campsite near Edinbane, sorrounded from cattles an sheep. There was a little pottery to watch the potter. An all the little withe spots on the meadows....yes, and of course on the street:oD
    Greetings, Birgit

  5. Hi Gillian! Thanks for sharing these beautiful photos, such stunning scenery! It must have been very relaxing there!
    I love your purchases, it is nice to bring something back from your holidays/trips and use it to make something, it will always remind you of the place where you went! :)
    Wow, your granny crochet blanket is going to be another stunner, absolutely beautiful!
    Where did you get all the patterns for the squares from? (I guess you will tell me they are the result of you painstakingly collecting every pretty pattern for the last so many years, heheh!)
    Enjoy your weekend!!!
    Ingrid xx

    1. Hi Ingrid, the patterns for the squares are all from the book '200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws and Afghans: Crochet Squares to Mix-and-Match' by Jan Eaton. I'm only using squares that are crocheted in the round rather than back and forth.
      All the best - Gillian

  6. What a beautiful place, I can see why it's a place you've returned to. I enjoyed seeing your purchases and the crochet blanket you're making is beautiful. I've got Jan Eaton's book but haven't tried any of the squares, I shall have to give some a go.

  7. Beautiful photographs of a beautiful land. Makes me think of Hobbits. :-) I love the sheep on a needle and that cotton blanket is gorgeous. Nice post!

  8. First you shoe us all those beautiful views and then gorgeous yarn, crochet and knitting.
    Love everything.

  9. oh thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures ! The landscapes are so fabulous .... love the yarn you've bought .... loking forward to seeing what you make with it ! HAve a lovely day !

  10. I know I said it before, but it really is so stunningly beautiful isn't it. That second picture is so beautiful especially. The gravestones are amazing all covered like that with the area where the writing is kept so beautifully cleared. You must have had such a wonderful time. xx

  11. Beautiful pictures of Skye! I enjoyed this post and travelling around the isle with you, it brought back some happy memories. I think it is so magical and peaceful there. Loved all your crafty pics too, and your cotton crochet blanket is looking lovely.
    Happy week ahead.
    Helen xox

  12. Wow, what a post - so much to love here! The misty landscape photos are just gorgeous, and your blanket is coming along so well. But I really love that heather coloured crocheted basket, it's beautiful. x

  13. What a lovely place to be. I enjoyed every photo and think your crochet blanket is gorgeous.

  14. Just found this post from a link from a recent one, how did I miss it?!
    Skye looks beautiful, thank you for sharing all the lovely photos, and its the place to go to for wonderful wool yarn by the looks of it. I adore that heather color yarn, and the alpaca wool. And the crochet blanket is lovely!
    I know where I want to go on holiday next year!
    Gill xx


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