Friday, December 5, 2014

The in-between

(chow time)
We've had the drabbest, wettest, foggiest kind of days this week.  I don't mind it so much when I can stay home and have a cozy fire in my little studio woodstove.  Because I have fewer numbers in the sheep flock, I can satisfy my need to bring everyone into the barn whenever I feel like it, which makes them happy and me, too.  No sloshing around out in the fields, spreading hay for sheep who would much rather be hanging out inside the barn, eating their hay from the hay racks.

(Turkey plate time!)

Thanksgiving was quite the stromash (ah, can't help but let a little Outlander slip into my speech when I have the chance!) We ended up with 20 folks around the tables. There are not so many littles anymore. Atticus is 19 months and Parker is 5 years old.  Mia is next youngest at 10 and after that it was all teenage boys (the two older girls were absent this year). I'm reminded every year of how fortunate I am to have most of my family close at hand and that they are willing to spend time here at the farm. The energy is quite different now that most of the grandchildren are getting older.  There are no worries about little boys being upstairs jumping on the beds or moving the clawfoot bathtub around! (That clawfoot bathtub business is true. A game of hide-and-seek caused the tub to get scooted just a wee bit and next thing we knew water was dripping out of the ceiling downstairs!)

(Tiny tree in the studio)
The Thanksgiving decorative (not the eating kind) turkeys have all gone back into their storage places, but very little in the way of Christmas decorations has made it out.  I'm feeling a little ambivalent about the whole thing in this in-between time.  I have put up a tiny tree in my studio with some of the wool felt ornaments I've collected over the years and am almost wishing I could do something similar in the house.  Oh well, some kind of a tree will appear in the house this weekend.  I'm not quite into the bah-humbug category, just feeling the need for simple this time around. There was a time in my life when decorating for Christmas took on epic proportions. Every room in the house had Christmas baubles. That was mostly when my boys were small and it appears that I'm over that now.  All I want are the most simple and natural decorations, with a minimum of glitter and gaudy.  My friend, Teresa, says if you can't be tacky at Christmas, whenever can you be, but I've somehow slipped into a quieter frame of mind in recent years.

Not so much going on in the knitting department either.  Still working on the Hitchhiker, though it suffered a setback when I discovered a mistake many rows down and my attempts at fixing it didn't work out well.  I ripped back at least 5 inches and that caused some minor discouragement and a time-out for the scarf.  I'm back to it now after knitting a few hats and finishing a set of fingerless mitts. My knitting ADD has reached embarrassing numbers and I'm feeling the need to frog and donate some yarn.  It has come to my attention that no matter how long I live, it is very unlikely that I will knit up all the yarn in my stash. Only if the dreaded world-wide shortage of wool happens will anyone consider that I have been wise to assemble this much yarn in one place. I am embarking on a major cleanout and donate. This mindset could have been triggered by the decision to move my dye room to my storage room in the barn. Cleaning out the storage room (that's a euphemism for the let's-just-dump-it-here-room) is an exercise that can only be described as painful. At this point, if it were legal and all the animals were safely outside, I'd be quite happy for the barn to burn down!  Problem solved. I recently read a book about tidying and organizing your stuff and the advice was to hold every item in your hand and ask yourself if it gives you joy.  Well, all I can say is I'm wishing I had a lot less stuff right now because not much of it feels like joy!

So, onward into the weekend and with Christmas approaching fast, I hope we all can find some peace and joy in the days ahead.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Keeping warm with good hay and chicken pot pie

(This was taken in the approximately 10 seconds of sunshine we had yesterday)
 Winter has come early to the Bluegrass. When we woke up Monday morning we had our first real snow and temperatures in the teens! It caught us by surprise because we rarely have those low temperatures until after the Christmas holidays.

(You might assume that the main cold weather activity here on the farm is eating and you'd be right!)
I've begun feeding the ewes hay and they've been very enthusiastic about it. They have cleaned up every bit I've put out, so I'm thinking we got an especially good load this year. Occasionally, we end up with some bales that are too stemmy and the sheep will pick through it and leave huge piles of stems in the feeders and on the ground. Not that I blame them. I wouldn't want to eat tough stems either. It's a difficult process to get really good hay cut, cured, baled and in the barn without it getting too mature or getting rained on before it gets put under shelter. That's the main reason we buy our hay now rather than try to grow it ourselves. Well, that and the fact that throwing 50 pound bales up on the wagon and the hay elevator is not something I can or want to do anymore.

This cold front began with rain, which turned to ice and then snow, so the girls all got to come into the barn that night. They tolerate the cold quite well because they are in full fleece, but I don't like them getting wet and then being out in the cold. I think we all sleep better if they are tucked up in the barn with bellies full of hay and deep straw to lie down in for the night. Of course, all it takes is bringing them into the barn one night and by feeding time the next afternoon, they are lined up at the gate waiting to come in again. Who said sheep were dumb animals?

Continuing with the theme of cold weather eating - it's been chicken pot pie for the humans. For years I made a recipe from a Lee Bailey cookbook that had a wonderful cornbread crust topping, but it was a lengthy process and when I found this one in the Real Simple Meals Made Easy cookbook, I gave it a try. (You can tell that it was a success just by looking at the stains on the pages of the cookbook! I've made it many times.) I don't always use a store bought rotisserie chicken and I usually substitute baby lima beans for the peas and we like it just fine. It's one of those recipes I can decide on at the last minute because I nearly always have the ingredients in the refrigerator or freezer.

So, what else have I been up to besides feeding sheep and cooking? Well, not so much, really. I did finish a super simple little shawl that I basically made up as I went along. I used some Briar Rose yarn from my stash and wanted something that was basically mindless knitting (which says a lot for my state of mind!). This is one of Chris' beautiful variegated colorways, that she dyes so well. It's squishy and cozy and has already become a favorite.

I have begun a Hitchhiker shawlette with a skein of Miss Babs yarn, also from my stash. (Actually, quite proud that I'm using stash yarns.) I'm at 26 points and counting. I'm thinking I might possibly be one of the last knitters on earth to knit one of these. It is a very popular pattern and also very simple (again, considering my frame of mind). It's an eight row pattern that's easily memorized. I met Martina, the designer of the pattern at Squam in June. One of my cabin-mates (hi Heather!), gave Martina a ride from the airport to Squam back in June and Martina came to our cabin one evening and sat around the fireplace with us. She's a lovely person and we were all very impressed that she flew in from Germany to attend Squam. 

Mike has a birthday this weekend and Thanksgiving is nearly here. It's a busy time of year for all of us. I'm hopeful that it won't be quite so long before I'm back with another post and maybe I'll have more to show for my time away from here.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Having low expectations

(In the setting sun ...)
I seem to be dithering these days, somewhat more than usual.  I can't seem to settle on knitting, sewing, dyeing or battening down the hatches in preparation for winter.  I've knit a little (I actually finished my capelet from the Fiber Craft Studio yarn that I bought at Rhinebeck, though it still needs a good wet blocking), cut out a pattern for a knit dress, washed some linen for a tunic, brought a few pots of plants into the greenhouse to keep them growing through the winter and prepared my collection of pokeberries into a dye solution, but I just can't seem to buckle down and follow through with anything.  I think partly it's because I'm in an uncomfortable in-between place mentally.  I'm feeling, once again, that this disease is getting the upper hand. Last week, my rheumatologist decided to up my medication to something that will require me to inject myself once a week.  In some ways, I'm glad for the change in meds because the one I'm on now is causing my hair to fall out, which is not that surprising, considering it is a cancer drug.  Luckily, I have a lot of hair, but it's pretty disconcerting to see how much of it is coming out every day and I can definitely tell that I've lost a lot already. Besides some continuing issues with joint pain, one of the other side effects is that I feel so tired much of the time.  I had hoped to feel more in control at this point, but I suppose it's just another lesson in learning that control is an illusion.

On a positive note, my sheep are bringing me so much peace right now.  As difficult as it has been to reduce the size of my flock, it's wonderful to now have a whole group that are so gentle and calm.  Nearly every evening, while Aslan is eating his dinner on the outside of the fence, I take my little wooden folding stool into the field and sit down to visit with the girls.  If you follow me on Instagram, you will likely have seen a number of photos taken during my evening visitations with the sheep.  It's lovely to have one or two of them come and put their heavy heads upon my shoulder, lean gently into me and wait for scratches behind their ears or under their chins.  It's a time of meditation for me really, centering me, allowing me to slow my internal dialogue, breathe into their soft fleece and feel their solid presence. It's comforting in a way I can't really describe and a reminds me of why I chose to raise sheep all those many years ago.  I'm so grateful I have them in my life.

So, tomorrow is November.  Time to get my act together and begin thinking about having a sane and peaceful holiday season - one of low expectations and more enjoyment.  The word for this year will be simplify!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

On the road again

It seems as though I just returned from Scotland and here I am away from home again.  My friend, Teresa, and I planned this trip to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival about a year ago, long before I imagined that Mike and I would be going to Scotland and Ireland.  I love this festival best of all the ones I have ever attended.  They always have fabulous workshops, wonderful vendors and who wouldn't want to be in the Hudson Valley when the leaves are turning such fabulous colors?

Today I had a great workshop in handpainting yarn and roving with natural dyes.  It was taught by Jackie Ottino-Graf.  We worked outside in a tent and enjoyed the perfect, clear blue sky and just-warm-enough weather.  (I took that top photo with my iPhone, just a few steps from where we were using the dye pots to steam our hand-dyed fiber.)  Jackie taught the workshop in a casual and fun way and I think we all felt relaxed and reasonably confident at the end of the day. (Well, except I'm not sure I will ever be able to figure out that stock-solution-percentage-thing without a worksheet in front of me, but that's because I have a long-standing case of math anxiety, not because it wasn't explained well!).

(Some samples from my classmates)

(Anyone who knows me could figure out that these were my handiwork. My color choices are so predictable!  This is madder, logwood and weld with a few drops of iron solution added to the weld.)

I am wishing now that I had come up soon enough to take the Thursday and Friday classes.  I wanted to leave Saturday open for enjoying all the vendors have to offer (ahem) and having the chance visit with friends from Squam and past workshops. 

So, one last photo before I get too sleepy.  I spied this after the workshop was over, when I was walking through one of the many areas where the vendors were in the process of setting up. I was scouting walking toward the exit gate and just happened to see it. Needless to say, I'll be heading for that booth in the morning because I'm pretty sure the standing stones were telling me I need a Sassenach Capelet Kit to go home with me! I posted this same picture on facebook on the Outlander Pattern Central group page and caused just a little stir of wishful thinking on the part of some fellow Outlander obsessed folks.

(In the booth of Bijou Basin Ranch)     

Thursday, October 9, 2014

How to focus?

(Of course, I loved the ones with sheep best of all)
A few days before we left for our big trip, I managed to visit the downtown Lexington Public Library to see the Salley Mavor-Pocket Full of Posies exhibit. I've been a fan of Salley Mavor for a years and the opportunity to see some of her creations in person was an unexpected treat. I have her children's books and a wonderful poster that she calls Self-Portrait: A Personal History of Fashion, that depicts different styles of clothing she has worn through the years.  I'm sure I have posted this before, but I love her short film Rabbitat.  If you haven't seen it, please check it out. It's magical! The detail in her work is astounding and being able to see it close-up only made me admire her skill even more.

(The detail-the stitching!  Sorry about the glass reflection)

I'm always impressed by someone who can focus on their art in a way that shows real commitment and accomplishment.  I don't consider myself an artist in any sense of the word, but I do have a craft (actually, I should say crafts) that I love and I have great difficulty focusing my energy and attention long enough to actually produce any tangible results. I'm prone to blame farm work and animal care for my lack of productivity, but truly I think it's more a  case of my being undisciplined and inefficient in the way I spend my time and energy.  For me, there's a feeling of guilt associated with spending "too much" time spinning or knitting during the day, because on the farm, the work is never, ever really done. (Not to mention the washing, ironing, cleaning, patient files.....) There are so many crafts and activities that I'm interested in: spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting, sewing, felting, embroidery, hooking, photography, gardening, cooking, reading, blogging, etc., etc.  The longer I live, the more lengthy the list of things I want to learn becomes.  So, my question is how do I learn to focus at this stage in my life?  How do any of you ignore the distractions and temptations that will keep you from doing the things you love to do?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

To Merry Olde England

(Notice the quince growing up the left side of the front door at Hill Top Farm)
Yes, as if we hadn't already pushed the limits of what two people should try to see during a sixteen day trip to Ireland and Scotland, we took a quick trip down to the Lake District and to York, England.  Blame this one on me.

I have admired Beatrix Potter since I was old enough to read.  Like another of my heroines, Tasha Tudor, she was a woman who, once she found the way, managed to live her life the way she chose.  It's been a long time wish of mine to see Hill Top Farm, the farm Beatrix Potter bought with the earnings from her books.  We were first in line to buy our tickets the morning we arrived in the little village of Sawrey.  Only a small group of people are allowed into the farmhouse every ten minutes or so because the house it not large. It is small, charming and cozy, with the interior left very much as it was when Beatrix was alive.  Her furnishings, which are often depicted in the background of her books, are there and even her clogs by the door, as if she had just taken them off. After touring the house, we sat in the garden for a little while and watched as a steady stream of visitors came up the walkway.  Hill Top is still a working farm, being run by a farm manager who lives in the addition to the main house, which Beatrix had built in 1906 for that purpose. The original house dates from the late seventeenth century.  We didn't see any Herdwick sheep at Hill Top, which were the sheep Beatrix Potter raised and championed, but as we drove the narrow lanes around the area, we did see many Herdwick flocks grazing in the rock fenced fields. (Just as a little aside here, if you haven't watched the movie "Miss Potter", that came out several years ago, you really should.  It's beautifully filmed and charming.)

After the Lake District we headed toward York.  Mike had done some reading and wanted to see York Minster, an ancient and beautiful cathedral. We had a wonderful tour guide who obviously loved what he was doing.  For an hour and a half, he kept us spellbound as he recited historical background and pointed out so many unique features. I'm not much for taking formal tours. I usually prefer to read about and then poke around a place on my own, but I can highly recommend taking the tour at York Minster.

(photo by Mike MacDonald)
(Carved stone and stained glass windows) photo by Mike MacDonald
(The faces!!)
On our way back to Edinburgh, we drove into a sweet little English town called Skipton and stopped there to walk around a bit, have a mocha (for me) and an Americana (strong coffee - for Mike). We checked out a few shops and walked along the canal, looking at the canal boats where people live on the water.  Many of the boats were beautifully decorated with brightly painted exteriors and many containers of flowers.

Then back to Edinburgh for one last night and day before catching our plane back to Dublin.  We spent most of that last day day by driving to Stirling and touring Stirling Castle.  We found Stirling to be beautiful and it's on our list to return to some day with more time to explore.

(The rainy view from Stirling Castle)
(The inner courtyard at Stirling Castle) photo by Mike MacDonald
Once back in Dublin, rather than lease another car for just overnight, we took a shuttle to and from a hotel close to the airport and boarded our flight for home the next morning.  I will say, the most traumatic part of the whole trip was going through Customs and Immigration in Dublin. We apparently had very poor timing and there were huge crowds waiting to go through to have their passports checked.  It was hours of standing in long lines, dragging our suitcases along after us. We'll figure out a way to do that better next time!  We'll also take half as many clothes next time.  I thought I had pared things down a lot, but we still came home with unworn clothes.  My advice is to take some black t-shirts, several pairs of jeans, comfortable shoes, a fleece jacket (and a rain jacket, of course) and enjoy not hauling around a heavy suitcase!

(on Nicola's lane)
All in all, I can definitely say our trip surpassed our expectations. During our time spent in Ireland with Nicola, we visited a beautiful ancient church, the National Craft Gallery and Kilkenny Castle, along with visiting Cushendale Woollen Mill, a farm raising Zwartles (and enjoying the hospitality of Suzanna and Bodacious), going to the beach, being treated to our first shandy (made with red lemonade), being served the first lamb we've ever really enjoyed, all the while enjoying the comforts of Nicola's wonderful old farmhouse and her warm hospitality.  It was all nothing short of fabulous!  Spending time with Nicola started our trip off in the best way possible and I hope I can return the favor by having her stay with us here at the farm on her next teaching tour.

(Those fabulous Zwartbles) photo by Mike MacDonald
(Wouldn't everyone love to have a sweet little Irish cottage like this)  photo by Nicola Brown
So, to wrap up this last (I think) post about our wonderful journey, I want to offer some (unsolicited)  advice. If you have a place you're dreaming of visiting, figure out a way to make it happen. It's hard to come up with something positive about my current health issues, but it did encourage us to get on with our lives and take the trip we'd been talking about and dreaming of for many years. None of us know what tomorrow will bring - good or bad, so find a way to do the things you love now.

(And this photo? Because you can't go to Scotland without admiring the kilts!)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

More Scotland

(Entrance to Clan Donald castle - or what remains of it)
We are home now, but I still have so much to tell about our trip to Scotland and beyond.  It was the trip of a lifetime in so many ways, but we are hoping it turns out to be merely a scouting trip for many trips in our future.  We visited Inverness, the Isle of Skye, Edinburgh, Oban, Aberdeen and Stirling. We didn't quite make it to Glasgow, but that's on the wish list for next time, as are many other places.  Before that we were in Ireland and somewhere in between some of those Scottish cities, we went to the Lake District in England and then to York, England (which was so interesting we wished we had allowed more time for it.)

We learned so much on this trip.  Fresh off the plane in Dublin, we were a bit nervous about the driving situation.  Nearly all cars are standards, meaning you have to shift gears. To lease an automatic is nearly four times the amount of leasing a standard.  I drove standard cars for many, many years until we bought my current Subaru.  Mike hadn't driven a standard shift in years, nor had he ever driven on the left side of the road.  Coming out of the airport was somewhat harrowing because we were into heavy traffic and lots of round-abouts immediately.  Then before we reached Nicola's house, we were on some tiny roads with tall hedgerows on each side and barely enough room to pass another small oncoming car without scrapping the side view mirrors off.  Mike became a pro pretty quickly.  He did an amazing job of getting us around without any mishaps.  Believe me when I say we were all around Scotland and a little of Ireland and England, too.  By the end, we'd driven about 2000 miles.  All I can say is thank goodness for Siri on our iPhones giving us directions!  We would have had a lot more trouble negotiating all those round-abouts without her voice telling us which was the appropriate exit.  (All those "we's" are actually what we call the "Royal We".  Mike did all the driving.  I was merely moral support!)

(Dunnottar Castle)

 We visited lots of castles (and castle ruins) and cathedrals, which beforehand was exactly what we'd proclaimed we were not going to do.  Once we were there, we just couldn't help ourselves.  There is so much history everywhere it is mind boggling.  It did occur to me pretty quickly that America is a baby in terms of how much history we have.  We spent our last morning touring Stirling Castle and found it just as fascinating as the castles we'd visited earlier. While I don't pretend to know much about Scottish history, I do find it really interesting.  Obviously, with a name like MacDonald, Mike has very clear ties to Scotland.  I know that my own family has Scotch-Irish and English roots, but know only a little about the particulars and now am motivated to find out more.

We stayed in a lot of bed and breakfasts and found all of them to be quite nice.  You really don't find chain hotels like we have here in the States,  nor do you find chain fast-food restaurants.  A pleasant change, if I do say so. (We'd read somewhere that Rick Steves recommends staying at B and B's in order to get to know local people.)  Everywhere we went in Scotland,  people were friendly and kind and seemed more than willing to help with directions and advice.  We stayed at a lovely B and B on the Isle of Skye and met a family from Germany, who were also staying there.  We really enjoyed talking with them two mornings over breakfast and wished we'd had more time to get to know them.  I think one thing that was pleasantly surprising to both of us was how comfortable we felt.  We expected to have difficulty understanding people and finding our way around, but honestly it was much easier than we anticipated.  Mike was often outside his comfort zone because our trip was so loosely planned.  We had no reservations anywhere when we began the trip and spent some time each day consulting Tripadvisor to find our next place to stay.  I wouldn't necessarily recommend this method, but it was mostly successful for us.  Next time we'll do more pre-planning because we know enough now about where we might want to go.  Mike has promised me that next time we will stay in one place for at least 3 or 4 nights in a row, rather than someplace different nearly every night.  You are my witnesses!

I have too many pictures of castles and don't want to be a bore about it.  So, I will just say Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, Stirling Castle, Dunvegan Castle and many others are well worth visiting.  Just don't spend all your time touring the inside of castles.  The scenery out of doors is too beautiful to miss.  Mike has been watching the Outlander series on television with me and after we returned from Scotland, he admitted that before our trip he'd thought they had made up the outdoor scenery for the program!  It really is as dramatic and beautiful as the pictures you see.

Next up:  a quick trip to the Lake District of England to see the home of a favorite of mine.  Meanwhile, here are a few more livestock on the road pictures, all taken on the Isle of Skye.

(Those colored marks identify which farm the sheep belongs to.)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

On the road

(The view from Nicola's front door)
Well, my plan to blog every few days hasn't exactly worked out.  We seem to have chosen places with the worst Internet service possible.  (It's almost like being at home, where our service is less than dependable.)  We've stayed in lots of inns and bed and breakfasts, who all say they have wifi, yet we have been unable to use it for more than a few minutes.  I've done a few Instagrams,  using my phone (and I'll be afraid to look at the data roaming charges when the bill comes!)

We've dubbed this trip our second honeymoon because we had talked about coming to Scotland for our first honeymoon.  We didn't get around to planning it then, so here we are celebrating our 16th anniversary (September 5th).  I say better late than never.  There have been some similarities between our original honeymoon in the Northwest because Mike is the kind of traveler who wants to cram as much as he possibly can into the available time.  On that trip we drove about 3000 miles in two weeks (and that was after we flew out there). I really like to go somewhere and just relax, rest, read and knit.  We've already driven some 1200 miles and still have several days to go.  Good thing I can knit in the car.

Our days in Ireland with Nicola Brown went by much too quickly.  We visited with Suzanna and the lovely Zwartbles,  the Cushendale Woollen Mill, in the town of Craig-na-Managh, and a beach on the Irish sea.  The weather was comfortably cool and Nicola fed us well.  She even prepared lamb for us that we really enjoyed!  (we are not lamb eaters, so this surprised both of us!)

(Nicola and me - watching for seals at Curracloe)  Photo by Mike MacDonald
 On Friday we flew from Dublin to Edinburgh and drove up to Inverness for our first night.  On Saturday we visited Culloden, the site of the battle that broke the spirit of the Rising of 1745 and many, many Scottish men died at the hands of English soldiers.  Because of reading Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series, I have been particularly interested in visiting the battlefield.  I expected to feel somewhat as I did on visiting the battlefield at Gettysburg, but there were so many people around and so much activity, I didn't feel that aura that I experienced at the site of the Gettysburg battle.  It was sobering to think about the events that took place there and how it affected Highland families for years to come.  We walked around the battlefield until we found the marker stone for the Clan MacDonald.  Each clan who fought there has a stone marking the spot where their men were supposedly buried.  The day we visited there was a special homecoming celebration and there were bagpipes being played at the entrance and musicians playing Scottish music elsewhere.  Ironically, the Hellcats from West Point Military Academy played while we were there.  Not exactly sure what that was about!

(the Isle of Skye is full of dramatic scenery)  Photo by Mike MacDonald
 Next we spent two days on the Isle of Skye.  These signs are all over the place in Scotland, but on the Isle of Skye we actually did see lots of sheep right on the road.

(Photo by Mike MacDonald)
This little guy (girl?) went right on by us, as if we were invisible.  I guess they are used to having cars get in their way.

Mainly, we've been seeing Scottish Blackface sheep and those perpetually surprised looking Cheviots.  This one looks to be a crossbred.  There are sheep all over the place here - literally everywhere and they are fat and happy looking, grazing amongst the gorse and heather.

While we were on the Isle of Skye, we went to the castle of Clan Donald.  Even though the castle itself is a ruin, it is pretty impressive.  It's certainly a far cry from our own humble abode!

(Ruins of the castle of Clan Donald)
The owner of our bed and breakfast is a knitter and she recommended a local yarn shop, so we checked it out before we left the island.  The Skye Shilasdair Shop is a small, but beautiful little shop specializing in yarns from local sheep and naturally dyed (on the premises) yarn.  Needless to say, I didn't leave empty-handed.  In fact, some of my knitting in the car has been a couple of hats made from yarn purchased there.

(Skye Shilasdair Yarn Shop)  Photo by Mike MacDonald

We took the car ferry from the Isle of Skye back to the mainland and drove to Oban for the night.  The next day we drove into Edinburgh to see the Great Tapestry of Scotland, which was on display at the Scottish Parliament building.  I can't even describe how impressive it was.  It isn't a woven tapestry, but rather panels that have been embroidered by many loving hands, each depicting a scene from the history of Scotland.  Naturally, I was most drawn to the ones about the Rising of 1745 and any depicting fiber and textile activities.

(the detail is astounding-just look at her shawl!)
(Imagine how many French knots that might be)
So, that's it for this installment.  Our time here is running out, but we are on the move again.   I have more pictures to show in the next post.  Until next time .......