Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by my Longaberger home businessn and Quince & Co.

Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by Quince & Co. and Knitcircus Yarns

Friday, April 12, 2013

Episode 126 A Piper’s Journey to Scotland

Listen here or use the Flash Player on this site for current and past episodes.

This episode is sponsored by my Quince & Co, Ewe-nique Yarns, and Knit 4 Together.
The folks at Quince & Co produce a line of thoughtfully conceived yarns in their historic spinnery in New England.  Their wool comes from domestic sheep and other fibers come from earth friendly suppliers.  You will find that Quince & Co 100% wool is a living fiber, beautiful, practical, sustainable, and affordable. Find them at
Ewe-nique Yarns is a full-service yarn shop located at The Field Shopping Center in Morton IL.  Among the items they carry are a full line of Addi needles, Chiagoo, and Knit Picks.  They also stock Malabrigo, Madelinetosh, Frog Tree, Elsabeth Lavold, Debbie Bliss, Claudia Handpainted, Louisa Harding, Rowan, Sublime and dozens more.  Debbie and Jenny are happy to ship to Pipeliners. 
Knit 4 Together is a knitting and fiber shop in Dunlap IL just north of Peoria IL.  We are a cozy, friendly yarn shop with wall to wall fiber, especially natural fiber and specialty yarn. Knit 4 Together has unique yarn bowls made by our own pottery artist.  All the notions you will need for your project are here too.  You can find us at or call 309.243.9499

You can find my Longaberger Home Business at  Please contact me if you would like to be on my preferred customer email list.


Just through April 15th 2013 you can get the book for only $19.00.

Discount code for Paula J Ward’s e book Easy Knitting Design: the Basic Sweater. (regular $49.95)

Knitting Pipeline Retreat  April 26-27, 2013 with Yarn Crawl Fun Day on April 25th.

  • Retreat attendees will be receiving an email with a PDF with details of the Yarn Crawl, retreat sponsors and special offers, and other pertinent information.  Look for this in your email soon.
  • Remember to bring a mug with you if you can so we can cut down on washing dishes and using paper products.
  • Aizome and Funky are going to collect Mother Bears to take back to Minnesota.  $3 per bear.

Current Retreat Sponsors

Ewe-nique Yarns Morton IL
The Fiber Universe in Peoria IL
Klose Knit in Urbana IL
Peddler’s Way Quilt Co in Washington IL
The Blend Cafe in Washington IL

 Knit Along!
Gill’s Rock by Paula Emons-Fuessle
Gill’s Rock KAL  March 9 through April 9.
Dianne of Knitabulls March 8th through April 30th.

Wave 1 March 8 through April 30th.
Wave 2 April 8 through April 30th.
Prizes!  Quince & Co yarn.

Trip Summary
Since coming home I have felt like the seal that Louise and I saw in the harbor at John O’Groats.  I just came up to breath and then submerged myself to process my trip.
Paula, Allison, Ella

Marsie and Paula

View from Scott's restaurant where we had dinner.

Ella with WIP Piper's Journey!

Back at Marsie's house for tea.

Nature Notes

I left Illinois in winter weather and returned to spring. On March 24th we broke weather records with 8”of wet snow.  I wondered how much of Spring I would miss on my 10 day journey. On the flight home I could see that the woods and fields of Illinois were still gray with no signs of leafing trees.  The grass might have been a little greener but I was somewhat relieved that I had not missed much for spring is my favorite time for observing nature. The best welcome note is that the spring peepers have emerged from their dark damp places in the creek bed that runs through the woods. Their chorus was faint at first, but just a few days after my return it has swelled to become the true lullaby of spring evenings.

In the days before my departure Scotland was having unusual weather.  Snow covered many parts of Scotland, which is unusual for winter and especially March.  Several times when I have been in Scotland at Easter it was quite warm.  Marsie remembered that last year at Easter it was warm enough to sunbathe. This year parts of the country were without electricity.  My friend lives in Troon, in Ayrshire.  Troon often has more clement weather than other parts of Scotland, a sort of microclimate. The hills of Arran are visible from the coast of Troon.  For the first time I saw these hills covered with snow.  The entire island was without electricity for a week. Although it was chilly in Troon we only saw a few snowflakes.  Daffodils were bravely blooming despite the chilly wind, cool temperatures, and occasional snowflakes.
Daffodils blooming outside the window of The Tee Room in Troon.  We still call it by it's former name "The Tudor".
On Easter Monday I boarded the train in Troon to visit Louise in Caithness.  Caithness is a county in the northern part of Scotland. I took the train from Troon to Glasgow, went from Glasgow Central to Glasgow Queen Street station, and boarded the train for Inverness.  Louise was driving down to Inverness to pick me up at the station.
The Bairns and dog run along the path while Louise and I walk.
On our way along the A9 we stopped at a preserve so the carsick doggie and the bairns could go for a run and some fresh air.  On the side of a conifer we saw a Coal Tit which is nearly the same as our Black Capped Chickadee.  A bird similar to our American Goldfinch perched on the feeder nearby. In Caithness Louise pointed out birds that I had never seen before.  Oyster Catchers are shore birds with orange beaks.  Louise had instructed the Greylag Geese to stay in the area until I got there and the geese obeyed.  Waterfowl are not my forte.  As far as I’m concerned anything white that flies near the water is probably a seagull and I don’t care much whether it is a Tern, a gull, or a gannet. Nonetheless we saw quite a few of these as we were never far from the sea. Herons flew overhead occasionally.  What struck me as unusual are the number of crows and crows’ nests, not only in Caithness but also south in Troon.  We have crows here but I never really notice their nests.  In the town of Wick there were groves of tall trees framing the downtown area.  Crows nests dotted these trees in large numbers.  I didn’t count them but on one side of a parking lot there were probably twenty nests in the trees and the same on the other side.  Crows were flying in and out.  Do not go to Scotland if you have Crow Phobia.

Sunset in Caithness
Back home there has been no sign of green in the woods until today, April 10.  After light thunderstorms and rain through the night and most of the day there are very small green leaves on a few shrubs in the undergrowth.  The trees have not flowered or budded just yet.  Every day this month will be a revelation of new green leaves, budding flowers, migrating birds and their songs.  Spring!

Our nature quote is by one of my most favorite of all historic Scottish figures, John Muir.

The mountains are calling and I must go. John Muir
Photo taken from train while traveling to Inverness.
Needle Notes

Only took one pair of socks and one needle with me to Scotland!  What was I thinking???? 

Blue Moon Socks that Rock

Twinkle Twinkle Blanket by Helen Stewart

Cradle Cardigan by Hannah Fettig Collection Mabel’s Closet

Peerie Flooers by Kate Davies

Sorry this is sideways.  Blogger keeps rotating the photo despite my protests.
The Blethering Room

Emily’s Blog Stinky Tofu

Trip Highlights

·        Pipeliner Meet up

·        Easter School Program

·        Easter Week Service

·        McCallum Bagpipes

 High Note Low Note

Low Note  Ant Invasion

If you walked into my kitchen right now you might be surprised to see tea bags hanging on my bottom dishwasher handle.  Good Earth Original Caffeine Free smells like cinnamon.  Ants do not like cinnamon.  Ants are cool but not in my house.

High Note:  Scottish Blend Tea
The Dram on the left and the tea towl were gifts from Louise.
Women are like teabags. We don't know our true strength until we are in hot water! Eleanor Roosevelt 

Have a great week, haste ye back, and hold your knitting close.

Among the Lasses, songs of Robert Burns (1759-1796) by Susan Rode Morris
Green Grow The Rashes O’ by Robert Burns
Treats from Ella


Pat said...

What a trip you had, Paula! It's so great to see you with the Scottish Pipeliners, Marsie, and Louise's family! Makes us feel like we were there too. And, just went over to Emily's blog and read lots of it - it's great!

camby said...

Thanks for sharing about your trip. I dream of going there one day. How can I not go with a maiden name of Campbell?
Having had an ant problem before I just wanted to pass on a tip you may have not tried...Comet (the powdered kind), or Borax powder. If you know where they come in, sprinkle some there, or else just along their trails. Works pretty good for me.

About Me

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I play the Great Highland Pipes, knit, observe nature, and read. My name on Ravelry is PrairiePiper. Find me on Instagram as KnittingPipeline.