Back from Ballater

It has been such a long time since my last post that I feel my head drooping in shame, life has been very busy lately but thankfully Aurelie has been kept the blog interesting and up to date in my absence while at the same time juggling her wee ones, her designing, her knitting and her home. Thank you so much Aurelie, you are an inspiration x.

Loch Muick

Loch Muick

On 18th October our family set off on holiday. This year to Ballater on Royal Deeside, about an hour and a half drive from our home. We had a wonderful, relaxing and peaceful week and spent some precious time with our family. When packing I made the difficult decision to take with me only ‘personal’ knitting (no work allowed). As a result I completed one Fair Isle sock which I have been working on sporadically for almost 2 years! (I even  turned the heel of its pair!)  Our evenings were spend playing board games and watching films. We were so remote we had no internet connection…. for 7 days it was blissful!

Glen Callater

I wanted to share some of the lovely scenery with you, as we did quite a bit of walking and cycling during our stay. And, we spotted some rare wildlife while on a ‘Safari’ too!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Most of all however, I wanted to share with you something quite unexpected which we stumbled upon quite by chance.

While driving through Braemar one wet and windy day I noticed something going on…….

What's going on here?

What’s going on here?

Later that evening I was reading the local newspaper and spotted an article advertising the Braemar Creative Arts Festival and the work of a Fringe group – The Deeside Knitwits. Through this article I was to learn of almost 200 knitted birds nestling in the village of Braemar, each and every one knitted by a member (or friend) of the group…..I had to go!!!!

 Jock's Road

Jock’s Road

The next day we were walking along Jock’s Road in Glen Callater, it was quite cold, wet and muddy. (Due to an incident involving a ladylike slide down a banking!) I was feeling a bit chilled, as my right arm, leg and ‘bahookie’ were caked in mud. So, when we got back to the car we decided to return to Braemar for lunch.

The stag, sporting the festivals very own tartan and wee felted birdies.

The stag, sporting the festivals very own tartan and wee felted birdies.

We stopped at a lovely cafe called Taste, where we were greeted at the entrance not only by a Stag with felted birds hanging from his antlers, but also a giant haggis!

Giant free range haggis

Giant free range haggis

Once inside we met some parrots and knitted Stags head.  In an adjacent room sat and organiser of the Festival and ….a knitter from the Deeside Knitwits! (Fate is a funny thing, is it not?) We had a very interesting and informative chat together where we exchanged some knit and natter details and I was given the name of Rosy, the ‘heid yin’, of the knitting group.

After lunch we took a short walk around the village and spotted many feathered (woolly) friends.

Please join me in my journey…..

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Once again I am astounded by the creativity, humour and kindness of knitters. The Deeside Knitwits describe themselves as, ‘A community knitting group based in Royal Deeside, Scotland who create knitted installations to raise awareness and funds for local charities…’, this year they raised £700 pounds which will be split between Scottish Natural Heritage, Braemar Village Hall and a donation to their seniors Christmas lunch. What an achievement!

When we returned home Rosy and I contacted each other and had a lovely chat about past and present activities of the Deeside Knitwits. Rosy explained that getting organised for the festival is an enormous task. In order to have everything complete in plenty of time  members can begin knitting as early January and February! They have an impressive history with some astounding achievements…..

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In 2015 the Woolly Alliance are hoping to take part in the festival by designing a pattern or two. Can’t wait to find out the theme?!!  Maybe some of you would like to join in too??

You can find out more about The Deeside Knitwits and their adventures on their dedicated Facebook page. Meanwhile, I wish them luck for 2015 and look forward to working with them soon.

P.S. In my last post I promised to keep you up to date with my Christmas Stocking saga…..Festive Christmas Stockings was finally published last week….Hurrah!!

Festive Christmas Stocking in 4 ply

Festive Christmas Stocking in 4 ply










This entry was posted in Community, Design, Festival, General, Knitting, Scotland, The Auld Woolly Alliance Group, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Back from Ballater

  1. Sue Botterll says:

    Beautiful pictures Janice, and really interesting to read about The Deeside Knitwits

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s