Beautiful Knitting

Where Mt.Mom knits, crochets, designs, and seeks Beauty as food for the soul.

Posts Tagged ‘bagpipes’

Piping, Knitting, and a Visual To-Do List

Posted by mtmom on July 19, 2010

It’s been a fantastic, though exhausting, 10 days of Piping School and Highland Games.  Our 10-year-old dd enrolled in the United States School of Piping, so we spent the week (8:30 to 5 most days, plus 7 to 8 most evenings, Friday the 9th to Friday the 16th) in classes and practice sessions and recitals and parades.  (I haven’t sorted through all those photos yet.  Will post some here later.)  Then we attended our local Highland Games and Celtic Festival, with competitions, vendors, and more performances and parades!

U. S. School of Piping, Flagstaff, Arizona, class of 2010

As one consequence, however, I have accumulated a potentially overwhelming backlog of personal and household tasks.

Some progress

Yet to tackle. . . .

The hall bathroom.








The laundry.

One down. . .

. . . 2 more loads . . .

. . . another 1 or 2 loads . . .

. . . and several sinks' worth of hand-laundry. . . to go!

On the knitting front:

I showed Robert my long swatch of potential yarns, he selected one (later, also a 2nd), and I have begun work on his second pair of kilt hose.

Foot #1 for Pair #2

I have also garnered some kilt hose repair work.

Work ahead!

Ah, but what lovely subjects to work on!

Eric P's and Aaron S's handknit hose, by Stuart's mum and Debra Gilding, respectively

More on each of these pairs in future posts — stay tuned!

Posted in Celtic, Mending, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Passing of a Bagpipe Teacher

Posted by mtmom on November 15, 2009

What an emotionally exhausting few days it’s been.  Got news on Monday that Jim Thomson, founder of “my” beloved Bagpipe School, had died while attending Highland Games in Tucson.  I knew him, but not well.  It was a very sad thing for many of my piping friends; he taught many of them, and all for free — to ensure the spread of the tradition.  The School will go on, but his absence will be keenly felt.  I volunteered to read the Scriptures, as the funeral was held at my church where I’m a “lector” (reader) — it’s what *I* could do.  I choked up on the “death and pain and sorrow will be no more” part.

Here is some video footage I took at the wake — of course there was piping! — held at a different church across town.  Pipe Major is the dear Michael Donelson; dancer is Megan McPherson.  (Maybe back to knitting news later in the week.)

Posted in Celtic, Videos -- made by me | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Videos: Piping and Weaving

Posted by mtmom on July 24, 2009

I spent most of yesterday wrestling with iMovie, YouTube, Facebook, and CyberDuck.  Here’s some of the fruit of that labor:  a short (31 seconds) video clip from Sunday’s Celtic Festival in which Robert Watt pipes while wearing his new kilt hose.  (He gave me permission to post this.  Thanks to Nanette Blanchard for requesting it.)

Follow this link to another interesting video I found from Knitting Daily TV:  Liz Gipson weaves on a rigid heddle loom (followed on that blog page by another video on weaving with knitting yarns.)

Posted in Celtic, fun, Socks | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

More to Scotland than Pipers?!

Posted by mtmom on August 10, 2008

I do realize that there’s more to Scotland-linked knitting than pipers’ hose.  (I know, I know — hush, you in the back there!)  And I do have more knitting going on, eventhough I have been intensely concentrating on Lord Scott’s socks for the last 2 weeks or so — more on that later in this post.

Half-way between Scotland and Norway is the group of islands called Shetland or the Shetlands.  One of my favorite knitting styles finds its home on one of these North Sea isles:  Fair Isle.  Officially part of Scotland these days, it has also sometimes “belonged” to Norway, and its culture reflects aspects of both “parent” nations.  The local language includes words from both, says Fiona Ritchie of NPR’s “Thistle and Shamrock“.  Nordic influence can also be found in the geometric shapes common to both knitting traditions.  But while the knitters of Norway and Sweden, the Selbu region in particular, favor using only 2 colors in a garment or mitten,  the crafters of Fair Isle use many many colors in each project– although, only 2 at one time.

Here’s the progress I’ve made on my Fair Isle sampler scarf, having completed the first major motif and one peerie band from Betts Lampers’ “Autumn Color Fair Isle” cardigan pattern (the sourcebook for this and many other delightful patterns, Sweaters from Camp, is, sadly, going out of print.  But you can find other wonderful books with charts and/or patterns at Schoolhouse Press — NAYY).

photo 1 

photo 2 


Well, I can’t write a post today without bringing you all up to date on Lord Scott’s kilt hose!  I’ve turned the heel on foot #1 and commenced the ankle pattern, slowly adding in ribs around the sides and back, as I did in my Godmother’s Socks.  (G’sSox pattern available on Ravelry as a PDF download.) 

Lord Scotts hose

Lord Scott's hose

(I think I’ll end up redoing the toe.  We’ll see after he tries it on next weekend — Lord willing!)

And, I’ve bought yarn for Robert Watt’s hose.  These are Satakieli’s 3 greens — nice worsted-spun, sock-weight, wool yarn from Finland.  Robert has asked for a near match to his current favorite hose, so I’m going with the far-right yellow-green.  A pretty good match, don’t you think? 

Posted in Celtic, Color-work, Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Lots of Kilt Hose goin’ on

Posted by mtmom on July 27, 2008

Master Knitter-ing has been supplanted (temporarily) by kilt hose knitting, mostly due to all the bagpiping going on around here lately! — see previous post

I’ve been determined to improve upon my previous prototype (the green with blue) by adding all-over ribbing.  Being a bit impatient to know how they’ll turn out, I’m using DK-weight yarn and working a variation of my thoroughly-tested Godmother’s Socks pattern.  (Ravelry download available here.)  When I got to the heel, I decided to re-think the turn:  a short-row heel a la Godmother, or a flap/gusset arrangement.  I checked several designers’ versions of toe-up heels and decided to try something new-for-me that I didn’t see in any of my collected patterns:  a regular flap, but on the bottom of the foot instead of behind the heel (‘cus that’s where *I* wear out my socks and these are for me).  I added in wooly nylon and worked Eye of Partridge on the flap and around the turn — all the back-and-forth parts. 

I was particularly pleased by how the gusset decreases lined up with the purls to continue the knit3 rib along the side. 

Since these photos were taken, I’ve progressed a few more inches up the ankle and should soon begin increasing for the calf.

Once I finish these, I plan to cast on for Lord Scott’s pair, in fingering-weight merino/nylon.  Those will take longer, but I hope to have at least the foot portion done in time for him to try them on in mid-August.  That’s when the We Make History folks come up to Flagstaff for the Highland Ball and picnic, including the traditional Football in Kilts.  (Hoo-hah, what fun!)

After *that* pair, I get to start work on a replacement pair for these: 

This is piper Robert Watt, he of the Flying Fingers!, from Londonderry, Northern Ireland, playing the “small pipes” and wearing his favorite handmade hose.   I don’t know who knitted them, but they’re quite an act to follow, having lasted 10 years in regular use.  My mind is abuzz with sock-possibilities!  These will need sturdier yarn than I’m using for mine and for Lord Scott’s, and I want them to fit well and be wonderful.

One sock-related trend I spotted at this year’s Celtic Festival is that of topping plain (even store-bought) knee socks with a sewn-on decorative cuff.  I didn’t get a photo [bad blogger!] of Wicked Tinker Warren’s interesting pair: purple and black entrelac cuff over plain yellow/gold sock-body [sounds wild, but matches his kilt nicely].   Dixie Ingram [no link, and also no photo 😦 ] and his whole band wear white socks with a white-white rayon cuff in Trinity stitch, or something similar.

I did, however, get a shot of an anonymous leg in a sock during the parade. 

Witness the flashes (ribbons hanging from elastic garter under the cuff, to help hold up the hose) and laces which continue up the ankle (a knitter better not add much texture there).  All things to take into account when designing kilt hose!

*Then*, after/among all these socks, . . . . Designing for Sock Madness 3 !!!

Posted in Celtic, Design, Knitting, Socks | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

It’s Piping Time Again. . . .

Posted by mtmom on July 24, 2008

So much excitement around here this past week.  Teen-genius called it “bagpipe immersion week”!  First was a week of eavesdropping at the Bagpiping School.  International instructors taught classes, including some which were open for us non-students to listen to — what fun!  Followed by the Northern Arizona Celtic Heritage Society’s Highland Games/Celtic Festival, with parade, vendors, kilted athletes, dancers, and more piping, including The Wicked Tinkers.  Here are some (tiny) photos of the activities.  (First one can link to a larger image.)  Knitting content will have to wait until next post — 2 kilt hose at a time on one 60″ circular.

Bruce H, Robert W, Iain M, Aaron S, Dixie I

Instructors: Bruce Hitchings, Robert Watt, Iain Macey, Aaron Shaw, Dixie Ingram


Iain Macey plays Piobaireachd

Iain Macey plays Piobaireachd

Robert and Bruce play lowland pipes

Robert and Bruce play lowland pipes

Kilt Hose and piping students

Kilt Hose and piping students

Parade with massed bands

Parade with massed bands

Parade and massed bands, contd.

Parade and massed bands, contd.


Small sword dancer

Small sword dancer

Highland Fling

Highland Fling


Robert Watt

Robert Watt


Wicked Tinkers

Wicked Tinkers

Posted in Celtic | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »