A Prickly Project: Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Day 2 - 4KCBWDAY2

There were lots of thistle-themed items at Sunday's Scottish festival in Huntersville, NC. 

Yesterday, I discussed how, as a knitter, I am like a Border Collie, passionately driven to pursue what think I was born to do.  When I think of these creatures, Scotland immediately comes to mind  and then, naturally, tartans.  Since I love tartans made with purple, when I contemplated related projects, I fixed on the thistle.  Armed with my new Ipad and the Stitchsketch app, I charted a simple design for a thistle as well as for a simplified tartan pattern.

I also contemplated how to use these designs, and fingerless mitts came to mind—as the thistles could be cunningly displayed on the face of each hand.  And I’d anticipated these items could be knit up quickly.  I sketched out a simple drawing and ordered some yarn from Webs.com.  Inadvertently, however, I purchased superwashwool, which—with its scales softened—doesn’t quit have the wild and woolly effect that I think a Scottish-related project should possess.

I don't know why my thistle is pink here.  The app page shows a purple flower. 

The superwash wool, however, is wonderfully soft, and would be ideal to use for baby items.  Also, I do think that it will be very comfortable on the hands.  With only a few short strands needed for contrast colors, I should have enough for a soft cap to match—a Scottish inspired tam, perhaps. 

This is the modified tartan design I scrapped for now.  Again, the pink should be purple.

Motivated by the Blog Week assignments, I attended a the Rural Hill Scottish Festival and Loch Norman Highland Games in Huntersville, NC this past Sunday—to see if I could capture some photos or videos related to my “house” and to my design project. 

I have to confess that I already started knitting my item—and actually finished a left-hand mitt last night and then ripped out most of it. The black used in the pattern seemed a little out of place amidst the other soft heathery tones. I’ve honed and refined my design,though, and hope that I can knit something up for later in the week to display here. 
I wanted one of these bags that were for sale, but restrained myself. I don't think I have anymore room for knitting bags in my house.

Pat Thurston of StoneHouse Cottage Industries, sells hand knitted kilt hose, tams, and fingerless gloves.  Her work is beautiful and detailed.  The purple hat she is wearing is fully lined and has a Velcro band, so that Pat can attach different tartan bands for different occasions.  She knit the hose the man in the picture is wearing.  (Pat doesn't have a website, but if you are interested in purchasing items, contact me and I'll send you her email.)

Pat Thurston also does cross stitch.  I love the purple in her design (and in her tartan wrap).

The festival was held at the site of a living history museum.  Here, inside of a small log cabin, one of the docents knits.

I couldn't get close enough to the Border Collie to get a very good shot, but had to include. 



  1. I can't wait to see your finished thistle mitts!

  2. I love your post! I bet the thistle mitts are going to be gorgeous! I can't wait to see them.

  3. Ooh yay, thistle mitts! And that chart would look great as an accent on a tam, or on the wrists of a sweater... ::runs off to write stuff down::

  4. The thistle makes a great motif - looking forward to seeing the finished mitts! E x

  5. I too love your thistle mitt initiative, as well as your Scottish-themed research. Tartan plaid is just great!

    Those herding exercises are so much fun to watch. I've seen it done with geese as opposed to sheep, with hilarious results.

  6. Great post! Can't wait to see your mitts :)

  7. I love your approach to this! The Thistle Mitts sound really fun and whimsical.

  8. The thistle mitts is such a cool idea! Looking forward to seeing your progress.


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