A podcast for people who love knitting, Dorset Buttons, creativity & Scotland, especially the Highlands & Islands.

Welcome to the 31st episode of my podcast – Tentative Steps

Thank you for listening again or welcome if you are a first time listener.

I hope you are all keeping well as we start to emerge from lockdown with its associated ups and downs.  I touch on the changes we are all experiencing such as trips to the recycling centre which we all took for granted before!

The Weather

I chat about a thunderstorm which interrupted Geraint’s live presentation to the States.

Early in the month the midges arrived in our garden – the most we’ve ever had – not happy!

A month of very interchangeable weather, rain, cloudy and a bit cooler with the sun breaking through from time to time.  It seems to have helped the growth of the roadside vegetation.  I chat about the different varieties and vibrant colours.

The bracken is out in all its glory now – swathes of it with sight lines really reduced on the roads.

I give you an update on my tomato plants which have been very successful and we’ve already eaten some of the first crop of the Sungold variety.



I give thanks to Nora for her suggestion to knit my Islay Jacket sleeves flat and then sew up instead of knitting in the round.  This should help reduce the arm and neck problems I was getting from knitting the small circumference and stitch change in the round.

I finished a project!  The Love Note sweater – I love it.  I did forget to mention on the podcast that I’ve yet to block it which you can probably tell from the photo!  I added 3 inches on the longer length which suits my style. It was made with stash, River Knits 4ply Blue Faced Leicester in colourway Towpath and Rowan Kid Silk Haze.

I have cast on Stephen West Tripartite in Hedgehog Fibres lace.  A great garter stitch project with some yarn overs.

I attended the recent Stephen West webinar on Shawl Shapes and have signed up for his Colour Play webinar later in August.  I really enjoyed the format and found them very interesting.

My Rayure top is so nearly finished but didn’t quite make it for the podcast update.

Love Note Sweater

I chat about a Bullet Journal course I’ve been doing online run by Felicity Ford, Felix of Knitsonik.  I’ve found Felix approach really helpful signposting how it can be used.  In particular I like the habit tracker and chat about how this has helped me which includes getting stuff done such as sorting out boxes, getting back into reading and doing 20minute blitz cleaning of my cooker! .

I give my view on stickers and washi tape and tell you the story behind my ink frog stamps.

I signed up for a 6 week art course with Salina Jane.  I’ve enjoyed reconnecting and stretching myself with these long lost skills and putting more creative activities into my day.

Dorset Buttons

Dorset Button Wall Hanging Kits are back in stock after they sold out! International shipping is now back up and running although there are still some disruptions and there is a link to Royal Mail on the shop page where you can find out the latest for your country. The Glasgow School of Yarn is now cancelled although there are plans to do a virtual event so to keep an eye out for that. The TJFrog office now has a wipe board!  This is a great addition for all my ideas and plans instead of lots of bits of paper stuck to the wall. Sadly one of new products didn’t quite arrive in time to get a mention although I’ve had the courier notice that it’s on the way!

Local Lowdown

If you plan a visit to Skye in 2020 then it’s worth checking out these couple of resources as there are some businesses that are not planning on reopening in 2020.

Facebook – What’s open in Skye and Lochalsh

Website – MySkyeTime


Skye Showcase

My TJFrog staff helped me do a socially distance interview test with my phone microphone which enabled me to go and interview in person.  I decided to catch up with three Skye wool businesses who I’ve interviewed previously and see how they are as they reopen.

Yasmin – Island At The Edge

Yasmin previously appeared in Episodes 3, 4 and 15. Yasmin had a good lockdown with lambing and watching TV box sets.  They have a new puppy called Solas and she she has been doing some gansey commissions.  With the shop opening all her new wool has arrived which includes 5 ply Hebridean and 5ply Cheviot and Blackface and has plans to do some natural dyeing and we learn that Trevor now has a boat.

Island At The Edge Shop
Island At The Edge Hebridean

Sally – On The Croft

Sally previously appeared in Episodes 6 & 7.  Sally “normally” opens her shop all year round.  During lockdown Sally’s craft of choice was mainly spinning. Although Sally has also done some weaving with her hand dyed wool and made them into these beautiful wraps.  Sally spent time during lockdown making scrubs as part of an initiative to support care workers and hospital staff all organised through Skye Community Response.  We touch on crafts that don’t work for us!  Sally has lots of stock waiting for all the visitors!

On The Croft Shawls
On The Croft Shawl

Kirsty – Shilasdair

Kirsty previously appeared in Episodes 9, 20 & 21.  We chat about that initial lockdown feeling and then the transition through it.  Kirsty and Simon have three businesses so there was much to work out.  Kirsty did use the time to explore dyeing sock yarn alongside doing home schooling and spending time with the family immersed in nature.  They have also done a lot of DIY and have the most amazing painted orange benches out the front of their property.  Kirsty has loved having people back in the wool shop.  Simon is back making pies and I can tell you they are delicious!

They were also part of a great community initiative cooking means for the vulnerable.

Shilasdair Kirsty
Shilasdair Pies

A great albeit brief catch up with Yasmin, Sally and Kirsty.  I wish them all the very best with the remaining 2020 season here on Skye.

That’s it for this episode.

Til next time . . .

Music – the music is:

One Frog For a Prince, by Ron Patton & licensed from Melody Loops.

Bye for now.

Sheep in the Bracken

6 Responses

  1. What do I need to download in order o listen to your latest podcast?

    1. Hi Brenda many thanks for getting in touch and alerting me to the fact the link hadn’t updated correctly. It is now all working so you should be able to just play straight from Episode 31 on the podcast page. Please let me know if it still doesn’t work.

  2. Ooh came to find a picture of the puppy… hello Solas! Loved the modelled pic of the Love Sweater though. I like a 3/4 sleeve. Colour looks stunning on you. X

    1. Sorry I didn’t get a photo of Solas. If you look on Facebook at @IslandattheEdge you will see photos there. I love 3/4 length sleeves too. This is such a great jumper. Thanks for your lovely comments x

  3. Tania,
    I really enjoy your podcasts! My dream is to travel from Minnesota to the UK, including Skye, in the future. (My father’s family is Scottish, although I’m 8th generation in the US.) I have been watching a Netflix series called “The Repair Shop.” Fascinating and delightful; perhaps you know of it. It’s from the UK. Anyway, I just watched Season 2, Episode 7, which included the repair of and replacement in situ of the town signpost in Dorset. I thought of you! Perhaps you’ve seen this signpost for real or know some of the people who were at the ceremony as it was replaced. The crafts persons on the program did an exquisite job in restoring it. I saw carvings of a spinning wheel and perhaps? a Dorset button on it. If you haven’t seen this program, I hope you get a chance to watch it. All the best, Lynn

    1. Many thanks Lynn, lovely to hear you enjoy the podcasts. I haven’t watched The Repair Shop although a couple of people have recommended so I have added it to the list of things to watch. Thank you for signposting me to the particular episode with Dorset in, I shall seek that one out first! Tania x

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