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

Welcome to the 43rd episode of my podcast – Challenges

Hello and thank you for joining me for the second episode of 2024 and welcome if you are a first time listener.

I touch on health challenges, juicing and eating very dark chocolate.

Lindt dark chocolate Ep 43

The Weather

I talk about a research project by Edinburgh & Glasgow University about Seasonal Affective Disorder which I heard about on the Scotland Outdoors podcast 8 November 2023.  (available on BBC & podcast platforms)

You can read more about their project and access their e-book produced from their workshops called Light is a Right – A guide to Wintering Well

Overall we’ve had good weather with the odd blip such as Storm Kathleen.  The deer are enjoying the garden!  I’ve missed the orcas again, although seeing 9 herons on the shoreline was very special.  Can you spot them in the photo below?  They were a long way off so not easy to get a clear photo of them.



My knitting mojo has returned!

I recently completed a test knit for Scottish knitwear designer Maddie Harvey.  (Payhip link) A vest called Nettle-Earnest, it has a lovely broken rib detail on the shoulders, yoke and hem with the main body in stocking stitch.  I used my own wool Dorset Down chalk range Durlston, a double Knit in a deep purple.  A challenge with a deadline which I achieved!  It’s not yet released although you can see it on my Ravelry page or Maddie Harvey’s Ravelry group.  

There’s an update on my Frog Tapestry and I have, surprise surprise blocking news!

How did I do with my challenge I set last episode to finish the Debbie Abrahams Mystery Blanket 2017 & Debbie Abrahams Mystery Cushion 2023?

My cushion is finished as you can see below.

The blanket – well – you’ll need to listen in to hear about my challenges within the challenge, and there were a few!

Next up on my needles is one of the summer T-tops I’ve previously talked about.

Jigsaw progress – my Dad and I are going to have a challenge to see how far we get with finishing a puzzle within 3 hours, the time for the British Jigsaw Puzzle Championships.  I’ll report back next episode!

Dorset Buttons & wider news from the TJFrog Pad

I chat about doing co-working which I do both on-line and on Skye at the Hebridean Inn.

There are some changes ahead in the TJFrog business to make time for all those other creative ideas I’ve had for years, yet are still on the shelf.  

It’s a challenge deciding what to let go of.  I’ve taken the very difficult decision to no longer do Dorset Button kits.  They will be phased out gradually.  If there is a kit you’d like and it’s showing out of stock do please get in touch as I may still have the resources for it.  From time to time there may be a special kit project but they will not be available as a standard year round product.    I realise this may be very disappointing news, although I will still be designing Dorset Buttons which will be made available in an alternative format.

On Friday 26th and Saturday 27th April I will be at The Woolly Good Gathering .  I have a pop-up shop on Friday afternoon for a couple of hours prior to my Dorset Button workshop.  The other show I will be at this year is the Yorkshire Yarn Festival 8th – 10th November at Sandburn Hall Hotel, Flaxon, York.  I’m very much looking forward to returning to this show.  Early bird tickets are available until 1 September at Eventbrite.

I will be running some Dorset Button virtual workshops back starting in May – details to follow on social media, my website and in TJFrog updates.  A loyalty discount is available if you have previously attended a virtual workshop with me.

I’m often asked about ways to support the TJFrog business financially other than buying products.  I have decided to dip my toes into Patreon and Ko-fi accounts.  Setting these up has certainly challenged my technical skills!

Patreon is a subscription platform enabling you to making a monthly donation.  I have set up one tier – the Tadpoles tier, for those of you who love everything about TJFrog and would like to be the first to know about the next podcast episode release with a sneak peak on content as well as a monthly bonus lifestyle or making photo.  In addition, please accept my immense gratitude for joining me on this venture and supporting the longevity of the podcast.

Ko-fi is a platform that enables you to support a creative business by making a one off payment which equates to the sum of a cuppa, and you do not require an account to use this platform.

And finally, also important; supporting by sharing, liking or commenting on posts is very much appreciated.

If you would like to find out more about either the Patreon or Ko-fi option please click on the relevant buttons below.

Skye Focus – the local lowdown

How to get to Skye – Part 2 of a 3 part series:

The second ferry route, Mallaig on the mainland to Armadale on Skye via CalMac.  A company that has and is still having challenges.  

The challenge for Skye is the ferry built for the Armadale pier is often redirected to Mull, with the replacement unable to cope in the same way with the tides and weather.  However we do have a bridge!

I chat about how the service has changed in our time living on Skye.

If you arrive on Skye this way you will travel on the Road to the Isles where you will see the Glenfinnan Monument and Glenfinnan Viaduct  and the beautiful beaches of Morar and Arisaig.  I give tips about arriving on Skye this way, including taking the famous Jacobite Steam Train  through the stunning Highlands landscape.

That’s it for this episode.

Thank you for joining me again.

Until next time . . .


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

Please note – there are no Ravelry pattern links in this post.

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