I was at the Loch Ness Knit Fest at the weekend; a chance to inspire myself anew regarding one of my favourite hobbies. Some of the work was amazing; the knitted garments designed by Christel Seyfarth, for example, were awe-inspiring, but I don’t think I could keep up my concentration long enough to work one of them now. Scattered around the venue, Eden Court Theatre, was a wide variety of knitted Nessie, including this splendid example in the entrance hall. There was an even bigger one in the vestibule, but I couldn’t get far enough away to photograph it in its entirety.
One of the displays I really enjoyed seeing was on the Moray Firth Gansey Project. Ganseys, sometimes better known as Guernseys, are knitted sweaters made for fishermen. There are all sorts of stories about what the different patterns mean; zig zags are called ‘marriage lines’ and a double cable makes ‘horseshoes’. They’re rather like Aran sweaters, but traditionally knitted in dark blue wool rather than the natural Aran colour. The Project website has lots of examples and some patterns to knit yourself, so do take a look: I rather fancy trying the knitted teddy with his own gansey.
I could only manage to go on the Sunday, when the show closed at 2pm, so I spent the afternoon wandering around Inverness. I haven’t visited it since I was a child and I’d forgotten what an attractive town it is – although since the year 2000 it’s been a ‘city’. The river Ness runs right through the town, and there are lovely walks along its banks. The weather was perfect – clear skies with a little autumnal nip in the air. My second photo shows Inverness Castle on its little hill. It’s quite modern (1836, which is modern for historians!). It houses the local Sheriff Court and isn’t open to the public, although its grounds are. Should you ever find yourself holding a Royal Bank of Scotland note for 50 pounds sterling, turn it over and you’ll see Inverness Castle.
I really enjoyed my little trip and it reminded me I should get out more instead of spending my time inside gazing at a computer. I must get a few walks in, scuffing through the leaves, before winter arrives.