The Second Edition of my book, A Scottish Migration to Alexandria arrived on August 16th, a week early. I added new details after my recent visit to Scotland.e Second Edition of my book, A Scottish Migration to Alexandria arrived on August 16th, a week early. I added new details after my recent visit to Scotland.
New Tweed Purses
This Summer I made the great trek to the northwestern most corner of Scotland. I drove and took ferries all the way to the Isle of Harris, just to buy Harris Tweed. I have a new roomy purse design for the new purses that I will be making from the many colors of tweed that I brought back.
See the story of my Hebridean journey below.
I will have my new hat collection at the Markets, including my hand made sun hat, made of French cotton jacquard fabric. I made 3 of these and this is the last one! Also woven sun hats, and berets that I brought back with me from France! A beret is my favorite for cold weather, but they are hard to find. I have always wanted to carry berets at Yellow Dot Shop, and here they are, finally! I will be working on more hats of Harris Tweed for this Autumn and Winter.
Come to my book signing! Thursday Sept. 8, 2022
4 - 7pm
at Made in ALX shop
533 Montgomery Street
North Old Town
Adventure in Kilmarnock
In July I went to Kilmarnock, Scotland, hometown of my book's subject. I was not planning on going, because I had not gotten appointments at the institutions that had helped with my research. However, at the last minute I got an email from Kilmarnock's government office, that they would like to meet with me! I had brought two copies of the book, just in case. For the 9am meeting, I got up early and drove - wrong side of the road - one hour to Kilmarnock. I was thrilled to meet with Chief Executive of East Ayrshire Council, Eddie Fraser. I told him all about the project and learned about some of the great historic sites and events in Ayrshire. I was pleased to sign and donate one of my books to Mr. Fraser and Ayrshire Council.
Then I drove into Kilmarnock's center, and walked over to the grand museum and library, the Dick Institute. Without any meeting planned, I walked in with my remaining book. I found a painting of poet Robert Burns, which all other images of him are based on. Further on I found the piano which belonged to the Gregory family. I asked if I could photograph it. A man came out and I explained about my book and said I could donate it if they were interested. They were. The man's boss also came out and we took a group photo. The piano is Kilmarnock's first. It was brought from Glasgow by my subject's mother in the late 1700s for her marriage. What a turn of events, from not having any meetings or plans for Kilmarnock at all!
Mission for Harris Tweed from Scotland
In July, I drove a rental car on the wrong side of the road, all the way through Scotland, straight north to the Isle of Harris and Lewis. I took several ferries, drove over the high mountains of the Isle of Skye, another ferry, and finally landed in the tiny village of Tarbert, on the Isle of Harris. Of the few buildings in Tarbert, two are dedicated to Harris Tweed fabric and product sales. I learned that Harris Tweed has become quite a large industry. The cloth is hand woven by cottage weavers in all corners of the Island. (The south is called Isle of Harris, and the north is called Isle of Lewis. The only large town is Stornoway, in the north.) The evening I arrived, Tarbert was very quiet. The central parking lot was empty. The only people I saw were a couple sitting outside their house having a drink. I greeted them, and they agreed it sure was quiet.
The next day was my tweed shopping day. I drove into town and the parking lot was packed. The Tweed shops were humming with visitors. The whisky distillery opposite was full of people in its shop and cafe. You can see the tweed that I bought below.
The next day I drove north to Stornoway, across massive mountains of North Harris. At the top the wind whipped at me as I tried to photograph the stunning view across lake and more mountains. I had to hurry back into my car. It was in the 50s that day as I explored the small-scale town of Stornoway. I searched for the tweed exhibit which turned out to be capriciously closed that very day. Of course. After a warming lunch of potato soup, I found the Harris Tweed Shop of Stornoway, where I bought the garment which suddenly made my day much better. My new wool bakerboy cap was just what I needed! I was untouched by the cold from that point on. I plan on making caps like this for the Shop this Autumn.
Since I've been back, I have created a new purse pattern for a line of Harris Tweed purses that I will be making this Autumn. So far I have a prototype in cotton plaid, seen above, and my first Harris Tweed purse which I paired with embroidered denim. This Fall my sewing machine will be busy!
Yellow Dot Shop will be at Del Ray's
Art on the Avenue
Saturday, October 1, 2022
10am - 6pm
At Mt. Vernon Ave. and E. Howell Ave, just past and across from the Post Office