Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Tha gaol agam air obar gréis.

Gaelic is still spoken on many of the outer islands of Scotland including the Isle of Skye.

Tha gaol agam air obar gréis (pronounced, ha gool akum air oh-per graysh) means "I love embroidery."

Like many of you when traveling, one of the things I do is look for needlework stores no matter where I go.   And my trip to Scotland was no different.
View from Portree, Isle of Skye
To be honest, embroidery stores in Scotland must be very few and far between.  

I thought there was one in the Grassmarket of Edinburgh but when I went to the location, it was no longer there.

So when I heard that there was an embroidery shop on the Isle of Skye in the capital of Portree, I was thrilled.


I only had 30 minutes to eat lunch and check out the embroidery shop so Jim and Jack went to order food, I hightailed it up the hill to this shop...Over the Rainbow: Isle of Skye Crafts.


They sold embroidery threads, cross stitch kits and yarn.  I picked up some tartan ribbons for my book and some more embroidery floss...but those purchases paled in comparison to the kindness and friendliness of Hannah McDiarmid who happened to be working in the shop that afternoon...

"Oh heery!"
(What Hannah said when I asked if I could take her picture.  I didn't need her to tell me what it meant since I feel the same way when someone asks to take my picture)

Checking out at embroidery stores here in the States takes forever mostly because each thread has to be entered individually and this shop was no different.

Knowing I was short on time, Hannah offered to finish the transaction while I ran off to find Jim, Jack and lunch.

While I was gone, Hannah took it upon herself to write up a list of useful Gaelic phrases and, knowing I was an embroiderer, she included needle-y words as well.


And that's how I know that "Tha gaol agam air obair gréis" means "I love embroidery" in Gaelic.

So...I just had to add it to my highlight list of words and phrases from my trip.

I'm making a loooong embroidered tie using these french alphabet books for patterns.  I've had them on my shelf for years and finally have a use for them...


And some of you had questions as to how I made the book.  

All of the pages were cut from an old stamped, unfinished tablecloth and napkins that someone had given me many years ago...thinking I might finish it.  


I had never thought I would finish it but saved it just in case I might need it someday.  I'm so glad I did.

I probably have enough linen left over to make 5 more books.  The linen makes for great pages so don't give away those old unfinished linens...


For each page, I sewed a big rectangle together on three sides, turned right side out and machine-stitched the edges closed.  

Then I sewed the pages into the book just like the Harikuyo needlebook.


I am slowly embroidering on my book and editing my pictures from my trip so I'll be bopping in now and again to tell more stories about Scotland.

Obair gréis takes time.  I'm off to pick flowers for Mrs. Rose.  

17 comments:

Rachel said...

It's always such a treat to find an embroidery shop, isn't it!

Kathy -MIQuilter said...

Do you ever SLEEP!
Love your blog, found it a few months ago.

liniecat said...

what a fabulous idea to make the journal with that stamped and part stitched fabric!
Inspirational!

gracie said...

I just love the book.

Allison Aller said...

Such a treat! Thanks as always, Susan, for taking us into your world...I think it helps us find our ways into our own worlds, too!

FLOWER FRIEND said...

What a great idea to use the stamped linens. I have a bag of these that I have looked at on occasion and then returned them to the bag.Now you have sparked my inspiration to maybe use them for something else.

Catherine said...

What a fun experience!!! Always a treat to read your posts!

Gerry Krueger said...

Love your book... I have saved a bunch of beautiful damask napkins to make blocks with one day.. No one I know will ever wash and iron linens.
Your lettering is exquisite on the tie. Ger

Gerry Krueger said...

p.s. I hope you're listening to Ian Rankin mysteries while you're stitching your Scottish memories...

Createology said...

How extremely sweet of Hannah to go the extra mile to make your trip even more special. Your embroidery book is looking amazing. I love the tie you are embroidering. Stitching Bliss Dear...

margaret said...

your book is coming along a treat and will bring back such wonderful memories of your tip to Scotland. We do not have many embroidery or quilting shops in the north of England either, the big shows seemed to have an effect and now with the internet it is not easy for them to make enough to survive, mind you I would always prefer to buy from a shop but when they are not any around the internet wins.

Michelle said...

I just checked out the Over the Rainbow website and discovered the page describing how you can journey to the INSIDE of their shop on google maps! So I searched for IV51 9DB on google maps, and yep, I can stroll around inside the beautiful shop. Amazing! What a lovely shop, Hannah is gorgeous :-) Thanks for sharing your new-found Gaelic phrases :-D

Rebecca said...

I am always excited to see a post title that implies more of your Scotland book is in the offing! Would you mind if I highlighted your journal in an upcoming post about art journaling? I can certainly do it just with text, but I would also love to include a photo - either the last one from this post or the third to last (top end of the closed book) from this post: http://plays-with-needles.blogspot.com/2013/08/my-embroiderers-travel-journal.html
In case my gmail doesn't come through right, my account name is reveweber. Thanks!

Leeann said...

Wow Hannah was amazing!
Love that you are using the old unfinished tablecloth for your book. I too can't throw things like this away, but know that I wouldn't use them if I finished them. So thank you for giving me an idea of how to use them.

Judy S. said...

Your book is going to be a wonderful reminder of your trip! The tie is awesome. Besides needlework shops, I always search out yarn shops on trips as yarn is a nice lightweight souvenir, too!

Susan Hook said...

What a lovely book you make, I have been to the Isle of Skye and had a look in the shop myself, I remember it being a lovely shop but it was a long time ago and it was a time when I was more interested in hill walking.

Anonymous said...

Would you share the phrases that Hannah wrote down for you. I would love to have them as my family heritage is Scottish. I would love to make a book like yours. It is such a beautiful memory to have of your trip. You can contact me at

yulece1957@yahoo.ca

Christine

Related Posts with Thumbnails