Monday, January 29, 2007

Avalanche coming....

I thought I was going to have a quiet week. We`re still waiting for the official council permission to fit the new windows. Even when we get permission, we still have to wait a few days while the windows get made in the workshops, right?


I phoned the Council today to find out the status of our application. Passed, paperwork will be with us in a couple of days. Great, then we can get the windows made. This afternoon, Boss Builder Man appears. Windows are ready. Start fitting them tomorrow?


Seems like the builders took it upon themselves to get ahead of the game and have the windows built before official permission came through. Oh well, their risk because we wouldn`t have had to pay for the work when we hadn`t ordered it and permission was denied.

And in some ways it`s better when an avalanche hits not to have too much warning of the event...less time to panic and run around like a headless chicken wondering what to grab first. In this case, it`s everything. Everything loose or vunerable to dust in the room, furniture within two metres of the attack/window areas and the curtains. Grab, bag and throw into other room. Next day, repeat. They are going to do two windows per day...we have twelve windows, so that makes six days. I get this Wednesday off to do the kitchen and living room, because they all open into the same space. After that, I`ll be stripping two rooms a day whilst trying to get the completed rooms habitable again. Plus, of course, look after kids, run the house and have a pee occasionally. (Memo to self...find camping pee bucket for the day they`re putting the bathroom window in.)

Tomorrow: Stair and bathroom windows.
Thursday/Friday: Two windows in kitchen, living room, Mairi`s bedroom.
Monday: Study, master bedroom.
Tuesday/Wednesday: Duncan`s bedroom, three windows in lounge.

My heart fails me at the thought of all this, it really does. But as I said, better it just sneaks up on you and`s happening. Like labour. Remember to breathe, and keep pushing. It will end eventually.

Wish me luck. I may be away for quite a time....except, of course, there`s more than one PC in this house, and fortunately they`re in different rooms. So you may wish to avoid looking at this blog, in order not to see the weeping....

And yes, this may count as Official Emergency Fig Roll Time.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

More Knitting???!!!

Much to my amazement I have another FO to post about.

This is the One Skein Silk Garden Beanie. I`ve had this ball of yarn lying around for about a year, intending to make this hat but never got round to it till Friday evening after I had been reading about another knitter making one.

First Noro creation for me. I really loved this yarn (Silk Garden Col.224). I can see me getting some more asap. It was a very quick knit too, even for me, and I finished it the next day. I was a wee bit concerned about running out of yarn but it turned out that I could have knitted the hat a couple of rows longer, judging by what I have left.

It was intended for me, but it turned out too small, even though I was knitting at the right gauge. It is a small pattern, for anyone thinking of making it. Better to buy two skeins and knit to give 7" or so rather than 5" before shaping I think...that`s what I`ll do next time.

Fortunately there is someone in the house with a smaller head who likes purple....

As you can see, usual great Noro colours and quite gratifyingly fast to make.

Soooo...spurred on by these two latest results, I have been inspired to go back to my UFO bag (only two things in there, but both large projects) and haul out this again. I had stalled on the second part of the four-times ripped out neck, and I just couldn`t be bothered with picking it up again. Until yesterday...when I sat down with it, took a close look and then managed to duplicate the shaping of the first side, no problems. (I then found the note detailing my modifications, not ten minutes later.....)

So the Silk Tweed Sweater is up and running again. But I swear, last chance. I`ll finish the front, tack it together and if it`s not right? Froooooog pond, I swear.

Final happiness of weekend was the arrival of parcels. One from Amazon, bearing Mason-Dixon Knitting and Big Girl Knits. More of them later, to read them first.

The other parcel contained a set of long coveted Boye NeedleMaster needles.

Shiney pretty colours!! (The case is a revolting mud brown plastic effort, so we won`t say anything more about it.) I like metal needles, loathe bamboo and am half hearted about plastic so though I do like my Denise set, these are going to be better. I used one as the second circ for finishing my Beanie yesterday and really loved it. Small word of warning though...they`re a bit non-standard for sizing on my needle gauge, even for the USA sizing side. Not a direct swap for some UK sizes. Knit a tension/gauge square before use, okay?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Resolution #1 update.

Resolution #1 was to lose 2 stone (28lbs) by the summer, remember? Well, I`ve been dragging myself off to Rosemary Conley Diet & Fitness classes and I`m pleased to report I`ve lost ten pounds so far. *happy dance*

I was thinking about my target of losing 28 lbs by Woolfest and decided this wasn`t quite ambitious enough. Firstly, it turns out I`m not going to manage Woolfest after all which is a real blow, because as these of us who have been lucky enough to go know, Woolfest is THE spinning and fibre addict`s paradise here in the UK. But Hubby (who`s just finishing his probation year in his new job) has discovered he just HAS to be back at work when his dissertation students are ready to submit their thesises (sp?) in middle to late July. We want to go camping in France this summer and it basically works out that if Mummy goes to Woolfest then we get two weeks in France. If Mummy doesn`t go to Woolfest we can get about three to three and a half weeks, depending on if we take the kids out of school a few days before the end of term. (We`re on the Scottish school year finishes the last week in June.) So really, no contest. I can`t expect the family to give up so much holiday time so that I can go and buy wool! I`ll just have to buy French wool instead, mmmmm? And go see some Ouessant sheep, seeing as we`re going to Brittany.

Anyhoo, back to the diet. Initial target was two stone (28 lbs) before Woolfest. Now I`m thinking 4 stone (56 lbs) before France, which is the same time scale. This works out about 2 lbs per week, which is perfectly do-able but not much margin for slippage. But I`m going to try. France is hot in July, putting tents up and down is hard work, we want to do a lot of swimming and snorkling and cycling and having four stone less of me to lug around will make life a lot easier and more pleasant. So wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Reduce, reuse, recycle.

I concluded the sale of my Ashford Country Spinner last week. It went to a really nice sounding lady from Essex, and I was very happy with the price I got for it. (She was happy too...nice wheel, good condition and a sight cheaper than a new one. Good deal all round.)

The sale of the wheel was part of my Big Plan for reducing the volume of our possessions a little...there`s been an incredible amount of dejunking going on here these past few months and now I`m turning my attention to getting rid of things we like, but in all honesty aren`t pulling their weight when it comes to space. Like the Ashford. But of course, as soon as you get a little money in the Craft Supplies Account you want to spend it, yes? Reuse it, even? So I bought myself....Mason-Dixon Knitting, Big Girl Knits and a set of Boye Needlemaster needles. And I`ve still got cash left in the kitty for SkipNorth. So all in all I`m quite pleased with the results of recycling my wheel. :-)


I finally finished Duncan`s somewhat boring stockinette sweater. It`s based on Nell from the Debbie Bliss book Junior Knits. I made one for Mairi as well.

Both were knitted in Sidar Denim Aran which is a 60% acrylic, 25% cotton 15% wool yarn, very soft, knits up into a nice springy, cushy sweater and which can be machine washed. Excellent for kids clothes. I don`t make stuff for the kids that has to be coddled and hand washed.

As I said earlier, both were based on the Nell pattern. Why only based? It`s the Bliss kiddy sizing again...all her kids seem to be short and wide, while mine are tall. (In Duncan`s case wide as well, but still not as wide as a Bliss child.) So for my five year old (but takes Age 7 clothes) daughter I made the 3-4 Bliss size, with extra length. Duncan normally takes an Age 12-14 (he`s 10) and rolls the sleeves up. In his case I made him the Bliss Age 10 but with extra length added. Both sweaters still have PLENTY of room for sideways growth, belive me.

Bliss has some weird, WEIRD sizing issues. Her Age 10 kids sweaters are inches wider than a woman`s 34" bust size, for example. The biggest adult sizes in her books are smaller than some of the baggy kids patterns. Puppy fat????? More like baby elephants metamorphosing into stick insects.......

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Putting it back in?

I went to the monthly meeting of my local chapter of the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers yesterday. (I`m primarily a member of the Haddington Spinners, but this is my #2 group.) It was a beginners day, second of the two we have every year. Not really formal teaching as such, though we did get a formal tutor in for Beginners 1 where they learned the theory of spinning. Yesterday was Beginners 2, which was about fibre carding, blending and more spinning. No tutor this time, more a structured self help day. We oldies were asked to bring in any spare carders, fibres etc that we would be willing to loan and share.

Now I like this type of day and though I`ve only been spinning for two years (unlike many of the Guild members who have been spinning for decades) I`m always willing to help newbies and I`ve got a knack for teaching beginners, as I`ve found out. (Modest, me???) So I wasn`t at all surprised when Mrs President asked me to take charge of four new spinners that had never used a wheel before and handed me the two much abused Guild wheels to use. (These unfortunate wheels are loaned out on a monthly basis to new spinners and they get a lot of wear and tear and very little TLC. Or oil! Plus they were both Ashfords (one Traditional, one Traveller) and belive it or not I`ve never spun on any Ashford. Nor do I use Scotch tension much. I`m a double drive or Irish tension person.)

So......I was rather put on the spot, no? Two squeaky clunkers and four sets of eyes raptly following my every move. I got through this by being 100% frank about my limited experience with these two wheels and giving them a quick guided tour of wheel construction whilest oiling the poor wheels copiously. Got them working, did the usual 101 demo, (probably contradicting every word the experienced tutor had told them,) showed them all the beginners tricks to get going (sellotaping the leader etc) and then split them into pairs, gave them a wheel each and let them get going. I`m a firm beliver that the only way to learn to spin is to try. They made all the usual ghastly bits of twirly string and lumpy mess that everyone does at first, but by the end of the day they had all "got" it and were turning out creditable lengths of "designer" yarns. And they were having great fun. I hardly did any spinning myself and I came home totally hoarse after five hours of almost non-stop talking but I felt very satisfied with my day.

However, the point of my post is not to say how wonderful I am. (Though this is also true, ask anyone who knows me. Maybe..... ;-) ) No, it`s to comment on a little discussion I overheard between a small group while we were in the kitchen.

Now I admit, the hall we use for this was mayhem that day. We couldn`t get the bigger one we use for events and we had at least thirty more folk in with us than usual, plus some folk had brought along children which didn`t help the chaos either. There were clumps of folk all over the place doing all sorts of things, spinning wheels and fibre everywhere, it was hot, noisy, stuffy and all the rest. Including fun, but this group did not think so. No, the gist of their discussion was that they did not come to Guild to be unpaid teachers. They came to Guild meetings to do their own spinning and craftwork and have a nice day with their friends. They did not want "these people" there. One woman in particular was especially vocal about this. She wanted a "proper" day, not all this mess.

Now, they do have a certain point. I suppose. USA readers in particular may be nodding their heads and asking why the new folk didn`t go to paid classes? Well, because we have very, very little by way of paid tuition here....there is some, but usually what you get is an hour from the shop owner when you buy a wheel, or very rarely, a spinning class on the other side of the country. I only know one actual tutor. no, 90% or more of us learned to spin at meetings like this or from a friend. The Guild specifically encourages each group to have beginners days, so that the shy will come out of the closet. And the two beginners days were scheduled in the Guild calendar of events, as just that. There are eleven other meetings in the events calendar, btw.

So .....I didn`t say anything at the time, because (1) I was eavesdropping! and (2) I`m still a new Guild member so didn`t really feel up to challenging this. But it left me with a nasty taste, really. I`ve always thought of spinners (and knitters, weavers, felters and all the rest) as a delightful group of human beings, keen to share their knowledge and to welcome others into the circle. I can`t say I`ve ever met any before that were otherwise. So I was shocked at this conversation, really I was. If these ladies didn`t want to get involved in a beginners day, why were they there? Why not just stay home? Why have this totally moaning minnie conversation in the kitchen, with people (including newbies) wandering in and out for cups of tea?

And also, who taught them? I taught myself the basics, then got endless help from the wonderful ladies at the Haddington Spinners. I`m no master spinner now, more a competant first year journeyman, but as I said earlier, I know enough to teach newbies. And I belive in putting back in what I got out when I was a newbie. What`s their view? Take but not give?

As I said, shocked. I`ve never heard anything like it. It`s like biting into an apple and finding a worm, so it is.

Edit: Just came back to add...the rest of the Guild ladies were working like slaves, really they were, and giving 110% for the new folk. So it was just this tiny, tiny minority of folk. So if anyone is thinking about going to their local Guild spinning meetings, don`t be put off by this one bad story, please!!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Contest Results.

Okay, the result of the Anniversary Contest, tadah!!

I didn`t want to give anyone an unfair advantage when it came to judging (I use this word loosely) the entries, because some of you I know well, others less so and some not at all. So I handed them over to Hubby to decide the winner using the criteria of amusement value, originality and drawing names out a hat, as previously stated.

Hubby liked them all, but there was this one phrase that tickled him, basically because it`s just so not him, lol.

"The first thing that came to my mind was that your husband is one of those rugged wool wearing fisherman."

So Sam is duely declared the winner! Can I have your snail mail address please, Sam? My email address is on my profile.

Okay, so y`all might think that it`s obvious that Fishwives are married to fishermen? Nope, not necessarily, though many of them were. Others were single or widowed. So what is a fishwife? Well, if you`d cared to type "fishwife" into the "Search Blog" box above, you`d have come up with this post all about them.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Last chance.

Last chance to enter my Blog Anniversary Contest....winner will be announced tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Cat and Herring.

"Okay, I know you said not to touch it. I didn`t. I DIDN`T. I just sat on it, okay? You said it was a herring, okay? I was just looking....... could you please help me unwind my tail from this thing??????????"

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Socks that Rock.

Well, I`m not sure what to make of this. Over on Cara`s Blog she got over 800 entries to win one of thirty skeins of Socks that Rock. Me, I got four to win a skein of Hipknits sock yarn. If I ever meet Kerrie of Hipknits, I won`t be able to look her in the eye, lol.

Go on, don`t be shy, scroll down one post and leave a comment. You`re too late to enter Cara`s contest now anyway. :-D

On the knitting front...well, very little knitting but I did drag out the Herring wheel to give it a buff up and oil, with the view to putting it in the lounge to spin on once the windows are in. (If ever the windows happen.....) Remember my beautiful Herring, my modern work of art?

Also I have been packing up my carders and tools and day to day fibre stash, plus all the rest, just to keep it away from all the muck and dust when the workmen put the windows in. (If ever the windows happen.....)I gleaned out a few more odds and ends for Ebay also...actually it makes me feel quite good to have at least one portion of our overwhelming possessions organised and under control.

I was reviewing my dejunking efforts yesterday, actually. I started this back in September, right? Now I don`t think I`ve kept to a binbag a day of discarded junk, but I`ve certainly averaged a steady three or four a week, I guess. Would you think I now have a totally empty house? You`d be wrong....some days I look round and I can`t belive I`ve even started yet. It has made the difference between being jammed to the rafters (quite literally, given our huge attic) and being jammed to the picture rails, that`s all. Sigh.....we moved here eight and a half years ago, realised we had twice the space of our old house and gaily set about filling it, without ever throwing a single item out. AND we didn`t dejunk our last house when we moved...we didn`t pack our own stuff but paid someone else to do it. So everything came. EVERYTHING. I have a junk backlog of fourteen years to deal with.

So though I have now been round every room in the house and hauled out massive amounts of unwanted, unused items, I`m going to do it again. I estimate I have cleared 10% of the total. I have recycled much of this moutain through Ebay, Freecycle, the local charity shops, friends and yes, the dump, but there`s still more. Now I`m going round for another 10%, eek.

Wish me luck. I may be some time......

Friday, January 12, 2007

Blog Anniversary.

I just realised that today is my Blog Anniversary. Wow, how time flies, no? One year of ... meanderings is probably the right word. Certainly an awful lot mote "misc" than spinning or knitting! Oh well, that`s my life, really.

Sooooo....tis traditional to have a wee contest, no? Okay, here it is. Send me a comment telling me why you think "Spinning Fishwife" is a good (or bad) name for me. No theory too extreme! It doesn`t have to be the real answer of course...that would make things far too obvious for these that know me well! (Eh, Shona??) Entries will be judged on amusement value, originality and quite possibly drawing the names out a hat. I have a skein of HipKnits 100% cashmere sock/fine 4-ply (400yds per 80g skein) in Candycane as a prize for the winner.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Stripping again.

It`s a nice dry sunny calm day here, so the workmen have descended on us to strip the flat roof of the old felt and pitch. Now this was one of the main problem areas up till now, basically because it leaks quite badly in a couple of places. There`s not many five year olds that calmly report over breakfast that they woke up in the night, heard rain on the window and got up to put the plastic waste paper bin under the drip hole in her ceiling, is there? That leak has been there for five years, and thanks to the Evil Neigbour that co-owns the roof with us blocking the repairs for four of them, we`re only just getting it fixed.

There really is an incredible noise going on up there. The study is directly under one part of the flat roof and as they work overhead I can see things bouncing slowly across my desk and see the percussion rings in my cup of tea. (Cue *ominous thudding*) I`ll be interested to see how Mairi`s room survives....what with the long term leak, the ceiling plaster is a bit boss and loose in places on the lathes. I know we`ll have to get that area replastered when the roof is finished, but I`m mildly concerned that the loose section may dislodge today...*eek* ...concerned enough that I`ve put a big dustsheet down under the dodgey area anyway! (I`m hoping this precaution may act as a talisman to prevent the ceiling coming down...if I don`t put the dustsheet down, the ceiling will come down for sure, yes? )

I finally got to spinning group yesterday...lots of the regular gals there, despite the official start of term not being till next week. It really is good just to be able to sit and natter about all sorts of fibre things with like minded folk. Very relaxing. I spent my time getting used to treadling with my left foot....I`ve always used my right till now, but I seem to be getting a lot of pain and swelling in my right ankle these days and I noticed that not only did it get better over the holiday period when I was not spinning, it also seemed to be worse on the two days directly after spinning group. Fortunately the Louet has a nice big single treadle that is accessable from both sides, so I`ll change to treadling with my left foot for the forseeable future. Not a major deal. I`ve not got quite as fine control with my left foot as with my right yet, but that`s just practice.

I also managed to drag myself along to my first session of the Rosemary Conley diet and fitness class for over two years. Sigh. The class was hard work, harder than I remember but I suppose it`s like the treadling...practice or lack of it! I got weighed too and though my weight wasn`t quite as bad as I thought it was going to be, it was quite bad enough and confirmed to me that I needed to be there! (As if there was any doubt .....) I`ve paid for the first five classes, anyway, and I`m not into humiliation, private or otherwise, so that`s me comitted to The Diet for the next month anyway. Watch this space.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Out with the old...

The kids are back at school. (Hurray!) Hubby has gone back to his ivory tower for the start of the new Uni term. (Hurray!) I am alone (except for the catlings)...alone with a vast pile of laundry, unhoovered floors, beds that haven`t been changed since before Christmas, mucky bathroom...well, you get the idea. Actually, I was glad to get some time to get on with things. Even I, a confirmed House Slob, like to see the carpet or the bottom of the laundry basket occasionally.

However I kept the Resolutions in mind and managed to combine a little of #3 (declutter) and #4 (me things) into one activity, which was basically clearing out the two top drawers of my dressing table and dumping all my out of date/unwanted cosmetics, toiletries, general gunk etc etc. We`ve all got this sort of stuff, no? The last half inch of that posh perfume that has gone off a bit, an almost empty mascara or six, dried up nail polish etc etc. Can I mention now that I hardly use make up? I`m very good at losing it though, which is why I have so many half finished near identical items. And a set of blushers that I remember using before I got married.(14 years ago.) I recall reading somewhere that make up should be replaced every year because of germs? Mascara every three months? *Eeek*! I`ve also got an amazing collection of unused hair dye, which is somewhat wishful thinking on my part since I don`t dye my hair......

Out it all went, an entire wastepaper bin of pointless stuff. I`d better get it into a bin liner though, because if Mairi sets eyes on it she`ll pinch the lot. She`s got some little girl make up of her own, of course, for parties (applied by me) and dressing up (trowel job by her) but she covets mine extremely. A couple of weeks ago she explained to me that she "needed" a new set of make up brushes, after watching me use mine. I said I`d find her some in the sales, but guess what I couldn't find next time I went to put on the glitz for a party? My goodness, that girl is a good liar. I just knew she had them, but she still almost had me convinced. Hubby certainly was! I wasn`t cross with her or anything, I just wanted my brushes so we could go out, so when the box suddenly rematerialised on my bed I had to laugh. And she did own up later in the car, lol.

Better get on with the list of chores. I like making lists, because I get to tick them off. I never get to the end of any of them though. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

PS. Knitting? Not today, though I just have to graft the underarm stitches of Duncan`s sweater and it will be a FO. And my spinning group starts up again tomorrow. I`m looking forwards to that. I`m still working on my pink merino/angora blend, but I think I`ll have enough soon. Must weigh the bobbin and make a guestimate as to yardage. I`m just going to Navaho ply it (because I`m lazy) and because it spun up thinner than I really want, so three ply will be better than two.

PPS. I`ve just looked out the study window and seen a huge builders lorry arrive, It has a vast amount of...stuff...on the back, but I haven`t the least idea what it is. Huge thick slabs of spongy looking stuff, in pale yellow. Insulation for the flat roof?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Ebay and the Big Wheel.

As part of the Great Destash/10% Reduction in Life Possessions, I`ve decided to sell one of my spinning wheels. Yes, I know, one wheel out of five is a 20% reduction but I use this one the least, I can do most of what this one does on my Louet, I need the space and I could do with some spare cash for SkipNorth as well. So I`m selling my big Ashford Country Spinner. It`s on Ebay as I write, with six days to go.

Feel free to look and wonder, but no, I`m not seriously expecting any of you to bid on it. It`s more to pass the word out because I know this sort of wheel doesn`t come up a lot on Ebay and to the right person it might be a real find second hand. Of course a little self-promotion never goes amiss either....*blush*. It is a cracking good wheel though...I`d like it to go to a good home.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Resolution #2 in action.

Resolution #2 in`s 10:10 am here, I`m sitting at my desk and the HK sale started ten minutes ago. Clearly then I am not there. Or buying yarn. How`s that for self restraint? HK is the nicest wool shop in Edinburgh.

I`m onto the last twenty or so rows of Duncan`s all-in-one-piece-knitted-in-the-round raglan sweater...will get it finished this weekend, I hope. Gosh it was boring. Stocking stitch all the way...and because it`s knitted in the round, all you get to knit is knit, not even a row of purl to break the monotony. Ohhh, the excitement of reaching the stitch marker every 200 stitches of knit....then you don`t even get to turn the piece round. You just knit on like a hamster running round a wheel and winch yorself s-l-o-w-l-y up this intermiable sweater......

Naturally at this point I had to cast on something else. I have a sock in progress in my backpack, going very slowly because I`m not 100% sure I even like the colour but don`t dislike so much that I want to frog it. Yet. I have two UFOs, a cardigan and a sweater, both of which are about 75% finished. I intend to make at least an attempt to finish one of them before I cast on anything big for a new project.

But I wanted something quick and instantly gratifying, so I have cast on for the Sock of Doom. I have plenty of odd balls of DK left over from the dark days of intarsia oversized sweaters, I need a pair of socks for wearing round the house given thahere are gales sweeping in through every crevice in the walls and finally you just have to love a sock that`s only got 48 stitches in the round and is knitted on 3 3/4 mm needles. I actually stopped and checked the size of these brand new needles, because I couldn`t belive I was supposed to knit socks on needles that big, lol.

I still feel HK calling.....but what I`m going to do today is go for a trawl round the charity shops. No, wait, I`m supposed to be decluttering too, so I can`t go to charity shops, bah. I`m feeling a bit grotty today, so the allotment is not appealing. I think I might go and tidy up the stash a bit, see if there`s anything for Ebay. Polish my bobbins a bit. That sort of thing. It might take my mind off HK??????

Friday, January 05, 2007

Happy New Year.

Blog? Whassat? Oh yes, that thing I`m supposed to post on every so often. That blog, wot you lot read. Sorry. Happy New Year, one and all!

It`s been an interesting holiday period. Hubby was off for two weeks plus (he`s a university lecturer), the kids were home as well of course and we were all in the house together. At the same time. For extended periods of time. Weird sensation. We really only spend that amount of time together when we go away camping. So odd to do it in one`s own house. It did indeed feel like a holiday, despite the fact there`s still cleaning and shopping and....oh, forget all that. We did some nice family things.

However back to reality and life as we know it on Monday, when both new terms start. (And hopefully the workmen too.)I took the chance though to meet up with Gourdongirl today...she`s been working like a slave all Christmas and New Year, night shifts all the way, with only a few days off to have flu. We sat in Starbucks in our local Borders Books for three hours and knitted and gossiped, while I got completely spaced out on the coffee. (I don`t drink coffee normally.) We knitted and gossiped and talked about knitting etc was just like summer down at PrestonGrange, really. Except we had to pay for the coffee.

I suppose I`d better note down my New Years Resolutions for this year here, but to be frank they normally end up as a List of Wishful Thoughts. Better do better this year, SF!!!!!


1) Lose two stone.(That`s 28 lbs for the furriners.) GourdonGirl has suggested that doing this by Woolfest (which is in late June) would be a more than reasonable timetable for this to happen in, so Woolfest it is. I will start by going to my local Rosemary Conley class on`s the only diet that has ever worked for me, so back we go again. Last time I went I lost about 40 lbs but as soon as I stopped going, I back slid and two stone of the weight has gone back on again. Bah. It`s also true that I need to lose a LOT more than two stone, but I don`t want to think about that all in one go!

2) Stop buying yarn and fibre and knit/spin from stash this year. ALL this year, with two exceptions...Woolfest and Skip North. To be honest this shouldn`t be too difficult as the shopping opportunities at both these events are so good that it`s worth saving all my yarn cash for them.

3) Dump another 10% of the contents of this house. The first 10% has barely made a dent on our packrat lifestyle so there`s plenty of leeway for this. However you can feel the difference (just not see it, lol!) and over the next few months the furniture will be moving round rather a lot so it`s the perfect opportunity to jettison stuff.

4) Spend 10% more time (non-craft time, that is) on me. To be honest this means 10% more of bugger all to start with...I`m not a high maintainance type. Chores like shaving my legs or getting my hair cut tend to be things that get done in an emergency rather than a matter of routine. How is it that when you`re young and dewy fresh you spend hours of completely unnecessary time on beauty routines, while when you get older and need a bit more routine restoration you either don`t have time or can`t be bothered? My toenails are a disgrace....last time they saw polish was summer 2005.

5) Spend more time at allotment. This is totally incompatable to being more groomed, however.

6) More exercise. Well, I`ll get that at diet class as they include a 3/4 hour workout to allow the words of wisdom on nutrition to percolate in. But I`m also thinking bike and swimming pool. Fortunately this IS compatable with spending time on the allotment.

I read in someone elses blog that they wanted to become a better wife, a better mother, better friend, better person and knit about 100 things for charity in 2007. Reading back over my list I want to do a lot of things for me, spend more time on me and throw a lot of (other folks) stuff out. And I never knit anything for charity. I am clearly a lower form of life, lol. So I feel I need to contribute something to global karma, no?

7)Therefore I resolve to improve our recycling routine this year. I already recycle glass, tins, paper and all that stuff, use Freecycle and charity shops both to buy and to dump clothes and other items and having an allotment is fabulous for recycling very many very weird things, but I`m sure I can do more.

8) Finally I resolve to cut down my spending by 10%, on both the household shopping and my own personal budget. We are so skint ...or will be, after the household improvements are finished...that this is a necessity rather than an option if we want to go on any sort of holiday this year. Not buying yarn or rubbishy, unhealthy, fattening food will help.(I like a good dual purpose resolution, don`t you?)

Watch this space. There will be an update in 2008. *grin*