Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The time has come....

Well, perhaps not quite, but the end is in sight for our outside building works. The roof and walls are back on, the windows are in and they have even started to paint the rhones and downpipes. Amazing! The builders have "confidently" predicted the scaffolding should be coming down next week, leaving only the front and back doors plus some interior joinery work to be done.

And pigs might fly, eh? Because tomorrow we have what is called the "Snagging Inspection". This is when the Boss Builder, the Man From the Council and our Agent (who is a qualified surveyor) walk round the site with the works schedule and inspect everything for problems. Or snags. Things that still need done, things that have been overlooked, things that are not quite up to someone`s standards. Etc. And apparently it is very rare not to hit at least one medium sized snag.

Watch this space....

On a brighter note, the Haddington Spinners are having their annual Open Day this Saturday, 10am to 4pm, Poldrate Mill Granary, Haddington. It`s a modest event where basically all past and present members meet up and spend a day spinning and talking to the public, in the hope that we`ll find some future spinners amongst them.

It does happen...three years ago I went along to this event intending to stay for a short while and see what spinning looked like close up. Four hours later I was still there, clutching a drop spindle and some fibre I had bought at the Scottish Fibres stall but feeling far too shy to ask anyone to teach me to use it. (Silly me...they would have been delighted. They`re one of the nicest groups of women I have ever met. ) The rest, as they say, is history....I went home, taught myself to spindle spin from the web and two weeks later I had bought a wheel. So the Spinners got at least one new member that day!

Anyway, if you`re local and reading this, please do drop in. There will be cake and coffee, and you`re welcome to bring a packed lunch.

No cake for me though...the diet progessses, though slowly. I`m now creeping along losing the recommended 1-2 lbs per week and I have lost 16 lbs to date, whehay! Only another 12 lbs to achieve my original New Year resolution of losing two stone this year, but a rather bigger 28 lbs after that to lose before 1st July if I`m going to reach my second target of losing 4 stone in six months. To be honest I`m doubtful if I`ll quite make this one, but anywhere over 3 stone will be just fine.

And guess what I did today? I ran up our very long stairs. Sure, I felt positively unwell at the top but I was amazed that I could do it at all, quite frankly. Two months and 16 pounds ago I could barely walk the ten minute walk down to the school without getting a severe and nagging pain in my right ankle, and feeling really, really tired. I`ve still got a lot of weight to lose (more than that 4 stone by quite a long way) but I already feel a lot fitter, even though I don`t look that much thinner. And I feel better too. Most encouraging!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Life in general.

Thanks to all who`ve clicked on Hubby`s Test Blog. Much appreciated! Keep `em coming though, if you don`t mind. I know I get visitors from places like South Africa, Japan and Uzbekistan (no idea why!!) and it`s fun to see the foreign flags pop up.

How`s life with me since my last proper post? Well, though the hell that was the windows has passed, next came the lesser hell of half-term, then the hell that was the kids getting a dose of the current school lurgy (Duncan got the bottom half, Mairi got the projectile vomiting varient.) Both of these they then passed on to me and so I`m feeling a bit washed out, all things considered.

However the house is proceeding...we got all our various pieces of Council permission paperwork through at last, which was a relief. Not that we`re doing anything that controversial to the house but the ways of the Planning Office are exceedingly strange. We`ve had a couple of minor but fixible design issues with the front and back doors, but finally everything seems to be coming together and I can just see the faintest glimmer of hope on the horizon that this phase will soon be finished. Today for instance they are putting the final coat of render on the this involves skimming a layer of ochre render onto the walls then hurling variegated golden gravel against the wet render so it sticks...well, it`s noisy. But it looks several hundred times better than plain grey render, I feel. Instead of living in a grey concrete brick of a house, we`re now going to be living in a variegated olde gold brick. And with nicer windows and a posh front door. Better, no?

On the knitting and spinning front, well, I`ve done a few things. I got three balls into the Bettna jacket when I realised I`d tried to be too clever by half and it wasn`t working. The lower back and fronts are knitted as three rectangles then the sleeves and upper body joined on. I decided to knit the three rectangles as one...and in the process, lost most of the effect of the Noro striping across the 186 stitches I was working on. So I`ve frogged it and started again as per the pattern.

Spinning? The Edinburgh Stitch & Bitch group, City Knitty had been invited to come and participate last Sunday in a craft exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. The exhibition was called The Cutting Edge and showcases several contempory Scottish artists. City Knitty were asked to do something contempory as a sort of live counterpoint to the exhibition, as local craftspeople. So the girls and boys turned out in force, ready to do plastic bag knitting, wirework crochet, contempory knitting and...well, I`m not quite sure what else, because after I turned up I barely moved from my wheel for the next five hours and didn`t go up to the upper level to see what the other group was doing. In fact I didn`t manage to see the exhibition or even go for the complimentary lunch either. Nope,, from the moment I sat down with my old painted Louet I was faced with an almost constant stream of small children all asking "What`s that???" and "How does it work????" and all the rest.

I had taken a pile of soy silk fibre to spin (contempory fibre, okay??) but soon found out it was tricksy stuff and I couldn`t pay attention to it and talk as much as I liked, so switched to spinning up the bag of variagated scraps of wool roving I carry to show folk how to drop spindle instead. The result was a bobbin of nicely spun but unusable for anything singles, but I`ll ply it up as a sample of something or other, I`m sure! However I do enjoy talking to kids about spinning...they ask great questions!

Great fun. I don`t get out much and hardly ever in the weekday evenings so I`m sorry I don`t know all the CityKnitty names. But it was nice to meet you all!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Could you all do something for me?

Or rather, Hubby? As some of you know, Hubby is a lecturer in Public Relations at one of our Universities here in Scotland. Guess what he was teaching about today? Blogs.

He`s set up a test one here..... Hubby`s Test Blog.

Now, one of the things he wants to be able to demonstrate is how StatCounter works. It can show the blog owner minor details as to which country the reader lives in, what pages they looked at and how often they come back, also how many visitors you get in a day. (It can`t gather personal data on you though, I promise.)The trouble is, Hubby`s test blog isn`t going to get readers because there`s nothing there but a front page. So, please, pretty please, would these of you who so feel inclined please click on the link and go there? Just to give Hubby some traffic to analyse for his teaching demo? I promise, nothing nasty will happen to you at all and no personal details harvested, or spam sent, or anything that doesn`t happen on all the normal blogs like this one you visit every day.

And maybe, just maybe...well, I was going to say I might put up a slight wooly incentive, but as neither Hubby or I will be able to tell who the h**l you are anyway, I won`t know who to send the incentive to. So you`re all just going to have to be happy with a brief puff of good knitting karma from me, no?

Thanks, all.

Thursday, February 08, 2007


Well, the joiners departed today, leaving clouds of dust and wood shavings everywhere. It wasn`t quite as bad as I expected, but it was still pretty bad. And still is...we have no wall cupboards or intact wall plaster in the kitchen, holes or missing tiles round most of the frames and because the frames haven`t been sealed in yet, the house is whistling with draughts. And fingerprints on the walls, raw wood frames to be painted and curtains/curtain rails to be replaced. By spare money for unnecessary tradesmen, Hubby at work all day. Me or no-one.

And the worst news...I have to clean the house. You know, cleaning? I don`t do cleaning.....

On the plus side, I have lost another three pounds, despite the stress and Fig Rolls. Must be the exercise involved in shifting half the furniture. Plus I have cast on my emergency stash of Noro Shinano shade 10, long discontinued and carefully horded. I`ve finally decided what to make with it...Bettna, from Noro Revisited.

Noro as therapy....I`ll clean tomorrow, no?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Wooly Bullies

You have to see`s very well done.

(I can crochet too,`s just that I prefer knitting.)

As to the building work? It is going okay. The mess and chaos is incredible and will carry on being so to the end of next week, but the windows they have finished so far look great. And the difference in the attic is`s gone from being a stuffy, enclosed storage space to a light-filled room. Even though we can`t call officially a room (fire regulations, ceiling height, no permenant stair) it`s still a huge (45 feet x 15 feet, with sloping ceiling) space. And it has added significant value to this house...there`s not many places around here that can boast an attic like that.