Wednesday, 31 August 2005

Life is the name of the game...

...and I want to play along with you! Nice to see you, to see you, nice! And our first challenge this evening on the Generation Game is to unwrap a set of chairs and put them together in under 3 minutes. Think you can do that?! Your time starts - NOW!

Stage 1 - unpack and unwrap

And after you have completed the task this is what's left in the box. do you really need that much sodding wrapping for 6 ickle chairs. The plastic stuff round the legs we could understand but then there was a paper wrapping on the chair legs - it was like soooooooo unnecessary.

What's left

The finished product is rather nice, especially when set off by the lush assortment of potted plants what I have managed at keep alive. Not easily done when there are all sorts of animals about which like to poo in the pots and eat bits of plants. So that's the patio complete just in time for the other 11 months of the year when we can't get use out of it - the joy of Scottish weather!

All finished

I've also had a bit of a knitting frenzy - always seems to happen after I come back from offshore. Something about pins and frustration I think. Perhaps I'm sublimating my desires to kill people (after being nice to "everybody" for 3 days at a time) by working with knitting pins when I could so easily be making voodoo dolls and sticking pins in them instead. Whatever the reason I do now have another couple of additions to the wardrobe - which I need of course...I'm a girl, don't argue! A girl can never have too many bags, hats and shoes (Ab Fab).

So first off the block is my first knit out of Teva Durham's Loop-d-Loop book (which I adore). This Yoke Vest has been knitted up in Rowan Polar (why did Rowan have to discontinue it just as I discovered it - bugger!) as it has a very similar gauge and yardage to the original yarn in the book. I had ordered 4 balls and I only needed 2 so a definite bonus there. I just need to find a pattern for bedsocks on 8mm needles now and then I can use up the other 2 balls on that. They would be so cosy.

Teva's Yoke Vest

I finished an adapted version of Danny out of the House of Hemp "Hemp Hugs" pattern book. I added some 3x3 rib round the neckline to pull it in a bit and made the sleeves much shorter as I only had the one skein of the Kaalund Mohair from Get Knitted but I do think it has turned out rather nice.

Danny in Kaalund Mohair

You can see the variation of colour in the close-up. No modelled pictures at the moment as the light has been a bit rubbish when Robert (my photographer!) has got home from work. Don't think that's going to disappoint anyone though.

Danny close-up

Progress on Reveal slowed down somewhat as I cracked on with the other 2 things. Think it might have something to do with the fact that I'm now on the sleeves so have about 300 stitches on the needles at one time now. A bit of a drag but perfect for taking to S'n'B tomorrow night when I can't do anything that requires concentration.


And the other project that's on the go is my one requiring concentration - the I Do shrug from Knitty. It is rather lovely but it does need some counting and doesn't progress so well when a George decides to help.

I Do Shrug

Time to see if I can find the cribbage scoring box. I was taught to play on my trip offshore last week by the OIM (big boss!) no less and as I'm due back out to the rig in about 5 weeks time I am supposed to have practised so I can join in with the evening game inbetween presentations. I'd better have the hang of the scoring by then as that's the hardest bit to pick up. How old-fashioned can you get - card games, isn't it brill! Computers become predictable but you can never tell what the hell a person will do next - makes it far more fun!

Tuesday, 23 August 2005


Isn't this just absolutely stunning? Who would have thought that you could create such a thing of beauty purely through the craft of knitting!


For instructions then visit Cult 45 and you too can have your very own fry-up on your head...if you want to that is!

This must have appeared in a Jackie annual before my time or I would surely have been traumatised by the sight of this effort and never touched another knitting needle in my life - and what a sorry state of affairs that would have been. The wonders of Dundee and D.C.Thomson. Where would we have been without you to shape our impressionable, teenage minds? Now the photo story to describe love's true path is devoid of all its innocence and instead is a vehicle for glamour models on the problem pages of the Sun. Nostalgia - it ain't what it used to be...

Sunday, 21 August 2005

I beg your pardon...

...I never promised you a rose garden
Along with the sunshine
There has to be a little rain sometimes...

After all the hard landscaping - Robert's job - I finally get to start doing the prettifying. I must admit I've been a real lazy git and stayed well out of the way while Robert did all the digging out and patio work but only because I knew that looking after all the new bits of garden that have been created will be my job in the long run. Robert and weeding don't really go together! However he has done a fantastic job of filling in my raised flower bed and with the aid of some weedproof membrane and a few ton of granite chips the need for much bending over and hauling out dandelions, sticky willies and their pals should be much diminished. Of course, yet again Robert received supervision from George. He knows a job just doesn't go right unless he inspects it with his four paws!

Robert and his little helper!

My pots are starting to come along just dandy.

Pretty pots

More pretty pots

And isn't the fire pit cool? It throws out quite a bit of heat too and at least it's not as environmentally unfriendly as those horrible gas heaters that everybody has started to work with. At least we're burning old pallets - and putting on another jumper - if we get cold!

Fire pit in action

And the piece d' Derek Jarman inspired raised bed. I just love what he did at Dungeness with his shingle garden and I'm trying to bring the look into my garden slowly and steadily. The raised bed contains my driftwood collection to date. I'm going to find out more about the good beaches up this way to add to the rest of the garden. Robert was actually suitably impressed so obviously if I carry on in this vein it will actually meet with his approval - bonus! Means less likelihood of arguements and I can carry on with what I'm doing in my own cack-handed sort of way.

Jarman inspired raised bed

The hebes have been howked ouot of the rest of the garden where they haven't been at their best so here's hoping they're happy here. So chuffed with the finished look.

Driftwood hebes

Friday, 19 August 2005

I always knew I was a genius...

Your IQ Is 120

Your Logical Intelligence is Above Average
Your Verbal Intelligence is Genius
Your Mathematical Intelligence is Exceptional
Your General Knowledge is Exceptional

Tuesday, 16 August 2005

Hay, hay, hay...what a beautiful day!

The barley has been cut and all the haybales look really pretty scattered about the field. I do remember the days of rectangular bales but hardly anybody does them anymore.

Baling time

George thought it was rather fine to roll about in the cut barley - probably gives him a good scratching. It does mean that there's an absolute plethora of beasties about for him to catch now that there cover has been cut.

Rolling, rolling, rolling

But to be on the safe side he thought he'd run up onto the top of one of the bales just to make sure he could get the best view possible. Daftie!

King of the haybales!

Sunday, 14 August 2005

Signed, sealed,'s Elisha's!

I think knitting the baby shawl has taken me nearly as long as a pregnancy! I probably first picked it up at the end of March so it's really more like a premature baby popping out at 6 months but finally the gestation period is over and the baby shawl is finished and delivered to its new owner. Why I do them I do wonder sometimes but I'm always finishing them off at the last minute. When I made one for Molly I was sewing it up before Anna flew back up to Orkney with her. When I made it for David then I was knitting the last of the lace edging in the car and sewing it up on the ferry across to Orkney. And with this one I was relieved when Eli took her across to Norway to meet the family so that I had a bit of extra time to get it finished.

So first it was stretched out on floor in our spare room to try and get a bit of stretch in it...

Sewing up - stage 1

Then the thought of all that lace to sew in did start to make me realise - oh bugger, this is going to take a while!

Ball of lace!

But the detail is rather lovely.

Lace edging

Especially when you see it close-up.

Corner detail

And then the completed version is spread out on the bed to catch it in all its glory.

The full shebang!

And what do I want to do next on the shawl front - a 1 or 2 ply job that will fit through a wedding ring. Better not give myself a timetable for that one or it will never be done. Roll on 2mm needles!

On another note - what was rather lovely to come home to last week, after my course in Edinburgh, was yet another parcel from my Secret Pal. I have been pampered most wonderfully by her. Look what was in this parcel.

SP5 - another parcel...

Pattern book, soap, flower and herb seeds, wooly wash for my jumpers and some Artesano Alpaca. I have been so spoiled and have loved every minute of it. It does remind me to get my arse into gear and send the last wee things to my SP.

Although a Jean Moss scarf pattern comes with the alpaca I've decided to the a lacy, bell-sleeved shrug from this summer's Knitty instead. I did try making it with some Kaalund Mohair that I got from Get Knitted but it was too slippy for it (it shall be comandeered for one of the patterns in Hemp Hugs instead I think).

Alpaca shrug

Now that I'm finished the shawl I just feel overwhelmed with how many things I want to make. My creative juices are in an absolute shuggle of jumpiness. It's knitty time...!

Tuesday, 2 August 2005

More things completed...

I'm getting there...slowly but surely more projects are being completed. I'm finally getting through the wee pile of items that I've had on the go for the last wee while. I'm quite chuffed with my Orange Fantasy number (for want of a better description) since I did make it up as I went. I did it all on circulars so I had as few seams as possible to sew up at the end. It fits rather lovely even though I say so myself.

Orange Fantasy! (otherwise known as Cotton Braid)

And my favourite item of late - the HipKnits silk I got from my Secret Pal. It is the most adorable, lovable yarn I have ever worked with and I am so in love. It's incredible that I have got my One Skein Wonder and a Clapotis out of 3 skeins. Just ace. And the colours, being shades of pink, are so me. Once the finances improve there are another couple of shades that are just crying out to be bought. I can see it turning into a monthly fix if I'm not careful. Sex, drugs and rock'n'roll - boring! Silk yarn in gorgeous colours - bring it on baby!

Clapotis 2 - HipKnits Silk

Clapotis 2 - close-up

Off to Edinburgh tomorrow for a course so I get to stay with my Mommy over the weekend. It's my stepdad's birthday on Saturday so we're away up to Glen Lyon so he can spend his time fishing. Mum has requested that I take down some baking tins and recipes so we can make him a baked cheesecake for his birthday tea. Now let me think, do I want to help make cheesecake and then, possibly, get to eat it later - like duh! It's me - pudding and me are best buds! Robert's away to the Festival with Pete for the weekend so I hate to think what state the pair of them will be in by Monday. Methinks there will be much "shit and derision!" The bonus of Robert going to the Festival is that he has finally been persuaded to go to Ikea to start pricing up for our new kitchen. That's only taken about 2 years of persuading.

I can only hope that when we both get back up the road that Wally has made it back from his wanderings. He's been away for 12 days now. Robert reckons he's away rabbiting and has just got lost but I do worry that he's not going to make it back. It's not as if we can go and look for him really easily either as it's all barley fields roundabout and not that many houses. He's not a "strange" people cat either so it's unlikely that he'll moved into somebody else's house. The one upside is that George continues to hang around quite closely during the day and is in his element at getting all the attention so at least we still have one of our boys. just got to keep hoping that he'll make it back in one piece someday soon.