Monday, November 28, 2005


You've heard of the beer goggle effect, yes? So some social scientists with rather too much time on their hands (don't they all...?) have come up with this:
Beer goggle calculator to explain how it works.

And very pricey indeed:
In the mean time, the explanation for the lack of knitting photos can be seen below.
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This is the view through the vennel to our beer garden. No, that isn't lens distortion you're seeing, it's the effect of about 200 years of 3 tons of brickwork sitting on top of an unsupported stretch of wooden floor.
A close-up of one of the beams is even more scary, particularly considering that we had a full structural survey before we bought the place, and the surveyor was "not concerned with the long-term structural stability of the building".
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Well, I hate to break it to her, but we (and the project manager and the structural engineer and the architect) are. Very concerned indeed. So concerned that there are now 12 acrowprops under those beams, with possibly another 8 to come.
It's safe now, but we'd had a double 18th birthday up there! Thank goodness pogo-ing isn't quite as popular as it once was.

Monday, November 21, 2005


When I was small, and lived in a much warmer country, we used to go swimming in the rock pools. Often, we would see these little creatures:
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With the discussion on Jean's blog about scarves, I was inspired to make this:
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From here on known as the 'nudibranch scarf' cos that's what the little beasties are called.

Now, the more astute of you may have noticed that I've started casting off before finishing working the last row. That's because at slightly over 2000 stitches on an 80mm circular needle, even knitting from one circular to the other was just too difficult. So, I took the other end of the ball of wool, and started casting off from the other end of the row I was working on.
Thanks to Jean, I am now picking up stitches along the cast on row to make another ruffle on the scarf. Not friendly on the fingers at all, working with that many stitches (cast on 130 and double 4 times in total) means things get very stiff indeed. I do think it's going to be worth it though.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Devan: final installment

Thanks to my very good pen-friend Jean in Canada, Devan has been posted off to my cousin. I couldn't find buttons to suit, and Jean very kindly sent me a card full of shirt buttons in various colours....

The buttons were duly attached.
Devan with buttons
and after a quick blocking the little cardigan was boxed up ready to go.
Devan boxed
Hopefully I'll have some photos of little Joshua soon....

You may recall my frustrations with the edging on this pattern: it's a rolled edge at the hem worked separately from a rolled edging around the front and neck. I'm reasonably happy with my variation, where I worked it all in one go, but if I did it again I would probably work an i-cord edging with integral button holes as being generally neater and easier to get right.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Chantelle: re-released

Apologies to everyone who has been waiting patiently (or otherwise) for me to email them a copy of the amended Chantelle pattern. The .pdf has now been fixed, I hope, and should be winging its way to you asap.

If you have an older version, and would rather not just correct the pattern, please drop me a line and I will send you the newest file (v. 051112).

Report tomorrow (or when I have time - I'm interviewing for replacement bar staff again) on this afternoon's fun session at the local community art centre.

Friday, November 11, 2005


Armistice day, and although I'm wearing my poppy I was sadly too busy cleaning and making up bedrooms to notice the 11 am silence.

Reading through my favourite blogs a while back (see sidebar) I stumbled upon this Sunday Afternoon Amusement.

Unlike most of these 'what kind of **** are you?' quizzes, this one appealed to me for some reason, and it turns out that I am:
Jean-Luc Picard

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

This probably explains why the long-suffering DH is often heard (m)uttering those three words women love to hear:
"You're right, dear."

Then there was the rather more predictable: "What advanced degree should you do?" quizz.
You Should Get a PhD in Science (like chemistry, math, or engineering)

You're both smart and innovative when it comes to ideas.
Maybe you'll find a cure for cancer - or develop the latest underground drug.

Ah well. Nice to know that I picked the right course, then, even if I'm not using it just now.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Normal service resumes

Well, normal knitting service anyway.

My thanks to everyone who wrote in with sympathy or suggestions, particularly those who suggested I knit something 'just for me'. So, I am.
efgh started
It's the "e/f/g/h* scarf" from the now-defunct OzYarn website. As you can see, I made a fair amount of progress with the first end of this scarf-with-hands in the pub....

For Pamela and the rest of you poor non-Scottish folks:
turnip, but not the white, watery bland English turnip. These are purple on top, yellow-fleshed, and a traditional Scottish Food. Recipes will follow when I can stop for longer (this is written while I let the beer lines steep in caustic....)

* embrace/fondle/grope/hug - very silly, and hence very appealing to me, despite the fact that it's been marinating in my small stash for three years....

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Ho (bloody) hum

Well, the Hallowe'en party was a complete damp squib. I'd forgotten two very important things:
  • this is a very conservative town
  • most of our regulars are over 40, and hence even more conservative

I had a bit of fun making interesting food for the party:
  • dog-bone shaped breadrolls with shrimp & cream cheese piped on them aka "the dog's dinner"
  • very small round breadrolls with green-coloured cream cheese inside aka "snake eggs: not so fresh"
  • BBQ chicken wings aka "bat wings"
  • baby pickled onions on cocktail sticks aka "eyeballs"
  • bought pizza
  • custard cream biscuits with green food colouring aka "Hallowe'en biscuits

The chicken wings, pizza and pickled onions were eaten. Nothing else was touched....

I had free devil juice (hothothot) and mulled cider. Neither was drunk: too unusual it seems.

Two people aside from me and my barmaid bothered to get dressed up. They got the prizes....

Perhaps a St Andrew's Night party with haggis, neeps & tatties would have gone down better.

Knitting has completely stopped until I can get up enthusiasm for anything at all. I did go out and get a gift box to wrap Devan, and now just have to extract an address for baby Joshua from my family.

Sorry about the boring, self-pitying post. I promise I'll cheer up soon.