Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Knitting Again!

Yes, I've finally got my brain into a state where counting to six seems possible.

Autumn Gold Cravat
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The unpattern is available here on the blog, but I'll try and tidy it up later.

Also completed are another pair of Regia Socks for Me. I used the same modifications as for the first pair and I'm very happy with the fit. I didn't try to match up the striping, as it really doesn't bother me that much.

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The pattern is Shapely secrets by Dawn Adcock, from the Autumn 2003 issue of Heels & Toes Gazette which used to be published by Dawn Brocco. I used 2mm needles to get a snugger fit on 64 stitches.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Made it!

As Rudyard Kipling wrote in How the rhinoceros got his skin

"and he smiled one smile that ran all round his face two times"....

I'm exhausted, bruised, aching, and very very happy.

Pictures here.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Dear god, take cover!

My little desktop barometer has been dropping like the proverbial stone. It's now sitting at around 962 (28.5" in old money) and has dropped 10 points since late last night.

Strangely, the BBCs weather centre doesn't seem to have noticed: "light showers, 10C, 23mph winds" doesn't sound quite right to me.

Today is the last big push to get everything completed: furniture is arriving, carpets are being fitted, light fittings are going up (I hope!), locks are going on bedroom doors.

Unfortunately, this means that when the furniture arrives, it won't be able to go where it's meant to, and we're going to be playing musical beds with it until it can.

If I don't post tomorrow, I'm moving furniture!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Quiet day in the pub

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Yup, that's over half a sock knitted yesterday. I got as far as the heel turning last night, and started the decreases today. There's nothing quite like cold feet to speed up your knitting! Cold fingers, sadly, seem to slow it down....

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Nip nip nip

Definitely cold out today. I scampered off for a walk down to the other end of town and over the old bridge.

Look who I spotted!
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All in all, a 45 min walk, including the pause to try and get a decent picture and about 1.5 miles on the ground.

And for warmth
J made a wonderful curry last night. Fortunately, the recipe will do for today as well: Chicken Korma from Indian cooking without fat which we use almost exclusively for this kind of food. We've actually stopped getting carryout as the home-made stuff is nicer! Our version of the book isn't the most recent, but I doubt there will have been many changes.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Yes, I am still knitting

In a similar manner to Jean I have been working on a simple scarf. Frankly, all the renovation and website-redesign is frazzling me to the extent that counting to 6 is becoming a challenge.

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It's in a lovely microfibre - Schachenmayr nomotta MicroColor - and a colour which reminds me of early autumn. I've had it for years, and it's nice to finally find a use for it. The pattern, if you can call it that, is as follows:

Two balls of DK yarn at ~145m per ball

Using 4mm needles, cast on 72 stitches

Work in 'feather and fan' pattern:

1. knit 1 row
2. purl 1 row
3. 3 x (k2tog); * 6 x (yo, k1); 6 x (k2tog); rep from * to last 6 stitches; 3 x (k2tog)
4. knit 1 row

After working 4 repeats, change to 5 mm needles and continue in pattern.

Using the start of the second ball as reference, work until you have enough for 5 repeats.

Change back to 4mm needles and work 4 repeats

Knit 1 row

Cast off in Knit on the wrong side.

NOTE: I've not test knit this, so let me know if I've messed up too badly, please.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A little distraction

I got this from Kate at A Strikke.

1. Flip to page 18, paragraph 4 in the book closest to you right now, what does it say?

"On safety, the transglutaminase issue suggests that we need a more searching regulatory process and a considerably more precautionary approach."
It's from Bread Matters by Andrew Whitley who runs the Village Bakery at Melmerby, where we stopped on our way home on Friday.

2. If you stretch out your left arm - as far as possible, what are you touching?

A laser/ultrasonic measure last used to check that the under-counter freezer units we want in the new kitchen will still allow us to walk around them.

3. What’s the last program you watched on tv?

Does the News count? Otherwise, it was probably the last bit of football on the pub telly (we don't have TV in our quarters, and have no plans to get one)

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.

Noon. Nope, it's only 10.30am. DH has gone to our storage unit to hand over various bits of gardening equipment to friends, and check how much of the stuff we'll be able to fit in the new rooms here. Me, I'm supposed to be working on the hotel website.... DH has decided he wants something more 'luxurious' looking, and I'm trying to work out what he means by that! Then there's the Polish translation to add, and negotiations for a German version and a French one from assorted friends and family.

5. Except the computer, what can you hear right now?

Can't hear the computer: it's a very old desktop model (PIII) with an enormous heatsink and no fan. Perfect for running Linux. Other than that, well, assorted bangs, crashes, thumps etc as electricians, joiners, painters and plasterers get going.

6. When was the last time you were outside and what did you do?

Short-term: this morning, going out the back fire escape door to remind the roofers that walking around the edge might be a better idea.... Other than that, I went for a walk down to the High Park to look at the autumn colours on Sunday.

7. What are you wearing?

Black 'fat lady' trousers (someone sneaked in and took all my clothes in by an inch while we were away), teal long-sleeve T-shirt, beige cardigan, shoes & socks, specs. This office is not warm.

8. Did you dream last night? If you did, what about?

I think so. I tend not to remember much in the way of detail, but have an idea that renovations featured.

9. When was the last time you laughed?

Last night. I was being tickled.

10. What's on the walls, in the room you're in right now?

Seeing as I'm in the office, loads: Cream-painted textured wallpaper hidden by bookcases, files, a whiteboard, a painting of Mull we got for a wedding pressie, and a wonderful poster for Hobgoblin from the Wychwood Brewery.

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11. Have you seen anything strange lately?

Driving to our holiday cottage, we saw a very large mill chimney on the left hand side of the road, and all the mill buildings on the right. The flue must have gone under the road at one time!

12. What do you think about this meme?
Not bad - a good way to get to know someone and bit less twee than many.

13. What's the last film you saw?

Sad to say, it was years ago and at the Glasgow Film Theater: The Third Man had been restored and DH and I went to see it. It's a half hour drive to the nearest movie house from here, and frankly I don't have the time.

14. If you became a multimillionaire, what would you do with the money?

Get a decent pension plan sorted. Get myself a proper bespoke suit. Put some aside for family. Buy a place with potential for a garden (that I really miss). Take overseas holidays: I'd love to see New Zealand, maybe northern Italy again, and Canada. I'd wait until the US gets a bit less paranoid before I thought about visiting there though.

15. Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know.

I have a PhD in Chemistry/Biochemistry.

16. If you could change ONE THING in this world, without regarding politics or bad guilt - what would it be?

”Bad guilt”? WTF. I've no idea what this question means, so I'll skip that part. Aside from that, convincing people that we're all just 'people' without the assorted labels that get thrown around would probably be a good start. Did I mention that prejudice is one of my all-time pet hates?

19. What do you want your children's names to be, girl/boy?

If we ever have kids (not likely running this place I have to say) then Tom is a good boy's name (on both sides of the family) and some derivation of Jean might be a good start for a girl. Nothing set in stone, though!

17. Do you like dancing?

Depends on the dancing, really. I love structured (but not formal) dancing as in a Ceilidh, but am left completely cold by the 'stand in your own little square and wriggle' club-style dancing.

18. George Bush?

Fortunately not the leader of my country. I'm still not quite sure what he stands for, but I don't like the results of his leadership. It would be nice to think that our nation gained from cosying up to the US administration, but other than photocalls for the politicians, I don't see it. Diving into a war without a plan for what you were going to do once you'd won, and assuming that 'the good guys always win' didn't seem like the best of ideas to me either.

20. Would you ever consider living abroad?

I do. I grew up in South Africa, and took an oath of allegiance to the Queen and became a British Citizen fairly recently. I love Scotland, and am very settle here.

21. What do you want God to tell you, when you come to heaven?

Nope. Not going there! Politics and religion are two topics very dangerous for pub discussion....

22. Who should do this meme?

Anyone who's had the patience to read all the way through.

The Giant Hamster Cage

is, thankfully, no more. We've had 15 strippers (wallpaper that is, rather than clothing) working in the hotel and have probably gained an inch on each wall as they took layers and layers and layers of paper off. It really did look like the inside of a giant rodent cage, and would have given the Fire Service nightmares if it hadn't been completely soaked from the steamers.

We managed to slope off for a much-needed break in the middle of all of this. Upper Gate Farm is just outside Hepworth, near Holmfirth in the Peak District. We had the cottage shown in the third picture on the page linked above, which comes with a private hot tub in the garden. What wasn't mentioned was the fact that the tub was at the bottom of the garden, necessitating a mad dash in the rain to get there and/or back.

Wonderful, and just what we needed, to spend a few days doing very little at all in peaceful surroundings.

Then we came back to the building site which is this place to discover:
1. We couldn't get into our quarters due to several large sacks of cement and two sawhorses piled up outside the door.
2. We couldn't work out how to get to our bathroom, which is almost directly above our quarters (yup, only guests get ensuite here!)

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That's the view starting at the foot of the stairs outside our room, and moving up until you're looking across the scaffolding boards to the doorway to the bathroom.

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This is where I have to do the 'get out of the swimming pool' climb off a spiral staircase onto scaffolding, after limbo-dancing underneath it to get to this stage.

You may not be completely astonished to hear that unless I need a shower, I'm using the public loo on the ground floor!

However, progress is being made. It had better be: we have guests on Friday week!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Political digression

I knew that Scottish Borders Council had a reputation for spending money on strange things. The news today that three quarters of primary schools don't have smoke detectors just makes me sick.

The councillors can't even guarantee that all the schools will get detectors, as they don't have the budget!