Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Museum meanderings!

Whilst wandering round the museum (mentioned in my last post), I came upon the section on knitting and its history.

Knitting is a young craft, compared to spinning and weaving, but fixing a date for its origin is complicated by the perishability of natural fibers. Historic evidence of knitted pieces have been found in several countries such as Egypt, England, Holland, Scotland, Spain, Germany and many others.

The earliest evidence (so far) of knitted clothing found were fragments of socks that were made in Egypt sometime between 1000 and 1300 A.D. But, even this is disputed since some scholars say that these socks were not knitted but were the result of naalebinding.

The word "knitting" comes from the Sanskrit word "Nahyat" which translates as "net" or "weave". It is thought that knitting may have been transmitted from the Middle East to Europe through Spain, by the Moors. Throughout the Middle Ages, knitted hose and stockings, of both silk and wool replaced bias-cut hose among the upper class. Samples from the period show knit and purl patterning, as well as eyelet patterning.

Stocking knitting grew rapidly during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and was seen as a suitable occupation for the poor to provide income. Schools of knitting were established, with varying degrees of success. Knitting spread throughout the countryside and to the Scottish Islands as a source of supplemental income. Hand knitting was a means of earning a living for many people in Scotland at least as early as the 15th Century and remained important in many areas, particularly Shetland where it continues to be important many 100's of years later.

Here you see a set of 4 metal number 17 needles, a knitting sheath of quills and a leather knitting belt all from Shetland. The knitter would stick one of the needles into the sheath or in the holes in the belt to hold it firm

Makkin (knitting) belts are worn around the waist, with the leather pouch to the right hand side of the knitter's body. They are used by sticking the end of the right hand knitting needle into the pouch, which is filled with horsehair. This frees up the knitter's right hand to manipulate the yarn, making the process much quicker. The belt also supports some of the weight of the garment being knitted.

These brightly coloured knitting sheaths were once used by knitters to help them to knit faster. The narrow end of the knitting sheath was tucked into the right side of the knitter's skirt or apron, and the knitting needle was inserted into the open end among the quills. This freed up the knitter's right hand, and enabled them to knit much faster. These were once made from a bundle of straw simply bound with twine and were called 'wisps', wisp being the word for loose straw.

An early sign of the knitting trade appears in 1496 when the "Bonnetmakers of Dundee" formed a trade in corporation. For many years they produced a cheap imitation of the black velvet bonnets worn by the wealthy. This knitted cap, felted to make it waterproof, survived as the blue bonnet.

This is an example of a Dundee "Blue Bonnet". It has a red head band. It was hand knitted and then felted. This one belonged to Thomas Guthrie of Scoggerfield, who lived between 1746-1820.

Stockings, boot hose, gloves, sleeves and wylicoats (a warm undergarments), were also knitted. There was a thriving export trade for them throughout the 17th and 18th Centuries. Knitters included women and children as well as men.

By about 1800 Sanquhar in Dumfriesshire had developed a distinctive style of stranded knitting using 2 colours.

Left- Hand knitted gloves made at Sanquhar, Dumfriesshire about 1940. They have the initials MCT knitted into the cuff.

Middle- Hand knitted Fair Isle stockings.

Right- Pair of boys' diced hose, machine knitted about 1910-20.

Cable knitting came to the Scottish islands at a much later date from the sea faring traders. Scottish missionaries and immigrants taught knitting in America and other colonies that in turn developed knitting patterns of their own. Mothers would teach their daughters a cable pattern, they would then experiment and develop new knitting patterns of their own. It took generations to develop all the many cable patterns that are found today. Sometimes a Scottish relative in the new Americas would send a newly invented cable stitch pattern back home to be copied, learned and passed on. It is only very recently that knitting has been written down. Even today in the Shetland islands some women cannot read knitting patterns and only knit the patterns they have been taught as very small children.

In the 18th Century most fashionable people bought stockings knitted on a frame, but stockings for the poorer end of the market continued to be hand knitted. By the 19th Century only Shetland was still hand knitting regularly on a commercial basis. Two types of knitting developed : the brightly patterned Fair Isle, used for jumpers, gloves and stockings, and the lace knitting used mainly for shawls.

Top: Hand knitted sampler showing various Fair Isle patterns. This example of Fair Isle knitting was collected by the Museum in 1858.

Middle: Hand knitted Fair Isle Tam O'Shanter about 1870.

Bottom: Hand knitted Fair Isle jersey in traditional patterns and colours, bought by the Orcadian artist Stanley Cursiter about 1910.

Like the origins of knitting, the earliest implements used in knitting are unknown, but many believe that it was first worked using the fingers of one hand, and gradually evolved to how we know it today. Throughout Europe, knitting tended to be done on a frame, whereas in Scottish Coastal areas, handknitting was more popular. This was because knitters in these Coastal areas had invented their own designs, many of which were specific to the particular area the knitter was from, and these patterns became an ingrained aspect of local tradition. In fact, the most distinctive patterns produced by knitters are derived from folk traditions, like the Aran and Fairisle patterns.

You can always go visit Angela's blog as see what it's like to live on Fair Isle and be part of the Fair Isle knitting community!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

North Lands Glass

As I said in a previous post, I had spent time wandering round the National Museum of Scotland. Whilst I was wandering I came across an exhibition of glass tucked away in a corner of the third floor of the new part of the Museum.

The exhibition was called "Reflection: A Decade of North lands Creative Glass"

North Lands Creative Glass was set up in 1995 in the North Eastern coastal village of Lybster, Caithness, in response to a growing interest in using glass as a medium for artistic expression. Every summer masters and practitioners of glass and related art forms from all over the world gather together in this small Scottish fishing village in the spirit of artistic and technical collaboration. Inspired as much by the magical Caithnesss light and landscape as by the skills they learn there; they travel from far and wide to what is now considered one of Europe's principal centres of excellence for creative glass.

This exhibition looks back at the first 10 years of this prestigious school. It brings together, for the first time, this exceptional collection of work created and generously donated by masters, students and residents in recognition of their attachment to North Lands.

I took a few pix of the pieces that I liked.......I hope you are impressed too.

This is a piece called "Sting" is by Ray Flavell, from Scotland and he was the technical Director in 1996 and a founder member of the North lands Creative Glass Advisory Council.

This glass sculpture has two blown sections held in a shaped flat glass structure. It is amber and clear glass with sand blasted and cut decoration.

This sculpture is called "Whaligoe" and is by Marea Timoko from New Zealand. She was an artist in residence in 2005.

This cast glass group was inspired by the women of Whaligoe in Caithness, who carried herring baskets up the 365 Whaligoe steps. Whaligoe is a natural harbour in use at the peak of the herring fishing era. When the boats arrived local women would carry the herring back up the steps in baskets balanced on their heads.

This cut glass composition called "Sky, sea, earth" is by Loretta Lowman from the USA. It has a frosted glass base, a moulded green square and a frosted glass fish tail.
Loretta was an artist in residence in 2003.

I really love this piece of art work as it is so "life like" and it reminded me of my childhood being brought up in a fishing community and coming face to face with fish on an almost daily basis.

I wish I had taken more pix of this wonderful exhibition coz it was truly amazing.

Monday, September 25, 2006

You know you are living in 2006 when . . .

A friend has just emailed me this and I think it is worthy of being blogged, coz it is so true!

1. You accidentally enter your password on the microwave.

2. You haven't played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of 3.

4. You e-mail the person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for not staying in touch with friends and family is that
they don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if
anyone is home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial on television has a web site at the bottom of the

8. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in the morning and go on line before getting your

11. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you know exactly to whom you are going to forward this message.

14. You are too busy to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on
this list.

AND NOW U R LAUGHING at yourself.

Celtic Horoscope......

Found this first one on Robin's blog, but don't really think this is me. I also found some others too, so here are a few of these silly quizzie things for you to enjoy!

I'm a Cedar Tree
You Are A Cedar Tree
You are elegant yet unpretentious, modest yet vivacious.Attractive and friendly, you are full of imagination but might lack passion.You abhor vulgar people, and you don't like anything in excess.You have little more ambition than to live a calm life and enjoy nature.You create a content, peaceful atmosphere for others.

I have the elegance of a cart horse, modest..ok I'll give it that to a point, vivacious....naaa thats not me. Attractive, well DH seems to think so! Friendly...yup I'd agree with that. Don't think I have an imagination and I guess I'd need to ask DH about passion!!!!!!! I agree with the next bit and I don't really have much ambition, except to live a quiet life. I suppose I can create a calm, peaceful atmosphere coz I am laid back and don't really get my knickers in a knot very often!

So maybe there are some elements of "truth" in this after all! What do you think?

Here's an other one.....Think its a bit nearer the mark!

Your Hidden Talent
Your natural talent is interpersonal relations and dealing with people.You communicate well and are able to bring disparate groups together.Your calming presence helps everything go more smoothly.People crave your praise and complements.

This is my favourite one, just coz I love ice cream! However strawberry is not my first choice in flavours.............

You Are Strawberry Ice Cream

A bit shy and sensitive, you are sweet to the core.
You often find yourself on the outside looking in.
Insightful and pensive, you really understand how the world works.

You are most compatible with chocolate chip ice cream.

OK no more for now!

O is for Ouch!

That's what I was saying this morning when I bit down into my cinnamon and raisin bagel!

I had broken one of my back teeth and it was causing me major pain. Nothing else for it, but to phone my dentist.....Now I HATE dentists, so it had to be pretty bad to have me pick up the phone. Luckily?, for me I could be seen today.

Oh boy, I was not looking forward to that. So off I went, shaking and quaking inside. I just knew it was going to be a BIG job. And a big job it was! After 3 shots of Novocaine I was still feeling it, so had to get a 4th! Nothing is simple in my life at the moment, or at least that's what it seems! As soon as the dentist applied pressure the whole tooth crumbled. Even the dentist was cussing under his breath! It was that bad I thought he was going to have to put his knee on my chest for leverage to get the tooth out, but thankfully no, he just need the help of an other dentist!

Cut a long story short and miss out all the gorey bits, the tooth eventually came out. Hell the roots were that twisted they looked like a gnarly old tree. Now I'm left with a mouth that's all cut to bits and a very sore jaw and face, which the dentist informed me will be even worse tomorrow, prolly with lots of bruising to my face. Wonderful!

Thankfully I have cool gel packs in the fridge and plenty of painkillers. Think I'll need them if I'm to get any sleep!

It wouldn't be so bad but I was there last week with Robert, who broke 2 teeth and needed to get them filled, and next week we are all scheduled for our 6 monthly check up. I guess my pay check will be going straight to the dentist!

Friday, September 22, 2006


WARNING.........This is a minor rant!

Why do pedestrians refuse to use pedestrian crossings?

I ask this question coz this morning I had to do 2 emergency stops as I drove along the High Street due to people walking out between parked cars. This really pissed me off, as it's not as if we have no pedestrian crossings there!!!!

I live in a relatively small town on the East Coast of Scotland and the main shopping part of the High Street is only approx 2/10ths of a mile long. (I know that coz I measured it this morning when I drove along through it!) In that space there are 7 sets of traffic lights, each with a pedestrian crossing, BUT do people use them?.........Do they hell as like!

gg is not exactly a "happy bunny" about this. However, not only did I encounter pedestrians with a "death wish", there was also 2 silly beggars who did "U" turns without warning in front of me. I think they must have let the "Lunatics out of the Asylum" this morning, coz it was bedlam in the High Street!!!!!!!!

Here endith my rant!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Super SP Susann......

A wonderful package arrived for me yesterday all the way from Dusseldorf in Germany. It was my final package from my knittyboard Secret Pal 7. It came from Susann aka Gundel aka Lavender Goldfish! I quite often "chat" with Susann in Knittyboard chat and had jokingly asked her a few months ago if she was my SP. However I was on a "fishing expedition", as she was the only one I knew from Dusseldorf on the board coz we had spoken about my visit there many, many years ago!

Look at what she sent...

Lots of brightly wrapped surprise packages.

Here are the yummy sweet things. Wafers filled with caramel and Milch Mause sweets. I did manage to get a taste before the kids decided they were having them!

There was also a bag of chocolate covered coffee beans. I had never tasted them before and boy am I hooked. I just LOVE them!!

See she even sent them in a china Sheep mug, which will take "pride of place" in my sheep collection!

Susann had asked me if there was anything I would like, and surprise, surprise I said sock yarn. Not ordinary sock yarn, but blue and white striped SCOTLAND yarn. Guess what was in the package, that's right 2 balls of Regia "Nation" sock yarn and also a 100g ball of Regia Tibet colour sock yarn. There is also a packet of beads and a packet of shells with tiny holes so I can use them for stitchmarkers.

There was also a small ziploc bag with a bloc of "Lemongrass" in it. Now I wasn't sure if it was soap or if I could cook with it. Good job I asked her earlier before I put some in the dinner, coz it's soap!

It has the most gorgeous smell, don't think I'll use it to wash with though, I think I'll put it into my stash to give it a nice fresh lemony smell!

Thank you, Susann.......YOU ROCK! See you in "chat"!!!!!

I've reached a landmark!

Today I've reached a "blogger" landmark! This is my 100th post ............. Woooooo Hoooooo.

I'm really surprised that I have made it to here. When I started this blog on 14th November 2005 I never thought I'd reach 10 posts never mind 100, I'm not too good at finding time to write stuff down, but I really enjoy writting what happens in gourdongirl's life....Hey and there is actually people out there, who read it!!!!! Now that does surprise me. I know there are a few who check in regularly and those who fleetingly visit.....Well I raise a glass to you all and say a big THANK YOU coz you make it all worth while.

I love it when you leave me a comment, so come on don't be shy. I really love to hear what you think, even if its a negative one, I won't mind as long as its a constructive one, not a destructive one. Also any suggestions as to making it better would be greatfully recieved.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Knitting, as promised

As I said in my last post, here is some knitting. Some FO's and a WIP!

Spinningfishwife sent me a link to a website with a pattern for a sock bookmark, so knowing my love for sox and my continued search for what to do with the odd bits of sock yarn, I just had to knit one!

I knitted the tiny sox and then crochet a chain to join them together.(yes the dreaded "C" word).

Here they are insitu in my current book "A breath of snow and ashes" by Diana Gabaldon

I have just finished knitting a scarf in Rowan Tapestry yarn, shade 171 rainbow. I really like the colours in this yarn, and it works really well (I think) with this short row pattern from "Scarves - a knitter's dozen".

However I did find that there was a problem with the yarn, it was really easy to tangle and get "stuck" together and had a tendency to do this when I was knitting!!! Has anyone else found this a problem?

This is my current WIP, scarf number 4 in my xmas knitting! It is being knitted in Lana Grossa Meilenweit 100 Multieffekt sock yarn. Yes I did say sock yarn!!!! I picked up a pattern for scarves knitted with Opal sock yarn when I was in Kelso a few weeks ago. There are 3 patterns, one done in rib, a simple wave lace pattern (looks like feather and fan!) and a frilly lace pattern (that's the one I'm doing). I'm not too sure about the colours, but it looks better in a scarf than it did in sox! I had started sox with it, but didn't like it so frogged it.

OK I'd better get going as I'm meeting Spinningfishwife for a BBQ in the next 30 mins or so and I still have to buy the burgers!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

I did it.

Over the past 2 Sundays I have been sitting in the MacPherson room in the 1925 suite at Murrayfield Rugby Stadium.

What have I been doing that for when I should have been watching the boys at rugby training? Well the rugby club sent me off to do a first aid course. We no longer had an official first aider for the mini section, so I guess I was the obvious choice coz I'd been doing it anyway, but to cover me with the clubs insurance I needed to do an official SRU course.

Last week we did all the practical and theory stuff and today we sat the exam. We had to do a practical, 2 written papers and an oral, and guess what? I got 100%, and now I'm a certified First Aider. I get my certificate sent out to me and have to do a refresher in 2 years.

Oh well that's one course done, just the Child Protection one to do now. I got the first lot of stuff via the mail last week so I need to sit down and actually read it and start doing the assignments. I'll do that on my days off this week when the kids are at school.

Talking of kids and school, its the September weekend here and the kids are off school tomorrow. Spinningfishwife and I are hoping the weather is nice coz we plan to take the kids out to Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum for a BBQ. We hope to sit, chat and do some knitting whilst the kids run riot round the place. If its raining we will revert to plan "B"..........Whatever that is!

I promise a knitting update post soon, as I seem to have been negligent on this of late!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Even more sheepies

Yes guys, gourdongirl has been back on the hunt for more sheepies! I love this challenge! So prepare yourselves for sheepie pix overload!!

The first lot I found when I was wandering round the National Museum of Scotland the other day.

A postcard with multiple Dolly's!

Little and large sheep!

This "Flock of sheep" ornament could slot together to form this group, or be displayed separately

Yet an other sheep keyring to
add to my collection!

This I found whilst rummaging around in a box of stuff. I think its a baby's rattle mit.

Some "sheepie" cards which I found in the shop.

The one on the left is blank,
but the one on the right says "Bleatings form Edinburgh"

This one is my favourite, it says "I know that woolens need a COOL WASH but this is ridiculous!"

That was what I found at the museum. The rest are things I have around the house.

This is a card that one of the kids at work gave me went they went home.

Since I'm a collector of thimbles, I couldn't resist this one when it came up for sale on eBay recently. The top, with the sheep lifts off to reveal a "working" thimble.

This is a mug that I painted when I went to a ceramics workshop with the kids from work. I'm not very good at painting, but I think it kinda looks like a sheep!

Oh well that my sheep finds updated, till then next time!

The Dieter's Prayer

In my last post I was looking for inspiration to help me lose some weight. Then I remembered that at one point I had bought a card with a Dieter's poem on it, so off I went on a hunt for it and found it in the unit cupboard in the lounge. Some of you might have read it before, but I think its really good.

The Dieter's Prayer
Bless the bathroom scales Lord
each week as I step on.
Help me lose a stone or two and not put any on.
Keep me from temptation
from chocolate and from chips.
Keep my will power going just incase it slips.
Help me count the calories,
steer me away from sweets.
Keep my sweating palms away
from naughty fattening treats.
Keep me from the cake shop Lord
away from buns and crumpets,
and if a cake is in my hand
please give me strength to dump it.
Help me enjoy my salad,
and foods that make me slim.
Keep me on the "Low Fat" track,
so one day I'll be thin!
Well I hope that gives you some inspiration too!!!

I need inspiration!

Over the past few days I have been suffering from a very painful right foot. I'm not sure what I've done, but boy is it sore. I've either got a fallen arch or I've torn ligaments or tendons...Either way it is causing me a lot of discomfort and sometimes I am having difficulty walking. It is all strapped up with a support bandage and I'm using a topical analgesic/anti-inflammatory gel, coz the same medication taken orally would upset my stomach!

What has that to do with inspiration....Well, I suppose one of the predisposing factors to my sore foot, is the fact that I am overweight. Hence the need for inspiration.....I need to loose some weight and that will help my foot, knee and back problems!

I know I can do it, coz 2 years ago I lost 70 lbs at Weight Watchers, but over the last year most of that has gone back on. Not good, I need to shift it again and some, I fear! Spinningfishwife and I have decided the time is now, so wish us luck. I still have all my WW stuff, so when I'm on my days off from work next week I will sit down and work out my healthy eating plan, my shopping list and strategy!

Friday, September 15, 2006

I found this!

Earlier this week I had cause to be at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh for a meeting. Once the meeting was finished I still had a few hours to kill before picking up the boys from school, so I decided to have a wander round. It is an amazing place and I hadn't been there for ages and I was looking forward to spending a couple of child free hours in a museum!!! No one to shout, "Mum, I'm bored.....", "Mum, hurry up....". Bliss!!

The National Museum of Scotland is in a magnificent Victorian building which houses international collections of decorative arts, science and industry, archaeology and the natural world. Some of the exhibits are millions of years old, others less than a decade. However this vast building is only one half of the museum, the other half, The Royal Museum is a new modern building which adjoins the old one. Here you find "The story of Scotland", which is told through its land, people and culture. I decided that I would head off to the new part of the building since I have a profound interest in Scottish culture and history. (Actually I was looking for the craft section....No surprises there!!!)

However en route, from the old to the new part I found this!

This is Dolly.

Dolly was born on 5th July 1996, the creation of Ian Wilmut and his research team at Roslin Institute in Mid Lothian. She was the first mammal to have been successfully cloned from an adult cell. She was originally code-named 6LL3, but was called Dolly after Dolly Parton coz it was a mammary cell that was used for cloning. Because of the controversy surrounding cloning, her birth was not actually announced till 22nd Feb 1997. Sadly Dolly died from progressive lung disease on 14th Feb 2003.

However Dolly was not the first sheep to be cloned at Roslin. In 1995 Morag and Megan were cloned using embryonic cells, grown for several months in the laboratory. Sadly Morag died from an infection in 2000, but Megan celebrated her 10th "birthday" last year! Morag was originally exhibited in the National Museum of Scotland along with a fleece from Dolly, and latterly Dolly herself became an exhibit!

Ruth, does this count as part of the sheep challenge? Well Dolly wasn't really a "normal" sheep, was she?

Sunday, September 10, 2006


I meant to blog about this last week, but with one thing and an other I hadn't got round to it!

I got flowers! Practically unheard of in gourdongirl's life. I very seldom get flowers, so when the doorbell rang last weekend and the guy from Interflora was standing there with a bouquet, I thought it was for my neighbour. But no they were for me!...........Who was sending "gg" flowers?

WOW they were beautiful, lots of pink flowers......Don't ask me what they are, coz I ain't got a clue, all I know is they are lovely and they are pink!!!!!! I apologise for the terrible arrangement, they were so beautifully arranged in the packaging, but I am hopeless at arranging flowers in a vase, so they look like they have just been dumped in, when in fact they weren't!

OK, who were they from?

They were from 2 most wonderful people.

None other than my Mam and Dad. THANK YOU, they were most welcome and really cheered me up. I'd had a bad day at work a few days before and was really angry and hurt by it and they so thoughtfully sent me flowers.

I've already said a big thank you to them, but my mum has just "gone online" and "discovered" my blog, so I thought they should get a special thank you mention here!

She phoned me earlier tonight saying she had just spent a fascinating hour reading my blog, and discovering lots of things about me that she didn't know!!!!!!!

Well Mam, just to let you know it was actually 67.45 minutes you were on! And you were the 640th person to visit since I put the visit counter on my blog on the 21st August. That's not bad for 3 weeks, is it? (It was actually at 650 when I checked last at 23:00hrs).

I hope you enjoy reading my future posts.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

SKIPnorth here we come

Yup, I've signed up for this brilliant weekend next year. It all takes place on 9th - 11th March 2007 and spaces are limited and are being snapped up quickly after the success of this years one. Spinningfishwife and I are looking forward to meeting up with friends we made this year making new ones next year. I know that Sue and Rosie have signed up, along with Nic and Alex who are responsible for getting us all together, organising and planning all the activities and "teaching" sessions. I suggest if you want to go, sign up now.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Bob meets Flinty!

Well with Ronan being off on a sleepover at his friend Duncan's tonight, Bob was at a loose end, so I asked him what he wanted to do. He announced he wanted to go to watch the rugby at Murrayfield. The Edinburgh Gunners were playing Leinster, from Ireland in this seasons first home game of the Magners League, and as it was a nice night that's just what we did.

Bob was all excited coz it was the first time he had seen the Gunners "live" and only the second time he'd been at Murrayfield. Bob also likes to spend quality 1:1 time with me occasionally, so when he expressed he wanted to do something special....Why not? His 2 main rugby heroes, Chris Paterson and Scott Murray would be playing, so he was well pleased!

I wasn't sure how this game would go, after getting beat last week by the Ospreys, I thought it would be a close game and I wasn't really far wrong. However with just a minute gone in the game my heart was in my mouth when Leinster was awarded a penalty.....bang they were 3 nil up. However that appeared to be the kick in the butt that the Gunners needed to get their "act together" and get going. It was a fairly close game, but Edinburgh had most of the play. The final score was Gunners 20 : Leinster 14. Edinburgh had 2 penalties and 2 converted tries and Leinster had 3 penalties and 1 non-converted try.

The highlight of the game for Bob, I think was when he met Flinty, the Gunners Mascot.

Here he is with Flinty, with an empty Murrayfield behind them! They only sold tickets for the West Stand tonight. I guess there was about 2.5-3 thousand there tonight and the stadium holds about 67,000. Having said that when The Gunners had the ball you would have thought the crowd was bigger!

Here are a couple of more pix from the game!

An Edinburgh Gunners lineout

and a scrum.

As you can gather a good time was had by all! I don't think there will be a kids rugby entry for a couple of weeks,as I won't be there. I am off doing a SRU "First Aid" course. I need the certificate so I can administer first aid, as needed at the club. This means I'm covered by the clubs insurance should I make a bad call!

I guess I'll need to get knitting then, so I can blog with knitty stuff........mmmmm! Maybe I need to finish some stuff off, so I can take pix of FO'S!

Till next time, happy knitting....Or at least be happy!!

Thursday, September 07, 2006


I have had a few packages arrive in the last few days, a couple I was expecting and one I had totally forgotten about, so it came as a surprise when the mailman rang the bell yesterday and handed me a really heavy box addressed to Ronan, my oldest son. It wasn't his birthday and I hadn't ordered any thing for him and he hadn't entered any competitions that I remembered about, so basically I didn't have a clue. Nothing else for it, but to open it!

And this is what I found...............................................

3 copies of this book "A pocketful of Rhyme, Imagination for a new generation Scotland". Hell I'd forgotten all about this book. Ronan had come home from school months ago with a note saying that he had written a poem and his teacher had entered it into a poetry competition and his poem had been chosen, along with 36 others from his year at school to be included in this book. So here it was........and on page 99 I found his poem called FRIENDS. Here it is in all its glory!!!!

M y friend is Duncan
Y ou and me friends forever

F riends don't let you go
R unning to my house
I n my house we play
E nding up to play on my PS2
N ot a sweet left
D uncan and me.

(The Duncan in the poem is Spinningfishwives son!)

I was really proud of him when I read it. Not quite upto Robert Burns standards, but it might be in the genes, since we are out of the same gene pool as the Bard himself!

This is what I found in the other packages which arrived!

These beautiful stitch markers arrived the other week from "Batty". They are a silver coloured butterfly and so so delicate. I just love them

These really cute "KNIT" ones arrived yesterday all the way from SarahJanet in Edmonton Canada. She said on her note that this was her first attempt at making markers.......well SarahJanet I am impressed!

Thank you girls, that brings my total to 6 sets of stitch markers from the Knittyboard stitch marker swap.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Haute Kilture

A few weeks ago I went to this amazing exhibition of "alternative" kilts and accessories by Malcolm Cruickshank, a family friend .

The exhibition, called Haute Kilture, is in the Jedburgh Community and Arts Centre,St John's Old School, Friars, Jedburgh and runs till 15th September and is open 2-5pm, Wednesday till Sunday. Believe me it is well worth a visit.

How it came to be!

It is almost a year since he decided to produce an exhibition with a theme of kilts. This decision came after he made an "art" kilt for a birthday party which had paper as its theme. He felt it appropriate to make a paper kilt to wear to the party. In order to make this kilt he researched the construction of modern kilts and begun to produce his own, which he found a fascinating and fulfilling exercise. Malcolm did not set out to become a kilt maker, certainly not in any traditional sense, and the products in the exhibition, whilst all entirely functional, are intended to be art objects first and foremost. Everything in the exhibition has been designed to best reflect his own artistic personality, including all of the copper stands and other display items, which he designed and made himself.

Up till now Malcolm's work as a textile artist has led him to create many decorative items, which include furniture, paintings, drawings and jewellery.

Completing the exhibits for this exhibition has meant a steep learning curve for Malcolm, which he found satisfying and fun to undertake. He has always drawn his inspiration from the world around him and this can be clearly seen by the diversity of themes in his exhibition.

Using discarded materials is very close to his heart and this can be seen in the use of plastic, paper and weed control fabric which he has used to make some of his kilts.

The Kilts !

This is his plastic kilt, which he made from recycled plastic bags. The kilt pin and sporran were also made from plastic bags. He states that he particularly enjoyed the "fabric" created by using this medium as it left an impression of weave, thus making the surface more interesting.

This is Malcolm's "Gardner's Kilt" which he made from weed control fabric. He got the inspiration for this kilt while laying out a new flower bed at his work.

"Its use as a fabric for clothing, presents it in a new way and results in a striking piece of art" as stated by M Cruickshank.

I tend to agree with him, and was most impressed by this kilt. Infact it was my favourite.

The kilt pin was made from a square of anti-leaf gutter covering, thus continuing the garden theme!

This kilt he made from brown wrapping paper, with some stitching. The kilt pin is made from a postage stamp.

Quite often Malcolm's work involves words and text, and for him, the correct placement of a word or phrase can make or break a piece. The "Lyric" Kilts combine this with his love of music. He took some lyrics from some of his favourite songs by REM, Placebo, The Beatles, The White Stripes and The Happy Mondays. He then wrote them down a line at a time and mixing each lyric with the next to create a continuous text. He made two "lyric" kilts, this was because he became frustrated in his search for a suitable digital printer. The first one he made was printed at home on a standard inkjet printer.

"Lyric" Kilt #1 is made from heavy cotton fabric with the hand written lyrics apliqued with thread to the heavy cotton of the kilt.

The kilt pin is made from headphones and headphone core wire, thus continuing the music theme!

"Lyric" Kilt #2 is made from new digitally printed fabric and hand written song lyrics.

Malcolm's final kilt was called the "Clubbers" Kilt, because it was made from a collection of night club fliers he picked up one night in the City Cafe in Edinburgh.

The aim of this kilt was to provide a satirical commentary, encouraging the viewer to look at the modern life style in a different way. He had the idea to use the ephemeral images which the industry uses to tempt people into their clubs. His initial intention was to use the actual fliers, but you can see how this idea developed instead to a magnificent printed fabric which presents a hitherto unseen surface and challenges the eye to put dismembered objects into a new but recognisable situation, in this case a piece of clothing.

The artist!

Malcolm graduated with a BA (Hons) Contemporary Applied Arts from Cumbria Institute of Arts in 2004. Since then he has frequently exhibited and organised exhibitions and has set up his own business. He is a very versatile textile artist. He is currently exhibiting his Orkney monoprints and felt light boxes in the Juno Design Gallery in Argyll Street Dunoon, till 14th Oct.

Here are a sample of his light boxes which were on display at Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum
in July 2006.

I found them very affective and beautiful.

In October, when he finishes his current job, he will be taking up a post working as an Artist in Residence, in Midlothian Primary Schools.

Malcolm is one of the makers on and he can be contacted at .

Post script.....The City Cafe is where "City Knitty" meet every Wednesday at 7.30pm, or why not check out our blog to see what we are upto!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

and the BEST supporting.............

player is RONAN !!!.

Yes Ronan won the "best supporting player" trophy this week.

Todays rugby adventures!

It was raining quite heavily this morning as we left the clubhouse for our first away game of the season at Linlithgow. The team were travelling to the game on a bus (coach), while the parents travelled by car. Unfortunately the bus was unable to get under a low railway bridge just before you came to Linlithgow Rugby Club, so the kids had to all get off and walk down the road to the club. One good thing was that the rain had stopped. Believe me there were some unhappy kids and coaches when they finally arrived at their destination!

However the kids very quickly got stuck in to their games! Ronan's group of Primary 6's (age 9-10) did really well. They scored numerous tries and didn't concede any. I managed to watch all of Ronan's first game and some of his second one, and today he did seem to be "switched on"! He was tackling well and giving good support, hence the reason he won this weeks "Best Supporting" Player Trophy. He was really tired when he came off, coz this year the pitch size is double that of last season, so that means they have a much bigger area to cover to score a try or defend. I think I need to do some fitness training with him over the next few weeks/months!

Here he is with his trophy on return to the club after the match.

Robert was playing for the Primary 3's today coz we don't have a Primary 4 team, however they were playing a Primary 4 team from Linlithgow, coz they didn't have a Primary 3 team! Unfortunately they got beat 5 tries to 3 in both their games, but they played really well. Robert managed to score 2 tries, so he was really pleased.
I think they learned alot in todays game and rose to the new challenges that tackling brought. Yes, we had a few tears when there were bumps, but they just got up, dusted themselves down and got on with the job in hand.

Here is Robert on the recieving end of a tackle,

and here is Ronan (2nd from the right), along with Spinningfishwives son, Duncan (2nd from the left), waiting for the game to restart.

Their Uncle Jimmy (from the USA) was there watching today and he was impressed with how well all the boys (and girls) played.