Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Happy Halloween everyone!

The boys are away out "guising" with some friends, including spinningfishwives son, round the neighbours!

Guising is what we, in Scotland call trick-or-treating! I did it as a child and now my kids are doing it too! However we went out on our own, but there is an adult with them tonight.........Sign of the times, it isn't safe to allow kids out on their own! Sad situation, but you can never be too careful!

As a child we would make a lantern out of a turnip, we had never heard of, nevermind seen a pumpkin! Let me tell you it is MUCH easier to make a lantern from a pumpkin than from a large turnip! Hell it used to take my parents days to make it!

Halloween originated as a Pagan festival among the Celts of Ireland and Great Britain with Irish, Scots, Welsh and other immigrants transporting versions of the tradition to North America in the 19th century. Most other Western countries have embraced Halloween as a part of American pop culture in the late 20th century.
The festival is also known as Samhain or Oíche Shamhna to the Irish, Calan Gaeaf to the Welsh, Allantide to the Cornish & Hop-tu-Naa to the Manx. Halloween is also called Pooky Night in some parts of Ireland, presumably named after the Puca, a mischievous spirit.

New email virus........beware!

I just recieved an email about a new email virus so I thought you would want to know about this right away.

Even the most advanced programs from Norton or McAfee cannot take care of this one.

It appears to affect those who were born prior to 1965.


1. Causes you to send the same e-mail twice.?............Done that!

2. Causes you to send a blank e-mail!?...........That too!

3. Causes you to send e-mail to the wrong person...........Yup!

4. Causes you to send it back to the person who sent it to you...........Who me?

5 Causes you to forget to attach the attachment.?..............Well darn!

6. Causes you to hit "SEND" before you've finished.............Oh no - not again!

7. Causes you to hit "DELETE" instead of "SEND."?.........Oh boy, I just hate that!

8. Causes you to hit "SEND" when you should "DELETE.".....Oh No!

Whats this virus called?.........................................................


He he he he he......My computer is definately infected with this virus!........is yours?

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Me Me

I stole this Me Me from Angela!

1. FIRST NAME? Shona
3. WHEN DID YOU LAST CRY? ages ago
4. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Yes, when I take my time and write neatly!
7. DO YOU HAVE A JOURNAL? Your reading it!
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No way, but I have done a parachute jump
14. SHOE SIZE? UK size 7
19. WHAT COLOR PANTS, SHIRT AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? wearing my old navy pj's!!!!!! and no sox
20. LAST THING YOU ATE? clementine
21. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? nothing, as everyone else is asleep
23. FAVORITE SMELL?Newly mown grass
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON you stole THIS from? Don't know her personally, just read her blog every day and sometimes "chat" on knitty.board
27. FAVORITE DRINK? coffee
28. FAVORITE SPORT Rugby Union/football(soccer)
29. EYE COLOR? Brown
30. HAT SIZE?pass, don't know
32. FAVORITE FOOD? Chocolate
37. FAVORITE DESSERT? Ice cream/chocolate
40. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? The time travelers wife
41.WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Have a laptop, so no mouse pad
42. WHAT DID YOU WATCH LAST NIGHT ON TV? Didn't, was at a Halloween party with kids!
43. FAVORITE SOUNDS? silence!
45. THE FURTHEST YOU HaVE BEEN FROM HOME? Barcelona (I think, not too good with geography!)
46. WHAT IS YOUR SPECIAL TALENT?I can organise and I am a good listener.
47. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Stonehaven, Scotland
48. WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? No one, I copied it from Angela!

It's over

Yes British Summer Time is officially over for an other year and I nearly forgot all about it. Thank you mum for reminding me last night! I put some clocks back before going to bed, the ones I could reach without going climbing on chairs anyway! Oh well I suppose its time to get used to it getting dark early. For me, working nights, its months of going to bed in the dark and getting up in the dark.

Now that the clocks have gone back, I guess its time to go to the pharmacy and buy St.Johns Wort to combat getting S.A.D (Seasonal Affective Disorder)!!!! Or I could just start my diet, as I spoke about a few posts ago and then go to the gym and get the "natural endorphins" going in my body! This would also combat S.A.D! However, as I hate taking medication and I'm not really "built" for exercise I will just have to get stuck into some "seasonal" knitting! That usually cures all ills :)

OK this post did not start out to be about depression, it was about time, so, like time I will move swiftly on to something else........ Like Halloween!

The kids had their annual rugby club Halloween party on Friday night. We all got dressed up and guess what.........I forgot to take any pix (sorry). The boys were both dressed in skeleton costumes with "bleeding" masks (don't ask!) and grime reaper scythes!, me I was a "witch", complete with cauldron and orange and black hair extensions and a long black "wicken" cloak. The kids informed me I wasn't a scary witch! The kids all seemed to enjoy themselves. We were there with spinningfishwife and her family.

Right I need to go as we have our first home rugby training game today and its time to get ready......Will post about it later!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What will I do?

Yes, what am I going to do with the kids after school for the next few months?

Why? Coz, Prestongrange Industrial Heritage Museum has now closed for the season and doesn't re-open till April 2007, the kids and I will be "stirr crazy" by then!!!

But where are Spinningfishwife and I going to go with the kids after school? Where can we have a nice "peaceful" tea/coffee, chat and knit while the kids run around using up their energy before going home after school?

Here are the boys standing in front of the Hoffman Kiln, where they made bricks.

I'm just warning you now, that as time goes on the more "stressed" we may become!!!!

Monday, October 23, 2006

For The Knit Nurse!

This post is mainly in answer to a question posed by The Knit Nurse in a comment on my blog. She is going up to Aberdeenshire later this year and thought I would be able to point her in the right direction of good yarn shops in the area. Sad to say there aren't that many, that I know off.

These were the pix I took while in John Lewis's in Aberdeen last week. The selection of yarn was pretty poor as was the state of the balls of yarn on display.

As you can see many of the balls of yarn have loose strands hanging down and some were all tangled up with other balls. Others seemed to have the ball bands missing!

What a sad sight to any knitter, the area just looked totally neglected and unloved.

I would not recommend going here to buy yarn.

However there is one yarn store that I have heard good reports about. I have never actually been there myself, but I'm sure they had a stall at Woolfest this year but I could be mistaken as there were so many!

The shop is called The Wool Shed and it is in the Alford Heritage Centre, Mart Road in Alford Aberdeenshire. Alford is 25 miles West of Aberdeen on the A944. They are open 10am - 4pm Mon till Sat and 2pm - 4pm on a Sunday. They stock yarn by Colinette, Noro, Rowan, RYC, Debbie Bliss, GGH, Laine du Nord, Louisa Harding, Katia, Lana Grossa, South West Trading and Opal to name but a few. I think the next time I am up visiting my parents there will be a trip up to Alford arranged!!! If I remember correctly there is an automobile museum there, so the "boys" will be catered for too!

However on a trip up to Banchory a few years ago I bought yarn from Milton Studio at Milton of Crathes, near Banchory, Aberdeenshire. It can be found on the A93 Aberdeen to Banchory road. They had some interesting yarns when I was there, but having just looked at their web site there is no mention of yarn now. However they do have an amazing array of cloth for quilting etc and sewing stuff. They run classes on felting and quilting too. On the Milton of Crathes site you will also find a restaurant, art gallery and craft studio. Crathes Castle and the town of Banchory are also not far away, and well worth a visit.

As I don't know where you will be staying and Aberdeenshire is quite a big area, I hope this has been useful for you? I'm sure if you "google" wool/yarn shops in Aberdeenshire there will be more! Hope you have fun when you are up.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Llamas and Llambs!

I have just returned from spending a few days up north, to just south of Aberdeen, visiting my folks. The kids had their October break from school and I took some leave from work so that we could spend some "quality" time together. As I hadn't seen my parents since the summer we decided to go spend a few days with them. Granny and Granda love spending time with the grandchildren, sadly this does not happen as much as we all would like due to work/school/rugby schedules etc.

We arrived about lunch time on Monday after an uneventful drive north. Nothing much was done in the afternoon of arrival, we just decided to chill!!! I did some knitting (surprise, surprise!!!!!) and chatted to Mum and Dad while the kids played on the play station! Mum and Dad were just back from a trip to the west coast of America, so we had lots to chat about and pix to look at!!! They traveled from San Francisco up to Seattle. Stopping over at Lake Tahoe Nevada,Grants Pass, Newport and Portland, all in Oregon, before ending up in Seattle, Washington. They seem to have had a wonderful time.

OK, so they brought me back some goodies when they visited a really cool yarn store in Jacksonville Oregon called Llamas and Llambs Boutique.
This is what I got.........................

2 balls of the most amazingly soft "Bamboo" yarn by The South West Trading Company. It is dye lot #143-107. 100g = 250 yards, so I guess I have 500 yards to work with. The colours are beautiful, a mixture of reds, purples, golds. I don't have a clue what I'm going to knit with it, so any suggestions would be gratefully received! If I need to send to the USA for more I will, coz it is so nice. Going by the weight, I think it will drape real nice, so probably a shawl or something like that, so I will need more yarn if I decide to knit that.

They also bought me this really neat Sock book published by Interweave Press and edited by Rita Buchanan and Deborah Robson. There are some really cool sock patterns in it and once the xmas knitting is done I will do some sox from this book.

OK so that's the knitting goodies, I also got a thimble to add to my collection from San Francisco and a fridge magnet that says "Housework can't kill you, but why take a chance?" Think they know me pretty well.....I HATE HOUSEWORK!

Right, what else did we do this week. On Tuesday I visited some relatives and then went down to the local library to do some Family History research, then chilled in the evening and did some more knitting!

When we woke on Wednesday we decided to go up to Aberdeen to do some shopping and while Mum and Dad did that I took the kids to Satrosphere, a science and space centre, where we spend a great couple of hours. When we were there we went to a talk on space and Ronan was able to dress-up in a space suit, complete with helmet for the purposes of the demonstration. We then met up with my folks for lunch, before doing some more shopping. Mum had been "inspired" by the short row scarf I was knitting so she decided to go to John Lewis's to get some yarn. Boy was that a disappointment,I was so unimpressed by what they had and the way it was displayed that I took some pix but blogger being blogger won't allow me to load them!(%%%%%^%$*&&^%$). She didn't find any yarn there to inspire her though, so when we got home we ordered some from McAree's in Stirling! (Yarn ordered late Wednesday night, arrived early Friday morning......Mum WAS impressed!)

Thursday it rained, and rained, and rained, so we didn't do too much. I did go visit my granny and do some grocery shopping though. The roads were really bad in places and at times I was really scared when I was driving as visibility was terrible because of the rain and the road was flooded in places, making driving very dangerous indeed. I was glad I had left the boys at home with my Dad. Did I say it was raining on Thursday?

Friday, today, well the few days had flown in and now it was time to go home. We were all sad coz we had enjoyed the break. We left mid afternoon and made good time back to Edinburgh, where it begun to rain and rain and rain. Again visibility was pretty poor and the surface water on the roads had lead to a few accidents and road closures. But thankfully we made it home safe and sound!

I will try and upload the rest of the pix to go with this post at somepoint over the next few days! (If blogger allows, that is!)I also managed some FO's this week so will post about them too!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Brotherly Love

Cute, or what?

I walked into the lounge the other day and found the pair of them all curled up on the sofa watching t.v. I couldn't resist taking a pic. However Robert looked up just as I took it. Ronan was still engrossed in whatever they were watching....Nothing new there!

I wish they could be like this all the time. I don't mean curled up on the sofa, but all friendly like. It seems that these moments are getting less and less the older they get, so I guess I need to cherish them.

Friday, October 13, 2006

What does your birthday mean?

While I was reading other UK knitting blogs I found this on Colin's one. Its an other one of these quiz things....All good fun!!!

Your Birthdate: August 22

You tend to be understated and under appreciated.
You have a hidden force to do amazing things, doing them your own way.
People may see you as strange and shy, but they know little.
Your unconventional ways have more power than they (and even you) know.

Your strength: Standing up for what you know is true

Your weakness: You tend to be picky and rigid

Your power color: Silver

Your power symbol: Square

Your power month: April
Edited at 8pm on 13th Oct in answer to Purlpowers question.....How true is the above statement?
Well I have decided to decline to answer that and leave it up to the people who know me to leave their comments as to if it is an accurate statement or not.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Saver sox and more Christmas FO's!!!

Remember, way back in July, when I came back from Woolfest I had bought some strange looking wooden objects?

Well I have completed the first Christmas "Saver Sock", only an other 4 to go!

Here it is! Resplendent in all its glory!

It is for DH's niece over in Holland for her Christmas. The other 4 are for her brother, one of the boys friends and not forgetting Ronan and Robert.
Can't give ya the boring bit, coz I've lost the ball band, suffice to say it is knitted in sock yarn found in my stash. Since it was for a 10 year old girl I opted for purples and pinks and did it in a lacey pattern - Snowflake lace socks from Magknits.

This is a great idea if you have "one sock syndrome"!!!

Now for some FO's

Yup there is even some more Christmas knitting finished......Oh boy I'm doing quite well with that.

This is scarf number 4, its knitted from sock yarn. I think I mentioned it in a previous post...Well it is now done. That's all 4 of the boys teachers presents finished.

It was my friend Jules's birthday last Friday, so I knitted her a scarf. She is currently doing a gardening course at college and there is a lot of outdoor stuff, so I thought a nice warm scarf would just be the perfect pressie for her.

She loves knitted stuff and was well pleased with this one.

It is knitted from 2 balls of Rowan Kid Classic shade 834. There is 140m/153 yards per 50g and it's knitted on 5-5.5mm needles. Kid classic is a blend of 76% lambswool, 26% kid mohair and 4% nylon and should be hand washed.

The pattern I used "Simple Ascot", which can be found on page 57 of "Knit Ponchos, Wraps and Scarves" by Jane Davis, published by KP books.
This was a really easy pattern, with only 3 rows to remember! (2 of which were knit!)

Oh well better get knitting, as have just discovered I have some birthday knitting to complete as well as the Christmas stuff!!!!!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Edinburgh has a New Yarn Shop

Yipeeeeee, Edinburgh has a new yarn shop. McAree Brothers officially opened on Monday at 19 Howe Street, just a 5-10 min walk from Edinburgh's Princes Street. (on the link for Howe Street, Howe Street is the street that runs top to bottom on the far left of each picture)

McAree Brothers also have shops in Falkirk and Stirling and a great online store. I have bought some things from their online store and was very impressed with the service.

I came straight from the night shift and met up with Spinningfishwife for the doors opening at 09.30am!!! The parking was a bit of a beggar at that time, it being in the centre of Edinburgh's New Town, but after driving round for a while I found somewhere to park. The shop is on the corner of the street and has a big front window which allows plenty of natural light into the front of the shop. Unfortunately I forgot to take my camera so no pix of the shop and its contents, at the moment. I will remember and take my camera the next time! Oh yes there WILL be a next time.

OK so what goodies did it have, well there was plenty to choose from - Rowan, Jaegar, RYC, Regia, Gedifra, Wendy, Sirdar, Patons, Sublime, Twilleys of Stamford and an other called Alpaca (I think!). I'm sure I have missed some, but I'll make notes next time I visit! (Most of the yarns you can see if you click onto the McAree link above!) They had a good selection of really scrummy yarns....Ones that were wonderfully soft to touch! They had some basic baby yarns and some fun fur type yarns as well as Patons moonglow and spirit, Sirdar click chunky and curly wurly, Jaegar baby merino, fur, natural fleece and pure silk DK,Wendy's knitit, Regia stretch, as well as 4 and 6 ply sock yarns, Gedifra fashion trend gold, fashion trend stripe and kerenina, Twilleys of Stamford freedom and my favourite Sublime, cashmere/merino/silk DK, cashmere/merino/silk aran, extra fine merino wool DK and kid mohair. As I said earlier there was an amazing alpaca one which I have forgotten the name of. They also had a good selection of patterns, needles etc.

Now for the pix of my purchases!

I bought 3 balls of Sublime cashmere/merino/silk double knitting to make a scarf for ME. I just could not resist this yarn.....It is so so so soft!

This is the scarf. It is called The little zig scarf and it is from the Sublime pattern leaflet number 6002. It should be knitted in the Sublime extra fine merino wool DK, but as I said I couldn't resist the cashmere/merino/silk mix.

Now for the boring bit as Purlpower puts it!! The Sublime used for the scarf is a mix of 75% extra fine merino, 20% silk and 5% cashmere. The ball is 50g with 116m/127 yards per ball and knitted on 5mm rosewood needles (that's optional!). The shade is 011 or clove. (Looks pale lilac to me!!) Hand wash, dry flat and reshape while wet. Here endeth the boring bit!!!

I really like this pattern and it is knitting up really quickly. Only thing is it will need to be blocked when finished so you can get the full effect of the pattern. I can hardly wait to wear it!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I am so disgusted.

Yes, I am so disgusted with my fellow man. What has been on the news from America in the last few days is terrrible....All these innocent children being killed. How can any one do that? It just seems so barbaric and wrong. These kids have done nothing to deserve that. These poor bereft families...What must they be thinking?

Why the Ammish? They are a hard working christian community who keep themselves to themselves, and do no harm to any one. I'm sorry but I just can't get my head round it at all.

You never think it will happen in your community, but there are so so many BAD people out there that you can never say never. I remember vividly when it happened in Dunblane, Scotland in March 1996. It was a scarey thought then that someone could just walk into a Primary School with a gun and kill all these innocent children and its an even scarier thought today, coz 10 years on it is STILL happening. But what has changed in these last 10 years....Nothing it seems. Something needs to happen. But how many innocent children will have to die and how many heart broken families will have to go through this before it does? Here in Scotland we campaigned to get the gun laws changed, but still people carry guns, nothing has really changed here either. Yes the laws were tightened, but not changed.

As a parent it is your worst nightmare, that someone will just take your kids from you like that. My thoughts and prayers are with these grieving families, coz believe me I can not begin to comprehend what they must be going through, and I hope and pray that I never find out.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Oh boy.........More sport!

The boys have just started to play basketball with the Peregrines on a Tuesday after school, at the local sports centre. This was Ronan's second week and Robert's first. They go along with Spinningfishwives son, Duncan and an other friend called Lewis. They all seem to enjoy it, and at the end of the day its good exercise and that can't be bad! They have a game on Friday 13th October, so hope its lucky for them!

I guess I'll need to go read up on the rules etc of this game, as I haven't a clue, never having played it!!!!! Goodness knows where the boys get there "sporting genes" from, must be their dad as it certainly isn't me!!!!! Having said that David is quite sporty, he plays badminton and tennis and my dad, brother and nephew all play/played football, so I suppose the gene is there somewhere. I got the "craft gene" from my mum, as she is a wonderful knitter and makes beautiful cards!!!!!

At least the kit won't be muddy and we wont get wet while watching a game!

No pix.....Sorry!

I have two weeks of rugby updates for you and no pix for the post........Sorry!

On Sunday 24th September the boys had their first Tournament of the season at North Berwick. By tournament I mean "serious" rugby, not just training games....But playing to win a medal, serious stuff! (But still fun!)

The kids were all psyched up prior to going to bed on Saturday night, only to wake on Sunday to torrential rain! Oh boy, I could tell, it was going to be a "fun" day! Well it rained, and rained and then it rained and boy it rained some more!!!! It was WET. We kept waiting for the phonecall to tell us it was cancelled and other parents kept phoning me to see if I had heard any thing, me being "in the know" and all! The call never came, so there was nothing else to do but bundle the kids, towels, spare dry clothes, water bottles, rugby balls and medical kit into the car and set off for North Berwick Rugby Club.

When we got there it was STILL raining and the pitches were looking pretty grim, especially the one Roberts team was scheduled to play on! Everyone was milling around trying to find shelter! Eventually the "powers that be" decided it would go ahead. Personally I wasn't too happy with that decision for Health and Safety reasons, but hell it had nothing to do with me! The main task over the next couple of hours was keeping the kids as dry and warm as possible so they could concentrate on the game. Let me tell you this was a mammoth task!

I managed to see some of both the boys games. Both played well despite the weather conditions. Ronan and his team managed to win 1 and lost 2. I always know when Ronan plays well coz his coach pats him on the head, and he did that alot during the games he played!

Robert and his team mates, unfortunately lost all their games. However you have to remember that their team is mainly made up of 7 year olds who have only been playing for about 1 year, and only train once aweek, against teams made up of 8-9 year olds who have been playing for 2-3 years and train 2-3 times a week. So on the whole they did really well. Robert made one VERY spectacular tackle, where he managed to aquaplane approx 10 feet across the pitch on his stomach, knocking water bottles flying and scattering the spectators! (BTW, he did get his man!) You should have seen the colour of him when he stood up! He was covered in mud from his neck to his toes, mud splattered all over his face and the biggest grin you have ever seen.....He loved it! He was soaked through, but refused to come off till the game was finished. The very day I needed my camera, and where was it.....Sitting on the kitchen table...In my haste I had forgotten it! Sods law! However, I asked Spinningfishwives DH and he took one for me, so hopefully he will email it to me and I can blog it!

Once all the games were finished, the kids were quickly changed, bundled into the car, whisked back home with the car heater on full blast and "thrown" into a warm bath. I had to rinse out the kit in the sink before I considered putting it in the washing machine!

Oh well that was the first tournament out of the way.

The second one was on Sunday the 1st October and the boys were out for revenge! They were up against the same teams at the Stewarts Melville Tournament as they played against the previous week at North Berwick. Both boys had been picked for this tournament too. Well Robert (at the moment) will be picked since they don't have that many players, but Ronan, well that's a different story. They have a large pool of players and have to "earn" their place. Sometimes Ronan is picked, sometimes he's not....All depends if Ronan is on "Planet rugby" or "Planet Ronan"!!!! At the moment it appears we are on "Planet rugby"!!!!

Thankfully this week the weather was better. Colder but at least it was dry....Well it was up until we were about to start....And guess what? It started to rain, but only for about 15 minutes, so all was well! No cold, wet, MUDDY kids this week.

Unfortunately I didn't see any of Ronan's games, but by all accounts they did better, finishing 3rd equal out of 8 teams. But alas no medals for the Mussie P6's at this tournament either.

Robert's team of P3/4's were amazing.... What a difference a week makes! They were playing like they had been together for years. We were all totally astonished. The teams that had beat them last week were being held to a draw (and only coz the referee played 2 minutes longer to allow the home team to score an other try to equalise. He was their coach!!!! Yes I am still a bit annoyed at this, as it doesn't teach the kids good sportsmanship if the coaches are seen to be "cheating"!!). The team that "slaughtered" us 9 tries to zero last week, we beat 6:4 this week!!!!! The coaches and parents couldn't believe what they were seeing.

Robert managed to score 4 tries and boy he was tackling like there was no tomorrow. He was just throwing himself at the opposition like he'd been doing it for years instead of only about 6 weeks. This is the first season any of them have played contact rugby. It was a joy to watch. Unfortunately they didn't get a medal either, but they certainly walked away with their heads held high.

No pix from this week either, coz I was far too busy doing "coaching" and first aid stuff to take any. I did have the camera with me though!

Back to normal training for the next 3 weeks. No more tournaments till next March/April,only training games, so we have plenty of time to work on their skills and build up their confidence.

We, as a club never do well at these two tournaments, they come too early in the season for us. However, it is usually a VERY different story at the rest of the tournaments. But lets not get complacent about it, there is A LOT of hard work needed between now and then for medals to be won!