Sunday, June 18, 2017

Passive Money

  A few of the people I follow on various forms of social media have various forms of passive money.  It usually has to do with something they did once; a logo, or ebook that then sells off of a website.  I have had a bit of that with the two pay knitting patterns I have up on Ravelry.  I know I had plans on putting up more at this point, but I keep getting distracted.
  I do have the yarn I need for it, so once I finish the Better Together shawl, a commission knit, a little leafy dress, and the Impulse Scallop Shall, then I should have time for it.  It also gives me a bit more time to decide if I want to make it into a half or full circle shawl.
  Bill has taken a bunch of really nice pictures while we were on vacation and I thought it would be really cool for him to do something with them.  I know a lot of cosplayers sell prints online and that is how they get most of their money.  I know that Bill would rather be seeing the sights than stuck in a cubicle, so I thought this might be a neat idea.  Do both for a while and if the photos become popular enough, switch over to that.  Don't know if he will try it out or not.

  Two of my neighbors have put their houses up for sale recently.  One sold really quickly (the one I saw before we left for Scotland) and the other has been listed for a few weeks, but has had no real bites yet.  At first I was a bit bummed because of the picture above.  I didn't know that Gail crocheted and of course I learn about it as they are leaving.
  When I talked to her I got some good news.  They aren't in a huge hurry to get their house sold.  This means that I got to tell her about Wednesday knit-night and tell her that I also crochet.  She was really interested in it and might come out some Wednesday and hang out.
  I also got to learn more about what she makes.  She got tired of just crocheting afghans for people and they got tired of receiving them.  She then started making bears for Mother Bear Project.  The bears can be either knitted or crocheted.  I told her I would keep an eye out for some bear colors at the Free Yarn Event that was in the plans for later in the day.

  One of my friends told me about this and we decided to check it out.   My mom was worried that if we got there too late that all the yarn would be gone.  I was less worried about that even though it wasn't mentioned anywhere how much yarn or what kinds there would be.
  The picture above is about how it looked when we got there.  This doesn't show any of the yarn taken by people who got there before us and it doesn't show the many bins of yarn that were brought out while we were browsing.  There was a ton of Homespun.  I have a love/hate relationship with that stuff.  I love the way it feels, but the twisted texture isn't very friendly to work with if you hold the yarn in a tight manner.  There were also a bunch of fluffy bulky yarns and some Red Heart Super Saver.  It seems the yarn was in bags which had to be generally sorted and put into the bins, that is why it was taking a bit for them to get it all out.
  The pervious owner of the yarn had gone to stores when they were closing or going out of business and buying all their yarn.  The amount of yarn that has gone unused may look impressive, but it turned out that she has made over 300 prayer shawls for her local Prayer Shawl Ministry.  That is super impressive and also explained why most of the yarns she had were nice and soft.
  Later in the day they posted on the Event page that all the yarn has found new homes.  It was really hard for me to not grab all of the bulky yarn since there were so many fun colors and it is so nice to work with.  I did grab a few colors and hope to figure out what to do with them soon.  I'm glad Ravelry has the search features that it does.  Put in the yarn, how much I have, and also have the option to put in what kind of item I might have in mind.  So nice!

Monday, June 12, 2017

I Wish I Remembered What The Commercial Was For...

  During one of our down night's in Scotland I saw a really funny commercial.  It starts with the guy looking at a clock doing the usual "If I fall asleep right now, I will get 5 hours of sleep."  It then cuts to him in his brain like a control center asking for the statistics.  Someone hands him a sheet of paper and tells him that if he falls asleep right now he will get 4.5 hours of sleep.  He says "Let's Do It" and someone says "Bring on the sheep."  Someone shoves a sheep into a spotlight, everyone in the command center turn to it and they all say "One!" together.

   I wanted to take a picture of the wraps before I took them out.  I thought that part looked odd when I was looking at the picture of the finished shawl on the pattern, but it wasn't a big deal.  I don't know if I just wrapped mine too loosely or what, but I really don't like the way it looked.

  I definitely like how this looks better.  I really like how the second set of slipped stitches seem to come out from no where.  I know there are probably a lot of people out there who would like to make it have some sort of transition and the wrapped stitches will definitely give you that.

  I was starting to get nervous about how much green was left.  I was hoping to get to the last row needing it with only a small tail left.  If that was not possible I was hoping to get at least 2 or 3 rows with only the tan being slipped with a small tail left over.
  I got none of these things.  I got one row without the green being slipped and had enough green to get about 3/4 of a row done.  So now it is bouncing around on the back in a butterfly bundle until I get annoyed and cut it off.
  Something else I would change would be how the diamond shape is done.  I would have slipped the stitch before my slipped one on the right side of the marker and the one after on the left side for one row before my first twists during the last purl row.  I then would have followed the pattern until I got to the top of the diamonds.  I also did only a twist to the right or left at joining point of the diamonds.  I might have followed the pattern if I hadn't started them early, but I was worried that I was going to decrease too many or too early.
  I also decided to do it sooner since I ran out of green early.  I'm doing it 9 times instead of the 6 I would be doing it if I had waited.  I like the fact that it isn't hard to do something like that if it is needed.  I also would only slip the stitch that would go on the back of the last twist of a diamond during the twist stage, but not past it.
  I might also do the sizing of the diamonds a bit differently.  I think it would be fun to do the first level of diamonds with one more step outward, the second as written, and the last one with only one step out and in.  Then continue with straight lines.  Maybe next time.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Heading Home from Scotland.

  The Taxi was scheduled for 8am and we were there in time to see a Taxi pull in.  Turns out it wasn’t ours so we waited for our taxi and he waited for his passengers.  We all waited long enough without anyone else showing up that he just told us to get in since we were heading to the airport and that was really close.
  We got breakfast at the airport and I got a croissant that was both more flaky and more substantial than any I have had before.  It was really good and I wish I could get it at home.
 We got in too early for our flight to have an assigned terminal, so we hung out for a while.  Bill even entered to win a car.

  I am a huge fan of planes that have the sections with the middle seat being used as elbow room/tray table.  I gives everyone in the row more room to put things and even be able to stretch their legs to the sides some.  It also means that if you have two people who know each other (or can agree) you can share the center seat’s underfoot area and get more stored away near you and not have to put it above.

  I am very picky about my potato salads.  Turns out I liked the one on our first flight.  I think it is because it tasted like potatoes mixed with cream.  You could actually taste the potatoes and not just mayo.  The dessert was also nice, a layered thing with blended mango under a layer of blended strawberry all topped with vanilla yogurt.
  Since I didn’t want a full lunch on the plane we stopped in at Wagamama and I got the roast duck donburi.  It was really good.
  Our next stop in all of our wondering was to go to the Harry Potter store.  I didn’t think I was going to get anything, but then saw a Hufflepuff keychain with the 9¾ on the back.

  We didn’t have to go through security again.  I wonder if it is because we already went through security once while on the continent and last time we came from another one.
  The long flight back was on a similar, but older plane.  I had planned on charging my phone so I could keep my row counter going, but it looks like I don’t get to.  The dividers are also down the middle again.  It makes me feel like I don’t have any under-seat storage and that I’m just encroaching on the space of both people beside me.  Luckily I know both of them.  The screens are also obviously older and the seats are a bit more narrow.  It means that I was hitting the volume button randomly until I pulled the remote out and hung it next to my legs.
  At one point Heather commented that I was getting farther on my shawl than she was expecting.  Seeing how long it took me to cast on and get the first row correct, I have to say that I am too.
  The process to come back into the country has been semi-automated.  You scan your passport, answer some questions, then it takes your picture and compares it to your passport photo.  For some reason mine had a huge X on it.  I figured I wasn’t allowed back.   The next step is to wait in line for an official person to check your computer print out and let you pass.  He was also confused why mine had an X on it.
  One amusing thing while in line was some guy who was having a bad time.  At one point he threw down his bag and than made big exaggerated arm motions at the guy at the desk.  He really had it when the guy had to leave the desk to get a fan.  He started going off on the girl who was telling people which line to go to about how he was an American and that he shouldn’t have to wait in this line for so long.  He didn’t seem to care when she pointed out that everyone else in line was also an American.
  At least the line wasn’t a two to four hour wait and I am home.  It was a bit weird because I was just getting used to the cars and drivers being on the other side of the road, but not too bad.

  We also think we have figured out Nessy's secrets.  She isn't really a huge thing which would be easy to find.  She is really quite small.  That is why she can hide so well.  It also explains why the pictures taken of her are so grainy and bad, it is because they had to zoom in so much to catch her on film.  Sorry Nessy.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Scotland Day 13: Last Full Day

  I had a good night’s rest and a very artistic breakfast.  I didn’t know you could mold scrambled eggs into a cylinder, but they did.  One thing that was annoying was that my shoes weren’t dry from our walk yesterday, so I had soggy shoes to start my morning.

  There were some fun boats to look at outside our hotel.  I took a few pictures while Bill checked us out.  Most were little motorboats, but there was this one sail boat.  I’ve noticed that a lot of the sailboats I have seen all have dark sails.  Now, I don’t know if that is a stripe or not because they have all been rolled up.
  One of the power boats was circling it’s mooring all night.  I don’t know if it was doing a full 360° but it was definitely doing more than 180°.  That doesn’t seem quite right.

  Sterling Castle was pretty interesting.  They have these carved wooden portraits that used to be painted and some even had gold studs in them.  They used to hang from the ceiling, but are in cases currently.

  The Kelpie statues were a lot bigger than I was expecting.  You could walk around and take pictures for free, but if you paid you could get to go inside and up to one of the eyes.  You get to see how they are constructed as well.  I liked the fact that they were made with pieces and you could see bits of sky through them.

  Our last night is in at the Novotel where they want to look very futuristic.  The wall behind the check-in desk had LED circles which change color.  The headboard on the beds also has a little arm-rest like thing that serves as an end table and little cut outs for light above.
  The desk also has a section that swings out and makes it into a T shaped desk.  Though they only gave us one chair that can be used at the desk.  The bathroom has two doors, but they both fit in the same size as a single normal door.  One very skinny side has a mirror and the other can just be used as a door to enter or leave.
  For dinner we walked over to KFC.  Yup, we have one across the street.  Nothing jumped out at me, so I just ate some of Bill’s fries.  I then wanted to go to Krispy Kreme because their Hot Light was on.  When we walked in I saw that they were making the filled ones.  I didn’t get any because I like the glazed hot off the line and want to eat it before it gets cold.  The filled ones have to cool before you can fill them, so they are fresher, but not warm.
  Later I got hungry and just went over to the Tesco near the TKMaxx we stopped in at to get more luggage.  Turns out we are bringing back more souvenirs than will fit.
I got two grab-and-go sandwiches and a Volvic Touch of Juice.  It was a very nice dinner.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Scotland Day 12: Haggis Pizza

  I know it was earlier in the day and they are being considerate for anyone who wants to sleep in, but I was disappointment that they didn’t ring the gong to signal the beginning of breakfast.  They did it for dinner last night.
  I was happy to have gotten to the part of the pattern where I added a new color while in the room.  That way I wouldn’t have to worry about trying to add a new color while winding down the small island roads.  The long drive ahead of us would have been a waste if I had been stuck without knitting.

  Caisteal Maol was just off the bridge to and from Skye.  We couldn’t find any good parking for it, so we actually took some of the better pictures while sitting in the car idling in the section of road we were using to turn around and head to the main road. 
  We saw another pretty waterfall and pulled off to see if we could find it again.  It was easy to see from the road, but a hill was in the way when in the pull-off.  I got reminded again that my shoes are not good for things like this.  I didn’t think to check before I packed them, but it seems they have mesh in the slots.  Bill thinks it is to help cool when jogging.  I find it not useful for Scotland.

  The Well of Seven Heads was unobtrusive and hard to be fully appreciated by tall people.  There was a monument to it that could been seen from the road.  There was then a set of stairs that lead to the well itself.  The was an arched tunnel that lead to the well itself.  I could fully stand in the first section and had to duck a little to get in the second section to see the well.
  On our drive past Loch Lochy (yes, that is what it is called) we passed a spot that had a snack van.  The food truck was called Burger Queen.

  We made a pit stop at the Spean Bridge Woollen Mill and while we were there we decided to take a look around the gift shop.  There was a weaving exhibition also going on.  The resident weaver was also in and working on a piece when I walked by.
  There was also a section that had scotch and two of them had tasters.  One of them tasted like honey.  I had Heather try it and she was also amazed that it tasted like honey.  This lead to everyone trying the Bruadar Malt Whiskey Liqueur and then buying some.

  At some point near the beginning of the trip we mentioned something about me trying haggis pizza.  We tried going to another pizza place the other day, but they needed reservations.  We stopped at the Crianlarich Hotel for lunch and they had a Highlander pizza.  It had haggis, black pudding, Ayrshire bacon, and Locherbie cheddar.  It was really good and I even finished my half of the pizza.

  Where we are staying at wasn’t originally in the plan during stage one.  But we didn’t want to drive for about five hours then get on a plane for eight hours.  I’m glad we are here.  The rooms have a lot of purple plaid, purple pillows, a purple lamp, and even a purple kettle.  The beds also feel nice and soft.
  The one thing that we are not happy about is that each device only gets one hour of internet for free per day.

  The guy at the front desk of Achray told us that there was a walk up to a scenic overlook.  The guys wanted to go and I was also interested in what there was to see.  It was fun and though it was rainy and hard to see, it was still a pretty view.  I also liked the short walk through town.  There was even a brewery, but they seemed to be closed at that time.

 Dinner was done at the hotel since it was just easier.  We all got an espresso cups worth of white bean and chorizo soup.  I got the cauliflower fritters, they were formed into patties with herby tomato sauce and a slab of cheese.  I also got a side salad and a small frier basket of fries.  They were the best I’ve had yet.  I didn’t want it at first, but couldn’t resist the Banoffee Pie.  It is banana with toffee and is amazing!  It didn’t last long enough for a picture.  I will need to make it at home.
 The bed is so soft and is calling my name.  I think I will knit until I fall asleep.