Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Hello March

After months of rain we're finally having a dry spell.  The feeling that Spring is coming is definitely settling over the isle.

So, what's been going on?

Well, I've been busy.  I did some embroideries last year and was on the hunt for fabric to put them on.  I'd tried quite a few when I was given an "old blanket" perhaps for the dog or the bed.  It was perfect!  I cut it in two, removed the original edging (that kind of silky stuff that was all the rage decades ago but feels almost slimy) and got to work.

First was a nice blanket stitch around the edge to bring the colour on the reverse to the front and then using the same yarn to sew down my patches.  Under each patch is a small bit of wadding just to keep the fabric raised enough to feel the embroidery.

Blanket 1 is done:
 photo ChairCover1Done_zpse30400d6.jpg

I am definitely going to add to this but first I need more white cotton to embroider onto.

I'm taking part in another "mystery sock" pattern, this is clue 1:
 photo MarMock1_zps245c5461.jpg

Clue 2 involves cables and is taking me time.  I've knit cables once and not on tiny needles in sock yarn.  The main time consumer is re-reading which one crosses which way.

Jo spent most of last week in Oban and Inveraray.  I was hoping for the new trike bits to arrive seeing as they said "expected early arrival on Monday" and we hoped they'd come over on the Tuesday ferry.  Nope, they came over on the Sunday ferry, the same one Jo came home on!

He did buy me sock yarn though:
 photo JoSockYarn_zps4b95c880.jpg

So that will become a present for him :)

The trike!  Oh, the GB of a trike.  I (possibly stupidly) thought I could easily change out the crank and chain while Jo made dinner.  Well, I did manage that, but only because it takes two hours to make dough, let it rise, make sauce and finally make pizza.  The air might also have been a bit blue towards the end.

The beginning was fairly easy.  Prop bike on bricks, remove chain housing, remove crank and chain.  What I hadn't realised was that the new crank did NOT come with a new pedal.  So I got the spanner and tried to remove the old pedal.  Then we got the hammer.  Finally, after a little Googling to check we were going the right way, we got the 8 foot long pole.  Leverage at its finest!  After a few turns with the pole it was possible to use just the spanner.  Once out the pedal easily screwed into the new crank.  New crank easily went on.  Too easy.  You know how I mentioned the old teeth had worn?

This is a brand-spanking new chainring:
 photo NewChainring_zpsf3e43560.jpg

Note the  squared off tips to the "teeth" and how they are all uniform in size.

Now look at the old chainring:
 photo VeryUsedCrank_zps5b4f61a3.jpg

Note the absence of uniformity and the pointedness of the "teeth".  Yep, "used to it's full potential" is one way of putting it.  So, due to wear, the old chain was a bad way of measuring the new one; I was two links short and had to do some fiddling.  I then put the chain on the back ring, draped it over the front and started turning the pedal to slip the chain on.  Not going.  The end result was a serious loosening of the back wheel so it would slide forward far enough to slip the chain on.  Then followed the realigning of the back wheel and tightening of nuts.

Jo had ordered a new chain guard, quite a good idea as the old one had been ground down in places by poorly seated chains.  Little did we realise it would be a necessity.

Yep, the old chain guard would not fit on the new chainring.  This is where the air started to turn blue.  I had tried the new guard but the new design means it is a right PITA to fit.  There's a bit that's meant to just slip into the end of the two main parts.  On the old design it did that easily; on the new design you have to juggle all three at once because if you try and secure any one part the other two won't play.  Still, I did it, I adjusted it so the chain didn't rub and had a lovely dinner.

The next day Jo told me it rode wonderfully.

So now we have these bits sitting about:
 photo OldTrikeBits_zps1ef048f1.jpg

Not sure if they can just be put in the bin or if someone might like them for some modern art.  Possibly excepting the guard; they're pretty much useless.

Today.  Today has been wonderful if mentally knackering.  The weather has been spectacular:
 photo SunnyDay_zpsb1269484.jpg

The livestock have had chance to begin drying and even enjoy the sun.
 photo SunnyCows_zps8ce00ffc.jpg

The cable laying boat (I assume, I couldn't check AIS while I was out) was busy:
 photo CableLayerPoss_zps208d6721.jpg

 photo CableLayerPoss2_zps582b6390.jpg

I was with ten others learning First Aid.  I hadn't done it for 13-14 years and was actually quite impressed at how much I remembered.  I will admit to being one of those "annoying" ones that asked questions and perhaps got a bit giggly in the afternoon!  But it was great and the instructors were excellent and very happy to answer questions.

When I got home I spotted the moon!
 photo HelloMoon2_zps18cdb113.jpg

A little manipulation later and...

 photo HelloMoon_zpsed3635e0.jpg

Hello moon!

There are also these cuties across the road:
 photo LambsInCoats_zpsa877f87c.jpg

Most unimpressed about being in bags but probably happy to be dry.

That's about it really.  I'm still helping at An Iodhlann and we've gone through quite the quantity of credits updating the records.  The person currently funding that is most likely unimpressed at the rate we got through them but seems glad at the outcome.

Finally, I shall leave you with some snipe and hares:

 photo Twitchyhare_zpsd5b475fe.jpg

 photo WinkHare_zpsf74c0ae5.jpg

 photo Snipe2_zpsc3792a1b.jpg

 photo Snipe3_zps505690e7.jpg

 photo Snipe1_zps4e73625f.jpg


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