Sunday, 30 March 2014

March Musings

It's not that I haven't had things to blog, it's that I've been so darn busy!

First, I forgot this from the TTW:
 photo TTW7CookieBag_zpsd95c5fa7.jpg

Gromitty's bag looking like the Cookie Monster.

What's been happening?

Well, I was very kindly sent this shawl:
 photo Shawl1_zps3b2a538b.jpg

A lovely online pal in Florida knit it but found it far too warm.  So now it's mine and she has a skein of my sock yarn to knit a replacement.  I am actually sitting wrapped in the shawl right now, it's so perfectly warming without being hot.

My OU study materials have arrived:
 photo StudyMats_zps9aae9169.jpg

Seven units.  I started reading unit 1 before official starting date so I have a two section or approx 2 week buffer.  Most useful!

Peter is building a crofting estate:
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He has reawakened the casting bug in me.  I was one of those kids that bought the "cast a house and paint it" kits and now I have the skill to make my own!

That boat I was working on during tech wave was cast yesterday.  First the later mold was removed and placed in a holder of sorts:

 photo Boatmold_zpsc43afafb.jpg

 photo Boatmold2_zps3007eca5.jpg

The latex had dried out the plasticine style clay but either some oil or a day in the bathroom will rehydrate it we think.

 photo dryboat_zps49569fe7.jpg

Because I "only" had six layers of latex in my mold it was very flexible so it was bedded down in some old bran to help it hold shape.

 photo Smallcastingjob_zps919d2e32.jpg

Then the very technical mixing of the plaster with the wooden stick was done.  Peter decided to cast a few houses too, and there was house drumming to remove air bubbles:

 photo Molddrumming_zps4c865a2f.jpg

This plaster is truly fab stuff; instead of just evaporating all the water off, there's an exothermic (releases heat) reaction and the whole lot turns hard.  It only takes an hour too; not the usual overnight I was used to.

Eventually we had five croft houses and a very much not to scale fishing boat:
 photo fivehousesandaboat_zpseb78c7c4.jpg

The stove slowly filled with slightly damp casts:
 photo Drying_zps50a43436.jpg

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I came home with my newly cast boat (with wonky bow because the tub we sat it in was too small) and a "spotty house" to paint.

While we were casting Peter and Nicola's resident hare was out for a snack and wasn't too peturbed by my photographing it through the window:

 photo Grumpyhare_zpsdf089a59.jpg

 photo Handsomehare_zps1b4f77ae.jpg

 photo Watchingyouhare_zps5fd369f9.jpg

 photo ShockedHare_zps623ba83e.jpg

But before all this we all went to vote on the Community Shop idea down at An Talla (the voting, not the possibly future shop).  There were some very young calves dozing there, presumably with full tums:

 photo Icklecows_zps95ecfefb.jpg

 photo Sleepycalves_zps0fe53541.jpg

and one that almost looks like a pony:
 photo Almostapony_zps6c3f42d7.jpg

The weather has been hinting that Spring might visit before the end of the year.  Friday was beeeautiful!  By the late afternoon we had amazing views.  I had a wonderful lunch on the beach at Scarinish watching the waves and looking at the peaks on Mull.

 photo GorgeousWaves_zpsb76e2532.jpg

 photo ScarinishtoMull_zps1b53ce7c.jpg

There was even a redshank came by:
 photo Redshank_zpsa7e8fd07.jpg

We also had really clear views from home.

Mull again:
 photo CrossapoltoMull_zps83cc0bf3.jpg

 photo CrossapoltoMull2_zps00efd620.jpg

Rum, Eigg and co.  (I will learn which peaks belong to which island!)
 photo HometoRum_zpse1909b82.jpg

 photo SunnyRum_zps74c715fc.jpg

 photo SunnyRum2_zps4503b60f.jpg

 photo SunnyRum3_zpsf2a805b6.jpg

That's about it photowise.  We haven't really had nice enough weather to go out photographing, or I've been at An Iodhlann and plain ole forgot.

I'm knitting a shawl, well, two shawls.  I have another one buy my enthusiasm for it has well and truly worn off; turns out knitting a border over 10-15sts is boring when you have so many repeats to do and it's not quite easy enough to memorise.

So, that's it for March.  See you in April!


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