Sunday, 22 September 2013

Better Late than Never

Week in Review -

Oh, my gosh what a week it's been.  It started on an epic footing because we had a tour around Ben's next school.  For those not based in the UK, our kids go to primary school from the age of 4-11 and then the move up to secondary school until they're either 16 or 18 depending on how far they want to go with exams.  Ben is due to move up next September, so now is the time to decide where he goes.  On the whole primary schools are significantly smaller than secondary, and it's a huge step for a child moving up.  The school Ben is going to has been working with his current school for a few years now, they start integrating the children from the age of 9.  It starts with the French teacher coming into give the kids lessons once a fortnight and culminates with the children who are due to move up going to the secondary school for a few lessons. The idea is that the kids have an idea of where they're going and what they can expect when they get there.

This school is huge!! I mean vast. It has it's own car mechanic shop, construction yard, hairdressers, professional kitchens as well as the usual science labs and classrooms. I was suitably impressed, the teachers seem to be genuinely passionate about their subjects. I get the impression that Ben will be encouraged to achieve all he can there, regardless of whether he decides to go down an academic or vocational route when the time comes.  It's a big step for Ben, this school took 270 year seven children last year, that's almost three times the total number of kids in the whole of his primary school! Little fish in a big pond has never been more true!

The reason I'm late tonight is because we've had guests over this weekend.  My good friend Steph, her husband and her son have been staying. They wanted to come up because of an event called C-Art.  A good friend of Steph's was exhibiting so we went for a look.  Sophie's work is stunning, she was showing her ink drawings and I have to say I may have weakened and bought one! Not for me I must say, but  Christmas is coming and when I saw this particular picture I knew it had to come home for a special person.

Also because Steph is a budding knitter a visit to Woolclip was in order.  They too have been bitten by the C-Art bug, and where showing their solidarity to the cause by changing the decorations on their tree outside:

I was a very good girl! I bought nothing, so I'm sorry guys, but there will be no enabling this week!!! I did go there with the thought that I'd buy buttons, Cumbrian slate buttons to be exact. There is a new member of the co-operative who runs Sheepfold and she has some wonderful kits on sale. One of these kits is for a cushion. Now I'm the type of knitter who shies away from kits, because more often than not, I can source most of the components from stash! BUT!!!! These cushions have the most divine slate buttons, and I'd heard that she was selling just the buttons at Woolclip. They were lovely, but bigger and heavier that I'd imagined. I loved their texture, the feel of them and their colour, but they where thicker that I thought they'd be. They couldn't be any thinner in all fairness, because I'm sure the  slate would be liable to breaking if they were. I wanted to use them as feature buttons on pieces such as hats, and I think their bulk would pull the fabric too much; on the cushions they were designed for, they look great, but sadly they weren't for me. Bum!

The weekend also saw us go for a couple of walks with the dogs.  We walked down by the River Eden in the village of Askham, there is a small church in the village and as I walked passed the gate I saw this and was particularly taken with it

Can you see the heart dangling in the tree? I think there must have been a wedding there recently.  I love it!

Feeling the love this week -

This week I've been finishing and frogging.

I finally finished Wisteria! I'm delighted with it. It's a bit big, but that's because I'm finally shifting some bulk, so I'm not bothered about that!!!

It's an awful "Selfie" but it'll do for now!

I also finished Sue's Journey. I'm pleased with it, but it didn't use nearly as much yarn as I thought it might.  I had yarn left over from the first ball. This is good, because it means I can make a pair of socks with the second ball.

The frogging happened when I picked up my Pink forellei Shawl.  The more I looked at it, the less happy I was with how the lace was turning out.  So it's gone, I'll knit the shawl for sure, but not with such a heavily variegated yarn.

I started to work on the ballet wraps I mentioned last week, and then I stopped! I swatched for the Sweet Blossom wrap, but couldn't get gauge for love nor money. Any other time, I'd have tried to work some maths magic and fudge the pattern, but it's got a very original construction, and I'm not sure if I started messing with stitch counts, it would turn out the way it was supposed to! So I went back to the Ravelry drawing board and came up with another pattern - Ballet wrap by Shannon Passmore. It's a lovely simple pattern which I think will knit up a treat.  I set about knitting the first one, then had a crisis of confidence. I measured the girls about 6 months ago! What if they'd grown more than I thought they would!? What if I put all this effort into their wraps and they didn't fit!!!?? I've text their mum and asked for new chest measurements and arm lengths! Just in case!!!

When I finished the journey, this meant I now had nothing to work on!!! I can't remember the last time I had absolutely no projects to work on! The gorgeous Louisa Harding yarn was still calling to me, so I've cast on something new with it. I'm now knitting Annie, a lovely reversible cowl. It's knit in a form of waffle stitch, that seems to be working well with the yarn so far. You knit until you nearly run out and then seam the two ends together, so that way I won't waste any of this lovely yarn. I think I'm going to use 2 skeins on this project. If If I like it, then I can knit another and it'll make it's way into the gift draw.

On the spinning front, I think I've managed 20 minutes this week if that. I long to spin, I want to spin, but I just keep knitting! I'm thinking that now I have new projects with loose time constraints on them, I can spin safe in the knowledge that I've got no pressures!

On the horizon -

I've found a knitting group near by!!! I'm so excited!! We were visiting another local artist today (who knew there where so many so close!?) who is a potter (may have put an order in for a couple of his great mugs, and possibly one of his teapots may come home too) while he was talking to the boys I was wandering around his gallery. Not only is there a lovely display of his work, but his wife makes hats and jewelry so obviously the shiny things caught my eye! As I perused the nooks and crannies I found socks for sale, and gauntlets and jumpers - hand knit by her mum! I happened to mention the price of one jumper (over £100 I'm selling myself short!) to my other half and she asked if I knit. I showed her a couple of the photos on my phone of my projects, I think she liked them. So, hopefully come Tuesday night, I'll be sitting with some like-minded folk knitting away! Oohh!! What project shall I take!? I'll have to cast some more on!!!

On the yarn front, I'll be working on the cowl. I'm bound to cast on a pair of socks and I'd like to cast on one of the projects from Pom Pom Quarterly that I bought the yarn for, but which one!?!?

Will I spin? Gosh I hope so

I've also opened a thread in the Rav group. When the group reaches 100 members, I'll give away some stitch markers and a tin to put them in. Still looking for the perfect tin, but here are some of my markers I made up this week:

Have a great week guys