Saturday, 29 December 2007

Nearly 2008!

We have had a great Christmas with my family down in Staffordshire. DH's 'man-flu' was on the mend by Christmas Day thank goodness! Santa clearly thought we had all been good boys and girls & was most generous! Some of my favorite gifts were clearly sourced at 'Lands-End' & from some of the lovely shops in Edinburgh that my sister spotted on a pre-Christmas break so no disappointments there! It was lovely just to spend time with the family & chill back. Mother clearly thinks we starve at home & meals were not only very tasty but very generous in quantity! This is a photo of her 'christmas table' before it was laden with food!

On the 27th we decided to take a trip into Wales. Son & heir has an A level Geography exam in January based on pre-released material, The material is, this year, based upon the Ynyslas spit at Borth in mid Wales. As this is just over 2 hours from Mom & Dad's we decided that a visit might help him to make sense of the material that he has to study. My sister & her DH came to, which made it more 'fun' for S&H! It is many years (try at least 15) since I have visited mid Wales & it is lovely, especially, away from the coast. On Thursday much of the loveliness of the mountains was hidden behind sheets of water coming out of the sky! Fortunately the rain stopped as we reached the coast, although it was very dark and grey in Borth. We warmed up watching some hardy surfers before driving up onto the shingle ridge that has grown along the coast from the cliffs south of the town & out across the mouth of the river Dyfi. Despite being very windy & wild, as well as not been the most attractive stretch of coast, it was great to have a walk, blow the cobwebs away and just be by the sea. The dog is always game for spending time on the beach!
From a geographers point of view, there was lots of features of interest & I am sure that it fired S&H's imagination. Geography isn't his chosen field for Uni, that's Spot & Exercise Science, but he does find a good bit of Physical Geography pretty interesting! When he spotted the former cliff line on Google Earth & then worked out how the combined work of the sea (longshore drift) & the river had formed the spit & the land behind it he got quite excited! He was soon directing photographic operations & asking plenty of 'good' questions. I think that this is the biggest groyne I have ever seen. The volume of material trapped behind it is massive. Makes the ones on the east coast look fairly pathetic!

Back at the family estate Mum & Dad were charged with laying the scene for Mr J's birthday tea! Mr J is actually Rob the Teacher, but the theme was..... Bob the Builder!!!! Couldn't resist!!!!! He has done quite a bit of building in his time! It created quite a laugh & a fairly silly family party followed!!

Christmas knitting can now be revealed.
One pair of 'Socks for Veronik' from Interweave Holiday Knits. A great pattern -easy yet enough interest!
One pair of sock is Regia DK, knitted in garter rib. Really quick & super soft yarn!
One pair of 'Waving Lace socks' from Favorite Knits. Two lace scarves, knitted in far less of a hurry & photographed in earlier posts.
One pair UNFINISHED still (see previous post!), issue still to be resolved!
I have returned to finish my 'Embossed leaf' socks & play around with 'new pathways'. I think that I will knit something other than socks after that!
We are home again & despite the foul wet weather & lovely time at Mom & Dad's it is nice to be back by our own fire with still holiday time to come. We are 'on duty' at the 'out-laws' tomorrow & I have declared New Years Day evening as our 'family festive meal'. Three plus dog. Mr J will visit our local butcher in Patley Bridge on Monday for something suitable & we will each choose our favorite vegetables & trimmings.
A very happy new year to all!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Merry Christmas from 'on the hill'

Its nearly here! I enjoyed my 'extra' day off on Friday, although I didn't do as much as I had planned! I wrapped presents, did a little knitting, cleaned (although you wouldn't tell) & fed the washing machine. The weather was cold & damp so Moss & I only had a short wander at Brimham Rocks. The Christmas knitting is almost complete, infact as complete as it will be before the 25th as I ...ran out of wool!!!!! Brother in laws socks, knitted with a novel khaki camouflage wool bought at the Harrogate Show. I checked tension but it never occured to me that it was DK until I turned the second heel & noticed how much wool there wasn't left! Some plain khaki toes should do the job but not before Christmas!!! ********! So that part of his Christmas box becomes a box of Malteasers & an 'on the hill' label with a promise! The label was made using this great website (link from Clarabelle -ta!)
Off to Ma & Pa's tommorow for a few days of being spoilt! I may be fifty (did I really type that?) but its still nice to be looked after by Mum & Dad once in a while! On Wednesday son & heir was summoned to the school 'Celebration of Achieement' held in the grand surrondings of the Harrogate Conferance Centre. It used to be speech day but HGS has entered the 21st century! He recieved the 'Blue House Service Award' for his year as House Captain. The guest speaker (which is the reason I mention it) was Gervais Phinn. The former school inspector & now writer and presenter. He finished off his speech which really was a celebration of teaching, by reading a poem he wrote for his son's wedding called 'when I am old'. It had us rolling in the aisles as he vowed to come & live with his son & lovely new daughter in law & do all the stuff that teenagers so! I promise not to leave my undies on the stairs! He is well worth listening to/ reading if you get the chance.
I shall be able to knit what I fancy knitting. I shall take my emossed leaf socks to finish I think, maybe something else???? Need to do the ironing first. Mr J has a cold (or is it 'man-flu'?) so has to be treated gently! Merry Christmas!

Sunday, 9 December 2007

Interesting buys!

Yes you have arrived 'On the Hill'! I have had a little play and I am trying to load a 'winter' template'. Not quite there yet!

Despite been underwhelmed by the Winter Interweave Knits I found a copy of 'Holiday Knits' on ebay & decided that I would bid for it. Won the bid for a little under the cover price, inc. postage & I am pleased to say that it was £4 well spent. The 'Socks for Veronik' by Mona Schmidt (designer of the much loved Embossed Leaf sock pattern) are great & just fit the ticket for an interesting but quick Christmas knit. I would never wear shoes like this, let alone with lacy handknit socks but the pattern is great. I will include pictures after Christmas! Other interesting patterns include the Koolhaas Hat by Jared Flood (Brooklyn Tweed), a lacy scarf, more nice socks and the Huckleberry Ascot which might get some needle time for my Mum IF I get these socks finished and best of all..... the mug cosy!

This should solve the works 'secret santa' annual dilemma. Buy a mug, knit a cosy & stitch an appropriate selection of letters on, depending on how well I know the recipient! I have 100 letter beads bought on ebay to make stitch markers for when I get cracking with my 'new pathways for sock knitters'. I calls for individually identified markers & I don't trust myself to remember a colour sequence!!!!! The beads cost &3.49 inc. postage & when threaded onto a couple of little rings should do the job. I hope I draw a mate in the secret santa otherwise I will just have to spell out their name or staff initials!!!!!!! Hmmm!

Sorry if the last post was a bit of a moan about teaching! I survivied the parents evening, done all the reports, am planning the remard event, can laugh about the fact that Christmas has been cancelled until the children leave the building. Just take no notice, its been a long term!!!!!!

Saturday, 1 December 2007

From the hill

Loads of knitting going on here but its christmas knitting so shhhhhhhhh! My copy of

has arrived an is fascinating, however for the sake of speed and sanity it will have to wait until the Christmas socks are done! I am going for interesting yarn & simple or well tried & tested patterns at the moment. I could be on for a record of a pair of socks in a weekend! Double knit & garter rib make for an amazingly quick knit! The Regia yarn that I bought last weekend is an absolute delight to knit with.

Its hard to believe that it is December already & with just three weeks to go to the end of term the pace at work is pretty ridiculous. Yet more reports to write, senior leadership monitoring the department (i.e. dropping in unannounced & checking up that all appropriate policy boxes are ticked), Sixth form parents evening (I have 3 A level groups), exams in January to prepare for, reward events to plan &..... oh yes keep teaching till the bitter end! On the positive side, I have some great groups, the geography that the students need to learn is good stuff & suited to raise flagging spirits. Topics such as 'Antarctica', 'Glacial Landforms' & 'Volcanoes and Earthquakes' lend themselves to great learning activities & I don't find it difficult to be enthusiastic about them! Where is my copy of 'Dante's Peak'? My photos from our trip to Mt St Helens in 2001? 101 pictures of glaciated landscapes?.....

Sunday, 25 November 2007

My stash has got bigger!

The Harrogate Knitting & Stitching Show is to blame! Some lovely sock yarn, mainly from Knit n' Caboddle & Web of Wool Stalls. Favorite yarn is probably this, just Schoppel Wolle sock yarn but I love the colourway. Best of all from K n C was the 'gadget' -a work in progress 'keeper'. Keeps knitting & needles safely together. Two tubes for £7! Perhaps I should have got two packs! On the needles are (another) pair of 'Embossed Leaves' in Cherry Hill supersock. Love the yarn, love the colours, love the pattern. Nuff said!I got some hand dyed worsted from 21st Century Yarns. I bought two hanks each in two colourways. One browns, one reds. I think at least one is destined for a Mobius, as are these little orange ball of delight.
I also had my first 'go' on a spinning wheel, courtesy of the lovely ladies from the Craven Spinning Guild. The result was a little organic. They meet every third Saturday in Skipton so I may well join them, although it may be some time before I can afford a wheel. I am told I was using an 'Ashford Traveller'. One of the (many) reasons for a certain lack of financial fluidity in this household is this:Son & heir is 18 today! This photo was taken last Saturday when his Aunt & Uncle were here. We followed a growing family tradition & had a 'table' party. Yes it was a 'Pirate' Party! The Pirates ate curry! I think his celebrations last night were slightly more sophisticated, although as he is still in bed, I am not sure!
The River Rapid Socks (well it was intended to be a knitting blog, not just a buying yarn blog!) are finally finished & I am very pleased with them. Less pleased with the photo but it will have to do for now. I have alot of school based work to do before S&H arrives downstairs!
Final picture, cos I like it! Moss & Mr J discussing current sporting news!

Sunday, 11 November 2007

What happens when you start knitting socks....

You just don't like anything else on your feet! This was the Saturday sock handwash -even if they do machine wash, they feel so much nicer for that extra bit of TLC! I feel real empathy when I read Celtic Memory's post! I have some socks on the needles at the moment. They are my ASK's for October, Nancy Bush's 'Whitby' socks. They are a lovely knit, here is a picture of early progress. I have other projects on the go that I can't mention here in case certain parties remeber I have a blog & spot them! There will be details on Ravelry! I have stumbled into more temptation -Socktopus is shipping copies of Cat Bohdi's 'New pathways for sock knitters' book into the UK & one of the next batch to arrive has MY name on it, so whilst placing the order it seemed silly not to order some yarn. She has a tempting array, but I went for

Cherry Tree Hill Supersock 'Fall Foilage' and Bearfoot Mountain Colors 'Winter Skies'. I think Alice is the first stockist in the Uk of Bearfoot Mountain Colours! The service is excellent & speedy with excellent communications.The Cherry Tree Hill yarn is destined to become Brigit I think, Mountain Colors may be a pair of Whitby's more me. Gigi Silva is a member of Ravelry's ASK's group & so as long as they get started this month they will be my November socks!

On the theme of Autumn foliage & winter skies, Moss & I have just got back from a lovely, chilly walk at Brimham Rocks.

We are so lucky that we are only a five minute drive away from Brimham. It is a well known National Trust owned site of amazing Gritstone outctops & moorland. The paths around the rocks can get fairly busy but step onto the edge of the moor & you can have them to yourselves. In our family this is known as the 'second best view in Yorkshire':

This was taken today, an earlier picture (June 2005) can be viewed here & is more 'composed' -today's picture was a quick snap taken with my phone camera & it was too chilly to hang around! The best? The one from our back door!

Saturday, 27 October 2007

Sea air & others things

The Family J decided to have a trip to the coast to mark the end of Half Term & to generally get some sea air. Mr J has a cold & son & heir has got rid of his tonsillitis. Me? A quick look in my school planner says I havn't got time for as much as a sniffle until two weeks on Tuesday! Our chosen destination was Staithes, for those not familier with this part of the world it is an old fishing village some 10 miles to the north west of Whitby, noted for its fossil coast & general quaintness. A Fish n'chip opportunity in Whitby was also planned! Here are some pictures from our roving's.
Warning: This will be a photo heavy post!

The first picture shows Staithes from the beach. On a geographical/ geological note the area was once a shallow delta in a tropical paeleoenvironment where the slow moving current laid down layer after layer of the Lias sediments. These sediments contain many fossils & the coast is sometimes called the 'Dinosaur Coast'. We didn't find any Dinosaur remains but other fossils were easy to spot & not too difficult to photograph. The rocks along this coast are easily eroded & whilst we were able to walk along on
the extensive wave cut platform, the fragility of the cliffs was all too easy to see. Erosion also produces some strange shapes on the wave cut platform!
Whitby took us a little by surprise! It was 'Goth weekend' & the town was full of ....Goths! This is one of the many pictures I found when I 'googled' Goths & Whitby. It is a bi-annual affair!

The fish & chips were good & less surprising!
On the yarn front! I have completed the toe up River Rapid socks & thus my second Ravelry Sock Knitters antonymous challenge. I just get in under the wire for the September challenge & am in time to cast on for October. I am going to knit Nancy Bush's sock pattern 'Whitby' for son & heir. He seems to favour red socks for casual wear (actually that means his school rugby socks) & so I have bought some DK King Cole pure new wool in Red. I will have to have another lot of socks on the go for when he is around but will make that the November challenge. They will be another gift. Nuff said! I mentioned that I would try the Elizabeth Zimmerman's sewn cast off for the toe ups & I did. I am pretty pleased with the results. Neat, stretchy & not too wavy despite the K6, P2 rib that I finished with. The photo is pre-blocking. I will also take this opportunity to include something REALLY unusual! Something I made with the 'single stick with the hooked end' last winter. I got a bit carried away on my first chain 'row', so it winds round & round my neck but its really warm & has attracted many compliments. It was one row of single 'triples' then a second row of two 'triples' into each single triple on the previous row. The yarn was an aran weight something with lost of lovely colours in (sorry -it was pre blogging & Ravelry!).

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

'Proper' Autumn Days

Its Half Term! Yey! ....and the weather is great! Sunny & crisp. Mr J, Moss & me took to the byeways this afternoon, taking me away from the laptop (school stuff), him from the garden & Moss from playing at 'farm dog'! We had a lovely walk around Fewston Reservoir, a local 'beauty spot' that I had never walked around. It is at least 10 minutes drive from home!

On the knitting front, The Wool Peddler Shawl is at the lace stage. The photo is a bit rubbish. Its navy blue, but the light was going when I took the photo. It may be a bit bigger than the pattern states. Depends on the yarn situation but the yarn (Jaegar extra soft merino) is snuggly soft as always. I have aquired some more in dark grey for...... something nice......for me! Cumberpatch uk are selling it at half price!!!!!!! The first of the toe up River Rapid socks is nearing completion. I am going to attempt Elizabeth Zimmerman's sown bind-off!

I have just discovered 'bloglines' which is a 'widget' that sits on the toolbar of my laptop & watches for new posts on my favorite blog reads. That should save me missing some & using up knitting time checking for ones that are not there. Google 'bloglines' & follow the instructions on the tin! I have also uploaded some 'Yahoo widgets'. They are more lesson orientated (like a stopwatch to display on my laptop & via the LCD projector to the board at the front of the classroom) but the nice little clock that sits in front of all programmes, tells me its time to cook some tea!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

A breath of fresh air

The 'Geography Holiday' was good. I am a bit k*******! But thats fresh air & been on call 24/7 (& 'mum to 20 17 year olds!). We also have a Parent consultation evening for Year 11 tonight! The photo is of May Beck in the North York Moors National Park. I did a little sock knitting & after my efforts were closely inspected by one young man he declared "Miss, your really sick at knitting!" Apparently it means really good! I'll take the compliment & my 'River Rapids' are 3/4 done.
I caught up with a little blog reading last night & some bloggers were apologising for not blogging or commenting. Why? I love reading other people's blogs & really appreciate the comments that people make on my blog but if it becomes a chore not a pleasure then surely the message should be just don't worry, post a gone away message if you like & then return to blogland when it suits you. You can always cite Ravelry!

Saturday, 13 October 2007

October already?

I have just realised that it is two weeks since I last made a blog entry and I have NOT been on holiday. School has been the far side of hectic. We have had Open Evenings, Data entry points, Parents evenings, PMR, I took (& passed) my mini bus test, had all the medical & paperwork stuff to do for that and ....... oh yes, and teaching to do. On Monday I am going to Robin Hoods Bay, on the east coast of Yorkshire, for three days with the Yr 12 geographers on what they are calling 'The Geography Holiday'! We are calling it a fieldcourse in which they will collect enough quality data to produce a fantastic piece of assessed coursework! But it will be great to have a holiday away from school & I am looking forward to it! We are taking 20 Year 12 students & they are a pretty good bunch. The mini bus test was a bit of a farce. I have driven mini buses all over the north of England in the days before such things as a special test were considered necessary but now need to have a Leeds certificate, requiring a medical (fair enough -really glad I passed that!) & lesson/test. The bottom line is I can drive the thing beautifully & reverse a perfect turn along as it is on one particular street in a run-down part of Leeds & they don't repair the crack in the road which he teaches you to use as a measure!!!!!! I think my other driving experiences will be more useful, especially driving a land rover discovery every day & living & driving in the country!
I will take some sock knitting, which should generate some interesting comments no doubt. I am falling behind with my Ravelry Sock Challenge. I should have started some Nancy Bush socks & I have not even chosen the pattern, although I have the books and a suitable range of stash yarn so I should manage to get started over half term, along with finishing the toe up river rapids (September challenge!). I frogged the Wool Peddler shawl. I just couldn't love it. I have just adjusted the pattern to knit two before the yarn over & its fine!!!!!????? I am about back to the point I had reached before I ripped it back!
I will post a picture of the sweatshirt sweater soon. I have worn it & its what it was meant to be. It looks OK, despite being a bit big around the shoulders & has a wide neckline so its a bit drafty. I have found a more refined pattern so I will give that a go. I love the top down process though. I have ordered some yarn (More Jaegar Merino DK) but its somewhere in the pile of yet to be delivered post!
This evening is reserved for 'Le Crunch'. There will be no French wine with dinner (a rather nice Chilean number is warming a little by the Raybun though). I did shout for the French against New Zealand & should (heaven forbid) they sneak through tonight, then I hope they strike a blow for Northern Hemisphere rugby next weekend. But my money is on England!

at 10.06 pm Sue added....... Fantastic England! Bring it on!

Sunday, 23 September 2007

Wow! You are all cheering me on!

Thank you for all the kind words as I set out on the path towards becoming a spinner. I have dipped in & here is my first yard of yarn! Hmm .....its interesting -the thickness varies, some seems to have too much twist & as for joining!!! I shall persevere, cos I am like that!

The sweatshirt sweater is coming on nicely. I have nearly finished the body & then I shall take a photo. She has got cables!

I have an issue with the wool peddler that I don't like! What do you think? The first photo shows the edge that starts with the knit all the way row & is fine. The second photo shows the edge where you k1, YO, knit & is lumpy and ugh! Is this 'normal'? I have tried knitting into the back of the stitch but that seems to make no difference. I don't think I can love it as its is!

It is officially Autumn now. I think that I have picked the last of the runner beans but the sunflowers keep smiling! Harrogate Grammar School Rugby IV clocked up their fourth victory of the season with a 0-76 win at Rishworth School, high up on the Pennine Moorland & in the sunshine. The opposition wasn't awful but the boys put on such a fantastic show of skills that they blew them away.

Inspired by Yarn Spinner's cosy dog photos Moss & I took a photo call, having a 'softy' moment. He is sat on 'his' armchair in the kitchen. He always rushes to sit on 'his' chair when some one comes in so he can have his bit of fuss. We call it his 'meet & greet' chair!He wishes to point out that that's it accentuates his 'grey' side & he really is not so old looking (He is eight) so here is a photo taken a couple of weeks ago on Brimham Moor.

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

Its NOT my birthday but.......

I have some new things!!!!!!! An awesome book that will stretch my skills & teach me new ones.

A thing, made by my father in law, I think its called a yarn swift & its a lot better than chair backs & more co-operative than the males in my family when yarn needs winding! I am knitting him some 'shed mitts' to say thank you. They are simple fingerless mitts to help keep his hand and finger joints warm (they ache at times) when he works in his woodwork shed.

Lastly, I have made the jump, I am going to get in touch with my ancestors, following up from encouragement by Yarn Spinner (Thanks Joanne!), I am going to learn to spin! I am going low on cost & big on historical timescale & have bought a spindle & some British breed rovings. I am still at the reading stage but I am quite excited to get going.

The top down sweater is below the armholes but the sizing suggested was way out (I did knit a swatch!) but been top down I tried it on, realised it was big enough even for a cosy sweatshirt sweater and called it time for arm and body to separate. The rugby was awful, she may get cables! I have also cast on for Wool Peddler shawl, I couldn't resist!

Watch this space for progress on a range of projects -damn it, I have classes to teach!!!!!

Thursday, 13 September 2007

A sweater on the needles

For the first time, since I returned to the wonderful band who call themselves 'knitters', I have a sweater on the needles (or should it be 'needle' as it is a beloved addi bamboo circular?). I decided on 'top down' using '' to produce a pattern. I wanted it to be a 'proper' winter sweater, in other words a cosy potential old friend for winter walks and watching rugby. I wanted a sweater that perhaps was more like a sweatshirt so I have a loose neckline knitted in alternate rows of knit and purl. It will have similar treatment for the bottom band & cuffs although they will be knitted on finer needles. It may have 'fake garter stitch' side panels like Jarad Flood's sweater in this falls 'Interweave knits'. It may grow cables but that might depend on how well the rugby world cup is progressing. If its too exciting it had better stay plain! I am totally in agreement with Sarah about the knitting creating a 'memory palace'. This is becoming my rugby world cup jumper -I hope England win! My prairie shawl, for example, is my 'Tiree' shawl (& jolly useful it is with these cool mornings & warmer days) and I may pop on my ' Les Contamines skiing socks' when I get changed! The yarn is, as I said in my previous post, Jaegar extra soft merino in an Aran weight. I am knitting it up on 5mm needles so despite 'all bits' been on the needles as I work down the yoke its growing quite quickly. I have ordered some more DK weight in this yarn for a Wool Pedlars shawl from 'Folk Shawls', whilst it is still around at bargain prices.
Mr J survived Ofsted! His quote "the most stressful 7 days in 27 years teaching". He has just returned from a five mile run & I think we are going across to the village pub for tea!

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Schools back!

Who fixed it for 10 days to go into a week? Its been a long first week back, but quite positive I think. Easier than for Mr J who found out on Friday that Ofsted will be calling this week! For non-teachers that equates to a bucket more stress than usual in the average school. Its not a problem with being accountable, which is good, but about being viewed through the wrong end of a very long telescope, which is not so good. Unless you teach 'the core' you are unlikely to be watched teach, if you are seen then 15-20 minutes is the most you can expect & it could be any part of the lesson. Alot of 'data' will be studied though! Ho hum..... better the begining of the year than the end anyway.

The temperatures have rocketed this week. Harrogate Grammar School First IV started there rugby season as they finished the last ..... winning! The achieved an awesome victory over Bradford Grammar School in temperatures well over 25 degrees C. Bradford clearly did not expect to loose to the state sector & it was the first victory for the senior side in over 20 years of playing against them! The boys played well & know they can play better! Similar to England except England did not play well!

On the knitting front I have completed another lace scarf from Victorian Knitting Today. It is the same as the 'Mother in Law' Christmas scarf. The pattern is called 'Scarf with stripped border'! This time the recipient will be my aunt & the yarn is a lace weight hand painted yarn bought on ebay from 'Angels and Elephants' in Cornwall. The colours wouldn't be a choice I would make for myself but I think they will suit Auntie. The welding wires did another good job. I realised after writing my previous post about said wires that I hadn't told the full story here but on Ravelry, so here goes. I had decided I needed some blocking or dressing wires, found one seller in the UK but realised these would cost about £30 with postage. I had seen references to using 'welding wire' & 'buying on ebay' so I looked it up on ebay & sure enough there they were but in a range of widths, lengths & metals. Clearly I needed stainless steel but what width? I nearly ordered some 'proper' wires but was then passing the local agricultural engineers/ hardware shop & thought that I could only make a fool out of myself by asking about welding wires so stopped off. I prepared my 'speech', which was something like " Hi, I have been told I need some stainless steel welding wire, not for welding but for stretching knitting (smile)". I tried it out on the lady in the shop, who decided to get rid of me to the workshop. I went downstairs to the workshop & repeated my speech to the first guy I encountered. he laughed & said I needed to talk to Nick who I would find by following the sound of whistling. Nick found, I repeated my speech. "How wide?" he said. "Fine as possible" my reply. "Would these do?" Would they? Bingo! "Oh yes!" He asked how many I needed and the number ten seemed reasonable. When I asked how much he just grinned & said nothing! I was one happy bunny as I scuttled back to the car clutching my precious 10 x 1 metre 'quite fine' welding rods! and they work...... magic! Bet he is still grinning about been asked for knitting accessories amongst the tractor parts! I also bought some shetland sock yarn from 'angels' as well & I am sure I will buy there again.

I have decided that I need to knit me a sweater! A good wool, comfy sweater. I scooped a bargin of aran jaegar extra soft merino in a sort of taupe colour & I am tootling around with swatches & things at the moment. This is the aran weight version of the yarn that I knitted my Prarie shawl in & I love its soft squidy woollyness! It must be 'in the round' knitting, it could be bottom up or top down. It might have some aran detail, it may have some waist shaping. Time will tell. Hopefully Elizabeth Zimmerman would be proud!

Thursday, 30 August 2007

Is it the end of Summer or the beginning of Autumn?

It is sunny and windy here on the hill. We are back to school on Monday, which is sometimes the trigger for an 'Indian Summer'. I actually like Autumn & look forward to many aspects of winter so perhaps I will go with 'start of Autumn'. Is this the sign of a hard winter to come or a wet summer just gone? The thing I have disliked about our fairly appalling summer (weather wise) has been the unpredictability. We had two scorching days at the weekend when shorts & t-shirt were the order of the day, yet by Tuesday I was shivering in cotton trousers & short sleeved shirt. The land & stone in the buildings has not heated up to any degree so the thinnest veil of cloud over the sun seems to set the temperature to plunge. We actually lit a fire on Tuesday evening ....... indoors! Last Thursday was GCSE exam results and as I have had a fairly big involvement with Year 11 it was time for Mrs J. to return to school, which does mark the beginning of the end of summer for me. Not such a nervy day as the previous year when son & heir got his though! School has a fantastic set of results, best we have had by a country mile! Best subject in terms of %A-C grades you ask? Geography! .... and we outstripped our target % A-C. Overall my group did really well so I am happy with that, although I doubt it will be deemed good enough by the powers that be!

Some quality knitting time has been had over the Bank Holiday weekend as we drove down to my Mum & Dad's, which is just over two hours away. I have knitted one of my brother in laws 'Gryffindor' socks although I have grave reservations about the amount of yarn left as I did them a bit longer & wider in the foot than I normally knit. We shall see. At worst I hope I will just have to frog the foot and knit on 64 not 72 stitches! Remind me that knitting plain garter stitch is BORING!!!!!! I have knitted an' Odessa' hat as well for a bit of variety & am on sock two of the 'Rapid River' socks which is a lovely pattern to knit. I need a 'big' project on the needles as well as the usual socks, hats, mitts........ but I am still waiting for my Fall copy of Interweave Knits before deciding what to start!!!!!! Where is it? The 'blocking wires' aquired from the local agricultural hardware shop & engineers were just the job for blocking Mother in Law's scarf. I bet that bloke dined out for days on this batty woman asking for welding wires to sort out her knitting!

If you belong to a broader 'crafting church' than just (sorry, did I say 'just'? Take 100 lines Mrs J!) knitting, and you happened to be in the Skipton area, then I would recommend a trip to Samuel Taylor's at Embsay Mills, about 2 miles outside Skipton & just opposite the Steam Railway & sometime home of Thomas the Tank Engine & friends. What a treasure trove for quilters, stitchers & those into paper crafts! I bought two 'fat quarters' which I used to line my Yorkshire/ French Market bag. Knitting as a craft was represented mainly by a selection of Rowen yarn! Nice but not earth shattering.

Before the Bank Holiday Mr J, dog & I managed a walk around Grimwith reservoir. It was good to stretch our legs & reminded us what gorgeous countryside we have just beyond our back door. The edge of the Yorkshire Dales National park is only 8 or 9 miles west of her & yet we don't go often enough. We vowed to make this a 'regular' thing through Autumn & Winter. S&H arrived back from school Rugby training last night with his fixture list. It looked a fairly full programme at least until January, so that deals with many Saturday morning's and some Saturday afternoon's! ........ and then there will be Sunday fixtures with the rugby club! This will probably be his last year playing rugby locally so we will watch as much as we can. I won't dwell on that thought too much or I will need tissues, lots of tissues!