Monday, 28 May 2007

Windy on the hill

What Bank Holiday weather! At one point it even hailed here, driving straight down across the Vale of York from the North York Moors. Its a good day for backing up computer files. We had a minor panic yesterday when the external hard drive (with all of our photos on!) started making a strange noise & not talking to the laptop! Its OK now but it prompted me to add alot more photos to my Flickr pro account. Its a fairly slow job, but I have been able to keep bobbing back to the computer whilst doing other things, hopefully they will be safe in cyberspace. I mainly use Flickr for sharing photos, especially ones taken at work, but I may as well use it for our own photos. I use for other documents, again for files that may be shared (e.g. via Geographylost or Geography Room blogs) but it also has the advantage of storing files in cyberspace.
Its a good day for reading as well as knitting (with the aid of a book deckchair!). I have just finished reading 'Winterdance' by Gary Paulsen. It is the story of running the Iditarod, the sled dog race to Nome in Alaska. When son & heir was younger we read many of Gary Paulsen's books, especially 'The Hatchet' & the other stories of Brian in the wilderness, but this is a non-fiction story for adults that I forgot I had & have never read. Awesome! For anyone who loves dogs & wilderness it is a 'must'. Some of it is 'laugh out loud', but mostly its just a fantastic insight into a man & his dogs as they complete this huge insane journey. Race doesn't seem to be the right word. Alaska is high on my 'places to visit before I fall off this planet list'. British Colombia, Canada is the nearest I have got yet & Vancouver Island the most remote part of it that we visited.

I promised pictures! Firstly Mr J's sock..... Pretty! Early progress on the VLT offering -I have now done eight repeats of the pattern! There are mistakes but....... wait until its blocked!

....and some blue flowers. There seems to have been a spate of blue spring flowers on a few blogs so here are some of mine. I have only seen the highlights of the Chelsea Flower show on TV this year & I was fairly underwhelmed! Seemed a bit 'over designed' & corporate. Rather see a woodland filled with bluebells or the first lupin in my garden really. Not sure what variety of Aquiliga this is, it probably self set anyway!

Sunday, 27 May 2007

another quick update

One toe up sock is nearly finished but I need a better rib and stretchy cast off. The sock is knitted in a simple knit 3 purl one rib and a knit 1 purl 1 rib to finish it off looks baggy & a loose cast off in rib is too tight. Any suggestions from the top up experts?

Yesterday the postman bought 'Folk Shawls', which I ordered following a mention from Sarah. Its fantastic! I had not realised it is a 'sister publication' of 'Folk Socks'. I am already planning some knits from this book. The 'Highland Triangle' or maybe the Kilkenny Cable could be early hopefuls?
The Kidsilk Haze is now turning into 'Stripes and Tourchon Lace' from Victorian Lace Today. After a few hicups its going well -only another six foot to go!
Its HALF TERM! Its only been a six week stint since Easter but.......!!!! The run up to & start of exams is always hectic & what with son & heir taking his A/S levels as well its been rather stressful. Still, just Biology to go. The problem was Graphics -all coursework you see, teachers are prepping them for exams, just (!) finalising 3 BIG pieces of coursework, which kind of delayed the start of revision for the other three. On Wednesday evening we went to school to have a look at the A/S and A2 Graphics & Product Design Exhibition. This was a very pleasant occasion, with a lot of good (I guess -don't ask me I teach Geography) work on display. S&H finished work looked good & he was told that his 'Controlled Test' scored highly, despite his worries that there wasn't enough preparation work as he decided fairly quickly what he wanted to do. The theme was 'Surveillance' & he decided to develop the theme as graphics for a pair of skis, so his final product was a mock up of a pair of skis 'Surveillance Eagle', complete with soring Eagles & beady eyed Eagles! Could be the first of a range .....even Surveillance Sparrow Hawk for children?
Yesterday was a garden day - Most of the hanging baskets & pots are in place. I planted most of the bedding plants, although I will need to buy a few more when the forget me knots finish. This clears the poly tunnel for the vegetables to be planted out (& away from birds & butterflys). Trouble is the soil needs riddling which means aching arms & back for later today!
This post lacks photos. I have photos but to start downloading them now just puts back my appointment with a garden riddle! I may add some later! Carp diem I believe is the phrase, although my classical education is somewhat limited (try VERY!)

Monday, 14 May 2007

Leaf & Trellis history, knitted about 20cm & decided that I just did not like the pattern -more zig zag than leaf & trellis! Hmm......., the extra yarn arrived today. I might widen 'Melon' or I may do another even bigger Cherry Leaf shawl. I even wore mine to school today & I have to say I like the triangle. I can ruffle it up & tie it around my neck, scarf style or let it drape. It kept me warm when needed and could just slide down when I was warm enough. I even did the year 11 final assembly wearing it!
The weather is suited to such items. We spent a very relaxing three hours watching son & heir play cricket on Saturday. It was out in one of the Nidderdale villages, the scenery was lovely, the sun came out from time to time, I knitted some toe up sock & I only had to retreat into my duvet jacket from time to time! The pitch was, apparently, awful, but it didn't spoil the sun or the view! There is a cup match tommorow night & if it is similar weather to tonight it will be a real duvet job! Duvet, scarf, gloves, thick socks, knitted hat......

Red pepper plants arrived in the post a few days ago & are being cosseted in the 'inner' poly tunnel. The garden has benefitted from the rain & we had our first cut of 'stir fry' salad leaves, which we.... stir fried! They work -its spinach & some other green leaves.
I made an unusual purchase with my groceries in Sainsburys tonight. A full length wet suit! £40! Essential for holidays in the Hebrides, but not what you expect to find with the yoghurts! I had actually intended to buy one this year, ready for our two weeks on Tiree, cos if the cold water doesn't chill you through, the wind will! They had short adult ones for £27 & diddy ones for about £10! Mr J both senior & junior are off to see if they can get one, both own short leg/ arm models but find that their knees get cold when windsurfing or surfing. The shorties are OK for kayaking.

This picture was taken last year on Tiree. It is in Scaranish harbour & it what

I see every time I start up the laptop! It always makes me smile! All of the Hebrides are special but Tiree just has the extra magic!

Thursday, 10 May 2007

A quick update on life on the hill

I have blocked & worn my Cherry Leaf shawl! Blocking is magic but the dog thought I had finally cracked, crawling around the spare room floor pinning my knitting to a towel & the carpet! I am pleased that I did it a little larger than the pattern (3 more repeats I think). I have nearly completed one toe up sock. They are for Mr J & he appreciates been able to try them on as I go. I have got used to the pulling & pushing.

The KSH will have to be increased in quantity as I have decided not to do the 'Melon' shawl as it felt too narrow after I had worked a few rows. I am about 10cm into the leaf & trellis large rectangle. The pattern is begining to form & make sense but will require 1200yds not 750 yds of yarn. Pictures will follow at the weekend. I took the bold step last weekend to frog an unworn jacket that I knitted before Christmas. It is in a novelty Wendy yarn & is lovely but unwearable. The jacket had a wrap over front & was so heavy it fell open & off my shoulders when not fastened. I decided too much cash had parted company to scrap it so with my Mum's help I started to unravel it. That was the easy bit! It had been such as ***** to sew up, getting the pieces to part company was the all together more difficult. Still, nearly done. I plan to knit something sweater shaped, probably seamless with the rescued yarn!

The teaching business is as ever! Its Year 9 Key Stage 3 SATS this week & then its AS levels, GCSE's & A2's! I do the 'front of house' stuff with exams, telling the kids about the various routines & making sure they get to the door in order and things (300 at a time!) but apparently our glorious leaders saw fit to test the youth of the nation with Kafka plus a piece on the teenage brain in their English Reading test today! Kafka... at 13 & some of these students have Special Educational Needs & a reading age 3 years below their chronological age! But it was printed in biggish text, on really good quality coloured paper so that's OK I guess!