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!