Saturday, November 24, 2007

Shine on harvest sock

My Harvest Sock Swap package arrived from Maggie.
She sent some lovely things: Pumpkin Cookies, chocolate, tea, hot cocoa, a really nice knitting journal, winter-scented candle and the yarn is wonderful.

The sock she included is this one:

I love the colours and am looking forward to having a go at doing the second sock.

The pattern is Aurelia.

Thank you Maggie!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


I found this in my stash:

The plummy colour isn't showing up correctly here - the flash has made it look much bluer. Nevermind.

The timing was just right as I was going out this weekend to look for something to make the Juliet knitted waistcoat in. I've been wondering about this pattern for a while, but the beauty of Ravelry is that I've had chance to see it on a variety of body shapes and sizes.

I'm optimistic it will work, but if it doesn't it will have been a quick knit anyway. I cast on a couple of evenings ago, but no pictures yet. It feels hard on the hands to be knitting with something so heavy after a long period of socks and lightweight yarns.

I finished the first Cherry Tree Hill Jaywalker: here it is looking lots brighter than it did on the train last week.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

OK, it's personal

...Blogger just hates mac! So, I'm writing this post on J's PC. The one with the crappy Z board keyboard that j broke so he swapped it with his dad's. How does J put up with this?

Anyway...trying not to let the inconsequentials get me down and moving on.
This sock and I went to London this weekend to take part in a marking pilot for KS2 SATS - tests at the end of Primary School for all 11 year olds - and we were very tired when we got back.
Here it is looking grey and limp in a GNER standard seat. I looked very much the same.

When we got back this parcel from Deb was waiting for us.

It's a coffee swap package and it made me very excited. I ended up being allocated two swap partners in this year's coffee swap and things were getting so complicated that I decided to just sit back and enjoy being involved in both swaps. Deb lives in Riverbank Ca, which looks lovely. So much nicer than grey Teesside at this time of year. I do hope my parcels arrive with Deb and Natalie soon. I posted them 2 weeks ago and this can be a tricky time in the postal world. Oh, for a Moist Von Lipwig round here!

Deb truly spoiled us (I say us as all those sweets you can see disappeared in various directions as soon as J and j saw them)with gorgeous items. The coffee - from Ritual - is delicious, there is the most amazing kaleidescope to help make creative colour choices with yarn and talking of yarn:

I'll have another go at photographing this in better light, but it's Shimmer from Knitpicks. I know just what I want to try. It's this. Apologies for the fact that it's a Ravelry link, but I can't find it anywhere else.

I love this too:

Deb works on Rennaisance Fairs (not fair, I want to work on Rennaisance fairs too!)and this mug was made by another crafter on the fair. I love blue studio pottery. So much so that I have shelves like this:

This is all from the Wold Pottery at various points in its history.

Thanks again Deb!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Blogger anger

Do I detect another 'improvement' that makes it impossible for me to upload photos?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Is it only Wednesday?

4am and I can't sleep, although I'm really tired.

Monday - Trip to Teesmouth Field Centre with our class. Great fun and lovely to see so many of our student engaged and participating. Reflected that I should maybe have a door fitted in my classroom and teach half of them outside. It was bitterly cold and so many parents sent their children in dressed for a walk on a spring morning - not prepared to face the evils of the North East Coast in November.
Took some wonderful pictures, but this isn't the place to show them. We have to be so careful with children's images. It's sad really.

I had to leave the trip at lunchtime to go to the funeral of one of our school Governors,an amazing lady.

Tuesday - must have spent 4 hours of my working day unravelling a friendship problem that had escalated into something more complicated. On top of the usual plate spinning, juggling and trying to do a good job of teaching... at least my missing wolf has been returned to me... don't ask, he's a puppet. Did I tell you I do puppets? Only at work.

Then...'an opportunity' has arisen to do another job, similar to mine, in more challenging circumstances, in January. It's come from somewhere, a bit like an offer from Don Corleone - one you can't refuse. Trouble is, it definitely wouldn't be on my list of top 10 most wanted appointments. Oh, well. Oh, Hell!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Cutting out...

...well, mainly cutting out...

I've had a student teacher, working in the class I share with a colleague, for a while now. Her placement ended last Wednesday. While she was lovely and caring and very hard working - as most student teachers I have ever met are, the classroom (and the children) has frayed a bit around the edges. We had to work very hard for the last two days to re-establish our brand of focus and attention to detail.

We have a challenging class - mostly boys, mostly Special Educational Needs, mostly well below age-related expectations of attainment. But they are great fun and very rewarding most of the time. I love to see the progress they are making and to see how mutually supportive they are becoming.

Anyway - we started a few new themes this week and launched the Big Write across school on Friday. While I love to start something new there is always the tons of support materials and resources that need putting together.

So, I've been writing, designing, printing but mainly cutting out...

Have I been reading too much Terry Pratchett lately?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Weekend at last

Finally the weekend and we can relax. J is having a whole week off as he's really tired. I worry that he overdoes things, but at least he seems to be able to recognise that he needs a break before work wears him down completely. He had a birthday this week - 53 years old. He's not really bothered about birthdays, but we were chatting over our breakfast latte and both gave thanks for the fact that he's around to see his birthday.

Changing the subject totally...
I love this yarn. It's Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino in Old Rose.

I'm knitting another pair of Jaywalkers. It was an easy pattern to start on the train and J felted my last pair with his enthusiastic approach to laundry.

Butternut squash was plentiful at the organic farm today. I made butternut squash and roast red pepper soup. Excuse the lack of glamour in presentation, but I just loved the colour so much.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Going to Birmingham today for a conference tomorrow. Couldn't find a train that would get there in time tomorrow morning and there are no airlines that go there from our local airposrt any more. Don't want to drive as it would mean hitting Junction 6 of the M6 at 8am.
What a performance! I used to travel a lot in my job, but I decided to stop some time ago and this simple, small overnight trip has me unsettled.

I'm off to finda small knitting project to take with me.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

The waves that plunged along the shore

A fabulously crisp and bright day for a walk on the beach. The sea was quite wild and very noisy - just how I love it.

I had the wrong handbag with me for the outfit! Not enough time to swap over so I was left carrying a smart work bag in my sweats - how daft. It's just one of those silly little things that bothers me.

J got some bargain Universal Winter-Flowering Pansies while he was at the organic veg place. He's planted tubs of them up for the drive - they will really brighten up the front when everything else dies back.

I'm ridiculously happy today - having got a new pair of boots! Just love boots! This company does amazing boots - great for gals like me with fat legs, although I do believe they cater for every size!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

By all these lovely tokens...

There's a definite chill in the air now and we're starting to see signs of Autumn in the garden. I was worried that we'd go straight from green to brown and dead, missing out the beautiful middle bit.

This is how J 'wraps' the deck for winter. The deck has a plexiglass roof all year round - so we can sit outside in a typical Northern Summer. In the Autumn he adds plastic panels to the wooden frame, enclosing it all except a doorway. When the Winter really sets in, if it snows he adds a heavy-duty polythene sheet over the doorway. It means all his tender (and expensive) specimens survive even the harshest winters.

The maples are turning.

The quinces are fruiting.

The Copper Beech is, well, copper...

I have finally found something that works with the large quantities of rather fuzzy aplaca I bought.

It's another attempt at the San Francisco Shirtail from Just One More Row. I like the way it's working out.

All of my winter swaps are safely off in the post: Coffee Swap, Harvest Sock Swap, International Scarf Exchange. The parcels have been travelling to and from work with me for a week, but I've kept missing the post office opening hours. At least they're all on their way now.