Sunday, October 28, 2007


I can't believe it's the end of the half-term holiday already. As per usual, I haven't got anywhere near far enough down my list of jobs to do, but I do feel refreshed, which must be good, right?

Looking back over the last half term, I realise I haven't really mentioned school at all. This is a bit of a shame as I have a number of funny stories and commentd from the children to share. I have had a blast this half term. I have 18 children, all pleasant and good fun to spend the day with. We spend a lot of time laughing and I was thrilled by the comments from some parents about their children are now enjoying school and home is no longer a battleground about reading and other homework. It's times like that that I think, yes I did make the right choice when I left industry to take up teaching.

I had another buzz like that on Wednesday at the Proclaimers gig. The couple whom we hadn't seen for over 5 years were people I knew from church and socialised with, but they were also previous parents of mine. I taught their youngest when he was in Year 3 (age 7-8). I know time is passing, but nevertheless I was still caught slightly unawares when she told me that D and his best friend N whom I also taught (brilliant boys, very bright, lovely sense of humour, etc, etc) were now studying Maths and Further Maths in Year 12 (Lower Sixth in old money). Nine years? Where did the time go? The buzz came from the comment she made about how it was me who had turned D onto maths and shown him it could be fun, and she thanked me for it. How nice is that?

Although thinking back, I would say D & N's curiousity about maths had a lot to do with it. Being the mean old teacher I am, I wouldn't answer questions like "Is half even or odd?". After all, where's the fun in that? Instead I made them write a letter to the Head of Maths at one of the local High Schools, which we then faxed to her. (Yes, prior to schools having widespread email access!) This resulted in several faxes flying back and forth as she explained that she called them NEVENODD numbers (neither even nor odd) and challenging them to work out how many of these NEVENODD numbers there might be between 0 and 1. They loved it! And the reasoning they put into it was brilliant. Good thinkers, those two were.

To me, that's what education should be about - enquiry and reasoning. God bless you, D & N, for reminding me of that!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Monkeys agogo

I finished my Monkey Swap Monkeys finally. I love the yarn, from Lazy Kate. I wasn't sure how it would pan out with the Monkey pattern at first, but it's blocked up beautifully! I shall be sad to see them go...

Pattern: Monkey by Cookie A
Yarn: sock yarn in "Delilah"
Needles: 2.5mm DPNs
Mods: Extra rows in the heelflap

Thursday, October 25, 2007

If you get the chance...

...go and see The Proclaimers live.

I dragged A along last night as we met up with V & C for the first time in over a year (and indeed with another couple, whom we haven't seem since we moved away from Macclesfield over 5 years ago). We went to Victoria Hall, which I have to say is the first time I have ever got out of the car in Stoke. (As an aside, a colleague made a comment about how I seem to know lots of rough places in Britain. I'd like to point out that I know OF a lot of rough places in Britain, it doesn't mean I spend a lot of time there - Stoke obviously proves a point! No offence to any readers from this glorious city, you understand...)

Anyway, I'm rambling again.

The gig was brilliant!

I first saw The Proclaimers about 6 years ago, with C (I think one, if not both of our respective spouses were away at the time) at the Manchester Acadamy 3 - or the Hop and Grapes in the Student Union as it was when I was doing my teacher training. I actually think that gig has the edge, since it was smaller and a bit more intimate. It has to be said, we had tickets last night for the standing area so were surprised to go in and find row upon row of seats. Not that my old knees didn't appreciate the chance to sit down you understand, but nevertheless, it fell rather... genteel. I soon sorted that though, by jumping up and down as much as space (and my knees) would allow. I think I have to accept that my moshing days are probably over.

Even A was seen to clap along and join in the words of the one Proclaimers song he knows and although he won't admit it, I think he may have enjoyed himself...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


As you can see, by the power of Sock Wars, I am slain by Scar in James C Brett "Marble", a formidable weapon wielded firstly by Sockmice and then Padiham Assassin.

What a way to go... with toasty feet...

Thank you ladies!

Unshaped Shrug

Well, after a slight period of stalling, the Unshaped Shrug is finished. The last photo I showed was taken as I realised that even though I'd ordered an extra ball, it wasn't enough to take account of the extra 4 stitches I had cast on, nor the extra rib row at either end and still give me 8 rows of ribbing at either side. I could get 4 rows out, but not 8. I looked at it for a long time and decided that I didn't like the 4 rows - too thin. With enormous luck, Angle Yarns still had some of the right dye lot in and got it to me quite quickly, postal strike notwithstanding. However, by the time I got it, I was embroiled in Sock Wars, so I didn't pick it up to finish it until Sunday night. It's now finished and...

I don't really like it.

Well, that's not fair. I really like the pattern and I like the garment. I like my even tension and my neat seaming. It's just, it doesn't like me. I guess I just don't suit shrugs.

Oh well. The yarn was a bargain, so it only cost around £12.50, even with the extra ball.

Pattern: Unshaped Shrug by Just Call Me Ruby
Yarn: 4.5 balls Rowan's Little Big Wool in Moonstone (507)

Needles: 8mm and 9mm bamboo straights

Mods: Cast on 38 stitches, added one additional rib row at either end to show nicer side of cast on.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

cough... splutter...

... cough... cough... splutter... what's that pain?... oh, it's Padiham Knitter... I think she's shot me... I wonder how long I have left...tell A I love him... splutter...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Funny sights on the A533

After I took the picture in the last post, I washed the socks to block them - it always looks neater when you give socks to someone if they don't look like a crumpled ball of string. Obviously I needed to get them in the post asap, so you can imagine my delight when I awoke yesterday and found they were till damp because the heating hadn't come on.

I can't imagine what drivers in the other direction must have thought as they saw me driving along, red in the face and hair flying behind me as the heater blasted hot air out onto the socks, which were draped either side of the steering wheel on the indicator and wiper stalks...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Take aim...


Prepare to meet thy doom, Pierced Arachne!

Pattern: Scar by Julie Gardner
Yarn: Rowan 4 ply Soft 393 & 397
Needles: 3.25mm DPNs
Mods: Yes, but I'm not showing you yet!
Cast on: 8 am Saturday 13th Oct
Cast off: 9.30 pm Sunday 14th Oct

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Reporting From The Front Line

Sock Wars II started today. The pattern was due to be released today, so I got up bright and early, only to discover that my secret dossier, containing pattern and details of my target arrived in my Inbox about 10 minutes after I went to bed last night!!


For the frst time so far this term, all planning was in and on the Head's desk Friday lunchtime. A was sent out on a refueling mission and indeed has been keeping me stocked with caffeine all day. The cats have generally steered clear.

"And?" I hear you cry.


For the first time ever in her life, Little Miss Slow Knitter has knit a sock in a day.

Well, okay, so I haven't grafted it, but hell, I need real daylight for that!

I need to get a move on, because my target is in the States, whereas my assassin is here in the UK... and it now appears the postal strike may be off.

Knit, knit like the wind!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

I do actually do other things as well...'s just that at the moment they're taking so much time I'm not blogging about them and I'm not doing much knitting either!

So... no change in Pondemonium or in the shrug. However, the extra yarn I needed (I made some mods and one extra ball isn't quite enough to make the border as deep as I'd like) of the same dye lot (gotta love Angel Yarns - back to me with the dye lot within 12 hours!) finally arrived yesterday. I forsee any future postal stricks really cocking up Sock Wars II, but there you go...

The blue Monkeys are progressing slowly and somewhat painfully since I keep getting cramp using these needles, but the heel is in sight:

I wanted to play at the weekend and couldn't work on the shrug (no yarn) or Pondemonium or the socks (cramp) so I cast on for the first square in my Lizard Ridge afghan.

Yes, it is bumpy!

And finally, I found this at the weekend:

It's called Best of Both Whirls - some mathematical knitting I cast on about four and half years ago. I'm very impessed with my even tension! More designs like this can be found at Woolly Thoughts.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

WIP Wednesday

Keeping it brief today, dear reader.

Monkey socks - managed about four more rows.

Pondemonium - no change.

Unshaped Shrug - the end is in sight:

Just need to pick up the second border and then join up the sleeves.

Have spent more time this week trying to squeeze an extra 90 minutes out of every school day, to be honest. Unless I master that, we'll never get any displays up in time for parents evening...

Monday, October 01, 2007

September Socks for SAM4

I am having trouble posting to Blogger this week. Do you think it's sulking because I'm playing over on Ravelry?

Anyway, here's a FO to show:

Pattern: Moss by Eleanor Doyle at Magpie Eyes Designs for the Fyberspates/Simply Knitting Sock Club
Yarn: Fyberspates space dyed 100% Blue Faced Leicester sock yarn in Moss
Needles: 3.25mm Addi DPNs
First Sock Cast On 15th Sept, Cast Off 19th Sept
Second Sock Cast On: 27th Sept, Cast Off 29th Sept

These are the quickest cumulative knitting time spent on socks. Wow!