Wednesday 31 March 2010

Easterly room

My year 11s spent their lesson this week making revision notes on these bunnies and eggs. So my room is full of Easter now!

Posted by ShoZu

Monday 29 March 2010

Weekend FO

Pretty pinks....

Pattern: It started off as a sea urchin but I struggled to understand the pattern and was (a) unsure I had enough yarn and (b) unconvinced this pretty yarn needed something so complex and (c) more in the mood for a skiing headband than an actual hat, so in the end I just made it up.
Yarn: Rico Deisgn Creative Poems Aran, about 3/4 of a skein
Needle: 3.75mm for the bottom ribbing, 4mm for the rest....I literally just realised I forgot to go down a needle size for the ribbing at the other end which is why it isn't as tight. This works quite well for a head band, though.

This was quite nice yarn to knit with and softened up considerably once it was worked. I think it is a Noro wannabe and, indeed, Get Knitted stocked it in the same cabinet as the Noro so it was a nice surprise when I came across it. I really love the colours and they go so nicely with both my new ski jacket and my favourite stripy thermal fleece. I can wear it as a cowl, pull it over my chin for chilly descents, or wear it as shown to keep my forehead warm.

Unfortunately, I do have one whinge - this yarn is trying so hard to be Noro that I found a knot two thirds of the way through, followed by....yes, you've guessed it....a totally different colour! After the purple stripe towards the top of the band, the yarn descended into a rather unpleasant poo brown and then, a knot, and stormy blue. Grrrr. So, I wound out the brown and the blue until I found a pink/blue bit which blended well with the purple bit I had just finished, and then spit spliced and continued on. Then I had to spit splice about a yarn of the blue bit onto the very end of the skein to finish binding off, but oh well.

I have terrible startitis. I want to knit new things, lots of lovely new things. I still haven't finished my gorgeous blue jumper, though, or the Versatility. I might go and knit on those now. Or maybe this lovely utrquoise cowl I seem to have begun....

Friday 26 March 2010

Fave Friday

Five Favourite Things About Today

1. My enthusiastic year 7 class, who modelled the south east Asian subduction zone for me today - some out of CAKE! With blue icing to show the tsunami from 2004. They were so enthusiastic, it was a pleasure to teach them.

2. SKI TRIP HOODIES! Arrived super quick and are this gorgeous purple colour this year....

Oh man, I'm such a loser sometimes. I do love it, though. Me and the other ski teachers are all cliquey and call ourselves the UNSC, and we have it under our names this year.

3. Made it to Geology class for the first time in 3 weeks and did some rubbings of fossils. Awesome.

4. Catching up on True Blood. I have two episodes to watch before the new one is on tonight (and this is season 2, because I refuse to download and spoil it for myself). I think, if I could choose to be from anywhere, it might be from the deep south - not because I want to live in that sticky atmosphere, but because I wish I could speak convincingly in that accent without sounding like an eejit.

5. My favourite year 10 pupil scored one mark off an A* in his mock exam, and he is target grade B - I am so proud of him! And my year 11s if we're talking about it: they worked in silence for an hour this morning on a mock exam and then I fed them cookies in their afternoon lesson and we marked it. They are a great class.

Now I get to not think about school for at least 24 hours, though. Lunch tomorrow with my ladies at Yo! Sushi and then some shopping, including a medical kit for skiing and all the Lush stuff I like to take with me. I am stupidly excited about skiing, even more so after looking at the webcams today and seeing a white out at the top of the mountain. It's going to be amazing! Eight days to go!

Monday 22 March 2010

Weekend FO

Oh yeah.

Luke's garter stitch baby sweater

Pattern: Debbie Bliss Garter Switch Sweater
Needle: 3.75mm, 4mm
Yarn: Rowan All Seasons Cotton, every scrap of 3 balls
Mods: I knitted the sleeves in the round. I skipped two rows on the collar because I ran out of yarn....I know I have a 4th ball around here somewhere but I can't find it anywhere!

My oldest friend Alison and her husband Andrew just had their first baby in November, and this weekend was his christening. I had intended to knit this to send in my place, which is why I picked it - it is a 2-3 day knit, tops. But then Ravelympics came along, and a shedload of work, and things went wrong like losing a DPN and not having the pattern, so in the end it took 6 weeks to finish and will be late. Love the pattern though, and the yarn.

Cabled Beaded Wristwarmers 2

Pattern: My own. Test knit for this pattern book we're doing at knitting group.
Needle: 5.5mm DPNs
Yarn: Rowan Kid Classic, about half a ball.

The beads are loosely laid out in a Union Jack pattern, if you can see it. I didn't photograph them very well and they were a gift for Hannah's friend, so I can't do them again. I was a bit disappointed with myself because I misread my own damn pattern and missed a row between cables, and I swear one came out longer than the other, but no matter. I attached the beads to this one using a .75mm crochet hook instead of stringing them beforehand, which was a huge PITA but they sit very straight and I like the effect....which is a shame. I think it was only such a problem because the Kid Classic is quite splitty. However, the cream colourway has a lovely soft fuzziness to it.

The Shirley sweater is also going well....

Just have to add the neck scarf now. This cannot be skipped because it is obscenely low cut at present.

It was one relaxing weekend. We did a little shopping in Wells....

And, apart from some Clarks Villaging on the way home, that was it, bar the knitting. Fab.

Sunday 21 March 2010

20 questions

I am pinching this meme from Teri at Knitting the Blues.
  1. Explain what ended your last relationship.
    Probably distance and the fact we were the most ill-matched pairing in the history of ill-matched pairings, fun though it was while it lasted.
  2. When was the last time you shaved?
    I think....Monday? I am about to hop in the bath and have at the legs, though, because as of today it is officially warm enough to wear a skirt without tights.
  3. What were you doing at 8 a.m. this morning?
    Just getting out of bed in Westbury sub Mendip, on my Thursday night knitting group weekend away. What a relaxing weekend it has been.
  4. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?
    Sorting out my lesson for tomorrow. I had to come home and do it, or I would have stayed in Westbury sub Mendip another night (also I missed Mr Z).
  5. Some things you are excited about?
    Skiing, end of term, skiing, bowling and Mexican food with ski trip buddies, skiing, knitting group, skiing, skiing, shopping for skiing, skiing. And then Malaysia, and Jo's wedding. And other things I can't think of, because I am so excited about skiing. I bought new ski clothes today - ones for girls, not boys, so although they are figure hugging they are ultra flattering. I always rent my salopettes so I am so excited to own a pair! Especially since they were a bargainous £17.50. Also I have a bright pink shell jacket and new polka dot ski socks.
  6. What is your favorite flavor of JELL-O?
    Lemon and lime.
  7. Your prom night, what do you remember about it?
    I had sunburn and was very tired because I'd got back from Tenerife at 5am that morning, so I got drunk very quickly and was a bit tearful and sensitive, especially when it got a bit windy and Beccy's boyfriend teased me about this cold snap showing in my boobage area. Poor Mark, he was only teasing and I cried. Then my boyfriend, Colin, turned up in a tux we'd found in Oxfam and it was all better.
  8. Do you have any famous ancestors?
    I don't think so. I don't know.
  9. Last thing you received in the mail?
    New Boden catalogue. Le sigh.
  10. How many different beverages have you had today?
    Um, coffee, water, sparkling water, grapefruit juice, diet coke....5.
  11. Do you ever leave messages on people's answering machines?
    Yes. Usually they are long and rambling.
  12. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?
    Most of the time. Usually though I draw the occasion in the sand, like "Malaysia 2009" and then take a picture, because it makes a good opening shot for a photo album.
  13. Any plans for Friday night?
    Not this Friday. Early night because the clocks change and I will need to get an extra hour of sleep from somewhere.
  14. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?
    I don't really notice what the ocean does to my hair. I grew up getting a hairful of ocean regularly and I have got pretty good at managing it at the beach. I like to use a hair oil before I get in the sea because it keeps it protected and makes it shiny.
  15. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?
    Never. Don't even know what it is.
  16. Do you re-use your towels after you shower?
    Yes. I use my towel until it doesn't smell good anymore. I also wear my clothes more than once between washes. I hang them overnight and then put them away. I am not unhygienic (I don't wear underwear more than once between washes), I just don't understand why people wash things which aren't dirty.
  17. Describe your keychain.
    It used to be 2 keys, a whistle and a memory stick, but now it's just 2 keys and a memory stick, and that fell apart last week so I am not convinced it still works. I need to find a way to reattach the whistle.
  18. Where do you keep your change?
    I have a tub at the top of the stairs, an a tin by my armchair, and some loose change in the coin tray of my car. Mr Z keeps his over the door frame in the living room, so sometimes I add to that. I like to make sure there are a few emergency pounds lying around. I also have a terramundi pot that gets bigger change.
  19. When was the last time you spoke in front of a large group of people?
    Wednesday. I gave a presentation to year 9 parents from all over the county, about the conference in July. There were about 150 people there. I got a bit nervous but was interested to not that this time I didn't shake involuntarily, or break a sweat. I am evidently improving.
  20. What kind of winter coat do you own?
    I have a purple quarter-zip coat from Treasure Island in Vegas which my step-mother gave me; and a long blue chunky cord coat from Boden. Which I wear depends entirely on whether it is raining or not.
I had a really horrible work week, hence blogio silence, but I have had a wonderfully relaxing weekend and have 2 FOs to share!

Wednesday 17 March 2010

Fame at last

I injured my knee for this! (it's only there for this week apparently so have a squizz now).

And you can see when I did it too....when we slide on the crash mat and I am just peeping over the edge. That is because I missed the mat, and at that point I was trying not to throw up from the knee pain.

My hairography is quite good, though. I love that they slowed it down, v funny. We decided at this weekend's Murder Mystery that we should have a staff dance company at school and apparently it's going to be launched after the Easter break, so I will get to show off my coughcough killer moves on a regular basis.

Work is not fun. I was so tired by yesterday morning that when I saw I was on yet another register cover and also found a big bunch of fleurs and a card from my amazing Murder Mystery colleagues I actually lost it and had to take 20 minutes in an empty office to compose myself for the day. So I am having work-free nights for this week. I am fed up with work. Knitting weekend this weekend, yey. I might finally get to finish the Ravelympics jumper.

Also 2 weeks to skiing woo hoo! And the knee seems healed.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

This blog has moved

This blog is now located at
You will be automatically redirected in 30 seconds, or you may click here.

For feed subscribers, please update your feed subscriptions to

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Tuesday Ten

Ten projects matched with Ten Yarns

When I posted my stash picture, I made the lofty claim that 18 of the pictured yarns were matched with a project. Here, I put my fibre where my mouth is.

1. This
Rowan lace jumper with this pink Superkid by Fleece Artist

2. This Hey Teach! lace cardigan with this Lorna's Laces Worsted in the ltd edn Jimmy Beans February 2010 colourway

3. This Myrtle lace cardigan with this Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply

(I sense you're sensing a theme here)

4. A lacy shawl, something like this one by Teva Durham (I am looking for a shawl made from lacy medallions sewn together, a la last year's surprise big hit for me, the pinwheel shawl) with this Lorna's Laces Lion & Lamb in the ltd edn Jimmy Beans colourway from sometime in 2008.

5. This Rowan wrap top with this pink Rowan Damask I got for 69p a ball from Kemp's.

(An aside: When I told my knitting group friends that this year I was embracing pink in an attempt to remove the "Obsessed with blue" label from myself, I obviously was not kidding. It's not really that I don't love blue anymore; I just have a lot of blue things now. That said....)

6. This drawstring cowl (the dark yellow one in the third row down) from Vogue Knitting to use for skiing, out of this Colinette Art.

7. Another Versatility (once I have finished the first one, for me), this time for Mother Hand, in this Fleece Artist Scotian Silk.

8. This lace panelled chemise (although I will mod along the lines of last year's Lelah, I expect; at least I will take out the lace panel at the top, for modesty's sake) in this blue Rowan Calmer.

(Although, it is more likely I'll use Paton's Smoothie for this because it's machine washable; but I didn't take a picture of the blue colourway in my big stash recording exercise last month, so let's just say I'm going to use the Calmer.)

9. A baby dress (Pattern to be decided but probably Crumpets) for Jen's baby Abi...well, she's nearly 1 now but still...from this orange Rowan Calmer.

10. Many pairs of Ugg baby bootees in this GGH Velour (which is a good sub for Berocco Suede).

This has been really hard, trying to make this list. I hope you realise the effort I have gone to. I have had to discard the post and write it in Notepad because Blogger keeps messing with the tags, which annoys me enormously. And to make matters worse they're binning FTP publishing as of May 1st so I have to migrate my blog. I am considering looking at a new provider, tbh. It annoys me so much that when I insert a picture, it automatically inserts it at the top of the post and I have to move it to where I want. JUST INSERT IT WHERE THE CURSOR IS!

Anyway, harder than that is realising that, when I said 18 of those stash yarns were matched with a project, that's obviously not strictly true because otherwise this post would have been a doddle. I think it's fairer to say I have ideas for several of the other yarns, if not concrete patterns; so, the Rowan Silk Aran is going to become some sort of stripy summer top. Others are different again: the Rowan Denim, for example, will become an Indigo Ripples, at some point when I feel my body shape can cope with a knitted skirt.

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Neglectful Blogger

My excuse for not doing Tuesday ten is that this week, as last week, I was dry slope skiing with school; and while I should have been home at a reasonable hour this week as I vetoed stopping for chips on the way back, the minibus broke down.....and even though I was driving my car with additional pupils, I kowtowed to pupil pressure and stopped at Maccy D's so we were behind the bus and therefore had to wait with them for breakdown assistance. Karma, I think that is called.

Next Tuesday will be my first free Tuesday night since January, by my reckoning.

I am injured. I did a silly jump'n'slide with other staff on a crash mat last Friday (charity Sport Relief video) except that it was already sliding when I jumped, so I landed on my knee. It is swollen and hurty. I have self-diagnosed it as tissue damage because I can still kneel on it and have full range of motion: it only hurts when I push the swollen bit. But I am terrified it is something worse and I will not be able to go skiing. Please send positive get-well-knee vibes.

I also tripped running across the road to the minibus tonight and turned the ankle of my other leg. It's all going pear shaped.

And my Ravelmypics project was a fail....although it is going OK. I have finished the body of it, bar the ribbing. Just sleeves/neck tie to go. I am hoping it will get done this weekend.