Tuesday 12 March 2013

Tuesday Ten

In spite of many promises to myself to blog more regularly in the early months of 2013, I have not been super-successful. There's been a lot of worky stuff going on - not particularly negative, which makes a change for March which is when work usually manages to screw me over. Ofsted have been and gone (3rd Ofsted and I was finally observed!) I had an unsuccessful interview (a bit relieved it was unsuccessful). I was part of the interview panel for the new headteacher (SO interesting). We had the Murder Mystery (theme: holiday camp; murder: shark attack during a synchronised swimming display). And this week I have Big Scary Session to run on Friday and a fabulous conference to go to on Saturday and then next week is the last week of term! How did that happen?! Naturally I am massively behind.

So naturally, I am blogging.

I see Aimee Artsyville is retiring her usual list-it prompts so I am glad I caught the last one.

Ten Kiddie Games

1. Scrabble. Played with my Nanna. For some reason, although we had a set at home, it was only ever played with her.

2. The Game of Life. Still remember getting this one Christmas, with the little pink sticks for the ladies and blue sticks for the gents.

3. Monopoly. Though, it caused fights. Can't remember ever finishing a game.

4. Uno. They still play this at school up in Learning Support - I have completely forgotten the rules but I seem to remember there was at least one very mishandled card in our deck which assisted me in cheating. I was a terrible cheat when I was a kid. Hence the Monopoly fights.

5. Slam, or Spit, or whatever you call it. This was a card game we used to play every breaktime at school. It is a bit like playing solitaire against somebody else. It got to the point where we had to have a referee and instead of slamming the small piles we shouted "Stop!" because somebody's hand got hurt once. We were ultra-competitive. As a teacher who regularly turfs students out of classrooms at break, I can understand my own teachers' frustrations better now.

6. Black Mariah - or Hearts, as the rest of the world calls it. Father Hand taught us this on holiday in Holland. He said it was a game for three so Mother Hand never played. I must ask them about this now I am a grown up and know it can be played with four. It is definitely not a game for two - Sib and I tried.

7. SuperMarioBros. Sib had a NES, then a SuperNES....

8. Trivial Pursuit. My parents were massive boardgame fans with quite a large social circle, so they had lots of games we didn't quite understand; Dingbats comes to mind. Trivial Pursuit looked the most fun but was the most inaccessible. They bought me a junior version one Christmas and I was overjoyed. It had a bright blue box.

9. Chess. I was on the school chess team. I was not very good but there weren't many of us. I have a vivid memory of taking a coach to a chess tournament, having to get the coach pulled over on the way because I thought I was going to throw up (coaches were not my friend as a child), and then in the second round, not noticing the obvious threat to my queen and it being taken by my rather surprised looking opponent. I just nodded and smirked and tried to look like I had done it on purpose.

10. Cluedo. One to be played with the cousins on Boxing Day.

Thanks for the inspiration Aimee! Looking forward to what you have lined up next.

Monday 4 March 2013

Weekend WIP

I posted some of my attempts at knitted roses in my last post, but they weren't really done justice. I have been knitting a few here and there for a year now; I finally measured my chair, worked out how many I would need to cover it and realised I was a third finished. So, having come to the end of six skeins of Cascade, I decided it was time to felt and see if they were going to come out the same size as the pattern suggested, since I don't have a toploader and wasn't about to felt them by hand.


All lined up and looking pretty. I had to stitch up six at knitting group which was a real bind - I must force myself to do it as I go from now on. I am usually quite good at sewing in ends etc as I go but I can turn out two or three of these an hour if I don't stop to sew them up and it's a bit addictive.

They went in on a 60 degree quick wash, no spin, in a zipped up pillow case with a couple of towels. As per usually, the pillow case managed to unzip itself partway through the exercise but luckily, this didn't seem to have much of an impact.


Some of them turned themselves inside out which made me worry a bit when I started reshaping, but the beautiful thing about felting is that it almost always behaves itself. All those curling edges I had worried about were miraculously felted straight and in no time at all (quite a long time, really, when you're handling freezing cold, wet fabric on a dull March day) they were reshaped and drying on a tray.


I fear they may be drying on the tray for some time; but I'm in no hurry.

I am very pleased with my colour choices. I have some purple Cascade in the wings and some pale pink leftover from the Cherry Blossom Bag, but I am now starting to think something just in reds and bright pink might be preferable. I need to dig it all out and have a look, really. I need 86 roses (I think) to do the front of the chair, and another 40 or so to do the back too, so I could always do purple and pale pink for the back. It would use up the Cascade.

Naturally, now I have successfully felted them I just want the chair to be ready immediately. This is a good long-term project of the sort-of modular variety, though, so I think I will stick to knitting my 4-ply cardigan for this month and maybe wind up some Cascade to keep handy at work for when I am hanging around waiting for a governors' meeting.