Thursday 27 February 2014

Scenes from the Classroom #7

I teach an infuriating boy, we'll call him L. He cannot stay quiet or on task for more than a few minutes at a time and he must constantly perform. He will never make the progress he needs to in my subject. BUT! He is one of my favourite students, regardless. He hasn't a malicious thing about him and he is absolutely hilarious. Here's an exchange from today...

Me: Put the fizzy drink away, L
L: (exaggaretaed sigh) I don't understand why teachers are allowed to drink coffee and tea and we're not even allowed even a tiny sip of water
[An aside: they are allowed water.]
Me: You'll also notice L, that I am not wearing a school uniform, that I have boots on, and that I don't have a planner out on my desk.
L: Yeah well you're no different to us!
Me: Teachers are different, L, we're...
L: You're not different! You're just....adults.
Me: Yes, we are different because we are adults.
L: What so, just because you're a COUPLE of years older than me....
Me: What a lovely suggestion, L, but it's more than a couple
L: OK, TEN years older than...
Me: That's very sweet of you
L: Well, you can't be over 30
[Now I type it, I wonder if he meant 30 years old, or 30 years older. Hmm. Oh well]
Me: How old are you, L? 12?
L: 13
Me: Nearly three times as old.

A pause. Maybe five whole minutes during which L kept looking over his shoulder, trying to find someone to distract him. I look up to see a huge chunk of cereal bar in his hand, under the desk. Love how students think under the desk is invisible. There's no front to anybody's desk, except mine - another way in which I am different.

Me: Put it away, L.
L: (sliding hand into bag) I haven't even got anything! 
Me: You're holding a chunk of food
L: It's not food! 
Me: ... 
L: What, it's not even food! 
[Class sniggering]
Me: But, was food! 
[Class now laughing quite loudly]
L: No, it's a chocolate bar, it's not food 
[All semblance of an atmosphere conducive to productivity now evaporated]
Me: If it's not food, why are you eating it?

I do very much enjoy teaching him.

Monday 10 February 2014

Weekend WIP

The Olympics have begun! So excited. I watched part of the opening ceremony on Friday but a work friend inconveniently had a birthday party at a Mexican restaurant so I had to go out and drink lots of tequila, oh, the humanity.

I got this on the needles on Saturday afternoon and worked on it all yesterday while watching the board slopestyle and bits and pieces from the women's moguls.


It is the Swivel pullover from the last issue of Interweave, knitted in blue faced Leicester by Laal Bear that I bought at last April's Wonderwool. Lovely yarn, and a great colour - it's one from the naturals range. I like how the cable is coming out in it - nice and crisp. My only concern is that it's not going very quickly. Some sweaters just seem to fly off the needles, don't they? This doesn't feel like one of them. I am pretty tired though and spent lots of time yesterday dozing, and this evening. The end of term is catching up with me. Hopefully I will be able to pick up the pace a bit.

Here's one of my favourite Sochi moments so far - an Indian luger who fell off, knocked himself out, rolled back onto his luge and finished unconscious. Brilliant. I also very much enjoyed Jenny Jones winning bronze yesterday and the men's moguls was good today. Can't wait for the ski slopestyle and the board across. TBH I'm enjoying all of it. Poor Mr Z.

Monday 3 February 2014

Weekend WIP

Mr Z was on a winding binge recently so I got him to wind my latest Lorna's Laces acquisition, the LE for December, Bated Breath. It is pale blue, purpley-grey, iron and mallard teal - really lovely. So, since it was wound and ready for me, I decided it was time to cast on for my long-planned pinwheel blanket. Here's the first motif, which could do with being blocked properly -

I managed two over the weekend; according to my project notes from when I knitted these pinwheels for a shawl (that has become probably my most-worn scarf) I can get about 4.5 from a skein. I now have 16 skeins of this yarn in various shades of blue; I may have also just requested two more skeins in a discontinued blue colourway from someone's stash sale on Ravelry. A conservative estimate therefore puts the blanket at 72 pinwheels, which is probably plenty big enough. I don't want a blanket that is big enough to cover our entire property, a la Like Water For Chocolate. I am not sure whether all of the colours will go together: some have quite a lot of green or purple in which might clash, so I may see if I can find another use for those odd skeins.

I've also been working on this lace scarf for Parpy Jo, which is going quite quickly: 30 repeats in, of an estimated 40 (it's ridiculously stretchy) -

And of course, on the socks -

I'm prepping for Sochi which starts at the end of the week; I want to knit a jumper during the two weeks period. I have a pattern picked out and I need to swatch for it; so I think that will probably be consuming my every available knitting moment for the next couple of weeks.

Sunday 2 February 2014

Stash Enrichment

Scahachenmayr Lumio

When I visited Jimmy Beans in the summer I saw a bin of these in the middle of the shop, after I had already bought all the yarn I wanted. It was a big splurge for me and I was just a little bit too embarrassed to hoik out a skein and go to the till with it.

Since then I have regretted my reticence and keep looking at it on their website. However, I don't know why - I don't go out at night enough to require a reflecting hat and therefore it seems a bit pointless. Plus, it's $15, and then there would be the customs charge and that ridiculous Royal Mail charge they put on for telling you about the customs charge...

Fast forward to yesterday, when I wandered into Shaw's up the 'wood for the first time in ages to peruse their yarn stock. My tutor group are coming up to their final year now which means it's time to start knitting hats again, so I thought I would see what was available. Low and behold - a whole cubby hole full of Lumio, in a variety of colours, and only £4.95 for the ball! I snagged this one immediately. I may go back for more. Need doesn't come into it when you can support your LYS, I think.

In case you can't see in the big picture, it has tiny strips of reflective material wrapped around it. Perhaps if I had a hat made out of this I would go running in the evenings.