Monday, 28 January 2008

Don't count your chickens before they've hatched

I had a good day yesterday. I got a lot of work done in the morning, went knitting with some friends, came home, did a bit more work and went to bed. All in all a good day. I finished a pair of child's socks and generally had nice woolly thoughts. The mistake in the day was confessing that I haven't marked any books in three weeks.

Today I went to school, the weather was not dreary and I was thinking, "how nice, only two more weeks until half term and then a nice week off."

Well guess what? All that marking needs doing asap and the next two weeks are going to be fraught.

Ofsted are coming to town.

That seriously affects my knitting plans.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Spiral contradictions

I have been thinking about spirals far too much recently. I think I made it clear a couple of posts ago that I don't like it when sock yarn spirals. The offending socks I was writing about earlier are here:

(I don't usually wear them with tights like this, but I wore these tights to work today and I couldn't be bothered taking them off for the photo.)

Why then, have I started a new sock pattern with deliberate spirals? And why am I loving it? The other day I saw that the lovely Lady Gem had started a gorgeous sock pattern and I just could not resist trying it myself with the posh sock yarn. And how happy am I that the sock yarn spirals, and now I have two spirals going in different directions on one sock?

All I can say is that when Lady Gem posted an innocuous picture of a sock she did not know what she had started! My spiral-phobia is over!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Wishful thinking

Today has been about wishful thinking and nothing else. I'm really into my economy drive at the moment and stuck to my budget dutifully last week. I had seven pence in my purse by the end of the week and was really pleased that I hadn't spent more than I had intended to. Today I went to town and did lots of window shopping and wishful thinking.

If I were not saving for Australia these are the things I would have bought today:

A red cardigan from Warehouse
Some underwear from Freya
A Yankee Candle in Clean Cotton (the biggest candle they have, I might add)

I went to town with a book gift voucher and went to buy this month's book for reading group. I couldn't find a copy so I went to the enquiries desk and then another member from the group appeared in the queue holding the last copy in the shop. I was quite disappointed about this because this shopping was permitted, because it was a voucher, but alas was not to be.

I did touch a couple of balls of wool today but, thankfully, didn't see this gorgeous yarn anywhere. I saw this yarn Regia Nation 5399 on a blog today and immediately fell in love with it and I really want to knit some Jaywalkers in it. Instead I have started a pair of socks for me in the posh sock yarn Caroline got me last year. It's about time I used this yarn and I really like it so far. Again, I can't find the camera so there is no photograph. The great thing about having lots of gorgeous sock yarn, which admittedly I do in my stash, is that when it's belt-tightening time you fall back in love with yarn you had forgotten.

Remember I was complaining about the spirals in the Maine Woods Yarn? I'm still not keen on that but I have to say that this is the softest sock yarn ever. The finished socks are a treat on the feet and despite the spirals I will make more.

I suppose my post seems quite down today, though secretly I'm pleased with my ability to resist temptation for beautiful things, but if all I have to complain about is spirals in socks, I guess life isn't really too bad.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Strictly showing off!

I've had a tough three days at work this week. Today I got home early (6.30pm) and I am fed up of meetings. Two things happen to me when I have a meeting. Firstly, I get behind with the things that I should be doing and can't cross things off my list. Secondly, from most meetings I get more jobs to do which means that my list gets even longer. I have two meetings tomorrow and another one on Friday. Next week I have a meeting every day after work and a couple during the days as well.

To cheer myself up I have bought tickets to go to Strictly Come Dancing Live. I cannot wait! I booked the tickets about five minutes ago and Ezzie knows nothing about it because he's out and it was a spontaneous decision. We haven't got great seats but at least I'll be there, in the thick of it, looking out for the gorgeous Anton du Beke and the gorgeous Darren Gough. I am having severe withdrawal symptoms at the moment and I don't think I can wait until September when it all starts again. I recorded a lot of the programmes this year as well as the Christmas Special and the Story of Strictly so I am binging (bingeing?) on those at the moment. I think Darren Gough is my most favourite person from it ever and I even forgive him his tattoos. I've actually met Darren Gough. I went to a cricket match ages (probably ten years) ago and he was playing and at the end of the match I got his autograph and I did like him then because he did seem a nice, charming guy, so Darren and I do go back a long way.

I can't wait until Ezzie comes home to tell him. In fact, now I've finished showing off here, I'll phone my Grandma and Mum to do the same.

Monday, 14 January 2008

More socks

I know it's a new year and I know that new years are about new starts, but so far this year I've knitted three pairs of socks and my list of things to knit includes more socks. I thought that 2007 was going to be the year of the sock, but 2008 might just be as well. I've decided that this year I am going to alternate socks for me and socks to be given away. Therefore, my first socks were for me, the second pair were for my pupil and the current pair are for me. I think this is a much fairer system and means I get some knitted socks because as I started Christmas knitting in July, it had been a good while since new wool was on my feet.

My pupil was mightily impressed with his knitted socks and turned up to school without socks in anticipation of wearing his woolly pair. The trouble is that now all the kids want socks and they are offering me all sorts of deals. Obviously this is all a compliment, but I'm liking knitting for me at the moment. One of my uncles wore his Christmas socks to a football match recently and said that his feet were noticeably warmer in my knitted socks. I think that he might be hankering after another pair as well. Oh dear, what have I started?

I'm currently knitting some socks in Maine Wood sock yarn in colourway Londonderry and it is gorgeous to work with. So soft, so pleasurable in the hands, I love it. The only thing I don't like about it, and this complaint is not exclusive to this sock yarn, is when the sock comes out in a spiral. Unfortunately in typical McKnitty fashion, I can't find the camera to take a photo of it, but I'm sure you get what I mean.

Anybody able to recommend a gorgeous soft sock yarn which doesn't spiral?

Saturday, 5 January 2008

How neglectful of my blog I've been! Two weeks off work and only a Christmas Eve post. It's quite bad really, but as with all holidays I am full of plans and good intentions which rarely amount to much.

I got some lovely presents this Christmas, including a wooden needle case, a Vogue book about socks, which Ezzie did a good job in finding, as well as a calender with a knitting pattern a day. (I can't find the camera today and I was all geared up to take and post photos, but it's not to be, I'm sorry.) The calender has some great patterns including some socks which are called Leaves of Whimsy and I'm going to knit them for myself soon.

I did manage to get all the knitted socks completed. The final pair I knitted in four days, which is a new record, especially for men's socks. Everyone seemed pleased with their socks, but I won't be doing this again in the future. It was too much work and overly ambitious. Since then I have knitted myself a regular pair of socks in Lorna's Laces in Sweetie. They are really nice and it's great to knit for myself again.

At the moment I am knitting more socks and this time for a pupil at school. I can't remember whether I mentioned this in my last post, but I bought Shona's Christmas present second-hand from a kid at school. He set the price, but then reduced it if it included a pair of socks. In terms of the time I'm putting into it, he got a good deal, but I am using up some old left over yarn, so it's cost effective for me. I see it as quite a compliment that people desire my socks so much!

In the sales I bought some reduced Cashmere. It's still expensive, but definitely better than full price. I have a cashmere scarf I started last year and I needed more yarn, so it was good to get it half price.

Apart from that, however, I'm on an economy drive and will be using up whatever yarn I have hanging about. To be honest, I have plenty of yarn to knit with, but this year I have to be more sensible because the trip to Australia is going to cost a lot of money and my car's not doing too well at the moment so I might have to buy a new car this year. I do love buying yarn; I always think about all the potential and there are some amazing fibers and colours out there at the moment. I'll just have to look from afar.

Happy New Year!