Thursday, 17 June 2010

Chocks Away

Today I was lucky enough to pay my last respects to my old History Teacher , the (in?)famous Mr Marshall . He was a bit of a legend at my secondary school , and also , it appears , amongst his local community here in Gourock .
It was a "good" funeral service , in that the he had lived a full life , and was fondly remembered by many .
The Eulogies spoke of the different memories each of us had of him , Husband , Father , neighbour , teacher , colleague , friend . The main one was given by a former pupil AND colleague of his , and was done so beautifully , that I was transported back to his classroom 20 odd years ago (I know , I am an old bat myself now!)
Mr Marchall was "old school" strict , punctilious , traditionalist , humourous , eccentric ...... there are a whole book of adjectives that can describe him . In fact if we were to collate them memories of all who knew him , it would be a collection of books bigger than Encyclopedia Britannica!
My memories of him are that he would walk about the school in his tweedy trousers , check shirt and black gown , slightly bald with an RAF moustache humming contentedly to himself , then as soon as he saw or heard mischief afoot , he would roar like a tiger . My earliest memory of him is bursting into our registration class to take R.E. , and announcing that it was the only thing enshrined in Scots Law that he should teach us , but that he was not a believer himself!
He had a soft spot for the girls and wouldn't belt them , but woe betide any boy who crossed him! After the belt was banned , he would stand wayward pupils in the corner , and roar at them if they so much as moved a hair . He had a habit of running up the corridors pretending to be a Sopwith Camel or Spitfire , and I think he may have spent some time in the RAF , but I can't be sure . One day , one of the teachers came out of the class to shout at what they thought was a wayward pupil , and came face to face with Mr Marshall arms outstretched doing the usual aeroplane impersonation !
As part of our World Ward 1 History project , we collated questions that were sent to a surviving pilot whom Mr Marshall had contacted personally , and whose answers were taped and sent back to us . Sadly that elderly gentleman died not long after , but we had this wonderful living memory of his on tape , thanks to Mr Marshall .
I think he must have been getting on when I got him , as he seemed to be mellowing , and would share some private anecdotes (I think the boys had been locked in the cupboard for getting up to nonsense , so it was just the girls) . From these I can tell he thought his wife the loveliest woman , his father was strict but fair , and he abhorred domestic violence , and he loved good home-baking! He would tease those he thought were "too religious" , but in return would take a teasing for his "lack" of faith .
He was a bit of a gardener , and latterly his picture would appear in the local paper for his prize winning Parsley! A lot!
These are really just my memories , fond memories and in the church today I know I was surrounded by people who had their own fond memories including his family .
To me , that is a life well lived . Goodbye Mr Marshall , we'll miss you but not forget you!

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Marbles found....(almost)

Had a bit of a disaster today, one of my handknit socks (my monkeys or rather one of them) got included in a towel wash , that is , a boil wash and a very fast spin! It is now a felted sock , SIGH!
So to cheer myself up , I started this .... in this..... another pair of monkeys in a gorgeous hand-dyed yarn from the US , can't remember the company but the colourway is called Walking . A lovely lady from Montana sent it to me as part of a Dr Who Jelly Baby swap , and I have been eyeing it for months but just wasn't sure what pattern to do .
I love this yarn , and I love this pattern. I got so excited I started the pattern right away and forgot about the rib! Negative knitting!
Talking of negative knitting , here is half a back of my Elspeth shrug (knitted 4 times before I was happy with it!) which I am now talking to again . Did not get this pattern at all , so wrote my own charts ..... back to front .... now written properly ..... and producing knitting.
It does make a rather fetching sun hat though .... and we have been getting a lot of sun lately , I've even had to water the garden . May talk to it again tonight and add a few more inches .
After finding my "two-at-a-time" socks amongst the ironing basket , I am now at the toes , yippee! That's a SMUG smile on my face , because I finished my ironing too (don't ask about the washing basket though ) . Yes , the socks don't match and Yes , I wanted them that way (think Dobby from Harry Potter and the mismatching socks) . This is Tonks colourway and the yarn is Opal Sock , kindly given to me by my sister (I did give her a Dream in Colour Smooshy in exchange!)
Although it is very warm just now , socks not required at present , however that doesn't stop me from investing in (yet more) sock yarn for when the cold sets in again. Mind you , it could make another fetching Sun Hat too .
Its the "Ysolda Red" from Lorna's Laces , and will be featured in Ysolda Teagues new book apparently , have a peek over at her website . Its a lovely blend of orange/reds/deep pink , too lovely to leave on a lonely shelf . I appear to have "rabbit eyes" in this picture , not sure why , I blame it on Harold!
Now should I make socks with it , or something , more seasonal - appropriate suggestions kindly accepted !
(Earings perhaps!)
Just now there are quite a few KAL's going on at Once A Sheep , our lovely LYS . After the Ishbel shawl KAL , there is the Kaya shrug KAL , and I believe Moira is already on to her second one . Some of the girls are using a lovely un-dyed chunky yarn in Merino/alpaca/silk blend available at OAS , and are hoping to dye once finished . Next months KAL will be Toe-up socks using Judy's magic cast-on (or a form of!) , and I will be using my HULK yarn . Can't wait. So excited. Details on Ravelry!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Losing my Religion (Knitting!)

And my marbles !
And my blog postings - this awful internet connection is getting worse - BT here tomorrow to try and sort it!
Also lost my sock knitting in my ironing basket (!?!) and didn't panic for at least a day or three.....
Realised I haven't done a post since the UK election results , I am not very positive about this hung parliament or Mr Cameron/Mr Cleggs abilities in leading our country out of this recession .
Lost my knitting mojo , well, lost my mojo full stop just now .
Not a lot finished recently except my fourth Ishbel , however I did get a very nice surprise the other day - my blog name was pulled out the hat over at Liliths (Old Maiden Aunt) blog prize draw , and I received some fabulous Hulk Green yarn , which I am winding into a ball at present!
A rather bigoted Conservative candidate was canvassing near Liliths studio while she was dyeing her yarn . Her lovely would-be sea green yarn turned Hulk green . So she turned a negative into a positive and asked folk to donate to Stonewall , a Gay rights charity , and she put everyone into a draw .
That's so Lilith!
Its gorgeous , and I love the wee cartoon hulk on the skein band too .
I think some glamourous cashmere socks are in order , maybe I will use the pattern "Brainless" in honour of the above Tory candidate , of whom even David Cameron (Conservative leader and now our Prime Minister) told folk NOT to vote for him!
BUTT KICKED I think! Okay no more politics , it is a knitting blog after all!
It took me nearly a week to block my sisters Ishbel shawl (Ysolda Teague pattern) , but once it was done it looked and felt fantatstic .
I did Charts A and B twice , 6 rows of Chart A again , then four rows of Chart D . I used 4.5mm, 5mm and 6mm needles , 4.5mm for Stocking Stitch , 5mm for forst two pattern repeats then 6mm for the remainder .
The yarn used was Old Maiden Aunt alpaca/silk in a one-off colourway called Rosewood . Just gorgeous!
A certain boy turned 6 years old the other week! First gift was white rabbit named Harold , but who turned out to be a female! Second gift was a huge trampoline and a trip to see Space Chimps 2 .
Finally there was the party at the local community centre (I am still taking the paracetemol) , of which he said "It was the best birthday party 3 days after a birthday that a boy could have! "
Parents and Bank balance still in recovery!