Monday, 22 August 2011

You in your small corner

And I in mine - from my small corner today , this is the first Coffee Break sock finally finished . I couldn't work out the spiral effect from the graph provided so just continued the pattern straight up and added a nice manly thick rib since its for FIL .
The yarn is gorgeous and a pleasure to knit , however the chart for the spiral effect had me completely baffled so it took me a week after ripping out several times , to decide to modify the pattern . Also , I think FIL would prefer a plainer pattern , being a traditional Scotsman .
Was feeling frustrated that I hadn't finished anything , so I think a little change to my usual (lack of) routine . Now the children are back at school , it will make it easier to focus my energy on finishing things AND getting the house in order (although the last one is a pretty steep order).
It feels good to sort things out , get them done , tick the boxes then sit back and have a coffee break .
I've got addicted to the quick crossword in the paper recently , some days I get it done quickly , other days I struggle to understand the clues . Sometimes I go back the next day and the clues become clearer , so I go on to finish it . Result .
However , in reading the other parts of the newspaper , I am getting more confused and things are becoming less clear to me . Newspapers can do that , the reporting of news has always been (a wee bit verging on the) sensational (broadsheet) , or completely sensational (red-tops) .
Apparently (after these riots) our Country is in moral decline . Although there was a picture of over 20,000 people who came out in a show of unity and grief over the deaths of 3 young men . There was no fighting or mud-slinging there , just a dignified father who inspired his city , and made me proud to be part of this country . And the people came out to help with the clean-up and provide for those in need , was , too , inspiring .
Also , those who partook in the rioting are to be dealt with more severely than your usual crooks . Naively I thought the law was impartial and not arbitrary . Why should someone be dealt with more severely than another for committing the same crime ? Why are we putting petty thieves in with hardened criminals and setting them up for a life of criminality ? What happened to community service ? Why is the government interfering with the law and where is Cherie Booth when you need her ?
What is the British Government doing to Britain ?
And why is the stealing of goods and the jailing of thieves front page news when the death of people ends up six pages in ?
What is the British media doing to Britain ?
I look at Norway which has just come out of a months mourning for the victims of the massacre , and I get a peek at the beauty of human dignity. I don't hear shouting for more restrictive laws , or mobs bent on exacting revenge on the perpetrator .
It appears that if we don't ask these questions , if we don't rise above exacting revenge , if we care more for possessions than life then , yes , that is moral decline . When we lack tolerance and civility , when we blame the very least in our society for its ills , we have moral decline .
I don't believe we do have moral decline in this country , there are too many good , decent , caring people . People who give up their time and money freely to help others , run charities , look after the vulnerable , provide for the less well off , give company to the lonely .
Its time the politicians in charge actually met the people who truly "run" the country , the true and the good , the "Big Society" . Don't make their job harder .
Try and be a little more like Norway , shining like a clear pure light in a dark world .

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Guild Day Out (and back to school!)

Well , its back to school for my two this morning - neither was too pleased about it but they put on a brave face and said goodbye to the rabbit before they left.
DS2 was trying to see if she wanted to join him at school - don't think so !
Grin and bear it like men (cough) , or was that grimace and bear it .
Had a lovely weekend , Saturday was the Guild day out to the Summer School Exhibition through in Queen Margaret Uni outside Edinburgh . Five of us met at Once a Sheep shop in Gourock , and the very kind Ange drove us through to the Uni , which is near Musselburgh . It was a very inspirational as well as aspirational exhibition , as there was Certificate of Achievement projects on display and the Summer School class and tutor work . The weaving Certificate of Achievement project on display was amazing and caught the eye of Ange , who is soon to embark on her own C of A in Weaving . I am not sure if she was inspired as much as overwhelmed by it all . The spinning project was fascinating and I was amazed at some of the handknits from handspun that were "rejected" as part of the project for various reasons , two beautiful Estonian Lace shawls were not accepted - High standards indeed.
Also many of the tutors had put on displays of their work , and they looked fabulous - sadly can't remember who this one belonged to , I just loved the gorgeous spindles and the Estonian Lace Shawls !
Next to Janet Renouf-Millers display was this fabulous dress and shawl by Di Gilpin . Janet had her handknits from handspun yarn , as well as some lovely crochet pieces too . The yarn was so soft , and her chevron cardi is just gorgeous (its just peeking out the left had side of the photo !) . She is truly a talented lady . We meet her in the "suppliers" hall , after she had finished her last class , and she was looking forward to the meal and ceilidh later that evening celebrating the end of another Summer School . Janet teaches regularly at Once a Sheep and her classes are always sold out very quickly , she is a super teacher .
There was also the chance to borrow from the Guild library , usually based in Sheffield , and we all took out books that we wouldn't otherwise be able to buy - there was felting , spinning , weaving , textiles ...... so many to choose from . And a few wee items were bought by some of us , Kimmie got lots of gorgeous fibre especially the hand-dyed fibre from Ripplecrafts in 200g plaits . There was a raffle too , so we bought out tickets and popped the spare one in the tubs in front of the prizes we desired . Ange and Jane were ambitious putting theirs in the Drum Carder and Knitting Loom tub . I opted for a felting kit , and Kimmie put a ticket in for the Woolly Sheep .
And she won it! She was very excited and she ran up to collect it . The man calling out the raffle announced that ours was the first new Guild of Weavers , Spinners and Dyers in 25 years! We got an applause . I also won the felting kit , but sadly the rest of the group did not win the carder or loom , sigh . However, we also got to meet lots of nice new people and network a bit for our Guild which was lovely .
Next week the Guild are attending the Broughton Gathering , outside Biggar where there are competitions etc. Should be another good day out .

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Coffee Break

Having a wee coffee break just now , and trying to knit up quickly this lovely sock pattern from Easyknits called ..... Coffee Break !
The yarn is hand-dyed and was included as part of the Sock Club 3 . The shades are coffee-ish and the pattern represents the coffee bean . Perfect for DH's Dad whose birthday is very soon , and who loves all things coffee .
The yarn is Blue-faced Leicester , very soft and stretchy and a treat to knit . The pattern is a very simple one to remember , and looks great , hope my FIL likes them .
Easyknit yarns and patterns are gorgeous , I first came across them when I went down to the first Iknit event in London about 4 years ago (?) and me the ever charming Jon Dunn and his lovely partner Roy (a talented cook) . Since then Easyknits has really taken off , and Jons' patterns and yarn have been featured in magazines like the Knitter . He is also in demand for his teaching skills , and his tutorials for Socks etc. also feature in magazines . He finally gave up his day job to concentrate on his Yarn activities , which I personally think is super .
Sadly London has been host to the most outrageous riots , and many good ordinary people have been caught up in these dreadful events including the area where Jon and his husband live . Local business' destroyed , town centres laid to waste , people living in fear . The post office where Jon sends out his wonderful yarns has been almost destroyed and for what .
So while I am knitting these socks , I am thinking happy thoughts and hoping and praying that these communities will recover soon , one stitch at a time .

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Have got my computer back , also got new batteries for the camera so can use it again ....... when I retrieve it from DS1's room .
Might get a chance to take come pictures and upload them too.
Today is lazy Tuesday , I got a lie in and kids are lounging about watching TV and eating cereal by the box load . We'll head out later when DS2 has a party to go too .
Last week was wild and fun at the Mayhem Kids club at St Johns Church . A lot of hard work by some very dedicated and talented people of all ages meant it was a great success , the kids had a ball. It was a Space and Alien theme , and meant there were lots of kids walking about Gourock with jet-packs made from plastic bottles and brightly coloured paper . The teenagers had a great time too in the evenings going to Lunderston for a BBQ and heading up to Xscape for Laser Tag .
Yesterday was lovely - had a craft and coffee morning where some of my pals came round to knit n stitch and have a good blether . Think I made decent coffee for a change and the pancakes turned out okay too .
On the knitting front , getting on well with the Aeolian shawl , but don't think I will have it done by end of August . I have done 9 repeats of Yucca chart , so almost at the Transition . Request for hats is not going well , need to check up what exactly is wanted and it seems to keep changing . And the pom-poms .... least said soonest mended .
Finally bought Little Red in the City , and the book is really growing on me , I can see it being a really helpful book , and have sorted out yarn and patterns to do - could I have some done as Christmas gifts ? We'll see!
But for now , its back to dong nothing.... just great! Oh and hopefully I won't lose my computer although the patter of smallbutgetting bigger feet might just change that!