Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Wakey Wakey Rise and Shine

Its back to school today for my younger son , luckily for my elder , the Secondary Schools have an extra in-service day so he is still off school . Still getting up at the usual school time , and helping mum with the shopping isn't what he had hoped to do .
The latter part of last week was so wet and windy , and we canceled our Dumfries trip , and made do with visiting the Science Centre , which the boys adore . Although my older boy is now teenager in training , so "no photo's please" and "really this is too young for me now " are his sorta mantra's .

You can tell from this photo - "we are not amused!"

And a trip to Gran and Grandads' for the kids meant I could visit Glasgow University Public Study Day entitled Re-inventing Scotlands' Woollen Tradition in the Lighthouse on Mitchell Street in Glasgow .
There it was lovely to see were many familiar faces of knitty friends whom I hadn't seen in a while , and some beautiful knitted garments being worn and shown!
I got to see the famous Shetland Cobweb Shawl knitted by Lilith for Elaines' wedding day , and it got filmed for STV!
The talks were interesting , and the Knitting Salon benches by artist Trevor Pitt amazing . There was a lady knitting a gansey and there were several gorgeous ganseys on show . There was a slide show about the Mirrie Dancers , and a presentation by the Shetland Museums curator on Fairisle - visit Elaines' blog as she has a superb post about it .

One of the lecturers from Glasgow University gave a talk on the introduction of a new Post-grad course on textile conservation , and the lovely Karina from Rowan was demonstrating crochet using Rowans British Sheep Breeds wool .

I even got to treat myself to some fibre lovelies courtesy of Ripplecraft and Fibre Forager - aren't they gorgeous!

I have now completed the front and back of the baby sweater , and hopefully will have the sleeves done soon . Its for my niece who is one tomorrow! I look after her a day a week , so will probably keep it here so I can look after it too !

Hopefully getting out tonight to knitting , it has changed to a Tuesday evening , which is good as my youngest is starting cubs on a Thursday. However with DH working away , getting a babysitter can be awkward , hopefully Grandpa will make it though .

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Local Heroes

It is the October Holidays , or mid-term break to give it the official title ,and one of our favourite holidays . Usually , the weather is cold but bright , and the trees leaves are turning gold , red and brown making the landscape very colourful .
We are forgoing the usual trips the theme parks , and having a "staycation" instead ,with a wee trip to Dumfries in between .
Yesterday afternoon , we visited the Riverside museum , which contains Glasgows' transport collection , and berthed outside is the Tall Ship .
Its an unusual building , designed by the architect Zaha Hadid , but once the children stopped running off in every direction , or constantly asking for something to eat , we were able to enjoy the layout and design of this lovely building . The windows which make you feel you are looking at a landscape painting , the way to can view the exhibits from the floor level and then see some more of them from the first floor level . The Main street (old Glasgow street) with its old shop fronts AND interiors were great fun too .
And obviously it had its Shipbuilding section , with two wonderful Stanley Spencer paintings of the Clyde shipyard workers at work . These paintings were taken during the second world war , when Stanley Spencer was employed as a war artist at Port Glasgow and Greenock Shipyards , and show the detail of shipbuilding , the cramped conditions , the physical and often dangerous work . I also loved the detail of the clothes the men wore , one an had on a very intricate fairisle sweater .(One of my favourite Stanley Spencer paintings is of "the Glen" in Port Glasgow at the end of the war , it shows very bright and colourful children , spinning over the railings , skipping and having fun -this one is housed at the Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.)
As with most children , the attractions of the exhibits wane and the siren call of the cafe and shop take over , so after a restorative drink, and a wee look round the shop we headed home .
But mum was on a cultural roll , so today we visited the local Inverclyde museum , "The McLean" in Greenock , housed behind the (James) Watt Library . It is a really wonderful old-fashioned museum , and has stuffed animals , trays of butterflies and insects as well as some Egyptian/Japanese/Chinese/Indian exhibits . There are sections on the local industries , Shipbuilding , Shipping , Sugar-refining , Pottery , Ropes and Woolen Mills and so on . There is also some excellent paintings (a few JD Fergusons , a Cadell and Peploe for starters!) There were obviously a lot of wealthy people , and a huge amount of industry in the area that this beautiful wee museum feels a bit small too contain and display it all .
Sadly , what is missing is a comprehensive history of the area , which would celebrate the intellect and talent of the area , the beauty of the architecture that wasn't destroyed , as well as inspiring the local inhabitants . When we fail to document our history we lose it and our sense of identity . People can then dwell on the negative things about the area , instead of being inspired to reach for something better , and improve the area they live in .

The boys got bored - they do not share my passion for history , unless its about electronic games! Time for home.
Well , at least I get out to my knitting tonight - have been fighting with the little baby sweater I'm knitting , it may have been better if there had been a chart for the lace section , still it is taking shape .
Sorted out my stash and projects the other week , and am determined to make my way through the projects until I get (some of ) them finished . It would help if I stopped casting on new projects!
I think my wee (not so beautiful) stash cupboard IS struggling to contain it all.
Still socks don't count! Nor do gloves!
However I think the chunky cardi that is in the lastest Rowan book might - but not if I knit it quickly .
I am being pestered again - why do they need to eat!