knitting and the life I almost have around it

Thursday, May 31, 2007

who let the dog in?

Ok, so it's my first week on full duty of care (which means i'm responsible for the kids in the class). this is really good because it means i can be the authority figure... the kids dont feel like you have much influence if you need another teacher to babysit you all the time. It's also great because i dont have to show anyone my planning. i still talk about what i'm doing but i dont need every lesson signed off on a day before i teach it (yes, you're right. that WAS a massive pain in the patooty).
So far, so good. I am apparently far too easily swayed by a stressed out face - i doubt i will sleep much in my last week because i'll be marking all the work i've given extensions for. But i'm very happy, the kids like me, i like them and all is pretty darn good. Now, if i only had an income as well i'd be thrilled.

Harry has been visiting this week. This means i get up a little earlier to take him for his walk and he discovered my nicely dug through garden was ideal for burying things in - loam is so easy on the claws!He is helpful in terms of heat containment though (because how freaking cold is it at the moment?)

I have been spinning away and knitting away on and off. Here is some silky merino dyed by Rachel Meek (optim wool by any other name is just as shiny).Some Rachel Meek merino.some more Rachel Meek Silky Merino.And here is what i decided to do with it all... a top-down raglan sweater in stripes of bluey/greeny/purpley/opalescent 2ply handspun. The wool has great drape like this and the yarn is endlessly entertaining to knit with... what colour is it now?? I'm not sure what sort of sleeves to go with yet.. its so soft i could wear it as a tee. i am saving enough of the yarn from the body stripes to match into the sleeves.. but i'm up for suggestions as i'm really truly not sure. I'll probably knit the body quite long... i do not need my belly hanging out of another hand-knit.

I hope everyone is having a good one.

Over & out
Ms Spider xo

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

I believe I can ply

So.. where did i leave off?

Prac is good but i'm on my full load of classes now and its a leetle bit exhausting. i'm two days away from duty of care and i cant WAIT! it will be so awesome :)

Of course the annual day of fibre-whoredom was on at the bus depot markets on sunday and i was not to be outdone. Helen Ridden of Waratah fibres only laughed at me the third time i went back... which shows a kind and generous spirit i think.

here is the haul (sans the stuff i've already spun)

And here is some lovely fibre dyeversity merino... which was going along very nicely until i realised i was more tired out that i thought. Why do i have two skeins out of a 50g bag of fibre? because i (somehow) managed to spin the singles in opposite directions so they would not ply. so i had to do the old andean plying bracelet mejigger (not a real word) and ply them both on themselves. Humf. Monkey was very amused. If you look closely you will see that one is an s-twist and one is a z-twist. bastards.
Have started some leg warmers to wear under my trousers at school... gets a bit nippy!

Anyway, better go and locate some vaguely presentable clothing.

Ms Spider

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Monday, May 14, 2007

on guilding the lily

Against better judgement I have knit away at the shawl and completed it tonight. I include for your interest a picture of it just cast off... looking very messy.Hmm.. sorry, i just uploaded the picture and noticed how blurry it is... lets just say its deliberate to add to the anticipation shall we?
I just soaked it and am about to block it - it smells about a million times more like seaweed when it's wet! It's a bit scary! And not much dye came off it, the water just went a little grey. Nothing major.
Hope to have another pic for you tomorrow :)

The busy
Ms Spider

PS. i have my uni person coming to observe me teach tomorrow - wish me luck!

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

on being all class... after class

thankyou all well-wishers and concerned onlookers. I am holding it together, despite the conspiracy of the universe.

for example:This enchanting little catasrophe luckily occured AFTER school on friday on the way to the bus. sadly, I had to catch the bus with students so i had to do that hilarious walk where you fake being in high heels and hope that nobody actually looked.
Oh and we have a mouse in the office. Sigh. and its way too cute for me to put out a trap and i figure live and let live... but is that terrible?

Classes have been going well enough. I'm much better at classroom management than I remember.. but then that's one of the things you develop as you go so I'm probably much better than i was on my last prac. And everyone has been very encouraging about me maybe getting a job there next year (if i get a good rating for my application etc, if you dont know about the crazy teacher rating business then email me some time... its like voodoo). And that would rock because i feel really good about Lyneham.

What else? not much has occured in the way of knitting... until this weekend. I'm up to the border chart on my seasilk shawl (the Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn A. Clark from Interweave Knits Fall 2006) but has marking and planning and essay questions to write so i guess thats a story for another night. It's a very small shawl (I'm only using 1 skein) but i think it will be just lovely. I've just finished the lily of the valley stitch and while p5tog is a bit fiddley and slows you down.. i really love the way the colours pop where the 'buds' are.With and without flash. The colour is pretty accurate on the second one, and sheen is unbelievable. If you're umming and aahing about this yarn.. take it from me. It's worth every cent.

Monkey's (Sherpa has definitely become Monkey) socks are on standstill. SSS hit hard (its not very nice yarn to knit with... the colours are good and strong but its just not the nicest yarn and i'm a snob). I'm not even through the first cable round on the second sock so i'm not going to waste the pixels by showing you.

Oh and our new housemate moves in this week. Not the best timing in terms of work-load and stress but it wont be too bad. She's the girlfriend of one of my oldest friends Phil and so i'll see a lot more of both of them.. but we're good enough friends that i can tell them if i need to be alone. parfait!

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Woke up with the mother of all headaches. My hair hurts. I have the feral year 7s first up. Wish me luck.

PS. if i puke on the naughtier kid it might make them pay attention...


Sunday, May 06, 2007

on and on but not too much

Yes, it has been a while. I know. And a lot has happened. I mean, I'm sure i'm going to be typeing away for ages, press publish and then remember another hundred things i meant to say.

But lo, i shall try my best.


Obviously, the rogue hoodie is complete. It is beeeee-oootiful. i keep meaning to get a photo next to one of the chinese pistachio trees in the garden (which are a gorgeous orange at the moment) but i am plagued with the eternal problemo - no-one to take the photo except at night.

I made another purple beret using a pattern from Interweave Knits. It's cute... but it was really to tide me over. I just went to find it to take a photo and the house has eaten it. Ce'st la vie, I look pretty silly in hats anyway...

I've started a new pair of socks for Sherpa (though i have to say i dont know how long he will be Sherpa. I call him Monkey so much at home that i am sure i'll slip up and make the change eventually). I'm using Grignasco Strong Print bought at Cassidy's and my boring old cable rib pattern. And as Joods pointed out, they look like violet crumble wrappers... if only the contents were so tasty (or at least fragrant!)

I cast on my Handmaiden Sea Silk as well - Another Interweave pattern. It's just a little shawl and i am knitting it quite slowly by my standards. It's so lovely I'm trying to savour it. And looks much nicer in natural light (why oh why am i such a moron?).

My copy of the new Yarn Harlot book arrived on Monday morning and i cast on today... the only pattern in the book. It's a knee rug using random balls of yarn that i will never get to use otherwise. And worst case scenario? its a scarf ;) Taph's recent foray into collage-y knitting may be partially responsible.

I also think i ought to knit some socks for my mentor teacher - she's the best one i've ever had. but what sock yarn to use?


Prac is going really well. I'm working my butt off and I'm exhausted a lot of the time but i had an epiphany this week. wanna hear it?

I'm a teacher.

Yeah, i know i should probably have worked that one out by myself before now... but damn it feels good to know for sure.
Although i pick up the year 7 class this week which is modified and extremely challenging. We'll see how i feel about this profession in a couple of days?

It was lovely to see people at SnB on thursday - apologies for my sleepiness.

And speaking of sleepiness... I'm becoming overwhelmed by it again. I miss the old days of blogging when i couldnt resist blogging about every little thing. And now when funny things happen... well. I dont know how much it is appropriate to say anymore. I mean, this is my career. If i make a faux pas and it gets back to someone important I might seriously jeopardise my chances of getting permanency next year. Which is what i desperately want. Can you imagine my stash on a real income?

OK, so now my brain dead ramblings have reached a natural conclusion (ie. I cant remember what i want to say anymore).

The sleepy
Ms Spider

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