Thursday, September 29, 2005

Parcels awaiting

I now have a collection of 3 Parcel Force cards as they always attempt to deliver after I've gone to work. One is for DD & I think it's from friend in Austraila who has ordered DD's present over the web from an English company.

The others - who knows? Have you sent me a package SP?????

I can't get to the sorting office until Saturday morning & I can't wait.

It's hard being a mum

I met DD's teacher today to try & sort out the problems that DD is having a school & I'm impressed. At last we have a teacher who won't tolerate kids being mean to each other!

When she was 8 & had been bullied for a year at her previous school, DD started the new school year & surprise surprise it continued. So she kept mentioning it to her teacher (lets call her Mrs W) & still the toment continued. So I went to see Mrs W, again & again. After a few weeks this teacher with 30 years experience told my 8 year old daughter to stand up to them herself & 'deal with it' - I was livid.

So then began the regular trips to see the headmaster. In January this year I realised that my bright, creative & intelligent daughter, was dumbing down her work to fit in with the idiot children who were bullying her. When I met with her headmaster to inform him that she was having a day off school to visit another school he, finally (after 2 1/2 years of bullying), offered to write to the parents of the kids involved & get them into school - but it was too late. It was too late as their behaviour was intrenched & my beautiful daughter was their punching bag.

So we're back again to a couple of low achieving kids trying to belittle & bring down my DD to their level. But this time the teacher is willing & keen to help. So DD has to firstly tell the kids to STOP IT. If they carry on then she has to tell her teacher & she'll talk to them. If that doesn't stop it, then the headmaster gets involved. Then the parents.

What really impressed me was that the class teacher stressed to DD that she mustn't let children who don't want to learn, stop her from exploring & enjoying her work.

She asked DD what had happened today & was appalled to discover that they had been kicking her during the ICT lesson. She inquired why DD didn't say anything at the time & DD looked to me for help. She hasn't been mentioning this latest round due to the reaction of Mrs W & didn't honestly think that her current teacher would be interested & willing to help her. But equally she was scared to say it to her current teacher who was now being so supportive.

It's tearing me apart to think of her going through this again when she was so pleased to escape just a few months ago but hopefully it won't carry on for much longer.

She will be 10 years old on Sunday & I just hope that she no longer has to put up with being harrased just because she's intelligent & keen to learn. Or because she's a good swimmer & the other kids are as thick as & swim like bricks.

Knitting: is happening I promise but other things are taking priority at the moment. Finishing will happen soon or I think the Finishing Police will invade my home!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Which do you want first - the good or the bad news???

I'll give you the good, bad & then finish on some knitting - how's that?

Ok first off - a fellow Airedaler has managed to speak to Julie's husband & they're all ok in Houston. They're not in the phone book but luckily I knew where he works so she was able to contact him at there.

Bad news - DD is being bullied again at school. I had to move her to a new school in January as she had been bullied for 2 and half years at her old school & the teaching staff seemed incapable of stopping it. However I have a lot more confidence in her new school & am meeting her class teacher on Thursday to discuss the situation. Again it's because she's in the top sets for maths & literacy & outswam all the other kids when they had swimming lessons before the summer holidays. Hopefully it can be nipped in the bud before the behavour becomes intrenched like it did previously. This could be why she was so sensitive & upset yesterday about the Mum situation.

Knitting - I've just come in from my meeting with the local(ist) group of the Knitting & Crochet Guild & tonight we did Fair Isle. My sample was knitted in the most beautiful Dale of Norway yarn & I fell it love with it. [Photo to be posted soon]

Pity it's not available to buy in the UK but then I really don't need any more yarn

Monday, September 26, 2005

An update

None of you were quick enough I'm afraid. She sent me a text to say that she was finally off the phone.

Apparently she didn't blame us for making them late (I don't believe her as she said it to me on Friday) & DD was laughing at the comments re Olbas oil. She says that she's been joking with DD & didn't want to upset her (the latter I believe). I do think that she's been making sly comments BUT now that I've raised it hopefully they'll stop.

So from now on I'll wait outside on the street with DD if they're not ready rather than rushing off to work so we can't be accused of making them late. If there are any more then the arrangement STOPS.

Plus I'll take her for the next few mornings so that DD can relax a bit.

How do I say it?

Ok I need some help here & quick.

My DD walks to school with a neighbour/friend & her daughter who is 6 months younger than my DD. Mum is a nice woman but IMHO (& DH's) can be a bit self-opinionated & full of her own life. We think that this is because

a) she's single & doesn't have any other adults in the house to disagree with her or shoot her down if she's way off mark

b) because she doesn't work so doesn't have anything else to talk about.

It sounds as if I'm being horrible - I'm not, I'm just trying to set the scene.

Anyway when DD moved schools in January we arranged to split the journey - she would take both girls in the morning (20 minute walk) & I'd do the afternoon collection - either walking or in the car. If the weather is foul I do both.

We also help each other out. For example I had to work two VERY long days last week due to an exhibition & was picked up from home @ 7.15 a.m. (I normally get up at 7.30 a.m. so I was half asleep). My DH took DD to Mum @ about 8.15 so he could get off to work & brought them both home again Equally I help her out if she's tied up with the voluntary stuff she does, is sick etc & her daughter comes here for her dinner after school until Mum gets home.

BUT ever since DD has been walking with them she's been complaining that Mum is always blaming us for making them late. Normally I get DD to her house for 8.25 & she's not ready so DD goes into the house until they are. Then they all have to hot foot it to school for 8.50 a.m. Last Friday was a perfect example - they weren't ready as they didn't have their shoes on so DD went into the house - ready to walk to school but waiting for them. When I saw Mum later she mentioned that we'd made them late for school! I bit my tongue thinking to myself - You weren't ready yourself.

My DD had a heavy cold last week, so bad that she had to have Thursday off school (DH had her as I was away @ the exhibition) & only swam once. Today Mum was blaming DD for giving her daughter a cold & said

"The house stank of bl**dy Olbas oil all weekend"

Now I think she's being way off the mark - IMHO bitching at a child, particulary my child. I don't want to fall out with her but she's p*ssed me off & DD has asked if I can take & collect her from school for the rest of the week. Poor DD couldn't help giving her daughter a cold! She was also upset repeating what had been said to her as she's not allowed to swear - bless her.

I tried calling Mum before DD had training tonight but it was CONSTANTLY engaged. Same tonight so I rang her on her mobile. She was on the landline to her sister & could I call back in 10 minutes. I did & it was still engaged.

If we stop this arrangement & each take/collect our own children she'll have more to lose than me as she doesn't have anybody else close by to help. Also my DH will have a nightmare getting her to & from school 4 times a year (2 exhibitions, Crufts & the Knitting & Stitching show).

I need to let her know that her comments are upseting my child & are simply untrue (they're petty comments but upseting my DD). Any tips?

Sunday, September 25, 2005

nearly there....

I've nearly finished some stuff but HATE sewing up etc so have patience with me. I've finally bought the right coloured sewing thread to sew in the lining of the French Market bag which has been waiting for ages, have one more arm to sew up on Daisy plus a flower & a bit of movement on the Entrelac Shawl but none on awful cardigan - I really hated that pattern.

Various American ADT people are keeping an ear open for my friends in Houston - Rita bypassed them (thank doG) but obviously still not good for others in her path.

I'm chuffed to bits to have found another Knitting Airedale loving blogger - check out her beautiful pup Gracie. Which has made me realise that I haven't mentioned the dogs for a while so here are some photos taken by DH this summer:

Blue & Annie
Blue & Annie at Solomons Temple, Buxton

Annie eating ice cream after a long walk
Annie eating ice cream after a long walk

Blue & Annie playing bitey face
Blue & Annie playing bitey face

DD showing off her hair
DD showing off her hair

The last photo was meant to be of her face (but not for the blog as I don't show our faces) but she was having a MAJOR strop so turned her back. I've put it on to illustrate the problem I have getting her hair into a swimming cap. She wants it longer but I've said only as long as it still fits inside her cap. The hairdresser can't believe that she swims 6 hours a week as it's still in excellent condition - much hard work & plenty of good conditioner.

Talking of hair, some bad news - my dog clippers have died AGAIN. It turns out that I should have bought a new set rather than have my old set(now two years old) repaired in May - the wire has broken inside the cord. So sometimes they work (for two seconds) & then they don't. Apparently it's a common problem but not easy to remedy as the repair kits aren't in stock. So I currently have two shaggy excuses for dogs - they might be mistaken for tall bouncy black & tan sheep soon if I don't get something done about it.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hurricane Rita

I'm interupting my self imposed no blogging status as I'd like you all to send zen/pray for a good friend of mine. Julie, husband Ivy & son Russell are at home in Houston, Texas riding it out.

I first 'met' Julie in 2000 via Ebay - we both have Airedales and when we first 'met' both had an ADT (AireDale Terrier) puppy called Blue - mine a bitch & hers a dog. Since then we've both got a second ADT - a condition often referred to as MAS (Mass Airedale Syndrome). Julie & family had planned to evacuate & she emailed me on September 22nd saying:

"Just have a minute. We are getting ready to leave town. I am taking the dogs to a city near Austin. Several Houston dales will be there :)

This is a scary one. I have lived through hurricanes all my life, but this is the worst, by far.

Will let you know when we return."

On one of the ADT yahoo lists that I'm on I enquired if anybody had heard from Julie. I've heard that they left it too late to leave & are riding it out at home. I know this as they didn't get their dogs to the kennels as planned.

PLEASE keep Julie & her family in your thoughts.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Hello Secret Pal & meet Susoolu

I've been assigned a pal & have heard from the pal sending to me - it's so exciting.

No info on whom I'm sending to but the pal sending to me is also in the UK. I've got NO idea who you are but I look forward to 'speaking' with you.

I'll be searching for things for my receipent but that's half the fun isn't it. I'm sure I'll find loads of things to go on to 'must have' list but first I must finish some items - the 'nearly there' list is growing too long.

Whilst you're waiting please visit my friend Susoolu she's new to blogging but definately not to knitting.

No more news until I have at least one FO.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Knitting Groups

The Stripey Tiger asked about my knitting groups which also gives me a perfect excuse to show the goodies sent by Laughing Hens.

About a year ago I decided that I wanted to join a Knitting group as I wanted to learn more & make it more social rather than knitting inside on my own. I searched for a group in the city where I lived, joined UK Hand Knitters but still couldn't find one locally. I joined the Knitting & Crochet Guild & started attending a group about 30 miles away. It takes me 45 minutes to get there in good weather but it was nice to meet other knitters & learn new techniques. Every month the group learns a new technique or refines something that you already know but I still wanted a more social event.

I decided to set up my own group as it was obvious that there wasn't one already & I could either stay at home & knit or get out there & set a group up myself. The next problem was the venue - where could we meet?

By chance I had half an hour spare before I collected DD from school one day & decided to stop for a hot chocolate (I don't drink tea or coffee) in a new cafe. Obviously I had my knitting with me so sat there very comfortably on a sofa & knitted until it was time to go to school. The seed was sown & two days later I went back to enquire if the management would be open to allow me to hold a knitting event there once a month.

I saw the manager & she said that she'd mentioned to her husband after she'd seen me a few days before that they should set a knitting group up!! To which I replied that that was why I was there. I didn't have much notice before the first session but still managed to get 4 people besides myself. We met last Friday & for the first time had 16 people. The room was too full & if it's as busy next month we can have the much bigger main room. Next month we're meeting to celebrate National Knitting Week & we're all going to be knitting or crocheting 8" squares in various shades of blue. The squares will then (eventually) be sewn up into a blanket or blankets & the money raised will go towards Help the Aged.

I've been searching charity shops for odd balls of blue & a few LYS's have promised to have a look for odd balls that they can't sell as I want to be able to give everyone at least 1 ball of blue yarn next month to take home & knit or crochet more squares. In November we'll start the part that we all admitted to hating - sewing up

Which leads nicely to the goodies which Laughing Hens sent for the group when I registed with them. If we make a joint order using our group reference number we qualify for a 10% discount.

To start with a variety of shade cards...

Colinette shade card
Colinette shade card

Rowan shade cards
Rowan shade cards

more shade cards
more shade cards

A variety of gorgeous yarns...

variety of yarns
variety of yarns

Point Five patterns
Point Five patterns



and finally

Debbie Bliss Book 4
Debbie Bliss Book 4

You can imagine the fun I had opening that lot!

Finally some knitting progress - I have been knitting whenever I can as normal but only have one photo for you taken a couple of weeks ago as we came back from our trip to Buxton.

4th row of Entrelac shawl
4th row of Entrelac shawl

I'll be honest & admit that I haven't touched it since as I wanted a break from it. Instead I've been concentrating on Daisy which is near completition & a couple of other smaller projects. I want to get everything finished & also sew up the awful cardigan which I am ashamed to say STILL hasn't been fully sewn together, before I do some blue squares & then start my next project.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Secret Pal 6 Questionnaire

1. Are you a yarn snob (do you prefer higher quality and/or natural fibers)? Do you avoid Red Heart and Lion Brand? Or is it all the same to you?

I didn't use to be but my tastes are now changing. I'm knitting with merino, cashmerino, pure wool & cotton. I don’t like acrylic as I find it makes my hands hot & it squeaks!

2. Do you spin? Crochet?

I can't spin & want to learn to crochet eventually but I've still got loads of things to experiement with in knitting.

3. Do you have any allergies? (smoke, pets, fibers, perfume, etc.)

Nothing that will effect knitting but I HATE cigarette smoke.

4. How long have you been knitting?

On & off for 15 years.

5. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?

Yes I have an Amazon wish list.

6. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)

Citrus, cinammon, coconut & honey. I'm not keen on floral scents.

7. Do you have a sweet tooth?

YES I adore chocolate but try to limit how much I eat. But I hate Turkish Delight.

8. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do?

I can do Cross Stitch but haven't done it for years apart from teaching my DD recently.

9. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)

Yes I can play MP3's on the PC & stereo. I like everything from the Scissor Sisters, to Norah Jones, Joan Armatrading & Fleetwood Mac.

10. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?

I love reds & purples with pinks/blues & chocolate brown. I HATE orange, yellow & lime green. I adore varigated yarns & wish that we had a wider selection here in the UK.

11. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?

I live with my DH, DD (aged 10 in Oct '05) who is slowly learning to knit, 2 dogs & 4 eldery cats - a very full house.

12. What are your life dreams? (really stretching it here, I know)

To have fun without hurting anybody else. Seriously though I'd love to be able to afford to give up my sales job & either work in a LYS or with dog rescue.

13. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?

Debbie Bliss’s Baby cashmerino, Jamiesons Super chunky & Patons 100% Cotton. I haven't knitted with it yet but also like RYC Cashsoft Aran.

14. What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

Squeaky acrylic

15. What is/are your current knitting obsession/s?

I want to start socks but have been waiting for the needles so am playing with baby booties at the moment. I'm also knitting an entrelac baby blanket & have enjoyed learning about short rows & entrelac.

16. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?

Baby booties, scarves & bags. whilst I wait for my addis to start socks.

17. What are you knitting right now?

Entrelac shawl from Debbie Bliss's Baby Knits in Baby Cashmerino
Daisy from in Patons 100% Cotton
Various booties from 50 Baby bootees to knit by Zoe Mellor in Jaeger Baby Merino, sock yarn & others.

18. What do you think about ponchos?

I'm going to knit one for my DD but not for me.

19. Do you prefer straight or circular needles?

I've always knitted with circulars. The friend who taught me did as the weight is held in the middle. If I try & use straights I find that I get all mixed up & drop them!

20. Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

Preferably bamboo but I also like Addi turbos

21. Are you a sock knitter?

Will be soon as soon as I can get hold of my addis – they’ve been on order for about 3 months.

22. How did you learn to knit?

I learnt when I was 19 & was taught by a German friend at college

23. How old is your oldest UFO?

The oldest UFO that I have is about 8 months old - a purple scarf in Wendy Shimmer. I think I have others but don't know where they are :-( I took a break from knitting & am not sure where they are.

24. What is your favorite animated character or a favorite animal/bird?

I love dogs - particularly Airedale terriers (I have two)

25. What is your favorite holiday?

Christmas – I love it that we’re all at home together & have two weeks without work, school, swimming or other interuptions.

26. Is there anything that you collect?

Airedale terrier things - I've got all sorts including doorknockers, teapots, cups, bookends, figures, keyrings, ashtrays & more.

Yarn - I've got way too much of it in my DH’s opinion.

27. What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?

Interweave Knits. I'd love to try Vogue Knitting and any back issues of Interweave Knits would be very welcome - I've got from Winter 04 to current.

28. Any books out there you are dying to get your hands on?

Plenty - see my amazon wish list. Particularly a good one on socks.

29. Any patterns you have been coveting, but haven't bought for one reason or another??

Eris - I LOVE it!!!

What are your foot measurements, and what kind of socks do you like?

English size 7. For walking the dogs I love comfortable walking socks that stay up. With trainers I like short trainer socks & I don't find lacey socks comfortable.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Secret Pal 5

I'd like to thank my SP for the parcel which I received a few weeks ago. I've got a VERY good idea of who she is but she hasn't revealed herself to me yet so I'm keep quiet about that for now.
The box was HUGE & everything was very pretty in what looked like handmade purple tissue paper & then packed with purple shredded paper! I opened it with DD & she tried to lay claim to the contents!

First to be opened was this

Rowan Big Wool
Rowan Big Wool

It's a beautiful colour & enough to do something with especially when I opened this

Rowan: Little Book of Big Accessories
Rowan: Little Book of Big Accessories

At the moment I'm leaning towards the mittens with a scarf from what's left out of the two balls.

next up was
pattern for the 1 skein wonder
pattern for the 1 skein wonder

It won't really suit me at the moment but would look fantastic on dd - a small project for next spring I think or for me in a few months when the exercise regime starts to show results.

Then I opened these

Thorntons Chocolates
Thorntons Chocolates

yummmy - I managed to resist until DH had taken photos & then scoffed most of them!

Next I opened

200g of Sirdar Salsa DK
200g of Sirdar Salsa DK

It's a beautiful tweedy colour but I've got no plans for it yet - it'll come to me soon.


wooden bead stitch markers
wooden bead stitch markers


pink motifs
pink motifs

and then

Rowan Lightweight DK
Rowan Lightweight DK

Finally I found another small package hidding under all the shredded paper & found these


Aren't they cute?

Thank you so much SP - I've really enjoyed the exchange & hope that you loved your gifts as much as I did.

I've been sending to The Stripey Tiger in Australia. Due to postage charges I sent everything surface so she still hasn't received the 3rd & BIGGEST package. But keep an eye on her blog & hopefully you'll see it all soon.

Hello again

I'm back on line but things aren't sorted fully yet. The storm killed the modem, hub & parts of our digital recording system (all built by DH & very complicated but very useful). Insurance will pay for the bits but as DH threw away the broken bits (having never claimed on the insurance he didn't know the procedure) he first needs to send them manuals etc etc to prove that we've had the bits in the first place. So in the mean time he's borrowed a modem & hub from work & we're back online for now. But no recording of TV programs

'In Stitches' met again last night & we had 16 knitters & crocheters there - our highest number yet! Normally I get 9 - a floating 9 as there are normally at least 3 new faces each month. If we get a similiar number next month we can have the much larger room in the cafe which has two bigger comfy sofas & normal customers will have the smaller back room.

We've planned our contribution to National Knitting Week & we're all going to be knitting or crocheting 8" squares in various shades of blue. The squares will then (eventually) be sewn up into a blanket or blankets & the money raised will go towards Help the Aged. So tonight I'll be raiding my stash for machine washable blue yarns....

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Storm damage

We had a very wild & noisy storm here last night with LOTS of thunder & lightning. At one point the house was hit & it's blown the modem, hub & network cards so we're internet less at the moment

I've got so much to show as well from progress on the Entrelac Shawl, photos of the goodies from my Secret Pal & a pile of goodies from Laughing Hens but you'll all have to wait I'm afraid.

'See you' soon