Sunday, 25 September 2011

Knitting ideas

Socks pic from here

I am diligently working my way through my latest knitting project for Stephanie, it seems a little slow going but it is more stitches than I have knitted before- 200+ per row at some points. This means a row takes a very long time to complete. It is in stocking stitch so very simple and not too much though required.

So bearing in mind that I am finding that this project is slow, why am I so tempted to knit something for myself especially when you consider I am somewhat larger than Stephanie is? I have been looking at different knitting blogs for inspiration this evening. After looking I have found a few garments I am a bit more than a little tempted by this cashmere this lovely jumper, am loving the neckline! this snugly cardigan.

Am also tempted to knit a pair of socks I haven't looked into this too much  but they sound soooo snugly and I do like snugly and cuddly clothing.

I will let you know how I get on with these ideas, I suspect if I start anything for me it won't be complete in time for this winter, but next year would be good too- right?

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Mark making

This week I seem to have been very busy finding ideas for my class at school. I want to get a little more mark making in the classroom, but I refuse to have sit and write sessions. I should point out here I am an Early years teacher and I am happy to encourage mark making but refuse to enforce it. I went on a training course last week and the lady running it was telling us that she has dangled chalks from trees using string so that when the children run around the tree holding the chalk make marks. I am not fortunate enough to have a tree in our outside area so have been thinking about how I could replicate this with the resources I do have. For me the idea seems to be that the children running around the tree enjoyed the mark making as they were able to do it whilst moving in a very active way.

With this in mind I taped chalks to long bamboo canes so that the children in my class could run holding the chalk and draw on the playground as they went. This was received with great enthusiasm, from here I changed the activity by filling large shallow trays with paint and offering the children brooms. Yep you got it, I have one colourful playground now. The children loved it. I have managed to get reluctant mark makers trying out different ways of moving to make straight lines/ bumpy lines/ mountain lines etc as well as some more children attempting to write their names. I want to continue this line of thinking so am now trying to think of ways for the children to mark make on a large scale. Am thinking on Monday we will be welly print painting the playground. I would love to hear from others on ways they have encouraged children (theirs, or some they are lucky enough to borrow) to mark make on a large scale.

At home this is going down well with Stephanie at the minute;

These lovely messages/ pictures were made using bath crayons from the pound shop. I had these for Dylan when he was younger, he used to love leaving me messages it really helped his spelling and reading as we left replies to each other in the bath tiles. So when I was shopping today and I saw them I could not resist them for Stephanie.

Saturday, 17 September 2011

WIP and works waiting to be done

Here, have a peek at my current works in process (WIP)

This is the Winnie quilt that Stephanie has been waiting all summer for me to complete, I have finally finished all the blocks. I just need to decide on the final layout. I'm tempted to just go random with them as I can't decide. Incidentally, please over look the paw prints added by Zara. Zara is my aunt's dog who has come to stay with us for a couple of weeks whilst Sue is summer where hot and sunny.
Clearly I forgot that dogs get muddy when they go out in the rainy garden and left all the blocks on the living room floor whilst I went up to the sewing machine to finish the last 2 off.

This is my latest knitting project. Stephanie wants me to make both the items on this page. Starting with the green top. She is at the stage of liking the patterns but having difficulty seeing past the colour. She liked the cardigan but not the top when I bought the pattern. Once we had chosen the wool and come home she decided she liked the top and that is what I needed to make first. I am making it in Teddy soft spot pink.

I have a whole list of projects I want to make. I would love to have all of them done by the end of the year however I suspect it may be a bit too long.

1. Knit Stephanie a cardigan in red, I already have the wool just need to get started.
2. Make a pink cardigan for Stephanie, I don't have the wool for this one yet.
3. Sand and re-varnish the Kitchen unit
4. Make Felt bunting for Stephanie's bedroom
5. Finish Stephanie's Winnie quilt- see beginning of post
6. Make a quilt for my bed
7.Make my bedroom curtains
8. Make Dylan's bedroom curtains
9. Make Stephanie's bedroom curtains
10. Make Stephanie a blouse
11. Make Stephanie a new skirt
12. Make  Stephanie a new Dress
13. Make life- ring for downstairs bathroom
14. Make a beach themed wooden plaque for downstairs bathroom
15. Make Stephanie a wooden plaque for her bedroom
16. Hanging heart decoration/ mobile for Stephanie's bedroom.

Lots of these items were inspired during our recent holiday. However I suspect that 16 items may be too much for me to manage before the end of the year what with working full time and being busy with 2 children. I will make a good attempt at it especially as many of the items are planned for Stephanie's Christmas presents.

Friday, 16 September 2011

This moment

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savour and remember.

This post was inspired by soulemama if you are inspired to do the same, leave a link to your post in my messages and swing by Soulemama's blog to see her moments too.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Caterpillar, caterpillar......

I LOVE butterflies- I even have a tattoo of one, I have them decorating my hallway. However the past week or so I am growing a little tired of them. Take a look at why

I found a disturbingly large amount of these harmless looking creatures in my veggies when we went to the allotment.

Just look at the devastation they have caused!

I really am upset about this, I am hoping that my relentless removal of offenders has helped to protect the plants I have left, time will tell when I get to the allotment at the weekend I guess.

In other allotment related news of a slightly happier state we have;

a job Dylan thoroughly enjoyed

Compost! Lots and lots of compost.

Stephanie very kindly took all of these pictures, apparently her job at the allotment is to observe what Dylan and I do at each stage of the seasons as she would like to make a scrap book of changes/ required jobs. So here is her first instalment- Autumn 2011.

Monday, 12 September 2011

Our summer holiday

It seems like an age ago now but just last month we were travelling around Wales, sleeping in our tent. I do enjoy camping. We go without TV/ any electrical appliance in the tent and just spend time together. The only electricity we use is that provided by the campsites in the form of lights in the toilets and showers. It is bliss.

We went to Anglesey where we visit the castle at Beaumaris, we spent time on Benllech Beach went on a boat trip to Puffin Island where we saw a colony of seals, and the highlight of the few days we spent there was seeing Prince William in his RAF helicopter waving to all of us in the play park as he flew over.

From there we went to Llanrug where we visited Caernafon castle (you will notice the children's main interest this summer through this post), we went on the only cable tram left in the UK to go up The Great Orme and the highlight of the few days we spent here was that the 3 of us climbed all the way to the top of Snowdon. I am still really proud that we did it, climbing a mountain sure is hard work but I would definitely do it again although the children seem somewhat reluctant!

We then went to Benar Beach where we spent time at the beach well we can't stay on the beach and not visit it! We also went to Harlech castle and Criccieth castle (spotted the interest yet?). We also visited  a medieval house which the children didn't appreciate as much as me for some reason...

Next we found ourselves in Milton where we went to the lovely seaside town of Tenby, whilst there we had a horse and cart ride with a wonderful owner who told us not only all about his horses and their routines but lots about the area we were in. We went on a boat trip to Caldy Island which is an island owned by monks. It was a fantastic day getting away form it all. It's a very peaceful island visitors can't take cars etc over so it is safe and quiet, a real haven from the 'normal' world. The monks their make the most amazing fudge and gorgeous chocolate. We also went to Pembroke castle, you must have discovered their interest by now! We also went to the National Wool Museum where we shown how the machines made fabric from wool. We saw the beginning of the process with the cleaning of the sheep's wool through spinning until it is woven. We had a fantastic guide explaining the process thoroughly. At the end of the tour when I asked about the old spinning wheels we could see he even showed us how they worked and let Stephanie have a go on one of them.

So you can probably see we did an awful lot in the 12 days we were away, yet the children have a HUGE list of things we still did not get to see and there are a few things I would like to do as well. Wales has so much to offer it is hard to pick one over all thing we did that was the best of the holiday.

on the boat trip around Puffin Island

Pausing on the way up Snowdon. Unfortunately I didn't get pictures at the top as it was so cold and windy the day we went up I didn't get a chance to take any, but I will never forget the amazing views it really was breathtaking.

Stephanie being taught how to use a spinning wheel by our fantastic guide at the Woollen museum. I really was amazed by how this museum captured both children's interest. I had preconceived ideas that they wouldn't be interested, it was more a trip out for me. I couldn't have been more wrong.

So there you have it- our fantastic summer holiday 2011.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

School cardigan number 2

I began knitting this cardigan on our recent camping holiday in Wales with the intention of completing it before the children went back to school- last Monday!
Well I slightly missed that deadline, but I have managed it finally. I really enjoyed knitting this cardigan it has a very pretty lace effect pattern, the instructions were so clear even I followed them with no trouble. It is a pattern from the British Hand Knitting Confederation, it is Pattern number BHKC19 *. I borrowed this from my mum, she has hundreds of knitting patterns, some are slightly dated others like this one are beautiful.

Stephanie hasn't seen this one yet as I have literally just finished sewing it together although I suspect that it will be worn to school tomorrow.
I realise I have not posted for a while but for some reason I seem to have not had time to do anything. I have started my new job in the past week and as it is full time I guess we are adjusting to the routine we need to fall into and before that summer holidays got in the way. I am considering writing several posts and then setting them up to automatically post, I have lots I want to share but have had no time to actually get around to writing the posts.

This weekend for instance I feel that I have not stopped, yet nothing except this cardigan have been completed. I have taken the children swimming and had a surprise whilst we were there- Stephanie swam, not just front crawl but also breaststroke for the first time by herself. I have suspected for a while that she is capable but lacking in confidence I think that I can safely say that this was indeed the case. She is now -quite rightly!- very impressed with herself and telling anyone that she happens to see.

We have also been to the allotment- I plan on a blog post about how this is developing over the next couple of days, as well as spending an awful amount of time cleaning. Don't worry I won't dedicate a whole post to this! I do however plan to have at least one post showing the highlights of our recent camping holiday, what I have already mentioned the holiday in this post? Well, I hadn't noticed.

* Mum did not buy it from this site, I have linked it to show the pattern.