Tuesday, October 19, 2010


There are ruder words in the English language, but I always think that like the George the Prince in Black Adder - a simple understated utterance of 'bother' is at times far more meaningful than any stronger expletive could be.George also uses the term 'golly' to express surprise - again understated to the point of being a perfect way to express surprise. Today's post - well there is a bit of bother, and a new place with wonderful things to tell you about.

I've decided that there are to many Wip's in my life, my knit life, my work life, my home life, my family life. Oh the kids are not finished and every time they lack manners and act as kids do I realize they are most definitely still a work in progress. The family home is a work in progress in almost every room ... and outside, my work like has many unfinished things, at least 2 papers to write and a pile of marking that arrived this past week to replace the pile I returned the week before. Another pile looms at the end of this week ... that is the reality of a teaching career. And in the knitting basket .. well there are the Cat mittens, the large single bed sized blanket, the cashmere shawl I started in late August and worked 3 rows of, and the linen basket liner. And that is just with me thinking and not looking ... there is bound to be at least one project that I've forgotten to add to that list. I decided to work monogamously on one project the Cat mittens and then they would be done. As I worked on them I realized I'd made an error ......this is how one side of the mitten looks. It is a pattern the author calls dancing ants, a line of alternative light and dark stitches bordered by a dark stitch either side.

Some how on the other side I had worked a double row of dancing ants .... look. Not pretty and yes only I would know, but that is the problem I would know that I had noticed it and not fixed it when I could. So I worked another few rounds and then decided I could ignore the mistake no longer. At this point I had nearly completed the cat, oh the cat was missing its tail, but the cat was in essence done ...

Which made this a little harder .. but I knew it was the right thing to do. I slid out the needles .. and frogged back the mitten.Until all I had was the ribbing above the braid and the cat was gone. I've now got the mittens back on the needles .. and I'm back working the beginnings of the cats feet .. and looking forward to the paw print at the top of the mitten. I had plans to work on this and the largest cub could take them to camp. He is off to his first school camp, at age 11, but first I realized I didn't need the stress of a deadline on top of the setback of frogging, and then his teacher rejected the hand knit mittens I had made him for winter and said he needed proper gloves for camp. I knit his last teacher a lovely pair of alpaca mitts as a thank you for being such an inspiration to him . .. I don't thing I will be doing that this time for this teacher.

Then there is the other distraction - I'm still enjoying rediscovering fountain pens and inks, A mid 1970's Lamy 69 arrived from Holland this week (via ebay), and it is lovely - although I've only found one place online that even mentions the Lamy 69 and they say it came with a steel nib whereas mine has an 18kt gold nib. In the photo the Lamy is the all black pen, the silver grid one is one Bear bought me, a Parker 75 to go with a ball point my Dad had kicking around a parts box in his garage(also in the photo). They are both Stirling silver - and I felt I really had to save the ball point from a life in the parts box - getting dented next to spark plugs and a wire brush. Also in this image is an Autopoint pencil that Bear scored on ebay, one of two. Autopoint pencils take 0.9mm leads and are very nicely made, with a solid weight and nice length. This one has a depth indicator for 4 inches on it and the logo for Wilkin Insulation Co - which is kind-a cool although I don't know where I will next need to measure if something is 4" deep. This one has a rather spectacular mechanical pen clip.
Then there is all the looking out for things in the post, I've gone shares with another Dunedinite in a bulk order of Diamine ink in glass bottles and Noodlers. The Noodlers should arrive next month, and the Diamine the month after ... we have ordered thru the New Zealand agent and so the overseas shipping will be very economical - and it made sense to buy in bulk (or at least that is what I told myself). Then I was told by someone about Jumping Tangents .. who are only a few hours away and have an online shop .... so there may or may not be some J. Herbin violette pensee on its way to me - ok there is - I won't deny it - it might make marking more pleasurable if I mark with scented ink? Worth a try at least.

All in all a sort of one step forward one step back .. one forward sort of week. Today the elder cub and I spent the best part of the morning out and about locating all the little bits he needs to take camping, new underpants, a soap box, a toothbrush box. We also spent some time in the garage sorting the best luggage for a school camp (turns out it is the backpack that his dad toured the UK with some 25 years ago. Then we spend the afternoon at the sewing machine stitching name tags into everything of value ... and every thing that could possibly be the same as all the other 30+ 10/11 and 12 year old boys would take to camp. It was good - Toby did most of the sewing, and once he got over his fear of the machine was quite capable of raising and lowering the needle and foot, turning corners, back-tacking, and snipping threads. Wonder if he would like to make a tee shirt or sweat shirt next holidays?

Here in New Zealand is a long weekend, Labor weekend - celebrating the 40 hour work week, and the start of warmer reliable weather ... I am looking forward to the extra day off tomorrow and the short week that follows. So far we have spent much of the time outside, gardening. mostly weeding but a little fence maintenance and planting of the first round of veggies.

take care - I'm off to check the food in the oven, see if it needs basting or turning ... and perhaps settle in to knit some.
na stella


tinsel said...

propper gloves for camp!I felt I got a bit offended way over here.
I have just unraveled a arm ,I must have put it on smaller pins,for when seeig it with the other it was smaller.I wish I did this befor knitting so much!But I found the fountain pen I knew I had from my grandnother thanks to you.I will see if it works.

KathyR said...

How rude and ill-informed of the teacher - I'm sure the mittens you knitted will keep your cub warmer than almost anything a shop could sell you! Perhaps she needs to be educated about the wonderful qualities of wool. Such a shame you had to frog so much work on your mitten. These frogs seem to be getting rather a workout lately; must be something going around! A nice line-up of pens, too. Hmmm, parfumee violette, that sounds almost like it was made for love-letters rather than marking. :-) It could make the work rather more enjoyable, though!