Sunday, 26 February 2012

Aerobic Gymnastics and Woolsack Cushion

This week started off as one of those average weeks after a school holiday, where everything slips back into the normal routine.

Had a great WI meeting on Tuesday where we were shown how to make lovely chocolately treats for Mother's Day, Easter or whenever you fancy them. We were told about an Easter bonnet competition for next time too- I'll keep you posted!

I've been busy knitting my blanket strips, and have now finished number 6 and I'm on square 3 of 10 of strip 7 of 8...dare I start to think that the end is in sight?? Well, it could be, but I have made the classic mistake of starting another project again! This time, it's not my fault- it's my daughter's fault...

Friday was an unusual day in that Amy had permission to miss school so that she could compete in an Aerobic Gymnastic competition. We had to be in Reading for 8:30, so in order to allow for hold ups in the rush hour traffic on the motorway we left at 6am! Amy competes in a pair at RAC level, from a local club with a massive squad of really talented gymnasts, from recreational gymnasts through to Team GB Aerobic Gymnasts. She only started competing last September and with her partner have already won 2 golds. They do a 1:30 minute routine with a number of set moves, currently to the song 'Jai Ho'. Anyway, we arrived at 7:50am and had to stay until the end of the day, so it was important to have a portable knitting project with me, hence, it's her fault I started a new project!

I've mentioned the scheme before, it's part of the cultural Olympics for London 2012, set up by Woolsack, where the idea is for people to knit, crochet or felt cushions using British Wool to give to the participating Olympians at the summer and paralympics:  I've already made one cushion so this is number two. Not sure if I'll manage any more, but you never know. I'm using Rowan Scottish Tweed and it will have grey/red on one side and grey/pink on the other, as that's all the wool I have left! I managed to get quite a bit done, sitting watching the gymnastics as I went.

Woolsack Cushion
 So, back to the competition, it was a tense affair this time as they had serious competition from a new pair from their own club. The new pair are a couple of years younger, but much smaller, lighter and more flexible which makes it much easier for them to hold moves- so the pressure was on. Amy's pair went on 2nd and did a great routine with no mistakes or points deductions, scoring 11.950. Their main rivals went on straight after and did an amazing debut routine scoring 11.900. That meant Amy and her partner won the gold by just 0.050 !! They were delighted with the win, especially as it was such a close run thing.

The winning pair!

Amy mid routine

Club mascot sporting a lovely hand knitted scarf in club colours made by a dedicated parent...
 The club went on to win 14 medals on Friday, only the first day of a three day competition. Saturday and Sunday are for the more advanced and international gymnasts- will update on the total haul next time!

The rest of the weekend has been pretty low key for us, as we were all exhausted after Friday's early start. I've mostly been knitting and gardening - well moving the last of the rubble from the garden after demolishing our old garage last year so I can reclaim it as a veggie plot.

Finally, I intend to put my feet up this afternoon and watch Liverpool win the Carling Cup at Wembley. If they don't win, it won't be mentioned in future posts...!

Have a good week everyone, especially to Jill and family (Norty Corner) who have a tough few days ahead yet xxx

Monday, 13 February 2012

Half Term...

Well, it's that time again, February half term. This time of year it's always been a struggle to find anything to do as the weather is usually pretty bad and someone is usually ill...So this year is different, as the daughter is now a teenager! I booked leave from work to be home to 'look after' her, only to find that for 2 of the 3 days I am only required in a chauffeuring capacity for approximately 30 minutes...what a marvellous use of holiday days! Anyway, today was the one day that we'll actually spend just in each other's company, and it has been lovely. Daughter decided she was going to cook tea for the two of us today, and planned her menu, so that she did the starter and dessert, while I did the main (she's not stupid!). After a trip to Waitrose to source all of the ingredients she spent some time creating dessert ready for several hours of chilling while I sat and knitted.
By tea-time, the kitchen was a flurry of activity, with the starter created first and eaten, then the main cooked and eaten followed by a rest before polishing of the dessert. As it was just the two of us today, we did it with slightly more style than our usual tea-on-a-tray-watching-the-tv:

Table for two

Starter (spiced veg with sauce)

Main- Jamie's bacon and pea pasta shells

Chocolate truffles served by my beautiful daughter!

Who needs a Valentine's meal tomorrow night after that? Not me! Which is just as well as when husband returns from his overnight trip to London tomorrow, he's off out for the evening playing snooker...

On the knitting front, I'm on square 8 of 10 on strip 5 of 8 now, so I'm making good progress. By the end of the week after my chauffeuring and some token trips to the gym and 2 days of work, I hope to be well onto strip 6 of 8. 

I have now finished reading George Orwell's '1984', which I really enjoyed. It's a strange book in that so much of it seems to be true, that it's actually quite scary. It really gets you thinking. Onto 'Call the Midwife', 'The Woman in Black' and 'The Secret Garden', which should be quite enough to keep me going!

Happy Valentine's day everyone


Monday, 6 February 2012

Another week has gone by- this year is starting to fly already...

I had a lovely weekend, spending Saturday morning with my fellow knitters at The Wool Sanctuary knit club. It's always a great way of spending a few hours chatting away as we knit. I was pleased to be able to update them with my blanket progress (I am now officially more than half way) although was horrified to find out that Debbie Bliss have now discontinued one of my six colours! After coming home and going through my stash, I think I have enough of it to last me- I've done myself a grid of the different squares and colours so I can keep track of them and not have the same colour squares next to each other on different strips (that's heading towards OCD behaviour isn't it?). I did stock up on the other five colours, so I can finish it, it just might have slightly less light blue!

The discontinued Debbie Bliss yarn

Blanket square in moss stitch using the discontinued yarn

As I'm knitting quite a bit at the moment, I've also (all by myself!) added a little widget to my side bar to keep track of my progress. It will be interesting to see how much I do by the end of the year! I'm still working on the blanket, but will also be making another cafetiere cosy for my mum as she's very well-to-do (!) and has two cafetieres and the one I knitted for her at Christmas doesn't fit the everyday pot...I've also bought some more yarn so I can do another cushion for Woolsack for the Olympics. This is a nice portable project so will be coming with me when my daughter has her next gym competition at the end of the month. They're great events, but it means sitting there all day for a 2 minute routine, so I need something to keep me occupied, and this is a lovely scheme. Take a look at them here: or on facebook.

Remember how last week I wanted some prolonged cold weather? It really was a case of be careful what you wish for in the end, as it was a very cold week with snow on Saturday. Still I was finally able to wear my hat and snood!

Big Button Hat in the snow!

I am happy to report that fat cat is safely back home now, minus tartar and one small tooth. He has a shaved patch on his leg, but looks fine apart from that...and it only cost me £110.02!!! Bless him!

February sees me move onto my next classic read too- it's George Orwell's '1984' this month. I've made a start on it and am enjoying it so far. I was so glad to finish January's book, 'On the Road by Jack Keroac. How that ever got to be a classic I will never know. Still it's done and I never have to read it again!

Finally, tomorrow is an important day for the family as my father-in-law starts a 9 week course of chemo. Much positive thinking is required, so feel free to add your thoughts to ours.