Scavenger Hunt

Sunday 17 September 2017

A Few Finished Things.

Hello there.

With our extension nearly finished I'm hoping that normal blogging is to return, I've felt quite out of sorts not doing a weekly post.

Going back to school wasn't so easy after six weeks off but I have moved from a Key Stage 2 class aged 7-9 to Reception, mostly 4 year olds.  This is a big move for me as all of  my 12 years in the job have  been with the older children.  Wow! a bunch of 4 year olds are a very different kettle of fish.  My 'teacher voice' has turned very Joyce Grenfell.   So far it's proving quite good fun.

I've not got as much knitting done as I would have liked, also not had many days sitting in my steamer chair knitting, due to painting but I do have a few bits to show you.

Firstly the pair of socks which was my plane knitting.  This was my own hand dyed yarn made several years ago.  I was trying to make the yarn come out striped rather than a meld of colours and I'm pleased to say they came out as I had hoped.
Nice and stripy and not pooled or a multi-coloured blur.
With those finished I had two balls of Drops Fabel in my bag, one plain, one 'normal' sock yarn ~ you know what I mean ~ to make a fair isle pattern.  It's a Drops pattern called Rock Socks.  Every fourth row the yarn is stranded, every other stitch.   Clearly I was going to have to conquer my nemesis ~ continental knitting.  I have tried this before with the 'help' of my knitting pal Romain but we really didn't get very far.  We'll leave it at that.  I sat in the hotel room while Mr Clicky was at work and tried lots of different ways until I got it right.  It felt very strange using my left hand for knitting at first, but I think I've got it sussed now.
These are my current on-the-go socks.
I hooked on? a crochet shawl with some random sock yarn out my stash for a friend of mine who is poorly at the moment.  The yarn had some fair isle type bits in it but I didn't really liked them in crochet, as the repeat was quite small I took them out and joined the ends with a Russian Join.
This has made the shawl slightly smaller than I would like. 
Maisie was happy to model.
 I first saw this shawl on the Midwinter Yarns stall at Wonderwool in 2016 and managed to find the pattern last year.
I packaged it up along with some other goodies that my friend might need whilst she recuperates and posted it off.
The last project I have to show you is another wedding blanket, this time for my reception class teacher.  She's getting married next year and has dropped some pretty large hints that she would like an heirloom blanket, so I'm making this.  Not small granny squares this time, they have 11 rounds and I will be edging and joining with cream.  I'm really enjoying this, those granny squares are quite addictive.
Well that's me for now, the builder should be finishing up next week so we might get our house back at long last.
Have a great week.........................Clicky Needles.

Sunday 10 September 2017

Chicago Part 2

On the weekend we took a train to the city.

The trains were unlike anything I had encountered before; big, smelly, noisy
and they had a top deck!  Our guard suggested we buy a weekend ticket "they only cost 8 dollars for the whole weekend, so you really don't want anything else."
My Clicky and me opted for the top deck ~ of course ~ but they were a little different to what I was expecting.  If you are sat up there you can look down onto the passengers downstairs.
We had a rattly hour's ride to Chicago Union Station.  
What a magnificent building, just as I imagined an American train station should look like.
It is huge.
I'm sure it has been used in films that I've seen.
A short walk and we came across sunshine and the Chicago River.
We walked further, making our way towards Lake Michigan. 
This is 'The Bean', well it's actually called Cloud Gate but that's it's nickname.  From the outside a lovely shiny thing you can spot yourself in
and on the inside a whole different experience.
We walked on through Millennium Park and came across some sculptures,  which had been visited a few weeks earlier by a blogger I follow Gill from An Elegant Sufficiency.  The artwork left her cold and I have to say, us too.  We were instructed not to climb but we didn't know much more about them.
They were made from old tyres but no signs about why.
I am however, pleased to report that there were some children climbing on them!
As we walked on I marvelled at the skyscrapers.  I love the old four story building against the massive new ones.
It had a water tank on the roof, still in use?
We had a break for a cup of tea and yummy cake and then set on our way again.
Before long we had reached our destination.  Navy Pier.
Now, I know that this is Lake Michigan but everything I know tells me it's the sea.
We sat for a while and watched the tourist boats go by 
and then headed back up The River Walk, still marvelling at the size of the buildings.
More boats with weekend trippers on, the music was very loud!
These two are called Marina City and are apartments 
with car parking underneath.
These boats were moored outside a bar full of party goers, each was playing different music ~ very loudly!
We turned into the city again with it's trains of the 'Rapid-Transit System' nicknamed 'L'.  

Some places they are overground, others underground, and they  clattered and clanked around, we didn't venture on.
Walking back to Union Station we came across Willis Tower.  It is 1353 feet tall, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere.  
On the 103rd floor you can step out 4 feet in a glass 'pod.'  I zoomed in so you can see the people standing in them.   I'm sure the views are spectacular but I haven't really got a head for heights so we gave it a miss.
We caught our train back and had a well deserved rest after all that walking.  
We spent the next few days visiting local towns and having an explore in between Mr Clicky going to work.  A riverboat casino on Fox River.
My waffle breakfast.  Yum.
It was time to go home.  We had a night flight, we left at 6 in the evening so I had a gin (or 2) with my sock knitting.   I was hoping the gin might help me sleep, but it didn't!
 The moon soon appeared.
 and the light shone on the wing tip.
We landed at 7am UK time which still felt like the middle of the night but luckily we were picked up from Heathrow by a car and delivered home so we didn't have to drive.  The next day or two I slept when I needed to and got back into UK time.  

That's me for now, I have a few knitted items to show you next time.
Have fun...................Clicky Needles.