Sunday, 29 May 2011

Dressing up and playing hard

There's been a great deal of serious playing this week.

On Wednesday Freddie and Archie spent ages making cement (sand/water mixture), and worked together to build a house (bits of wood and garden bits and bobs). They were using a cement trowel, and banging the makeshift bricks together with the right technique. It was fascinating to watch.

I really enjoyed the co-op this week. Jules led a session making sun dials. F and B joined in to begin with but drifted off. They might be interested in making one at home, I'll add it to my 'to offer' list.

Sonia led her first session. It was so much fun! It was a music/singing/movement affair. She surprised the kids - shouting, singing really loud, running, lying on the floor. Brilliant.

On Thursday we went to the zoo with Bev and Daisy. It poured down! What were we thinking? Freddie wasn't bothered but poor Betsy felt very sorry for herself.

Then there's been lots of dressing up and facepaint with Jarvis. That makes for one happy Freddie :-)

Today was Joshua's birthday party. It was the perfect sort of party for F and B - freeform, no games, people they know. They spent most of the time paying with Robert and Andrew, wrestling on the trampoline.

Rob spent 6 hours at the allotment. My hero!

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Work in progress Wednesday

I've been working on my Ishbel shawl for a couple of weeks, on and off. The yarn I'm using is beautiful, much finer than I'm used to! It's Babylonglegs semi-precious (silk/merino blend) in Jeanie-Jean.

It took a few evenings to do the stocking stitch centre, then I stopped for a while as I was scared of the pattern. I tend to stick to easy/plain knitting. But I've found this more straightforward than I expected.

I've been slowed up again by a rookie error - I didn't ball up the yarn before I started to knit. And the skein got horribly tangled. I spent 3 hours on Monday night trying to untangle, and got this far:

I couldn't face another night of it, so I snipped it! Oh well, lesson learnt.....

See more fabulous WIPW posts linked on Tami's Amis and Other Creations

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

The woods

We went to the woods today. We wanted to collect some bits and pieces to build a fairy house (hopefully we'll get around to making it later in the week).

It was a little chilly, but glorious when the sun was out.

Freddie has a secret club hideout. In his fleece he was almost impossible to spot!

We had lunch at the cafe. Today, being a normal term time day, it was lovely and quiet. It gets mobbed at the weekends, but no queue today. The kids snacked while we waited for our order.

Meg enjoyed power-crawling and eating pinecones - there were millions of them, never seen so many.

I enjoyed tea and cake. Yum!

Meg exhausted herself and had a wrap nap.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Fluff and friends

I had a lovely start to the day with the arrival of a gorgeous new wrap - anthracite hemp indio. It's very classy (hopefully not too classy!).

After the usual odd jobs (Ocado delivery, laundry, yadda yadda) and lunch, we went to Mel's for a chat and a play.

Meg loves their grassy garden. Freddie and Betsy played on the trampoline, in the playhouse and in the sandpit.

Mel has some beautiful plants, and grows loads of fruit and vegetables. They've had the first strawberries already, it's been so warm and dry this spring.

Alex and Ethan made a two-headed monster!

Sunday, 22 May 2011

'Fluffy' shawl finished!

and here it is.

I'll be posting it off to its new home tomorrow, and am very happy with how it has turned out.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Yarn and fabric

With Freddie and Betsy away till tomorrow, I had some time to do some crafting. First I blocked the shawl I finished in the week. I've used Betsy's bed, so I hope it's dry by bedtime tomorrow! I'm happy how it's turned out. It's the first shawl I've knitted, though I have another on the go and two waiting in the wings.

Meg and I popped to town to get some fabric for the pyjama bags I wanted to make for Freddie and Betsy. On the way out of the shopping centre there was a stall with some lovely yarn, and a friendly girl knitting. It turns out she's there every Saturday. This could be bad for my (already shaky) bank balance! I bought this fabulous rainbow bright lace weight (LACE WEIGHT!) yarn. I think it will turn into a Trillion shawl.

This evening I made the pyjama bags. They are different sizes (whoops) but do the job well - PJs in the main bit of the bag, bedtime books in the outside pocket. Hope the kids like them.

Busy busy

I'm not sure how best to make the time to blog. I want to do it, I like having a record of our days.

Anyway, here's a quick overview of the missing weeks.

We went to Archie's birthday party. It had a knights, princesses and dragon theme. Freddie dressed up as a dragon as part of a game.

The day after was a return to preschool for Betsy. Except she realllllly didn't want to go. So, with relief all round she's no longer attending. To celebrate we went to a huge soft play centre in Milton Keynes. It has a carousel, bumper cars, a 'play street' with a pizza parlour, a vet and supermarket, and a brilliant outdoor bit with a big sandpit and pedal boats. We were there for hours, the kids loved it.

At our home ed co-op this week we played outside a lot. Sujoya brought skipping ropes and she used them to great effect to teach crescendo and diminuendo. Brilliant. Joelle led a game of post and starboard and the kids loved this.

On the Thursday we released the butterflies into the garden. As each one flew out we ooohed and ahhed like it was a fireworks display!

There was a free taster day run by Heroes, at the old Shire Horse Centre in Maidenhead. Such a great place for a home ed centre - totally secure so the kids can roam, playground, different sessions (yoga and art when we went), and best of all small animals to help look after. I barely saw Freddie. He was cleaning out the guinea pig hutches! Betsy made best friends with a lovely 11 (ish) year old.

I'd love to go every week, but the diesal is so expensive, plus it's £12 per family. I've offered to be a helper as they waive the cost, but I haven't heard back.

At the weekend we went to the theatre to see Peppa Pig. We had a ticket for Freddie but he decided not to go. Betsy was very excited. She stayed until near the end, then decided that was enough.

The next week was all about getting ready for camping! We did get out a couple of times - to Mel's for an afternoon, and to the zoo for a couple of hours.

We skipped the co-op, and I packed and sorted. We went to the first Natural Mamas Big Camp on Friday. It was freezing but excellent. Seeing all the wraps and babies was wonderful.

This week we have been to the home ed cafe in Stoke Poges, the co-op where we did our names in hieroglyphics (loved this), and had haricuts. Got to run, Meg screaming! Big kids in Stoke with Rob thius weekend. Now finally up to date :-)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Work in progress Wednesday

The shalom cardigan is 8 rows from being finished! I've enjoyed knitting it and I'm looking forward to picking out a button and wearing it. It's the first project I've done with my Knit-Pro Symfonie needles, and I'm a total convert now.

I have a couple of projects lined up to do next, and both arrived today! Perfect timing.

I'm going to make some long sleeved light cotton tops for Meg, to protect her from the sun. I'm thinking of using the muslin cloths we're not using any more. I hope they'll be big enough to cut the pattern from. If not I have a thin cotton skirt I don't wear anymore. If the muslin works I'll make a few and dye them different colours. Here's the pattern that landed from the US this morning:

I'm very excited about this next project. There was a very enabling thread on the Natural Mamas message board about shawls. I have never worn a shawl, let alone knitted one. But one of the recommended patterns that I liked the look of was the Ishbel shawl. I bought the pattern and ordered some beautiful merino/silk yarn from Sarah at Babylonglegs. It arrived today and oh my word, it's gorgeous. I have it in 'Jeanie-Jean'. I can't wait to start!

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Tom's birthday picnic

Today we had a lovely afternoon in the (windy) sunshine. It's Tom's birthday this week, so we had a family picnic next to a lake. Freda came, the scooters were there and ice cream was eaten.