Wednesday, 22 March 2023

Older and wiser??

 


I'm 57 today!! ๐ŸŽ‚ Another year older and wiser??  Nope ๐Ÿ˜‚  Still feel like I'm in my 30s although my body is telling me otherwise.  Number 1 priority now and when I retire is to get my health and fitness back up to where it was pre pandemic.  I remember fondly (!) the days where I could do a full day's work and then come home to go to the gym and workout for 2 hours.  Or go cycling/walking all day on a Saturday.

On reflection, I've spent the last year (since I got Covid) going to work then coming home to recover.  And by recover I mean doing NOTHING in the evenings or at weekends except to prepare for going back to work.  Holidays were spent recovering and catching up on dr and dentist appts, sorting out admin that could only be done in person.  

I'm really looking forward to getting even better!! 

Saturday, 18 March 2023

Teacher burnout


I took the decision and informed my Headteacher yesterday that I wouldn't be back in school any time soon.  I do still have the cough/chest infection but said when I see my GP for a Fit Note (sick line) next week, I will be citing work related stress.  I'm still incredulous that it's taken 2 teachers at the same time to replace me in my classroom and that will count in my favour when it comes to talking to HR!!

I've had so many lovely messages from my colleagues all wishing me well and saying I'm doing the right thing.  They've seen me struggling for months and aren't in the least bit surprised.  I've said I'm not hiding away and will be spending my time (once this fecking cough has gone!!) in my garden and at the allotment.  And I'll take as long as it takes to feel properly well again.

The above quote is from a book called "The Teachers" by Alexandra Robbins.  It's about the American school system but the findings apply to teachers worldwide. Teacher burnout post pandemic is very real and it's not their fault.

Thursday, 16 March 2023

Inevitable I guess

 


I guess it was inevitable that after going back to work last week while not 100% meant I crashed and burned.  Yep, I have a secondary chest infection (history repeating itself) and I'm off work.  And I have a feeling I'll not be back.  It seems that my work besties and my family have all been concerned about me for a while.  I'm burnt out and exhausted.  They're all advising me to get signed off long term and just retire at the Summer as planned.  It's tempting.  I laughed (hollowly) yesterday when I found out it took 2 experienced teachers to team teach my class.  And they had my SLA most of the day too.  3 adults for 15 kids.  That sums it up nicely I think.


Anyone been watching Jamie's £1 Wonders?  It seems people love him or hate him and he gets a lot of unnecessary (in my opinion) abuse.  From what I've read the criticism comes from folk who don't understand that it's under £1 per portion by clever buying and cooking in bulk.  Of course we frugallers already know how to make meals on a low budget but I'm always open to new ideas.  On Sunday I made his savoury pancake bake which is layers of crepe style pancakes with a cheesy sauce with frozen spinach through it.  His version had cooked ham as well but I made it veggie/dairy and gluten free and served it with chorizo on the side as that's what I had in the freezer. It was absolutely delicious and the leftovers reheated nicely for lunch next day.  I can't find a link to the recipe but you can sign up for all his recipes (free) HERE ๐Ÿ˜‹

Saturday, 11 March 2023

Sold!

 


Finally at 16.53 yesterday (7 minutes before my lawyer's office closed) the flat sale finally went through and the money was transferred into my account.  I got back more or less the same amount of money I paid as the deposit so I'm happy with that.  But I have paid a few thousand in legal and estate agent fees.  I'm just relieved that part 1 of my 'grand plan' to retire is complete.  Now on to planning the next stages.

In other news I've not been well this week and took 3 days off work.  I definitely had/have some sort of virus as I've had a pounding headache with a high temperature and been alternating being freezing cold and boiling hot!!  I had a few days in bed and then stupidly went back to work on Thursday  When will I learn?? ๐Ÿ™„

Folk at work were happy that the teacher's pay claim in Scotland has been resolved.  It looks a good deal on paper, 13.5% but that's back dated to last April and spread out over 28 months.  It's not 13.5% all at once.  And in 2 years time teachers will be back to the same position of negotiating the next pay rise.  I'm glad I'll be out of it.

Thankfully this week I was able to just pull something quick and nutritious out the freezer as cooking when you're not well is off the agenda.  I took a photo of my tubs in the freezer as it was very satisfying to see them all ๐Ÿ˜Š Saved me time and money as no takeaways were required!

Thursday, 2 March 2023

Filling the freezer!

 


I popped into Waitrose after dropping my son off at work on Tuesday night.  I didn't have high hopes (weather was good all day and it was still light) and there really wasn't much in the usual reduced fridge,. However, I spent some time wandering round and had a good look at everything.  And I found reduced chicken drumsticks (16 for £2.35), 2 packs of stewing steak (2 x 400g for £2.59 each) and Kettle crisps!  

I cooked the beef in the crockpot with a ton of veg and added some of the M&S sausages to stretch it even further.  I also used the crockpot to cook the drumsticks and then stripped all the meat off.  I've saved and frozen the bones to make stock for soup at the weekend.


Then yesterday I got a big (ish) Sainsbury's delivery where I chose 1kg of 5% fat minced beef for £5.25 as my main meat of the month.  I cooked it in my big pan with grated carrots, onions and red lentils.  I deliberately seasoned it lightly so I can use it for cottage pie or spaghetti bolognaise etc by just adding flavourings.


I ended up with 20 individual servings of cooked minced beef, sausages in gravy, cooked chicken and beef stew to put in the freezer. Plus what I ate for tea last night and tonight.  This way of batch cooking seems to work better for me as I can pull out a tub when I come in from work and reheat it in the microwave.  Rice or pasta and frozen veg only take 10 mins to cook so I have a healthy meal ready quickly ๐Ÿ˜‹  

I had to buy more of these tubs with the blue lids as I was running out of usable ones.  They have a wee steam vent perfect for microwave cooking!  They cost £15.99 for 10 on Amazon.  I've bought these ones before and they last for a few years before getting a bit cracked.  I just chuck them in the dishwasher but maybe if I carefully hand washed them they'd last even longer!!  Plus they can be recycled in my blue bin when I'm done with them ๐Ÿ˜Š

The total meat cost was £12.78 for 22 servings (sausages were free with my vouchers.)  That means each tub has about 58p worth of meat!  The other ingredients (carrots/onion/lentils/seasoning) probably add another 15p.  Still well under £1 per tub! ๐Ÿ˜Š

I'm going to whisper this news as I don't want to jinx it but I have a new entry date on the flat.  March 10th which is next week.  No reason given as to why they didn't complete on the 28th as agreed ๐Ÿ™„ Fingers crossed this date sticks! ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž๐Ÿคž

Tuesday, 28 February 2023

February Spending

 

Today was a strike day.  As a staff we decided not to man a picket line, mainly because we were tired/unwell and the thought of 2 long lies was irresistible!  But we attended a local rally outside the council HQ later in the morning.

Afterwards I walked into town as I had M&S vouchers worth £11.  I had thoughts of getting myself some treats but everything was so expensive.  So I went yellow sticker hunting instead and saw a few good deals.  As it was still before lunch time there weren't many.  But I got a great deal on some ewe's milk cheese, reduced from £4.25 to £1.32 and some jumbo sausages (gluten free) that had almost £1 off.  

But the main reason I went to M&S was because I wanted sushi for lunch.  That wee box cost £5.  It was a delicious but expensive treat.  I really should learn to make my own! ๐Ÿฃ Total was £12.52 so really I got free meat and cheese then got the sushi for £1.52 ๐Ÿ˜‹

So here we are at the end of the month already!  My February spending was rather low ๐ŸŽ‰

  • Supermarket/groceries: £107.07
  • Pets: £62.01
  • Amazon inc monthly fee: £70.71
  • Other misc: £56.85
I only bought 3 things on Amazon and none were school related!  I bought books for my new great niece, a finger splint for my injured pinky (tennis related incident on Staff Development day!!) and 4 table legs to turn an offcut worktop into a table for my craft room.

Total February spend (not already planned and budgeted for) was £296.64!  And some of that was on 2 separate pizza deliveries on HMI week!!! ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Again I'm not adding anything to my savings this month as I'm still paying the flat costs.  The proposed entry date of today has come and gone with the buyer and his lawyer not responding to calls.  I'm really really hoping the sale hasn't fallen through as the costs incurred to start over will most likely wipe out any profit and eat into my deposit.  Keep your fingers crossed for me! ๐Ÿคž

Sunday, 26 February 2023

Another weekend of recovery


I've spent yet another weekend just recovering from my work week.  It's made me even more certain I've made the right choice to retire! ๐Ÿ˜Š  I've been watching Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan on Amazon Prime while knitting.  I've now finished both sleeves.  I'm not sure if I've made them wide enough for the more jacket like cardigan image I have in my head.  I might add a wee extra strip down each one to make it wider if I need it.  I'll see how the rest of it knits up.  But I'm happy with the effect so far ๐Ÿ˜Š

I didn't need to make soup this weekend for the week ahead (thanks to last week's mega soup batch cooking!) so I made a big veggie lasagne instead to use up the leftover veggies at the bottom of the fridge!  That will do me and my DIL tonight and I'll have several portions leftover to freeze. I made a wee lasagne with some minced beef from the freezer (cooked and frozen weeks ago) for my son.  And we're having a rhubarb crumble for dessert, using up rhubarb frozen last year.  I think it's the last batch.  There are a few bags of plums and just 1 tub of blackcurrants left.  The fruit I froze last Summer has kept me going throughout the Winter!

This week we're on strike for 2 days, Tuesday and Wednesday.  There's also a rally at the council HQ to protest the lack of action on resolving the issues.  I was asked if I wanted to address the rally but I don't think I will.  I might get carried away and be a bit too honest!!!  I don't want to put pressure on myself by agreeing but I'll see how I feel on the day.

Thursday, 23 February 2023

A hack that worked!

 

I kept seeing this hack on FB and people were raving about it.  Maybe you already know about it and I'm just late to the party!  I made a perfect poached egg in the microwave and it was so simple.

I put 1 cup of water in a wee bowl, added the egg and cooked it in the microwave at 800w for 1 minute.  It wasn't quite cooked so I did it another 30 seconds.  And got the most perfect poached egg I've ever made! ๐Ÿ˜‹

EDIT:  If you need 2 or more poached eggs I'd suggest using a clean bowl and fresh cold water for each egg.  My DIL did 1 perfect egg then did the second egg in the same bowl with the already hot water.  The egg exploded all over the microwave ๐Ÿ˜ฑ It'll take a while for her to live that down!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Tuesday, 21 February 2023

People said nice things

 

Well,  I told everyone at work yesterday that I was retiring.  It seems it was a bit of a surprise to most people but everyone (almost) said really nice things and wished me well.  Many people said I would be really missed which was lovely.  A few folk said they were jealous!!  I was honest with my headteacher and told her I was burnt out and had nothing left to give especially after the inspection.  I'll also be letting my union know that too!

I popped into Morrisons on the way back from dropping off my son at work tonight.  My DIL was with me and we looked for bargains!  They have random shelves of reduced stuff all over the store so it was like a treasure hunt!  I got some flowers reduced from £6.99 down to 70p.  Lilies are my favourite!

My DIL got some gorgeous red roses reduced from £5.99 to 60p!  She also got some yellow stickered cheese, cooked ham and a pizza.

I got a jar of lamb gravy granules reduced from £3 to 25p.  Gravy is gravy so any meat flavour works for me!  It's still months in date.

I didn't get my non contact time today as the teacher who covers me and my stage partner was off with flu.  It seems there's yet another bug/virus doing the rounds plus a wee vomiting outbreak in some classes ๐Ÿ˜ท๐Ÿคฎ 

Definitely will not miss the bugs, viruses and germs!!!!

Friday, 17 February 2023

133 days

 

I counted.  It's 133 days until the 30th of June and my last day of teaching ๐ŸŽ‰๐ŸŽˆ๐Ÿพ  The countdown has officially begun!! 


Meanwhile, yesterday and today I made 14 mugs of soup for the freezer for my work lunches.  Got to keep meal prepping to save money and eat healthily!  7 mugs of chicken and rice soup (using the last leek from my garden) and 7 mugs of carrot and lentil soup (using up the last of the veg lurking in the fridge!)


I also sliced up a £1.99 Lidl sourdough rye loaf and froze it too.  Soup and a chunky slice of crusty bread is an easy work lunch.  The bread isn't GF (or cheap) so I'll use it sparingly!

I've told my immediate family my plans but I haven't yet told my work besties.  I'll speak to them over the weekend before I go public next week.  They'll not say anything until I tell my Headteacher on Monday.

It's all a bit real now ๐Ÿ˜ฑ

Thursday, 16 February 2023

Huge big thank you!!!

 


Thank you, thank you, thank you for all your lovely comments on yesterday's post!! ๐Ÿ˜˜ I also posted in a frugal group on FB and got so many positive comments too.  It's a huge relief to have made the actual  decision.  I just have a huge permanent grin on my face! ๐Ÿ˜ I know there's a bit of paperwork to do and I still have to inform the right people (ie my headteacher and my colleagues!) but it's all very real now.

I popped down to the plot this morning to check it had survived the Winter.  It's not too bad.

On the way home I went to Dobbies first to spend my Christmas voucher from my sister.  I got 60 seed potatoes and 50 onions sets for £14.97.  One of the bags says the varieties will continuously produce potatoes for 5 months!  Let's hope so!!

Then I went to the big Lidl in town and got a reduced extra large chicken for £3.35.  It's currently cooking in the Crockpot.  The label says it feeds 6 to 7 people.  I'm pretty sure I can get more meals than that from it!  Plus I'll make stock for soup with the bones.

My frugality mode has really kicked up a notch knowing that I only have a few months of full salary left.  Operation retirement has begun in earnest!! 

Wednesday, 15 February 2023

Decision made - eeeeek!

 


After the 2 staff development days and listening to our management team tell us what HMIE thought about us, I decided I've had enough.  When teaching and learning is being judged on data and not by what they saw (albeit very briefly) in our classrooms then it's time to go.

You know I've been crunching the numbers forever but I finally actually registered with the government gateway thingy and discovered that my state pension (that I get when I'm 67) will only be £6 a week less than if I continue to work 2 more years.  It's not worth it!!  I'm not ruling out working at something else in the next 10 years so I could top that up between now and then.  Together with my teeny tiny teacher pension I will have enough to live on when I'm 67.

For the next 10 years I could draw down equity from my house or I could sell my house, move into a smaller place and live on the equity.  Or I could win the lottery.  Or write a best seller.  Or marry a millionaire!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚  Who knows!

But the decision has finally been made.  I will not be returning to teaching in August.  I'm done and I couldn't be happier ๐Ÿ˜Š

Saturday, 11 February 2023

Passed

 

It was a tough week but we got through it.  Now we wait 9 weeks (yep NINE!) to find out how we got on.  All we know is that they don't need to come back which means we passed.  So, yeay!! But it could be a bare minimum pass or a decent one.  Genuinely have no idea as all they said to us was things like "We commend you for doing XYZ really well" and "You will need to work on ABC." ๐Ÿคท That's on the management team and the education dept to work out.  I'm just going to get on with teaching my wee cookies as best I can!

I have 2 staff development days on Monday and Tuesday (ie no kids!) then 3 days of half term break.  My house is a tip and I need to get some DIY plans in place ASAP!! ๐Ÿ”จ๐Ÿงฐ

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

The perfect description of a single woman in her 50s!


I haven't watched the last series of Happy Valley yet.  I'm saving it to watch during half term next week so no spoilers!!  From what I read Sarah Lancaster has outdone herself and Sally Wainwright's excellent writing has made it another outstanding triumph for the BBC.  BTW if you've never seen Gentleman Jack do watch it if you can, also written by Sally and on the Beeb.

But it was this quote that caught my attention.  It captures perfectly my view on life as a 50 something single woman!!!

‘I’m just becoming the person I always wanted to be. Don’t take shit off anyone, any more. I say it like it is. I know who I am. Finally. And I know the be-all and end-all isn’t necessarily to get myself hitched to the first flaky twat of a man who happens along.’

YEP!!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Sunday, 5 February 2023

January Spending (late!)

 


I'm a bit late with my January total, but better late than never!  Despite me saying I'm not buying anything for school(!) I did buy an age appropriate book to talk about religious head coverings.  I have a wee Sikh boy who wears a patka and we didn't have anything in school to help us talk about it.

I kept my supermarket spending to just under £160 for the whole month, so around £40 a week.  I wish I could spend less but food is expensive and I do have to eat.  I do have quite a few things in the freezer as a result of my bargains so here's hoping this month will be a lot less.

I had to pay an emergency electrician (£120) ๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„๐Ÿ™„

I bought a dog gate to keep Emma out of the kitchen when we're cooking.  Because she's on steroids she is obsessed with food and keeps getting under our feet in the hope we've dropped a crumb!  I've tripped over her a few times, once with a boiling kettle in my hand!!  Safer for all of us but she's not happy about it! ๐Ÿ˜‚

I filled up my car with petrol, £52.76 for a full tank.  Prices seem to have stabilised for a bit but could be lower.  That will probably see me through until Easter unless I go on a longer trip.

Total spend for the month excluding known bills was £482.10.  As I'm still paying for the flat with no rental income (mortgage/insurance/boiler care/energy) there isn't any spare money to put in my savings! Eeeeeek!!!  But the new owner takes over on the 28th of this month so once I get my capital back I'll put whatever is left after legal fees etc in my savings.

Saturday, 4 February 2023

Impending doom!

 

There is a definite air of impending doom hanging over the school.  HMIE is due to arrive on Monday at 12 noon.  The Headteacher has kept the school open until 9pm each night for people to work.  And it will be open tomorrow (Sunday) too.  I genuinely have no idea what they're doing!!!  One of my closest work friends told me she'd worked 75 hours the previous week.  We only get paid for 35 hours!!! What on earth was she doing for those other 40 hours????  It's just crazy.

I popped into Waitrose on Tuesday night after dropping my son off at work.  It had been a very wet day and was still raining heavily at 6pm.  Always good conditions for yellow stickers!  I picked up salmon fillets, cooked sausages, GF rolls, chorizo, samosas, coleslaw and rice cakes.  Everything was at least half price or less!  I seriously considered buying a huge catering size haggis than was half price and well within date.  I would have portioned it up and frozen it. They had loads of them so I might pop back in to see if they have any left.  I also bought some daffodils on impulse.  They've opened out after a few days and are just a welcome splash of colour in these dreich days! 


I also popped in to Lidl on my way home on Thursday as I needed to buy popcorn for school (don't ask! ๐Ÿ˜‚)  They had some fab reductions for just 70p!!  Think I timed it well ๐Ÿ˜Š

I just have this week to 'survive' plus 2 staff development days then it's half term.  I suspect it will include a lot of sleeping!! ๐Ÿ˜ด

Sunday, 29 January 2023

Filling the freezer

 

It's been a hectic week at work as expected.  I'm in before 8am, home after 5pm and I'm working on stuff in the evenings too.  My choice, as I just want to make a good impression when the inspectors come.  But I'm tired, grumpy and predictably am fighting off a virus/bug!!!  So the focus is on decent but quick to make food.

I rescued these ready meals from the bin (literally) in school as they were past the use by date by a few days.  They are now in my defrosted and cleaned out chest freezer.  We had them for kids to taste Scottish food on Burns' night.  Sadly there was no Irn Bru, shortbread or oatcakes left to bring home although I did rescue a wee bit of Scottish cheddar for my son!

I made a load of nut and lentil burgers from a 'when it's gone it's gone' mix I got ages ago in Lidl.  They were rather tasty!  Now also in the freezer.


I cooked a 2kg joint of brisket in the Crockpot, cost £10.61 from Lidl.  I just shook some Tamari and Worcester sauce over it and cooked it for 5 hours.  Must confess it didn't yield as much meat as I'd hoped as there was a huge piece of fat/gristle in the middle.  But I got 8 generous portions for the freezer.

And we were on strike again one day this week! I'm in the blue hat ๐Ÿ˜Š

When my life is busy I always prep food as it makes me feel organised in at least one area of my life!!  School is still challenging but if I can make it to half term I've achieved more than I thought I was going to when I when I went back in January!

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Finally


It's finally finished!! I love it and can't wait to get it deep cleaned over the weekend.  Then comes the good bit deciding what colour to paint the walls and choose the flooring.  Should I match with the kitchen or go completely different?

We heard yesterday at 12pm precisely that we're getting our "special visitors" in 2 weeks.  Yep, His Majesty's Inspectors of Education are finally descending on us after waiting several years.  When I got the job in my school 7 years ago  I was told their visit was imminent.  So for the next 2 weeks in school  it's all go making sure our paperwork is flawless, our displays are immaculate and our kids are well briefed on behaviour.  I think only 1 out of these 3 is humanly possible in my classroom!!

Sunday, 15 January 2023

Meal prepping and sleeves!

 

I popped to Tesco really early this morning to pick up a few groceries.  Amongst other things, I got a large chicken, 750g of steak mince and 2 bags of baking potatoes.  Imagine my delight to find 5 potatoes in a bag of 4!! ๐Ÿ˜‚ They were on offer any way plus they had a clubcard price so I got 9 large potatoes for 70p!


I cooked the mince with 3 grated carrots, 3 small chopped onions and a large handful of red lentils.  Apart from a splash of Worcester sauce I left it unseasoned so I could use it later for bolognaise, chilli or a cottage pie.


I portioned it into 6 tubs and it's already in the freezer!  Works out at under 80p a portion. I baked the potatoes with the chicken (I had 1 of them for lunch) and they'll live in the fridge for meals this week.


The chicken was also portioned up (6 tubs and 2 servings for today worked out at 69p a portion) and they were frozen along with the carcass.  I'd made a big pot of soup yesterday with last week's leftover carrots and sweet potatoes so I didn't need to make chicken stock for soup today.  So I have 12 meals' worth of meat, 5 mugs of soup and a chicken carcass in the freezer for the week ahead.  I also boiled some eggs to use as breakfast/snacks for work.  I do like to feel organised for my working week!

Work is ok.  I'm trying to not overthink it when I'm there.  I do my best for the kids who want to learn and deal with the behaviour issues as they happen.  So far I've not brought any work home and haven't done any work over the weekend.  Long may that continue!


 Work on the utility room continues.  It'll be done when it's done! ๐Ÿคท


And I'm now halfway up the sleeves on my cardigan!!  I'm knitting them both at the same time so they are the same.  I'm really having fun with it ๐Ÿ˜Š

Wednesday, 11 January 2023

Progress

 

It's slow progress on the utility room/mini kitchen.  Reeeeeeeally slow!!!  This is 3 days work ๐Ÿ™„ The joiner pulled out 2 wall cupboards and 2 base units.  He's replacing them with 2 wall cupboards, 2 base units and a fridge.  And oh my goodness, what a mess!!  Plus B&Q forgot to order the cupboard doors.  Which means I didn't pay for the cupboard doors.  Which means my mini kitchen won't be finished until next week *sighs*


But progress on my cardigan is quick!!  Colours are more vivid in real life!  I've now divided the stitches into 2 fronts and the back.  It's quite heavy already so it's going to be a warm cosy cardi especially are there's a lot of 100% pure wool in the yarns!! 

Tuesday, 10 January 2023

Strike 2!

 

I'm on strike again today.  I've just stood for 2 hours on a very wet picket line waving placards at the handful of cars that pass our school.  I don't like striking but it's a necessary tool in the current economic climate we find ourselves in.  

We had a visit from someone at HQ so we got a chance to ask him some pertinent questions. According to COSLA and the Scottish government there's no money for public sector pay rises.  I totally get that. But we didn't get our annual pay rise last year (that's why we're striking!) so now 2 years later thanks to inflation we've effectively had our salaries cut.  As have many other professions.  Even a 10% increase won't match inflation now.

So I'm doing no work today.  Once I've warmed up I'll be watching Elementary and knitting more of my cardigan!!

Sunday, 8 January 2023

Powerless

 

We had a power cut yesterday.  Initially I thought it was just my house that had an issue as I had lights but everything else had tripped the fuse box.  My son and I checked that neither had done anything ie plugged something in or switched something on or off.  We checked everything we could check then the lights went out too.  I looked outside and my neighbours on either side and across the road still had lights on.  So it was a reasonable assumption that I had an electrical issue.  I called an emergency electrician who came out within the hour who confirmed there was no power coming into the house.

So last night it cost me £120 to discover that some type of power cuts can affect some houses and not others.  Yes, my neighbours on either side and across the road (and round the corner!) all had power while me and every third or fourth house didn't.  There are only 5 houses on my little row (I'm in the middle) and I was the only one with no power.  Something to do with circuits apparently... ๐Ÿ˜ก

Urghhhh!!!  Anyway, my emergency basket of torches, candles and matches was tested for the first time.  Thank goodness for that rechargeable work light I bought a few months ago!  We were able to light one room for a few hours.  I made a simple one pot pasta and cheese dish for supper as I could light the gas hob by matches ๐Ÿ˜Š

Close up of textures

In other news, my stashbusting cardigan has grown lots over the last few days.  I'm loving having a project that is quicker than socks!  Plus I've had a search through all my wool stashes and found a few good single or half used balls!

I have a whole bag full to choose from now!  It's very therapeutic as I zone out while I knit while I binge watch Elementary on my laptop.  The only subscription I have is my Amazon Prime so I'm making full use of it!!  Plus it stops me overthinking about going back to school tomorrow ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ

Thursday, 5 January 2023

Knitting inspiration!

 

I was looking for a new knitting project that wasn't going to cost me any money.  My DIL and I have been sorting out cupboards and found a huge bag of yarn my Lovely Mum gave me years ago for use at school.  I remember I did some weaving with a few classes and had a wee creative craft club on Friday afternoons.  My DIL crochets so she was thinking of making more animals with clothes. I went looking on Pinterest for a stashbuster cardigan and found a few ideas.  Love the above one!!!

I also found this one which is a knitted knock off Etro crochet design.

This is the original catwalk version!  I love the mix of colours and textures.  So an idea was born! ๐Ÿ’ก

The biggest circular needle I have is a 6mm so I'm aiming for a sort of Aran/chunky weight of yarns.  It will mean I need to double and mix strands but I'm hoping the mix of stitch patterns will create the effect I'm looking for as well.  I cast on 200 stitches (100 for the back and 50 for each side) and will knit rows/stripes/blocks as I feel like it.  I'll knit the sleeves on straight needles.  

There's no pattern or vision in my head other than to use up all the yarn I have stashed from previous projects.  I will not buy any yarn but will probably get some from my Lovely Mum as she still has a sizable stash of her own!!  The above is Aran pure new wool from New Lanark mills in heather.  My aunt knitted me a jumper in this years ago and for some reason we had 5 x 100g extra balls leftover.  I think we maybe had to buy a pack with a set number.  I'm allocating 3 for the back and 1 for each sleeve.  


I'm still knitting socks too ๐Ÿ˜„  I've always got a pair on the needles.  This one is at the toe shaping point.  The cardigan is chunky and knits up quickly whereas the socks are portable and can go with me.  No idea how long the cardigan will take but it's been fun researching and sorting out suitable yarns! ๐Ÿงถ