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And it was worth it.
MIND - I was helping teach rather than being a pupil/consumer. Crochet, with the intention of producing scrunchies for sale on a craft stall. I then came up with a fall-back plan aka "first lesson" - spectacle "chains". A simple crochet chain in some attractive but smooth yarn, with a rubber fastener at each end. I'm rather glad I did, as only one of my beginners progressed beyond that. Still, one non-beginner has progressed to things she couldn't do before, and we have ideas on how to use the random granny squares she's already made, one lady who's always had problems with tension now knows how to solve them, and two have gone home bearing hooks, yarn, and either patterns or photos of how to hold the hook and yarn for best tension control.
Plans before next week include turning some very simple patterns into diagram format, as my non-beginner can't cope with a written pattern.

Four hours, with a break, and not *too* tired at the end of it. No shaking hands, no stuttering, no problems coping with people who aren't as fast in learning as I'm used to.

By the way, shout-out here to my mum and gran who made sure I was totally familiar with working with yarn from early childhood. It really does make a difference!

Evening was ukulele practice, and yet more evidence that they're a lovely welcoming bunch - I got there a little bit later than planned, and Brian had saved a seat for me! One song was simple enough that I was actually playing every chord, I caught on to some slightly more complex strumming patterns without too much trouble, and I'm getting there with the more complicated things. I can do all the chords, just not (yet) fast enough.
But two hours of intense concentration was too much. I was really struggling by the end, yawning all over the place. Well my therapist said that concentration is the first thing to go, with depression, and the last to come back. This is pushing me just up to my limits, and that's what I need.

So, Saturday, breakfast was toast, brunch I did manage to do properly by doing a recipe "by the book", laying out all ingredients before I start rather than grabbing and improvising as I go. Mid-afternoon, and I've sorted some emails and might even consider getting dressed. But basically, Saturday is devoted to recovering from Friday.
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The Starbucks in work offer 15p off a cup of anything if you provide your own container. 15p is 15p, and that also means one less cardboard cup being recycled. But my Big Mug led to problems as they tried to work out what size of coffee it corresponded to, so I cut back to only using it for tea (all sizes the same price, you're paying for the teabag).

The other week, I visited a "real" Starbucks, and they were selling plastic reusable cups in the same sizes as the cardboard ones, for £1 each. So I grabbed two, and marked them up, one for coffee (Americano, shot of sugar-free hazelnut) and one for tea ("Calm" blend). This went down well. But they're labelled as still needing the insulated cardboard holders, just like the things they imitate, and in fact on testing them, I'd say they're even more inclined to burn the fingers. Also, I can't tell at first glance which is which.

So, I needed something better in the way of insulation. This is me, and I have fabric and yarn. Ravelry supplied a couple of interesting patterns for yarn thicknesses I didn't have easy access to, so last night I went for my preferred "pattern" - grab a ball of super-chunky and a big crochet hook, and JDI.

I now have two cylindrical cup-cosies / finger-protectors, in different colours. Nothing complex, just 5 chain, about 20 lots of (1ch, 5 dc), then join with sc. They took about 20 min each, so I'll probably do a third, since I have one more colour of yarn to hand in that thickness.
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The main event this weekend was going down to Swindon for an uncle's 70th birthday party. Last time all the relatives on my dad's side had got together, we'd said we really ought to do so more often (it seemed like we only met at weddings and funerals), so someone had the bright idea of using this as an excuse. And it was good. I wouldn't choose to stay in that hotel again (WIFI access only in the lobby, and not free), but we all had a good time, I met some second cousins I didn't previously know existed, and Kath and Mike came all the way down from Scotland. Various rather bad snapshots on Flickr

But on the way there.... we stopped at Woburn, since it was about lunchtime, and Nicholl's was there. And very nice it was too. Then we went for a little walk, since Woburn is pretty, and bought a few little bits, and... well, there was this cookery shop. We'd been promising ourselves some new saucepans for a while, these ones are starting to develop hot spots. We'd see the sort of thing we wanted: stainless steel, glass lids, pouring spout, and drainers in the lids. We knew what that ought to cost, and therefor hadn't bought it. But the phrase "50% off" has this magical effect on me.... Stellar 7000 range, five-pan set. Their website only seems to show the bottom end of the range, with plain steel lids, sadly.

Saturday night - party. And some catching up on crochet with my little sister. She's trying to make a doiley and struggling. Not that I could help much :(

Sunday, dropped in to see [livejournal.com profile] tattercoats and [livejournal.com profile] vaurien, which was lovely, especially as we got a bonus ten-second hug from [livejournal.com profile] clothsprogs, who was just leaving.

Home, via various pretty places (we got bored with the M4/25) and Kelly came round at 7 to deliver our Louisiana flag and pick up some of my fabric stash. And, it turned out, the old saucepans.
janewilliams20: (Default)
Did it! Well, yes, only one sock, not two, but it's still a feeling of accomplishment. This is the pattern, yarn, and hook I picked up at the start of the USA holiday. I just finished it.

piccie and more chat under here )

The pattern says, quite specifically "make two". I wondered at the time who needed telling this (Jake the Peg?). Now I know - people who get easily bored.
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Well, not quite, we have another 10 hours or so, but this is the last time I'll be on-line. Did some more retail therapy yesterday - jeans, and a new giant roll-bag on wheels to carry all the new toys. Going out, we had two items of check-in baggage. Going back, we have all four, and I have a new lap-top bag that's MUCH bigger than the one on the way out and also has a handle, and wheels. The bears are being persuaded into the cases as I type.

The time not spent shopping was at the Amish Village - interesting, mildly informative, and makes me think that to understand what's going on there, I need a lot more information. As with anything else in life, it's more complicated than you think.

Crochet sock is round the heel (almost) and on to the straight bit before the toe. We'll see if a (blunt) crochet hook is allowed on the plane with me. Edit: yes, it was.

Plans for today include another shopping mall near Baltimore. I have no idea where we'll pack the results. We only managed this lot by throwing away half the worn clothes as being not only in need of washing but also worn out.

Oh yeah, since I have the link to hand for the last time, here's where we've been staying for the last few nights.

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