(Full picture set for August is available here)
The house is quiet. Dr. Thingo took the kids into town for an event that turned out to be a dud. Apparently, they’re playing in a park with some kids and won’t be home for a while, so here I am. Hello!
To catch you up on our bureaucratic adventure: No, we still don’t know which school the kids are going to. No, I still haven’t received information about what kind of supplies/uniforms I’m supposed to get. Yes, we’ve been pestering the council at regular intervals. School doesn’t start until next Tuesday, so I guess it’s theoretically possible they’ll be placed on Monday (it’s not a holiday here). There will be more pestering on Monday. And the fact that they do everything by mail and not email* means they could be placed, and we won’t hear about it for two days after. I figure, worst case, we go sight-seeing in the city on the first couple days of school – things should be fairly quiet!! On the visa front, I have my visa back, though there was some runaround with that too. A huge thanks to Carmen, who facilitated its return to me.
This being a knitting blog and all, I figured I’d catch you up on what I’ve been making. Progress has been slow, but I have a few things to show for my summer.
A couple of days before we left Canada, I finished this top:
The yarn is String Theory Caper Sock. I’m quite happy with the end result, though it’s been far too warm to wear, so I haven’t yet. I made it up on the fly, armholes, bust darts, neck gathers, and all. Consequently, I ripped back often, especially the armholes. But since this was supposed to be a project to regulate my blood pressure during pre-sabbatical preparations, I was not in a hurry to finish it. The process was good! I was inspired by this sweater, but too cheap to buy the pattern. Not that I have anything against Amy’s designs. Quite the contrary – her book is the only hardcopy knitting book I brought to London with me! I think the sweater turned out well, though I could have put in some ease (I decided to go for zero ease everywhere. Maybe an inch or so would make it a little less boobtastic. Though Dr. Thingo really liked it.)
Then, seeing that I had a huge amount of yarn left over, I decided to quickly look for something to make that wouldn’t be too taxing, and came up with this (Elissa hat and scarf, by Amy O’Neill Houck).
(a note on that bedspread: When we first got here, I kind of hated it. Now I kind love it. Sure, it’s a little ratty. And a little bright. But in the very spare room with the super-soft-light coming in through the rice paper blinds, I love it.) I whipped up the hat in the evening before we left, in my super-clean living room (sigh.). I worked on it a tiny bit on the plane, and in dribs and drabs during our European vacation. Crochet is totally the way to go with scarves, since it’s so fast. Because scarves suck out my will to live. Take this one:
That’s the Rill Scarf, by Miriam Felton. It’s the same section, repeated again and again and again. It’s mostly stocking stitch. It’s pretty, but it’s BORING. I started it in May. It came with me to a cottage, on vacation, and to London. I just finished it a week or so ago. I’m planning on sending it to the lady whose apartment we stayed in in Paris – judging by the colours of and the artwork she had around, I think she’d like it. It needs blocking, though.
So, given my feeling about knitted scarves, it’s ironic that I picked this as my Souvenir Yarn purchase from La droguerie in Paris:
Yep, that’s a lace scarf kit. And it’s mohair, which means that if I mess up, tearing it out will be a nightmare. But it’s pretty, and it comes with lovely trim that I’m going to sew on at the end.
It turns out that there are no yarn stores in my corner of London. There was one in Greenwich, a short bus ride from here, but the owner of that store apparently went to the US for a visit in July and decided to just stay there and close her shop here. So that’s that. I did drag the kids to the store that is geographically closest to me. It was a good half hour bus ride. Then a bit of a walk. And then a bit of a disappointment. It’s really more of a quilting store, with a little yarn. There was one kind of sock yarn, in three different colours. Lovely though it is, it wasn’t worth the trip there. The owner was very nice, and gave me the balls at a discount, so I bought one for each of the kids to make them socks.
I’m looking forward to the Yarn Crawl in a month.
* Seriously, they love their letters here. Originally, when we first applied for council tax, we were supposed to get a letter from the council confirming our application had been received and processed. We were supposed to provide this letter, by mail, to the council office (yes, same council, in the same municipal building. Apparently, they haven’t heard of email) to proceed with the school application. Which would have been annoying, but fine, if they hadn’t lost our tax application in the first place. Then, later when we asked the branch of our bank why I hadn’t yet received my card, which would allow me to access funds in Dr. Thingo’s UK account, they said “you’ll get a letter from the branch when they get your card”. A letter? Seriously? Wouldn’t it take less time to send me an email than print off a letter and mail it? Or call me? Or walk it over? Also, why is it going to the branch in the first place rather than directly to me, but that’s a whole other story. If the mail was fast, it’d be ok, I guess, but it takes two days for a letter to get here, from what I’ve seen. Luckily, they deliver on Saturdays. Oh, and the doctor’s office (that’s another long story – I have no intention of using them for anything, but we were required by an insurance clause for something somewhere to register with a physician. So we did.** ) sent me a letter to inform me that Zebula wasn’t up to date according to their immunisation schedule. Surely, a phone call would have taken less time than drafting and posting a letter. Maybe I’m just crazy.
** One positive is that, unlike in Ontario, there is apparently no doctor shortage. This clinic has nurses and nurse-practitioners doing the daily, routine stuff, and a doctor who takes care of whatever actually requires a doctor. And there was a sign in the lobby that said “Pregnant? Call a midwife!”, so, that’s an improvement on the way things are run in Ontario.