Numerical Knitting

October 13, 2008

Time flies…

Filed under: Knitting,parenting,Teaching,Trailer life — by bethc @ 9:31 pm
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There’s something about the rhythm of teaching school that is soothing… every year is the same, just the main characters change. You would think by now I would remember how hard the start is every year, but somehow, each year I’m surprised.

We’re just back from a truly relaxing week-end that has left me feeling renewed and refreshed. We left later than we intended on Friday, but did manage to make a final trip to the beach for the season. Because I have the best in-laws in the world, and they have a trailer on 4 spots away from ours, I got perhaps more sleep in a single week-end than I have since before Bunny was born! All that sleep has left me on a Monday evening (but really it’s more like a Sunday evening with the holiday and all) with the energy to quickly bring blogville up to date.

MmmmmmalabrigoSince we last spoke we received the wondrous Malabrigo from SuperCrafty and the Grade 6 knitters are off and running. While a few are still working on their “practice” many are learning the joys of knitting a cowl with yummy goodness. I knitted one for myself, binding off as we rode the bus to the Grade 6 fall camping trip. I then proceeded to wear said cowl for the entire 3-day trip. After that abuse it needs a good washing before its photo shoot!

loads of Legos!We arrived home from camping on Bunny’s 6th birthday. My how time flies! He calculated that if he aged another year for each birthday celebration he’s now 12. His birthday was well celebrated to say the least, with different events stretching over eight days. One of the many highlights was the Pirate Lego party held with 18 of his closest friends. We rented Legos for the event. 30,000 of them! A good time was had by all the kids, and the adults involved were all exhausted!

Tomten in progressWhen we got ready to leave for this week-end’s trip I grabbed Bunny’s long neglected Tomten. What fun it is to knit on and I am nearing the end of the first sleeve. I have high hopes that I’ll actually get it done in time for wear this fall! Luckily it seems that it will still fit, and he still likes purple, whew.

I have other things that need to get done, most pressing is sewing up the squares for a group baby blanket. The squares have been done since mid-summer, I’m just putting off the sewing… now I’m thinking about crocheting them together, perhaps that would be interesting enough to get me on the case! I have ordered Cascade 220 from The Loopy Ewe to start on holiday felted clogs. I have the pattern for the children’s but have to track down the adult one. Anyone know of a lys in my area that carries it? Seems a shame to pay shipping.

Only three teaching days this week (Friday is parent-teacher conferences) so I’m hoping that my state of restedness might last…

September 16, 2008

The world is a better place!

Filed under: Knitting,Teaching — by bethc @ 5:33 pm

Ready for Knitting Class
Because as of 4:00 there were 9 new knitters in it! The new year of after-school knitting has started and I have 9 girls and 4 boys eager and ready to create! Thank goodness for the four who could already knit, KnittingHelp videos, and my colleague who teaches knitting with me because we managed to get everyone knitting in under an hour!

Time will tell what arrives tommorow…

We’re doing our best to teach them about knitting with “the good stuff.” We’re starting them out with donated acrylic and then once they show they can knit they move on to Malabrigo! Yup, because of the great prices at SuperCrafty we were able to get each kid a skein of his/her own and we will set forth and make cowls!

June 8, 2008

Summer time…

Filed under: parenting,Teaching,Trailer life — by bethc @ 7:56 pm

Now I’m just waiting for the living to get easy…

Last week was the final frenzy, and then, in the magic that is teaching school, suddenly at 5:55 Friday afternoon it was all done. The papers were all graded, the grades were all turned in, the room was clean, and all of the forms had been finished. It was summer!

Bunny in a Tide PoolAfter the faculty end of year party we headed down in a late night trip to the beach. Leaving at 10pm sure helps beat the traffic! I fell into bed about 1am and was fast asleep, no more worry, it’s over. Unfortunately, Bunny had been asleep since 8:30 so at 6:10 he was wide eyed and bushy tailed telling me “did you know? We’re at the trailer!” Luckily Grandma and Papa were up for an early morning visitor. So after cereal with Dora he was off to their place and I was back asleep. Next thing I knew it was 10:30! Wow, it must be summer!

beach viewOff to the beach. Bunny played in a tide pool, I sat under an umbrella and knit, and B hit the dollar store. Ah, everyone happy.

Unfortunately, B had to head back home Saturday evening to play a concert Sunday, so he hitched a ride with his aunt and Bunny and I were on our own. Well, not exactly, since Grandma and Papa were five trailers away. Bunny thought we should hit the boardwalk and who am I to argue. I Won!We had treats and played skee ball and I actually won a prize! When I think about all the skee ball I have played in my life that’s one expensive tiny stuffed dog. But he was thrilled, and I have to admit I was pretty excited too!

Back to the trailer I let him stay up while I finished sewing a lining onto the curtains for his trailer room. I was deluded with the thought that a dark room would make him sleep later. He was up 90 minutes past his bed time and was still up by 6:30. Thankfully, Grandma and Papa had invited him over for breakfast so off he went. I wasn’t able to go back to sleep, but had a peaceful morning knitting and watching Juno and DIY network.

The rest of the day has been dominated by constant reminders that I let the young prince stay up too late last night. But despite the whining we made it home safely and B has taken him out for dinner and left me home alone.

Tomorrow camp starts for Bunny, but only 10 – 1. And what will I do with the precious 3 hours? Go to the gym? Knit in a coffee shop? Get a pedicure? Nope, I will go to school for a meeting… Summer?
Where?

April 7, 2008

Why I knit in public…

Filed under: Knitting,Teaching — by bethc @ 9:52 am

Bunny on the dock in CozumelI have been thinking about this a lot lately. Not why I knit at Bunny’s Tae Kwon Do class or on airplanes, that’s for sanity preservation. That’s not that sort of knitting in public I’m thinking about. I have been thinking about why I blog about my knitting and why I post my projects on Ravelry.

I have come to the decision that it’s all about the praise.

Teaching, my chosen career, is by it’s nature pretty solitay. Those who don’t teach may not think so, but figure I spend most of my day trapped in a room with a group of narcissists. They are 11, they are supposed to care about themselves, that’s their job. While I think that if I suddenly passed out in class they would notice and try to do something, for the most part their concern for me rests on how much homework I will assign and when the next quiz will be. I have great colleagues, people to talk to about life and about teaching, but by and large I am the only adult in my vicinity for most of the day.

Teaching is also a profession with very little praise. There are no bonuses and in my school the evaluations have been few and far between. Parents are quick to let me know when I have done something wrong, much slower to do so when I’m doing something well. Sure there are parents who thank me, and those who write nice notes, but it’s usually at the end of the year.

So, why all this about teaching? I guess it’s to say that I don’t get much adult interaction or positive feedback on my teaching, so I put my knitting out into the world (blog, ravelry) in hopes of interaction and possibly positive feedback. You have no idea how my heart leaps when a new little heart appears on one of my projects in Ravelry or when I get a comment on my blog.

What got me thinking about all this? Well, Ravelraiser of course. If you are on Ravelry I hope you have heard of the Ravelraiser by now. If not, stop reading and go here. I’m getting ready to make my donation, but part of making the donation is posting why you gave. That got me thinking. What is it that I like (and am willing to pay for) about Ravelry. Sure the advice is great, the ability to get ideas and see finished objects, the chance to check out Julia’s stash when I think I might need something… but in the end, I think it’s all about the favorites for me. I love when people favorite my projects. It makes me feel like Sally Field.

That said, I have been terrible about choosing favorites of my own. Whenever I think about it I am filled with angst. How do I choose my favorite? I really have to get better about it, favorite projects when I see things I like or admire. Perhaps I have caught the narcissism from my students… Guess I better go mark some favorites, right after I make my donation!

(vacation photos provided to break up all these words)

October 2, 2007

Into the Woods

Filed under: Teaching — by bethc @ 8:29 am

Off I go, camping with 43 6th graders… At least there will be knitting time!

September 26, 2007

Now with photos!

Filed under: Knitting,parenting,Teaching — by bethc @ 9:34 pm

Again, many thanks to Mary for a great Football-a-Long swap package. I have plans for the yarn and the carry case is great! So far Bunny hasn’t discovered the stickers, but loves his coin purse for all his many treasures! And the buttons! So cute, I know they will find their way onto something very soon. Thanks!

In other news, there has actually been a fair amount of sewing going on at chez NK. I put the sweater into Biscuit’s Tomten for Julie. There’s been other sewing as well, but it must remain under wraps until the gifts are received!

In the knitting world, knitting class has resumed and I think all seven of my lovelies can knit now, most even end each row with the same number of stitches they started with! Their first project will be a simple washcloth directions here and about a thousand other places on the web. I have been knitting up samples that will become the birthday gift for Aunt Nancy!

Yes, birthday season is arriving at our house. Sunday evening will be the joint family party for Bunny (turning 5) and Nancy (turning more than 5, she’s B’s aunt). Then Wednesday is the actual BIG DAY for Bunny, but B will be parenting solo since I will be camping with Grade 6. I arrive home in plenty of time for the Build-a-Bear party (one step above CEC) the following Saturday… I’m tired already!

June 6, 2007

Bookends

Filed under: Knitting,parenting,Teaching — by bethc @ 5:40 pm

Here was Bunny on the first day of school those many months ago and again today, the last day of school. A bittersweet moment indeed because he has had such a fantastic introduction to school and the wonder it brings. On the first day of school he knew letters but could only, almost, write his name. This morning he was writing words on my chalkboard, a child on the verge of reading.

As a teacher, today is a relief. Sure there are still forms to be filled out and grades to be recorded, but it’s over, done, kaput. Now it’s time for summer!

What will summer bring? Some travel, some rest, lots of knitting, and Ravelry! When the t’s are crossed and the i’s dotted blogging about actual knitting with return to include the state of the clapotis and some socks!

March 6, 2007

What can kids do?

Filed under: Knitting,Teaching — by bethc @ 5:29 pm

What can a group of energetic 6th and 7th graders do with a little information, a little yarn, and a little time?

A lot of good!

Saturday was the school’s fun fair and our band of little knitters had their booth ready to go. After a major panic earlier in the week that we would have nothing to sell they came through.

Scarves got finished and the ends got woven in. There was even fringe on some! And I ask you… who doesn’t need a fun fur scarf? It’s the hottest spring accessory!

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Far and away our best sellers were Zoobies! Who knew a square with eyes would have so much appeal?

The kids had so much fun making them that one of the moms put together make your own Zoobie kits and we sold those too!

Other hot sellers were cell phone/iPod cozies that were sadly unphotographed.

So, what was the total you ask? $710!! The group gathered this afternoon to choose a charity. Suggestions included local homeless shelters, Heifer International, and the World Wildlife Fund. The clear winner after two rounds of voting was to give the money to UNICEF to help the children in Darfur. I feel lucky to work with kids who understand the need to help others!

On my end I got in the charity action as well. I donated a trip with me to MD Sheep and Wool to the school’s auction. I was thrilled when it sold to a group of parents whose girls I adore. So, now the real fun begins. Soon I will be soliciting ideas and volunteers to make this a trip to yarny goodness they will never forget. Put your thinking caps on…

March 1, 2007

Feltnanza!

Filed under: Knitting,Teaching — by bethc @ 3:24 pm

I ask you, what is better than the smell of wet wool in the evening? OK, almost anything, but undaunted by the smell, and now the owner of very clean jeans, I spent last evening felting!

It’s the end of the trimester here at the school of the overworked teachers and that means that in addition to grading papers, averaging grades, and writing report cards, we have a flurry of completed knitting! Knit quick kids, before the class ends!!

The fruits of their labor and my washing machine resulted in two felted bowls, one purple clutch, and a really nice button hole bag. (Kind of makes you want to sing, no?) One Skein and Mason Dixon provided the inspiration.

The other one, oh, I made that… It’s the striped tote from One Skein, and by the time I was done I realized I should have just knit a sweater. See prefelting photo shoot here.

Saturday the kids are selling some of their own knitting creations to benefit charity… so there is still deadline knitting to finish, gotta teach them early!

January 26, 2007

Pretty hand and a quest

Filed under: General,Knitting,Teaching — by bethc @ 3:48 pm

First this is my pretty hand. Thanks to the remarkable talents of an amazing woman I, along with all of my students, now have this beautiful mehndi. Every year I am left in awe of her talent to create these beautiful designs on lots of people in a short time, all free-hand.

Next, I am about to start a two-colored pinwheel blanket. I love the way this one looks, but alas there is no link for this mysterious Beth. Anyone know her? I would really like to know how many rounds she did and/or how she worked out the stripes. Anyone? Anyone?

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