Sunday, April 22, 2012

Now What?

(But first, can I just say that I'm unhappy about Blogger wanting to connect everything to my Google+ account? I'm going to be looking into Tumblr and Wordpress instead. Not that I'm blogging all that much ...)

But ... the Eyjafjallaj√∂kull Shawl is done, and blocking! I can hardly believe it. Part of me thinks I should really never knit again, and the rest is just blithely adding more and more shawls to my queue. For a while I thought I'd make a shawl for a graduation gift for each of my advisees... now I'm down to seven but even that feels daunting some days(although they are only sophomores at this point --see, I keep talking myself back into it). Anyway, photos of my Iceland volcano shawl:

The outdoor pre-blocking photos are closer to the real color of this gorgeous Heritage Silk but neither set gets it exactly right. Oh, have I loved this project. I might even make it again.

Happy Earth Day!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

The Ides of March

As good a time as any to take stock ...

So I ripped the shawl back to the very beginning (I knew I would, you knew I would) and have plugged along dutifully to find myself once again well along in the final chart. I am about 10 rows short of where I was when I discovered the mistake. This seems promising and I still hope I might be able to have it OTN by the time I head out on Sunday. I don't want to take this on the plane. After all that's happened, I don't think it is travel knitting. I'd be sure to snag it on something, or drop all the beads, or ...

Elder Daughter and I have managed to be quite diligent about the gym this past week. Spring break is good for such, and I hope she will keep going while I'm away. She is still hoping to find a way to keep swimming as her PE credit for the spring but our league is notoriously picky about this. Maybe if we bill it as shoulder rehab?

Like most parents of school age children at some point or other, in late December we finally had to deal with the horror that is head lice. We live in a building with three other families and thirty-one other teenagers, 99% of whom have long hair and a penchant for hugging. It's been a nightmare, and probably plays a role in Younger Daughter's decision to cut her hair "like Emma Watson's". It's a cute hair cut, but it actually makes it possible for me now to see the extent of her dandruff issues -- and I have been moved to interfere in her personal hygiene in a way I haven't had to for some time. I'm a little worried though, about the effects of the serious dandruff shampoos on the rest of her skin. We've tried a product from Alpenglow Skin Care, a small producer in Alaska that I like a lot, but it's so concentrated that I need to be present for its use (not popular with YD ... or with me, as I am usually sopped by the end of the process). So, back to the drawing board on that one.

There's a lot of my spring break to-do list still standing up and waving at me. E-mails to authors for a collections of essays I am co-editing, starting my tomato seeds, cleaning up the debris of the past three months (the "I'll just throw this on the bookcase and deal with it over spring break" pile), getting organized to go and scout potential conference sites, and, yeah. I'm not going to keep going with that list, it's too wearing.

Focusing on what HAS been accomplished: YD and I have been to a new movie (The Secret World of Arrietty), I've accomplished one task I'd promised myself as a birthday present (it was a milestone last fall, say no more), I logged off Pinterest this morning without adding to my wish list, and I've been knitting. And now I have blogged.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012


I couldn't stand it and frogged the entire thing. So now I'm on take 2. Months of work down the tubes, but at least I know I'm capable to sticking with this project and that it is still important to me.

In other news, the first phase of Elder Daughter's swim season is over, and she is is frustrated, disappointed, and down on herself for not swimming best times while rehabbing a serious shoulder injury.


Saturday, February 18, 2012


I am approximately twenty rows away from finishing the final chart of my shawl .... and I'm freaking out because I think I have read the chart wrong. I know in my heart that lace on the needles looks like crap and I shouldn't expect it to resemble the beautiful blocked versions on Ravelry but I may have to put aside all of my grading and all of my project folders to finish this & get it off the needles so I can block it. Then I'll either be thrilled/relieved/proud or I'll be doing something drastic to bemoan my knitting hubris in taking on this project in the first place.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy Alaska Day

Alaska was admitted as the 49th state on this date. No, I didn't know that off the top of my head, but I was looking for a non-Happy New Year title for the blog post and this is what you get. Not, of course, that I don't wish everyone a happy new year, because I do, but it's the 3rd of the month and that just seemed a little too late.

We're back in school today after a break that didn't really feel like one. R's father died on the 15th of December. It was not unexpected and it was a blessing to have him go peacefully, but that sort of life change definitely causes rearranging of the personal universe for everyone even remotely connected to the person. The next day we learned that an 8th grader at my school had died very suddenly and mysteriously. Elder daughter knew her, but not well -- however. More universe shifting and several sleepless nights for me. We had a nice jaunt to southwest Florida with my family but the rest of the break felt oddly disconnected. We did a family movie marathon and watched ALL of the Harry Potter movies, in order -- that's an accomplishment, right?

I've decided, on the crafting front, to try to power through the bum elbow thing and just knit as much as I want. If I can't straighten my arm afterward, so be it. I finished another Ishbel shawl, this time in BMFA Woobu, which just feels WONDERFUL. I'm going to have a hard time giving this one away. It isn't blocked yet, but I still think "yum" every time I see it or pet it ....

I also made a pair of mittens for my nephew (I hope they fit him):

and several monsters (I'll have to add these photos later, as they're still on my phone).

On the needles now, as part of a swap challenge,Vermillion, in Madelinetosh sock in the Lichen colorway, along with several other unfinished items ... my crafting goal for the next month is to deal with those UFOs.

As for New Year's resolutions -- how's "treasure every second"?

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

An unexpected moment of silence

I have been running around like crazy since school started in September. While I love everything I've been doing, I just had sixty seconds of sitting still and being quiet... and I am so filled with relief that I might start crying any second. Even lying on the chiropractor's table it is my wont to make lists. I don't know how I just achieved that complete brain silence (maybe it's actually dementia or something and I should not be so excited about it?) but it felt great.

Today I've made pumpkin bread pudding ( a purely indulgent act, since I'm the only one who likes it), sourdough bread, and nanaimo bars. I've been to Michaels, with Younger Daughter (which means that I spent twice as much as I intended going in). I've been to the supermarket to get some things I forgot yesterday when I was at Whole Foods. I took the girls out to breakfast, since my school celebrates the beginning of every break by reminding the residential faculty that this isn't really home (in other words, testing the fire alarms early in the morning). And now I have had a moment of quiet.

Time to give thanks!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Long Division

I've been sitting with younger daughter for the past half hour while she works doggedly at her math homework. As a math teacher, I'm both pleased and horrified at the work she has to do.

The Good:

  • Someone has taught her to use big 0.5 inch graph paper to line up the problem
  • She has amazing notes from class on why you need to know division, and its relationship to multiplication
  • She has five steps to follow
The Bad:
  • She has twenty problems to do, along with all of her other homework
  • She's just finding quotients, and the remainders can apparently go hang
  • she doesn't really understand what she's doing
This is a child who is doing her level best to produce what her teachers want. She doesn't really understand what the process is about, or what is happening with the numbers, or what she's actually accomplishing, other than completing her homework and checking that task off the list.

How is this learning? Or, where is the benefit to my child? It isn't intellectual growth as I understand it, but I don't teach middle school. What am I missing?

That being said, I'm really pleased with her school today. Over the weekend she and her best/only friend had a playdate-gone-awry with lots of quarreling and misunderstanding. Younger daughter wrote a long e-mail to the adjustment counselor, who made time to write her back, meet with her today, call me, and to offer to sit down with both girls later in the week to help them find ways to disagree productively.