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Knit It, Solve It at Whole Schools

Julie Owen pulled together an awesome workshop on using knitting at school to support math learning. Here are some photos. You can learn more at Knit School, which is Julie’s new knitting blog.
Julie teaching knitting
holding the needles
learning the basic stitch

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multimedia presentation on knitting

More Knitting

Julie with a nesting doll in her sockJulie and I spent some more time knitting today. We picked up the second side of gusset stitches and are beginning some decreases that involve some ssk’s. I love learning new jargon. Knitspeak. Julie said hers looked like little buntings so she asked her daughter to grab a nesting doll. Cool, huh?

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Julie’s daughter was skeptical of our mirth.

Julie's sock
Julie’s sock.

Sarah sock
Sarah’s sock. I am making mine shorter because that’s how I like my socks. Imagine that? Custom-made socks.

Knitting

Starting the Knitting Two at a Time Socks
Two friends and I are knitting two socks at a time on two sets of circular needles. The above photo shows Jennifer working on the first full row.
Knitting Two at a Time Socks
This is how mine look. (I had to start over after somehow getting things all cattywompus.)
Two at a Time Socks
These are Julie’s after no false starts and a long afternoon at the pool. Isn’t she cruising?
I’ll keep you posted on progress.

Moms’ Night Out

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My friend Julie took these photos with my camera during a moms’ night out at her house. We had a fabulous time — knitting, watching a period piece, eating, and gecko tracking. Each of us brought something to share and Julie hosted — since her husband and kids were out of town. It was blissful!

tomatoesTabbouleh, hummus, a greek salad, pita bread, watermelon, cantaloupe, and cherries. It was all good. Late in the evening, after it was good and dark, we checked out the front entryway and found our friends the geckos. In these two photos you can see the difference in colors between the one we found on the white paint and the one we found on the brick wall.
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Two Kinds of Log Cabins

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Here’s the knitted log cabin blanket I started when I was recuperating from my surgery. The pattern is from Mason Dixon knitting. The yarn felt wonderful to work with and the colors kept me happy. I am sending it to a relative as a late Christmas present. She’s having some tough health problems, too, so I hope it will bring her some comfort. You followers of this blog will know that I also knitted a hat during my recuperation. The two were very different projects. The log cabin blanket involved just plain knitting, knitting, and more knitting. The hat involved knitting in the round, purling, counting stitches, etc. I think I’ll try to keep a log cabin knitting project going most of the time — it’s so simple and keeps my hands busy. Plus, I have lot of little bits of yarn left. My friend, Julie Owen, turned me on to log cabin knitting this summer when she would turn up at the pool with knitting when I turned up with quilting.

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Now for the kind of log cabin I am more familiar with — a quilt. My first log cabin project, when I was a teenager, was a Christmas table cloth. It turned out so well that I made a bunch of them. My grandmothers, my godmother, and our family’s best friends all got Christmas table cloths that year. I had never tried a full-sized log cabin quilt until now. I chose yellow, blue, creams, tans, and browns. At first I had it laid out in diagonal lines, but Richard suggested this layout and I love it.

Update: The Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book stickers I ordered arrived today so I went to Lemuria to leave them enough for their signed stock. Here’s a post on A Year of Reading by a teacher who went by her local bookstore and picked up a copy of Wolfsnail.

Lovely Lazy Day

We slept in. We ate leftovers (tasty ones). We napped after lunch. We took a late afternoon walk and stopped in a neighbor’s yard to play. What a relaxing day! During the family playtime in the yard, I sat on a swing and snapped photographs while Richard pushed the boys on the air pogo and kicked a soccer ball around.

The light was fading and I was getting some movement, but I liked these two anyway. In the second one, especially, the movement gives the photograph an abstract look. Almost as if it were photoshopped. Is that a word?

I also finished a knitting project that caused me a few problems in the making. I will remember this as the hat that taught me ribbing. I naively thought I knew how to knit one, purl one, but clearly I didn’t. All I managed was knots. My friend who knits reminded me that I could find how-to videos on YouTube. I learned that you have to move the working yarn to the front to purl and to the back to knit. Makes a world of difference. On the second try, I started off knitting too loosely and I cast on too many stitches. It looked like I was making a sweater for a small dog. Since it was a gift for my mom, I began to refer to it as the hat only a mother could love.

In the end, however, I think I managed to make a nice hat. I love the yarn my mom picked out and I think the ribbing works — however, I have to admit that it is the reverse of what she asked me to do. On the third try, after about an inch of working in a purl one, knit three pattern, I put the whole thing down. When I picked it back up, I managed to reverse my work somehow. If the hat is flipped inside out, you get the pattern I was going for. Who knew knitting could be such an adventure?

Here’s Douglas, the only one I didn’t get in the yard in mid-play. Richard took this in our driveway before we left. I’m glad we took the time to take these photographs today, the first day of the year. It gives us a good start. We are still in the middle of compiling our annual calendar for 2009. It has been a traditional Christmas gift we’ve given for the last dozen or so years. This year’s is late and we ran into a snag this week as we finally got around to uploading photographs to the online service we’ve used for years. Finally, finally, after trying many different ways to upload and even signing up with a new photograph processing service, Richard figured out the problem. It had to do with settings on our firewall. Though I understand why computer security is necessary, it is often the thing that stops me from doing what I want/need to do.

Books, Books, and More Books

Holidays around our house are always occasions for exchanging books. This year was no exception. All of us got books and/or gift cards for bookstores. In addition to the new books, my sister and I went through the two large bookcases in which my parents have stored our books from childhood. My parents are trying mightily to pare down their collection so the new books that come into the house will fit on shelves.

My sister went through the shelves first and laid claim to a fair bunch — including some Nat Hentoff titles that she had read in high school. She had tried to find the titles recently and learned they were out of print. My eighth grader expressed a lukewarm interest so she’s left them for him to read first. Since she’s flying home, she probably won’t be taking her stash on this trip anyway.

My pile included The Maude Reed Tale, Amos Fortune Free Man, The Pushcart War, Charles and Mary Lamb’s Shakespeare for Children, a compliation of the country’s founding documents, a collection of Edward Lear’s nonsense, etc. I had a good time thinking back to reading of favorites like Her Majesty, Grace Jones, All of a Kind Family, the Little House books, the Lois Lenski books, the Virginia Hamilton books, the Mildred Taylor books, etc.

The image at the top and the ones below are of my current knitting project. It’s a log cabin style light blanket. I began it a few weeks after my surgery and it has helped me get through the long hours on my back. I love the colors and the feel of the yarn.