Jun 23, 2011

Master Knitter

I've begun work on my Master Knitter Level II program materials again.  I finished the vest last night, and was surprised to find that many of my swatches are already finished, and several questions already answered!  My plan is to use Wednesdays to work on these pieces until they are finished, hopefully getting the package in the mail prior to leaving for Sock Summit.  I'll try to post some pictures of the swatches and my thoughts about them as the summer moves on.

Have you considered this course?  If you haven't, you should.  It is a well organized, carefully thought out curriculum that will take a average knitter's skills and move them to the advanced level. . .with more feedback and input than you could imagine!  If you're interested in growing your skills, I suggest you check it out!

Jun 17, 2011

Summer Vacation!

Is here! The day started with a way too early wake up, scheduling a meeting with the special ed director to handle some school business that will continue into the summer, as well as an unscheduled appointment at the doctor for an ear ache, followed with a check up for my car, as the check engine light came on as we headed to the doc...

Not one to let anything impede my bliss, I'm sitting in the shade, knitting a sock, waiting for Joanie to finish up at the doctor...

Soon I will be tie dying a few tanks, and enjoying time with friends. Who could ask for more? To quote a colleague, this is the BEST day of my life!

Jun 14, 2011

Ready to Go

One vest is drying, but ready for a button...

And my knitting bag is filled with sweaters awaiting buttons.

Aren't these Beatrix Potter buttons cute?

This little sweater is destined for the gift box, just waiting for the next friend to announce she's pregnant.

These two will be mailed off to first-time grandma, Anita, in D.C. Where she's helping take care of her daughter and twin grandchildren who were born a few weeks ago.

Another vest ready for buttons, and my Juliet will gain a closure tonight too. I almost feel like I'm wishing the warm weather away as I finish all of these cool weather garments...I will have to wait until fall to really enjoy them!

What do you knit in public?

Jun 13, 2011

Making Progress

I have been flying through my UFO pile! I have three baby sweaters, an adult vest band sweater and soon one more vest all awaiting buttons, which is a perfect activity for social knitting with my guild. All of that hard work looks something like this:

When I took stock of things this morning, I was sad to realize that all of that knitting didn't get very much moving off of my to do lust, because they never made it on the list!

Maybe I need to move some projects to hibernating status? That might be a more realistic descriptor!

Jun 9, 2011

Picture troubles

Does anyone use Blogpress for mobile uploads? I'm having issues with getting my pictures to upload :-(

What Light?

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

The knitting is finished, but I still need a good steam blocking and a few button loops and buttons. . .that will have to wait until this weekend.

And Dr. G is finished too! Really finished. Ready to give away. . .but not until Fritzie sees it in person. She's the one who turned me on to the pattern in the first place!

And the peonies are blooming!

And I have teeny, tiny apples starting to grow.

And today is supposed to be cooler than yesterday. Wahoo! Hope you find somewhere to stay cool and be happy. . .wait, that sounds like something someone wrote in my yearbook. . .do you think that's what they meant?

Jun 8, 2011


Dr. G is finished. . .pictures soon!

Juliet is nearing the finish line too. . .hopefully tonight!

Jun 7, 2011


The parts of my Dr. G vest were united this morning. I have the ribbing completed around one arm, and am looking forward to finishing the other and possibly the neckline later tonight. I hate to jinx myself, but I anticipate having it completed well in advance of my Father's Day deadline. (yay!)

Additionally, the staff at my school were united today as well. Today the Michigan Education Association declared a "Day of Action". We were asked to wear red for public ed. . .and to share information with community members about how cuts to school funding will impact the students at our school.

Often, when teachers make noise about what is happening in our districts, it appears to directly relate to what is going into our pockets. The perception is that we only care about our raises and job security, but that honestly isn't the case. Think about the teacher in your child's classroom. His or her working conditions are the learning conditions of your child.

Our district has faced many cuts this school year, and as such are facing many changes in the way our schools will do business in the fall.

Students lose when class sizes increase, each student receives less individual attention. For students with IEPs (those that receive special education services) that means it becomes tougher to honor the accommodations each student deserves. When operating budgets are cut, we can't replace broken and outdated technology, nor can we prepare our students to be marketable in the Information Age. When teacher teacher salaries decrease, fewer of the brightest and best college students make the career choice to become educators.

Parents lose when their hard earned tax dollars pay for business tax cuts instead of education.

Communities lose when their school districts face financial ruin.

Local businesses lose when their customers (former school staff) don't have money to support them.

I hope you'll take some time to consider what your hope is for the children in your household and community. Gov. Snyder sends his children to a private school that charges each family nearly $18,000 a year. In 2008, Michigan public schools received less than $13,000 per pupil, and that funding has been cut every year since. The recent changes to the Governor's proposal help, but our budget is still far less than what Greenhills School in Ann Arbor will be using to educate the Snyder children. And did I mention? They're having a fundraiser.

Consider what you think is important. A united community who writes to their legislation is the only thing that is going to make a difference.

Jun 6, 2011

Making Progress, Smelly Basements and Blooms

With Dr. G blocking, I felt just fine working on Juliet. . .and am nearly done with it, if the yardage calculations are correct! I did add a couple of rows before binding off the sleeves, and a few more prior to starting the lace. After consulting with Matlie, we both agree that the original pattern stops the garter stitch either too high, or too low to really be flattering on either of us, so we're making some modifications. I had hoped to use five skeins of yarn. . .if that is to be true, this is what's left.

I knew as soon as I cast this sweater on, it was going to be a super fast knit, and even commented to a few friends how sad I was that it would be over so soon. They thought I was sort of crazy, as I'd only knit a couple of rows when I made the comment. But don't you know that feeling? You love knitting a pattern, because of the yarn, the color, the stitch pattern. . .whatever it is, it just makes you happy. Sometimes, the knitting is the most fun, not the wearing of the garment. I really love the softness of the Cascade 128 superwash that I'm using. I feel thrifty, since I'm using stash yarn to knit it. I enjoy the look of garter stitch, since most commercially made sweaters are in stockinette stitch, I know it looks hand crafted. I am fairly certain the style will look attractive on me, and that makes me love it all the more. While I'm eager to wear it, I'm just loving the process right now. I'm already anticipating the separation pangs I'll feel when I'm done.

I'll take a break from it tomorrow so that I can begin seaming Dr. G. Maybe that will prolong the love.

Most of my weekend was spent cleaning Mike's basement. When we went last weekend, he didn't tell us there was water damage until we were leaving. . .not that we would have wanted to tackle the task alone. Susie and Laurie came from the west side of the state to join us, and the excavation began. Someone with children needs to tell me, do you really need to save a 15 year old hand-print wreath made by your child/grandchild if it's musty, bent up, and not being displayed anywhere? I was told that I didn't understand, and maybe I don't. Help me see the light. It was a struggle to determine what was too damaged to salvage, and many bags of trash and buckets of bleach water later, the basement is drying.

We thought we'd be clever and "share" the construction dumpster of the neighbor to dispose of the smelly, wet garbage. Not exactly the best plan. He went over to Mike's house on Sunday and requested that we remove the garbage. Back to Mike's house to deal with the trash again. Good criminals we are not. Today I was able to get permission to dump it in a local dumpster. Thank goodness! I had no desire to keep it around for much longer, let alone smell it or touch it ever again!

I meant to take some photos of the Centurea Montana in my front yard when it was blooming. . .it was an amazing display this year! I missed the Siberean Iris' big show too. . .and they are my FAVORITE but here are a few pictures of what is blooming in my yard today.

I have to say, I'm really enjoying the blooms this year.

These moonbeam coreopsis are getting ready to pop! I can't wait!

Jun 4, 2011


Dr. G is blocking! I love, love, love this pattern!

And for an acrylic blend, it has really nice stitch definition, don't you think?

While that's drying, I can work on Juliet without guilt!

At least I can tell myself that! Whatever happened to finishing two before casting on one? I blame Matlie. She doesn't have a blog and cant really publicly shame me.

Hoping to get to the armpits before Dr. G is dry!

Jun 3, 2011


Another class of graduates out the door last night. While I don't always know many of the graduates, I appreciate seeing their eager faces as they participate in what, for many, is the biggest event in their lives thus far.

The speeches are often repetitive, but last night, the kids did an amazing job. One of the salutatorians gave a politically charged speech that talked about the Michigan economy, and the foolishness of our government to think that spending less for a product (education) would actually yield a better product. As our schools feel the pinch of the shrinking tax base as more and more people lose their jobs and homes, it truly is a tough decision how to best encourage business to come back to our state, and how to best prepare our youth for a competitive college and job market. The three other speeches were more typical. . .here's what our last four years have looked like. . .a nod to the sports teams, the band, parents, and the "mostly good" teachers. (Honestly, I was a little annoyed at that comment. . .couldn't he have said "many good" instead? really, the connotation is so much better!) Our valedictorian is heading to an Ivy League school with 30 credits already under her belt, so her first year in school will be as a Junior! Congrats to her and her family!

I will say that my favorite part of the ceremony by far was when the first student walked across the stage to accept his diploma. His parents are deaf, and he has autism and is blind. The principal announced that he would be the first to accept his diploma, and that loud noises startle and upset him. He asked that the audience show him and his family respect by applauding in sign language. As he walked across the stage, more than 2400 people held their arms in the air and waved their hands. It made me proud to be a part of such a sensitive and caring community.

To this years class of 2011--Congratulations

To the staff at our school--You are all people I'm proud to work with.