Nov 17, 2011

So Far, So Good

Knitting brought to you by sleepless nights and bad TV...

Just sleeves to go, and I'll have a new sweater!

Nov 16, 2011

Almost There!

My goal for tonight is to finish the neckline knitting...

It could happen, right?

Nov 14, 2011

Can't Stop

Apparently, I shouldn't stop knitting and leave my sweater sitting for long. Mookie likes it!

Have the back completed and have started working on the fronts. I'm hoping to finish the fronts and collar and get a good start on a sleeve before the weekend.

Since I've gone rogue and am no longer following the pattern, I'm a bit leery about the neckline. I've consulted a few design books, have calculated stitch counts, and looked at samples of other patterns... And am hoping all will go well. I'm shooting for a shawl collar.

To get there, I cast off about four inches of stitches at the center front, and will gradually decrease along the neck edge until I have the number of stitches left on the holders for the shoulders. Then I'll unite the shoulders with a three needle bind off to give them plenty of strength. For the collar, I'll pick up along the neckline and work a wide band of ribbing that will overlap in the front and (hopefully) fold gracefully over into a shawl collar. I think it'll work, but I have to keep knitting to see for sure.

If you've got a better suggestion at how to attack this, pipe up!

Ps, Harriet, keep knitting on the Henley, you will be so glad to have a clean slate when you cast on your PW sweater!

Nov 12, 2011


House power washed? Check.
Leaves raked? Check.
Garage cleaned? Check.
Yummy food in refrigerator? Check.

We both got a lot done today, and still had time to meet with someone to coordinate installation of a gas fire place, watch Grey's Anatomy on Netflix, and get a lot of knitting done.

NaKniSweMo is coming along just fine. I'm ready to divide for the arms, and since the yoke will be all black, I think I might just pick up some speed!

Oh, and Harriet? I say cast on the Philosopher's sweater... I'm shooting to have mine done by November 25, when I can cast on another with the rest of the guild. Will you be ready by then?

Nov 10, 2011

Falling Behind and Catching Up

Do two posts in one day help me make my four posts a week goal?  I'm thinking not.

It's been a crazy week at school.  Students receiving special education services have an annual meeting to review their progress.  We call them IEPT meetings (Individualized Education Planning Team), and they're sort of like parent teacher conferences on steroids.  As a special education teacher, I need to review the work each student on my caseload has done, see if they are indeed closing the gap between them and their peers who don't require specialized instruction, write a nineteen page document that explains where they are in their progress now, where we'd like them to be next year this time, and how the school team plans to help them get there.  Then, we hold the meeting, and I explain all of that to the family and the student.  Typically, we like to spread them out. . .give teachers a bit of a breather between each one. . .allow them to carefully consider all that impacts how a student is progressing.

This week?  I have had four IEPT meetings.  Four.  In addition, I have had to teach my classes and score all of the assignments my students have turned in.  Tomorrow, I have to teach a training for other staff members in our district, attend a department meeting at lunch, hold the final meeting of the week, and get all of my paperwork completed and mailed out after the training.  And I have to write sub plans tonight so that my students are learning while I'm out of the classroom all day.

I love my job.  I take what I do seriously.  I am SO proud of the progress students in my class are making, and of the students who are on my caseload who are making such good strides.  I think I work in a great school district, and that the teachers in my building work hard to help close the achievement gap.


(and you knew that was coming, right?)

I'm tired.  It has been a long week, and tomorrow will come early and will only make me more tired by the end.  I'm not complaining, really, I'm not.  I just want a bit of time for knitting this week, and I don't think it's coming as soon as I'd like.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow at four when I can walk into my house with papers to grade and know that most of the weekend is mine.

I'm looking forward to my NaKniSweMo sweater.  I can see a lot of couch knitting time and bad TV in my future. . .Hopefully I'll have pictures for you on Saturday, and you can oooh and aaahh over the beautiful colors.  It hasn't changed much since last weekend. . .but it will soon!

How is progress on your sweater coming?  What are you working on now?  I'm holding tight to the idea that others are working with soft fibers and feeling creative as I continue to plod through the work week. 

I won't be behind on my knitting for long. . .I see a warm and wooly sweater in my future.  And not a moment too soon, there are snowflakes flying around outside the window at my back!  Sweater season is here!

Nov 6, 2011

A Lazy Day

Maybe it's work avoidance, knowing that a crazy week is ahead, maybe I'm just sleepy after a full day yesterday, but I haven't been really productive today.

I finally finished one repeat of a twisty cable swatch.

And made a bit of progress on my NaKniSweMo sweater.

Answered a few emails, graded a few papers, played with Toshi, and napped. No laundry, shopping or cooking.

How was your weekend?

Nov 5, 2011

Long Day

The day started before sunrise and ended after sunset. A long day filled with beautiful friends and beautiful yarn.

Nov 4, 2011

Ready, Set, Go!

A decision has been made, and sweater cast on!

Nov 3, 2011

Do Over.

Okay, I really thought I was going to jump in to the crazy pool last night and begin my NaKniSweMo sweater.  Really.  I have a stockinette swatch, have done some of the math required, plan to get the sweater in my head turned into an actual pattern, and want to put all of the technical reading I've been doing in the past few months to good use, and grade the pattern so others can knit it too.

But you know what they say about the "Best laid plans. . ."

When I was realistic about my time and energy, as well as the commitments I have to my job and to others in the upcoming months, I thought it probably wasn't a good idea to take that leap.  I did wind yarn into cakes, and plan to cast on my Philosopher's Wool sweater tonight or Friday so that I have some knitting to do in the car for our long trip.  My guild friends will say I'm cheating. . .but rest assured.  I plan to finish this sweater in November, and have another kit (and will probably buy a third) that I can keep knitting during the KAL.  It just doesn't make sense for me to pull myself into so many directions right now.

I have UFOs in the double digits.  I have designs only partially written, with submission deadlines looming.  I have lessons and samples to knit along with students in my finishing class.  I have annual paperwork to complete for my students at school.  I have a family that needs my attention. . .I have a full life.  I am just like most of the adults I know.  I do not need to add pressure to an already pressure-filled life.

So today is a do-over.  I'm reviewing the goals I rashly set for myself yesterday.  I'm setting a more realistic goal for myself this month. . .I'll be starting my NaKniSweMo sweater on Friday, so that I'll be ready for up to 10 hours of car knitting time on Saturday.  I'll be making a Philosopher's sweater.  It may look a little atypical for a Philosopher's sweater, but I think I'll wear it more.

I'm going to shoot for four posts per week.  Not daily, not "more regularly".  If I want to be a better writer, I need to write.  (At least that's what I tell my students, anyway.)  So look for me here.  Hold me accountable.  If you don't see pictures of my sweater in progress, ask for them.  If you think the silence is growing long, poke me.  I know my life is pretty mundane compared to some, but I'll try to share the "good parts" versions with you.  (bonus points if you know that reference. . .)

What goals are you setting for yourself this month?

(And thanks for the comment, Harriet!)

Nov 2, 2011

NaNoWriMo, NaKniSweMo, NaBloPoMo


After a long silence, I guess I need to come to the realization that summer is over.  With it being National Novel Writing Month, National Knit a Sweater Month, and National Blog Post Month, I figured I should probably come out of my vacuum and say hello.  Hello!

Those who take these challenges seriously will have a novel, a sweater, or daily blog posts by November 30.  I'm planning to just come out of hiding.  (Well, and knit a sweater too. . .why not?)

I've actually been working on some knitting designs that have pulled my attention away from the blog, since I can't really write much about them, and have to keep pictures under wraps.  School has been a challenge this year as our schedule has changed, and it's made it tough to find a groove to getting all of my responsibilities handled every day. . .I think I'm almost there, though and report cards were due this week. . .we're one quarter of the way through the school year--Wahoo!!

While I'll continue to work on a few designs that will be submitted later this month or early next, and I didn't actually start yesterday, I'm going to drink the kool-aid, and join in with other knitters this month and crank out a sweater.  I'll be casting on today. . . probably in worsted weight, possibly a Philosopher's Wool kit, since I'll be taking a trip to their farm on Saturday.

I'll also strive to be a more regular poster again. . .daily? don't hold your breath. . .but more regular.  I've sort of missed this opportunity to share what's going on, even though I don't always think it's that interesting to others!

If you've missed me, leave a comment. . .ask a question. . .post a picture. . .we can encourage each other along as we pick up speed towards the holidays.