Monday, August 23, 2010

The Challenge Begins

We started the KAL for the Travelling Woman Shawl yesterday, Sunday, August 22. My plans totally fell through to connect with one of the ladies, at Stitches Midwest, that I was going to get to help me get started. While I understood/could intllectualize the initial set-up row, I still wasn't getting it. I'm not one to beat my head against the wall. I eased on over to Loopy Yarn where a lovely, talented young woman named Erica, that Vicki has added to her staff, helped me with the set up row--actually showing me a better, easier way of doing it. Then like several of the other ladies, I had to rip back until I got my YOs right. How often have we had to YO before a purl stitch. Not often. I viewed a couple of YouTube videos to refresh my memory of YO techniques. I will be using lifelines along the way; a wise thing to do, I think, in lace knitting! I'm going to stick with my Addis though the fingering yarn is slippery. I would use a wooden needle but I can't bear the thought of the stitches getting caught as I attempt to slide them on to the needle. I can't afford to go buy any wooden Addis right now. But I am at a comfortable spot in this challenge. It helps that my 7-year-old grandson started school today. Though today is not a full day, my mornings will once again be mine, to knit my happy little heart out. We complete this KAL on September 27th. I mean the world is not going to blow up if we don't. The main thing is no undue stress and this is for fun. But something in me wants to live up to this challenge. I will post a photo of my beginnings as soon as I get some batteries for my camera!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Nothing New, But . . .

I don't really have anything terribly insightful to blog about, maybe a few new goings on. I mean if you wake up each morning, life IS going on so there is something to blog about! I just don't want there to be great gaps in between blogs.

I am proud to report that my Khalil is going on to 2nd grade. There was never any real concern on my part (I taught 1st grade for 4 years) that he shouldn't go on. But his 1st grade teacher thought there might be. This teacher was the teacher of the current kindergarten teacher. While that kindergarten teacher is not as old as I am (I don't think she is.), she is no spring chicken. All that to say, as good as the 1st grade teacher is, the woman is tired! Some of her teaching strategies gave me pause; such as introducing writing and 2 & 3 addition/subtraction problems with and without regrouping, so late in the year without the necessary foundations. For instance, a child must understand what a paragraph is and atleast two basic rules for writing paragraphs; for instance, have a grasp of place value. Well, I was told that summer school was mandatory for Khalil in order for him to go to summer school. I told them I didn't have the money for summer school tuition. Having been a teacher, I was allowed to provide home summer-schooling. The one-on-one was more valuable than Khalil being in a hot, distracting classroom one week after the regular school year ended. He was able to have "unstructured" structured time, utilize unrushed time on online sites for math and reading at my computer, etc., etc. Needless to say he did very very well. Yesterday, as planned, he was assessed by the 2nd grade teacher. He did very well on his assessments. Mrs. King said (what I already knew) that she saw no reason whatsoever for him not to move on to 2nd grade. Not only because of her assessment, just talking to her about her methodologies, etc., I look forward to this young woman becoming Khalil's teacher. I believe children should continue some kind of education to bridge the time between and the beginning of each school year. Khalil is still a boy! A BOY! They jump, run, flip, play, love Bakugan & Power Rangers & Transformers more than sitting and focusing on academics. By all means getting him to sit still and focus when he gets back into school will be a priority. But as folks dream of what they want and expect their kids, grandkids, nephews, neices to become, we have to realize they are still kids, not rocket scientists; at least not yet. I look forward to Khalil having Mrs. King as a teacher this year. Until I am (if at all) proven wrong, I think Mrs. King will be the teacher he remembers. Funny, the teacher I remember the most (and have run into in my adult life some years ago) was my 1st Grade teacher, Mrs. King!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

My Medley

Though I haven't posted in tiny little while, I have been busy. I don't like to post just for the sake of posting--want to have something to say, and to show! Even the title of my post must have some significance (I'm not trying to be too anal about it.)! So because I wanted to talk about two different (or not so different) things in the same post, I had to think of a title that would be meaningful, at least to me. I'm going to always explain it if I need to (laugh). Both topics are connected by, what else, KNITTING!

My new "rule" is that I not work on more than two major projects at a time. I'm working on a Sally Melville Einsteing Coat and a top down Scoop Neck T by Diane Soucy (founder/owner/designer) of Knitting Pure & Simple. I have a KAL which I will start on August 22, 2010. I've finished the biggest part of the Scoop Neck T. I just haven't gone back to Loopy to get the remaining yarn for the neck and sleeves which will be a piece of cake. But here is a photo of the body, with hanging markers which were placed so I could keep track of the inches and places where I needed to increase and decrease. The body fits wonderfully. 

My new rule, well it's not so new, it's just I'm enforcing it more--is making sure I have more ME time at home (knitting uinterrupted) and away from home! So I went to my first Stitch n Pitch this year. This is a charitable endeavor that takes place each year nationwide, uniting knitting and major league baseball. I'm not a baseball fan (too slow moving). I looovvveee NBA basketball. I've hesitated to go before because I have a real issue with heights, particularly slanted heights like that found in U. S. Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. But my dear LYS owner (of Loopy Yarns) Vicki assured me, as did several other knitting friends, AND the gentleman at U. S. Cellular field that took my call and patiently answered questions about the seating, that they were not high up. Oh, I also looked the seating chart up on the ballpark's web site AND pulled up a couple of YouTube videos. I went. It is an understatement to say the park is beautiful. IT IS. Could turn me into a baseball fan (not really)! The seats were wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. Vicki put me on an outside seat. Thank God for that. Sitting in the middle of a row (seating is so narrow) would have been reason enough for me to leave. My bladder would have found out and made me have to go to the bathroom, even if I didn't need to over and over! Vicki sat me next to another knitter named Pat and we chatted up a storm. We left together since we both had to walk to the Red Line (public transportation), with her going North and me South. It was such a lovely evening, inspite of the intense humidity--thank God for the breeze. It was so nice just to be in the company of fellow knitters; and the men represented. Loved seeing the men knitting in public. I regret not taking any photos. But I did take a couple of photos of my SnP gift, a lovely bag perfect for small knittng projects.