Sunday, October 28, 2007

Now We're Writtin' and Knittin'

OK, so a while back I jokingly mentioned writing a book about knitting during our 'round the world trip. This evening Tim and I went on a little walk through our local wetland and I mentioned how Crazy Aunt Purl, who lives in LA, recently went on a book tour and was happy to finally have some cold weather in which to wear all her hand-knitted scarves and stuff. Tim said how fun/interesting it would be to do a book tour, of course we'd have to write a book. "Yeah," I snorted, "Well, there's 'A Common Thread: Knitting from Around the World.'"

All of a sudden this joke became something we could possibly do. I mean, I had already hoped to meet some local knitters on our trip, buy some yarns, maybe pick up a pattern or two. Perhaps use knitting as a way through the language barrier. Tim actually thought it would be a neat thing. We could mention the culture, animals the yarn was spun from, how they knitted. Of course, there would be color photos and it was what I wanted to do anyway, but then we'd come back and I'd write it up and get it published. O.M.G. Now it's scary serious.

So I googled "knitting around the world" and didn't really find what we're proposing on the first three pages. Hmmmm..... maybe we can actually do this. Obviously we aren't planning on getting rich this way, but it would be neat to be published, sign a few copies, and it would be cool to see other people reading and enjoying what we wrote. I should say "I wrote" as I see myself as the main author. Tim would be the intrepid photographer.

I'm just putting this idea out there. Planting the seed in the blogosphere and seeing what blooms.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Does giving up on a student (or students) right now make me a bad person? I've been asking myself this question the last couple of days. I have two students in one class who, basically, refuse to learn. I've had kids like that in the past and I know I'll have more in the future, but normally I'd beat myself over the head trying to get them to lift a finger. All I get is tired, frustrated, and the class gets behind while the student still fails. This year I just told these two that if they choose to fail, I wasn't going to stop them as long as they left everyone else alone. I will say that the last two days they've been well-behaved, sitting there doodling for 43 minutes. I've been a bit more calm, and the other kids haven't been distracted and we got some things done.

Am I horrible? Am I a terrible, rotten, lazy, bad person? Will I rot in teacher hell?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Rat Culture

This morning, as I sat in front of the compy, Monkey Rat sat in my lap for cuddles. Then she climbed into my sleeve and snuggled next to my chest between two layers of fleecey bathrobe. There she fell asleep while I scratched and petted her, looking down onto her sweet, furry face, her eyes blissfully closed.

I don't know if it was because it's been so long since she slept next to a warm body or if she was just extra relaxed and happy, but when she got up to run around and explore I realized she peed in my sleeve!

I'm taking it as a compliment.

He's Back!!!


So I have the rest of today to do everything I've put off over the week, like dishes, cage cleaning, and trash removal. Basically I camped out on the futon with my ever growing pile of knitting and have worn out a me-shaped groove in it.

Oh, and I have some grading to do. So I better get going!


I think if you were to ask women when they experienced their "spring of youth and beauty" most would say they were/felt their most attractive while in high school, college, and/or through their mid 20s. I do believe that I am a good-looking woman, not beautiful, but nice-looking enough to have had my fair share of boyfriends in college and afterwards.

Then I got fat. Real fat.

Now I'm a healthy weight and much more fit and trim than I've ever been. I really feel that I'm more attractive now than 15 years ago. How many 30+ women can say that? It's like I'm in my second spring (gee, I read a lot of Jane Austen) of youth and beauty. In my humble opinion, anyway.

As long as my husband thinks I'm attractive that's all that matters. :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2007


My husband will be out of town, camping in Zion, for a week. I miss him. I see that I'm falling into some addictive, binge-like behavior in order to deal with his absence. Only instead of dirty dishes, empty beer bottles, and candy wrappers what you'll find strewn all over the futon is the following:

4 balls alpaca yarn
2 balls wool yarn
2 balls acrylic yarn
1 ball cashmere/merino yarn
2 patterns (from the Internet)
1 book of patterns
various needles of bamboo, metal, and plastic of differing sizes. One pair straight, one set of double points, and several circular.
tape measure
...and the ever important TV remote

bleh. I guess I'm trying to fill my loneliness and sadness with warm fibers (and one rat, but she does spend most of the day asleep) and instead of holding my hubby's hand in mine I'm holding on to alpaca and cashmere. I suppose it's better than the alternative, which is to fill myself with chocolate and beer and pizza.

Rippit, Rippit

bleh. I hate frogging. For you non-knitters out there, frogging is when you have to tear out knitted stitches due to a mistake. (When you frog a project, you "rip-it, rip-it," hence the name.) I either try to not make mistakes, not care about mistakes, or do a project (like felting) where it doesn't matter if I mess up a stitch or two.

But yesterday I decided I wanted to learn how to cable. So, I chose the perfect project: a beanie with two cables. Nice and simple. I also found this amazing alpaca/merino blend yarn that is soooo yummy to knit. Seriously. It felt so good that after knitting a couple of inches of the hat I ran out and bought more! (Luckily it was 50% off otherwise there was no way I was going to buy it in the first place.) I had never knit with alpaca before and had always preferred wool...until now. Man, that yarn is so nice that if you were to tie me up with it, I wouldn't complain.

Anyway, back to the hat. Tim is out of town for a week :-( so I pretty much camped out on the futon, watched a lot of TV, and finished the hat! Oh, it was so nice and soft and creamy and perfect. Until I put it on. Then I discovered that I forgot a cable row so the pattern was uneven. And when I tried it on it was way too big around and too tall.

I struggled with what to do for a moment, but realizing how expensive the yarn was and how yucky the hat looked I had no. choice. but. to. frog. I unraveled the entire hat. I've never in my life ever have I ripped apart an entire finished project. In fact, I have a sweater I finished two years ago (my first and so far only) that is so big and so badly knitted that instead of frogging I've decided to felt it and hope that'll fix it.

Well, I'm glad I frogged the hat. It took several more Perry Mason made-for-TV movies, but I did it! It looks good and I casted on 10 fewer stitches so it fits good and only knitted 9 inches instead of the 10 the pattern called for. Now it's cute! It reminds me of something Mary Tyler Moore might have worn in the '70s. :-) Of course, I'm going to wear it today and show off my new skill. I'm also going to do another cable pattern: fingerless gloves. This time I'm using merino/cashmere blend yarn. Oooooh....

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Sometimes I even like my job

Ok, well after writing out what I wanted to do (and I didn't even need the movie) I felt a bit better about it. My "thing" was doing a worksheet. I rarely use worksheets, but it was a lot easier than reinventing the wheel. Surprisingly, the kids seemed to be fine with it.

In one class we discussed positive and negative position, in relation to a reference point. Everyone had a meter stick with 50cm marked as the reference point and we moved our fingers along it, determining the direction and distance. At first, they were confused until I said it's like a number line, then it all clicked in. I heard a few grumbles about math (a 4-letter word) to which I replied that math and science are like "that" and crossed my fingers. One boy said, "Oh, they're best friends?" I thought that was a good way to look at it. That was a very cute comment and kinda made me like this class a little bit today. :-)

Better Living Through Writing

Well, I feel blah, and I thought that writing it down would help me feel better. It usually does.

My main blah has to do with my notetaking lesson today. I was planning on doing my normal notes, outlining the chapter with blanks, having the kids and I fill it in together. After looking through all the stuff (this is a new book) I discovered that they have a Science Notebook which is a lot like my notes (only in Cornell note form). So I'm thinking of reading the book in class together and taking the "notes". It means making copies, but that's what I did anyway. I think I feel yucky about it b/c it just seems like doing a worksheet. And we're reading in class and about 25% of my kids don't need to do that with me. I guess I should focus on the 75% that do need it.

I'm also going to show them a 1 min clip from Shrek. I also just remembered that this unit, Motion, always disappoints me because it's about Motion but we don't do as much fun stuff as you would think.

Monday, October 08, 2007

We. Have. A. List.

As most of you know, Tim and I are planning to travel around the world this summer. We'll be taking a year off of work and into life. I'm excited because we have a list of countries we'd like to see!
In no particular order:
Fiji/Papua New Guinea/ somewhere in Indonesia
New Zealand
Croatia/Somewhere in Eastern Europe
Thailand/Viet Nam

We were going for "12 countries in 12 months" but are one short. No worries, though. We're both flexible as far as actual numbers.

On Sunday we had a pleasant visit with a friend we made on our Guadalajara trip. (There we were, in this little posada in Mexico and we meet someone who lives 30 min away!) Tim had mentioned that he is learning the harmonica, just to have a portable hobby and something to share along our journey. I said I'll probably just knit, to which the guys said that would still be cool and interesting to see the different types of yarns used in other countries. I think Tim jokingly added writing a book on yarns from around the world. I scoffed at the idea, "Yeah, we could call it 'A Common Thread.'" We chuckled, but Nathan (our Guadalajara friend) was, like, that's a cool title, and we all pondered the likelihood for a bit, my head full of best-sellers' lists and whatnot, but then jolted back to reality. I'll definitely look for cool and unusual yarns and maybe knit up a jacket/cardigan of memories.

Monkey Rat is doing fine. She's definitely being more cuddly and we're trying extra-hard to give her some extra attention.

My kids had their first REAL quiz today and let me just say that I wasn't impressed with their performance. :-( bleh. Looks like another uphill slog this year.