Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Boot Cuffs and Scarves

I am ready for cooler weather! As I sit in my classroom listening to the refrigeration unit blow, I think, how can this be the beginning of December? I want to wear scarves and boots and warm weather garments. Have you noticed all the cute boot cuffs? On Ravelry there are some beautiful knit patterns but I wanted to work something up quickly for a friend who sent me a text with a picture and asked if I could make her a pair so I chose the crocheted set pictured here. I love that she wears them with such sass and excitement. People like Stephanie are the best people to make gifts for!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The first paragraph in Huckleberry Finn basically tells us that everybody lies. Although that is a somewhat depressing idea, I've been exploring the concept with 11th grade students and you would be amazed at some of their ideas. We've discussed what constitutes a lie, if there is such a thing as a "white" lie and if anyone is ever totally truthful.

Of course then I begin thinking about the weight on my driver's license and question if I have a moral obligation to change it. I also think about those awkward questions like, "Who do you like best?" or "How do you like my new outfit?" But I also wonder if I put anyone in a position where they have to lie to avoid hurting my feelings. I especially think about this around Christmas time when I am making gifts for people I work with, family members and girlfriends.

Truthfully, however, I can't imagine them not liking what I make. I like the items I'm creating and giving them or I wouldn't have made them in the first place. In the midst of all this creating and giving there is always one person I can count on to tell me the truth (or not say anything which is in itself telling) and that is Jocelyn. But I try to not give her too much of a hard time because there is a long list of knitted items she does like and I'm not going to hold it against her even if she didn't like the spiral scarf I was working on!

For now, however, I will continue discussing Huckleberry Finn with my students while knitting Christmas washcloths. They make great gifts, the students are enthralled and mesmerized by the movement and I don't have to look at my needles while I knit them.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I have several works in progress but somehow can't say no to a test knit (as pictured on the right) or starting a new project. There is something about free yarn that consumes me and leaves me helpless to saying no or establishing boundaries. This morning I started a new project with 5 minutes left before I needed to go to work and last night I started two more before going to bed. The crazy thing is I think I will finish each of these within the allotted deadline I have set for myself. Not only that, I still have more I want to begin. I think about the ladies in the office who would love a mug cozy and the girls I work with and wanting to make them something special for our department Christmas party and family who would really appreciate a handmade gift. But then, of course, I begin thinking about the ladies in my knitting group and how I would really love to make them something but do you really knit something for the ladies who spend their evenings knitting? I don't know. Additionally, I can't help but thinking about the babies about to be born that I must knit for because I love their moms and grandmothers so much. Heaven forbid I should check Pinterest and see boards that are haunting me with the things I want to make my sister-in-law or my daughter. If all I did was knit, there still wouldn't be enough time but I also want to quilt and read and sew. Have you ever read the essay, "I Want a Wife" by Judy Brady? It's a great editorial on how much we all need someone to manage our appointments and chores so that we can take care of the things we want to do instead of what we have to do. I don't really want a wife - I hear they are pretty high maintenance - but a great quote written on a mug from my daughter comes to mind when I think of what I want to do and what I need to do; My job is interfering with my knitting. Yes, it is!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Knitting on the Road

I'm preparing to see my family and that means a road trip. My first thought was Jack Kerouac's book On the Road but I think this trip will be less dramatic. Oh, wait. Did I say less dramatic? Probably not, but it is okay. We love our families because they are family and we accept their idiosyncrasies because they are family. I have to take my camera and I'm sure I will irritate everyone with too many pictures but they will be happy at some point that I captured this visit!

Here's the bottom line. I'm planning the packing for my trip based on the amount of knitting I will need to take. I'm taking projects that are somewhat easily memorized and don't require much thought. I've decided to knit a spiral scarf from a video I watched on YouTube this morning - I've been up since 3:00am - but I think it will be great for the trip. I've also packed a large ball of cotton yarn so that I can make Christmas washcloths if I need something mindless and that will take care of some of my Christmas knitting. I've also brought a few knitted gifts in case I want to give a present. It's always a little awkward since we don't see each other very often and you never know who will be there and what exactly will happen but I like to be prepared.