Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Last Wallaby in the Mob


The actual color is a little bit more peachy and less orange. I like the way the striping worked out on the body and pouch and sleeves.
Comments about the pattern--Thank heavens for having read EZ's Knitting Workshop! Take your own measurements and knit to those rather than using the size information for children's sizes on this pattern. The way the pouch goes on is wonderful, and I like the garter stitch hood. The rest of the pattern is basically a bottom-up raglan. Would I make another one? Yes, but not right now--4 is enough for the time being.
Comments about the yarn--I am now in love with Plymouth Encore for an acrylic/wool machine-washable blend. It has the same fiber content as Wool Ease, but it feels much better to knit with, and I like the feel of the finished product as far as being dependably non-scratchy. The yarn seems springier and bouncier. Of course, the Encore is more expensive, and I can't get it anywhere locally, so I have to consider shipping. But when I have the time to order and wait, I will choose it.
Comments on skills learned--the pocket is great! Do follow the suggestion of running a thread through where the pocket is going to go. I was using KnitPicks options, so I just threaded a line through the hole in the needle and let it feed in as I knitted. This will make picking up the stitches much, much easier.
Garter Stitch Kitchener--This is not any harder than doing kitchener on stockinette. However, on this last sweater, I ended up doing it on the wrong side of the hood instead of the right. Guess what? The wrong side is more invisible than the right side. From now on, I suppose I will do it that way. I like the look much, much better.
Non-knitting--
I have been somewhat in the dumps over housework. I had been intending to try to employ a cleaning person--most teachers here do--but I just hadn't gotten around to it. Now with the economic crunch, I feel that that money would be better spent in my retirement fund, so I decided to get organized. I have broken household tasks down into very small chores, distributed them on a monthly calendar, and have been working on them that way. Everything was going swimmingly until I got sick and missed a day or so. However, I'm just going to skip those until they come around the next time and forge ahead. I have, however, discovered a couple of glitches. The first is that I need to make my calendar entries in bigger font so that they will be easier to read first thing in the morning. The other is that I will need to do some rearranging to get things together that work well together--in the same space, require the same tools, etc. At least it's a start!
At school--
We are starting on our novel reading. The first day of the actual project is Nov. 3, but due to scheduling constraints, we are dipping our toes in next week. A Native American storyteller is coming on Wednesday to talk with our English students. My AP class has already begun reading their novel in order to allow time for research projects before the finale on November 25.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A Finished Project and an Apology

I know I haven't been blogging lately. All my writing effort has been going into writing teaching units for a couple of novels that I will be teaching in November during our "Big Read" project at our high school. This year our theme is the Western as a type of literature, and we are reading different books according to grade level. I'll be teaching a Louis L'Amour novel, Conagher, as well as All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy, for my AP class. That's a stretch from one to the other on the scale of "literariness." I want both of them to be valid experiences in literature for the students AND, for the purposes of this project, the products I expect back from the students can't be ordinary essays, tests, and study questions, but need to be something much more glamorous and creative, with CHOICES involved. Choices mean that I have to design a number of projects, some of which will probably not be chosen. I have the mobile computer lab reserved for the appropriate time, a schoolwide writing project coming from the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, a Native American storyteller lined up, and the projects for each class in rough form in a spiral notebook. I'll have to write them up with clear instructions. The hardest part for me is always filling out the reading schedule. If it involves numbers, I'm no good: I will inevitably repeat chapters, mess up on dates, or something. If the chapter numbers are Roman numerals, it gets even worse! I think, however, that I have proofread my schedules enough to have them right although I may send them off to MDtTW to be checked again. (That's my daughter, the technical writer--Hi, Sweetheart!)

I have been knitting, however. Here is Wonderful Wallaby #3. The yarn is Paton's Encore (yea) and Red Heart Super Saver (ok). He decided he wanted blue on it, and I didn't want to wait to order a single skein from Webs. The fit is just right although the hood seems a little deep from back to front. I know I had the stitch count right, so I'm not sure what happened there. The color looks great on him. I'll try to get a picture on the child when I finish his little sister's sweater, which I cast on last night.