Saturday…After Friday.

So Friday, my school was empty of children. We headed over to a local Catholic high school for a day of Professional Development. The school brought in Kim Bearden from the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta. She was inspiring. Refreshing. Beautiful. She spoke to us for about 5 hours and I left feeling renewed in my classroom commitment. But I also looked around the tables at the event more than once and wondered if anyone else was drinking the KoolAid. I’m not so sure. Maybe that makes me a little naive…I would like to think it makes me hopeful. Hopeful that I can make a difference and change a few things, especially with my 8th graders.

During the 5 hours we were sitting and listening, there really wasn’t much to take notes on. Don’t get me wrong, Kim had some really wonderful ideas and engaging stories. She spoke to my heart, but not in the way were I needed to take notes. So I knit on some socks. I took 2 pairs because I thought I could work on those very inconspicuously with my hands near table height. I did not need my principal or anyone else thinking I was distracted. The irony is that by keeping my hands busy I can listen more intently. I will admit that when people are speaking I can spend time doodling and totally get lost in my own head. But if I’m knitting, I can just keep my hands busy, a productive fidget, while my mind stays with the presentation.

I worked on my First Crazy Toe-Up Socks…I’m near the end here…I’ve got maybe another inch of ribbing then a stretchy cast off. Just in time for fall to arrive. I’m hoping the weather will change soon and I can wear them!!

I also got in some rows on my Bootstrap socks. If you remember, I was ready to start the heel on my second sock. So Thursday night I sat down with the intention of getting the heel worked and the gusset stitches picked up so I would have some stockinette for Friday. I stared at the cuff. I counted the stitches 4 times. Yes, I had cast on 64 stitches. I re-read the directions. I only have placed one marker…I was supposed to place two. The two garter stripes should have fit onto 1 half of the stitches with 2 stitches on each side…I hadn’t done that. So I ripped back to the ribbing. And began again. I got in about 2 inches yesterday during the conference. I forgot how much I loved knitting on little DPNs.

In other news, I am dying to cast on about 87 other things. But I’m holding off because the baby blanket knitting needs to happen…I’ve got two blankets to knit for December…a friend is having twins. And then another friend is having a boy in January and another friend is having a boy in February…I’m sure by the time I finish all of these someone else will be pregnant too🙂 More baby blankets…all the time!!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend. The Strange Folk Festival is happening this weekend in St. Louis. I’m hoping to make it over there on Sunday…only time will tell if I break the yarn diet.


Jenna

Yarn Along :)

I thought as a way to get back in to the habit of talking on here, I could try a little Yarn
Along.

First of all, let me say a big thank you to you guys who reached out and gave me such kind, encouraging words. I knew going back would be a challenge, but I never anticipated this big of a challenge. I guess that’s how challenges go🙂

On to the knitting & reading…

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I started reading St. Augustine’s Confessions. I am talking about him in my 8th grade Church History class and I personally wanted to know more. This is a piece written by him and details his spiritual journey. He was initially a pagan living in North Africa. His mother was Christian and prayed fervently for his conversion. I’m almost finished with the introduction🙂

I’ve also been knitting on yet another baby blanket. This is the Baby Joe stripes blanket…it’s really Tanis Lavallee’s Baby Shane blanket. I’m using Cascade 220 superwash and it’s. so. bouncy!! I love it. I should be knitting on this with more urgency since Baby Joe has already arrived🙂

Linking up with Ginny at Small Things for Yarn Along & Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm Craft On🙂


Jenna

Away…

So I’ve been busy…I feel like every time I go away and come back, that’s what I say. But it’s true. I’ve been back in the swing of teaching. Only this time, I’m immensely more busy. I wouldn’t quite say overwhelmed, but I may only be a few straws away from breaking the camel’s back.

I’m prepping 3 1/2 math classes and 2 religion classes each day. I teach in a Catholic school and if you remember, I’m a new Catholic. Like this past Easter, new Catholic. And I’m supposed to be teaching an Old Testament class to 6th graders with the fluffiest book known to all of Catholic education and a Church History class to some very disillusioned 8th graders…you know, the ones who have already decided this class should be a blow-off class and they are just going to talk through the class. It doesn’t seem to matter what approach I take, I always have students just talking through the class.

So I rearranged their seats. They are unhappy. Fun fact, in my classroom, I let students choose their seats. I want them to be comfortable. I want them to be able to sit next to a friend if they want. But this group. 8th graders. All they do is talk. For instance, a student was reading aloud from the textbook last week and another couple of young men decided that they should speak out at this time. One gentleman decided to “moan” while another said in a high-pitched voice, “Daddy harder!” I immediately shut it down but I couldn’t quite pin down who said what. Thus I couldn’t write the demerit…even though I’m fairly positive that I know who the culprits are. No worries, we have new seats. These gentlemen are separated.

I go back and forth with this class curriculum-wise. The textbook series we are using is complete fluff. The text spends about 6 paragraphs on the first 100 years of the Church…you know, death of Jesus, Pentecost, St. Peter & St. Paul. I was really trying to give students more, but my delivery may be a bit off. Couple that with the fact that students just want this to be a “free” period and its the perfect storm…25 & 26 8th graders all crammed into my room for 45-50 minutes 4 days a week…

All of this to say that my knitting time and documenting it has been tough. I’m still working on baby blankets. The Autumnal Equinox Blanket is pretty much done…just doing the attached i-cord edging…I had a minor scare where I ran out of yarn because I didn’t weigh the skein…I just kept knitting🙂 Thankfully, my mom came to the rescue and found a ball of yarn at her local Michael’s and sent it my way.

I’ve also been working on Baby Joe’s striped blanket…He’s arrived already! And I’m only on the 2nd triangle! Life is hard sometimes. If this is all it’s going to throw at me, I’m grateful.

Anyway, hopefully I can keep up🙂 If I can’t, you’ll know why.

It did feel so good to stop in here and take a little of my load off.


Jenna

All Baby Blankets All the Time!

So since last we spoke, I was casting off the beautiful Akimbo blanket for a friend…I learned have also learned that there will be 5 new little ones by the time January gets here. So now it’s all baby blankets all the time!!

My sister-in-law is due first in October. I’m still deciding on what to knit for her little one. They are not going to find out if they are having a boy or a girl so I need to do something gender neutral and fun to knit. Here are the patterns I’m thinking about:

The Garter Rib Baby Blanket by Orange Flower Yarn
The Baby Shane Blanket by Tanis Lavallee
The Walt Painted Chevron Baby Blanket by Danielle Romanetti

But for now, I went ahead and cast on an Autumnal Equinox Blanket. I’m using some Lion Brand Yarn Ice Cream Big Scoop in the Lemon Swirl Colorway. I added my hand in for scale…there are 1117 yards of DK weight yarn here!!

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The construction is really cool. I started by casting on in a corner and increasing on one side to create a triangle. After I knit the first triangle, I will pick up along the hypotenuse and knit another triangle. I’m interested to see how the striping will develop.

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Also, its a free pattern on Ravelry.

After these two I’ve got to figure out what to knit for a set of twins due in December and another baby due in January. Hopefully my needles will feel speedy🙂

Linking up with Nicole at Frontier Dreams for Keep Calm & Craft On and Ginny at Small Things for Yarn Along.


Jenna

One Giant Cast-Off Done, One in the Works

I am so thrilled to be back here!! I’m finishing up my online class…this is my last week! I’ve found a teaching job that I’ll start in August…YAHOO! 6th, 7th, & 8th grade math with a couple religion classes as well. I will be busy! But back where I need to be🙂

Until then, I’m trying not to melt in this heat! The hard part is wanting to knit all the things, but I can’t bear to sit under them while I do so. I guess it’s very lucky that I cast-off this monster the other night!

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It’s my Inside Out blanket for my friend Krista’s first baby girl🙂 It’s really Stephen West’s Akimbo Blanket pattern. I knit it out of Berroco’s Weekend yarn in 6 different colors. I followed the pattern for the most part until I got to the border. I just repeated each color twice.

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Now for all the ends to weave in!

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Then it just needs a good soak and it can go on its way to keep baby Palmer warm…just in time for summer!!

I also uncovered my Foggy Sunset shawl…also a Stephen West pattern, but this time it’s his Daybreak Shawl. I’m using some leftover Vice Yarns and the lovely, slow-changing Mini Mochi by Crystal Palace Yarns. I received this in a yarn swap I participated in a couple summers ago. It’s so soft and the color changes are so beautiful.

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I have no idea how many stitches I’ve got left on here, but I know I need to knit one more row then I can cast-off. Wish me luck!

Then I’ll have to go dive into the other WIPS I’ve got…even though there are 4 more babies on the way that all need something from my needles!!


Jenna

A 2 Year Blogiversary??

So it looks like I just missed my 2 year Blogging Anniversary…or perhaps a Blogiversary? I am saddened that I have had to take some time away from this space. I’ve been trying to keep up with this wonderfully digital fiber world on Instagram…a quick, little taste of what everyone seems to be working on. I guess that’s what happens when you start searching for jobs, interviewing, and taking an online class for continuing education.

Something’s Gotta Give🙂 Just so happened that it was here that fell off. I’ve missed this place and my connections with you guys!

So I’m coming back! I think maybe once a week for now, but we’ll see!

I know what you really came here for…not these silly excuses and such, but the knitting.

Without further ado…

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How about those socks from the Weekly WIP #6 post??

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I finally did recount, redo the gusset increases and turn some heels! I did this on the trip down to Memphis for BBQ Fest in May…just took me about a month and a half to pick those back up! Now I’m in the home stretch! Working my way up the leg.

These are my purse knitting…as a quick reminder, they are the Strie Socks (Toe-Up version) from Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture out of Zitron Trekking in the Tobago colorway.

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Anyway, I’ll keep it brief and just know that I feel like I’m coming home.


Jenna

Weekly WIP #6

I know I showed you some very fun projects on Monday…the Turia Sweater  and my Foggy Sunset Shawl as well as a Harvest Cardigan in the planning stages, but I’ve really been trying to get over the heel bump of these socks!

They are from Lara Neel’s Sock Architecture (knit your library!!) and are the Strie Socks, Toe Up. I’m using some Zitron Trekking in this fantastic Tobago colorway.

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First off, let me tell you this is my first pair of toe-up socks. I thought that if anyone could teach me something new in sock knitting, it would Lara Neel and her amazing book. This book is awesome! There are so many different combinations of heels and toes…she talks about how to get the best fitting sock known to mankind…she even throws in some history about where certain heel techniques originated. The book is a great read through, but on to the bonus time! There are patterns and most of them are written for both toe-up cuff-down construction.

Anyway, I started these bad boys a while ago. The Magic Cast-On went alright. The toe increases were easy. I knit a foot! Yahoo! Then came time for the gusset increases. I did them. Or at least I thought I did. I attempted to turn a heel. It was coming out wonky, but I persevered and had one finished…that took 2 tries…then I started on the second one. I got to the place where I was starting to knit the heel flap and noticed that the smallest part of the little turn was not centered on the foot…I ripped back, tried again…couldn’t get it right. I ripped back again. So I did what any reasonable knitter would do.

I put them in timeout! I’d been spending about 2 days worth of my knitting time wrestling with these heels and I couldn’t figure out why the second one was even more challenging to get right than the first. I thought that things got easier as you practiced! Then I had another reasonable knitter moment.

I counted. The second sock was about 8 stitches short…meaning I didn’t work the gusset increases long enough…I held up the first sock with a heel and had a lightbulb moment…this heel was off center too…probably because I didn’t have enough stitches to start the dang thing…

Here begins the mild swearing and unraveling of yarn…I ended up pulling out the gusset increases I originally did because I did one side in the wrong spot…

Needless to say this time I’m counting my rows. Like any reasonable knitter would do. Here’s hoping I get these finished soon! My friend Korey is working on a mitered square sock yarn blanket and is dying for my scrap!!

Linking up with these lovelies:
Knit Your Library with Emily at Snapdragon Crafts
Yarn Along with Ginny at Small Things
Keep Calm & Craft On with Nicole at Frontier Dreams


Jenna