The One with the Coffee

Hi!! & Happy New Year!

I only made it to 9:30 last night. I’m not even sorry. I think part of this new year needs to be about taking care of myself and getting sleep was a good way to start it off. Nevertheless, I’m still drinking coffee and it’s noon here. I’ve had a relatively uneventful day so far…slept til 7:30 am, did some budget stuff with my husband, seasoned up some homemade breakfast sausage in the spirit of Whole30, ate some breakfast, updated my stash on Ravelry with pictures, started some laundry…I’m looking into my living room and my cats are snuggled up on the couch and I’m contemplating taking down my Christmas tree. I thought about going up to school today to get some work done before we start back officially on Wednesday, but I think I’ll save that for tomorrow. At some point though I do need to leave the house and get some coffee filters otherwise I’m going to be extra sad tomorrow morning.

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Enough of that, I thought I’d hop on here and share a little bit of the knitting with you. I really, really want to be knitting at this moment, but instead I’m writing. And that’s ok. I am hoping in the new year to make a commitment to come back to this space. It is mostly for me to sit down and write and reflect. I’m also hoping this will keep me focused on the beautiful projects ahead.

First up, I finished my friend Charryse’s Copycat CC Beanie out of some alpaca…I’m trying to decide on a pompon…please cast your vote!

I’m also decreasing for the toes on Jordan’s socks. Well at least for one toe. If I can just get them done, I’ll feel accomplished πŸ™‚

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And this blanket is coming along. It’s so beautiful. Its the Hexagonal Hoodie but I’m using much smaller yarn and needles…speaking of yarn, I’m nearing the end of the ball of the multi-color Ambiente and I went on the hunt for another ball…bad news though since Myer’s House didn’t have any more in that color so I bought some pink instead…it’s just a skinnier sock yarn so I’m hoping it will all work out all right. I’m sure it will. It’s a baby blanket for crying out loud!

If I can just get those two projects complete, I can sit down to work on my West Coast Cardigan. I think I’ve had enough time away from it that I’m ready to knock it out. The last time I knit on it, I remember feeling a little overwhelmed at the process…there is chart reading and keeping up with the colors in both hands…its not the mindless knit of stockinette circles like the socks or the baby blanket. It requires my attention. And I like that it does because I know I will love wearing it. I just need to get going on the darn thing. But I also want to get rid of the stockinette circles first.

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And then I have my Agamenticus Cowl that I’m working on. I had to put it down during the road trip home from Thanksgiving in Little Rock because it was getting dark and I lost my place in the pattern. I’m sure it would only take me a moment to figure out where I am, but the other two projects are taking precedence over knits for myself.

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I also need to block some things. But I don’t really feel like it. Maybe I’ll wait til the blanket is done and then do a big ole block. That sounds like fun!

And I’ve been staring at my stash, especially since I seem to keep adding yarn to it. I realized that I’ve got a good amount of money tied up in yarn. It would serve me well to get knitting on this stuff…perhaps this year will be the year of STASH knitting. I mean I’ve uploaded the whole thing into Ravelry here. It already prompts me with pattern/yarn pairings. I’ve got sweaters worth of yarn, blankets worth, shawls worth, hats worth, socks worth…all that I carefully chose either in a quick impulse or after an hour perusing a store…its like it goes into my cabinet and then I see the next beautiful skein and I forget I’ve already got plenty of beautiful skeins…

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Don’t get me started either on the finished projects I’ve uncovered in my closet that I want to rip out…like this Whispers sweater and this Curl…

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The Whispers top just isn’t practical for me. I need sleeves! And the way this garment is constructed it won’t support sleeves…I even have an entire skein plus a little left over…there is no reason this yarn can’t be born again into something else.

And this Curl is just a little small…I have another skein to add on to it, I just need to unpick the bind-off row and add this other skein on, then it will be ready to go.

Anyway, just some rambling thoughts! I hope that if you are reading this you have a wonderful new year ahead of you filled with all the things you enjoy doing. At least that’s what I’m hoping for here!

❀
Jenna

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Hello Today!!

Here I am, back at this. I’ve been wanting to write but I wasn’t sure what to say. Perhaps I’ll start with everything that has been going on this holiday. We had a half day for our last day of school on Wednesday, the 20th. It was a pretty good day. I ate a lot of junk food and subsisted on spicy pretzels and chocolate chip cookies until dinner that night.

That evening my mom and my brother and his wife and daughter all arrived at my place for the holiday. Thankfully I got the house mostly cleaned up. It was fun having them in town for the holiday. It was my brother’s family’s first trip to St. Louis and it was a cold one! We went to the zoo and ate lots of yummy food. In fact, there has been so much yummy food that I’m pretty sure it is going to take another Whole 30 for me to feel right again.

We had a great time. It was so nice to be away from school. I’m sort of dreading going back at the moment, but maybe by next week I’ll be ready πŸ™‚ I’ve got some work to do and so maybe I’ll go up there tomorrow after I take my father-in-law to the airport. Its been a busy full holiday and I’m almost ready for some slow, alone time. Jordan is working again so my days have been quiet.

I’ve been trying to get as much knitting as possible done, but it is slow going. I’m not sure why. I want to work on everything, but gifts for other people have taken over…even though I only want to work on my sweater…I feel like I should knock out the other little things for everyone else then I can work on the sweater, guilt-free…except that I keep thinking of stuff to knit for everyone else!

First up, I’m still trying to finish Jordan’s socks…I think I’m at the toe of at least one, maybe both. That means I need to pay attention and just get them finished. They are just some basic socks I knit on a US size 0 in some Opal sock yarn. It’s a nice tight gauge. I’m hoping they will wear nicely.

I’ve also got this crazy Copycat CC beanie going on for a friend, Charryse. She went on a trip to Portland, Oregon and visited a yarn store. She picked out a few skeins of yarn as a gift. Each time she comes over she inevitably picks up one of the skeins and comments on how soft and beautiful it is. I thought it needed to become something for her. Hence the cast on for the CC beanie…I knit the thing initially on a US size 6 without the doubled brim…knit the whole thing, tried it on and felt like the cast on edge was too tight and in general too small…so I ripped it back, did the double brim and on the US size 7 like the pattern calls for and I’m knitting right along. I’m on the first purl section after folding over the brim.

I also knit my brother one of the very PDX hats while he was here…I spent some serious time on it while waiting in Urgent Care with my husband on Christmas Eve to be seen for a case of strep throat. I knit it in some Berroco Vintage…it should wear nicely. He seemed happy with it.

I haven’t knit on anything else…I did wash some yarn and it was a mess. Its the yarn for my Turia sweater. It was living in a bag that one of my cats thought was doubling as a litter box and so it needed to be washed. The linen is extra soft now, but I am finding that I have no desire to knit the thing now. Maybe inspiration will strike soon.

I was comforted after my last post to get such nice notes from folks who read this little corner of the internet. πŸ™‚ You guys really are so sweet and supportive. Thank you for your kind words. I really enjoy being able to connect on here with you guys. So thank you.

I’m going to go and work on my knitting. But it does feel good to stop in.

❀
Jenna

Here

So it’s Saturday. Things have settled down. The school decided to part ways with my partner teacher and quickly hired a substitute teacher as a full time replacement. I’m glad for the closure even if its not what I wanted…I know that something good has to come of this even if I can’t see it now. My partner has been hired to teach special education in another district. I’m happy to hear she is back in the classroom…she helps kids be better people!

I’m heart broken over the whole situation. I feel like I step onto an island every day at my job. I’m really focusing on why I’m there…not for me but for the kids I serve. I just have to keep that in my focus. Not the craziness. Keep trying to be my best for all my kids.

I am trying to keep knitting…been working on socks for Jordan. They are fantastic…moving slowly on US 0s…but they will be a firm sock and hopefully more comfortable to wear.

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And a hat for my nephew that he requested…he drew me a picture of what he wanted and everything! I made it using the very pdx hat pattern since it has a double brim. With Will living in Omaha and it being obnoxiously cold there, I thought I would make the hat as warm as I could…come to think of it I’m wondering if I should have made the whole thing doubled…oh well. We shall see. I’m hoping it is what he asked for.

I’m also clicking along on this baby blanket for a little one who is supposed to arrive in January…it’s such a chill project…just knitting around and around with a few strategically placed increases. I love the colors I chose too πŸ™‚

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Also I started a couple of things for myself…first this giant sweater “West Coast Cardigan” out of some sheepy Briggs and Little Country Roving. I’ve separated for the sleeves and need to get going on the body. I’ve put it on hold to finish the hat for Will and socks for Jordan and the baby blanket, but it is beautiful!

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And this cowl from Maine Knits called the Agamenticus Cowl out of some special yarn I picked up during Summer’s Last Blast Yarn Crawl in St. Louis…it’s Knitorious’ own yarn…a fingering weight yarn 540 yd, “Rare undyed colors…sumptuous pure Merino softness…30 years of dedication to super fine genetics: we are Genopalette. From our farm along the Missouri River, many thanks for joining us on our luxury fiber adventure.” I’m holding the yarn double and knitting on a size 7…it is going to be lovely.

I’ve been hesitant to write…not quite knowing what to say. I wanted to talk about my knitting and my life a bit. I know things aren’t what they used to be on here. I don’t visit as much or as regularly. This space was so crucial for me when I began and now I feel like it’s a luxury to even have the time to visit. I’m grateful it is here and that someone some where is reading this.

Until I write again,

❀
Jenna

Extra

So my students use this word a good bit. I take it that it means “a lot” or “over the top.” Extra is how my life feels right now.

It’s only October…we are about 2 weeks from the end of the first quarter. I’ve already given 2 math tests. And I’m managing the math ship at school solo. Some ridiculous things have happened and somehow my partner was put on administrative leave. This is no good for her, the kids, or me. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep my head above water. This happened last week and I spend most of my Sunday up at school trying to simultaneously catch up and get ahead.

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Enough of that. I did get to knit on Saturday with my friend Korey! It was awesome…I even started my West Coast Party Cardi!!! My stitch gauge is spot on but my row gauge is a little large…I’m getting 10 rows for 4 inches when I should be getting 12 rows for 4 inches. I don’t even care. I just want the damn thing. I want to wear it. I’m excited about it. The yarn is so sheepy…my hands feel so lanolined after I’ve done a few rows. I just want to work on it, but I’m not sure if I am going to have a ton of time this week.

I’ve only got 2 other things technically on the needles…socks for Jordan and a baby blanket for my friend Hanna who is due in January. I’ve got one heel turned on Jordan’s socks and I’m working on the heel flap of the second. Below is an old picture…

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On the blanket, I’m making the Hexagonal Hoodie out of some DK weight yarn…I’ve already spread out onto one set of 40″ circulars…I’m excited to see it come together.

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Just to add to the stress of this week, I’m heading to Phoenix Thursday night for my friend, Aubrey’s, wedding on Friday. I have pretty much written sub plans and it’s a half-day Friday so that helps. I think. But there is the wrench of my partner being out. Bah!

Anyway, I wanted to connect, dump a little, and show off some of my knitting. Mission accomplished I think!!

❀
Jenna

**Links are to my Ravelry project page πŸ™‚ **

The Time That Flies

It’s a thing! I swear! Now if you ask me where the time flies to…I’m not sure, but it isn’t here any more! It is mid-July. I am feeling recovered from the school year. In fact, yesterday I went to the school’s webpage and a few of my students’ pictures were on the page. I had to actually stop and think very hard about a few of their names. It’s amazing what the brain will “dump” when the necessity is gone πŸ™‚

I’ve taken a few classes this summer and helped out some at a summer camp. Jordan and I are gearing up for a vacation to South Dakota very soon. I’ve finished several projects and now I need to sort out my knitting to take on this trip!

One of the fun things that has been released from my needles is Nora’s Harvest Cardigan!

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Just in time for her 7th birthday. I knit the 7-8 size and its a little big. Which is perfect since it’s JULY and a zillion degrees…who wants to wear a sweater now!? Regardless, she loved it. That made my heart sing. Her favorite is the rainbow around the bottom hem πŸ™‚

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I finished the Bootstrap Socks which have been kickin’ around for about 3 years.

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A few hats, a baby sweater…I’ve got a few more in the works. Seems like all my friends are expecting.

In other news, I completed a Whole30! I didn’t die. In fact, I feel pretty good! I’m still slowly re-introducing foods, but mostly eating Whole30. I’ve lost a few pounds. That feels good. It took a while for the “Tiger Blood” to kick in, but now it just feels like everyday.

This summer is scooting by way too fast. I’m hoping to get some planning work for school done before school starts again. Ah…just where did the time go!

❀
Jenna

Homestretch…

That’s where I am!! Tomorrow is my last day at school with students. Technically if my room and everything is ready to go then it’s my last day period. Students or not…of course, I’ve procrastinated some and am not entirely ready to walk out and not come back til August…mentally I’m done. 8th grade had their last day of classes last Friday, making this week relatively stress free. I miss those kids though. It’s crazy…all the prep and work that went in to all of those classes and some of the interactions and discussions that happened were the highlight of my day πŸ™‚ But it is nice to have some quiet time in school to get things done.

***This got lost in my drafts from Thursday…it’s Sunday now. And I’m officially finished with my first year back in the classroom. The first year where I am a married teacher…answering to a different name. It was very strange at first, but now that’s who I see myself as. It’s a good feeling. I also have ONE BILLION things to work on this summer to make sure next year is better.

I’m looking forward to a productive summer. I hope it will be. I keep planning and thinking of all the things to get done and I feel it filling up!! Not in a bad way, but in a productive busy way.

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I’m sitting at my dining room table and I can see my yarn cabinet. It’s calling my name!! I’ve also found out recently that several of my friends are expecting near the end of the year…so knitting mojo needs to be in full swing so I can help welcome their little ones with knitted goodness πŸ™‚ I’ve got this cute little hat going…

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It’s a Simple Baby Cap by Susan B. Anderson out of some Adriafil Knitcol that does all the work for me! I’ve got several balls of this just for baby hats. It’s awesome.

I’ve also almost gotten one sleeve of Nora’s sweater almost complete.

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I’m also inspired to knit my own sweater!! I’d like to fix up the Turia and get it to a place so I can wear it.

I’d also like to rip out my Whispers top that I knit a few years ago…I don’t know why I knit a short sleeve wool “sweater” but it’s too warm for my torso while my arms are cold. I’m not one to wear a vest…I like sleeves!!! I’ve got another skein…maybe I can make it into something wearable πŸ™‚

I could sit here all day and wax poetic about all the yarn that I’m staring at and all the things it could be…but then I’d get absolutely nothing done! Not even any knitting!

I’ll update again soon πŸ™‚
❀
Jenna

That Day When You Can Run Again…

It’s Thursday again! It has been a tough week. I woke up on Saturday with a scratchy throat and no voice…Sunday was the same….Monday I felt like absolute garbage…Tuesday I felt better because I went to bed at 7:00pm Monday night…Wednesday I bought and took some Mucinex MAX…and today…the meds are still going but I feel more like myself. I went for a run. The first time since last Tuesday I’ve run and last Wednesday was the last time I went to the gym…

It is 7:08pm…it would be nice to be in bed but it’s not vital to my survival like it was on Monday. Instead, this is my set up:

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I’m knitting on a white baby hat…it’s a baby size, not a newborn. Their heads don’t stay that small for that long. One of my favorite people has just found out that a tiny human is growing inside and it will be a bit of time before we all find out boy or girl…so I’m knitting a white hat. Plus it will look timeless.

Also there is beer. This is the first time since Sunday I’ve felt good enough to drink beer. that is so sad. Beer is one of my favorite beverages…its on the list of 5 things I drink: coffee, water, tea, beer, sparkling water…sometimes rootbeer in a rootbeer float or perhaps a gin & tonic…but mostly beer if I’m feeling like alcohol. And it’s basically water-beer tonight. But it’s a beer. That’s a step.

School is drawing to a close. Just tomorrow. And 2 more weeks. We need summer. This group of girls I have…it’s like tiptoeing through a mine field! One sideways glance or a gentle scolding for not meeting expectations and suddenly “The teacher HATES me” and “The teacher is SO MAD at me!” I will tell you one thing, it takes a hell of a lot more than what these kids are doing to make me “hate” a person…and for that matter a whole lot more for me to be “mad.” I need to remember…middle school hormones are the worst! Try not to take it personally…but I don’t like being perceived in a way that I don’t mean to be.

Just like here. I want to be real. My life is not all rosy but it isn’t all bad either. I’m by no means living a life without. I’m very grateful. I need to do more to give back.

Sidenote. I’ve been racking my brain trying to come across the instance when I could have portrayed that I “hated” and was “so mad” at this one student…but then I realize I’m sifting through HUNDREDS of interactions I’ve had today with kids!!!!! My day started by taking attendance and greeting students and asking them to get ready and be quiet for the prayer and sending students to the office to turn things in…this just happened between 7:45 and 8:00!!! Then we had mass…then I had a 7th grade math class where I interacted with at least 28 students…then I went to the computer lab to help with a Kindergarten tech class with 28 more kids that I only see once a week…then back for planning period, thank the Lord…then back for more Kindergarten tech with 27 kids I only see once a week…then to 8th grade math with 15 kids…then lunch, finally…then 6th grade math with 14 kids…and 6th grade math with 9 kids…and then finally homeroom with my 21…

In between that I am in the hall, talking with students and teachers…popping into other classrooms…without all of that 163 students have passed before me. I’ve probably spoken directly to most of the kindergarteners at least 4 or 5 times…this generation of littles struggles with using a mouse…couple that with the fact that they are just learning to read, there is a lot of questions!!! My brain is fried! I can’t even begin to think of when I would have said anything to a student to make them feel upset.

But somehow I have. I even talked with the parent and she couldn’t give me specifics. I’m hoping its just pre-teen angst. But I don’t like that I’m at the end of it. I’m hoping to fix it tomorrow. I’ll probably come off like a huge dork.

Best job in the world. Hardest one I’ve had πŸ™‚

I’m going to knit on that hat. That baby is growing!!

❀
Jenna