7:00pm…

And I’m ready for bed! How is it so? I’m months from 30, I don’t have any children of my own to wear me out…but I do spend my days with almost 100 students entering and exiting my classroom throughout the day. I’ve been working hard to plan and be prepared for my classes…but some days are better than others. I think that’s just the nature of working with students! They are the variable and so much depends on them…if they are having a good day, what time it is, how close are we to lunch or snack or the end of the day, what happened in the class before, what’s happening after school…if the calculator looks like a cell phone🙂

All of these are distractions and factor into how things go each day in my classroom. I can only try to be constant myself, being prepared and happy to see them. I was reminded today how much I do love my kiddos…I’ve only known them for about a month, maybe 7 weeks…so almost 2, but I think we are starting to understand each other. It’s hard to remember that I have to get to know these people at a new place…they don’t know me and I don’t know them from a prior life, we have to find our groove…I think we are on our way. This doesn’t make any of this less hard.

It doesn’t change the fact that I’m seriously considering hitting publish and then going to bed.

My knitting has been pretty monogamous…just the baby blanket. Like I said before, Baby Joe is here and the weather is starting to change…I need to get this thing off the needles! I’ll try to get a picture tomorrow in the daylight and upload it…maybe Instagram. It’s coming along. I find comfort in the stockinette and the springy yarn. It’s nice to turn my brain off for a while but keep my hands productive.

Just a thought🙂


Jenna

Saturday Already?

I don’t know how I got here when I was just here a week ago…the days seem to fly by in hyper speed! This week was tough. My students took the ITBS test last week and finished up the last day of testing on Monday. Then the schedule and such was supposed to go back to normal…except throw in a Liturgy schedule Tuesday for all school Mass, then activity schedule for electives on Wednesday, and then Mass ran late on Thursday…Friday was the first “normal” day we’ve had! The last two weeks have been crazy and the kids were definitely feeling it by Friday. As were the teachers. Normally, we need to stay on campus until 3:30, but Friday afternoon our principal was walking down the halls at 3:15 telling us to leave! Go home! Rest!

So I did. I’ll have to go back up there on Sunday to grade the tests I gave Friday and get everything set for the week. You know the old adage…”Failure to plan is a plan for failure.” Never were truer words said, especially for a teacher.

Enough of that. Let me tell you about my knitting. I bound off the Autumnal Equinox Blanket! I just need to soak it and let it dry and take some pictures. All the ends are woven in!

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I also finished up my Strie socks…those toe up ones! The ones that I knit the heels on at least 3 times…the ones that were my first experiment in the toe-up department…the ones that I’ve been carting around in my purse for probably a year…

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Just in time for cooler weather! Growing that sock drawer!

I’ve also been trying to put in some serious work on Baby Joe’s Striped Blanket. Did I mention that beautiful boy is here? And he’s home and growing…already a pound heavier than his birth weight! Full head of hair…I’ll have to get a good picture of him🙂

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Anyway, I’ve finished two of the triangles of the blanket and picked up stitches for the third triangle. I’m minorly worried about having enough of the gray yarn…I have this tiny bit left after the first two sections and I’ve got one more ball for the rest of the blanket. I should be ok since I’m not planning to use the gray in the border. We shall see. I am still loving the Cascade 220 Superwash…so springy!

That’s all I’m working on…I’ve got a few other things I’m trying to resist, like my Bootstrap socks and Nora’s Harvest Cardigan…I think I’ll tackle her sweater when I’ve finished Baby Joe’s Blanket.

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Hopefully I’ll see you guys again this week!

Jenna

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