Friday, December 31, 2010

Surprise!

So after all that yesterday, I woke up this morning and did this:
It is addictive and I have spent most of today working on it. I did drop a stitch and I know it involves a crochet hook, so I did the best I could....

I am following the pattern that I bought from Holiday Yarns The "learn to Knit" Sock kit. I've also been using Knit Simple's Knitting Workshops It has the best pictures in it!

Last night I also worked on this:
I did not make this. It is a very old Irish sweater that belongs to my friend, Deidre. It is one of her dad's. I think he was born here, but his parents are from Ireland, or he was born in Ireland and raised here. Either way, they are very Irish and proudly celebrate their heritage.

The sweater had many, many holes in it. I've had it for awhile, trying to find a yarn to match it. I told her that it was knit, and I couldn't repair it that way. She asked me to do the best that I could. I realized I had some old Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair. I bought it from a yarn shop that was closing a couple years ago. It was almost a perfect match. So I sewed up some of the holes. I added a single crochet border to the ends, as they were starting to fray. I fixed both the sleeves that had huge holes in them. One I just had to fix as best as I could, the other looks pretty good.

You can see the patch, but I think it's pretty good, even if crocheted.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy new year! We decided to stay home, as the Hubs is still working and really doesn't want to go anywhere when he gets home. I'm okay with that.....

Thursday, December 30, 2010

To Knit or Not To Knit

I never had the desire to learn to knit. I crochet and I'm very happy crocheting. I make lots of things crocheting. I hated the assumption that I knit, whenever someone saw me with yarn, or that crochet is not as good as knitting. It's the ugly step-child in the fiber world.

Then I started seeing these fantastic patterns for knitted socks. I decided to learn to knit just to make socks. I tried it with straight needles and was just not comfortable. I "kinda" taught myself continental with circulars and was much more comfortable. I completed a square and a hat. I started a sock and then ripped it all out.
I have not knitted since, but have had the desire....but I also feel disloyal to crochet. I don't want to be one of those crocheters who learn to knit and leave crochet behind. For one thing I like amiguramis better crocheted than knitted. I just think they are cuter....

I kitted myself out....I bought a Namaste bag and a Lantern Moon needle holder. I bought several books, magazines and a bunch of needles and patterns with the yarn....but have not sat down to knit again. I have crocheted.





And my husband? He bought me this for Christmas
...I've heard that knitted socks are better and more comfortable, but I think crocheted socks are starting to come around.

I have the desire, but when I sit down, I reach for my crochet instead....

Just read this interesting post about a crochet vs knit myth

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

My Guy

Now I love my husband, but through the years I've also been in love/lust with some others.

When I was a teenager, it was C. Thomas Howell. Does anyone remember him? I actually noticed him first in ET. He's one of the bike riding friends. I had an ET card thumbtacked to my wall where you could just see him in the background. (OMG, I found that image, he is the one behind Henry Thomas) Then The Outsiders hit and he was all over. Unfortunately, he made some bad movie choices and is now a B, maybe even C movie actor. But he still was plastered on my bedroom closet doors (I had 4) with Duran Duran during the 80's. (He was great on Criminal Minds as George Foyet, the serial killer.) (Criminal Minds has made serial killers of several teeny-bopper stars)





Now, as an adult, my tastes became a little more refined....and have led to this man:

Colin Firth, oh how I love thee (except in The Last Legion, bad, bad, bad movie)

I saw him first in "Circle of Friends" (and if anyone has this DVD, I would gladly buy it, it's out of print) but really noticed him, of course, Pride and Prejudice


I just recently purchased my latest Firth movie...A Christmas Carol, just cuz his voice is in it....I now own 26 Colin Firth movies.....

I just saw
It was soooooo gooood!!! He was fabulous in "A Single Man" and he is beyond fabulous in this! I'm sure he will again be nominated for an Oscar and hopefully he'll win this time. Geoffrey Rush was fantastic in this movie too! All of the supporting cast was just so good. Plus, BONUS! Jennifer Ehle, who played Elizabeth Bennett, opposite Colin's Darcy played Rush's wife. I did not know she was in this movie! What a great surprise!

Hmmm, I think I need to go watch Pride and Prejudice or maybe St Trinian's, cuz he is hysterical with Rupert Everett.....

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Wasted Day

Today was a wasted day....I spent the majority of it in bed watching the Primeval marathon on SyFy. When I finally made myself get up, well I did a couple of things..

- Packed up two boxes of books to donate to the retirement center

- picked up and put away some of the Hubs Christmas pressies

- Packed some of my Christmas clothes away

- did some laundry and the dishes

- I did a bit of crochet while I was laying abed...

Back in bed, freezing, as the Hubs turns down the heat when he gets home.

I have a headache in/behind/above my left eye....so I think I'll have a wasted night too...

Monday, December 27, 2010

Snow Day!

Wish it had come when we could get a day off, but now we don't have to make it up in June!!!!!

Until yesterday this was all the snow we had gotten:

It was a pretty pitiful amount a couple of weeks ago. Well yesterday, we had a "blizzard" blow in...


There is actually not a ton of snow, maybe a foot or so....but the wind is making it pretty yucky. Some places have 3-4 feet (like against our garage door) and some places are almost bare....and then when there is a crack, even the houses are getting snow.

This is our back porch...
There is a gap at the bottom of the door that has let the snow blow in. Luckily we have another door between the porch and our back hallway and then another door into the apartment. Otherwise we'd be in snow, too!!!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

What Did I Get For Christmas

A hunking big skein of yarn!

On one of the trips up to Northhampton, the Hubs got me this huge skein of yarn from Blue Moon. It's called WooBu and is 620 yards of goodness! It is Merino and Bambu, which is made from bamboo. He also got me a very generous gift card. So looks like I'll be making a trip to Webs this week! I'd love to get some more Lorna's Laces Shepard's Wool, because I loved that yarn!

I've also acquired some yarn on my own in the past week or so....





Friday, December 24, 2010

Blessings

I have shared with you about that student's mom. Yesterday I found out a friend from high school lost her battle with breast cancer...so lately, I have been thinking about my blessings among my sadness.

The Hubs and I were unable to have children, but I always say that on any given day, I have 20+ children.

I saw 3 former students on Wednesday and got big hugs from them. I saw another yesterday and got another big hug. Those are some blessings.

I reconnected with some people this year. Yesterday I received an email from Mary. I had sent her one awhile back. She lived with us for a year during high school as an exchange student. We lose touch and reconnect every couple of years.

I received a package from Fiona. She lives across the country. We met online several years ago and every once in awhile, we send each other random packages. It's always a nice surprise.

I was blessed by some students and friends at school this year.


My partner teacher wrote a very nice note to the principal about me. It brought me to tears. I would not have known about it, but the vice principal forwarded it to me.

I am blessed with this wonderful blog community that I have become a part of, the regular readers and commenters and those that lurk. I have made many new friends this year.

I am blessed with another group of online friends who have become as close to me as some of my family in the "Pots."

I am blessed with wonderful real life friends like Deidre, Danae and Keira. I love them dearly.

I am blessed with a niece and nephews who always make me smile and fill my heart with love and joy.

I am blessed that my immediate family is all healthy and hopefully happy and will stay that way.

I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Flat Stanley



Hello those out there in blog land!

I am sending out a plea!

Every year I do a Flat Stanley project with my students and every year I need Flat Stanley host families....

What is Flat Stanley? Stanley is a boy who was flattened by his bulletin board and has numerous adventures because of it. The book was written by Jeff Brown. A very brilliant teacher conceived of the idea to send Flat Stanleys out amongst the people as a project for her students. It has snowballed from there.

This is the "official" project page

I have my students make a Stanley, write a letter and provide an address to send the letter to a friend or relative. However many of my students do not have someone to send a Stanley to, so I enlist help. Some other teachers have volunteered, friends and family. But it is fun to see how far we can send our Stanleys. This year, I have the most students I have ever had....58 and I'm going to need many "emergency" Stanley families.

What does it involve on your end? It can be as little as you want or as much as you want.

The least required is to return Stanley with a letter about his adventures while he stayed with you. The most can be as much as you want.

Here are some pictures of "scrapbooks" we have received back with our Stanleys.



Please, please, please would you be willing to help out and host a Stanley? It does involve providing your address, so I completely understand if you aren't willing to volunteer. But it also could provide a blog post or two for you!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Just A Short Break

I haven't been online since Wednesday (well school email, but that doesn't count, we are blocked from going anywhere fun on the school's computers and I can't get service with my netbook at school unless I hang out by a window)

So I have to spend some time catching up on blogs this weekend. I have some blogs that I do "follow" but I actually don't read them much, which is sad. The ones I read regularly are the ones in the side bar. People talk about their ways of reading blogs like Google reader and RSS and I have NO IDEA what they are talking about!!! As I just use my blog roll on the side....hmmm, maybe I need to get updated on my technology.

Last night I went to visit the family of my student whose Mom is dying. She probably has less than two months. The chemo is no longer working and she is just on pain meds. We are hoping and praying for the best. My student was so excited that I was coming to visit. He did his hair for me and put on cologne (which I smelled of the rest of the night, because of the big hug he gave me before I left). It's heart wrenching.

Then, because I could not let myself fall into the morose mood I was in all last week, when I found out. I went Christmas shopping. I got almost everything done and only have to run out for a few things today and grocery shop.

We were hoping for a snow day on Monday, but it looks like it's going to pass us. We are all still going to wear our pajamas inside-out, put a spoon under our pillow and a fork in the freezer....

And I made two more student hats, that's 4 total, out of 58.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Randomness

It's only Wednesday morning...this week is going by at a snail's pace...

I have almost finished the third hat for my students...not taking pictures of them all..

It is frickin' cold here now....but barely any snow...

I am praying for a snow day on Monday...then it would only be 1.5 days until holiday break.

I have very little Christmas shopping done...the Hubs actually told me some things he wanted this year....holy shocker! I sent him a list weeks ago...

I still have no tree and really the thought of all that work! I might buy a tabletop one instead...

I need to get ready...I am wearing my pink Rudolph shirt today...I dress VERY TACKY this time of the year...but it is too hot in my room to wear my enormously tacky Christmas sweaters...

I hope you all have a wonderful hump day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lorna's Laces Zombie BBQ

I LURVE this yarn!!!!!! It was so squishy in the skein and so nice to work with....and I loved the way it pooled in the project....

It is the Shepard Worsted 100% Superwash Wool that I bought in Rhode Island at Fresh Purls.

This is what it looked like knitted into a hat:


These are my pictures of the hat and cowl I made. It is edged with Mission Falls 1824 Wool. I love this yarn!My Vermont Teddy Bear is my model in these pictures. I did wear the set today, but forgot to have someone take a picture. I know the first picture is a little lopsided, but she looks so cute as a model.




The buttons are kinda heavy for the cowl, they are made of glass that I picked up somewhere. I may look for other buttons, but for now they are good....
I love this set!!!!!

Sneaking into the picture on the side is my new basket. I picked it up at TJ Maxx, as I thought it would be perfect for little balls of yarn. They can roll around in there as I use them. They usually roll all over the bed....Here's a better picture of it.

It's Monday Again...sigh...

Today was a crazy morning.....chorus...and winter concert....had 1/2 a class for most of morning....2 of the students who are on medications, did not take them this morning.....the rest were on something else, cuz they crashed after lunch...It was a frustrating day...and then, of course, I got some updates on my student and his mother...

I'm usually so into the whole Christmas holiday. I love Christmas and still firmly believe in Santa Claus, but this year has been a trial. I'm just not that into it...no snow, hasn't been all that cold,....hmmm...

Well the good news is I did get some projects finished this weekend. One student hat, a set for the mom of my student, and my Zombie BBQ set....

First student hat, it's made with some kind of acrylic. I'm using leftovers for these. I have another started and will finish tonight. It's for my student who is in foster care at the moment. He was removed two weeks ago...(told ya' just can't get into the holiday mood this year)

Set for student's mom. It's made from Red Heart Soft Yarn and Bernat Satin. I had started the scarf awhile ago, planning on just making them. I decided to make a hat and give to this mom.

I'm going to do a separate post for the Zombie BBQ.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Better Frame of Mind

Thanks for the comments. I got the ball rolling today for my student, hopefully some good things will happen....

Bekka asked about putting a Paypal button on my blog and while I think that's a great idea, I'm just not sure if I have enough traffic to make it worthwhile. If anyone would like to donate to help this child, you can tell me in the comments. They are moderated, so I (or you) can choose not to post the comment.

No pressure and no expectations...

Now I did get some good news yesterday. Well for me anyway, the HUBS had to go to Holyoke, Mass. Which means he went by Northhampton to get burritos at our favoritest burrito place...and what else is in Northhampton? Webs you say?

Yep, I'm the proud new owner of Boobie 2 Socks That Rock.

The Hubs likes Socks That Rock. Actually, he just remembers that if he goes in the front door of Webs and heads straight toward the back, on the left is the yarn he liked...He doesn't know what it actually is.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Heart Shattering Day

It can be heart rending to work with kids. It can be heart breaking to work with kids who live in poverty. It is heart shattering to work with a child whose parent is dying.

I knew one of my student's mom had cancer. I met her at conferences in November. She has been fighting for 3 years.

I spoke with her liaison today (power of attorney, etc) She is back in the hospital and they are making arrangements for her children. The goal is for her to spend Christmas with her four children. If she makes that goal, they will set a new one. This child will be leaving in the next month or two to live with his father. I am starting a collection for the family tomorrow.

Oh and they are also homeless...I cried on the way home today. There are days that are just heart shattering.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Mission

I'm on a mission tonight to crochet as many hats as possible. It has gotten nasty cold here and my students are ill prepared. Many of them had hooded sweatshirts on today. Last year I received a box of donated hats and gloves that I held on to, as I got them at the end of March. I took them down and gave them out today, they went fast, but didn't really have "boy" colors. So I'm on a mission to crochet a hat for each of my students...that's 58 hats! A couple years ago when I looped with my students from 2 to 3, I made them each a scarf. That was 48 scarves. Some of them didn't get them until the spring. They are now in 7th grade and they STILL come up to me and tell me that they still have their scarves.

I need to eat to fortify my strength and then get set, ready, go...I think I can make 3 or 4 tonight. If I do nothing else! They will be simple double crochet or half-double crochet hats....First I'm gonna finish mine though!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Weekend

I'm still feeling crappy. Might have to make another trip to the doctor. This weekend, I pretty much did nothing but lounge around and crochet a bit. I thought about trying to knit something new, but my head was not into it.

So I wound some yarn, this is a bit of an event for me.
As you can see, I set it up on my bed. and a tv tray table. It works for me. However the skeins, for some reason, all the middles came out messy! I wound three skeins, some Holiday Yarn Bacon, Lorna's Laces Zombie BBQ and a new yarn to me, Done Roving Frolicking Feet.

I worked on my Zombie BBQ hat and decided to make it a chullo for me.
It is not done, as I'm looking for a yarn to edge it with. I have made several chullos for kids, but I really like them, so made one for me. I made up the design as I went along. I have enough Zombie BBQ to edge it, but I'd like to make a cowl with it also. So I'm thinking if I can find a nice yarn to edge the hat, I can use it for the cowl too. I have some Spud and Chloe I think will work, but I have to find it. Which leads me to this:
Dumping out a bunch of yarn looking for the Spud and Chloe. I ended up stashing a few more skeins on Ravelry, but didn't find the Spud and Chloe. I'm thinking it might be too thin. The Zombie BBQ is like a worsted and I think the Spud and Chloe is sock weight.

I also started on a Bacon hat for my MIL or SIL. They are both getting one. I thought I might knit it, but brain was befuddled, so decided to crochet. But it's very thin and the hook is very small and it's gonna take awhile.
This is me in bed this morning working on it a bit. That's my Croatian blanket in the background. My friend's parents got it for me when I was visiting in 1987 and I've used it ever since. I love it, it's very warm and soft and just so comfortable.

Now I've done some lesson planning, finished some language arts and social studies plans into January. Couldn't bring myself to correct papers.

That was my weekend, exciting huh? Oh I did watch the first season of Battlestar Galatica yesterday (I have it on DVD) and was watching the Harry Potter marathon today...

ETA: Just found a Mission Falls 1824 Wool that I think will be perfect!

Friday, December 3, 2010