Yarn Along :: February 22, 2017

Click on the image to see more at SmallThings
Click on the image to see more at SmallThings

Well, this was meant to go up yesterday but I’ve been battling a migraine since going back to school.  I keep meaning to check if it’s a full moon!  Truly, though, the kids aren’t the cause of the migraine but their exuberance makes it difficult to cope at times.

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We had a long weekend for President’s Day and headed up the coast to Marblehead for a few days.  I have a lot of pictures I will get to eventually, but it was a lovely weekend exploring, knitting, and reading. A notice of Philippa Gregory’s new-ish novel popped up in my Facebook feed and when I went to download it to my Kindle, I found a book just before it in the Cousins’ series. The King’s Curse tells the story of Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury, and I knew I’d just have to read this before moving on to Three Sisters, Three Queens. I wasn’t disappointed and found myself reaching for the Kindle more than my knitting ~ gasp!

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When we got home, my pre-order of A Piece of the World downloaded to my Kindle. I heard an interview with Christina Baker Kline on NPR last Thursday as I was driving home from school and got hooked. The novel is a fictionalized account of Anna Christina Olsen, the woman portrayed (although it is technically Wyeth’s wife) in the painting Christina’s World. There is such a mixture of old New England grit, a connection to my beloved Nathaniel Hawthorne, the history of Salem…it had everything going for it.  I’m now about 30% into it and I am not disappointed.

Christina's World by Andrew Wyeth
Christina’s World by Andrew Wyeth

The knitting this week is focused on a Sugar Swirls baby blanket in Cascade 220 Fingering. It’s a nice break from knitting lots and lots of socks for the past year. I do have a rather large stash of sock yarn, though, so expect to see more socks here soon.  The photo above is reading very, very red but the yarn colors are a nice fawny tan, bubblegum pink, and deep magenta. Clearly it’s for a baby girl. 🙂

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Yarn Along :: February 9, 2017

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Joining Ginny this week for Yarn Along. I’ve been posting more on Instagram lately. If I were to post only knitting here there would be few and far between going up because I seems to have lost most of my knitting speed.  I think the fact that I have books to go along with these posts is the only thing that save it because it really feels, to me, that I have same sock to show each week.

So true to form, it’s another red and blue sock. I had stopped to work on a baby blanket only to frog that after goofing up the first color change. So I decided to go back to the sock (no. 2!) and get that done. Yesterday was a sick day for me but I was too sick to even knit much. I’d hoped to knit 400 stitches because that seemed like such a massive number on a sock. In truth, it was six and a quarter rows. And I only made it through about 200 before I needed to lay down again.  Today is a snow day ~ our first here in Connecticut ~ and I’m determined to get down to the heel flap.

IMG_4216Pattern: Susan B Anderson’s How I Make My Socks (link here)
Yarns: Malabrigo Sock in Ravelry Red and Azule
Needles: Size 2 DPN

I just started this book, which I think is Young Adult fiction that I had purchased for Maia. So far it’s good although I’m only a few pages in. I needed a break from War & Peace which is definitely not going as quickly, easily, or as enjoyably as Anna Karenina did. I am gathering up every book I own that I never got around to reading and slowly making my way through all of them, then dedicating myself to only reading books from the library. I love books, the gathering and handling of them, but they quickly overrun our home.

Weekend WIP

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I know, I know…the same sad sock. I added on the red for the toes so I have high hopes that this will be done tomorrow. I’ve made it a point to log in some devoted knitting time and it has paid off. I set my watch alarm for an hour and another half hour yesterday. It was a bit of a rough weekend with both myself and my husband sick with what I’m utterly convinced is strep throat. C’est la vie! <—–I’m revisiting my high school French while my son works on his German for his year abroad. My favorite phrase thus far is: “Le requin is eating a dolphin.” I cannot fathom a single instance where I will need to announce that the shark is eating a dolphin!

I will admit to getting a bit tired of this sock so I moved over to Maia’s sweater for a bit while we watched the Sherlock Season 4 finale (so stressful!). The cables in that, which I will share when it’s a bit further along, were much better at keeping my interest.

 

2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge

Casey has
read 0 books toward
her goal of
24 books.
hide

Well, this year I didn’t quite make my goal of 45 books, even counting some new picture books I’d found for my classroom. I did dial it down a bit this year, though, thinking two books a month might be doable and will give me a chance to go ahead. I think 2015 was 113% of my goal so, while it doesn’t matter a whit, I did get pretty giddy seeing that percentage.

Any good recommendations for when I finish War & Peace?

Box O Sox KAL

My Instagram feed is filled with boxes of socks tagged with #boxosoxKAL so I had to investigate what this was. A box of 12 socks? I’m in! I immediately started imaginging family members opening boxes filled with socks! Well…let’s not get ahead of ourselves. My Giants/Hanukkah socks haven’t progressed much since knitting the other night.

Well, as it turns out, this particular KAL began in January of 2016 so I missed out on that, but I just found the 2017 thread on the Yarngasm Podcast page on Ravelry! And, yes, I am STILL working on those Giants socks but I do have lots of socks planned for moi. You can click on each image to visit to pattern page on Ravelry.

January

Eternal Spring Socks by verybusymonkey
Eternal Spring Socks by verybusymonkey

February

Turkish Bed Socks by Chruchmouse Yarns and Teas
Turkish Bed Socks by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas

March

Elementary Watson Socks by Sherry Menton
Elementary Watson Socks by Sherry Menton

April

Rowan Moon Socks by Louise Tilbrook
Rowan Moon Socks by Louise Tilbrook

May

Cachoeira by Kristi Geraci
Cachoeira by Kristi Geraci

June

Rye by Tincan Knits
Rye by Tincan Knits

July

Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B Anderson
Smooth Operator Socks by Susan B Anderson

August

Petty Harbour by Reyna Curtis
Petty Harbour by Reyna Curtis

September

Owlie Socks by Julie Elswick Suchomel
Owlie Socks by Julie Elswick Suchomel

October

Amelie by Alana Dakos
Amelie by Alana Dakos

November

Gaudete by Stephanie van der Linden
Gaudete by Stephanie van der Linden

December

Lacunae by Anne Hanson
Lacunae by Anne Hanson

Phew! That’s a list. I’m going to have to ramp up my attempts at two at a time socks.  But how amazing to have a dozen hand knit socks for me! Most of my sock knitting is gifted.

Two and Done

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My husband’s birthday is January 1st (sadly not the first baby of the new year in his place of birth) and we’ve ushered in the New Year for many past years at Madison Square Garden watching Phish. The other night, in fact, folks were figuring how long it’s been since their first show and I got the longest (November 1991 in DC).

Usually we stay in the city but Greyson just got back from Nigeria a few weeks ago and we just didn’t have our ducks in a row. So we opted for two long commutes from Connecticut. Actually, I do love the ease of taking the train but at 1:30am I’d much prefer sleep.

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We attended the Phan Art show at Hotel Penn, too, and got some more artwork. They shipped from the show so our goodies won’t get here until next week but I told Greyson it would be like Christmas again.

So as Greyson heads back in for Night 3, I’ll be happy curled up on the couch with my knitting, my book, assorted pets and children.

Last Yarn Along of 2016

Click on the image to see more at SmallThings
Click on the image to see more at Ginny’s blog

I started my 2017 Resolutions early.  I am your classic introvert who would probably never leave the house if she could get away with that. Last week I joined two (yes, I said two) groups through meetup.com. One is a book club that I won’t be able to attend until the end of January because of our yearly trek to Madison Square Garden, but the other I managed to go to last night. I found a knitting group that meets at a local Starbucks every week. Apparently they were the other half of the gromp I used to be in that kind of fizzled and regroups…but I never quite made it to those meetings again.

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If you have been following the saga of my New York Giants/Hanukkah socks on Instagram, you probably know that these have been working for a really long time. In fact I started them just before my house then went to Nigeria at the end of November. Being an elementary school teacher at Christmas time is not for the faint of heart and it took up most of  most of my mental energy.  Clearly these are not going to be given before Hanukkah is over, but I am trying my hardest to get them finished. When I went to the knitting group last night I was about a third of the way through the heel flap, and when I left I was working on the gusset. Go me!

These are tried-and-true socks from Susan B Anderson’s How I Make My Socks on her blog. The yarn is Malabrigo, which I love with all of my heart. Just kidding, but not quite.

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My other goal, although not quite a resolution, is to read War and Peace over Christmas break. I’m on page 4 and we go back on January 2 so I probably am not going to make that goal. But I’m going to plug away at it because Anna Karenina turned out to be an amazing novel.  Let’s just hope that the group chooses an easy read for the January meeting.

Menu Planning, Vol. 1 – work with me

Here I am singing the same old tune: I will cook at home and not each out. In truth, I just need to admit that I stink at the cooking thing. As in, I often call my daughter on my way to school asking her to take out dinner. *sigh*

Last year I took Heather’s Whole Foods Freezer Cooking Workshop (registration for Hibernate just opened last week, btw)  and got a ton of great recipes my family actually likes. I spent some time looking over the e-book from that workshop figuring out what I’d add to the freezer during this busy week before Christmas. I seem to fail miserably of sticking with at home cooking but at least I keep trying, right?

Sunday: Tasha Tudors Meatloaf (available here)

Monday: Spaghetti & Meatballs (a freezer addition)

Tuesday: Dinner Out ~ my husband will be talking about his polio trip to Nigeria

Wednesday: Potato Soup in the crockpot

Thursday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole (another freezer addition)

Friday: Herbed Lentil Loaf (another freezer addition)

Saturday: Christmas Eve Dinner – Lasagna Rolls, Salad, Roasted Veggies and Red Velvet Cheesecake

The End Is In Sight

Good heavens teaching right up through the 23rd is not for the faint of heart! My kiddos have been bonkers since Thanksgiving but they’re slowly building up to all out madness.

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We had a snow squall on Thursday that none of us were expecting. When it started to snow, it wasn’t that big of a deal but then it really started coming down. I will admit for a hot minute I thought we might actually get an early dismissal. But then it stopped and the sun came out so my hopes were dashed. You really would think these New England kids had never seen snow before. Thank goodness it was during snack!

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We’ve been working on Holidays around the world. My own child is getting ready to spend his 2017-2018 school year in another country so I’m feeling a bit international lately. The kids spent some time working on their own traditions before we moved onto traditions in other countries. And we enjoyed finding out that some of our traditions are a result of where our families came from. That’s the best part about teaching is watching them get excited over things we adults take for granted.

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And in a totally unrelated but oh so thrilling for second grade, we started learning about fossils and dinosaurs in science this week. It was a little funny to teach this lesson about fossils and how long they take to form and follow that with a quick salt dough fossil activity but it was one wildly engrossed classroom.

Newport at Christmas

We had a busy weekend filled with lots of driving and walking  one thing on my Christmas Bucket List while Grey was in Nigeria was to see the Newport Mansions decorated for Christmas  I didn’t realized I’d planned this for the Newport Stroll so it was packed, but even a crowded day in Newport is a great day.  Three houses re open: The Elms, Marble House, and The Breakers  we made it to two before deciding we needed some lunch, which turned into shopping…

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