Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cabin Fever Contest

According to Wikipedia : Cabin fever is an idiomatic term for a claustrophobic reaction that takes place when a person or group is isolated and/or shut in, for an extended period. Symptoms include restlessness, irritability, forgetfulness, laughter, and excessive sleeping. The word is also used humorously to indicate simple boredom from being home alone. The term was first recorded in 1918.

It's a symptom many of us who live in a cold/snow region are experiencing right now, including me! So to enter my 500th post contest, leave a comment by February 7, telling me what you do to help combat 'Cabin Fever'. And yes, you can enter even if you live in sunny Florida or California or even Hawaii - I'm sure many of you suffer from your own form of cabin fever!

I had been trying to decide on a prize for this contest, when I turned to the January 31 page in my "Never Not Knitting" Calendar where the Yarn Harlot suggested that I spend the weekend 'stash culling'. So, I'm going to take her up on that, and the result of my culling will become the prize for this contest - a box of ???? yarn to the winner of the random drawing.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Let it Snow - I'll Knit a Bus

Might as well - it's not like I can stop it or anything! School closed at noon today in anticipation of another snow storm. It started snowing just in time for the drive home and is supposed to continue all night. So, I took advantage of the extra few free hours by going home and cleaning my house - well no! Of course I'm kidding. What I actually did was finish up another pair of Norwegian House Slippers . They are the same colors as the other pair, just in a different sequence - and for some reason these look a lot bigger! But no worries - they are going to shrink anyway when they go for their hot bath.

And if it keeps on snowing I can always knit some school bus cozies! (that would be right after I clean my house) I'm sure the bus drivers would appreciate them on these cold mornings. Check it out here.

And, guess what I just noticed - this is post # 498 for me! And that, of course, means I need to come up with a 500 posts contest. Check back in a couple of days to see what it will be!

Valentine Contest

There is a great contest going on at Bitty Bits and Pieces Blog. She's giving away two great valentine related prizes to celebrate her 100th post.
Go on over and enter and tell her I sent you!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Something to Cheer About

The Sumner Tigers took 3rd place in the Eastern Maine Cheering Competition on Saturday - they were awesome! This means they will be going on to the State competition on February 7 - Go Blue!!!! I don't knit during competitions - too dangerous, I would probably stab someone!

but I do have some knitting to report on:

Progress on my "Simple but Effective

Shawl" knit with Noro Kuryon sock yarn. Very, easy, mindless pattern, but so pretty with the Noro color changes.

My Sheep in Sheep's Clothing

a modified version of Frankie Brown's pattern done for a Whoduknit Mystery KAL His coat is made with some Noro Silk Garden. And a couple more crocheted hats made for the Hat Box Foundation Charity.
the one on the top is made with Sugar n' Cream cotton and the one on the bottom is made with Bottany wool.

And this brings me up to 11 FOs towards my 52 in 52 goal!

Friday, January 23, 2009

An Interview

Chris: 1. I know that you are thinking of retiring, if you haven't already done so. What are the greatest rewards you reaped from your teaching career?

Me: Yes, I am retiring in June. As for rewards - I can tell you for sure it is not the money! And the rewards do not come from the administration or the school board. The rewards in teaching come from the kids. For my first 20 years in education I taught 5 & 6 year-olds how to read. The looks on their faces when they realized they could actually read the words on the page - that was my reward! Or how about this one - just today a 2nd grader couldn't find his boots and when I pointed out that they were right in his cubby where they belonged, he said - hey, you're really smart - you're even smarter than me! Yup - knowing I'm smarter than a 2nd grader, that's my reward!

Chris: How do you like to spend time with your family?

Me: Going out for dinner, or having everyone over for dinner, watching a Red Sox game on T.V. , In the summer, cook-outs at the lake, doing crafts with my grandchildren (although all but one have outgrown that one).

Chris: I know you do a lot of reading. What are your top 3 favorite books that you have read?

Me: That's a question I can't answer - there are just so many books that are favorites for so many different reasons. Some recent favorites are Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton, Light on Snow by Anita shreve, The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood, .

Chris: What are your favorite things to knit?

Me: Felted bags, scarves, hats.

Chris: Are there any new knitting skills that you would like to acquire?

Me: Lace knitting, but I don't think that's going to happen except for very basic lace patterns.

For those of you who might want to be interviewed, here are the directions:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions and I will need your e-mail.).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Monday, January 19, 2009

I Have a Dream

From The Yarn Harlot's Never Not Knitting Calendar:

On this day, almost every knitter can identify with famed American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Just go stand in front of your piles of yarn, survey them in all their glory, and repeat the following words of the great man: "I have a dream......"

In Second Grade we do a unit on Martin Luther King at this time very year. We learn about MLK's famous I Have a Dream speech, and talk about civil rights, read books about MLK's life and also watch a movie about Ruby Bridges. The children are usually appalled at the treatment black people received back then, and there are usually some tears. Our school is predominately white - we have one little Mexican girl in our class this year, who everyone just adores. They just can't imagine anyone treating her that way.
Of course, this year MLK Day is even more significant with our first African-American President ready to be sworn in as President of the US tomorrow! It's been a long time since I was this proud to be an American.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Football and Crocheting

Today I crocheted this Durango Hat. This is not only for my personal 52 in 52 challenge but more importantly for a challenge from Patt on My Knitting Circle to knit at least one item for charity every three months this year. Hats for the Hat Box Foundation are the designated item for the first three months. It's crocheted with Caron Simply Soft in Country Blue with the trim in LB Wool-Ease and took me less than one football game to crochet.
I did have a lot of interruptions while my DH ran outside in the snowstorm to brush the snow off the satellite dish (using three poles and a broom duck-taped together- and no, I didn't get the photo). I had to watch for the game to come back on and give him the thumbs up out the window.
The hat was quick and easy and I'll be making more of them.

Contest Winner

Thanks to all of you who entered my contest. You inspired me with all of your wonderful accomplishments in 2008. The lucky winner of the contest is......Chris, from luvtoknit
who, among other things, "started spending more time with my 82--now 83 yo mom and am really enjoying it We try to go to a knitting group once a week." Isn't that just the neatest thing!
Congratulations Chris!
And to the rest of you - come back and try again soon. I'll be celebrating my 500th post with another contest in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

You Know You've Been Teaching Too Long When...

True Story - names have been changed to protect the guilty!

Little Johnny brought a bottle of soda in for snack. Not only is soda not allowed for snack, but Johnny shook up the bottle and it exploded all over his desk and the desks around him. After he cleaned up the mess, he was told that he could not bring soda to school anymore.

Next morning: A phone call from Little Johnny's father, Big Johnny.

BJ: "Little Johnny says he cannot bring soda to school anymore"
Me: "That's right. We only have healthy snacks with fruit juice or milk."
BJ: "Well, I'm his F****ing father and if I say he can have soda, he can have soda." What do you think I am F***ing rich? I can't afford fruit juice. Do you know how expensive fruit juice is? Are you going to pay for his juice?"
Me: "No, I'm not. We've been learning a lot about nutrition in our class. We've been working with a local doctor on ways to prevent obesity in children."
B.J.: Oh, so now you're telling me that my F***ing kid is fat?"
Me: "A lot of the children drink water with their snack. There is a lot of research that shows that drinking water improves concentration and learning in school."
BJ: "He doesn't like F***ing water. I don't like F***ing water either. You just don't want him drinking soda because you are all F***ing lazy over there at the school and you don't want to deal with hyper kids."
The conversation went on for awhile and actually ended on a positive note and LJ won't be bringing soda to school anymore, except on special occasions, like party days.

The punch line is that Big Johnny was a student of mine when he was in Kindergarten!

Time to Retire!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Today is DECISION day! To retire at the end of this school year or not. I have my application for Maine State Retirement all made out, and my letter of intent to retire typed, but as usual I am flip-flopping on my decision! I still want to stay involved in the school (we will be moving into a brand new school building in September!) as a volunteer and substitute teacher - but would really like to have more time for....well- you know if you read my blog ...knitting and reading! Plus a few other things like a little traveling. I am so bad at making decisions - and of course my DH says do what I want to do. So, help me my blogging friends, what should I do??????????????

And for some knitting content - I finished another project to add to my 52 in 52 list - it's the Mystery KAL from Another Knit Dishcloth Group - "I Heart Knitting 2009"
I haven't blocked it yet - but - what a great pattern! Thanks Kathy!

Sunday, January 11, 2009


No, that's not pirate talk - that's what you say when you felt a pair of mittens and the thumbs felt closed!
Here are the giant mittens. They are knit with Galway in Gray Heather (not the green that they look in the photo. I just used a basic mitten pattern, but used the men's size and went up a few sizes on the needles. Then - into the hot water. The first time I checked they were still too big. The next time - Arrgghh! The thumbs had felted closed. I shoved the handle of a wooden spoon up in them and opened them up and then stuffed them with plastic baggies.
Here they are drying. I think I may do some needlefelting on them - but mostly they are to keep my hands warm! Next I am going to try thrummed mittens. I think they must be the warmest things going!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Judith, over on Holiday Mystery Gift-Along (where they are not doing a Knit your own Shawl Adventure) came up with this idea of using a teapot as a yarn holder. I have a collection of teapots, which I rarely use for tea, and I think this is just the neatest idea! Put the yarn in the teapot - thread it through the spout - don't you just love it!

I did remember to wear my neck warmer and head band for recess duty yesterday, but the playground was a sheet of ice and it wasn't safe for the kids to got out (not to mention the teachers!) so I war my neckwarmer indoors all day yesterday.
Being cooped up inside all day with 20 7 and 8 year-olds full of energy is not a lot of fun! But we did manage to get a couple laps around the gym when it wasn't being used for a class.
Today I am reading (The Knitting Circle) and knitting (felted mittens)
and trying to keep warm. There must be some reason why I live in Maine, but I can't think of it right now!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

52 in 52 in 2009

The beautiful, new and improved Aunt Kathy has set a goal for 2009 - she wants to knit 365 items this year! No way would I take on that challenge - but she did inspire my own goal - 52 items in 52 weeks! I'm going with her guidelines that even the smallest project counts - like a square for a blanket, or a dishcloth or one sock (I'm even going to count bookmarks). I figure I already have two slippers (yup, that counts as two LOL) and two mitts done - hey I'm 3 weeks ahead already! I'll be keeping track on my sidebar so you can check up on me!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

See Jane Freeze

See Miss Manikin wearing my fidget neckwarmer and the headband I finally finished to go with it?
See Jane freeze on playground duty today? (Well no, you can see me - but trust me I did!)
That's because Jane forgot to take the nice warm neckwarmer and headband to school today.
I hope you were warm and cozy all day Miss Manikin because tomorrow you are on your own - snow is on the way and I'll be wearing them instead of you - I won't look as good as you - but I'll be warmer!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

First FOs of 2009

Oh ye of little faith - that L shaped piece of knitting in my last post - actually turned into these!

I couldn't have done it without the video though.

After a hot bath.....

The colors didn't really fade that much - it's just the lighting in the picture - but here they are!

I've already started on another pair!

And, a pair of felted fingerless mitts. They didn't start out with felting in mind - but when they turned out too big, well, what's a compulsive felter to do? Throw them in some hot water and see what happens. Luckily I knit them with Paton's wool and I just partially felted them - but I like! Think I'll make some more of these on purpose.

Not a FO - but a late Christmas gift from me to me - Casting Spells - our Whoduknit book for January, the Knitting Circle, recommended highly by some Whoduknit members, and a Monica Ferris book - Knitting Bones, because I had to bring the total up to $#25.00 to get the free postage LOL.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


I wish you all a happy, healthy and productive New Year! To start off my 2009 knitting I've joined the UFO KAL and the 52 week challenge on Carefree Knitting.

I cast on for my first project this morning (was going to do it at midnight, but just didn't quite make it up that late!) for these felted Norwegian house slippers, an appropriate beginning to a year starting out with a minus 30 windchill!

First CO in 2009!

Somehow what you see on the left is going to turn into a slipper!

Don't forget to enter my contest!