Sunday, October 20, 2013

fires and fabric

What's New?
Thanks to this post, I've found myself filling my extra time (what little I have) with meaningful endeavors. Last weekend, when Joe and I realized we had no specific evening plans, we decided to invite some friends to join us at the nearby beach for a bonfire with s'mores. It was cold, but clear (no rain in Seattle during fall is something to celebrate). Next time we'll bring more wood so we can have a bigger fire. I only bought one bundle, not knowing how much we'd need.

Last weekend also included a trip to the big fabric store so I could work on my nephew Mason's quilt. I already had one fabric for the back (Alexander Henry's adorable zoo print, which I used as inspiration for the colors on the front), but I had initially bought not enough to cover the whole quilt back. So, I found a complimentary solid and got to work putting together the quilt layers.

I want the quilt to be ready in time for Christmas, and I think that will be possible. I'm still not sure what I'll use for binding, but I have some time to figure that out. Right now I'm quilting the layers together. After that I'll trim it so that each edge is straight, and then comes binding. I think I might take the almost-finished quilt to my local fabric store and ask the owner for her recommendation on binding. She has a good eye.

Currently Reading (I'm up to 40 books read this year - just might make my goal of 50)
  • Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater - Finished this week. I love this series and I can't wait for the next one. The characters are well-developed, the female protagonist holds her own, and the supernatural elements are fascinating.
  • If It's Not One Thing, It's Your Mother by Julia Sweeney - Finished this weekend. This was a funny read about family. I appreciated the author's candor and humor.
  • The Dark and Hollow Places by Carrie Ryan (book three in the YA zombie series) - Just started this last night. Looking forward to a good read.

On the Needles
I've been slowly working on finishing my striped Idlewood sweater. I got to the end of the first sleeve, and I've ripped it back a couple inches and started again about three times. I just couldn't decide how to end the sleeve, but I think I'll stick with my current approach. I went down one needle size, started a 3x3 ribbing and decreased on the second row to 3x2 ribbing. The leftover yarn looks like just enough for the second sleeve, but there's a real possibility that I'll run out. Cross your fingers.

Looking Forward To
  1. meeting an old friend, and some new ones, at a local coffee shop for a proper stitch and bitch

Saturday, October 12, 2013

changing leaves

artful leaf arrangement by one of my students
What's New?
Autumn is the season when the Earth slows down, bundles up, and gets ready for a long winter nap. Autumn is also the beginning of school. As a teacher, that means autumn is the time when my work ramps up into high gear and I find myself whizzing through September so fast that I barely realize it's gone until the second week of October. I find this dichotomy fascinating, yet also a bit sad. While my spirit wants to spend lazy evenings tucked in bed under a warm blanket with a good book, my brain tells me I need to work at a frenzied pace.

carrots from my garden
I know this is mainly due to the added stress and work involved in changing schools and districts, but I feel especially sad about this autumn. I missed the fair this year. I fear I missed apple picking as well. If I'm not careful, I'll miss the pumpkin patch. I haven't put up any of my autumn decorations. I'm not Martha Stewart, by far, but I do have a few seasonal decorations that make me happy.

the trees near my home
I do have some bright spots ahead, though, and I try to focus on those. Joe has asked me to knit him some fingerless gloves (something I've been wanting to do for some time now), and we bought yarn for them on his birthday. I'm joining a friend later this month for a Meetup knitting group at a neighborhood coffee shop. And last, but not least, riding the bus (along with walking to and from bus stops) has afforded me much time to gaze and wonder at the beautiful changing leaves.

my 6th graders collecting depth data
I took my 6th graders to the creek across the street to gather data for their first field study. It was a bit exhausting marching them over and back again (and then doing it again for the other two 6th grade classes), but I think we all had fun.

Currently Reading
  • The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan - I finished this book this week, and I enjoyed it so much that I've put the 3rd book in the trilogy on my library queue. 
  • The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater - book #2 in the Raven Boys series.

On the Needles
I've picked up my striped Idlewood sweater after many months of neglect. The only thing it needs is sleeves (and one of them was almost finished already), so really there's no excuse not to finish it. After it is done I'll start up again on my Leaflet sweater (which is also almost finished) so that I can start Joe's gloves.

Looking Forward To
  1. a beautiful week coming up

Friday, October 4, 2013


What's New?
This week has been a doozy! We've had a block schedule to accommodate standardized testing, which means that we have our classes for twice the amount of time, but see them every other day. This also means that we only have our prep period every other day. On top of that, Wednesday night was parent night, the book sale fundraiser was going on, we had two unplanned fire drills, and Friday was spirit day complete with an assembly schedule. I got three new-to-the-building students this week, and several others with schedule changes. Work has been tough this week, to say the least. I chose the pictures for this post for two reasons: I've spent much more time than usual at my school this week, and the fog from the top of the hill this morning looked a bit like how my head felt after juggling way too many schedule changes.

Currently Reading
  • The Movement of Stars by Amy Brill - Finished this book yesterday. Science, feminism, history, and a beautiful sense of place. I enjoyed this read.
  • The Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan - this sequel to The Forest of Hands and Teeth is very good so far.

On the Needles
I finished my new fingerless gloves, and I love them. Now I just need to take a decent picture of them so that I can update my Ravelry project page. I've quite a bit of that yarn left over - what to use it for?

Looking Forward To:
  1. a quiet weekend to recharge