Archive for the ‘homeschooling’ Category

Since Thanksgiving, we haven’t really had any adventures to speak of, and since I finished my Clapotis, I don’t have any really good knitting news, either. There is the second scarf I made for my Ravelry Scarf Exchange pal, Rae, which was mailed to her over a week ago. I know that she probably received it by now, although she hasn’t emailed to say so.Diagonal Knot Stitch Scarf

Completed and blocked, this is the Diagonal Knot Stitch scarf which I knit out of Malabrigo Merino, colorway Violetas. The pattern really opened up once I blocked it, but I do need to find my iron because I could have done a much better job with it. Once I find it, I will be able to block my Clapotis, and finally be able to wear it, hopefully in time for Christmas. (I don’t know what it is about that project, but I’m itching to make another!)

The second nightmare sock of the pair I started eons ago is getting additional rows added to it here and there when I have time at night, which is the only time I get to knit anything anymore. There is just too much to do during a day with homeschooling and housecleaning and cooking and now decorating and Christmas shopping. Phooey! I’d love to just sit and knit all day!

My perfect day would include everyone going out so that I was left alone in the house. The first part of my day alone would beCorey practicing his typing skills. spent in the kitchen dyeing yarn, and the second half of it would be spent in the living room knitting in silence. In fact, that’s not even a day, but about eight hours. Eight hours that I could spend doing the laundry or vacuuming or cleaning the house. Eight hours that I could spend teaching long division to my 6-year-old. Did I mention he’s learning to type, too? In the image at right, he’s practicing his typing skills! 🙂Stitch markers!

Congratulations to my good friend, Anita, who’s handmade polymer clay stitch markers are featured in the current issue of Knit Simple magazine! You can get a set of these adorable stitch markers for yourself by visiting her etsy shop, Yarndemon Designs. I have a set of those sweet peas, and I’ve gotta tell ya, the real thing is soooo much cuter than the images, by FAR. Her shop also features the perfect accessory that every fiber crafter needs: little tape measures with very nice hand-crocheted covers on them. When Anita sent my stitch markers, she also include one of these tape measures which I keep in my little accessory bag and gets frequent use when I’m knitting! Wouldn’t you know it’s that time of year — the season for gift giving, and these stitch markers and tape measures would make PERFECT stocking stuffers!


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Right now, I’m dyeing about two skeins of yarn each day that I spend time playing with colors in my kitchen. Yesterday was spent visiting opposite ends of the spectrum! My inspiration for the first one came from a bird I tried to rescue one time. It was a grackle, and its feathers had this sheen about them that shone dark blue, purple and green in the sun even though he was entirely black overall. I tried to reproduce this in a sock yarn, and I don’t think the results were too far off.

Acid dye handpainted yarn

The second yarn I dyed yesterday came out perfectly, and I’m really happy with it, as well. In fact, I love this second yarn so much, I might not be able to put it in my shop!

Acid dye handpainted yarn

Regarding knitting, I’ve been working on my Clapotis for a month now, and now I’m really feeling the urge to knit something small and quick for some instant gratification. Perhaps a washcloth for my SP11 pal, or a pair of baby bootees (doesn’t get much smaller than that), or maybe I should just finish those nightmare socks that have been on hold since I started the Clapotis. I have three projects going at once, and putting the other two off to work on the Clapotis is starting to bother me, so I’ll probably finish the socks.

Pixie received her getStitchy Handpainted Yarn Swap package last week and she seemed to like it! The yarn I dyed for her was some really soft superwash DK that I KNOW I took pictures of, but they are gone! The only thing I can think of is that I forgot to upload them to my computer from my Nikon before I deleted everything on the memory card. Oh well, you can see her loot over on her blog: Purly Girl.

Yesterday, my DH mailed the package that is being sent to my Ravelry Caffeine Swap partner too, so she should be getting that very soon, as she’s on the east coast too. I had a bit of a time finding a decent coffee mug in this town, at least one that she might like according to her questionnaire, so I hope she likes what I finally chose. So that’s another swap done for me… two down, two to go!

My Ravelry Scarf Exchange partner’s questionnaire finally made it to my inbox. This swap has got me quite anxious, as I’ve never knit anything for a swap before. (Good thing we have until December to get it done!) Now I just have to find the perfect scarf pattern for her and then the perfect yarn for the scarf, and then I can get started on it.

School starts Monday for both boys, but I don’t think they’re ready for it… what am I saying??? I’m not ready for it yet! Geesh! I was hoping to get my Clapotis done before school, but no such luck. And then Corey’s getting an insulin pump really soon, so we’ll be going to Johns Hopkins in Baltimore sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Bee on my purple crepe myrtle.

Two springs ago, I bought a very small crepe myrtle bush and planted it, and its blossoms were gorgeous. Then winter came, and then spring, and everyone else’s crepe myrtles were in full bloom. Except mine, which was rather disappointing. It was still dormant up until mid-June, when I noticed it was sprouting new leaves among the dead branches. I pruned all the dead parts off, and here it is at the end of August, in full bloom once again. 🙂

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There is quite a bit going on in Furryland recently. So much that I just want to sit in the chair and knit for a few hours… and think. I need a game plan.

We homeschool our boys, and I need to get curriculum and a school routine planned before our first day of school, which is August 27th. I’ve got most of the schoolwork I need for my 1st grader, except a cassette tape player. I know they’re outdated, but when I was yardsaling with my sister a couple weeks ago, I found a complete set of Hooked On Phonics in pristine condition, so I asked the price and the lady only wanted $5.00 for it! Whoooowheeee!!! I like yardsaling!

Deciding on the classes for my teen is going to require a little more intensive thought, and I guess that’s why I’m blogging about it, so I can start brainstorming on this. In the public school system, he would be in 9th grade. But from what I’ve found, he is in 10th grade math. Having just finished Algebra I last school year, he will be in Geometry this year, and I want to add in some type of consumer math course, as well (if I can find one).

This past week, we spent a lot of time getting organized. Last year, my teen was in a spare bedroom with the laptop working on schoolwork, and I didn’t get to use my sewing machine once. I had taken it to get it serviced early last year, and then it just sat there on the table with the cover on it. So I decided to reclaim that spare bedroom for my craft stuff; mainly yarn, dyeing supplies, knitting books and my sewing machine/supplies.

Then we got the computer room/school room prepared and cleaned up. We organized and threw away old papers and other junk we didn’t need, got some boxes ready for the Good Will and the Salvation Army, and decorated the room for our little guy with a fun learning calendar, small chalkboard and a map of the U.S. He has his own little desk too, so the room is coming together nicely. Now if I could just keep my own desk straightened up…

I’m also gearing up to open my Etsy shop, Sand in my Stitches, where I will be offering my growing inventory of handpainted yarns for sale, along with some beaded stitch markers. I still have a few loose ends to tie up before I open the shop, but if you want to see what I’ve done, I’ve got all my yarns listed in Ravelry. If you’re in Ravelry, go have a look, and tell me what you think! If you’re not in Ravelry yet, here are some of my newest yarns:

Acid dye handpainted yarn

Blackberry (acid dye)

Acid dye handpainted yarn

Hibiscus (acid dye)

Acid dye and Kool-Aid handpainted yarn

Jazzy Blues (acid dye and Kool-Aid)

Acid dye handpainted yarn

Jungle (acid dye)

Acid dye handpainted yarn

Bubblegum (acid dye)

Acid dye and Wilton’s handpainted yarn

Waves (acid dye and Wilton’s)

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Corey on his bike after we took the training wheels off.What a wonderful day it is! The sun is out and the temperature is supposed to get up to at least 74 today!  This kind of weather makes we want to get outside and do some yard work, dig in the dirt and plant something. Something that will grow big and strong, such as a nice shade tree.

Maybe after the boys are done with their schoolwork, we’ll go bike riding. Corey’s getting really speedy on his little bike! A couple weeks ago when we had another warm day, he tried to ride without his training wheels, but it made him a lot less confident and he kept losing his balance. It won’t be long before they can come off and stay off though!

Knitwise: I finished three long, furry, chunky scarves that I just took pictures of. Each took four days, except the last one, which only took three. Then my 13-year-old, Cody, decided he wanted to make a long, chunky scarf too, so he did! His only took two days and he used two skeins of Lion Brand Jiffy Thick & Quick. The colorway in his yarn made this interesting argyle pattern. I am trying to do some stash-busting, and he’s helped me! We’re calling it the craft/art/home economics elective for his homeschooling curriculum…

Up a treeThen I had this crazy urge to pick up my hooks again and start crocheting. It has been about a year since I’ve done so. About two months ago, I went to Barnes & Noble and purchased Stitch ‘n’ Bitch Happy Hooker, and have been eyeing some of the projects in there. I decided to make the One Skein Scarf and it turned out perfectly! My poor, pathetic unfinished afghans are jealously waiting in the closet to be picked up again. I think I’m going to rip them out and wind up the yarn though…. they’re so old, they even smell like it! Ugghhhhh…

In the scarf picture from left to right: A simple, double-crocheted, double-stranded6 scarves
gray & blue acrylic scarf (not too long because I ran out of the gray I had – 1 ball of yarn down!); knit garter stitch Skacel Sofa scarf; Lion Brand Thick & Quick Chenille & Bernat Disco (shiny fur) hot pink knit garter stitch scarf; Lion Brand Jiffy Thick & Quick (color #209 Catskills) with royal blue Fun Fur knit garter stitch scarf; Cody’s big garter stitch scarf (the same as the one beside it, except wider with no fur); and lastly, the crocheted burgundy One Skein Scarf from SNB Happy Hooker.

 New page added: I promised Disney pictures from our vacation but I decided to take it a step further. A whole new page has been added to our blog and it’s [going to be] devoted to our whole trip. The link is in the upper right corner… check it out! (I just started writing on it and will be adding to it in sections, but the first day is done. Please be patient, and stay tuned!)

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(originally posted 1/15/07 on blogger)

If anyone is reading this blog (or the lack of one, as it would seem), I apologize for the lack of new content. From Thanksgiving until now, our family has been really, really busy. In the middle of preparing for and celebrating the holidays, we’ve been homeschooling. My 13-year-old son is working in much more difficult classes than my 5-year-old son, so my brain is jumping back and forth from 1st grade math to Geometry; counting money & tying shoestrings to scientific notation & European history.

Then my lovely husband presented us with our Christmas gift… a vacation to Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL! So needless to say, we’ve been busy getting ready for it. We went (road trip!), we saw, we rode, we were thrilled, amazed & awe-inspired… and we had a BLAST!!! I shot approximately 1,500 pictures with my Nikon D70s and took some video too. I have a lot to go through, plus we have to get back into the homeschooling groove and our normal daily routine. However, right now, we are all quite exhausted, so we are going to use the first part of this week to rest and relax (or take a vacation from our vacation, in other words!

Completed Wavy ScarfKnitting update: I finished the wavy scarf for Granny on time for a Christmas gift and I have pictures that I will post eventually. It ended up being two shades of purple because I didn’t check the dye lot when I bought another skein on a different day. Granny didn’t notice it, so I didn’t say anything!

I started a Lion Brand Homespun scarf for my 5-year-old which is charcoal gray with candy apple red stripes and it’s looking nice. Although, I honestly don’t know if he’ll ever need to use it with the nice weather we’ve been having all winter. Mid-60s to mid-70s most of the time! I will take pictures of my progress soon and post them. Also, during our rideShe loves it! down to FL (about 1,000 miles), I attempted to knit in the car, and I was successful! I had a bunch of light yellow baby yarn from Ollie’s that was a buck a skein, so I took one to FL with me and a pattern for a baby hat on size 3 & 6 straight needles. Never done a hat before… should be interesting.

I loved being in Florida, especially the gorgeous weather, flora and fauna all around, but it sure is good to be home!

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