My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Kickin' It Up for Kenya!

Have you ever had one of those moments where you are just incredibly proud to be part of something so cool, huge, and amazing? Well - as teachers, we often get to share such moments with our students - watching them grow from timid, insecure freshmen to strong, opinionated, and well adjusted seniors. It's quite the journey! Last night I had the opportunity to watch a group of students pull off an incredibly generous event.

I teach in an alternative program which provides students the opportunity to take charge of their educational journey while promoting community service. Well, last night, our students put together an event to raise funds for the Kisumu Orphanage in Kenya. Their goal was to raise $2000 via a spaghetti feed and silent auction. These students ended up making over $3500! Very cool! However - the best part for me was that this event was TOTALLY planned and executed by students! I am so totally proud to have been a part of these students' lives - they are the future of our world & a great example of what great things teenagers can do.

Knitting update.... new sock started using the Elongated Rib Stitch from the Sensational Knitted Socks book. I'm using Koigu KPPPM yarn in a purple & size 3 needles. Very soft - can't wait until it's finished. I chose to use the two circular needle method since I discovered I purchased a 24" #3 circular instead of the 32". The 23" seemed a bit short to do the magic loop - perhaps next time. The heel is turned, gusset finished - all left to do is the foot & the blasted grafting together of the toe. On the next pair I'd like to try a toe up pattern - I think SKS also has directions for those.

Can't believe it's been soooooo long since my last entry. Hmm... well, Spring Break is over & we're back to work. After the birthday trip to Girdwood, the hubby returned from CA and we headed out to my parent's cabin on Fish Creek. Getting to this cabin requires a 50 minute trip by snow mobile. Very fun - the weather was incredible (for March in Alaska) - clear skies & lots of SUN. Of course - clear skis also mean cool weather until summer.... I think the highs were in the low 20s. My dad reported that the morning after we left the temps dropped to 14 BELOW zero (can I get a Holy Cow that's cold!)

The cabin is a perfect place for knitting - no phones, laundry, or other errands stealing away the precious time. Most of the sock was completed while at the cabin - now if I could only find time to get out there again soon, the 2nd sock would get done faster! Now that I think of it - most of my knitting projects have been finished when I'm at the cabin. Perhaps if I just loaded those orphans onto the snow machine and spent some time (like all summer...) there, they'd actually get done.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I'm back from spending a couple of days with my two boys down in Girdwood, Alaska. (Remember - hubby is gone on a robotics trip w/20 high school students - I've been left to hold down the fort). We spent two nights at the Alyeska Resort in honor of my oldest son's 7th birthday. What a grand time we had.
The drive to Girdwood (36 miles south of Anchorage) was absolutely beautiful! Not a cloud in the sky nor ice on the road - fantabulous! Of course, this meant that I could not knit a stitch, since I've yet to read about how driving and knitting can be done simultaneously safely. After checking in, we met up with some family friends & headed out to dinner. What could have been better than to have your 7th birthday during Spring Break & spend it with your best bud?
After dinner we hung out in the hotel room, watched cartoons, read stories & colored. My youngest son has some sort of virus, so we opted for a lazy evening in the room in order to save his energy for the next day. Of course, this also afforded me the opportunity to knit. I was especially anxious to try the magic loop method for the orphaned pair of socks. As luck would have it - I had a 24" size 2 circular in my stash of knitting stuff. Hazah! What a slick trick! After reading about this method on other knitting blogs, I googled "Magic Loop" & ta dah = found a site ( complete w/a video to show how. So - the 2nd sock was flying off of the needle - until...
I dropped 2 (??) stitches. Arghh - I was so happy & then I noticed this HUGE ladder in the work - nothing I could save, so rip, rip, rip I went. Arghhhhh.

Monday morning - Orion's actualy birthday began w/breakfast in the room & opening presents. Books, a new bicycle, and money to go toward his GameBoy fund. After - we met up w/friends to swim in the pool before lunch & then some time at the tubing sledding park. Iain was still ill, so he & I spent some time in the room while Orion swam with his buddy -so - more time for knitting. Back to the magic loop. This time - all went well. The space between the two needles seemed a little slack, so I tried knitting into the back of the loop to twist the stitch & tighten up the gap. Seemed to work a bit. I almost dropped a stitch (tricksy stitches!!) - the back has a funky little spot, but otherwise, okay. Now - I'm ready for the instep & heel flap. My pattern calls for double points, so I have to figure out where to go from here. Will update later.

We're home & my Sensational Knitted Socks book has arrived! Yee haw! So - looks like I'm taking the boys to the knitting store tomorrow to help me pick out some yarn for some socks & to get some more addi turbos - I love those & this Magic Loop knitting deal is pretty cool.

Ciao for now - perhaps I should unpack before I knit some more? nah...

Friday, March 16, 2007


I've been inspired! I've recently ordered "Sensational Knitted Socks", joined the SKS Blog and the SAM3 KAL. Until my book arrives (living in Alaska - arrival of packages is always a crap shoot), I've vowed to go and finish a pair of socks I started for my son when he was three. To give you an idea how long these socks have been orphaned - said son is turning 7 on Monday. I'm so ashamed....

These socks are knit on fingering weight self striping yarn. Of course - because it's been sooooo long since this sock has seen the light of day, I've lost the yarn band, so couldn't even begin to tell you the brand, dye lot, etc. I am using Ann Norling Basic Baby & Kid Socks - very simple. Now the question is - how long will it take me to finish the other sock? Hmmmm....


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

United We Stand

Hooray - our Education Association has presented a Tentative Agreement for the teachers of the Anchorage School District. Yup - as mentioned in my profile, I'm a high school science (chemistry & Anatomy) & math (Algebra II) teacher. So - long story short - Alaska teachers aren't the top paid teachers in the country anymore & the teachers in our district have been without a contract since last June. Yup - you got it: we've been working without a contract - aren't we swell? So - after months of pleading, bargaining, and demonstrating to the district that we mean business, our bargaining team has presented a tentative agreement that we'll vote on at the end of March. Hooray!! The plan was to take a strike vote this week if nothing was happening by today. So - it looks like we might avoid a strike!

How does this all relate to knitting? Well - our union's official color is Purple (color of royalty??) - so to show a united stance we wear purple every Thursday. So - because I thought we might have to go on strike during the cold winter months (which occurs 90% of the time here in Alaska!) I knit a very cool hat - Fiber Trends Braid and Bobble Hat in purple! So - no chance to officially wear this very cool hat on the picket line. Alas - a small price to pay for a fair contract for the work and public service we provide.

I'd post a photo of this super hat - but since I'm still new to this blogging business, I can't figure out how to get a photo on my blog. ARghhh!! The editor of this site goes nutty everytime I arrange something. Someday, someday.....

Works in progress:

Felted Mittens: So - I'm using the Fiber Trends Snow Country Felt Mittens. Very fun & fast. Gotta love anything that 1) is knit on size 11 needles and of course - 2) requires no seaming!!! However.... in the pattern is this crazy Short Row w&t (wrap & turn) business. I'm convinced I'm doing it wrong - I wrap, I turn, I knit, I wrap, I turn, I purl, etc. Alas - later on I discover a hole. Yeah - a hole. Not very conducive to a garment that is supposed to keep the warmth in and the cold out. Of course - a few quick stiches (aka 'sewing'!) and some felting - and the hole is not noticeable. So - what's the deal with this short row. Any thoughts? Any help is greatly appreciated. I mean - what's the point & is the w&t necessary?

Future Project:

Zippered Cardigan Sweater - looking to knit something like a Norweigian sweater w/a zipper front. Any suggestions on a pattern? Haven't been successful in the pattern search. I looked on the Dale of Norway site - potential, but still open to suggestions.

Well - I'm about to become a 'Robot Widow' as my husband prepares to leave for a week trip w/20 high school students to San Jose, CA for the regional FIRST robot competition. So - single parenting & full time working for me. Fun, fun. Perhaps I'll follow the Yarn Harlot's lead and do some redecorating while the hubby is away. Or.... add to the stash in the closet. :-)


Monday, March 12, 2007

Blog Neophyte

Enough is enough. After getting sucked into the world of reading other blogs about knitting, traveling, and motherhood, I've decided to start one of my own. So - welcome to the Wandering Stitch - my ramblings about knitting, traveling, and motherhood (oh my!)

There's a load of laundry waiting to be folded down in the dryer - but wait, I still have another bootie to knit. Several teachers at my high school are expecting within the next few months. I've decided my contribution to their impending motherhood is to knit each of their babies a new set of booties. I'm using the Fiber Trends pattern - very fun & easy to use. I especially love the fact that I DO NOT HAVE TO SEW ANY SEAMS!! Sewing anything is virtually the 'kiss of death' for me. Ask my great friend Mags - she's seen the evidence of projects left as orphans because they required seaming. Arghh - needless to say - I love the 3 needle bind off - and avoid patterns that require seaming like the plague.

Okay - so, have I mentioned that my current project (work in progress) will eventually require seaming?- yeah, I have such utter KADD (Knitter Attention Deficit Disorder) that I get distracted by a cool finished project I see in our local knitting store (Shout Out to the Yarn Branch and Far North Yarns) that I totally forget about my aversion to seaming. Arghh - let's hope this project (Cindy Sweater by Berrocco) doesn't end up an orphan.

Well - enough for the first night. I hope to add more - including photos & little 'ditties' about the adventures of my two boys & our summer plan to drive to the "Lower 48" in our 2003 VW Eurovan.