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

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Hello. My name is Arctic Knitter and I have a Noro Scarf knitting addiction. I blame the Yarn Harlot and my inability to just say no. I had stumbled upon BrooklynTweed's scarf sometime last year. I was taken by the incredible colors of the Noro yarn. My original opinion of Noro was that it was too scratchy - I couldn't imagine knitting with it. So - I admired the scarf from afar and promptly forgot about it.

But then, I was reading the Yarn Harlot's blog at a time in my knitting life when I needed simple knitting. As soon as I saw her photos and read her description about her experience with Noro, I knew I was hooked. Last Saturday my son and I needed to purchase a birthday gift for his friend. It just so happens there is a fantastic toy shop next door to a LYS, The Yarn Branch. Serendipitous. So - while the gift was being wrapped, not wanting to waste time just standing around, I popped into the yarn shop, with boys in tow to take a gander at the Noro one more time. A quick fondle of the Silk Garden & before you can cast on 5 stitches, 4 balls of the stuff and a set of size 7 straight needles were in my basket.

Scarves and I usually don't get along. As I've stated before, I have the attention of a flea - I get bored within inches of knitting a scarf. Not this time - the mindless 1x1 rib over 31 stitches (reduced from BrooklynTweed's 39) and the mesmerizing color changes of the yarn held me rapt for hours and as of now, 36 inches. I'm halfway through a scarf I began Saturday afternoon. Not too bad.
I've told myself I'll finish these 2 balls (colorways 270 and 292) and then it has to rest while I finish up my CPH, the Icelandic sweater, and my husband's hat. I still have holiday knitting I'd like to finish (but first I must begin!), so I do have to show a little restraint by taking a break from this scarf.

I can do it. Yeah - I can quit anytime I want to.

Knitting problem - nope, not me.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thanks to Courtney, I just spent the last 4 minutes assessing what should I know about Human Anatomy & Physiology:

I named 17 organs in 4 minutes! How many internal organs can you name in 4 minutes?

In all fairness - I named WAY more than the 17 this quiz gave me credit for. I think I was only missing 6 according to the quiz. I named 'skin' - it is the largest organ of the human body, yet it didn't count. I named veins - yup, that counted, but arteries did not. The small intestine and large intestine were combined as 'intestines'. I typed in 'adrenal gland', when the quiz only accepted 'adrenals'. This was a fun way to spend 4 minutes & a great way to avoid doing laundry.

When you don't have a regular table - a wooden sock blocker works just fine! I'm writing the line-up rotation for the U-8 soccer team I coach on Saturdays.

On the knitting front:

I'm almost finished with sleeve #1 of the Central Park Hoodie - I had to rip back about 17 rows to fix a hole and a cable. I'm waiting for my knit picks 60" cable so I can pick up the button band ribbing all along the hood and both fronts. The pattern calls for picking up half of the stitches at a time, but I think a continuous band from the bottom right all the way over to the left front would look so much nicer. It's running a bit small, so I think I'm going to add a zipper rather than buttons - that should give me an additional inch.

I'm beginning some Christmas knitting as well - a hat for hubby in the colors of the high school where he works, as well as some hats and mittens for my children's teachers. I can't believe it's already the middle of November - time sure does fly.

On the soccer front: My knees are holding up & I'm enjoying being back in the game. Last night I played as a sub for an over-30 league. This league plays small sided games (4 v 4 + goalie) on the small end zones of our large inside field. It was way more relaxed & fun - you actually had to worry about touch on the ball & technique rather than speed and strength. As a result - I scored 2 goals & had one assist in our 4 - 1 victory. Now - why can't I do that in my regular league games?

Winter has arrived here in Southcentral AK - last weekend we went ice skating at Potters March - a large wetland perfect for skating when it's frozen & there isn't an appreciable accumulation of snow. Here Iain & some friends are showing off the fish they caught. - They broke open a hole in the ice & just scooped it out. Iain is wearing the mink hat his Iain is wearing the mink hat his Oba (Japanese word for grandmother - she's my stepmother) made for him.

Stay warm & knit on. Off to soccer games #2 & #3 for the weekend. I hope there are more goals left in my shoes!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Yeah, right...

I hadn't planned on blogging today - nothing new to report (no FO, etc) & nothing too terribly exciting going on. So - I sat down after work to do my daily blog reading (thank you Bloglines) & came across a "What Should You Be When You Grow Up?" on Winston's Mom's blog. Hanging out with teenagers all day probably has stunted my maturity a bit, so why not - let's see what I 'should' be according to a very scientific, properly vetted, website:

You Should Be a Politician
(my dad would have a coronary if he saw this...)

Confident, assertive, and dedicated - you know what you want in life and how to get it.

Stubborn and opinionated, (okay, I can't really argue this point) you can stand your ground... even if it's unpopular.

And while you have strong views, you never overwhelm people with your opinions.

A true charmer (?!?), you subtly influence people into seeing things your way. (That's what I always tell my students - if you just do things my way, everything will work out okay...)

You do best when you:

- Work according to your own rules (Who doesn't like making up their own rules???)

- Can change the world with what you do (One student at a time)

You would also be a good lawyer or talk show host. (Oprah look out!!!)

What Should You Be When You Grow Up?

And I just thought the picture was pretty. Who knew.... Hmmm - now that I think about it, my 8th grade social studies teacher did predict that I would become the 1st female president of the U.S. Look out 2016!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

I Did....

Did You?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Simple Pleasures

I'm so excited!!! Finally it appears as though Anchorage is catching up to the Lower 48. Today I received our curbside recycling bin from our local waste management service. I know many communities in the Lower 48 have had curbside recycling for years, but not so here in Alaska.

Last week, our local paper ran an article about recycling and mentioned that of 35,000 customers of Alaska Waste, only 5,000 were taking advantage of the curbside recycling program. Wow!!! The article made it sound as if all of Alaska Waste's customers could sign up for this service - so I dutifully called to find out that no, not all customers have recycling available in their area (sob...) But... it seems as if our neighborhood is on the Orange Route, so yup - every other week for a mere pittance a month (less than having 2 grande latte's at a local coffee establishment!!) they would come & haul away my recycling!! Yeah!!!

My husband and I have been trying to cut down on the amount of trash we put out each week by recycling what we can. We dutifully sort all recyclables and then bring it to the recycling center in Anchorage when we can no longer walk into our storage space under the house. I am just so excited that now all we have to do is wheel the container to the end of the driveway & some nice people will come & take it all away. We don't even have to sort!!! Yes - simple pleasures, indeed.

For those of you less than enthusiastic about recycling (I can't imagine!) - here's my latest F.O.:

These are the Mystery Socks from Through the Loops. What a fun knit & great way to find my sock knitting mojo. This pattern has consistently been one of the most popular patterns on Ravelry. I liked how clues were doled out weekly giving us less than lightning quick knitters a good pace to follow.


Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy.

The jury is still out on how I feel about this yarn. I kept splitting it - perhaps it was due to the wonderful pointiness of the knitpicks needles. It knits up rather nice - a great finished project. The skeins are bountiful as well - I have tons left over. I think I'll use it to make some holiday ornaments.

Colorway: Lipstick Lava

Needles: Knit Picks #1 (2.50 mm)

Size: To fit a size 8.5 (64 stitch count)

Now I need to decide whether or not to keep these or pass them along as a gift.

**Don't forget (as if you could) that tomorrow is Election Day. Please exercise your hard earned right, privilege, and duty and vote!!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Whew! October has been one of those months where I'm so glad when it's over! This month included: Elementary Science Day #1 (my science club visits local elementary schools and leads students in hands-on science activities), Mole Day, knitting classes x 2, soccer x 4 each weekend (kids and mine), End of Quarter grading, Parent/Teacher conferences, and of course - Halloween. Let's hope November is a bit more sane. Through all of this I've been trying to accomplish some knitting - I didn't finish the TTL Mystery Socks by the end of the month, but oh well. I started a week late, so if I finish in the next couple of days, I'm still ahead, right?

Here I am finishing the major project that had to be completed by Halloween:

The Hobbes costume c'est fini! (Thank heaven & all the stars!)

Not the svelte, lithe looking tiger you might expect (more like a tiger on steroids), but it's together & well - the extra room came in handy for wearing long underwear & a knit hat underneath. The temp last night for trick or treating was around 15°F. Brrrr!!! Hobbes said he stayed nice & toasty warm. At least the face paint was rather easy - Hobbes has just a white face & black nose. Had I planned my time better, I could have constructed some white fur to stick out around his face like it does in the real comic.

I can't even go into all of the frustration about sewing this thing - like, sewing the white belly on the wrong sides, or perhaps sewing the tail in such a way that it turned out to be on the inside of the costume. Yeah - I think I need to stick with knitting. And pins - ughh!! My fingertips are sore from the all times I poked myself. Knitting needles rarely inflict so much pain.
Here are Calvin and Hobbes - in character, of course.

Cold temps in Alaska usually means bright, sunny weather. It has been beautiful, so I can't complain. Watching the sun come up behind the mountains is my favorite time of the day - how the sky is a light blue with the mountains silhouetted in a dark navy - it's just breath taking. Cold weather also brings ice skating & the first snow angel of the season:

Yes - winter is here.