Saturday, May 20, 2017

A return

I've been out of blogging for about 4 or 5 months now, due to some unfortunate circumstances that led to me having no fixed address for the last 5 months. That's still the situation, but things are a little more stable now, and I have reliable, non-mobile access to internet, and I've been itching to get back to blogging, so here I am.

Even though I haven't been on the internet (reliably, anyway) I've been knitting a lot. Like, a lot. If you already knit, you don't need to ask why. It's been such a great way to relax and de-stress and feel like I'm doing something. I've been feeling so helpless and lost a lot of the time and having something to do as opposed to letting things just happen has been invaluable. Plus, when I'm stressed out I want to create, so I've been doing a lot of "okay, look at that thing and see if you can figure out how to make something that approximates it." Which certainly leads to a lot of frogging, but can be a very engaging way to spend an afternoon waiting for something that just shouldn't be taking as long as it is.

The first thing I made, or really, the first set of things I made, was a set of motifs for my class. The original idea was to make a whole lot of them, to be left at work, and rotated in and out for the whole of the year.

I made a star, a teddy bear (though I was informed by my students that actually I had made Mickey Mouse, so...) and a heart, because they are all easily recognizable and since this was supposed to be a sorting activity, I wanted to make sure they could have some easily identifiable labels (such as size, color, and shape) to start with before branching out into more abstract concepts (like animal/not animal or found on Earth/not found on Earth) but this turned out to be a problem almost from the start

I also made a few starfish, but not only could my children not really identify what it was, even after I
told them, they also weren't doing to good at the "easily identifiable" qualities either. Turns out very very few of the children in this class had ever been asked to sort anything (not even in the sense of "bring me something green," or "Find the biggest one") and several parents expressed disbelief that this was something 3 and 4 year old children had the ability to do. Instead, my parents were urging me to teach their children to write their names and read, as well as do arithmetic using numerals only. I'm not going to get too into the technicalities of why this bothers me, since that's a topic not really in keeping with the theme of this blog, but suffice it to say that if you don't know how to sort green from not green, you'll have an incredibly difficult time sorting 1 from not-1 in order to do 1+1=___. So away went those.

I also made some Hilda Vintage-Inspired Headwraps which were really cute and I would totally make more of those. I wish I could show you the picture I took of one of my little boys wearing it, he was so adorable! And one of my girls wore the headband under a hat I made, which I thought was some adorable, fashion-forward thinking.

It was under this hat, in fact, which was one of those "sure, you could find a pattern but that won't keep you nearly as occupied as if you had to reverse engineer it" projects.  It was a lot of fun trying to find a stitch pattern that would do what I wanted it to, and the swatching was good practice for me, since I'm going to have to be doing a lot more of it going forward.

Same for this tie. I saw a bunch of pretty patterns online (mostly done in silk!! sigh) and decided that following a pattern would take about a day, but swatching and doing math and trying things out would take at least two. Maybe more. So I did that. It came out all right, I think. I intentionally made it a little too short to keep the kids from being able to tie it more than once. They've nearly choked themselves on a shoe lace before, so I wasn't about to design something they could choke themselves with easily. It makes for a kind of poor looking necktie, but at least nobody was choking themselves or others with it.

Right now I'm working on what I'm calling a "cookie blanket" because I don't know another word for this thing. In fact, I don't know any word for this thing. It's a cloth you wrap cookies or a hot tupperware or similar. I've seen them all around growing up, but nobody ever named it, aside from maybe "the cloth" or "that cloth". Probably there's a name for this?

I made some other things, too, but I haven't gotten pictures of those yet, so that's all for now. Hopefully I have some smaller posts more frequently coming up in the near future, as opposed to these big long ones after a long break.

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