Sunday, April 11, 2021


 Back when I started blogging -- and I have no idea when that was because my old domain has disappeared -- there were two very active knitting bloggers from Australia. One of them blogged under the name of Rose Red, and she came up with GAAK -- Growth As A Knitter -- to describe those moments when you master something new.

In between unpacking boxes, I achieved GAAK. See if you can tell which fish was done before I'd mastered a new skill:

Look at the close-up:

The tail at the top is seamed incorrectly. So I watched a few videos before seaming the second one and I finally mastered the mattress stitch.  For some reason, this skill has eluded me -- until now!

I have a third fish on the needles because I realized I have a third student who is an avid angler. When I unpack my felt, I'll finish them all off with eyes. 

Keith is finishing a few things at the old house today because the realtor is taking photos tomorrow. The realtor expects it to sell easily, so I look forward to owning only one home sooner rather than later!

Saturday, April 3, 2021

Gone Fishing

 Well, not really. I've never fished in my life, and I have no desire to do so. But a few of my students love to fish. So, at the end of the year I'll have three of these to gift to them:

It's the Fish Hat (Dead or Alive) from Knitty, published way back in 2008.

Now that all the big stuff has been moved into our new house, I've been able to do some knitting that requires attention. I figured that I better start now if I'm going to have three knit by mid-June.

The moving isn't quite done. Everyday we bring a carload of stuff over to the new house. I do the putting away while Keith goes back to the old house to clean. We hope to get it on the market in the next week or two.

I'm glad we grabbed this house. The market gets more insane by the day. According to Zillow, our old house has gained $10,000 in value in the last week. Yes, that's one week!

I got my second shot Thursday, and school starts on Monday. It hasn't been a very restful spring break -- but I can't imagine trying to move along with working!

Monday, March 29, 2021

Tomorrow Is Moving Day!

 When we bought our retirement house, the word was that high schools would not open before late April. Nope, we go back April 5. So here we are, moving as I prepare for going back to school -- once I am fully vaccinated.

Somehow I squeezed in a Zoom Passover Seder on Saturday night with the help of a few friends. We kept it small, which I really appreciated after suffering large Zooms for work every day.

I'm feeling a bit scattered, so here are some random thoughts. This came from my grandmother's apartment. She had more than a dozen of these figurines: Royal Copenhagen, Doulton, Lladro.

I desperately wanted this one for the obvious reasons. But as we downsize, I realized that I don't want any of these. At least one of my brothers does, so we'll be packing them carefully for mailing.

My grandmother spent hundreds of dollars on this one alone -- it's now worth about $35. Apparently I'm not the only one who doesn't want these chotskies.

Apparently it's breeding time for turkeys. I've never seen them in full flirting condition.

I've moved all my knitting stuff to the new house except for the Adrift shawl

It's very mindless, which is perfect for this week!

The next time I blog, I'll be 2 miles west of here.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Randomness on a Wednesday

Taking a little break to breathe and say hi.

There were some question about my last post. First, yes, my MIL used to make Navajo rugs. She got all the wool from the Navajo people and even dyed some of it using their techniques. She dyed one batch with urine -- but said she'd never do that again. Apparently it was quite "aromatic." The patterns are all authentic and traditional. She used one of those big floor looms. She has one small rug she's trying to finish. At age 86, she thinks this will be the last one.

Another question asked if I go up in needle sizes when I knit hats. I do, unless the pattern says not to. When I improvize a worsted-weight hat, I do the brim with size 6 (96 stitches), then increase to 108 stitches and switch to size 8 needles.

I finally painted this interior. I did the drawing during a Zoom with my drawing buddies a few weeks ago. It's the interior of a house that was for sale. And those are the real colors.

I came across my Little Kiddles during the ongoing decluttering. I wasn't sure I still had them. I loved them when I was little. They're in pretty good shape -- but not worth much without the original containers -- so I'll hold onto them for now.

As I write this, Keith is at the new house with the cats. Kola, who likes to spend her days napping in "my" chair, turns out to be a scaredy cat.

While Nagi is exploring, Kola is hiding under the twin bed that Keith has already moved there!

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Three Months of Stress to Go

 Three months from now, I will be on my 2nd day of retirement. I cannot express how happy that thought makes me! For one thing. our school district is going to remove seniority as a priority for shifting schools and for layoffs. As if that's not enough, I went on a safety tour of my school Friday -- and it is a mess. Hardly anyone has their own classroom because the school is so small (but has 200 staff and 2,200 students), so there is nowhere safe to eat lunch. 

Even vaccinated, I'm not sure it's safe. People are dying after being fully vaccinated. My employer acts like vaccination removes all risk -- but it doesn't! Even though the CDC recommends that vaccinated people should avoid crowds of any size and restaurants, we are opening high schools. And what about all those unvaccinated teens?

So onto something cheerful:

Here's our little retirement house. We had the inside painted white. The painters finished Friday, so we have spent much of the weekend moving in the smaller furniture. My sweet husband moved all the furniture for my craft room so I could get that set up ASAP. The movers come on March 30, so we have time to get our current house cleaned up.

The neighbors are super friendly. There's a darling 4-year-old girl next door who I'm going to adopt as a foster grandchild -- seeing as I don't have any grandchildren on the way

That safety tour lasted 1.5 hours, which is way too long for me to be on my feet. In between taking loads of stuff to the house, I've been hand-quilting using my lap quilting hoop:

I love the tear-away paper. I can't do circles or spirals freehand.

And I finished another hat:

It even matches the Navajo rug that my MIL made!

We back to school on April 13, and I am very stressed out about that. I am having so much trouble with foot pain (club feet) that I don't know how I'm going to survive. For me, virtual teaching has been a blessing. I have asked for accommodations, but my district has denied every accommodation I've requested in the past, so I am worried.

Still, it will all be good in three months. I can do this!

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Chugging Along

 We closed on our house without incident last week.  We've moved in a few things, but we can't move in too much until the painters finish. The sellers painted the walls themselves before they put the house on the market. Not only did they do a sloppy job, but they chose colors better suited for a state mental institution.

We have movers scheduled for the end of the month, so we hope to have all the small stuff moved by then.

I still need some crafting time to keep my sanity. This next photo will look like a repeat but it's not. I am now calling Porto the "Forever Sweater." It will get done. Eventually

I've been quilting the Hook, Line & Tinker embroidery designs, and I think it enhances the images.

Thursday, Keith and I drove 45 minutes to the Walgreens in Fort Atkinson. Why? So I could get my first Covid vaccine! Seeing as my district is starting in-person instruction with K-2, I was feeling pressure to be vaccinated before the high schools open.

I wanted a quick, easy, stash-busting project for the drive, so I pulled together materials for a Banff. It's a Tin Can Knits pattern, and I have never been disappointed by one of their patterns. This was fun, fast, and very relaxing. Just what I needed. I've already started a second one.

I expect my posts and comments will be sporadic over this coming month, but I will be trying to read and keep up with you!

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

In Between

 These days I am mostly decluttering and starting to pack. We close on our new house tomorrow, and then we have to move and get this one ready to put on the market. Work is hectic with both teaching virtually and planning to go back in a hybrid situation.

But in between, I find little times to do some crafty things. Thanks to Kim, I went a little crazy on the Hook, Line & Tinker hygge embroidery designs. It's been a fun and relaxing project that I'm going to hand-quilt.

I found a few hours to do some online sketching with a friend -- via Zoom, of course. This is the house where Marc Chagall grew up in Vitebsk, Belarus.

Then there's other people's crafts that I've come across as I declutter. The Barbie on the left is dressed in a darling suit that my babysitter knit in the late 1960s; the doll on the right is wearing a coat knit by my MIL. They are both better knitters than I'll ever be!

And I got some very good news this morning. Yesterday I had an endoscopy to see if I have Celiac Disease -- and I don't! I am so excited that I'm going to find time to bake Hamantaschen, even though the holiday for this Jewish treat has passed. It's a cookie dough folded around a filling -- with lots of gluten!