Saturday, October 10, 2020

Sweater Weather

 I will admit to being a fan of the Upper Midwest. I've spent most of my life here, but I also lived in Pittsburgh and Annapolis. I did like both of those places -- especially Pittsburgh -- but I'm a Wisconsin girl. And if there is one time of year that this is a glorious place to live, it's early October, when the colors are changing, the temperature is mild, and the mosquitos are gone.

I've been biking a lot and just enjoying our lovely tree-line streets:

It's also the perfect time to start a sweater. I put a lot of thought into this one as I've knit a few that were too small. I avoided raglan-sleeves because they don't work well with my broad shoulders. I landed on the Adult Modular Cardigan and went up a size. It's a layering piece, so I'm OK with it being on the big side.

It starts with the back: a simple garter-stitch rectangle and a huge mitered square. So far, it's going well.

Something that's not going so well in Wisconsin is the virus:

That big dark blob encompasses Green Bay and Door County. Madison is in a less-terrible color -- but still pretty bad. I've heard that Door County became jammed with tourists who didn't believe in masks. So Vicki, please be careful!

The upside to lots of Covid is that I expect to be able to continue teaching virtually. I hate teaching virtually (who doesn't?) but it is far better than dying. However, things in Madison are quite discouraging. A few weeks after teachers signed their 2020-21-year contracts in June, which included small raises, the school board cut our raises. I'm pretty sure that's illegal and that we will eventually get our tiny raises, but it is quite disheartening to have our pay cut (and the amount we pay toward our health insurance doubled!) when teaching is harder than ever.

If you were able to retire before Covid, thank your lucky stars! 


  1. I have said that over and over and so do all my teacher friends. We are so glad we are retired and not trying to keep up with this insanity. I don't know how you are all doing it. We had teachers protesting at the state house last week because they are being told they have to go back into the classroom 2 days a week and they don't want to. The friends I have that work in the private schools that did go back to face to face are living a nightmare. Every other day someone is testing positive and then they all have to go home and quarantine for 2 weeks including their kids and their spouses-it's madness.
    Your leaves are gorgeous. It's not quite fall here yet but there is a bit more gold in the green everyday.
    Stay safe!

  2. Thanks for the photos! You know I am missing fall. We're getting a pay cut too (and no raises for forever) so I feel your pain.

  3. What a lovely place to bike! Every day, I’m thankful that I’m retired. Virtual teaching is twice the work and I don’t think I could do it successfully.

  4. I can't imagine teaching in these conditions. You have my sympathy.

    Your fall photo is gorgeous. We aren't quite that colorful yet.

  5. The trees are gorgeous and a little ray of light right now! We are back in school but our numbers are not near yours. Stay safe x

  6. I look forward to seeing your sweater progress.
    Our October is much like yours.
    Sorry to hear about your COVID issues. Things are still mostly locked down here (schools are back - but most of it is a 50/50 split between in class and virtual with half the kids in the class). They opened indoor eating in restaurants and bars, as well as opened gyms, but now we are entering the second wave and they've had to close them all down again. Masks are mandatory pretty much everywhere else that's indoors. Most people are good, but there's still too many who think it's "just the flu" or worse - a hoax!

  7. the sweater looks like a lot of fun-nothing like a good modular knit!
    I think the outer US got hit first and the virus is migrating into your area. Sorry. Sounds like a raw deal with the pay cuts especially when the gov't is pouring tons of money into the schools for Covid relief right now!

  8. Our Wisconsin numbers are so discouraging right now. I feel so for all you teachers who are struggling with these crazy conditions. And for all the elderly who have been virtually imprisoned in assisted living or nursing homes since March. Hang in there, and thank you for all your hard work and care for the students.

    That sweater is off to a great start!

  9. Your tree lined street is gorgeous! You had my sympathy and admiration for the teaching you are doing. I know I could not do that. Sorry about the raise/lack thereof and the increase in healthcare costs (very familiar to me).

  10. I've been thinking about you (and Vicki) and sending much love your way. I have a good teacher friend here in Michigan who is managing her high school art classes both in-person and online/virtually (her district gave students a choice) . . . and she is struggling. My heart goes all of you teachers right now. XO

  11. my husband retired because the covid was the final push. We are glad that he doesn't have to deal with it. Teaching virtually (which he did) is the pits! I love autumn and I love Pittsburgh.

  12. Wow! That doesn't sound like it could be legal. Glad you have the sweater to help take your mind off covid.

  13. I love seeing people's photos of fall where they live.

    We were informed in July that we won't be getting raises for the next two years. Gah.

  14. I too am a midwesterner at heart - just a little further south.When I read your comment on my blog the other day, I wondered how your school year was going. I am sure remote teaching is a challenge but I am glad you are able to stay home and safe. The cases of Covid in our little corner of Nebraska are going up. Take good care.