Monday, February 22, 2016

Gray February

Most exciting things first:
This weekend I submitted an opinion piece to the CBC and it went live less than a day later:
Why Manitoba needs a more diverse teaching force

I'd want to point out, of course, that good teaching is crucial, but it is only one part of this assessment; we have no idea if Manitoba's students' test scores are representative of their skills, if the tests done were biased, on and on.  There are a lot of unanswered variables in social science, but, well, this is only one essay about the U of Manitoba's faculty of Education's new diversity admissions policy.
You can't say all that in less than 1000 words. :)

The best part of it all, I felt, was reading the (as usual) mostly knucklehead comments, which sort of illustrate why a diverse, effective teaching force is a good thing. (in aiding tolerance, for instance, which was seriously lacking in some comments) Then there was one absolutely erudite comment about the certification standards from a really qualified Manitoba teacher, educated in Britain.  That made my week.

Other things that are making my week... We have completed our first weaving, with a lot of Mommy help.  These were done on picture frames, using loopers cut from wool socks with holes in them.  The warp was cut up felted sweater strips, leftover from all the wool soakers I made for cloth diapering.

We've had perhaps another 2 or three more preschooler viruses since the last time I posted...digestive issues, colds, coughs...; to be honest, I've lost track.  I have become remarkably zen about the whole thing.  When someone is too sick for preschool, or needs to come home, I take a deep breath, drop all my plans...and just resign myself to returning to the couch with whoever needs me.  I've not done a lot of things this winter.  Oh well.  The house is pretty mucky, too.  I'm thinking of trying to clean up this week, since Didi (my mom, twins' grandma) is coming to visit, but I don't have high expectations.  It doesn't help to expect too much, cause then I feel upset with myself when things are back to basics all over again.
Perhaps because of the great retirement sale at Shuttleworks or maybe just because I needed a pick-me-up, I decided to go crazy and order the bulky flyer set ups for both my Schacht Matchless spinning wheel and my Majacraft Little Gem.  Maybe it was my Valentine's Day gift to myself? This is, I think, my first big wheel-related purchase in maybe 8 years.  It's been a bit of adjustment to figure out how the new things work, but it's exciting, too.  I see very big skeins of handspun in my future...someday!

Before I switched the flyers on the Majacraft, I amazed this kid, home sick, by whipping the wheel out of its carrying case and setting it up so he could check it out.  He was stunned; I don't think he had ever seen how it folded it up before.  He got to treadle and do some wool teasing, which he enjoyed.  (fluffing up locks of wool into clouds for spinning.)  I was rewarded for all this with a seriously firm admonition to "Clean up, Mommy, your office is very messy."  He then offered helpful hints.  Great.  Thanks, kid.

 Finally, I am planning to relaunch some older patterns and reknit some too, this year.  I am also working on a sweater for myself, the third time I am reknitting the Cuddle Coat.  Honestly, this sweater design has a curse, it has never had a decent photo of it.  However, the first one (in my little headshot, that is #1, with Harry the dog) is so worn that I have to mend it, the second one was trashed after it was absolutely worn to pieces, and here's the third.  Yup.  That is some boring looking gray/brown knitting!  If you click on it though, you may see the texture, little bits of color, and softness of the yarn.  Feels great.  Looks just like?  February.

In honor of that....stretch of time, cold, dirty snow, cloudy February, I have a brief sale on Ravelry:
20% off all my designs on Ravelry, through the end of February, with the coupon guessed it:

Here's some more gray-brown in case you missed it or it happens to be sunny in your neck of the woods.... :)

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