Friday, November 17, 2017

Woolly is live!


Woolly is now live!  This is a knitting design for a kid's sweater, available on Ravelry and Loveknitting.  This sweater was designed in large part by this kid, pictured, who wanted these colors (He chose them himself in Alberta at the woolen mill!) and explained he needed sheep... with horns, please, Mommy!

Here are some snapshots and the full description, below.  It's fall, time for knitting up some sheepy goodness!
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Woolly is also available on Loveknitting.com.
 Here’s a child’s raglan sweater featuring sheep with horns included. (Shetland or Scottish Blackface? You pick!) Knit in 4 colors from the bottom up in the round, this design uses stranded knitting, written instructions and color charts, but never with more than two colors at a time. The sweater is completely reversible. If the kid spills on the front, as kids do…turn it around. It requires virtually no sewing at the end, just weaving in ends and joining up the underarm stitches. Woolly uses an Aran weight yarn that knits at 15 sts = 4'/10 cm after blocking on a size US 8 needle. This pattern requires the knitter to increase, decrease, knit with two colors at a time and follow a color chart.

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Thursday, November 09, 2017

Life in snow? When the mitts are wet...

A year ago today, we had a record breaking warm day, it was 18.8C (66F).  This morning, it was -21C(-6F) with a windchill of -31C (-24F).  Massive shifts in weather, (climate change?) anyone?

This week I got an email from one of the grade 1 teachers.  Apparently, in Canada, kids go outside a lot for recess.  My kids get 3 recesses, and if you count the time between the bus drop off and the first bell?  4.  While my guys were mostly well dressed (sweater, snow pants, parka, extra hat under hood, insulated snow boots and doubled wool mitts)--apparently their mitts never dried off between play sessions.  There was still snow on the wet mitts when they went to put them on at the next recess, and that wasn't a good plan.

I saw the problem.  While wool mitts are warm, they are not waterproof. (Unless felted and greased up with added lanolin....but never mind.)  I wasn't going to ditch all those handknit mitts for storebought polar fleece with 'waterproof' nylon on the outside.  I grumbled.  I started to feel grouchy about our dependence on petroleum...

And then I wondered why kids couldn't put their mitts on the radiators like they do at home (no radiators, the boys said) and why kids in Canada had to play outside so much (they go outside until it's below -28 Celsius(-18F).  When it is -29C?  indoor recess... and well, the Professor caught me grumbling and dwelling on things.

He went to the basement and dug around in the hand-me-down pile until he found a torn up Halloween costume cast-off--a fire fighters' costume made of some sort of nylon.  (polyester, aka, petroleum byproduct.)  He pointed out that cutting it up to reuse it would be the best solution....cheap, relatively fast, and most efficient.  A few hours later, with the help of a sewing machine and me, we had waterproof mitten covers.

So we could go out to play and shovel again, even before the mittens were dry on the radiator.
Hard to believe that we were shooting outdoor photos for a new kids' sweater pattern only a couple of weeks ago!  (It was cold out, but not like this....)

This sweater design is in the editing stage, and the pattern will be available in sizes 2-10.

....Coming soon!

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Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Raise your hand! & Snow time

I don't usually post things from around the web, but I was heartened yesterday by two very positive things I saw online.


1) This fabulous op-ed by a 10 year old, in the New York Times.  It's about girls, and about the need to Raise Your Hand. This isn't actually a new problem; when I was teaching full time, (around 20 years ago, oy!)  I was well aware of it.  I was even more struck by it when I went back to school myself, and my grad school advisor asked me to observe his class, in 1998.  I did, I counted and took notes, and told him he called on males in undergraduate lectures many times more than females.  He totally blew me off.  (..same old, same old?)

2) We are entering 'snow time'-as one of my twins likes to say, with a grin.  We got our first snow in the middle of October, and it melted away.  We've had gray days and flurries...but today, we're supposed to get actual snow that will stick.  My kids and I are wearing wool socks every day; the kids wore warm snow boots and coats to trick or treat in the neighborhood last night--we're getting excited about the change in season.

This amazing Bhangra group from the Maritimes uses their fun dancing skills to raise money for good causes...and they have such joy while they move!  Here's one that celebrates snow. (note snow clearing equipment in the background...)
 Cause, you know what?  This is how we feel about the beginning of the 'snow time' here. :)

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