Since I finished my Deceit Curl yesterday, I decided to start something new. The Curl still blocking, by the way, I will get you a picture tomorrow, I hope! The thing I started is a poncho named Claire. So far it doesn’t look like much.

Claire Beginning
Ravelry Project Page

The yarn is a Rowan cotton that was on sale this summer, so this is not a winter garment, I don’t think. I wasn’t sure at first about knitting this poncho but I asked on Facebook and everyone there said I should knit it. People on Facebook don’t lie, right?

You may have noticed that I haven’t mentioned my Textiles class or doing any prepping. That is because last year was my younger son’s fifth grade year at our elementary school where I lead, co-lead, or just helped in that class. My older son started there in 2007, so I was in that class for 10 years. I think that is the longest I have ever done anything. It’s a bit weird to not be cutting out hats and pin cushion fabric this year. From afar, it seems like things are going well without me, so that’s good! I hope it continues on in my absence. Life goes on!


pumpkin seeds and fabric collage

So, I am clearly a liar. I didn’t make anything yesterday! Well, I roasted pumpkin seeds.

Roasted pumpkin seeds

They were delicious, as usual. I have a roundabout, time-consuming recipe that I really think is worth it. I don’t remember where I got the recipe and I only have approximations and not exact amounts but what I generally do is (after scooping the seeds and separating them from the pumpkin guts):

  1. Dissolve some salt in some hot water.
  2. Soak seeds in salt water for several hours.
  3. Rinse soaked seeds and then spread out on a tea towel and allow to dry completely. Overnight is best.
  4. Toss soaked seeds with melted coconut oil and whatever seasoning you like (I am a purist and like just salt).
  5. Roast in a 350 degree oven for about 20-30 minutes, until golden brown, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
  6. Try not to eat them all at once.

I made them at the request of my younger son and I made the supreme sacrifice of leaving most of them for him.

Today was fabric collage day in Arts Focus. Sometimes the kids cut one shape and are done but this year we had a lot of intricate designs. I particularly liked these two.

fabric collage

fabric collage

The next three days are going to be very busy ones for me! I hope that I can find the time to post.

kid embroidery

It was embroidery day in the Arts Focus sewing class at school. Trish, who leads the class now, told the kids that a few years ago a lot of kids made Origami Yoda designs for their embroidery. One of my son’s friends decided he would do that again.


I love how the class gets into embroidery. Most kids really enjoy it. I think there is something soothing about the repetition of the stitches and the way there is less stress on perfection. These stitches just make lines, they don’t hold anything together.

There must be a lesson in that, but I am not sure what it is.

NaBloPoMo Day 7: an uplifting day

Today was much much better than yesterday. As you may have guessed, that wasn’t hard but it was even better than I would have expected.

November always brings about the first session of the Arts Focus classes at my younger son’s school. I have been involved with the program for all of the seven years I have had a child there and I love it. I think the kids love it too. For six Thursdays they get to work in one kind of art in a mixed grade class. The fifth graders help the kinders the kinders asking for their help gives the older kids confidence. It is pretty awesome.

I co-lead the sewing class and do most of the instruction but this year I have a team that is doing most of the prep so I won’t be posting pictures of the projects most likely but working in the class today was one of the things that made me feel so much better. One of our projects is a group quilt and today was the day the kids start piecing the top and they were all fairly into it. We are doing it slightly differently this year so they had less to do but they seemed to finish fast even taking that into account. I would like to think that they were inspired by my presentation of various quilts of different types to show them all the possibilities. I might just hold on to that for a while. Whatever the reason it was quite satisfying to watch!

I am going to keep my fingers crossed that the days keep improving. I could sure use more good news and uplifting feelings.

NaBloPoMo Day 25: sewing as fast as I can

This is what I did today.

arts focus quilt

That is half of one of the two quilts I needed to put together for the kids to quilt on Thursday. I did manage to get all of the squares neatened up, ironed, and trimmed to the same size with a lot of help from my mom. She has also volunteered to finish putting them both together. Whew!

In knitting news, I am up to row 41 on the 67 row chart for that cowl. I’m actually enjoying working on it again! Also, I want to be able to wear it this winter. The real test will be if I hide it away again when it gets to the point where I have to kitchener all 110 stitches. Yikes. I will worry about that when the time comes, though.

what I did for four hours today

I cut out these….

what I did today

The end result is supposed to look approximately like this…

the sample project

I’m not sure it actually took me four hours. I started around 10 and ended around 2 when it was time to run to JoAnn before going to school to set up for Arts Focus. It felt like more time than necessary cutting out pieces of felt. I hope the kids enjoy making their “fabric valentines” since that’s what I’ve decided to tell them they are.

NaBloPoMo Day 26: quilt tops

With some help from my mom (and the contribution of the sashing fabric) I got the quilt tops all sewn for the kids in Textiles to start quilting.

school quilts

The fabric for the squares came from FabMo, which is a great organization but these fabrics are not great for kids to quilt. They are thicker than the usual cottons. I will have to make sure that the needles they’re using are very sharp. Next session we go back to buying quilting cottons, it’s just easier.

NaBloPoMo Day 24: almost lost sweater, flowers, quilt squares

I thought I lost my Anhinga. Those of you who have been reading my blog long enough probably remember it as the sweater I was working on last November when I thought I could make it through NaNoSweMo, National Sweater Knitting Month. I didn’t finish it in November but did around Stitches this year and love it. I was very sad for a few days because I wasn’t sure where it had gone. I found it though, so crisis averted!

This morning I noticed that Stefan’s Narcissus which he planted at preschool is blooming.

Stefan's Narcissus

Isn’t it pretty?

This evening I did the, um, clean up work on the quilt squares from the kids in Arts Focus. I had to put together quite a few of them but the kids had at least started. Part of me feels guilty for changing their work but the rest of me can’t stand to have them sewn together backwards or what not. Ah, perfectionism.

Kid Quilt Blocks

There are enough blue squares for one quilt and the other will be a mix of the reds and greens. Given the time of year I have this odd feeling that I’m making a Hannukah quilt and a Christmas Quilt. I don’t think they’ll turn out that way at all but it amuses me that the colors ended up that way.

NaBloPoMo Day 3: Yarn Toys

Like last November this month is occupied with prep for Arts Focus. Arts Focus is the very cool program at my older son’s school where the kids take an art class on a specific medium and work in that medium for six weeks. I lead the Textiles class (surprise surprise). Last November we were doing something a bit different where the kids went around and spent a couple of hours in each class to get a taste of every one so I spent a lot of time talking about warping looms. I learned something during that time as well: I hate warping looms and am not that interested in learning enough weaving to teach the kids. Always good to know your limits, eh?

This year we’re back to a standard class format except that we’ve changed the curriculum a bit. All of the projects that are focused on the creation of textiles (weaving, finger knitting, felting, dyeing) have been taken out because eventually they need to become their own class. My class is Exploration of Textiles, using fabric, etc. This week we’re doing a project that I haven’t done before. It’s supposed to be a tassel hedgehog but I could not get the tassel to look right. I was working on it at BobaKnit on Sunday and Elisabeth remembered seeing a similar project online and sent me the link. I tried it and came up with this.

pompom ... lion?

Which both Niels and Erik said looks more like a lion. I can see that. Is this view better?

no, hedgehog!

I think I need to wrap the yarn more and use a different color. I’m debating whether I should make another one to show the kids or if the lesson is not necessarily on a hedgehog, per se, but generally how to make animals from pom poms.

I also made a tassel doll.

tassel doll

I think she’s pretty cool but sewing the hair down might be too much for the kids.

tassel doll

In a couple more weeks they’ll make pipecleaner dolls but this one could be fun too. I didn’t cut out felt pieces for her face or braid her arms. So there are lots of options here.

I need to run to the store and buy fabric glue for glueing the hedghog/lion faces on and the face on the doll, if desired. I might have to practice some more tonight before going into the classroom tomorrow!

NaBloPoMo Day 18: still tired

Today wasn't quite as crazy as yesterday but I started to get a migraine during preschool so that knocked me down for a bit. I can head it off with ibuprofen and luckily I was able to get some. Because of that I fell asleep on the couch so I just finished warping the last loom and winding some more yarn onto shuttles and now I'm off to bed. Good night!

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