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.