Friday, March 23, 2007

Planning a Baby Shower and Teaching DPNs...what a week!

Whew! Made it to the end of another crazy week. One week to go until Spring Break! I can make it...I can make it!!!!!

This week I sent out the invitations for my friend Maggie's baby shower. I am planning the whole thing. A simple task, I thought. Then she handed me the invite list. 50 people. Yikes! I quickly decided that I could not afford to buy that many printed invitations, so I made them myself. I am pretty proud of the results...the vellum overlay has a pink bow (Maggie is having a girl, Finn)

The vellum slides to the side to reveal the invite details. My next task is to find an economical party favor to give to 50 people. Of course, didn't I mention that everyone is RSVPing YES??!!?!?! Great. I think I have settled on jasmine candles in glass jars. I'll wrap the whole thing in tulle and tie it with a pink bow. Maggie insists on lots of pink!

This week in yarn land, my advanced girls are learning double pointed needles and are knitting with the yarn they dyed last week. Pretty cool! Here is Jordan getting the hang of it.

Christine is shy and didn't want her picture taken. Here are her hands...

Shannon is shy too. Her hands...

Monday, March 19, 2007

We Put the COOL in Kool-Aid Dyeing!!!!!

My advanced knitters are really fast learners, so I am constantly trying to find new stuff to teach them! This past week we tried Kool-Aid dyeing. I had never tried before so it seemed like a perfect time to do it. First, we wound the wool into loose skeins. Here is the wool and the kool-aid packet. I am trying Cherry.

Next step is to wet the wool first in plain water, letting the water completely soak into the wool. While the wool is soaking, pour the powdered drink mix into a microwave-safe container and stir. ** the amount of water does not matter, since all of the dye will absorb into the wool. We found that one packet of mix dyed about 1 oz of wool (maybe a bit more). Put the wet wool into the drink and push it down so that the wool is completely covered by the dye. Add more water to cover it.

Put the container into the microwave for 2 minutes on HIGH. Let it stand for approximately 10 minutes (or until it cools down a bit), then repeat again until all of the dye is gone from the water.

Before microwave

After microwaving 2 times. Notice how the dye has completely left the water. It's all in the wool!!!!

Grape drink. The neat thing is that the wool now smells like kool-aid. We found that the scent fades after a few days, but it made my classroom smell lovely for a few days!

Cherry yarn. I took this sample over to Stitches From the Heart so they could see what we were doing with their generous donation. Our next step is to knit up some toys to felt! This wool will be perfect for that. It started out a beige color and was pretty plain. Now with added color, it can have a whole new life! Today, the girls brought in some new colors to try. Orange and green. I can't wait!!!!!

Last week in Marine Biology (my other teaching job) we had a Crustacean Feast! The kids brought in different foods containing crustaceans and we had a huge feast after the test on Arthropods. Here is the feast table. Looks so good!

I tried so many variations of ceviche that day that I am now an unoffical expert.

Trays and trays of sushi! And shrimp cocktail! The kids brought food in during 5 of my classes! I can safely say I have had my fill of shrimp cocktail for the time being!

A giant lobster. This guy was cool, he even had barnacles growing on his exoskeleton. Another crustacean! The kids enjoyed pulling this lobster apart and seeing how his joints work. Who says science isn't fun??!!!?!?!

Hope you all have a great week. Next week I will post pics of our dyed yarn put to use. And my advanced kids are learning dpns. The beginners are each working on baby hats, so I will have another big donation for Stitches coming soon!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


My students have been hard at work with cables these past 2 weeks. I assigned 4 different cables for them to sample. Once they got the hang of it, they can now design and make a project with cables.
Here is an assortment of their efforts:

this cable is called "TAFFY"



I got all of these from the Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Vol. 2: Cables. Such a great book! The kids are using the book to get ideas for cables they can use in their designs. Just to be fair, I decided to do this project along with them. One can never get enough practice with cables, right?

Here is my project, a definite work in progress:
1. My materials. The yarn is a soft yellow bulky weight that I got at Jo-Ann's 4 years ago. It was intended for a sweater that never happened. It feels so good to use up stuff that has been sitting in the knitting oasis for so long! I knit this based on the purse I posted in my last post. That is my goal purse. So, no pattern to follow! FUN!!!!! Also pictured is the fabric I will line the purse with, as well as the piece of "plastic-board" that will help the purse be purse-shaped.

I cut the plastic to fit into the knitted shell and scored it along two lines so I can define the bottom. Cutting this stuff is harder than it looks! I ended up using a steak knife. Not so safe. I was pining for my rotary cutter, but it is at home and I am at school.

Here is the purse with the plastic inside. Check out the cool SnB calendars! The kids were so happy when I handed them out today. They couldn't believe I got them presents! I bought 36 calendars, one for each kid. Hopefully they can find some inspiration in the daily bits of wisdom. It was so cute watching them flip through the pages and saying "Oh, I'm going to make that sweater" and "Ms. Newbill, can youteach me how to make socks?"

Next step: lining the purse. I have a sewing machine in class, so later this week we will be lining a few purses. Once I have the lining in, I will take it to a cobler and have him add brown leather straps. Hopefully not too expensive. The last one only cost me $15 for the leather and the labor.