Friday, May 25, 2007

More Knitting Updates and some animals too...

Here is another picture from the Long Beach aquarium. This is my favorite fish: the Leafy Sea Dragon. A few years ago in Australia, we went diving in search of these little guys. I was disappointed after the first dive when we didn't see any! Back on the surface, the dive guide asked if I got enough pictures. I said I didn't see any! Apparently, they were all over the place, but so well camouflaged that I missed every single one. The next few dives were better and I saw lots and lots. The display at the LB Aquarium is the best I have ever seen. The dragons are in a dimly lit tank with lots of seaweed to hid in.

My friend Todd Shattuck runs the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, so I called and asked if I could bring my students out for a field trip. He took us on a tour of their facililty, as well as did some short educational activities with the group. The facility is open to the public and free. If you have kids or are interested in seeing some seals and sea lions up close, I urge you to make the trip. They are located in Point Fermin, up at the tip of San Pedro at Fort MacArthur. You can see the rehabilitation techniques used to heal the sick seals and sea lions. When we were there they had over 100 sick animals. Some are abandoned babies, others have domoic acid poisoning from an algae bloom in the ocean. This is a neurotoxin that literally makes them "crazy". They do not eat, they haul out on the beach and starve to death. Todd and his group of amazing volunteers (including college students, veterinarians and other health care professionals) feed and give medicine to these poor guys until they are ready to be re-released. This is a group of sea lions who are still sick enough that they need to be separated from other animals.


Here is how far I am on my second sock as I knit along with the kids. We are all doing the Jaywalker socks. Nice, simple pattern with a tiny bit of pattern thrown in to keep you on your toes. I have more done now, and am approaching the toe decreases, waiting for the kids to catch up to me.

Here is Evelyn C. showing off her version of Jess Hutchinson's Bunny pattern that is free on her blog. Evelyn added a face and buttons down the front. Very cute. We donated this one to Stitches From the Heart in Santa Monica, along with a huge bag of other knitted stuff. Way to go, Evelyn! She was in knitting class last semester as well, but didn't get as advanced as a few of the other girls. What a change I have seen in her knitting recently! She decided to go back and reknit the assingments from last semester because she didn't like how they turned out before. She is on the home stretch of the 5-hour baby sweater then will begin her socks. I am really proud of her effort, and love that she is appreciating the time and dedication that knitting takes. Way to go, Evelyn!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

So much to blog about...

Hey everyone, I am writing after a few weeks of hiatus, with a house guest, standardized testing, lesson planning and senior finals happening, I had to set the blogging aside for awhile. But I am back! With 80's hair and glasses! I took my students to the Long Beach Aquarium for a Marine Biology field trip and they talked me into dressing up like I did when in high school. Lucky me!

Here is the life-sized blue whale that hangs in the central room of the aquarium. This is the largest animal ever to live on earth. Wow! Speaking of the LB Aquarium, last Friday night was the senior prom at the aquarium. I was, as always, a chaperone, and had a blast taking people on tours of some of the exhibits. It was really cool when former students came up and told me they remember our field trip way back in 10th grade. Back when they were just "kids". Sigh.

In addition to the aquarium, we visited a Marine Bird Hospital in San Pedro, as well as the Marine Mammal Care Center at Ft. MacArthur. Very interesting stuff. I'll post more pics in the next entry.

I finished another Sheldon turtle (from the archives of and this one is a super-sheldon! I used chenille that I got at the 99cents store, so the entire turtle cost (besides my precious time, right?) about $6. I knit him on size 11 straight needles, and 10.5 dpns. If you have some chenille and don't know what to do with it, try a Sheldon! I doubled the yarn throughout. This one was sent up to Portland for Ellery and her mommy for Mother's Day.

A few weeks back I was at the Black Sheep Knittery (dangerously close to my house) and coveting all of the bags of yarn, dreaming of the fun things I will knit this summer, when a woman asked me if I was Karyn Newbill. Sure am, I replied. She said she reads the blog and wanted to give me a donation for yarn and stuff for the kids to use! I couldn't believe it! So, here is what I bought with the GENEROUS donation made by Therese from Pacific Palisades!!!!! She overheard me asking about DPNs and sock yarn, to teach 16 kids how to knit socks. I searched and searched online and finally found the best deal out there and purchased some sock yarn on clearance and 16 pair of DPNs. So awesome! Thank you so much Therese! The kids are well into their first sock, and three of them have turned the heel and are heading for the toes! Your fabulous donation is much appreciated! I'll post more pics when there are some finished socks. In the mean time, I will post my progress on my sock, as I knit along with them. We are all knitting the Jaywalker Sock, btw. Great first-sock pattern, and it has an easy pattern repeat! Go for it, everyone!