Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hot Heads

First, some non-knitted hot heads.  Just before the big vacation and the snow started coming, Mr. Sophanne and I had the pleasure of playing with da brudders at the local mall.  While we are not fans of the local mall 2 weeks before Christmas, there is an indoor play area. Woot.

Here I am with two of the 3 brudders- getting all three in one picture facing the camera is next to impossible.  This is as good as it gets.  Mr. Sophanne picked up these reindeer lids at the local Claire's and you can imagine the sight we were to behold with 2 twins and older brudder on our way to see Santa Claus.  As a side note, isn't it always the case that the man disappears from activities and returns with surprises such as these?

The next hot head comes in the adorable form of Mr. Sophanne's granddaughter who happens to be with all of her cousins in Paris.  Note last year's Christmas hat on her head.  That hat has likely seen more of Europe than I have. I am so proud.

All scarves seen (and not seen in this picture) were knitted by her mama- who took this summer's knitting lessons to heart and knit no less than 10 scarves in 3 months.  Socks are next for that girl!  Again, I am so proud.

Hot Head the Next:  CousinofSophanne has a birthday coming up and wears a purple coat.  Enter Charlene Schurch's Hat's On and the standard stockinette with ribbing thing.  The colors match her coat perfectly and it was yet more destashing.

Hot head the most- Knitnightmarc made a balaclava that I accidentally stumbled upon on Ravelry this week.  They kind of creep me out.

And yet with the recent shoveling of snow I've been obligated to do, I began to see the advantage of such head gear.  Enter this pattern called "from Russia with Love.

The cables and lighter color make it look less criminal (I'm guessing that few criminals or ninjas are sporting  malabrigo balaclavas)  but alas, it is not as finished as I had hoped.  The proclaimed advantage to a balaclava is the fact that it can be worn as a hat, a cowl or a full on ski mask thingie.  Note to self.  When it says "bind off loosely, just bite the bullet and do a sewn bind off.    The business around the eyes, while lovely is nothing less than form fitting and will not stretch over my head.

Hopefully I can solve this before the "G" storm arrives!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The magic of my knit night friends.

KnitnightTara's homemade Christmas card from last year.

KnitnightMarc's homemade Christmas card from this year.  Why yes, it's and embroidered ornament done on "go away paper" or whatever it's called.  And sewing machine on paper.  Crazy amazing.

This is the envelope for KnitniteTara's 2012 card-

This is the front.  She doesn't take full credit because she purchased a laser paper cutter this year.  I would be taking full credit.  That laser paper cutter doesn't design and cut alone.

Open up and turn the card and then there is this:

So much glitter, so much glue, so much thread, so much talent.  Next year I'm tempted to join the "card making club" just because by seeing my anti-handiwork, the creators of this magic will be even more grateful for their own skills.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

To wrangle and continue.

As was all of the world, I was devastated on December 14.  Unstoppable crying for 5 days.  A day and a half of school missed.  The following things did not make it much easier, but it helped.

When I finally returned to school and taught students, I realized that every child I see is really "one of those babies."  Only they are here.  And alive.  It is my job to cherish them for all that is sacred and magical in them- just as I am grieving the loss to the world of all that was sacred and magical in those innocent victims.  I hope that for the rest of my life I am able to pause with that perspective always.

I spent last week reading the book Columbine by Dave Cullen.  We are all still striving to understand Newtown.  We won't be able to.  Columbine is a work that Dave Cullen took 10 years to write as he (appropriately enough) "culled" all of the information from other books that were written, police interviews, the journals of the perpetrators,  etc., etc.  All that was available.

 What I got from that is that we can not find reason in insanity. I realize that I do not need to know who or why this most recent shooter was.  He is scarily similar to those who have gone before him and until we find a better way to identify and treat sociopaths (and I use that term clinically- those without the capacity to feel empathy), there will be tragedies both large and small.

I have opinions on mental health but they are not informed.  I have opinions on guns but they are not informed. Although the headline Studies show that countries that have more guns have more shootings sort of cuts through any confusion for me.

I find it ironic that those who so heartily support second amendment rights permitting gun ownership ignore and dispute the fact that our country's creation was based on the separation of church and state.

It has been hard to watch the earth continue to spin.  But it is all anyone can do.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The shared pain and remnants of fear wash over us all like a giant tsunami.  There is no relief, only wave after wave.  I am holding everyone in my heart.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Random Random

It is what it says. Random.

For your continued Zombie Nutcracker amusement- rather than the traditional Santa's shop for kids to buy junk for themselves their parents, our PTO chose to buy a craft of some sort to make and gift for the holidays. Ironically enough, the 5th grade students received wooden nutcrackers to decorate. They've mostly all already seen the google image page of zombie nutcrackers. I may have some 'splainin' to do. Oy.

Epic Mickey 2. New game for Mr. Sophanne. He defeated the first monster, went back to add "player 2" and erased all progress. I mention this not because it matters a whole lot to me but because of the effect Epic Mickey has had on my life.

In the game, you paint things blue to fix them and paint things green (paint thinner) to make them disappear. Mr. Sophanne continues to buy ice cream drumsticks. I continue to search for ways to avoid them. This evening when he asked me if I wanted one, I said no and then imagined as he ate his, that I was making it disappear with paint thinner.

News on something I hate the most. Self righteous and mildly proselytizing Christians in my general circle of life who regularly behave contrary to the Golden Rule. There was one today who snapped like a firecracker at me. As a rule, I am not someone who gets snapped at often. In fact, more than once I've been complimented for my ability to facilitate calm and level-headedness. When snapping happens, I take umbrage and while I know I need to let it go, it's much harder when the snapee takes such pride in being a good person. And now feel better for being able to "tell on her" on the blog.

Finally, I finished the Vertigo vest at knight night and the awesome Gina took probably the best picture I'll manage to get. Sometimes I am so lazy. I am pleased with the results. It will get blocked this weekend. I am hoping that someday the weather outside and in my building will allow me to wear it more than from the house to the car in the morning.

Monday, December 03, 2012

Another episode of life inside my brain.

Every year in December the k-2er's listen to, act out portions of, and watch George Ballanchine's New York City Ballet's version of The Nutcracker. Nothing unusual there in music teacher world.

Today a pile of 2nd graders were particularly lethargic in their reenactment of the opening party scene. I suggested that they looked like zombies.

And then, I couldn't stop myself from playing "what if." Out loud. What if the ballet were made of all zombies. What if instead of the little brother breaking the nutcracker's head, just ripped the little zombie sister's head off. And then, when Dad goes to scold him, little brother pulls Dad's arm off.

Oh the laughter. Oh the inappropriateness. Oh the hilarity. As you may suspect, 2nd graders love me.

And then, just now, in case it was a been there done that sort of idea, I googled "zombie nutcracker" and got a page like this-

Bwah ha ha ha!

Sunday, December 02, 2012


That's the only word I can think of to describe my inability to read directions.

I spent all day today working on the top front panels to finish that vest.

At about 5:30 p.m., reality paid a visit and I snapped into realizing both were all kinds of wrong.

I think I leave the comfort of socks, hats and lace just so I can laugh at myself.