Monday, January 25, 2021

A Bit of a Surprise

Remember last week how I went and picked up an old project?

When I started the thing, back in 2013, the intent was to knit myself a lightweight cardigan. Instead of finding a sweater pattern, I found a stitch pattern I liked, and I decided to wing it. I know roughly how a sweater is constructed. I've knit sweaters in the past. 

I swatched. I found my gauge. I figured how many stitches I'd need to cast on to make it sized for me. And then I cast on. 

I figured it'd be a couple months, and then I'd have to figure out how I was going to attach sleeves. 

Seven years pass... 

So, a couple weeks ago, I found myself between knitting projects. And I remembered the cardigan. I figured I could knit a few rows on the thing until something else catches my interest. 

Only, a funny thing happened on Tuesday or Wednesday. I looked at how long the thing was, and I wondered. I pulled out a t-shirt for comparison, and yep, I'm just about there. It's almost long enough to need to figure out the sleeve portion of the project. 

Suddenly my sweater is looking like it might get finished. 

I haven't bound off for sleeves yet, but I'm close enough that it was time to do some calculations. I actually have a sleeve plan. Barring any weird distractions, I should be ready to get the sleeves started this coming week.

The picture of the thing doesn't look much different than last week. I completed about half a pattern repeat.

But, in an experimental mood, I tried filming myself knitting. (I'm planning to film some videos of me making stuff. Figuring it all out is turning out to be more complicated than I expected. So, baby steps.) 

Remember a couple months ago when I tried to post the videos I had made of my lip balm holders? It seems that the only solution to getting videos to upload and embed is to upload them to YouTube. I guess this means I started a YouTube channel.

Well, hopefully it works...

There is no sound. I'm knitting one pattern repeat on row three of the pattern. It's slow. I'm a more confident knitter, really, but dealing with having the camera set up slowed me down. 

It was a first attempt. I'll figure out how to set it all up eventually.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Fully Asleep

Friday. Special ed math. More of them had their cameras on than is usual for me. Some of the kiddos were bouncy. One boy had his father walking around in the background. And a couple of them had one-on-one aides with them. 

Cannon logged in. I noted that his camera was on its side, so while Cannon's head was oriented up and down, it was obvious he was lying down. 

And. . . His eyes were closed? Yeah, his eyes were closed.

After a bit of time passed, Cannon placed something over his camera. And I heard nothing from him all period. 

Ahem. If you were to tell me that some students slept through class, I would not be surprised. I'm sure some of them are. But they make sure their cameras are turned off. 

Because, seriously? If you're going to sleep in class, the least you can do is not make it obvious. 

Thursday, January 21, 2021


A lot of this distance learning thing consists of me staring at a computer screen with boxes of avatars and student names. When the students have their cameras off, all I see is their avatar. 

I leave my camera on, but I have an avatar of my own:

So, I find ways to entertain myself. One of the things I planned to do last week was come up with some questions for my "what if?' posts on Tuesdays. 

But I really should know better. . .

Friday. I had a special ed math class. And they had a review assignment. 

More of them actually had their cameras on. And they responded when I greeted them. 

I explained the assignment. I offered my assistance if they got stuck. Then I had them get to work. 

And they took me up on my offer of assistance. 

It was nice. I actually got to do some teaching. I ended up going over the same thing over and over. It's a bit of a challenge to explain things through a computer screen, but I do have a few tools at my disposal. 

I was actually busy. 

I answered questions right up until the end of the period. One class was dealing with inequalities while the other two were working on fractions, decimals, and percents. These are challenging for all students, so it wasn't a shock that they needed help.

I really should know better. Never make plans to work on something else during class time. Those are the days when I don't have the time.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

In the Wrong Room

The last time I covered Ms. L's class was early November. The continuation high school isn't doing distance like the other schools. Rather than adding me into the Google Classroom as a teacher, they just gave me the link for the meet. And the last time I covered Ms. L's class, that worked just fine. 

Tuesday morning. I got the lesson plans. I logged into the meet. And I waited.

And waited. 

I knew something was wrong pretty quickly. While the kiddos don't all show up on time, someone is there on time. If only one. And usually someone is a touch early. 

But five minutes into class and I had no one? Nope, that's a mistake. 

I went through about ten minutes of panic which included calling the school (which didn't help). But then I noticed that the teacher had given me the student codes. . .

Google Classroom is set up so that someone can be designated a "student" or a "teacher". Teachers can add assignments and grade things. Students can only see what's been input and complete assignments. 

But what I needed was the meet link, which everyone can see. So, I figured why not? I can sign up as a student. 

Once I had done that, I found the messages from the students, wondering if class was happening. 

I had missed about half of first period (the class periods at the continuation high school are a half hour), but knowing the issue, I made sure to log into class via the Google Classroom for the rest of the day.

Teachers have a tendency to reuse their lesson plans, only modifying the specific stuff the class is doing that day. Clearly, Ms. L didn't realize that the meet links change. I let her know about the issue.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Fear the Future

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements.

What if you had a reading done by a psychic (one you trust, one you know who's been accurate in the past), and their prediction for you was something terrible happening to you?

Monday, January 18, 2021

Old Projects

Last week I blogged about making a color choice for the Exasperation Hat (and you all gave me some good color suggestions. Thank you). 

Turns out, I wasn't feeling the hat. Instead of pulling out the black (or the olive green) and starting the beanie, I pulled out an old project. 

I started this back in *checks Ravelry* October of 2013. Which means I've had it on the needles longer than my six-year afghan. [I'd show pictures of the afghan or link to a blog post, but it predates the blog, and it's kind of buried in the closet at the moment, so getting it out for a picture would be awkward (read: not in the mood to bother today).] 

Ultimately, it's going to be a sweater. A cardigan. It's been a bit of a challenge. I had issues with the gauge swatch. Four years later, I again had issues with the pattern. And then there's the issue of me setting the thing down for a year or more at a time when I work on other projects. 

It's a complicated stitch pattern (that took me years to finally get the hang of--yet, I still make mistakes). It's also a very long repeat. Plus, each row is *goes and counts* 342 stitches long.

So, perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that I've only worked eight rows this week. It grows, but slowly.

Will I finish it this time? Not likely. Will I finish it ever? I intend to. 

The other thing I did this past week was to cut out some more fabric for masks. Because I'm getting bored with the ones I have. (Not that I go anywhere. Well, I do go to the store.) And they're kind of fun to make. 

Adding the knitting along the sides for the ear elastics is the fun part of it. I'll get to that. Eventually.

And I'll eventually get to the Exasperation Beanie. Probably.

How many masks do you own? 

Friday, January 15, 2021

Top 100 Toys of All Time

For this week's random quiz, I thought we'd take a trip back to childhood. 

Top 100 Toys of All Time

How many have you played with? I remember 36 of them.