Unpromising Start

Opie the Grumpy Pig

Opie the Grumpy Pig

And why not? A new school year, and not a promising start.  The Kid started junior high last Monday, and the first homework she had (which wasn’t assigned until Thursday) was in P. E.  Not math, not English, not geography … P. E.  And what sort of homework can a kid possibly have in P. E.?

“Oh, we watched a video about famous women athletes, and we’re supposed to pick one and write a paragraph.”

“For example?”

“I don’t remember their names.”

“Then how are you going to write a paragraph about any of them?”

“Well, one of them was Babe something …”

“Babe Didrikson Zaharias?”

“Yeah, that’s the one!”

Call me old-fashioned, but why weren’t the kids out there doing something, well, physical?  What was the point of watching a film about athletes?  If the teacher wanted to make P. E. a pseudo-academic subject, I can think of other things she could have done …  perhaps pictures of sagittal sections of the obese body compared to the athletic body, or pulmonary function tests of a smoker compared to a non-smoker.  But this might be too much to expect from a teacher who writes:  Students who miss a class will be expected to make up work by reading and summarizing “an interent” article.  First misspelling, just a slip of the fingers.  Second misspelling of same word in the same paragraph, and I think she has no business expecting anything from my child.

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Knitting for the Winter: St. Patrick, Tweedy Aran Cardigan

At the beginning of summer I frogged 5 sweaters, because there are always new knitting adventures to be had with old yarn:

St. Patrick, designed by Lisa Lloyd, from "A Fine Fleece: Knitting with Handspun Yarn"

St. Patrick, designed by Lisa Lloyd, from "A Fine Fleece: Knitting with Handspun Yarn"

Pattern: St. Patrick, from A Fine Fleece: Knitting with Handspun Yarn, by Lisa Lloyd.  This is a beautiful, harmoniously-balanced Aran sweater, with hints of Alice Starmore without her insane gauge.  I wish I had designed it.

Modifications: I think I may have knitted the pattern more-or-less as written, although now that I look at it, I changed the ribbon cable slightly in the front.

Yarn: My favorite, Beaverslide Yarn worsted weight.  This yarn has held up remarkably well through its three previous incarnations.  Though it is a bit felted now, the cable work still stands out in gorgeous detail.

Size: Properly slightly-oversized.

Tweedy Aran Cardigan, designed by Norah Gaughan

Tweedy Aran Cardigan, designed by Norah Gaughan

Tweedy Aran Cardigan, designed by Norah Gaughan

Pattern: Tweedy Aran Cardigan, designed by Norah Gaughan, originally published in “Interweave Knits” Winter 01/02.

Modifications:  Made the body longer with more shaping through the waist, made the collar wider, and picked-up and knitted the set-in sleeves from the top down using short rows.  I knit pretty much all my sleeves this way now — it makes for a neater finish.  No button at the very bottom (although there is in fact a buttonhole), mainly because I only had 5 buttons, but I like the look of it without the bottom button.

Yarn: Rowan Yorkshire Tweed DK — first experience with this yarn, and it is a delight.  And I can actually wear it next to the skin!

Size:  Gently fitted — I’m sure I tweaked something to accommodate the lighter-weight yarn I used.

Buttons:  Vintage glass buttons — it’s not very obvious in the pictures, but the buttons are all different.