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Mid-July.

So far, the re-knit of the Waterbearer Cardigan is going pretty smoothly. I’ve reached the “butterfly” stage with no mishaps! (And, as you can tell from the above photo, I’ve not lost my enthusiasm for “briochestashes“.)

I'm at the "butterfly" stage!

This time around, I’m being really diligent about tracking my place in the pattern. You’ll notice that I have two different colors of stitch markers clipped to the edge of each side; those colors correspond to the arrow I’m using (in the GoodReader app) to track what row I’m on in the pattern chart on each side. I’m doing this because while I probably *could* just read my knitting and figure things out from there, that’s exactly how I got into trouble last time, and what I need to remember is that just because I’m capable of doing something inside my head, that doesn’t mean I have to. When life is as overwhelming as it has been for the last couple of years, any cognitive load that I can offload into the physical world is a plus. (On that note, I’m currently reading a really neat book called “The Extended Mind” by Anne Murphy Paul that touches on the ways our thinking depends not just on our brain but on our bodies and our environment.)

I’m not always able to devote the level of attention necessary to follow the brioche pattern closely, so when I’m just wanting to knit to keep my hands busy, I either pull out the Birch Pullover and knit a few rounds of half-fisherman’s rib on the body, or I work on a sock. I’ve got yet another finished pair of DRK Everyday socks in my collection now:

New socks.

These were knit in Knitpicks Muse Sock in the color “Untamed”, which is SUCH a “me” colorway. I love them so much and I’m sure I will be able to wear them with many of my outfits once the weather cools off. I’ve already cast on for another DRK Everyday sock and am past the heel turn on the first one, but I didn’t bother taking a picture of it yet. They’ll get their own turn in the spotlight eventually.

The other thing I’ve been up to recently is preparing to do some “fiber arts” activities with a Summer Learning Program that is being hosted at my UU church. I’ve been assigned to a class of 1st and 2nd graders once a week for an hour, and so my mind has been running wild with plans for things we could do during the time we have together. I got to go to Sew Green with the director of the program last weekend to pick out supplies, and I’m supplementing them with things from my own stash.

Fiber arts fun

Tomorrow’s my first day, and my plan is to read the book “Feeding the Sheep” (which I’m borrowing off my daughter’s bookshelf) – it’s a great picture book that walks the reader through each step from sheep to sweater. And I’ve collected as many examples of wool as I can for some “show-and-tell”: some uncombed wool, some combed wool roving, and samples of yarn plus swatches in both wool and cotton (so they can explore the differences), all in a felted bowl that my mom made. I’ve got some YouTube videos of sheep being shorn and yarn being spun that I can show them on my iPad. I’ll also be bringing in some of my handknits to show them the kinds of things you can do with knitting. I’ve printed out some blank coloring pages of knit stitches, so that they can design their own colorwork motif. And I’m going to let each of them take a turn trying to knit a few stitches on a little rectangle of garter stitch in Noro Kureyon that I started yesterday:

Just a little garter stitch in Noro

My plan is to then demonstrate binding off, and then let them measure the rectangle. The next time we meet, we’ll felt the rectangle together, and measure it afterward to see how much it changes. I’ve also got some plans for kool-aid speckle dyeing, finger-knitting, and straw-weaving. I might enlist my daughter and her neighbor friend for a few “test runs” before introducing the activities to the kids in the summer learning program; even though they’re a little older than the kids in the program, I bet they’d really enjoy getting to dye some yarn and make stuff with it.

Well anyway, that’s what I’ve been up to when I’m not prepping my classes for Fall. I’m also hoping to do some more sewing before the summer is over; I’ve got a couple of things already cut out and ready to sew, and a few more that I’d like to get started on, too. I always bite off more than I can chew in the summers, though, so we’ll see what I actually manage to do, given that I also need to just plain rest.

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