Saturday, 13 March 2010

March Break - meh

Back when I was working, I used to live for this day - the beginning of March Break. My colleagues were well trained to not ask, "Are you going anywhere for March Break" but to ask, "Where are you going for March Break", because for my entire teaching career (except for one year) I went on some type of trip. I went on 7 Caribbean cruises with my friend, Marsha Lampman (may she continue to rest in peace), trips to Acapulco, Costa Rica, Nassau, Boston, Houston, Georgia, New York, etc. with friends, Phoenix, Tampa, San Andres, 2 other cruises with Skip, etc., etc. I would be SO exhausted by the time I was getting on the plane and would just feel all the stress drain out of me as we'd taxi down the runway for take-off. Ahhhh.

Now this week is like any other week for me, except for increased traffic around my town during the day and all the damned kids walking around. I am glad, though, that my hard-working former colleagues are getting a week away from the inane administrative decisions, the pressing deadlines, the verbal abuse from teenagers, and the stress of planning the equivalent of 3 birthday parties a day for 20+ kids at a time, most of whom don't want to be there. I don't miss anything about my 'past life'.

Since returning home from TX last week, I've been really pooped and have done a lot of sleeping in and taking it pretty easy. I have, however, continued to knit frenetically and have completed one Estonian mitten for my dear friend, Karen, who recently discovered she is of Estonian heritage. It is the Maimu's Mitten Pattern from Nancy Bush's "Folk Knitting in Estonia" that my wonderful and talented niece gave me for Christmas.

Today I finished a child's vest as a store sample for Kniterary.  I don't particularly enjoy knitting with cotton but this stuff - Mirasol Samp'a was OK to work with. It's a Debbie Bliss Sublime pattern called "Yoke" and is the slipover (vest) version. There are also instructions for a long sleeved sweater. It was a very quick knit and as an experienced knitter, didn't have any trouble interpreting the pattern, however, there are a few things the pattern assumes the knitter will know to do that aren't specifically outlined, such as doing right leaning and left leaning decreases along the edges of the vest (which can be tricky purlwise), remembering to continue the 4-stitch stocking stitch on the neck on the purl rows, doing the decreases for the armholes one stitch in from the edge (using ssk or k2tog as required) for ease of picking up ribbing stitches, etc. I was fine incorporating these standard things into the vest but they weren't written into the pattern and a less experienced knitter might need prompting.
I'm now back to finishing the Estonian mittens for Karen and hope to get them finished this weekend and sent off to her soon.

Tomorrow night will be Pysanky night here as Marion and Elaine are coming over to draw their first Ukrainian Easter eggs. After giving blood this morning, I made an appointment today with the Ukrainian Easter egg lady, Mary Salmers, to go and pick up a couple of kistkas so the ladies would have their very own to keep. At $2.25 each, plus a package of yellow dye (I vaguely remember being low on it last year) I got out of there having spent only $6.45 including tax -- not a lot of money for what I'm sure will be a full evening of creativity and enjoyment. I'll try to remember to take lots of pictures of our goings-on. The dyes last indefinitely so I have them all in labeled Mason jars in the basement from previous years and I haul them out each year, round up some beeswax and am able to quickly get down to work with very little extra preparation.

One of the crafty blogs I read, RootsandWingsCo., recently had a post all about Easter egg drawing and I got even more ideas. I'm very much a technician so have a technical approach to my pysanky drawing but anyone with a more visually artistic flair would really like some of the RootsandWingsCo designs.


  1. Wow you sure have travelled alot Geri! I was lucky enough to live in Europe for 2 1/2 years and travel to quite a few European countries but nowhere near the amount of places you've been to. Like you, I do so luv to travel!
    The Easter egg art sounds so much fun...I am looking forward to seeing what you make:)

  2. I will definitely pass along your line about teaching being the equivalent of planning 3 birthday parties a day for 20 kids each. Our classes are about 30 kids each, but you know very well how this kind of talk can escalate. I don't want to go there until 7:30 a.m. tomorrow.