Sunday, September 18, 2011

crochet pattern: ribbed neckwarmer

worked up a nice light button-up neckwarmer last week. it turned out nice enough i thought i'd share.

*note: this hasn't been tested, just written up as i made it. if you try it and find errors, please let me know!

Ribbed Neckwarmer

You will need:
2 - 50g skeins or balls of worsted weight wool (or fiber of your choice)
2 buttons, approx 2cm or 3/4 " across (or slightly larger)
5.5mm crochet hook

stitches used:
ch = chain
sc = single crochet
DC or dc = double crochet
FPDC or fpdc = front post double crochet
BPDC or bpdc = back post double crochet
ridge stitches = the vertical line of stitches being created by alternate fpdc and bpdc

NOTE:  turning chain does not count as a stitch

ch17, turn.
row 1: sc in second ch, sc across (16sc)
row 2: ch 1, turn. sc across (16sc)
repeat above row 17 more times, or until approximately square. continue to row A.

Row A: ch3, turn. DC across (16 dc)
Row B: ch3, turn. (FPDC in first stitch, dc in next stitch.)  repeat across.  note: this is your front side

Row C: ch3, turn. (BPDC in last rows fpdc, dc in same stitch, dc in next dc. ) repeat across, ending with BPDC in last fpdc, Dc in turning chain. (8 fp/bp ridges, each with 2dc between,  1 turning-ch/dc at each end)

row D: ch3, turn. Fpdc in ridge stitches, dc in dc across.
row E: ch3, turn. bpdc in (sunken) ridge stitches, dc in dc across.

Repeat rows D and E until ridged section is 15 1/2" long from row A to your working edge (adjust as necessary, but please finish on row E) If you have a very thick neck or like a very loose neckwarmer, work two extra rows at this point.

row F: ch3, turn. (FPDC in ridged stitch, dc2tog) repeat across, ending with fpdc in last ridged stitch, dc in previous turning chain.

row G: ch3, turn. (BPDC in ridged stitch, dc in dc) repeat across, (ending with dc in previous turning ch.)

row H: ch3, turn. (fpdc in ridged stitch, dc in dc) repeat across.

row I: ch1, turn. sc across.

repeat row I 3 more times

Row J: ch1, turn. sc in next 2 sc, ch 3 , skip next 3 sc, sc in next 4 sc, ch3, skip next 3sc, sc in last 3 sts. (two buttonholes made)

Repeat row I, working into chain stitches when necessary for 4 more rows.
Finish off, working in ends where necessary.

test-fit to determine button placement. stitch on buttons as desired.
as the sc portions tend to curl at the edge,  a gentle wet blocking is suggested.

good luck everyone!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

photoblog 4 - spinning whirling twirling

i just wanted to show off my 'new' tool

new to me spinning wheel :) needs just a little love and it'll be spinning wonderfully!

mother of all and tension adjustment

the 'working end'. orifice and maiden

bobbin, flyer etc (before i took the mucky old yarn off it!) also, temporary cotton tensioner.

Now, with any luck, i'll be able to spin the lovely super-fine alpaca yarn i'm wanting to make (and then make soft wonderful stuff like shawls with)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Adventures in homeschooling

Homeschooling is something i've always wanted to do (well, okay, wanted to do since i was adult enough to think about it). I had pretty crumby experiences in school, and knew that if my kids were in a similar school situation, they'd be just as likely as I was to come out of it scarred, rather than stronger.  Thinking of all the quirky friends i know - and yes, that includes most of you! - i've come to realize that school specific situations (bullying, high stress levels, social competition, forced competitive sports etc) seem to be at least one of the major sources of their unhappiness (or psychological issues, or social problem). Now i know that's kindof sweeping, and it certainly isn't true in all cases, but it is what it is.

Following that, i've just officially enrolled my darling daughter in her  first year of 'real' homeschooling. Last year we did Kindergarten curriculum, but i decided not to officially enroll her until we could see if homeschooling was going to work for her. It did, which makes me very happy.

This week, when most kids are trudging to their new classes to meet their new teachers, learning all those things they'd forgotten over the summer, and dealing with all those less-than-nice kids at the back of the bus.

My kids, however, spent all of today drawing, playing with blocks, doing string crafts, and playing outside.

Just as every parent is different, every homeschooling setup is different. My current setup (which is working, yay!) is this:

days 1-3: 3 pages of written work in a workbook, or equivalent: reading out loud, practicing spelling, etc. all count as a page. After, free to play or do alternative learning depending on the day.
day 4: free and clear of written work, only "play-ducation" all day - so cooking, learning about nature, making music, science experiments and all that 'other' stuff fits here.

that's it. a 4 day rotation. We throw in lots of extra 'time off' days, as suits our schedule, and sometimes take our learning on the road if need be.

Our province allows for a child-centric curriculum, which allows us to do as much or as little 'traditional' schooling as we desire, as well as as putting in as much 'other stuff' as we want, without feeling the need to cram it in after-hours.

not a recent picture, but you get the idea