Holy cow, it's been awhile, people.
I wish I knew a better way to jostle my way back into the blog-o-sphere than to just bombard you with random "bullets"... but honestly, after so many months away from you all, I can't figure out a more efficient way to catch you all up.
So, here goes:
-I DID IT. My greatest accomplishment this year was to be hired on to teach for a major Ontario board of education. It took several years of volunteering in schools, some fairly shameless schmoozing, and finally, ASKING certain people-of-influence to help me obtain an interview opportunity. Considering that we graduate over 20,000 new teachers in this province every June, and there are countless more unemployed educators just champing at the bit for work... just my getting in the door for a preliminary chat-and-once-over was no small feat. It was nothing short of miraculous to finally be selected from the thousands upon thousands that applied. Now, I'm eligible to apply for "LTO" (long-term occasional) work, and am hoping to be called fairly regularly for daily supply jobs, until I manage to somehow magic up a contract opportunity. Teaching is what I was meant to be doing, all this time-- I think I've known it since I was a very small child. But, as the Dixie Chicks put it, I guess I just took "The Long Way Around". After all, sometimes the detour makes you appreciate the final destination that much more. It's still going to be a struggle to find a "niche" for myself, and I'm wrestling with a certain amount of nervousness and lack of self-confidence... but, I'm trying. I'm pushing myself. I'm learning.
-KNIT THROUGH IT. I've been taking my mantra of the past four years very much to heart these past months. Whenever things have seemed impossible, or dire, or just plain glum-- I've picked up my needles. The worse I feel, the more complicated the knitting pattern needs to be. There has been lace: openwork so full of yarn-overs, and fibres so fine, I haven't been able to think of anything more than the movements of my fingers, and the constant counting (and cursing) in my head. It's wonderful when a project is done, to think that something beautiful came out of a period of time when a nervous breakdown might otherwise have been in order. On the flip-side, there have been other projects; much calmer ones in straight garter or stocking stitch, simple enough to be done while having coffee with friends, relaxing in front of a movie, or just sitting in my car, waiting for one of the girlies to emerge from school or an extra-curricular activity. I knit through everything. It has become my version of "yoga": my meditation, my way of finding serenity. And, I'm a lot warmer because of it. Winter's coming, and this IS Canada, after all...
These felted clogs have been The Pattern of
The Fall this year-- double and triple strands of wool felt into the most deliciously warm footwear I have ever owned-- it's like having two little ovens on the far ends of my legs!! Heaven!!
These slippers are for Child Number Three, who wants warm ankles as well as feet. They're knitted in squares, then folded up like an origami project and stitched together before felting. I might just need a pair for myself, when all is said and done...
These Wellie Warmer socks are for ME, and are a wonderful alternative to the polar-fleece rip-offs being sold in major shoe stores, to accompany the three hundred dollar "Hunter" brand rubber boots that are so popular these days. I bought my own wellington boots at our local grocery store for thirty-five bucks (which is an outrageous price for this farm-country girl, actually), and fancy that my hand-knit cuffed socks will actually be warmer, as well as more attractive, than the high-fallootin' version. So there.
Did you all swoon over Part Two of the Harry Potter "Deathly Hallows" movie this year?? I sure did... The knitwear alone had me scouring the internet for patterns the moment I was sprung from the theatre. This Hermione hat knit up beautifully from a fine angora, and all three girlies want one for fall...
...to be accompanied by fingerless, elbow-length gloves. Two out of three girlies are now playing flute, so these will keep those muscles warm during rehearsals!
All you Potter-philes out there will not be surprised to learn that there is an entire pattern book chock-full of beautiful designs, for knitters of all abilities. We've done a six-foot long Hufflepuff scarf and matching tam in grey-and-gold, and I'm still working on my own version of the beloved Weasley jumper!!
(I actually jumped out of my seat and CHEERED for this scene, much to my children's accute embarassment...)