I haven’t had much to say lately. Nothing blogworthy at least. There may have been a few stories I could have told, but I’ve been either too busy or too lazy to do it. Tonight I’ve got the time, the energy and some things to share.
First, as you may have expected, I knit a cover for my Kindle. After dropping a chunk of change on the Kindle, there was no way I was going drop any more on a cover or case.
I chose some yarn (blue – what else?) and swatched. (I swatched? I’m a swatcher?) I started with 36 stitches, using the magic cast-on to get started bottom-up so I could avoid seaming. Then I just winged it (wung it?) magic loop style, knitting stockinette in the round until it was long enough to fit the Kindle. I bound off half of my stitches and continued on to knit a flap with a garter stitch border and decreases so it would taper. I didn’t want to put a button onto the body of the cover because the button might get pressed against the Kindle’s screen, so I attached the button on top of the flap and crocheted a button loop to attach to the bottom.
It’s a snuggy sleeping bag for my new favorite thing. I love it. Right now I’m reading two different books on it – The Gate House by Nelson DeMille and My Horizontal Life, by Chelsea Handler. I know that it’s not the most economical way to read. I rarely buy books. I borrow them from family and friends or I get them from the library. But I just love reading on this thing. I love laying in bed and only having to hold it with one hand, pressing a button with my thumb to turn a page. Reading is an activity that shouldn’t require any energy except for brain power, so I’m happy that I don’t have to find a way to prop up a big hard cover book and turn the pages. I know. I’m lazy. I’m the Queen of Lazy and I’ve got the butt to prove it.
In other knitting news, I finally finished off my Toothpaste Liesel sweater. The ribbon tie around the waist was met with mixed reviews, but the don’t-like-its spoke the loudest. I decided to go with the button and a button loop plan – just one right at the top. I may add a second button a few inches below the first, but the thought of actually doing it makes me tired. I love the knitting, but I hate anything that requires me to thread a needle or weave in ends.
On the 3rd grade front, I have a few things to throw at you. We’ve just finished the Connecticut Mastery Test. It’s a 7-session-over-3-weeks torture fest for 8-year-olds. We did a whole lot of pre-torture in order to get the kids ready for what they’d see on the test. Reading comprehension is a big focus and some of the questions require the little test-takers to support their responses with information from the text. For example, they may read a story about a knitter named Knelley who realizes that she dropped a stitch 6 inches ago on a project knitted with dental floss on size 00 needles. Knelley drops down onto the floor, puts her face in her hands, and sobs until her face is blackened with her runny mascara. They might be asked: How do you think Knelley was feeling when she screwed up her knitting? They’d need to write something like, “I think Knelley was sad because it in the text it said that she puts her face in her hands and sobs until she’s really ugly.” They have to make inferences and draw conclusions (and I don’t even want to discuss the difference between those two things because I don’t always get it myself) about things the author doesn’t tell. Geez. That’s a lot of back story to get to the good stuff, which will in no way live up to the introduction.
I gave the kids a last-chance practice activity to get ready for the CMT. Here’s a cutie’s answer to a question about whether or not she thought the main character was a good friend. The directions say, “Be sure to use details from the story to support your ideas.”
She didn’t miss one single word. Love her.
That brings me to the work of another little girl I love. Love. This girl is the sweetest little thing you’d ever come across. She’s got a soft little voice and she writes notes to herself to plan her outfits for the week. Love.
We started a story-writing activity with fill-in-the-blank descriptions about strange, fictional animals. The kids had to choose adjectives for each blank to help write descriptions of what their odd animals looked like. These animals were to become the creatures who would chase them in an “Animal Chase” story. After writing the description, the kids had to draw their animals, showing where they lived and what they ate. This one lives up the the build-up:
What’s that in the tree? What’s falling from the tree like a leaf? Yes, it’s meat. Meat. I know.
I was stumped. I looked. I laughed. I looked some more. Then I had to ask. I brought the picture to the artist and we had a conversation:
Me: Tell me about your picture.
Her: It’s my animal and that’s where he lives and that’s what he eats. He eats meat.
Me: Nice. (Pointing to the tree branch) And why is the meat . . . here?
Her: (Bending close and dropping her voice to a whisper) He eats meat and I didn’t want to show him killing another animal for meat so I decided to make the meat grow on trees.
Me: (Crickets.) . . . What a good idea. And what’s this? (Pointing to brown oval labelled “BeB”)
Her: That’s his bed.
His bed. Conveniently located under the meat tree. That’s reasonable. I’d like to put my bed underneath the vanilla ice cream machine at Dairy Queen.