Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Elementary Crochet Club

If I continue to bore you with these article, you might actually go read one of them.

This is the second article I found today about crochet. This one actually uses it in an elementary school, which really helps my cause. Again, the title of the post will take you to the full article.

This is about Madison Elementary in Arlington, Texas. Both boys and girls have joined a crochet club taught by Assistant Principal, Jana Singleton Martin.

What students say:

"I get bored sometimes, and thanks to my assistant principal, I finally got a hobby. One day I started to make a hat. I didn't have a pattern. Now I'm making a new one, a camouflage hat for my dad." -- Zachary Studt, 12

"I've been doing this since spring break, and I've made a blanket and two scarves. First I learned to hold the needle, then I learned to hold the yarn in my other hand. I like just sitting there, watching TV and crocheting." -- Lorena Taylor, 12

"It's, like, really fun. When I have nothing to do, I pull out my crochet and do that. When I'm mad, it relaxes me. I'm making a blanket for my baby sister. But there are so many things you can make." -- Terrance Tisdale, 11

"Right now I'm working on a blanket for my aunt's cat. I'm trying to teach my younger brother and sister, and they don't want to seem to listen." -- Gregory Hornsby, 12

This is wonderful to hear. These kids are being given a gift that they won't fully recognize for many years to come. It will be interesting to see how many of them still crochet in 5-10 years.

Move Over String Theory, It’s Yarn’s Turn

Okay, it's just too fun and it makes me giggle! So many reasons for learning to crochet and for teaching others to do the same. Schools, here I come. (after the 100+ heat is gone)

I found another article about crocheting and other crafts being used in mathematics. For instance: if you crochet a stop sign, you can fold that into a 2-holed donut or a pair of baby pants. Personally, I'll just crochet the baby pants and let the City workers crochet the stop signs. They need something to do OUT OF the heat right now.

Here are some quotes from the article:

The math of handicraft was long dismissed as merely a cute trick or an inconsequential coincidence. Now, however, handicraft has begun to come into its own as a legitimate tool for mathematical research.

“Crochet, knitting and other crafts allow people to visualize, recontextualize and develop new problems and answers,” said Carolyn Yackel, an assistant math professor at Mercer University in Atlanta.

To read the whole article (or just glance through it) click on the title of this post and it will take you to that article at "Scienceline" website.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Mildew in my laundry

Saturday afternoon I started a batch of washing. I was only going to do one batch because I needed the underwear!

So I filled the laundry basket. Walked out into the furnace of summer and into the laundry room we share with the other side of our duplex. Sweat is beginning to break out on my face and other places I don‘t need to mention.

I started the washer, checked the clothes, and sweated a lot more in the confined space with no air moving.

30 minutes later I went back into the furnace and into the sauna-like laundry room and moved the now clean clothes into the dryer. Big Sigh!

Saturday I was taking off my clothes to get ready for bed and realized that the clothes were still in the dryer. Since there isn’t much light outside, I had a headache, and I was tired- the clothes were going to have to wait.

And they did. Until Monday morning when I went out to get them so I could start the rest of the washing for the week.

As I went into the closed space of the laundry room I noticed it now had a new feature. STINK! That’s the best term I can put on the foul odor. Checked the washer first. Nothing there. Heart sinking!!!! I look at the dryer and notice that the door was just slightly ajar.

At this point I was wishing I could just call the neighbors and tell them that their laundry was stinking up the neighborhood. But it was mine. Somehow the dryer door had popped open. (Yes, I know I closed it because I get to feel the nice smelling by hot dryer vent as I go in my back door)

Now, I know what I GET to do. I GET to re-wash that batch.

The problem is that once you have mildew in your clothes, how do you get it out? I found the SECRET long ago because I have a tendency to leave laundry out in the furnace of summer.


I started the washer, put in some liquid laundry soap and VINEGAR (about 1-2 cups, depending on the smell) and set it to do a short wash.

After the cycle was done, I gently opened the lid and softly smelled. RELIEF!!!

Now into the dryer and then into the house. 3 more batches and no more mildew. Lesson learned --AGAIN!

Friday, June 6, 2008

It's always the last thing you think of!

Last week, I was having one of those days when things just aren’t quite right, but you can’t figure out what’s wrong. I hate that feeling! It’s like nothing you do will help you feel better.

· Am I tired?
· Did I forget to say my prayer this morning?
· Is it PMS? (When you are my age, you don’t see that one coming anymore)
· Am I forgetting an appointment?
· I tried doing a job I had been neglecting, reading a book, relaxing in my recliner.
· I crocheted.
· I ate a little more food than normal (just in case my blood sugar was low).
· I tried chocolate, took a short nap, played a couple of computer games.
· I double-checked to make sure I taken all my vitamins and meds!

Nothing was helping!

Finally I resigned myself to the fact that this was going to be a yucky day and pushed forward.

At the end of the day when I was slowing down and beginning to get ready for bed, I figured it out. When I got dressed that morning, I put my underwear on wrong-side out.

It was that simple! I started to laugh. Loudly!

I couldn’t believe that I had not paid attention to that little fact! I can’t count the number of times I went to the bathroom, but I’m not in the habit of checking my underwear (unless there is a reason, which there wasn’t). So the next time I have a weird day, remind me to check my underwear first instead of last!

Thursday, June 5, 2008


I have wanted to try felting for a long time. I finally had wool and found a pattern that I wanted.

So it took two night of working while falling asleep in bed and it was finished. I just had to felt it and I would have a purse organizer that I had wanted for a long time. WRONG!

Somehow it didn’t felt very well. Why? I have no idea. The orange did not shrink as much as the white (see the left end of the piece).
I have done all the suggestions for how to felt and it hasn’t made much difference. The only thing left is to boil it to get it hot enough to shrink more.

I am open to helpful suggestions.

Yes, I do plan to use it, even if it stays the same.

Another reason I love crochet and color

I have seen pictures of the wonders of scuba diving in places like the Great Barrier Reef and other coral reef areas. They are beautiful. But in reality, there is no way I will be doing any scuba diving; anywhere! My son has had the opportunity to become certified in scuba diving, but that's probably as close as I will get to actually doing it.

One of the reasons that people give for not doing crochet is that they don't know how to make it form the object they desire. Well, I suppose the INSTITUTE FOR FIGURING is taking that to a new level. They have created a CROCHETED display of a coral reef that is FANTASTIC! If I lived close to where it was being displayed, I would go.

When you look at the individual items that are in the display, each one will fascinate you! But to know how to put them together in a way that really looks like a part of nature is just astounding. I found myself just looking at the pictures over and over; wanting to touch them and see how they were made. WOW!!

Most people don’t understand that it takes math to create a pattern in yarn; crocheting or knitting! You need to be able to understand how many stitches it take to create the pattern and then decide how many times to repeat that pattern and how many stitches you need to add in order to work the first row as you create the stitch. For instance, a pattern may say something like this; 3+2 (or) 12+3. You need to know what that means and how to use that information.

Now I can tell people that I do higher math when I spend so much time on my crochet.
· Yarn is just my paper for doing calculations.
· I need more hooks so I never run out of “pencil leads”.
· Buying crochet magazines is just finding new calculations to practice.
· Crochet books are just my sources for answering questions and learning new stitches to work my calculations.
· The time I spend sitting and crocheting is just expanding my brainpower in mathematics.

I suppose there is a valid argument here for putting mathematical crochet in school curriculum! They already have orchestra and band – which both use math; and drama – which only uses math for creating the sets. So why not have a math/crochet class? They could make things for charity. Even better it could be used for helping the angry students learn to relax. Since it has been proven to help relieve stress, why not use it for those kids who are the difficult ones?

What about putting crochet into business? It could be a team builder. It could help to lessen the stress-related problems for almost all types of businesses. If your employees are going to take time to goof off, let crochet be an acceptable way to kick back for 30 minutes.

I could continue to bore everyone that doesn’t crochet with all the ways it could be put into everyone’s life . . . but I won’t. Just know that I will be happy to help anyone learn to crochet and if you stick with it, you will find that you have less stress in your life!

That is worth working for!

O C D vs. O C O

Sunday night, May 25th, some of my siblings and their spouses got together for our quarterly update/meeting/laughter. Personally I think that the laughter part is the best. This time we had a brother visiting from another state, which, by itself insured a great deal of laughter.

As we were giving our individual family reports, OCD was mentioned. Then the acronym was defined – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. My visiting brother put the best definition on it that I have ever heard.

“Shouldn't it be OCO – Obsessive Compulsive Order – since it creates order rather than disorder?”

Personally, I have to agree with him. That way I have an “order” instead of a “disorder” and that always makes someone feel better.