Monday, July 30, 2012

Knitting on Top of the World!

Knitting at Geocache site called "Blacktail Rocks" at 4000 feet above sea level!
Thursday we hiked up to Mile Hi - I took the panoramic that I'm now using as a banner across the top of the page.  Our goal was to Blacktail Summit (4400 feet), but my legs would not make it as I am new to this hiking up mountains thing.  We brought my springer/brittany spaniel cross, Abby, with and she had a blast.   Next time, we will make it to Blacktail Summit!

It was a killer hike and I really had to push it, but the views were AMAZING!

Abby and I on the way up.  The mountain behind and to the right is the one we climbed Thursday.

The trail to base of Blacktail
At the base of the final run towards Blacktail Summit
My hiking partner and dog are much faster at climbing than I am.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Sitting on Top of the World

"Mile Hi Summit" Eagle River, Alaska
Felt like I was sitting on top of the world while having our lunch here!

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but some pictures just don't do the actual sights justice!  This summit allowed almost a 360 degree view of the valleys and mountains surrounding us.

Resting on the summit.  That little bump was the only thing blocking a full 360 view!
Yesterday we went in search of 5 Geocaches, with our final find being on the summit, or peak, called Mile Hi.  At around 3,000 feet above sea level, it is only a couple thousand feet short of a mile, but it sure does feel like you are up one mile!

While sitting at the site of the "Mile Hi" cache relaxing and eating our lunch, I couldn't help wishing I had my knitting. SO, it will go in the pack today. I cast on a pair of socks and they will be perfect project to take with me Geocaching.

Signing the log and checking out the
SWAG (Stuff We All Get--or the junk we find in the caches)
at the "Eagle River Saddle" Cache we found on the way up to the summit.
I am stiff from yesterday's hike, but we are going to hit it again today.  We don't have many sunny days, so we are taking advantage of the good weather!

Baldy to Blacktail

 Above is our destination today.  We will start with Baldy (first peak, left), cross the ridge to the last peak on the right (Blacktail).  We will then fallow another ridge back and around.  If we are able to reach all 10 caches, we will put in over 7 miles!

Thursday, July 26, 2012


These two items bring my total for the year to 8, so I'm ahead a month!!!!  Both are listed on my FO 12 in 2012 page

Basic Cowl - knit from unknown (gifted) yarn
Knit for:  TBD

Jenny Socks - knit from sock yarn purchased from JoAnn Fabrics
Knit for:  Cousin Tracie
These darn socks took me over a year!  Were cuff down, was trying on as I knit them, but when I tried them on after turning the heel, I couldn't get the over my heels!  YIKES!
Frogged and started knitting toe up, life got it in the way (not sure how much knitting will be done once school starts as there are only so many hours in a day......) and I just didn't get to knit like I'd like to.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Introducing Geocaching to Friends!

Aileyn and two young boys we met (picture taken by their mother)
on the way up Baldy in Eagle River, Alaska
My most recent endeavor is Geocaching.  For those not familiar with Geocaching, let me see if I can explain it.  People hide 'caches' everywhere, use their GPS's to determine the coordinates, then enter that information at  Caches can be tiny (the size of the tip of your pinkie) or as large as an ammo can.  The best way to describe the larger ones is a junk drawer and can have nothing but junk or very cool treasures!

My fiance and I have been exploring geocaching and when my friend, Rosemary, called and wanted to go on a hike, I said sure, loaded up my GPS with from caches in the area we agreed to hike in and when she picked me up, I asked her if we could also do some Geocaching.

As we headed up the mountain, I explained to my Rosemary's Granddaughter, Aileyn, how to work my GPS and off she went.  We met a woman (Alison) who was taking a hike with her two young boys.  While Aileyn stopped to wait for us to catch up, Aileyn shared with Alison what we were doing.  Aileyn didn't know this is supposed to be done in stealth, and that you have to be aware of "muggles" (those NOT geocaching)!

I am not in shape, so I had to rest, A LOT!  It was a very steep climb, and as we ascended all three of the adults were worried about the trip down! 
The youngest of our crew on top of Baldy, before going off to find our first cache of the day.
We had a blast and Rosemary and Alison got hooked too!  I need a better camera to haul with me in my back-pack, though my phone did a nice job of taking pictures!
Our first cache of the day. All the kids had a blast!
Enjoying lunch with our first cache of the day and new friends
After putting the cache back, we went back to searching for the other caches!  It was a blast.  My friend and I will be going out again tomorrow.  One of the Cache's are called "Mile Hi" because the peak of the mountain is a mile high....yikes!!!
The only negative, I don't think I can Geocache and knit.  The climb up Badly required ALL my attention!  I did know of a different trail down the moutain on the back side, so we took that, but even that trail was not one I could knit and walk on!

Other notes -- I think I passed the test (will know in 3 1/2 weeks).  I have managed to complete some knitting projects so will have to add them to my FO for 2012).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I Think I am Ready

Knit or Read?

For the past couple of weeks, I've been preparing for the Praxis "Elementary Education Content Knowledge" test.  All in the name of "No Child Left Behind" to prove that I am "Highly Qualified" to teach at an elementary school here in Alaska.

In Minnesota, I was "Highly Qualified" to teach in an elementary education school/setting just because I had the degree and had passed the PPST (Pre-Profesional Skills Test) to get my Elementary Teaching License.

Forget that I have been teaching for 18 years, that also would allow me to be "Highly Qualified" in Minnesota if I didn't have the license in a specific area.

Never mind that I have had many children gain more than one year's skills for one year in my classroom.

We won't mention the number of students I have worked with that have gone from not being able to read in the fall, leaving in the spring reading at grade 3 or higher.  For some reason, I seem to have had several 3rd graders enter our school/my classroom not being able to read, but everything clicks when they were in treatment and have left at the end of the school year reading at a beginning third grade level. I have my hypothesis for this phenomena, but won't bore you with my hypothesis!

No, give me a test on CONTENT!

Anyway I think I am ready.  I have taken every sample test I can get my hands on for this particular test and have earned a "passing" score on all of them.  I think it is time to put the reading material away, and relax.  It is 70 degrees out (WARM for Alaska), and I am going to go out and enjoy the sun!

I am smarter than a 6th grader, darn it!  I will prove it Saturday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Another project? REALLY!!?!?!?!?

I have set a goal to attempt to knit 12 projects in 2012 -- pretty easy-peasy to contemplate during the summer when I can (if I so choose) sit in my pj's all day long every day and knit, if I so choose! 

But once school starts, all bets are off!  One hour round trip commute.  New teaching job, so I could easily be at school 9 hours a day, bring work home, and visit the classroom on weekends.

Newly engaged so I have a wedding to plan (though we have talked about running away and just doing it without all the mess of planning a wedding). 

So, why did I add Birch Leaf Shawl to my list of projects I am knitting?


On the sticks I have: Jenny Socks that I have been working on for over a year;  Then the Every Way Wrap that is the most difficult cabling I have every done (another project that sat in my bag waiting for about a year);  The quick knit of the Basic Cowl that I started so I could get ahead of the game and get back to the Every Way Wrap;  Oh, and let's not forget finishing Off the Craftroom Floor shoulder bag I need to sew a liner for and finish up in a non-knitting way.  There is also the Short-Sleeved mock Turtleneck I have to decide to frog or track down yarn (after frogging the defunct yarn)

So, please tell me why I started yet ANOTHER project?!  I do not need 6 projects on the sticks!

Maybe it's because I SHOULD be studying for a test I have to take (and pass) so that I can teach next year.


Maybe I should put my knitting away, and study.


Reminds me of college when I'd decide to bake cookies (rolled, cut and frosted sugar cookies) when I was behind on my course work or had a huge test to study for.

Maybe I should bake cookies....

Or, just study.....

Or knit.....

Friday, July 6, 2012

In the Basket (aka: on the sticks or WIP)

It has been about a month since I last looked at all in my basket (WIP) -- as I look at the picture I realize the Jenny Socks managed to skip out of the picture....hmmmmmmm

The purse knit from home spun.  Knitting is done, just need to sew up a liner, sew on the way-cool button as well as the strap; I'll post an updated picture on my FO page.

Purple Basic Cowl - very easy knit, started last night at Jitter Knitter's weekly meeting.
It is the 7th project of 2012 -- as soon as I'm done with it, I will be able to spend the rest of July focusing on........

The Every Way Wrap, and then maybe....

The yellow thing in the basket I haven't mentioned?  Well, it is Short-sleeved Mock Turtleneck that I had in storage in Minnesota and I brought it home to Alaska with me.  The last ball of yarn I used is defected and I have to either track down a replacement ball or two, or frog it and make something else.  I am leaning towards checking into making premi-hats (but I'm told the hospital is picky about the yarn used).  It will sit in my basket while I decide its fate!  :-(