KALs, Cottages, & Special Snowflakes

A few podcast episodes ago, I announced the Children's KAL/CAL that was initially scheduled to run through the end of August. When I started podcasting, I held off creating a Ravelry group because I knew once there was a group, there had to be a KAL... and I am terrible at KALs.  The first KAL was all about prayer shawls using the Elder Tree Shawl pattern.  Seriously, if I wasn't the knitter running that KAL, I would've quit within the first hour! However, I powered through the learning curve with that lace and finished with a beautiful gift for a good friend.

Of course, as soon as the first KAL finished, I was asked about another KAL.

Being a teacher, I have a lot of time in July and August to spend on crafts. I also recently became an aunt to this little darling (the darling girl is mine):

... and have a good teacher friend who recently had her third child, her first girl. So the children's KAL made sense when it was suggested primarily because I knew I was going to knit these little babies something anyway.  But then the test knits happened, and the farmer's markets started, and I got sidetracked with what is now my favorite shawl and a really handy market bag.

I didn't buy the yarn until the end of June. I didn't start the pattern until mid-July. I am a slow knitter who's caught the stitching bug and is obsessed with the Country Cottage Needleworks' August cottage pattern (a gift for my daughter - see above - born in August and moving in to a new apartment later this month).

Now the KAL is scheduled to end September 30th which gives me more time to finish my version of the Laura Pinofore from the book Literary Knits (reviewed in this podcast):

I'm using good ol' Cascade 220 and keeping the dress solid colors but will use stripes or a fair isle pattern on the pocket when I get there.  As I mentioned in my review, others who knit patterns in this book observed that the directions are often vague and misleading. While this is true for this pattern, and it took me a few hours to figure out how to transition from yoke to bodice, I still love how the toddler dress is turning out!

In book news, I'm currently reading For the Love by Jen Hatmaker while I wait for my copy of 7 to arrive. I found this book originally at B&N but got it from my library and am happy I didn't pay for it. It's very uneven at least so far. One chapter railed on "leggings as pants" and other perceived fashion faux pas that never circled back to Scripture. (As an aside, Southern women seem to have a serious problem with leggings as pants. Sisters, as a round, middle-aged woman, leggings, jeggings, and yoga pants are my BFFs.)

On the other hand, the chapter entitled "Surviving School" is a must read for every present day parent, student, and teacher. Her point that today we "intentionally parent" when back in the day our parents "just raised us up" is spot on! True, today's families face challenges our parents couldn't conceive of, but if just one Pinterest parent could admit that "Kaitlyn-Grace needs to do her homework and stop sassing", we'd go a long way towards raising kids that can successfully adult! (Also, STOP with the Kaitlyns and all the variations! If you want your little snowflake to be special, Kaitlyn is not the name to chose.)

Her point that families choose homeschooling because it is "less work" is an eye opener for this public school teacher.

I know school starts at various times during this month leading up to Labor Day - my new "kids" arrive on September 7th. I haven't finished this book, and I am so skipping the "Marriage: Have Fun and Stuff" chapter (been there, done that, never again), but if I could legally share the school chapter here and with every parent this school year, I would.  If you've read this book, did you feel the same way? Or am I looking at this as a parent of 2 adult special snowflakes... who still live at home?

Today, I'm linking up with Nicole and Keep Calm Craft On.  On Wednesdays, I participate in the Yarn Along on Ginny Sheller's blog.  Please join us either by contributing a link to your fibery work in progress and current read and / or by checking out the posts to the link parties.  You may find your next book or project waiting for you!


  1. congratulations "auntie" how exciting and that baby is precious!! I love cascade yarns as a go to yarn, it never disappoints me.

  2. The shawl is gorgeous!

    I read For the Love and some of it I really liked and some of it I didn't, But then, very rarely in life will you ever completely agree with someone and even books I love I don't always agree with or relate to every single thing. I like Jen Hatmaker's sense of humor on some things. I really enjoyed her book Seven.

    I don't remember what she said about homeschooling or if she was saying it in her sarcastic humor way. We homeschool and I don't know that I think it is less work. I personally think school and schedules are work and require time no matter what. :)

    1. The homeschooling comment was more of an aside, repeating a comment from "friends who homeschool". I agree with you, school is school, it all takes time work and commitment!

      I am looking forward to "7" - that's her book that I really wanted to read. This one was at the library so I thought I'd read it while I waited from the other from the library.

      Also, thanks for the shawl love! It's a great pattern, just takes awhile to commit to memory.

  3. I was just going to say that no way is homeschooling less work than sending your kid to school. I hope the author was kidding about that. If she isn't she should come spend some time with me. :0)

    1. I went back to the original passage to ensure I wasn't being misleading. The author states in a matter of fact, non-humorous way, "I absolutely understand why moms claim 'less work' as a reason to homeschool."

      I thought that was crazy pants. Homeschooling was just coming in to fashion when my kids were little, so I considered it for a hot minute. I love my kids, but 24/7? and math? also joint custody put the kibosh on that thought, but still, I expect way MORE work than sending your kid to public or private school.