Caring Cowl Progress & Boy Grows in Brooklyn


A new semester started this past week at the high school where I teach. While I love the semester system, that first week is exhausting! I teach 3 different courses, Python, Java, and Web Design. This is the first time I've taught different programming languages at the same time.

(Fun Fact: The programming language Python got it's name from Monty Python's Flying Circus. The creator was binge watching while he came up with the language.)

It's weeks like this one just past that I really need knitting! I started my Caring Cowl for the Caring KAL currently running in the Ravelry group. All proceeds from the sale of this pattern go to the American Red Cross. I saw on the news recently that the American Red Cross is very active right now assisting victims of the recent tornadoes in Alabama, so every little donation helps! 

I'm using Bernat Dimensions yarn not so much for the thick/thin texture but for the colors. Perfect for February! I did alter the pattern somewhat by using a smaller needle - this yarn is knits up too loose with a larger needle - and making accommodation for the small needle size by casting on more stitches. I also started with a purl section because I didn't care for how the yarn curled with my first attempt. This yarn makes a nice scalloped edge most likely because it is machine made and the thick and thin sections are uniform. 

I have another ball of this yarn and will probably use most of it. As much as I love real handspun, this yarn is much more affordable! Also, I think I'll knit this pattern in a standard bulky weight yarn too; it's a quick knit. Please consider joining the KAL in the KnitReadPray Ravelry group!


In the last blog post, I mentioned I had a hard time finding a followup to 2 really good books I read last month. After rejecting ever book in my library TBR pile, I started rummaging through the multiple TBR piles around my house. (Tell me I am not alone in that!) In stack #2, I found a copy of a book recommended to me by a student a few years ago for consideration for summer reading. I never got around to reading it because we selected other books, and it didn't appeal to me at the time.

Now? I love it. And by love it I mean I LOVE IT! The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Letham is the The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay with magic realism, but it's SO MUCH MORE. The story of Dylan Ebdus begins in 1970s Brooklyn, a white boy in a black neighborhood. Early on, his mother abandons the family, and he meets his neighbor, Mingus Rude, another motherless boy. The bulk of the book recounts Dylan's school years, his friendship with Mingus,  and their adventures as Aeroman after Dylan is gifted a magic ring by a homeless man.

The writing is lyrical, poetic even, and the observations spot on. For example, Dylan observes that second grade is first grade just with math. I know! As Dylan moves from elementary school, to middle school, to testing in to Stuyvesant High School, the author's observations regarding the world of children, Tweens, and teens is painfully accurate. This is a coming of age story that places Holden Caulfield smack in the middle of Abe Beam's New York by way of Gowanus.

I just finished the "Underberg" section (the longest) and will write a complete review next week!

UPDATE: The second part of this book review can be found here.

On Tuesdays, I Nicole at the Keep Calm Craft On link party.  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. Oh I like the sound of that book, I'll have to watch out for it at my library. And I love the pink colour, it's very February appropriate :)

  2. mmm, the book sounds interesting! I did not know that about python, interesting!! I hope your semester has a little bit of a lull soon for you.