A Busy Weekend

3 May

State Science Fair was a bust. It was very unorganized. Once again, they rely on parental volunteers to do the judging. That means that the judging is mediocre at best. Gianna’s judges must not have paid attention to the instructions. I’ve been a judge before at the local and regional level. There’s training (albeit short) that you go through and there’s a rubric that you need to follow. Gianna’s judges didn’t take her paper to read through the documentation and research – even after it was offered numerous times. They said they didn’t need it. They listened to the presentation and asked only one follow up question. They gave almost no feedback. The only potentially negative comment would not have been a negative comment at all if they would have read the paper. There wasn’t a published agenda for the day, so after 4.5 hours we left. I have no idea if there were awards and where and when they were held. No one that we came with nor any of the other parents I talked to knew what was going on either. I assume she will get some feedback mailed back to her school. We drove 5 hours each way to attend the fair. I continue to be surprised at the low amount of effort we as a community, state, and nation put into academics. Do you think we’d have a state basketball tournament and ask for volunteer referees? That these volunteer refs would get less than an hour of training? That the refs could individually decide to not have the players actually play, but that they could just talk to the players for less than 5 minutes and decide the winner?  I have no idea if she won anything, what place she got, etc. and it doesn’t matter. The prize would be meaningless since there is nothing there to back it up. It was frustrating for me as a parent. Imagine how she felt after putting in literally 100s of hours into this project and the judges could not be bothered to spend 15 minutes reading and discussing the paper in order to fairly judge her project! I (politely) complained and the people in charge agreed to re-judge the project.  She waited on the floor for another 2 hours and no one showed up to re-judge it. 

Pardon for the rant, but it is very frustrating as a parent and an educator. I don’t know where the blame lies. After four kids, this is our last science fair. I have mixed emotions. The kids have learned a lot because we as a family really get into science fair and the projects picked. I will try to concentrate on the increased learning that the kids gained and not about awards and contests. 

Llama Blend

27 Apr

  

I finished spinning the llama blend fiber I purchased a couple weeks ago. I have plyed only 2 of the 4 ounces. The picture above is before washing/soaking. I hope I have enough for gloves. That skein is only 68 yards. That’s not much yarn for 2 oz. Maybe it will be a hat or headband instead!

Another Spinning Project

24 Apr

I picked up this “peculiar” fiber at a recent trip to a fiber shop.

 
I say its peculiar because it is 80% llama, 10% merino and 10% silk. It’s the llama that’s unusual. Huacaya alpaca and Suri alpaca are common fibers, but I always heard llama was not fiber that people spun with. So I thought, “What the heck? I need to try this!” 

It’s spinning up easily enough.

  

It’s really hairy like mohair. I don’t know how I’d like it around my neck in a scarf, so I think I will two-ply it and make gloves and a headband out of it eventually.  

Some Spinning

23 Apr

I’ve been doing a little bit of spinning. 

   
 

This is from Romney roving I purchased from an Etsy shop. I dyed it with food coloring and Kool-aid. The yarn is very bright green! It kind of goes from bright to light green, but it’s subtle. I divided the dyed fiber in half lengthwise and thought I got it pretty even but one skein has more than the other. I think I want to make some spring/summer lightweight slippers from this. 

Rambouillet Targhee Fleece

20 Apr

I purchased a lamb’s fleece from a farmer in Montana a month ago. It was a Rambouillet Targhee cross and was priced at a great $25 for the entire fleece. I can’t remember the weight but I thought it was a great deal. However…. There’s always a however…. I paid $18 shipping – bringing the cost up to $43. And, because it’s the fleece of a lamb, it’s full of vegetation – heavier than most full grown fleece. I washed about 4 oz last night, but need to rewash some of it because it did not get all the way clean. I got up early this morning and picked and carded what was dry and ready and it came out beautiful! Here are raw and combed pictures.

 

Rambouillet is supposed to be the French version of merino. This fleece is softer than anything I’ve worked with yet. I’m just going to have to be patient and realize that I’m going to have to take my time and it will be worth it in the long run. 

What A Busy Week!

19 Apr

We put a lot of miles on our car this week!  I went to a conference and a meeting, we had two away softball games, and two trips to the suburbs to bring our son home. Every day and every night we had something going on. The spring is usually packed full of stuff and this spring is shaping up to be as hectic as ever.

I only knitted a partial gusset on one sock.

  

I think I’m finished with my Suri Alpaca spinning and am ready to ply the last skein. I let that sit a day and spun and plyed some dyed Romney that I had.

 

I got 2 of the 4 ounces spun and n-plyed. I forgot how nice and relaxing it is to spin commercially prepared  roving. It would take 3-4 days to prep, card, and spin 2 oz of the Suri fiber.  

Today, my 14yo daughter and I are going shopping for a graduation dress. My patience will be tested…. 😀😁😝

A Busy Week

15 Apr

I have something going on every day and night this week! Monday I worked all day then had to return for an open house 5-7pm. Only 4 potential students stopped by during that time but I think all 4 will enroll in the networking program in the fall. Last night Gianna’s travel softball team had a double header in a town 40 minutes away. She played very well (pitched a great game and had a stand up double that was a screamer to deep center field) – but they still lost both games. It was their first outing of the season and they played against a very good team. Oh well….

Tonight I have to go set up for a conference that I’m attending tomorrow. And on Friday, I’m at a meeting an hour away! Sheesh! No rest for the weary!

I’ve been plugging away at my Fibonnacci socks…. Slowly….

  

Both socks have the legs and heels finished. I’ve adjusted my tension to be looser for the stranded knitting and it is working out. I’d estimate I’m only a third done. I have the gusset to do which seems to take forever, and the foot. I have only been knitting for 1/2 hour in the morning due to the busy schedule. These socks will not be done any time soon!

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