homeschool at the cafe

If a homeschooler takes her kids to a cafe and doesn’t post it on social media, is homeschooling still cooler than school?



We had a ‘State of the Homeschool’ meeting today at Wildflower Cafe, out on their tiny and fabulous patio.  Tias ate breakfast and told amazing anecdotes.  That is a boy you want to tell you a story.  All the feels.  All the hand gestures.  We also had a very serious discussion about where the learning was at and where we saw it going.  Then we walked home telling more anecdotes. 

Happily finished

Soleus socks, with contrasting yarn added at the heels and cuffs to make them a wee bit more dashing. Had to knit the colour work section inside out and extremely loosely to make sure they would fit over my ankles, but I did it. And they’re dapper. Dapper, I say. 

Go into the light…

Kroy Stripes socks, knit in a wonderful waffle rib from “Sensational Knit Socks”, rest in peace. You have done your job.

These were socks that were fantastic in so many ways:

Kroy sock yarn, which knits great, warm socks. The first time I knit in this colour, which was instantly Rainer’s favourite. Waffle rib, which produces one of his best fitting socks.  They were a birthday present.

They lasted 4+ years. Rainer wears hand-knit socks year round. Kroy really does make incredibly lasting socks.

Rest in peace. He’s got two other pairs in this colour, so you can just move into the light.

Big Day

Introducing our graduate!

Surprise!  It was for her.  We staged a surprise graduation party for her during our family reunion this weekend.  I’d borrowed a cap and gown from a local high school.  It was fantastic.  Just ceremonial enough to make the occasion grand, spiced with the adrenaline of surprise.  She loved it.  We loved her.

One of the perks of homeschool grad is that you get to keep the cap and gown around for a bit and can do things like eat leftover homemade Black Forrest cake for breakfast while wearing them.  It’s an occasion, after all.  (One of the other perks is the total lack of dress drama that her friends are going through.)


It is amazing to think that she’s done.  Graduated.  An adult.  

I’ve struggled all week to post about this.  I think because I feel a pressure to make a Big Moment of this blog.  Yet, as with so much of homeschooling, graduation is not so much a Big Moment as a fantastic process of evolution and growth.  She’s done because she wanted to work 4 full months at the research station like university students do rather than the 2 months she did last year.  She’s done, not because a test told her, or a ceremony, or a diploma, but because she’s moving on to other things.  It happened before we could mark it with an occasion.

It’s a big deal, but not a Big Deal.  She’s incredible.  She’s done this part.  It’s all been an adventure and it will all be an adventure.  It’s life.  Her life.  She’s got roses and a diploma we invented, and she’s got plans.

introducing the Crossed Furrows Cowl


Crossed Furrows Cowl is now out! I’ll try to keep the use of exclamation marks to a reasonable number. Since I am so excited, though, I’ve used ‘happy’ as a coupon code for 50% off. (Lasts until May 22.)


Knit in aran weight yarn, it’s easier than it looks.  You’ll need three colours, but you only use one per row.  There’s a link to a one-row buttonhole tutorial that I filmed, as well, so this pattern is very beginner-friendly.  In fact, the skills used in this pattern are:

•knit and purl
•casting on
•binding off
•slipping sts purlwise

wheat field

Here’s the picture of a field of emerging plants that my father took and which inspired the colours I wanted to use in this cowl.  My furrows may not cross – the slipped stitches behave in an orderly fashion – but I just had to use the reference in the name.

Big Happy Thanks to:

Jeni Hewlett of Fyberspates Yarns for providing the yarn used.  Scrumptious lives up to its name and has an incredible balance between the soft wool and the silk.  I have very sensitive skin, and this yarn feels fantastic even on my neck.

Thanks also go to A Playful Day Podcast host Kate, who was the creative force behind the DesignAlong contest.

Another Kate, Kate Atherley of among other things, was the tech editor.  I like to think that my editing skills are pretty sharp, but that’s for English, not for knittish.  It’s amazing what she could do to catch errors and smooth phrasing to make the pattern more knit-able.

And the test knitters: Rora114, Triners, bijouxmaster, MissScarlet, vestasahla, Fa1ryElephant, Mathildeknits.  They found errors, asked good questions, and knit cowls in amazing colour combinations.

So close!

Just a few more details to work out and this goes live!  I’m 99.9% sure the pattern is in its final form, now just learning how to work Ravelry from the other side of the knitter/designer relationship.