The Dog Days of Summer

Handsome Ace

I’m just coming off of a little unintentional knitting hiatus. To begin with, my Lomond went head-to-head with the cat, and unsurprisingly, ended up on the losing end of the battle. Fortunately, I wasn’t very far along in the pattern, but what I had knitted was a total loss. I salvaged what I could of the yarn and put it away. My mojo was gone.

I did finish my boot toppers, and started on some yoga socks from stash yarn but wasn’t feeling terribly inspired. Then, between kid stuff (a broken hand, dentist appointments, wisdom teeth removal), work stuff (meetings and training sessions), and a short trip to Broken Bow, OK for vacation, I seemed to have very little free time.

Boot Toppers in Cascade 220 Worsted Weight

After we returned from our trip I decided I’d better make the most of my last couple weeks of summer vacation. I learned that Cascade now makes their lovely 220 wool yarn in a fingering weight. Cascade 220 is one of my very favorite yarns. It is durable, has lovely stitch definition, and is surprisingly soft. However, worsted weight wool (even sport weight, really) is too heavy most of the time for sweaters in Texas. Fingering weight wool on the other hand — that has the potential to be something I’d actually wear. I purchased 6 skeins in charcoal gray. I looked for a pattern and settled upon Like a Cloud, which is a lovely, open-front cardigan. It is totally my type of pattern — simple, but clever construction, with a stitch pattern that is easy to memorize, but that keeps the knitting interesting. I don’t know if I’ll be able to finish before I start back to school in two weeks, but this may be simple enough that I’m able and willing to keep working on it once I start back to work full-time.

There is so much uncertainty surrounding the return to school in the fall. Teachers in my district return to work August 4, but they’ve pushed the start date back for students to August 26th. This is meant to give teachers some extra time to prepare for what teaching will look like this year. As of right now, the school where I teach is planning to offer both in-person and virtual learning for students. If students choose virtual learning, they have to commit to a 9 week term. We don’t know yet how many students will be choosing virtual, or how many teachers will be needed to teach those students, but I’ve applied for a virtual teaching position within my district. To be honest, I think everyone will be teaching virtually at some point, maybe multiple times over the course of the year, and I’d rather just embrace that from the start and work to make virtual learning as engaging and effective as possible. Plus, I have some misgivings about the safety of in-person learning. I know the district will do what it can to keep teachers and students safe, but the reality is that unless a large number of families choose virtual learning, class sizes will remain about the same, and I just don’t see how packing 20 kids into a classroom is a good idea.

Of course, a lot could change between now and August 26th!

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