Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hallow's Eve (aka MagKnits Eve)

Yes, I am once again counting down until my socks are published, but this time I have the correct month. It's *really* tomorrow.

That means that today is the last day of Socktoberfest. My final pair of socks is for my secret pal and is not actually finished, yet. So, here is a WIP shot. The pattern is from a Sock Knitter's Challenge e-book I got from a yahoo group. It is a modified version of Hatsuyo's Lace Socks. I've been a busy little bee with my secret pal. I've never done a swap before, so I'm worried that she won't like the stuff I put together for her. I sent her some green sock yarn (hopefully in a shade she likes). The etsy vendor was so nice (http://spindlecatstudio.etsy.com/). I was worried that she would actually send it to me (from the US) so I'd then have to send it right back to the US. So she emailed a couple of times to make sure there was no mistake and even offered (after I had paid) to write a card to my pal. Now I just hope my pal likes the yarn as much as I now like the vendor. Have I mentioned that MY pal is Estonian and a published designer? How cool is that?

How lovely is this packaging?

Look what the mailman brought me yesterday. A whole pile of yarn, including 5 skeins of Noro, 7 skeins of Shimmer in the most beautiful shades of turquoise, 5 skeins of lace weight yarn in turquoise, purple, and pale, pale gray, and 1 skein of Dr. Fish. As I've written before, overall I've been completely disappointed with the self-striping experience. I think I just wanted them because I like variegated yarns and I can't get self-striping yarns locally (the grass is always greener...). That said, I have wanted a skein of Dr. Fish for like a year, but the shipping is always almost the same amount as the yarn and this is the first time I've found enough yarn including the Dr. Fish to justify the shipping. Not in the photo, are 5 sock magazines. Now my head is full of new project ideas.

The knitting has to wait a bit, though. I'm pretty wrapped up in work at the moment, or work-related things. This past weekend was the annual international conference here in Seoul (a two-day conference full of English-teaching goodness). I left Friday evening exhausted, but really feeling like I've been doing the right thing in class. As I have written before, my school began a new program at my suggestion this semester using extensive reading (chapter books/ novels) instead of traditional reading textbooks. At the conference there were at least a dozen presentations on the benefits of extensive reading, last year there may have been one-- probably by a publisher trying to push their line of level-graded readers. I'm so cutting edge (HA!). Now I just need to convince my school that the students that are not native level speakers would benefit more from graded readers than the chapter books they are reading now. I know a guy who works for a publisher-- pushing their graded readers ;-) -- and he offered to come and give a presentation to the mothers to explain why lower level books will improve their reading faster. We don't even live in the same place.

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