Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Two Things I Like to Avoid: Homeschool Planning & Knitting Stuffed Animals

That title cracks me up. Maybe because I am a little loopy from pouring over The Well Trained Mind, curriculum reviews online and all of the assorted curriculum on our shelves. But these are truly two things that I try to avoid.



The first, the homeschool planning, I am just determined to get done in a way this year that is both ambitious yet possible; organized yet flexible and appealing enough that I will follow through. The last couple of years have grown increasingly more "unschooling." While there are certain subjects that we absolutely use curriculum for, like math & foreign languages, others are more "at the kids' interest" or seasonal or based on the latest exhibit at the museum.

And you know what I've found, we get to a lot but there's a lot that just doesn't come up and I'm not sure it will. So, I am determined to be better balanced in all subjects and be more organized about how we do it.We'll see....

The other, knitting stuffed animals, isn't nearly as bad. I'm just not a fan of tiny work on double points. However, it was brought to my attention by the girls as I was putting them to bed that I had only knit stuffed animals for 2 of the 3 of them. Epic fail of the busy mom. The "stuffed animal-less" daughter's birthday was coming up, so I found the sweetest bear I could and cast on.






 I think he is just adorable! I love the way his accidentally crooked and pointing up head gives him personality. He's only been with us for a few weeks and has already survived one accidental trip through the wash. I stuffed him with wool roving which makes him irresistibly huggable. My daughter was happy.


Here's a link to my Ravelry project with all the specifics.


But then, her little sister got sick and we were stuck in the house for 4 days watching a marathon of Jeff Corwin while knitting on the couch with our little sickie. My 11 year old, the recipient of the bear who loves small work on double points, created the pattern for this little fish, Kamilla the Koi.

This is the first pattern she's ever written and I couldn't believe it when she just worked the whole thing out on her own. But she's tenacious like that and I love seeing her self-esteem through the roof when we published it to Ravelry. Cutie!



I was really impressed with both the resulting fish and the way she wrote up the pattern. A sweet friend, who happens to be the store manager at our LYS in Silverton, OR even test knit it for her so you can be sure that the pattern works and is well written out. Thanks, Kelly!

The pattern can be knit in any weight although in worsted it would be the perfect little size and shape for a chubby baby hand to squeeze. The kids also thought of stuffing it with catnip as a cat toy. Kelly cleverly thought of stitching an i-cord around the mouth to turn it into a coin purse. I think you could also put it on an icord and turn it into a pocket necklace or belt for little treasures.



The pattern is available on Ravelry as Kamilla the Koi. If you are on Ravelry and would do me the favor of putting it in your favorites, my girl will be over the moon. Here's a link: Kamilla the Koi.




Thanks for visiting! Be gentle with yourselves, mamas as we all try to get ready for a good year of homeschooling.

I'm joining Ginny for her weekly yarnalong and Katherine for Keep Calm Crafting On. Click on the logo to see all the wonderful projects posted at Ginny's or this link to get to Katherine's.



16 comments:

  1. Your daughter is so talented, the fish are great! The bear is so sweet too!

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    1. Thank you, Holly! She is so self-motivated! Not sure where she got that from. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. great little fish!!!! off to fav it on rav!!!!!!!!

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    1. Isn't it sweet? Oh, I would appreciate it if you did put it in your favorites. She checks the pattern everyday to check the count. :)

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  3. We seem to fall in the same school (ha) of homeschooling. Definite curriculum for some subject, but increasingly unschoolers for others. It seems to be working for us thus far, although I feel like we do need to pick up something more for spelling.
    And....The well trained mind made my brain hurt.

    I LOVE that Koi fish. I have some a friend who's wife just had a baby, and they're fish obsessed (Daddy is a marine biologist..) this would be perfect for their new baby girl.
    What a talented daughter you have, well done!

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    1. A baby koi sounds perfect for that family! I am not the best on dpn's and I finished in an afternoon. We do sound similar! Spelling was one of those things I thought they'd pick up by osmosis and didn't. WTM makes my head hurt too especially because I bought the kindle version! Mistake! Thanks for stopping by! Becky

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  4. The bear is adorable and I just love the colors on the fish! I am not one for knitting stuffed animals myself so I understand. Your projects do inspire me to try again!

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  5. Donna - It wasn't as bad as I remembered. I especially love the fish because it doesn't have too much shaping and the fins are quick. Thanks for stopping by! Becky

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  6. What a great little fish! If it helps at all, I think almost daily about homeschool planning. That doesn't mean I've done anything about it... haha!

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  7. Replies
    1. I'll pass along your compliment. Thanks! She's loving this post today!

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  8. I love that the bear's head is pointing upward! The fish are cute too! :)

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    1. Me too. It was a very happy accident :)

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  9. Such a cute bear with his little rotund tummy, and that sweet face, really worth the effort. Now it's all done you won't even think about making any more stuffed toys.
    debx

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  10. What a talented daughter you have. That koi is so adorable. So is the bear.

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