Monday, December 11, 2017

Mini Santa Hat Headband

As of "press time" I had not completed the project with the wire covered in knitting (crochet?). I got sidetracked...

It's a mini Santa hat on a headband!

I saw a kiddo wearing one a year (two years?) ago, and it's been sitting on my "knitting to-do list" since then. I noticed it the other day, and I realized I had all the pieces I needed. I repurposed the white headband I'd already made (the kitty ears came off easily), and I found a mini Santa hat pattern on Pinterest.

Et voila!

In case any knitters want to take a stab at this, I'm including all the links you'll need:

The headband pattern I posted this past February.

The mini Santa hat pattern is here. I used Caron's Simply Soft yarn (I had this on hand already) on size 6 double pointed needles. (I ended up with a gauge of 6 sts per inch.) My hat ended up bigger than the pattern intended, but it was about the size I wanted.

I can't find the link for the "poof" on the tip of the top. I used Lion Brand Fun Fur and made a knitted bead. (If I can track down the pattern I used, I'll edit this post and include the link.) However, the hat pattern has a "pom pom" part, or you can improvise something different.


Once the headband and hat were complete, I put a little fiberfill into the hat (just enough to fill the bottom half lightly), and I grafted the hat to the headband using white yarn. (It was the same yarn I used for both the brim of the hat and the cover of the headband.)

Then I folded the hat so it had that jaunty angle, and I tacked the top to the middle.

This thing is too much fun. If you make one, would you please tag me if you post it to Instagram, Twitter, or Ravelry? I'm @ZiziRho. I would love to see other people's interpretations of these.

Friday, December 8, 2017

The Easy Way

"Look at this. We have to write all this down. It's too much work. I'm going to drop out."

10th grade world history. The assignment the boy was referring to was something about PowerPoint notes. It was two full pages long (or front and back of one page). In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't huge.

However, it was more than the boy wanted to do.

His friend, sitting next to him, concurred.

"You know [I forget who he named] dropped out, and look at him now."

I responded much as you'd expect. The gist was "stay in school". When I pointed out that most dropouts don't end up famous (or even comfortable), the boys responded with, "You don't think I can make it?"

Deep sigh.


They explained their plans. They want to be YouTube famous. (I did point out that they could be in school and make YouTube videos on the side. I did point out that becoming YouTube famous wasn't a sure thing and/or all that easy. You can imagine how they responded to that.)

Ah well. It's better than planning on becoming a drug dealer.

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Gross Anatomy

Anatomy and Physiology. They were working on a review for their Integumentary System unit. (Yeah, I have no idea what that means, either.)

They had laptops "for reference" as well as their textbooks. And as I do, I walked the room and specifically looked at computer screens to make sure they were not watching a soccer match, a fight, or playing that pool game that they all seem to be on about these days.

I didn't see much of that. However, what I did see was kind of disturbing. And gross. And completely on task.

Part of their assignment was to look up various skin ailments. And illustrate them.

Some were drawing. Others had printed pictures and were cutting and gluing them down to their papers. And the images...

I'm squeamish. I found it best if I didn't look too closely.

At least they were on task. And it was pretty easy to spot those that weren't. I could actually look at what they were doing.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rushing Through

Middle school art class. They were assigned an activity based on the flower paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe. Well, sort of.

The students were to observe photos of the paintings. Then they were to observe real flowers. And then they were to sketch a flower, hopefully influenced by O'Keeffe.

It's a great concept, but these were middle schoolers. Middle schoolers don't observe.

I'd barely finished explaining the assignment, and several were already "finished". Had they even looked at any of the flowers--real or painted? Nope. Several didn't have cell phones.

As happens sometimes, the students were encouraged to use their cell phones to find the images online. But many did not have cell phones. Half the class "needed" to go to the library.

I may allow a student or two to go to the library on occasion. But more than that, and I'm kind of pawning off my class on the librarian. I won't do it. So, once it became clear that they wouldn't be able to find the images on their own (and didn't have someone who would share with them--I find that claim dubious), I found a way to find images and project them for the whole class to see.

They were "finished" before I got the first image on the screen.

Mostly, ignoring the instructions, they traced the flower on the handout outlining the activity. And then played for the rest of the period. Typical.

Oh, and protip: Searching Google Images for Georgia O'Keeffe flowers yields some not safe for middle school results. I eventually found a video that did a decent job of giving an overview without my having to worry about the kiddos reading captions.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Same Idea

At the heart of much speculative fiction (and fiction in general) is a question. What if? On Tuesdays I like to throw one out there and see what you make of it. Do with it as you please. If a for-instance is not specified, feel free to interpret that instance as you wish. And if you find this becomes a novel-length answer, I'd appreciate a thank you in the acknowledgements 😉

What if you discovered a newly released book by a famous author was significantly similar to the novel you just finished writing? 

No, the famous author didn't steal your idea, nor vice versa. There's no plagiarism involved.

Not that this has happened to me... At least, not just...

Monday, December 4, 2017

Updating Pictures, Part 8

Last week... I had hoped to have different pictures to post today, but alas, all I was able to do was to finally relist my felted purses...

Small One of a Kind Handknit and Felted Shoulder Handbag
Handknit and Felted Small Shoulder Handbag in Black, Orange, & Purple

The pictures turned out better than I expected. I was kind of thinking I'd have to redo them again, but these are good enough for now.

In other news, I have listed several fidget spinner cozies...

Light Blue Knit Fidget Cover

But they're getting no views. Have I missed the fad? Likely. What would you call these things? (I'd like to try some new keywords, but I'm out of ideas. Any help you can give would be appreciated.)

And finally, a preview for next week, if I'm finally able to finish what I'm working on...

The picture isn't the best. (I think about posting to Instagram at the oddest times, and I make do with what I have on hand to get as plain a background as I can for what I'm working on at the time.) So, a description: I am working an I-cord over a length of wire.

Any ideas what I'm thinking for this? Bets if I'll actually pull it off?

If it works out, I'll have photos next week. If not, we'll just pretend this never happened, okay?

Friday, December 1, 2017


Seventh grade science. Friday before the week-long Thanksgiving break. Their teacher had left them a simple assignment: they were to label all the parts of an animal cell, state what each part's function was, and color in the cell.

Unfortunately, this was not enough work to keep them all busy all period.

(I suspect that many of them rushed through the assignment. They tend to.)

Because this happens frequently, I have a list of things that I tell them to do if they finish early. It includes things like reading a book, getting ahead on homework, studying for upcoming tests, etc. Stuff that older students would automatically just do. But at that age, they haven't yet figured out that extra time is time they can use to get ahead.

After getting the "What do I do if I'm finished?" question and repeating the list several times, I figured it was time to write the list on the board. Not that I wouldn't have to still answer the question, but at least then I could point.

I turned to the board. Opened the dry erase marker. Began to write "Assignment" on the board...

(As long as I was writing things down, I figured I might as well write what they were supposed to finish first.)

I got three letters in when a student called out to me. I turned...

I heard the titters behind me. 7th graders. 12-year-olds.

Um, yeah. That was going to get ugly. I turned back to the board, finished writing "Assign", and turned back to the student. I got about five more questions before I could return to the board and finish writing "Assignment". I got about halfway through the cell page explanation before I got called away again.

It took several tries before I got to "What do I do if I finish early?", and then a few more before I had a full list written. Because 7th graders.

And I was so glad I had that written for later classes as I referred to it frequently. Because even after pointing it out and reading it to them, they still asked what they should do when they finished. Because 7th graders.