The Legend of the Yarn

In the video above I talk about my knitting journey to date. Please have a watch and let me know what you think.

One thing I have learned about myself is that I am not a good visual learner when it comes to something intricate like knitting. I found it very difficult to figure out what they were doing in the videos until I had a knitting project in my hands.

With my newest project I am not really knitting anything, I am trying to get through the whole ball of yarn so I can learn how to add another ball of yarn to an existing project. This endeavor has taken me forever, but it has been pretty cool to see the progress as this piece of knitting gets longer.

I made a few posts on Twitter – including the author of “Fish Out of Water” Joanne Levy. Not only did she respond but she retweeted with a response. I thought that was pretty awesome.

For the rest of this project, I think I will continue with creating my “thought” videos, and will start to write reflections on my learning. My biggest worry about the project is how long it actually takes to knit, but I am determined to stick with it.

What do you think I should try next? I’ve been looking at knitting a toque and learning the long tail cast on using the video below. Any thoughts? Advice?

How many new TikTok accounts were in Regina this week?

Ohh where to start. I feel as though I am a Social Media junkie. I have Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Houseparty, Tumblr, Whatsapp, and of course Twitter. So what else is there right? In my head I kept thinking that I really, really did not want to add more addictive social media accounts to the many that I am already checking. So instead of instantly adding TikTok to my phone I did a little research into social media trends that kids are using.

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My Learning Project

To explain this learning project I have to go back to the summer months. At the end of June I always like to take home the new Willow nominees to read over the summer. The first one I read was called Fish out of Water by Joanne Levy.

“Willow Awards” by Kathy Cassidy is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

“Fish out of Water” is a great story about a boy named Fishel who needs to come up with a Bar Mitzvah project – much like we have to come up with a project for this class. His project is supposed to be one that will help people in the community. His best friend wants him to help with his project which is collecting used hockey equipment and donating it to kids who can’t afford to play hockey, however this project doesn’t really interest Fishel. For one her really doesn’t like hockey – in fact he doesn’t really like sports to begin with. Doesn’t really like to do the same things that are stereotypically associated with boys.

“Hockey equipment” by Beth77 is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND

His other option is to volunteer his time at the senior home connected to the Jewish Community center, however he is really not interested in that either. The one thing he really wants to do is learn how to knit socks so he can make them for people who really need them.

“Seven knit socks” by Tie Guy II is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Now this is typically not an activity that boys in Middle School undertake – and Fishel is met with stereotypes and road blocks throughout his journey. This brings be to my project.

At school we have many classes from grade 2/3 all the way up to grade 6/7 that will be reading book. As a school we are inspired by Fishel, the obstacles that get in his way, and his overall determination to do something that others don’t think he should do. We hope to teach our students that stereotypes can by harmful and that sometimes we need to do the things that make us happy (as long as they don’t hurt others of course). So as Riley learns to Crochet, I will be learning how to knit. I think this will be a really cool project because it will be a real life example of the book we are reading to students come to life. Why can’t boys/men learn how to knit? I want to show our students that we can.

First things First

How to knit – Just like Curtis with his project I have no idea how to knit. I am a complete beginner and have never done anything like this before – and yes several people have already told me that I should learn to crochet instead, but I am determined.

I’ve already started by watching youtube videos and found one in particular really helpful and quite good. If you too want to learn how to knit I highly recommend the Sheep and Stich website. The videos are really easy to follow and for the most part get to the point. Devina – from Sheep and Stich has lots of images in her blog posts and when you watch the videos directly from her blog there are no ads!

So far I have already learned how to “cast on”, how to do the “knit stich”, and I painfully have learned how to “cast off.” However this journey is for a different blog post. My goal for this project is to eventually learn how to knit a pair of socks just like Fishel in the book. Before I do that I will learn how to knit a scarf – to help with the muscle memory associated with knitting, then a tuque, and if all goes well, a pair of socks.

I have already found a handful of people at work who are willing to help me with this project, and I will continue to rely on youtube videos. I am hoping that when more of our classes start to read this book that an excitement grows in the community and more kids want to learn how to knit. I have always found that I am a better learner when I have to teach someone else how to do it.

Documenting my Journey

I would like to document my journey by creating a separate menu area within my blog. I would like to post pictures and videos of my journey, and also vlogs to show my reflection and frustrations. I will also document the wonderful people who help me out a long the way – and hopefully conduct a few interviews with long time knitters along the way.

Questions

  1. Do you know of any other great knitting websites, or videos that I would be able to use, or that you have found helpful in the past?
  2. Are you a knitter? Can you offer me any advice?
  3. I still haven’t found a good sock pattern – do you have one you could share?
  4. Do you know any other great resources in the city that could help a guy out?

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Social Media and Me

I was born in a time that was way before social media took ahold of this world. My brothers and I played outside continuously for hours, we would play hide-and-go-seek in the dark until our mom made us come inside. We would sit on the deck outside and see how far we could spit watermelon seeds because we were told not to eat them otherwise watermelons would grow in our stomachs – and we had no way to fact check this advice.

My Brother and I playing in the backyard.

I too was born at a time when I remember our family getting it’s first VCR, then DVD player, end SMART TV and Chromecast. I remember when my dad brought home the first Nintendo and playing Duck Hunt and Mario Bros. Those were the good old days before worrying about whether or not a complete stranger liked your Tweet, or Facebook, or Instagram photo.

I have to admit, technology has never really scared me, however I was always resistant to jumping onto bandwagons. I didn’t get a cell phone right away, I didn’t subscribe to Facebook right away, and I certainly did not get a Twitter account in 2006 (checking my profile it looks like I joined in January of 2012, and even though it has been 9 years I only have 267 followers).

Fast forward to 2021 and I have to say I have a pretty love to love it relationship with Social Media. I love connecting with family on Facebook and Instagram, and I love reading articles and keeping up to date on Twitter. I have the job I have today with Regina public thanks to a blogpost on great teacher interview questions that was posted on Twitter. There are obviously many issues with Social media such as security and privacy, fake accounts, the false spread of information/fake news, and even how mean people can get under the guise of anonymity. However, I believe that there are just as many positive aspects to Social Media. The following article discusses both positive and negative aspects of social media for teens in particular, and is an easy yet informative read.

I think I can safely say that social media has not really negatively affected my life due to a few key factors. Other than twitter all of my social media apps are set to Private, this way I have total control over who sees my content. Since becoming a teacher I am also very careful about the photos that I take of myself, or for that matter putting myself into a situation where unflattering photos are taken. With twitter I really try to keep my content work friendly and professional. If internet trolls latch onto a post and try to start a fight, I either delete the post or I block them. Lastly, I try to follow the “No cell phones at the table or desk” rule. This way I am able to give the person I am with my full attention, because their company is one million times more important than me knowing if the photo I posted a few hours ago has hit so many “likes.”

I like to see myself as someone who grew up with technology since I was still pretty young when it started to be introduced into my life. I have to say that it is pretty cool (to me anyway) to have been around for all four stages in the “History of Social Media“. When I look at the document attached I have memories from each era, and most importantly I have been able to adapt through each era.