Learning to Knit

Many of my friends have expressed an interest in learning to knit. I’m going to do my best to share what I know, and it all begins with the videos I used to teach myself.

There are many more videos out there now than when I began learning to knit a few years ago.

This video series from Studio Knit shares everything you need to know to get started with knitting. Start with video one and watch the entire playlist.

Several other knitting channels I enjoy are The Casting on Couch and Very Pink Knits.

A scarf is a wonderful beginner project because it provides you with an opportunity to practice the basics of knitting. I would suggest starting with a scarf. It’s a great project to work on while watching Netflix. Here’s an awesome video for starting your first scarf.

If you’re looking for a new project or hobby, I would suggest knitting. At first it will be overwhelming. There’s a lot of language you may not understand. You will understand the more you practice and get engaged by watching videos or visiting knitting blogs or sites, such as Ravelry.┬áDon’t give up!

Feel free to ask me any questions as they arise. I will try to answer them the best I can, or I will try to find the right resource.

Happy knitting!

 

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Update

I’m still here, and now I’m in the process of waiting. I’ve finished everything I need to do to begin student teaching in the fall. I’ll be working in second grade.

Since my last post, I have learned two important things.

First, just because you really want to take the similar path as others, you might need to deviate from the norm, and that’s OK. This is what happened to me.

In January, I knew there were two major things I needed to get done in order to be ready for my internship. First, I needed to pass the same Praxis test I last wrote about.

I never did pass it. I was faced with a new option: taking another test that was accepted as a substitute for the portion of the test I couldn’t pass.

I passed that test with flying colors.

Second, I am learning what it means to wait. Right now, I need to enjoy my summer break, rest, and wait for the fall. This is my time for reflection and for rest.

But it is challenging.

I feel like I am on the horizon of change, looking out over an ocean, and taking a few relaxing moments before jumping in.

I’m still here. I’m waiting. I’ve worked hard, and right now, I need to relax.

 

 

That Praxis Test

I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who wished me luck yesterday while I took my Praxis! I had planned for this to be a long Facebook post, but I felt it belonged better on my blog.

I took all three at once (math, reading, writing) and passed the reading with flying colors.

But I didn’t pass the math by 8 points. I was a little upset I didn’t pass, but then clarity hit and I cried because I was surprised and happy that I managed to just get the score I did.

For anyone who knows me well, you’ll know math has never been my strong point or anything I was ever interested in. I spent years failing math and thinking I just “wasn’t good at it,” but that’s not true. I aced math in college and for having not been around math since college and studying for the test since October, I have to say I was amazed I even managed to not pass by 8 points. I know that when I re-take the test I will pass it.

And math has become interesting to me. I am fascinated by how it’s being taught and I actually understand it more now than I did when I was kid. I even have a book about mathematics on hold at the library. I am no longer terrified of it.

Hard work pays off. Support helps. You all are awesome. Next time, when I take that test, I won’t allow any fear to creep into my head. I will study even harder and have that test be the only thing I have to think about in the testing room, not two other tests combined with it.

Make it Vegetarian: Thai Chickpea Pizza

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I found a recipe for a Thai chickpea and vegetable pizza from Veggies Don’t Bite while scrolling through Pinterest last night. I’ve had Thai chicken pizza before, and I knew that it could turn it out as a vegetarian dish.

Instead of making the peanut sauce the recipe calls for, we went to Trader Joe’s and settled on their Satay Peanut Sauce.

My boyfriend and I also decided to sprinkle the pizza with Parmesan cheese before putting it into the oven.

The outcome? Delicious. I loved the chickpeas as a topping and think I’ll try adding them onto my normal vegetarian pizzas every now and then. The only change we’d make for the next go around would be to add more of that delicious peanut sauce.

If you’re bored with your pizza night, try this recipe. It was fantastic!

How to Knit, Part 1

Want to learn to knit? It’s easy! Here’s how to get started.

First, you’ll need a pair of knitting needles and some yarn. I recommend size 10 aluminum needles. For yarn, I suggest Red Heart Worsted Weight (it’s usually about 3.50 at Walmart or about a dollar more at Michaels.) Choose a bright color of yarn so you will be able to see your knitting better than with a darker color.

Second, you need to find a good tutorial and books. Here are the videos that I watched over and over again:

One of my favorite books for knitting is “The Idiot’s Guide to Knitting.” It’s very easy to understand and includes great beginner projects.

One of the easiest things to make when you’re a beginning knitter is a scarf. I’d go with a basic stockinette stitch, which you’ll learn if you watch the above videos. It’s the basic two-stitch repeat for knitting: knitting one row and purling the next. By knitting a scarf, you’ll be able to get plenty of basic knitting practice while also making something beautiful.

This should be enough info to get you started. Happy knitting!

Baked Banana Cranberry Bars

I found this recipe for baked oat bars on Oh She Glows the other night and decided to whip up a batch of my own. I made a few changes, so below is my adaption of Angela’s original recipe. For hers, you can (and should!) find it here.

The biggest change I made to the recipe was patting out the oat mixture until it was fairly flat. This resulted in a crunchy edge and the day after they’d cooled and been placed in the fridge overnight, a thin, slightly crispy, and chewy texture.

Baked Oat Bars with Bananas, Cranberries, and Currants
Adapted from this Oh She Glows recipe.

2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup 2% milk or milk of choice
1/4 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
1/4 cup Turbinado sugar
1 tbsp ground flax
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup dried red currants
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup flour (I used all purpose)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups oats (I used old fashioned rolled oats)
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract

1. Mix wet ingredients and then add in the rest of the ingredients.
2. Spread onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees, or until golden brown.