I've got my match!

A woman.

Lives somewhere on the planet.

Judging by her blog, appears to be much, much cooler than I.

(Not that any of that narrows it down by much.)

Ironically, tends to like orange. I say ironic since I've spent the past 2 months whining about knitting with this color.

I am speedily finishing off this final Dulaan hat, then plunging into sock obsession.

## 30 April 2007

### Suffering an Obsession? In a Rut?

A lack in imagination in choosing my knitting projects? A meditative experience?

What really explains knitting the same hat over and over in the same yarn?

Could it be that I want to be rid of all of this yarn? (Although I've noticed that many people compliment it if I keep my mouth shut and don't begin conversations with an announcement that I think it's hideous.)

Could it be that Sockapalooza is starting soon, and I don't want to start anything else important until I get my sock partner info? And, in that case, could all of this mindless knitting be pulling the mental knitting tension tighter and tighter, like an bow pulled back to its limit before loosing the arrow, like a spring coiled so freakin' tight that it's about to sproing out in all directions?

What really explains knitting the same hat over and over in the same yarn?

Could it be that I want to be rid of all of this yarn? (Although I've noticed that many people compliment it if I keep my mouth shut and don't begin conversations with an announcement that I think it's hideous.)

Could it be that Sockapalooza is starting soon, and I don't want to start anything else important until I get my sock partner info? And, in that case, could all of this mindless knitting be pulling the mental knitting tension tighter and tighter, like an bow pulled back to its limit before loosing the arrow, like a spring coiled so freakin' tight that it's about to sproing out in all directions?

## 24 April 2007

### RightStart Geometry

The continuing saga of our adventures using RightStart Geometry and RightStart B. I have an 11yo and a 7yo who have average math ability.The 11yo has done Miquon, Singapore, RightStart Transitions, Level D and Level E; RightStart has saved her from a life a math phobia.

I try to update our adventures on Tuesdays, although sometimes it doesn’t get done until Wednesday. And sometimes we really haven’t done that much math, so I skip it entirely.

RightStart Geometry:

Lesson 119 More Golden Goodies

Although Lesson 118 took Kid1 several hours, leaving me filled with dread for this whole Golden Ratio study, this lesson is done quietly and relatively quickly.

One worksheet is simply drawing the golden spiral that can be made by dividing a rectangle into a rectangle-plus-square. So. Cool. I would’ve thought this was one of the coolest math lessons ever if I were a kid doing it. And Kid1 seems to catch the charm.

Golden triangles are also discussed, which are less charming, but not too bad.

Lesson 120 Fibonacci Sequence

“If you ever played the ‘Chain’ games, you will recognize the ones column as a chain.” What are “Chain” games? Should I know this?

Much drawing on the worksheets, which have graph paper on them to help with the drawing. Lots of little bricks and stair steps. I think it’s all great fun. Kid1 doesn’t share my enthusiasm.

The final paragraph asks kids to make up their own Fibonacci problem. “If you think of a good one, let me know at joancotter[rest of email address]”. I think that’s a great touch -- asking the kids to get in touch with the author and share their ideas. Kid1 has no interest in it, of course. Oh well -- someone out there will enjoy it!

Lesson 1221 Fibonacci Numbers and Phi

“Fibonacci spirals are found in the seed heads of dandelions, daisies, and sunflowers.” Enchanting idea, but the second worksheet isn't quite so arty and poetic as this blurb makes Fibonacci sequences sound. It it based on the work of Robert Dimson, the Scottish mathematician. I am called upon to help interpret

Lesson 122 Golden Ratios and Other Ratios Around Us

More history of the Golden Ratio, then a chance to run around the house measuring various things. I am asked the dimensions of a legal pad (8.5 by 14) and the television (no clue, you’ll have to measure it yourself).

The worksheet also has questions about the ratios of the 30-60 triangle and the 45 triangle that are used in the course.

The whole thing is accomplished without grumbling and without announcements of how many more lessons are left in the book.

I try to update our adventures on Tuesdays, although sometimes it doesn’t get done until Wednesday. And sometimes we really haven’t done that much math, so I skip it entirely.

RightStart Geometry:

Lesson 119 More Golden Goodies

Although Lesson 118 took Kid1 several hours, leaving me filled with dread for this whole Golden Ratio study, this lesson is done quietly and relatively quickly.

One worksheet is simply drawing the golden spiral that can be made by dividing a rectangle into a rectangle-plus-square. So. Cool. I would’ve thought this was one of the coolest math lessons ever if I were a kid doing it. And Kid1 seems to catch the charm.

Golden triangles are also discussed, which are less charming, but not too bad.

Lesson 120 Fibonacci Sequence

“If you ever played the ‘Chain’ games, you will recognize the ones column as a chain.” What are “Chain” games? Should I know this?

Much drawing on the worksheets, which have graph paper on them to help with the drawing. Lots of little bricks and stair steps. I think it’s all great fun. Kid1 doesn’t share my enthusiasm.

The final paragraph asks kids to make up their own Fibonacci problem. “If you think of a good one, let me know at joancotter[rest of email address]”. I think that’s a great touch -- asking the kids to get in touch with the author and share their ideas. Kid1 has no interest in it, of course. Oh well -- someone out there will enjoy it!

Lesson 1221 Fibonacci Numbers and Phi

“Fibonacci spirals are found in the seed heads of dandelions, daisies, and sunflowers.” Enchanting idea, but the second worksheet isn't quite so arty and poetic as this blurb makes Fibonacci sequences sound. It it based on the work of Robert Dimson, the Scottish mathematician. I am called upon to help interpret

*fn x fn + 2*along with*(fn + 1)squared*. Once Kid1 sees someone else talk through it, she’s okay with it. She doesn’t even blink at tackling the final problems, which look like:*(fn x fn + 2) - (fn + 1)squared = 1*(the question being, is that true when n is even, or when n is odd?).Lesson 122 Golden Ratios and Other Ratios Around Us

More history of the Golden Ratio, then a chance to run around the house measuring various things. I am asked the dimensions of a legal pad (8.5 by 14) and the television (no clue, you’ll have to measure it yourself).

The worksheet also has questions about the ratios of the 30-60 triangle and the 45 triangle that are used in the course.

The whole thing is accomplished without grumbling and without announcements of how many more lessons are left in the book.

## 23 April 2007

### Thoughts and Observations from the Past Few Days

** Many of us are energized by going into a bookstore or yarn store. I just realized this weekend that I also feel that way about going into a landscape nursery. However, stockpiling stash from a landscaping nursery is a dicey propostition, as the stash requires huge amounts of upkeep.

** Those capri pants that were a little snug last summer? They've now moved into the category of "Ack!", which may have something to do with my recent discovery of Trader Joe's Venetian Lemon Tarts (mmmmm). I used to describe my figure as becoming "more fluffy", but have decided that's inaccurate, since "fluffy" implies that compression is possible. The pants have proven this to be untrue.

** I cannot swim 200m freestyle. Well, I can, but by the last 25 meters my arms seem like they're wrapped in wet towels, and I have to stand at the end of the lane sucking air when it's over. How did this happen? I used to be able to knock off several laps at a time. And that was a mere 12 years ago.

(Okay, I've gotta admit, I tried some laps last summer in a different pool. I couldn't even make it a 50 yard length. So this is an improvement. But it's still disappointing.)

** Those capri pants that were a little snug last summer? They've now moved into the category of "Ack!", which may have something to do with my recent discovery of Trader Joe's Venetian Lemon Tarts (mmmmm). I used to describe my figure as becoming "more fluffy", but have decided that's inaccurate, since "fluffy" implies that compression is possible. The pants have proven this to be untrue.

** I cannot swim 200m freestyle. Well, I can, but by the last 25 meters my arms seem like they're wrapped in wet towels, and I have to stand at the end of the lane sucking air when it's over. How did this happen? I used to be able to knock off several laps at a time. And that was a mere 12 years ago.

(Okay, I've gotta admit, I tried some laps last summer in a different pool. I couldn't even make it a 50 yard length. So this is an improvement. But it's still disappointing.)

### Finally Warm Enough to Wear the Easter Outfit

Dress is #38 from Ottobre 2/2005 in a linen blend from JoAnn's.

Sweater is from Stefanie Japel's Fitted Knits using some ancient Paton's South Pacific recovered from an old Unfinished Object. Apologies for the poor photo of the sweater -- it didn't occur to me until today that Kid1 had arranged her hair all over the sweater in every single shot.

This shrug looks So Good with this dress. Kid1 just loves the look. If you have any 11 year old girls hanging around the house, consider making this combo. Or just the shrug.

The choker is crocheted out of the South Pacific, and has one of the flower embellishments I had made for the dress (the flowers on the dress are near her right hand). I ended up making several flowers to get 2 that I liked for the dress, having never before entered the wonderful world of Sulky stabilizer plus multiple layers of fabric plus fusible web plus using a sewing machine to embroider (I don't have an actual embroidery machine, so I faked it with the triple-width stitch).

## 19 April 2007

### Cheap FIller Knitting

I needed to come up with a small project to cast on while waiting for Sockapalooza to start.

I decided to knit a Dulaan hat according to Norma's hat pattern, using Highland Wool in the color I despise.

So, I'm sitting in the lobby of Dance Class, knitting away, talking to the mom next to me, commenting that I really don't like this color of yarn (I like to announce that right up front so people don't think I actually find it attractive and therefore am A Person With No Taste). And another mom comes zipping in, The Elegant Mom, the one who always looks pulled together, who looks like she's just stopping by to pick up her daughter and then will be getting back to the fashion shoot she's probably modelling for. You know, THAT mom. There's always one of those around. And she says, "Oh, I

Well. I sort of sat there with my jaw hanging open, trying to form words.

She also complimented my socks, which are my A#1 favorite pair of socks, which wiped out any inkling that she'd been struck Temporarily Sans Any Taste in Color/Clothing.

At least now I don't feel like I'm sending ugly stuff off to charity.

I decided to knit a Dulaan hat according to Norma's hat pattern, using Highland Wool in the color I despise.

So, I'm sitting in the lobby of Dance Class, knitting away, talking to the mom next to me, commenting that I really don't like this color of yarn (I like to announce that right up front so people don't think I actually find it attractive and therefore am A Person With No Taste). And another mom comes zipping in, The Elegant Mom, the one who always looks pulled together, who looks like she's just stopping by to pick up her daughter and then will be getting back to the fashion shoot she's probably modelling for. You know, THAT mom. There's always one of those around. And she says, "Oh, I

*love*that color!"Well. I sort of sat there with my jaw hanging open, trying to form words.

She also complimented my socks, which are my A#1 favorite pair of socks, which wiped out any inkling that she'd been struck Temporarily Sans Any Taste in Color/Clothing.

At least now I don't feel like I'm sending ugly stuff off to charity.

## 17 April 2007

### RightStart Geometry

The continuing saga of our adventures using RightStart Geometry and RightStart B. I have an 11yo and a 7yo who have average math ability.The 11yo has done Miquon, Singapore, RightStart Transitions, Level D and Level E; RightStart has saved her from a life a math phobia.

I try to update our adventures on Tuesdays, although sometimes it doesn’t get done until Wednesday. And sometimes we really haven’t done that much math, so I skip it entirely.

RightStart Geometry:

Lesson 116 Cross Multiplying on the Multiplication Table

I didn’t realize there was a term for this idea of cross-multiplying. What it refers to is looking at a multiplication table for 1x6 and 3x2; now, if you draw a line between the 1 on the first line and the 6 on the second line (showing you’re multiplying them), then draw a line between the 2 on the second line and the 3 on the first line (showing you’re multiplying them), you’ve made a big X.

Various applications are given. For example, mental multiplication can sometimes be easier with cross-multiplication: 8x35 forms a cross with (and therefore has the same answer as) 20x14. (I’ve gotta admit, though, I would never, ever mentally multiply 8x35 that way...I might factor it out a bit and make it 40x7, but probably I’d just do 8x30 plus 8x5 and move on with my life; however, MrV is much quicker at mental math than I, and I wonder if he’s using this technique at times.) Another application is in simplifying proportions.

Lesson 117 Measuring Heights

You know, if I weren’t reviewing every single lesson in this Appleworks file, I might never have realized that this lesson called for a small mirror and a sunny day. Yoohoo, that didn’t happen around here -- no mirrors or sunny days were used to measure the height of something tall outside (tree, pole, building). Hmmm.

Lesson 118 Golden Ratio

KidV1 despised this lesson, and managed to spend the entire day on it. Really, it’s just a matter of calculating

Among the issues: she announces that she likes the “other rectangles” better than those that are golden rectangles. She finds them more pleasing. Sigh. How to explain centuries of design theory in about 5 minutes and (possibly) motivate her? I explain that the ancient Greeks used the Golden Ratio in their architecture (she’s currently fascinated with the Greeks), I google pictures of buildings both ancient and modern, I find a page on web design that explains how to use Golden Rectangles to make customer-pleasing design, we look at

Really, she has great talent for engineering and architecture, so it’s annoying that she hates this so. I console myself with the thought that perhaps she’ll be a groundbreaking designer that will find a new proportion that will revolutionize design theory.

I try to update our adventures on Tuesdays, although sometimes it doesn’t get done until Wednesday. And sometimes we really haven’t done that much math, so I skip it entirely.

RightStart Geometry:

Lesson 116 Cross Multiplying on the Multiplication Table

I didn’t realize there was a term for this idea of cross-multiplying. What it refers to is looking at a multiplication table for 1x6 and 3x2; now, if you draw a line between the 1 on the first line and the 6 on the second line (showing you’re multiplying them), then draw a line between the 2 on the second line and the 3 on the first line (showing you’re multiplying them), you’ve made a big X.

Various applications are given. For example, mental multiplication can sometimes be easier with cross-multiplication: 8x35 forms a cross with (and therefore has the same answer as) 20x14. (I’ve gotta admit, though, I would never, ever mentally multiply 8x35 that way...I might factor it out a bit and make it 40x7, but probably I’d just do 8x30 plus 8x5 and move on with my life; however, MrV is much quicker at mental math than I, and I wonder if he’s using this technique at times.) Another application is in simplifying proportions.

Lesson 117 Measuring Heights

You know, if I weren’t reviewing every single lesson in this Appleworks file, I might never have realized that this lesson called for a small mirror and a sunny day. Yoohoo, that didn’t happen around here -- no mirrors or sunny days were used to measure the height of something tall outside (tree, pole, building). Hmmm.

Lesson 118 Golden Ratio

KidV1 despised this lesson, and managed to spend the entire day on it. Really, it’s just a matter of calculating

*phi*to a couple of digits, then working with it a bit. It’s hard for me to help her, as her worksheet it so covered with doodles that I can barely see the problems.Among the issues: she announces that she likes the “other rectangles” better than those that are golden rectangles. She finds them more pleasing. Sigh. How to explain centuries of design theory in about 5 minutes and (possibly) motivate her? I explain that the ancient Greeks used the Golden Ratio in their architecture (she’s currently fascinated with the Greeks), I google pictures of buildings both ancient and modern, I find a page on web design that explains how to use Golden Rectangles to make customer-pleasing design, we look at

*phi*to 1000 decimal places (weird numbers are also interesting). In the end, though, it’s just a matter of “This Must Be Done. Period.”Really, she has great talent for engineering and architecture, so it’s annoying that she hates this so. I console myself with the thought that perhaps she’ll be a groundbreaking designer that will find a new proportion that will revolutionize design theory.

## 16 April 2007

### Sock Accessories

## 12 April 2007

### End of an Era

Kid1 has completed Porpoise level at the Y. This completes her YMCA swimming lessons.

She's taken lessons in 4 Ys in 3 states. She's had some fantastic teachers, and some not-so-great. We've discovered that YMCAs vary greatly in how rigorous the swimming program is.

They suggested she next join the swim team. She isn't sure she wants to put that much time into swimming. It would be tough to compete in swimming and dance, and right now she's intrigued by competitive dance.

She's taken lessons in 4 Ys in 3 states. She's had some fantastic teachers, and some not-so-great. We've discovered that YMCAs vary greatly in how rigorous the swimming program is.

They suggested she next join the swim team. She isn't sure she wants to put that much time into swimming. It would be tough to compete in swimming and dance, and right now she's intrigued by competitive dance.

### An Easter Dress

Butterick 3714

Fabric from JoAnn's, as are the fabric flowers at the waistline.

The cowl was sort of wonky to make -- there seemed to be about 3 plus inches of fabric that I was supposed to fit into 2 inches of shoulder. I assume whoever drafted the pattern didn't do the math (surely it wasn't

After I had attached the skirt I had her try it on, and realized it was massively too big, even though I was using the smallest size possible. So I opened out all of the lining (yes, it's fully lined), took in an inch on each side seam, and sewed the lining back in place. I tried to taper the skirt seam into its original hemline fullness; I think the bias tapering ended up a bit iffy. There's some weirdness to those side skirt seams now -- they don't hang just precisely right.

Hurray for me, I only had to put the zipper in twice. And I remembered to let it hang several days before hemming -- wow, that front panel stretched out an amazing amount in that time!

Overall I'm pretty pleased with it.

And Kid2? Mostly she twirls around and around and around. Really. It's amazing we got a still shot of her wearing it.

Fabric from JoAnn's, as are the fabric flowers at the waistline.

The cowl was sort of wonky to make -- there seemed to be about 3 plus inches of fabric that I was supposed to fit into 2 inches of shoulder. I assume whoever drafted the pattern didn't do the math (surely it wasn't

*my*mistake) so I just folded it up a bit more.After I had attached the skirt I had her try it on, and realized it was massively too big, even though I was using the smallest size possible. So I opened out all of the lining (yes, it's fully lined), took in an inch on each side seam, and sewed the lining back in place. I tried to taper the skirt seam into its original hemline fullness; I think the bias tapering ended up a bit iffy. There's some weirdness to those side skirt seams now -- they don't hang just precisely right.

Hurray for me, I only had to put the zipper in twice. And I remembered to let it hang several days before hemming -- wow, that front panel stretched out an amazing amount in that time!

Overall I'm pretty pleased with it.

And Kid2? Mostly she twirls around and around and around. Really. It's amazing we got a still shot of her wearing it.

## 11 April 2007

### RightStart Geometry

The continuing saga of our adventures using RightStart Geometry and RightStart B. I have an 11yo and a 7yo who have average math ability.The 11yo has done Miquon, Singapore, RightStart Transitions, Level D and Level E; RightStart has saved her from a life a math phobia.

I try to update our adventures on Tuesdays, although sometimes it doesn’t get done until Wednesday. And sometimes we really haven’t done that much math, so I skip it entirely.

RightStart Geometry:

Lesson 111 Sierpinski Triangle

Introduces much history of geometry -- Euclid and

The worksheets ask for three iterations of the Sierpinski Triangle.

Lesson 112 Koch Snowflake

We both hit a snag on worksheet 1. Kid1 is able to easily draw iterations of the Koch Snowflake, but the algorithm to figure out the perimeter escapes her. She is able to graph out what will happen to the permimeter and area -- the “analysis” section of the book pretty much lays that out -- but doesn’t get how to put the perimeters into numbers. I peek at the answers. I discover that each perimeter is to be multiplied by 4/3 to find the next iteration. Well, how the heck would I have known that? I’m totally clueless as to how we were supposed to figure that out. Really. The only thing I can think of is that the Sierpinski Triangle in lesson 111 had each iteration shaded 3/4 more, so maybe those numbers should’ve been on my mind? Huh? I should email RightStart and ask them.

Lesson 113 Cotter Tens Fractal

Yes, it’s the fractal we all know and love from Level B and/or Transitions -- the Cotter Tens. If you’re new to RightStart, don’t worry -- this is a snap. Cotter Tens are all about powers of ten. You get to play around with really big numbers, like quadrillions. Kid1 is fascinated by really big numbers; I suspect this is common at this age.

Lesson 114 SImilar Triangles

Blessedly short, the point of this lesson is that two triangles are similar if two corresponding angles are equal. They may be different sizes, but they are similar.

It’s the sort of lesson that shows up on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader (which should be re-done as Are You Smarter Than a Homeschool Mom, let’s face it).

Lesson 115 Gractions on the Multiplication Table

Another lesson with quick-to-complete worksheets. Kid1 did the worksheets in various colors of ink pens; she said the variety of colors helped her keep track of what she was doing (drawing squares around various boxes on the multiplication table).

I try to update our adventures on Tuesdays, although sometimes it doesn’t get done until Wednesday. And sometimes we really haven’t done that much math, so I skip it entirely.

RightStart Geometry:

Lesson 111 Sierpinski Triangle

Introduces much history of geometry -- Euclid and

*the Elements*, Benoit Mandelbrot and*The Fractal Geometry of Nature*, and , of course, Waclaw Sierpinski and*The Sierpinski Triangle*. I don’t know if Kid1 caught the point of all of this history -- I wouldn’t have at her age. Then again, she has a more subtle mind than I (this isn’t saying much).The worksheets ask for three iterations of the Sierpinski Triangle.

Lesson 112 Koch Snowflake

We both hit a snag on worksheet 1. Kid1 is able to easily draw iterations of the Koch Snowflake, but the algorithm to figure out the perimeter escapes her. She is able to graph out what will happen to the permimeter and area -- the “analysis” section of the book pretty much lays that out -- but doesn’t get how to put the perimeters into numbers. I peek at the answers. I discover that each perimeter is to be multiplied by 4/3 to find the next iteration. Well, how the heck would I have known that? I’m totally clueless as to how we were supposed to figure that out. Really. The only thing I can think of is that the Sierpinski Triangle in lesson 111 had each iteration shaded 3/4 more, so maybe those numbers should’ve been on my mind? Huh? I should email RightStart and ask them.

Lesson 113 Cotter Tens Fractal

Yes, it’s the fractal we all know and love from Level B and/or Transitions -- the Cotter Tens. If you’re new to RightStart, don’t worry -- this is a snap. Cotter Tens are all about powers of ten. You get to play around with really big numbers, like quadrillions. Kid1 is fascinated by really big numbers; I suspect this is common at this age.

Lesson 114 SImilar Triangles

Blessedly short, the point of this lesson is that two triangles are similar if two corresponding angles are equal. They may be different sizes, but they are similar.

It’s the sort of lesson that shows up on Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader (which should be re-done as Are You Smarter Than a Homeschool Mom, let’s face it).

Lesson 115 Gractions on the Multiplication Table

Another lesson with quick-to-complete worksheets. Kid1 did the worksheets in various colors of ink pens; she said the variety of colors helped her keep track of what she was doing (drawing squares around various boxes on the multiplication table).

## 05 April 2007

### UFO Resurrection, Stealth Edition (Shhhh!)

It's Easter time, which means it's time once again to ask ourselves, "Will the kids actually get the felted sheep this year in their Easter baskets?"

What felted sheep? The ones I blogged about here and here and here. Timeline in brief, in case you don't want to slog through old posts: purchased yarn and pattern in 2005 and started knitting. Moved. Decided to complete sheep for Easter 2006. Discovered that I'd lost part of the pattern in the move. Got pattern from cool folks at Fiber Trends who emailed me the part I was missing. But their heroic efforts were for naught, since I still ended up shoving the unfinished sheep back in the closet for another year.

I did manage to felt the sheep before I stuck them away last spring:

And this week, by golly, I finally stuffed them with wool:

Two years in the making!

Here's how the size compare to a 7 pound cat:

If I were a better mom I'd have embroidered the kids' initials on the sheep. But, alas, I'm a mom who is still trying to finish sewing an Easter dress, finish knitting a shrug to go with the other completed Easter dress, and currently has eggs on the stove to cook and dye today; not to mention I still need to fill a bunch of plastic eggs with stuff for hiding over the weekend, and clean up the sewing mess from the dining room if we're to have any chance of using it as a dining room Sunday. If I had to embroider initials I think I'd end up sticking the sheep back in the closet another year. A plain sheep in the Easter basket is worth 2 embroidered-initial sheep in the closet. Or something like that.

What felted sheep? The ones I blogged about here and here and here. Timeline in brief, in case you don't want to slog through old posts: purchased yarn and pattern in 2005 and started knitting. Moved. Decided to complete sheep for Easter 2006. Discovered that I'd lost part of the pattern in the move. Got pattern from cool folks at Fiber Trends who emailed me the part I was missing. But their heroic efforts were for naught, since I still ended up shoving the unfinished sheep back in the closet for another year.

I did manage to felt the sheep before I stuck them away last spring:

And this week, by golly, I finally stuffed them with wool:

Two years in the making!

Here's how the size compare to a 7 pound cat:

If I were a better mom I'd have embroidered the kids' initials on the sheep. But, alas, I'm a mom who is still trying to finish sewing an Easter dress, finish knitting a shrug to go with the other completed Easter dress, and currently has eggs on the stove to cook and dye today; not to mention I still need to fill a bunch of plastic eggs with stuff for hiding over the weekend, and clean up the sewing mess from the dining room if we're to have any chance of using it as a dining room Sunday. If I had to embroider initials I think I'd end up sticking the sheep back in the closet another year. A plain sheep in the Easter basket is worth 2 embroidered-initial sheep in the closet. Or something like that.

## 03 April 2007

### RightStart Geometry

The continuing saga of our adventures using RightStart Geometry and RightStart B. I have an 11yo and a 7yo who have average math ability.The 11yo has done Miquon, Singapore, RightStart Transitions, Level D and Level E; RightStart has saved her from a life a math phobia.

I try to update our adventures on Tuesdays, although sometimes it doesn’t get done until Wednesday. And sometimes we really haven’t done that much math, so I skip it entirely.

RightStart Geometry:

Lesson 109 Tessellation Summary and Mondrian Art

Hurray! No tessellations to draw! Just a couple worksheet to summarize the types of tessellations, which can be filled out fairly quickly.

We can’t seem to connect with the website listed in the book for Mondrian Art. We have a couple of postcard size prints of Mondrian’s work, plus I found this website . The instructions are to draw a couple of Mondrian designs on the bottom of the worksheet; Kid1 uses a separate piece of paper which she mounts on construction paper for an artier effect.

Lesson 110 Box Fractals

I am asked, “Mommy, what’s 1/3 of 1/6?” I’m playing Corners with Kid2, and brush off the question, telling her to figure it out herself. I later discover that she ended up using a calculator and doing it in decimals. Yikes! I draw pictures on scrap paper to show how to figure it out.

“See, you end up with 6 groups of 3, which equals what? And here’s what the equation looks like ... remember this now?” This stuff was at the end of Level E. We even took time off from Geometry earlier this year and went back to review it. It isn’t sticking.

I notice that the lesson has a portion with a sidebar stating, “If you know all about exponents, you can skim this paragraph.” The glitch with multiplying fractions leaves me wondering whether she knows about exponents.

I try to update our adventures on Tuesdays, although sometimes it doesn’t get done until Wednesday. And sometimes we really haven’t done that much math, so I skip it entirely.

RightStart Geometry:

Lesson 109 Tessellation Summary and Mondrian Art

Hurray! No tessellations to draw! Just a couple worksheet to summarize the types of tessellations, which can be filled out fairly quickly.

We can’t seem to connect with the website listed in the book for Mondrian Art. We have a couple of postcard size prints of Mondrian’s work, plus I found this website . The instructions are to draw a couple of Mondrian designs on the bottom of the worksheet; Kid1 uses a separate piece of paper which she mounts on construction paper for an artier effect.

Lesson 110 Box Fractals

I am asked, “Mommy, what’s 1/3 of 1/6?” I’m playing Corners with Kid2, and brush off the question, telling her to figure it out herself. I later discover that she ended up using a calculator and doing it in decimals. Yikes! I draw pictures on scrap paper to show how to figure it out.

“See, you end up with 6 groups of 3, which equals what? And here’s what the equation looks like ... remember this now?” This stuff was at the end of Level E. We even took time off from Geometry earlier this year and went back to review it. It isn’t sticking.

I notice that the lesson has a portion with a sidebar stating, “If you know all about exponents, you can skim this paragraph.” The glitch with multiplying fractions leaves me wondering whether she knows about exponents.

## 02 April 2007

### Pink Happens

Day one of the new Project Spectrum color triad found me up to my eyeballs in fabric.

Pink fabric.

Butterick 3714 in size 7. I swear this cowl was drafted incorrectly; in any event, it was the first time I've had a major problem with a Butterick pattern. I think it gives the dress sort of an I Dream of Jeanie vibe. It was Kid2's favorite part of this pattern.

And, yes, it's fully lined:

Check out all that tulle! Woo hoo! MrV peeked in the sewing room (which is actually the dining room) and simply commented, "My, how

Today I will do the zipper. This will probably involve a lot of potty mouth comments coming from the direction of the sewing machine. After that is the hem, the freakin' I-hate-bias-cut-skirts hem (potty mouth comments are already erupting in anticipation).

Fortunately the kids can be outside, and can miss the vocabulary-expanding action going on in here. They can be outside because it is very GREEN out today. Last spring when Yarn Harlot was in town she simply commented, "St. Louis is very green." She's right -- this is an extremely green time of year here. You'd swear the windows were tinted, it's so green when you glance outside. By summer it will all be brown, burned to death in the sweltering heat. But spring really is beautiful and GREEN here.

(You know, since Project Spectrum is PINK for April and May, this would be a good time to work on PINK projects, like, say, if you had pink yarn and a wrap pattern lurking in the closet, for instance. Just sayin'.)

Pink fabric.

Butterick 3714 in size 7. I swear this cowl was drafted incorrectly; in any event, it was the first time I've had a major problem with a Butterick pattern. I think it gives the dress sort of an I Dream of Jeanie vibe. It was Kid2's favorite part of this pattern.

And, yes, it's fully lined:

Check out all that tulle! Woo hoo! MrV peeked in the sewing room (which is actually the dining room) and simply commented, "My, how

*foofy*it is in here. You've got a lot of foof goin' on."Today I will do the zipper. This will probably involve a lot of potty mouth comments coming from the direction of the sewing machine. After that is the hem, the freakin' I-hate-bias-cut-skirts hem (potty mouth comments are already erupting in anticipation).

Fortunately the kids can be outside, and can miss the vocabulary-expanding action going on in here. They can be outside because it is very GREEN out today. Last spring when Yarn Harlot was in town she simply commented, "St. Louis is very green." She's right -- this is an extremely green time of year here. You'd swear the windows were tinted, it's so green when you glance outside. By summer it will all be brown, burned to death in the sweltering heat. But spring really is beautiful and GREEN here.

(You know, since Project Spectrum is PINK for April and May, this would be a good time to work on PINK projects, like, say, if you had pink yarn and a wrap pattern lurking in the closet, for instance. Just sayin'.)

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