Monday, February 21, 2011

Teddy Bear Hat: A Real Bear to Make

You wouldn't think that the hat above would be that hard to make, but it was. I actually made the hat three times before I made it correctly. I made it once without first doing the so-called magic loop. I didn't think I needed to do that. Big mistake. I just crocheted five SC and SL them together. Then, because it said you don't connect them ("Do not join rounds"), in my head I was thinking, Oh, turn! But it didn't say turn. So I ended up with a hat that had a huge gap in it. Stupid me.

I realized that it was a spiral. It would have been super helpful if the instructions had SAID, this hat is done in a spiral, rather than, Do not join the rounds. That really threw me off. As I mentioned in the beginning, there is a thing called a magic ring or adjustable ring, but I was too stubborn, so I tried it twice without and got this wavy crappy frisbee like thing. Man does my stubbornness suck!

Finally, I took the frisbee thing in to work to show Christina who has made oodles of these hats and said, what am I doing wrong. And she said, "Did you do the magic ring?"

"Uh. I don't know how to do the magic ring."

"Just go to Youtube. I learn everything from youtube!"

So here is how you do the magic ring. It's how I was able to do the hat AND the ears. If I didn't know the magic ring, I would have three small frisbee things and one unhappy Canadian friend with a baby with a cold head. Thank God for youtube. And this lady at for making a tutorial. I'm not going to give you the pattern because it's written really poorly and I don't think I will use it again. But if you really want it, it's on ravelry. Search Osito Baby Hat, but don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Google Books and Making Good Choices

Recently we had an AP US History paper assigned and I had one of the AP students select the following book as one of his sources from google books:

Here is a book one of our AP US students picked for his paper. The book is Phoenix Rising by Donald G. Lett. Now, the reason he picked this book is because it is about he Cuban missile crisis.
The reason I started to have a bad feeling about the book? One, when the student admitted in his works cited that he couldn't find much on the author, but the book still seemed credible (my emphasis added). So I looked it up. It was self published, which made warning bells go off.

Next, I invite you to look at the author's letter after the table of contents called The Pre-Liminaries. It is clear from this letter that the author has a particular bias and point of view, one that I am quite sure sailed right on past my AP student.

After you have looked at the letter, you need to go to the back of the book and check out the author's research, and I do use that term loosely. The author cites Wikipedia and Thinkquest (which is a site built by student entries, not unlike wikipedia) as authorities. To be sure, there are some credible sites in the research, but it is chock full of incredible sites, so much so that it makes it an excellent example of why EVERYTHING needs to be inspected and scrutinized, EVEN BOOKS.

The only additional information on the author I could find was at Amazon. It was rather disturbing.

This paper requires that they have monographs and the annotations need to have the author's credentials listed. So the kids are used to checking for author information and adding it to their annotations. What was interesting, upon asking the student why he chose this book over another, was that he only criteria was that it dealt with his topic and when he did a control-f search on his topic, lots of hits came up.

Good news is I have a great example for the kids to use next year for why they will be verifying books from google!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Berry Baby Hat

I've finished one of my hats. It's the Berry Baby Hat from Kim Werker's Crocheted Gifts.

It's going to be a christening gift for Lydia.

I think it turned out pretty cute. The leaves are a bit smaller than I thought they would be, but all in all, very smart looking and they crocheted up very quickly.

Now, I just hope it fits! Next up, a bear hat. 8-)