Finally Retired & Now Writing About Knitting

Well, I made it. As of June 1, I am officially retired from teaching. Thirty-nine long years. My students made me wonderful gifts and the teachers and administrators festooned me with praise...and even some gift cards. I will be using two of the cards to help pay for my hotel bills to and from the Denver retreat. That was a big help.

Now I am working for a publishing company here in the northern burbs of Chicago that publishes the All Free Knitting Site, among other sites that offer free patterns and such to fiber artists, crafters, foodies, etc.

I have written a few articles and am actually getting paid for it! Pretty neat. It will help supplement my retirement a tiny bit by paying for my knitting supplies and perhaps, if inflation behaves itself, a couple knitting retreats. That gives me time to spend with some of you! That's the best part.

My articles are showing up on the blog called Stitch and Unwind, where I publish tips and tricks of knitting for the novice.


If any of you guys know of any great little tricks or tips that you would like to share with others, please let me know and I'd be glad to include them in upcoming articles. If you would like to read my thoughts, please go to .

It's nothing earth shattering in terms of major information sharing, but it has helped some readers and I am now being featured on other sites and finding my way into a lot of Pinterest pages.

I just want you ALL to know that this site has helped me over the past few years. The education world is changing a lot and a lot of it, typically, is being governed by politicians and special interest groups whose only interests are those that help further their careers or make them money. The last few years have been especially troubling to a lot of us who, after many years in the classroom, have honed our skills and established Best Practices that are now widely use throughout the world. So, to all my friends here at MWK, a big THANK YOU for your seemingly endless good nature and helpful suggestions, not just to me, but to all who venture in here. You are the best bunch of guys I know and I would be lost without you. I can't wait to see some of you at the Rocky Mountain Retreat in just 11 days from now!

Great big HUGS to all!


Bill's picture

Your column is terrriffic! Why didn't you tell us about this before? (...maybe you did, and I missed it...)
I LOVE the BIG, CLEAR pictures!!!
Well done!
...I've bookmarked it so I can try to follow the column...
...and Happy Retirement!'ll be busier than ever!

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks, Bill. I didn't mention it before as I wasn't sure if the company would like my work. As it is, they do and that pleases me a lot. You mention the pictures, they are actually harder to do than the writing! But I really enjoy it all.



Hey Mark that is great! I myself am semi retired and really enjoying that as well. When will you be on PBS? For their knitting shows LOL

ronhuber's picture

I hope you enjoy your retirement. I really like your column.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Congrats on retirement. I'll have to take a peek at the website and see what's what. See you in Allenspark.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

CLABBERS's picture

Hi Joe,
I look forward to seeing you and spending good fun times with you in Allenspark!

jinct's picture

Congratulations on retirement! I retired last year after 34 ½ years and have not regretted it. I had in the time (minus ½ year), and I saw what was coming down the pike. I got out! You will miss some coworkers, the kids will be an empty space in your heart, but the insanity of what’s going on now will make you smile because you won’t have to deal with it. Again, congratulations and happy knitting!

CLABBERS's picture

Hi John,
Yes, the insanity is hitting everyone now with the rewriting of ALL curriculum to match the Common Core Standards. I almost retired this past December, but by staying, I increased my take-home by $100 per month, so I put up with things...just didn't need to take any of it very seriously. Thanks for the good wishes. Good thought heading your way as well from me.

Knit ON!


Bill's picture

sadly...I signed up for the newsletter.
...and now I'm getting junk mail!
I've unsubscribed...hope it works. I used a fictitious first I can tell where the junk came from...

CLABBERS's picture

Sorry to hear that Bill. I haven't gotten it figured out yet, but I suspect a great deal of income is derived on most websites these days by selling email addresses, much the same as happens with US mail. Most places I have signed up to get a newsletter from I have unsubscribe for exactly the same reason. I don't defend the practice, it's just the way Internet commerce works. Sad, but true. Like you, I never use my own name and I have one email address I use for anything I think is going to generate junk mail. It's a gmail account and once you mark something as spam, that takes care of it. Again, sorry you had to deal with that. You can still read my column without signing up for anything.

SAPBrown's picture

Congratulations on retirement!
Teaching is such an underappreciated profession. I agree with you about the businesses and bureaucrats interfering without realizing or caring about the damages they cause. What subject did/do you teach?
Great site. I have been a member for a few years now. I agree with Bill about the junk mail. From a "free" site, I expect a certain amount of advertising (got to pay for it somehow). A little creative email filtering solved the problem for me.

I will check this out soon.


CLABBERS's picture

Thanks Stephen,
I have never complained about being under-appreciated because the appreciation I get from the kids was all I needed. I taught middle school English/Language Arts to 85% Hispanic population for the past 20 years, and a very diverse cultural mix when I taught high school English, theater, and journalism in the inner city when I lived in Cleveland. I always tried to make learning reading and writing fun and from what I have heard from my students, I did okay.

In the AllFreeKnitting site junk mail is the order of the day. Thankfully, they have a setting in your account where you can uncheck any and all newsletters. I experienced a huge influx of junk mail from them when I first signed up a few years ago, so I just unchecked everything and it all stopped. Now I just use the site for what I can find on it. They have about 30 divisions of the company, each with it's own newsletter, but you can visit those sites without giving out your email, which is as it should be. It's a very good resource, and a bit overwhelming when you start digging around inside it. You will never hear people complain that there isn't enough material on the sites.

Again, thanks for the congrats. I hope you like my little contribution to the knitting world.