Friday, September 29, 2006

6 fingers done &

Only four to go! I should get at least one more done today, so then there will be three. I'm hoping to have some nice, quiet time this weekend at home in which to finish the fingers. We've been running full-out for what feels like months, but I think the few quiet times have just gotten lost in the chaos. I'm really ready for the busy time to stop, but with two small kids, does it ever? Yeah, I didn't think so.

Anyway, I'm hoping to start the body of the gloves next week. Hmm. Is that the right term for it? I'm guessing you know what I mean though, right? I'm hoping that since I have to load all the fingers back onto the needles, I will be comfortably enough with magic loop to do both bodies at the same time. Two new knitting things on one project, am I pushing my luck?

I'm still very in love with this whole glove thing, I really hope it continues long enough to make a second pair for my DH. Poor guy deserves something for all the mess & havoc my projects for other people have created. He has suffered a similar fate to mine. I haven't knit a single thing for him, just students & my family (mom, g-mother, sister). I have a lovely cardigan pattern picked out for him, and the yarn in my stash, I've just been waiting to feel more confident before starting it up. (I've been sitting on the pattern for over a year.) I'm actually ready to get knittin on it now, but maybe I should do some gloves first. You know, in case it takes me two years to knit the cardi. LOL

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fingers! At last... erm, for the gloves

Here's the beginning of the gloves. I have the thumbs and both pinkies done now. I've almost got the first ring finger as well. I'm very excited about the project still, so I'm very, very pleased. The magic loop thing works a treat. I'm sure if I was trying to do these fingers with only dpns I'd be a raving loon by now having completed my first thumb.

Now all I have to do is wait and see how my adapting skills work out. This pattern was for fingerless gloves & I've made complete fingers instead. The pattern instructions read to leave the top stitches of the knuckles live so that they could be grafted onto the glove. I turned them into proper fingers instead & will have to pick up the stitches on the cast-on end instead. Hmmm. It seems like it should work out fine, just maybe a little more work getting stitches back on needles. Right? I'm having so much fun knitting the digits up, I'm just not the least bit worried about what will happen when I get to the next bit.

Let's hope I don't have cause to rue those words. LOL The color quality really stinks in my photo. I took the picture at work with a camera we have there (I just haven't been able to find the time at home lately) & the photo came out VERY yellow. I adjusted it with photoshop, but still lost some of the other tones (like the fact that those are bamboo needles!). I needed one of my graphic design students here to help me out. Still, it is closer to the truth than the other was. (Yes. My desk is a horrid, bland grey that blends right in with the keyboard and monitor.)

The yarn is Rowan Felted Tweed in a medium grey. I love the color, it has tiny black/white/light blue flecks in it. This is the first time I've used this particular yarn & I'm really loving it. I'm currenty knitting just under two fingers a day. I'm really hoping to get the fingers done this week so that I can get them all joined up and move on to some the rest of the glove soon. This project is due by mid-December. I should have it completed in plenty of time. If I dont' get too cocky, that is.

Friday, September 22, 2006

That wasn't supposed to happen

I didn't mean to disappear, but life sometimes just gets out of hand. I mentioned that I was starting classes, but after a week and a half I decided that it just wasn't going to work. The program was supposed to be designed for working professionals, but apparently not working professionals with young children. The amount of work due each week would have been stretching my limit without the girls, but with them it was just impossible. So several days last week were spent trying to figure out if I was over-reacting, then when I was sure I wasn't, getting the paperwork & signatures so that I could drop the program. I will try again when the girls are older, if I still want to. I expected to feel a bit more upset about it, but it was very plain that it just wouldn't work. I've had a few snarky comments about me not being able to "cut the graduate level work", but since I already have one MA (in lib. sci.) it is actually pretty easy to blow these weirdos off. I'm really surprised I'm not wallowing in self-doubt or something. Gee, I must have made the right decision. LOL

I have had little time for knitting, though that is beginning to change. I have the one last student gift, the (first) pair of gloves. I decided I wanted to do them using the magic loop method, so that I could maybe get them done faster (once past the learning hump) and practice the method before I try it on socks. Anyway, I spent way too much time doing research on how it is done. Well, come on, I AM a librarian. lol Finally, I realized that I was just stalling & making the whole thing out to be harder than it probably was. So, I cast on and started the first thumb. It was a bit awkward, but after 3 or 4 rounds, it went beautifully. I finished that one yesterday and started thumb #2 this morning. I'll get pics up asap, I've just been running around too crazy to post, much less do pictures too. Sorry. Anyway, I'm not sure about getting two things on the loop at the same time, but I'm hoping that once I get done with all of the fingers I'll be ready to try it for the main part of the gloves.

I'm loving this method of knitting! It is strangely fun and MUCH faster than using all the dpns. Easier on my fingers, too. If the whole project goes this well, I may just develop a glove addiction.

It is the start of the Fall TV lineup & I've been trying to get my schedule all organized. I don't watch "grown-up" TV at home unless I'm home sick. Due to my early work hours I tend to go to bed early with the kids, so I can't really stay up to watch anything at night. The only thing that counts as TV for me is football in the Fall. My kids are not impressed with football & my DH will watch it, but it isn't a big deal to him. I blame it on my Texas roots, but I love football & I'm so happy the season has started! I usually pick one game a week to try to fit in my schedule, or maybe bits of more than one. That is all the tolerance I can get from the girls. My other shows I record and then watch them at lunch at work. This actually works pretty well for me, I have a video monitor next to my desk (for reviewing new library materials) and I just pop on some headphones, turn on the show, have a quick lunch and start knitting. It makes for a nice lunch break.

I've decided to trim a few shows out of my lineup this year. I had too many things to juggle last year, and I got really annoyed by several of the plots, so I'm cutting them loose. We'll see if I can stick to it. This year will include: Lost (on probation, if the plot doesn't get better, it is gone); Desperate Housewives (ditto for this one, Susan drives me nuts!); House (my FAVORITE!); Bones; and Supernatural (I LOVE this show!). I've cut loose Gray's Anatomy. I really dislike Meridith (the character, not the actress) & I hate the love issues with her. My favorite plot was Izzy and Denny & they let him go. Fortunately for me, the actor who played Denny is also on Supernatural, at least he was still alive in the finale, and so I'm dumping Gray's and giving my time to Supernatural. I just hope it can stand up in the time slot, it has some serious competition (for one, Gray's Anatomy). There are some X-File loyalties for this show as well with Kim Manners being involved. >sigh< Yes. I'm an X-Phile, don't get me started. I'm actually much worse(?) when it comes to Joss Whedon. That man can do no wrong...

Monday, September 11, 2006

Start of something new

Whew! I made it through the weekend! I may not have mentioned that I am starting back to school. I'm working on a Masters in Education and my classes started this weekend.

I'm not sure I've started though.

I had an all day class on Saturday (8am - 5pm) and I had homework due for that class by Monday morning at 3am. (Online classes are weird) My second class was added late, and the paperwork took several days longer than I expected. By the time I got access to the class, it was Friday afternoon at 3. This was my first opportunity to get my assignment that was due on Sunday night. I think you see my problem here, no time to get all the reading and assignments done and sleep. Then, because things weren't challenging enough, I got a stye in my right eye. Sunday morning I woke up and my eye was swollen almost shut and it is very light sensitive right now, so working in front of a computer or sitting under a light to read are not really helping it out.

Talk about getting off to a crappy start! Anyway, I emailed the instructor for the late add class and told her my first assignment would be late, but I would be sure to have everything on track for week two (this week). I actually managed to get the work done for the other class, so I'm okay there. Mostly, I'm stressed out at the end of week 1. (This whole week thing is bogus as well, I got started on both classes at the end of week 1, & now we're in week 2 after 2-3 days. Feels really weird.)

My DH took the kids all day Saturday while I was in class. Then he had to wrangle them again yesterday while I was at the clinic for my eye and then struggling to get my work done around my eye issues. I made them a promise that I would try to get all of my reading and writing done during the day (work breaks, etc.) and try not to take up any time on the weekends, except maybe posting assignments. This will be hard, but if I've got two years for this degree, it is the only way it will work out for us. I know there will be exceptions, but those are easily dealt with. This counts as professional development, so I can legitimately do some of my reading when I'm working at the circulation desk as well. That will help. These classes are designed for people who work full-time, so they are mostly writing and reading assignments, not tests (at least this semester!). That will help.

Needless to say, there was no knitting this weekend! I also didn't have time for pictures, but I will add them asap. I did buy some Rowan Wool Tweed for the gloves. It is a nice grey (student's favorite color to wear) with light blue and white flecks in it. I don't know how I'll work it in, but I'll give it my best shot. Just not this week. I want to try the magic loop method and see if I can't learn to do that for these gloves. I think it might slow me down to start, but I'm hoping things will go faster once I get it. I really need these to go fast.

Well, I'm off to go read for class! And to take some time to remember those we lost on this day 5 years ago. Do you remember what you were doing when you heard about the attacks?

Friday, September 08, 2006

Hat & Scarf Done!

I finished the hat & scarf set for my first student gift! Sadly, I forgot my camera so I had to use the one on my phone. The quality may not be as good &, more importantly, that means I'll have to add the photo to this post at a later time. Hopefully over the weekend. I've had virtually no knitting time this week and so I was up two hours past my bedtime finishing the hat, knitting in really bad light so I wouldn't wake up the kids. I really don't want to do that again (the staying up late or the bad light). My reason was simply that we are having a going away party for her at work today & it is her last day at work. If I didn't finish the hat, I was going to have to mail it to England. I knew I only needed a couple of hours to get it done, so I stayed up. It seemed the only responsible thing to do. Now she can take it with her & I can move on to student gift #2.

The hat (in the Baby Grande Alpaca) turned out very nice, although I did struggle quite a bit in the beginning stages. I was trying to be good and plan the thing out, getting my gauge, avg. head size, the pattern I wanted to use, etc., all to figure out how many stitches to cast on. Well, I still managed to get it all wrong & I really don't know why. Anyway, I cast on with a size 10 circ and after three garter rows moved to a size 11 to start the pattern. This shift allowed me to try on the beginning of the hat for size and see that I just didn't know anyone with a head that big. At least not in the literal sense. Ha! So, I took it all off the needles and then put it on my head and tried sizing it that way. After one more false start, I finally got it right. While I wasn't great at geometry, I did do well at a more practical math, statistics. I have no trouble balancing a checkbook, at least not in principle, and "real life" math is usually very easy and straight-forward fo r me. I still can't figure out why my hat math didn't work. Oh well, the important thing is that the hat is done & I think it looks great. We'll see what the student thinks.

I'll be giving it to her in about an hour, and so now the nerves kick in. Will she like it? Is her idea of fluffy my idea of fluffy? I really just need to learn to relax. I'm proud of myself for the attempts at planning and the fact that I wrote it all down. Impressive really. Now I need to start planning for the gloves. I think I've found the pattern I want, I don't have it handy to post the title, but I found it on It is a fingerless glove, well, with partial fingers, but I will probably put whole fingers on them. Maybe. I like it because it isn't tiny yarn. I really don't want to do gloves with sock yarn. If I find another pattern I like better within the next week I might be willing to change, but once I buy the yarn, I'm done. I've promised myself no significant stash increase as a result of these gifts. I think I'll get another hat out of the leftover Baby Grande Alpaca, so, no stash increase. Woo-Hoo! Look at me being responsible. heh, heh, heh.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Restful weekend

Since the entire month of August was too busy for me with very little time to rest, we went out of our way to have a very laid-back Labor Day weekend. We started our Saturday with a trip to Half Price Books (a used books store) for their 20% off sale. I didn't find any good knitting books, but we did find some fun stuff for the kids and Himself, so it was a good trip. The girls found some computer games (Candy Land, I Spy, etc.) that kept them rather occupied for the rest of the weekend. I was happy that we kept the TV off, though I suppose if we spent time on the computer playing games it might count as the same sort of thing. Hmmm. Well, the games were interactive and we all participated, so it was family time, right?

We did have one sad note this weekend. The goldfish my daughter won at the fair last week died yesterday, so we had a fish funeral. We buried him in the back yard, not a water burial. I'm very glad I bought him a friend. She seemed okay with it, overall, but is quite concerned about "what" killed him specifically. I keep explaining that these fish don't live very long, but that isn't good enough for her. Well, it is an opportunity for continuing dialog I guess, and a trip to the library for fish books.

Sunday night I got to go hear the Yarn Harlot and that was awesome. She is just as funny in person as she is in print. She was wearing Icarus and it looked lovely! She did not have the ends woven in yet, but it really was nice. Sadly, I was unable to get my book signed. For some reason, this was a family trip & by the time we had dinner & then the family waited through her talk, the kids were DONE. There was no way I was going to be able to sqeeze the extra time out of them so that I could wait in a huge line to get my books signed. I was very disappointed, but I really should have considered that before allowing the whole family to tag along. My bad. The venue is this nice book shop with a food court and a small stage. It is a great place to see authors, although a pub might be nicer (ha!). I saw Terry Pratchett here last year & that was a great talk as well, but I digress. There were tons of people here knitting away, I did not get pics of the crowd, although others did, but it was a great time. I never get the chance to hang out with other knitters, so it was fun just knitting with a huge crowd of folks. I've made great progress on my sock and I'm just about ready to turn the heel! I'm actually pretty excited about it, is that too geeky?

I was devastated to get in the car for work today and hear the terrible news about Steve Irwin. I'm hoping my oldest daughter isn't too upset by it, although to be honest, I am. I spent many hours with my girls watching him wrestle gators and find beauty in things that all too often elicit "ick" or "ewww" from the rest of us. He was a special person who had a great gift & I'm so glad he was able to share it with the world and my children. He will be missed by so many people around the world, he was an inspiration to children and adults and that is a great legacy to leave behind. May his memory be eternal.