Go read this:
wow - I like this person's brain!
I know that you and I were sure that this knitter was done with the chaperoning thing for the year. I certainly was. Positive. Absolutely.
So, yesterday, the sock chaperoned a group of 7th graders to a sort of Science Fair at the University of Illinois. The sock, with me in tow, shared the responsibility for 13 7th graders with their student teacher. We arrived by bus at about 9:00, and were duly welcomed by
A locally famous statue.
We then persuaded all 13 of our charges to walk up four whole flights of stairs to the fourth floor of the student union. There was an amazing amount of complaining. Wimps.
Our first escapade involved learning about reducing the freezing point of liquids, and seeing some fun results. The means by which they demonstrated this? Making ice cream!
Then, they added about 1/4 cup of sugar.
They then pressed out as much air as they could and sealed their ziplocks. Next up, a second, larger ziplock -- into which they put ice and salt.
Working in pairs, they took turns wearing gloves (to protect their hands from freezing) and shaking up their baggies, until they found that the contents of their inner bag was thickening.
Eventually, we stopped this, took the ice's temperature (some got down as low as 15 degrees F!), and enjoyed ice cream!
Made me want to go out to get an ice cream maker (I'd rather make more than one cup of ice cream at a time).
Next, we crossed the hall to play with more cold things: dry ice and liquid nitrogen.
Okay, the UofI student in charge of that chem room played, we watched and learned and surprised ourselves with how much we knew. My kid blew me away. Not only did she know that the transformation from liquid to solid is called freezing, and from solid to liquid is called melting, but also that going from liquid to gas is called evaporating and that going from gas to liquid is called condensing. But more still! She knew that the transformation from solid to gas is called sublimating! (I didn't even know that). That's what the dry ice was doing. (It's called dry ice because it never sees a liquid form.)
We then learned how to tell whether dry ice or liquid nitrogen was colder.... without a thermometer. I love logic. And it's fun to watch what happens when you put a chunk of dry ice into a wee vat of liquid nitrogen. That boiling that is happening at room temperature (yep, that's why all that vapor floats around -- its boiling at room temperature), goes nuts when you add the relatively warmer dry ice (yep, that stuff that will burn your hand and give you frost bite if you grab it without protection because it's so cold). Lots of fun vapor action.
Adding room temperature water to dry ice makes some fun vapor too. And adding soap stuff plus room temperature water to dry ice makes some really fun vapor plus many many bubbles filled with carbon dioxide. Whoosh..... and with liquid nitrogen plus soapies and room temperature water??? WOW! poof! big vapor and huge mat of bubbles in no time!
I thought that was fun. Why didn't we ever do that in MY middle school science classes???
Then we went on to learn about Ph and polymers. Some of the kids made bouncy balls out of some polymer or another... We also learned that low Ph things have an acidic taste and high Ph things have a bitter taste ... and the kids tasted a bunch of things to guess whether they were high or low Ph.... then tested the things w/ Ph indicator strips to see how well they guessed.
Next up... lunch. What a lot of science for one morning!
After lunch -- bugs .....
First up ... Ants.
I've never given ants much thought really, other than to delight in knowing that spraying soapy water (Dawn dishwashing liquid plus water) on them kills 'em as fast as or faster than Raid. We met with a professor of ants in his lab, and saw a colony of leaf cutter ants. They live in here.
and they use a stick sort of thing to fetch leaves from the bin in which the scientists set them up.
Note the ant in the middle carrying a leaf...(sorry about the picture quality here, but I forgot the good camera, and was making do with what my phone could achieve).
In that colony, there was one queen, who will spend her entire THIRTY YEAR life span in the nest (made up of some weird fungus that they live in and eat, and to which they feed leaves). All of the ants in the colony are her daughters. Yes. Daughters. No boy ants in the colony. (Boy ants, btw, come from unfertilized eggs. They live long enough to mate with new queens, and then die. The queens then form their colonies, and hoard the sperm from several males to fertilize the eggs she lays over the next 30 years!).
And those sisters? they grow up to be suited for the different roles in the colony, and can look so different that I thought a stranger ant had gotten into the colony. The smallest of them is about 1 mm. The largest, can be 16 mm with a 7mm wide head (the soldiers). They even have undertakers who gather the dead and move them all to a pile.
Among the nifty things you can learn from studying these ants and their amazingly complex social structure is how to best set up traffic patterns. Given a new path or set of paths to the leaves they need, the ants will work out the most efficient and shortest such path in a matter of hours. (I can think of a number of cities that clearly did not study ant models of their highways before building).
We also saw some Trap-Jaw Ants . That link will get you to a picture, and some really nifty videos (we saw some there too). These babies snap their jaws shut so quickly and with so much force that engineers are studying them to see just how they do it.
After the ants, we went on to the insectorium.
There we met some Madagascar Hissing Cockroaches (which, unlike most cockroaches, do not have wings). We "got to" pet one, and one of the students even held one. We learned how to identify the males and females...
We also saw a death's head cockroach, so named for the interesting markings on the back of its head.
(Image from the University of Nebraska Department of Entomology)
The one we saw had red dots in that black square that looked almost like a smiley face. My phone was so not up to taking its picture.
We also saw a praying mantis and a lovely gray tarantula -- and learned about them, but neither came out of its cage. We also saw a bunch of neat bugs in a display case, including this very lovely weevil.
They say that these pretty moths are native of Illinois... they are quite large too.
That giant wasp that you can see just below the right-hand moth is a Tarantula Hawk. The females dive in and lay their eggs in the poor tarantula -- the babies eat the tarantula. Ew.
After we made it through insect land... we headed back down two flights of stairs and back to the union where the teacher took pity on the class and took the elevator back up to the fourth floor. We then did some game theory.
The kids learned about cooperative prediction games: you vote with one of seven colors, and then those people who guessed the most popular color get one point. The kids quickly mastered the cooperation point and we soon had everyone "voting" for the same color. Then, we saw what happens when the goal was to pick the LEAST popular color. Non-cooperative prediction. I would have liked the fellow leading this one to give the kids some clues as to where we use these types of predictions in daily life, but we didn't get there.
Finally, we headed back outside to learn about Perception. Most of the kids took the elevator, but the sock, C, and I took the stairs.
I really liked our fellow who dealt with perception. He told the kids that he was going to "change [their] brains". They wondered how... so he lined them all up in two lines, facing each other, about four feet apart with a set of concentric rings laid out on the ground at one end, and a pile of good stuff at the other end.
First, he had someone toss five bean bags toward a set of concentric rings (the outer ring earned one point, the middle 2, and the inner 3). He had her wear "safety goggles" to do it -- after all, beanbags are dangerous things. We then asked, if nothing changes, how many points would we expect that person to get if she does it again. The kids all assumed that she'd learn... but that is something changing. So the fellow pointed out that a scientist wouldn't assume something had changed... and thus we'd predict the same score. Naturally, the student did better -- because her brain had changed... she'd learned.
He had the next student wear goggles, and toss five bags. We asked again, "What do we predict she'll do next time." The kids then articulated that she'd learned, and thus we expected to her to get a score somewhere between one more than she'd gotten and fifteen (the maximum you can get with five beanbags). He "borrowed" her goggles to "clean them" and had her close her eyes. He told her to keep her eyes closed until he told her to open them, and to then toss the beanbags as quickly as she could. Of course, what he did was slip on goggles that were identical but for some prisms on the lenses -- these prisms made it look like things were about two feet to the right of where they actually were. She tossed the bags at the kids to the right of the tossing field.
We did that again with goggles that made things look higher than they were, and then put three sets of prismed goggles onto three students, and had them try to play toss the bean bags with each other and the rest of the class.
It was great fun. I asked how much the goggles were -- $40.00 a lens. Ouch.
After a long day of good science, we headed back.
Here's the sock, keeping up the rear to be sure no students got lost.
It was very hard -- we walked right past a yarn store, and I could do nothing about it.
which saw lots of personal progress during the course of the day, was very generous. During times when I didn't need to watch anyone like a hawk, it even let me work on Sock de la Mer II a bit.
Whew. We're tired now......
I have a lovely post I'm working on.
It is long.
It has many pictures.
But TypePad and/or my computer and/or Firefox have conspired to make the WYSIWYG part of their interface not work today. I'm not very good at html on the fly...
and I can't see what I'm getting.
So... when it went this way, I saved what I had, and am waiting for a more cooperative interface to return.
It does this from time to time. I hate it. But no one seems to know how to fix it....
So... long blog coming.... with details that include giant cockroaches, pretty weevils, liquid nitrogen and warped perceptions...
I'm just going to pretend that this means I should go knit now.
Today is, in theory, Knitting With Nora day. This means that I'm allegedly going to report to you about some lovely lace project that I've been working on.
Sadly, I have not been knitting enough lace to show any progress. (Trust me, four rows on Chrysopolis doesn't show up at all). And the lovely lace project I'd intended for Knitting with Nora had a big feud with its yarn. The yarn is pouting, and the pattern is snubbing all other yarn in the house for now.
Additionally, as you may recall, my wrist has been behaving very badly, and has been restricting my knitting activities to a wholly unacceptable degree.
Luckily, at least in terms of my Monday obligations to report on my Knitting With Nora projects, Nora herself has asked about a non-lace project that I've been working on. I guess it's time to re-introduce Deep Breath.
Deep Breath is a sinfully easy pattern designed by Kirsten Hipsky (Ravelry Link) for Valley Yarns (e.g. WEBS), with credit given to Barbara Walker's Knitting from the Top. It was originally designed for worsted weight yarn (but oddly, WEBS doesn't tie it to any of its worsted yarns -- even the several worsted weight Valley Yarns. As a worsted sweater, it lacks the panache that I seek in something I want to knit. However, someone figured out that it also works as a slip of a thing to wear over something else -- and I picked it up at Stitches last year because I love the way the Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk looked in it. Evidently, WEBS thinks that the 2/14 result is best, as that is the yarn they tie the pattern to on their site.
Knit on size 8 needles, this simple top down raglan becomes a light airy garment to wear over a camisole or t-shirt when knit in this finer lace-weight yarn. I'm hoping that the unevenness of my stitches will block out. They're not awful, but they're not as even as they could be.
Of course, since I am who I am, as soon as I finish this second sleeve, I will be adding short row and dart shaping to this simple garment so that it fits ME a bit better, but I'm guessing that it would look fine even if I didn't engage in fussy tailoring behavior.
This picture makes it look a bit fuzzy. It isn't really fuzzy, despite the alpaca. But it is certainly soft.
Meanwhile, last night brought a sense of near completion -- I'd well-begun the toe decreases for Sock de la Mer.
(see those needle tips??)
Of course, I finished it this morning before doing much more than drinking a cup of coffee and being walloped by the Sudoko in Sunday's paper. (okay, I haven't given up quite yet, but the puzzle is in time-out on the counter downstairs).
As you can see, I promptly cast on for sock two. We will not be having any second sock syndrome around here, thank you very much.
Last weeks Ten on Tuesday was to have been Ten Things You Love about Your Life.
Last Tuesday, I wasn't really up to blogging, what with the frozen shoulder and the company and all. So it goes.
But, this list of ten things is worthy of thinking about. It's so easy for each of us to voice our frustrations about the things in our lives that are annoying, irritating, disappointing, painful or otherwise unsettling. But we don't look as closely at the things that are not troubling as closely. We vent readily. We seem not to give the good stuff as much "air time". (See, e.g., the news -- there's lots of good things happening out there, but the media only shares the bad, the horrible, the dangerous, the sad, the alarming -- the rare good news is shared only when its huge).
I'd like to pretend that I'm capable of following through on a promise to write about something good every day, or even to pop up a list of ten good things weekly. But, I know myself well enough to know that I'd berate myself for missing a day or a week, etc. So, I'll start small: Here, a few days late, are ten things I love about my life:
1) We can afford for me to work part time or not at all, so that I can be home with my children when they need me; I can be there to fetch them from school each day; I can drive them to music lessons so that they can reap the benefits of their musical talents. We can afford for me to not have a full time career, so that I can shun suits and high heeled pumps and stockings.
2) My children are bright and talented and good hearted. Even as we embark on what I anticipate being a rocky adolescent time, my girls love and trust me, and manage to behave well in public most of the time.
3) My parents are all wonderful people (all four of them) who get along splendidly together and with me and my husband. My mother and father's divorce brought me wonderful step-parents without the rancour that so many divorces seem to bring, and so my children have four loving grandparents from my side of the family. My husband genuinely likes them all, and there are no horrible in-law stories in our house.
4) My jobs since having children have allowed me the luxury of taking long trips each summer, so that we can visit my parents (all four of them), and linger in their homes in Vermont and Maine for whole weeks at a time. I enjoy the time with them --- and my children still enjoy this time as well, and look forward to the driving journey there, the long visits, and even the driving journey home.
5) Knitting. It has brought me a lovely outlet for my creative bent; it has given me an inlet for my sensual cravings (oh the feel of those luscious fibers ... ahhhh); it has given me the opportunity to create truly beautiful gifts that are also useful; it has given me friends, oh so many wonderful friends.
6) Dancing. I have always enjoyed letting music flow through my body to express itself in dance. Now (though it took ten years of nattering), my husband has learned to love to dance as well. We take nightclub dance classes -- we're moving through the offerings in West-Coast Swing and Two Step with relish, and have even touched on Salsa and some Ballroom. Dancing gives me exercise that is so fun I don't even notice I'm getting it.
7) My friends. I have wonderful friends, both here at home, and spread across the U.S and beyond. Some I first met face to face; some I first met online, through blogs or email lists. Some I see face to face often -- weekly or more; some I see annually, on my trek to my mothers, or at fiber related events; some I see rarely; some I've yet to meet in person. Some I talk to on the phone regularly, some I talk to rarely; some I've never spoken to -- on the phone or otherwise. Some I "instant message with every day"; some I IM every so often; others I don't, at all. All of them (all of YOU) remind me, in one way or another, that I am connected to the world out there -- that I matter (that they matter) and that the connections we have are good things. I could go on and on about my friends, and the joys and laughter they've brought into my life. But I hate to be trite. I could whine about the enabling in which they've been engaging (hence, my stash ... shhh), but I prefer to rejoice.
8) Blogland. I love reading my friends' blogs. I love that my friends read my blog. I love that I've made friends through our blogs. And I love the things that I've learned and/or been exposed to through blogland. Nifty knitting tutorials, travel information, recipes, book recommendations, movie recommendations -- what to avoid. Ravelry.
9) My library. Well, yes, the one in my front room, but more significantly the one across the street from C's school. It has a wonderful collection, and is all nicely tied into a library system that means its collection is really the size of the whole system's collection. The folks happily hunt up things that aren't in the system, either for Inter Library Loan or for acquisition. The hold system there is brilliant (I put things on hold from my computer in the wee small hours. If it's currently available, the item I requested is on the hold shelf for me within 24 hours; if not, I can see how many people are ahead of me in line.) The movie selection is great. The music selection is great. The people are delightful. I often wish I could work there just so I could work with these people. I love my library!
10) My husband, who is supportive in all the little tiny ways that are so easy to over look. He even supports my yarn addiction, and encourages me to run off for fiber filled weekends that wind up enhancing my already-well-endowed stash.
I've held back. I've knit only a little bit on my lovely Socks de la Mer each day, slowly easing my wrists back into action. But I sure do like these socks:
I could wish that the texture was still as rich when they're "installed", but they're still lovely (Okay, it is lovely, since this is still sock one). Here it is on my arm:
To help me prevent wrist attacks, I've also been working on Deep Breath. It's finally looking like something other than a magenta blob.
Look ma! it's almost a sleeve!
I gotta tell you, working on 8's sure moves more quickly than working on 0's! Whoosh.
Meanwhile, I've also pretty much determined that the culprit responsible for my aching wrists wasn't really the 0's. They surely exacerbated the matter, but the true culprit is the Blue Dragon -- my truly mobile laptop. I've been using it a lot more than the behemoth on my desk, and thus have been spending a lot of time with the BlueDragon sitting in my lap, typing away on the squinched in keyboard that laptops come with instead of on the "ergonimic" keyboard I use at my desk. It's not a big wave, but that little adjustment seems to make a huge difference! For example: I spend less than an hour reading blogs and commenting on the wee laptop, and my wrist really let me know about it. Today I spent in the neighborhood of three hours typing on the wave keyboard, working on what I'm deluding myself may become a novel, reading and answering email, blogging, and instant messaging with friends .... and there's nary a twinge. Think there might be a correlation? me too.
Gotta get me another wave keyboard. I guess this means no more sitting with the thing in my lap. pout.
Okay, off to play with my 0's!
I haven't died.
I haven't quite stopped knitting.
But I've been mightily distracted of late.
First, I'm babying the old wrist. None-the-less, there has been progress with the Sock de la Mer, and even a row or two in Chrysopolis. I'll try to get pictures tomorrow.
Most of my focus, however, has been on a houseguest who left this evening. My friend arrived Monday from Fresno. Tuesday morning, I dropped the intrepid Ms. Starr off at the English Building where she spent the day taking care of Very Important Business. This business included defending her dissertation. At 7;30, I picked Dr. Starr up and took her out for pizza and beer (her choice of celebration). It was good. woohoo. They only took about 10 minutes in consultation to decide that she'd done very well. May her success rub off on the household.
As dissertation committee's are wont to do, even though they "passed" her, they suggested some changes to the final manuscript, which she worked on much of the time she was here. Even so, I spent quite a bit of time breakfasting with her, and taking her to the places she needed to be.
I was not a total slug while she worked. On Tuesday, I took my frozen shoulder in to the massage therapist. She thought I was kidding when I told her that if she wanted to spend our entire time working on my upper back, I'd be okay with it. She was sure that this would neither be necessary nor a good thing.
She spent 85% of the time with my upper back.
I drank an enormous amount of water over the course of the day so that I would be able to have a cosmo to toast Dr. Starr's new title.
Wednesday was another one of the many days during which the kids have only 1/2 day of school. Sigh. I dropped the newly minted Dr. off on my way in to pick the kids up from school. Of course, we still had the various lessons (piano and trombone on Wednesdays).
Thursday morning, one of the girls had a doc appt. She was also feeling queasy, but tried to go to school. My guest and I had time for coffee before I got the call to go fetch the child.
So... since Monday, I've been either playing hostess or Mom with great vigor, and have thus been remiss in photographing and blogging and email. I'll try to catch up tomorrow -- if the kids actually both go to and stay in school for the day.
Fingers crossed (and promising pretty sock pictures).
Even though spring is only now showing her colors around here, it's time for the folks in ShadowLand to start planning their summer escapades. That means I need to pick dates during which we'll be in Mid-Coast Maine, and line up visits with friends, family, and my new blogland buddies en route to and from the region. Somehow I'm also supposed to sign the kids up for camp while there, so that they don't just DIE of boredom at my Mom's gorgeous place.
We usually manage to be in Maine or Vermont for the 4th of July. I'm guessing that will be true this year too. We have to be home by about August 10, since school starts on August 14, and I know we'll have to spend a few days and a small fortune shopping for school supplies to enable the girls to go.
Typically, may daughters and I leave Illinois, drive though Indiana (pretty much straight across with this weird diversion thing in Indianapolis) then drive through Ohio (where we may or may not land on a friend in Dayton, and we may or may not be able to land on another friend in Ashtabula for a day on the lake), then cross over kissing Pennsylvania as we head into New York (which generally includes a visit to Niagara Falls (and which it looks like will also include a visit to the Fairy Godknitter (yay) this time around, if she's up for it)). When we're lucky, we stop over in Manlius to visit an old knitter friend, and then we continue across New York State. At this point, we choose --- up into Vermont to visit Jessie and then to visit my father before cutting across Vermont and New Hampshire on Rt 2 (which we hope to connect us with Norma) and then across Maine? or across Massachusetts (usually, but not always sneaking by without stopping at WEBS) before heading north through New Hampshire and up the Maine coast. (Once we're safely there, DH flies in for a visit, so he misses all the fun of the journey.) I've done this in as little as 3 days. I'll gladly take much longer if there are good people to visit who are willing to put up with me and my normally well-behaved daughters. We can still wedge ourselves all three into a queen sized fold-out couch, but will happily stay in separate beds when that's an option :-) Otherwise, we rush the drive to stay in as few hotels as possible on the way. (In only three years, it will be theoretically possible for C to drive part way!! ack!)
So... is there anyone even vaguely on our route who'd like to have lunch? Put us up for the night (or provide good local hotel advice)? Tempt us into fiber frenzy with a yarn crawl through your town? Host a knitblogger party that we can crash?
|You Are An ENFP|
You love being around people, and you are deeply committed to your friends.
You are also unconventional, irreverent, and unimpressed by authority and rules.
Incredibly perceptive, you can usually sense if someone has hidden motives.
You use lots of colorful language and expressions. You're quite the storyteller!
In love, you are quite the charmer. And you are definitely willing to risk your heart.
You often don't follow through with your flirting or professed feelings. And you do break a lot of hearts.
At work, you are driven but not a workaholic. You just always seem to enjoy what you do.
You would make an excellent entrepreneur, politician, or journalist.
How you see yourself: compassionate, unselfish, and understanding
When other people don't get you, they see you as: gushy, emotional, and unfocused
One of these days, I'm going to take one of these things and it will say I'm productive and efficient.
Perhaps in my next life.
In this life, however, I have managed some minor productivity despite the constraints of wrist braces and intermittently frozen shoulders:
After only a few months since I came up with the plan... I got the hooks on the wall in the back hall so that it's easy for the kids to stick their coats somewhere before they make it to the kitchen floor.
Timely eh? now that we're reveling in the ability to go coatless and wear sandals? (and how is it that I've never seen those spots on the wall before they appeared in this picture??
More exciting still --- after a paltry seven years, we now have curtains in the dining room. It's beginning to look like adults might have moved into our house. Maybe.
(Note... the walls in this room are the same color as the walls in that hallway. I have no clue what the camera is trying to do here.) Anyway, I still have to find a thingummy to hold the curtains back (as they're intended to be).
The one I bought totally doesn't work, and needs to be returned to the store. The one that looked easy was more expensive AND required an addition hook of some kind, so it would be at least twice the price. I'll figure something out.
With the help of the Divine Though Blogless Elizabeth's Geek Stud husband, and in trade for keeping track of their kids for a few hours, I managed to get rid all of the old computer and audio/visual equipment that no longer works or is so out dated as to be obsolete. Geek Stud stopped by on his way to the Annual Computer A/V Equipment Recycling Fest here in town and picked up my stuff to go along with his. I am grateful. He wound up waiting in line for like 2 hours. But ... that monitor is not leaking harmful evil things into the landfill to filter down into our water supply.
I made more progress frogging the 80's sweater. I've not given up yet -- perhaps its because I find the slowly growing pile of wee balls of yarn pretty amusing.
Last night, after shunning both knitting needles and keyboards for over 24 hours (it was so hard), I knit a bit on the Socks de la Mer -- and did not induce pain! When next I turn to the needles, I'll be starting the heel flap. (I actually thought I'd get there last night, but realized I had another repeat of the leg section to go).
This morning, I ordered a new "transformer" charger piece for our rechargeable electric mower. I am pleased. I feared that when DD accidentally destroyed the charger while helping me clean the garage last year, she'd rendered it permanently useless. I was not looking forward to buying a new mower. Now, I can look forward to teaching her how to run the thing, so that she can earn money this summer mowing the lawn.
Wheeeee I'm on such a roll! Who knew you could get so much done when you got out of your knitting chair and steered clear of the keyboard?
Over the past couple of days I've been given the tiniest glimmer of an insight into the lives of many whose blogs I read. The many who suffer chronic pain. I have always respected their tenacity and ability to hold onto the joy in life, and to do things! despite and through their pain. I am now in awe.
My wrist flared up so badly that even 30 seconds with the mouse caused Pain (yes, that capital "P" is intentional). Typing on the ergonomic keyboard was uncomfortable, but did not increase the pain level.... typing on the laptops "straight" keyboard did increase the pain level. (I should learn from this, neh?) The mouse thing meant that I couldn't even read blogs, much less write my own. This "fun", with which I am familiar, was combined with a new bizarre shoulder-blade area pain that I've never felt before. By the end of day two with that, I was envisioning all sorts of medical conditions involving my lungs since I could not come up with any explanation for the muscular distress I appeared to be feeling. Yesterday morning, even sitting up hurt. I still don't know what it was/is, but it's easing a bit.
I was finding myself depressed by this after only a few days. To those of you who live with chronic pain all the time..... I salute you, I have no idea how you do the things you do! And so many of you do it without complaining. I feel rather like a whiner even mentioning my four day problems on the web --- but they do allow me to explain my lack of progress...
You see, typing and mousing weren't the only activities affected. Knitting on any needles smaller than a 4 was not an option (progress on Sock de Mer and DH's Harlequin socks came to a screeching halt; ditto Rivendell). Even 8's allowed for only short spates. My addiction is such, however, that I have yet to manage 24 hours without any knitting at all.
Yesterday, for example, my devotion to the Divine Though Blogless Elizabeth and our Irtfa'a project trumped the sensible part of me that said "do not knit at all today". Last night, after her incredibly Geek-Studly husband resolved a wee computer issue (in which only one printer could print despite the printer being on a print server purchased expressly so that all could print), I sat with her and we knit one row on Irtfa'a. I'm not sure I could have done that had it not been a beaded row, which involved lots of letting go of needles to exchange them for the crochet hook.
What is a girl to do? How was I to make progress on any front?
I chose progress on the Mission Possible front. I took a good long look at this:
This is the back (or front) of a sweater that, in 1995, my DH and I thought would be a good idea. That pale blue is really a bit more electric royal than slightly turquoise, and the dark blue is darker. The burgundy is about right, but the red is not quite bright enough. This, my friends, is my personal introduction to intarsia. It is a sweater that DH said he wanted.
As sweaters go, I think it is now so dated that finishing it might allow DH to be a fashion leader in the calling back of 80's fashion rather than just a person in several season's old clothing. Alas, DH is not a fashion leader. Nor, as far as I know, has he ever really been a bright colors kind of guy. And frankly, the 80's fashions are not the ones to which I'd like to see us return. I've no idea why we thought this would be a good idea. Finishing this would do nothing more than place one more never-to-be-worn sweater in his closet.
That said, I'm rather proud of this. I think that, especially considering it was my first real intarsia experience, the knitting is pretty good. I see no holes between colors... and even in its unblocked state, the fabric is pretty smooth and even. I am pleased with the technique's expression as it were.
There you see the tell-tale kinkiness of frogged yarn. Frogging intarsia is a pita. But frogging is what's happening here. This sweater will never be worn by any member of my family. And while Mission Possible's rules DO include donations, the donations are only of projects that you do not resolve during the term of the project. I am not going to finish this only to pop it in the Donation Bag. I am going to return as much of it as is reasonable to usable yarn status (thereby resolving it, according to the rules), and put that yarn (and the rest of the balls) up on Ravelry and KnitSwap for trade/sell.
I'm hoping that today my wrist will allow me a bit more knitting time. But I'll try to find other important things to do instead to give my wrist as much of a break as I can. For example... today we go to Lowe's to see if replacing the lawn mower's charging cord is possible. If not... I guess I'll have to investigate new mowers. :-(
People who have to wear wrist braces and eat ibuprophen to keep pain at bay ought not knit.
They ought to avoid unnecessary keyboarding actions, and shun the mouse.
At least for a day or so...
The wrist brace has resumed it's control of my right hand. It stays there all day... all night..(very sexy to sleep in, I'm sure). It joined the required wardrobe on Sunday evening.
Monday, in addition to the wrist pain that summoned Mr. Brace, I also had some bizarre stiffness in my left shoulder. Hmph. I was not as good about avoiding the keyboard and mouse as I should have been, but I actually managed to shun the needles until about 9:30 p.m. But how am I supposed to watch a movie without knitting?
Aren't they just lovely? I'm really ticked that my wrist is telling me to avoid size 0 needles. (DH doesn't like it much either, as his socks are also on 0's). I'm loving these socks, and enjoying even more the fun of test knitting (conversations with the designer are always fun).
Tuesday, Mr. Brace was still with me. My shoulder was a bit better, but the wrist is dictating all sorts of rules. No Yoga that includes Down Dog. (I mean c'mon... how do you do a whole yoga routine without at least ONE Down Dog??) Drastically reduced Knitting and keyboarding...
I managed to elude the needles until about 2:00 when I met a friend at the library to knit (and teach her the fine art of decreasing for her first ever knit hat). I went with hope alive, and a tad more sanity: I took Mystic Light to give her a few extra rows.
There's no hiding from the truth. This yarn is gorgeous.
It's wasted on this pattern, and this pattern is wasted on this yarn.
Today.... it goes to the frog pond. If I don't find an alternative yarn, I'll find a new project for Knitting with Nora by Monday.
My brace and I are going to go read a good book now. Tonight is Bad TV night. How will I survive Next Generation without knitting??? Looks like it's a Deep Breath night (lovely big needles). ((lovely big needles???? when did anyone think that phrase would escape my lips. shudder))
Monday has been my KAL reporting day for quite a while. With Mermaid's emergence from WIP status, I was bereft... until I decided to start Knitting With Nora the cute button on the side bar that looks like this has the link).
Thus, Mondays will be Nora Days for awhile. And just to keep it interesting, I decided to start with another KAL -- the Mystic Light Mystery Shawl. I'd link to the Yahoo Group, but the sign ups closed two clues ago, so it would only frustrate you.
This is a not-too-simple triangle shawl with a nifty difference. Instead of the usual yo, k1, yo center line, this one has a six stitch cable running up the middle balanced by 4 st cables on the edges. I might have made the side cables 6 stitches as well... but frankly, I'm okay with having rest rows somewhere.
On Sunday, I wound some yummy yarn (Great Adirondacks Serino (Ravelry link) that I bought last year at Yarn Garden). I decided that it would be perfect for Mystic Light. I loved this yarn in the hank. It reminded me of the Aurora Borealis.... deep blue and purple with flashes of green, yellow, pink ... that somehow worked just right.
I was sure I had a picture, so didn't take one. Now that I've wound it, I can't find one of the yarn in the hank. The cake leaves an entirely different impression, so I was skeptical, but cast on anyway, hoping that what I saw in the hank would come through.
So anyway.... this picture gives you a bit of what I hoped to see, but I fear that the cables and lace will be lost in the end.
Here is a shot of the wee bit I've finished so far.
In the hank, it looked like the blue and purple would strongly predominate (like the midnight sky before which the aurora dances). I'm likely to keep it up for a bit longer.... hope springs eternal, and I'm loving knitting with this yarn... the softness of the merino silk, the lovely big needles (4.5 mm after what seems like an eternity on 2.0 mm).... ahhh.
What do you think? Will this yarn just be too busy for the lace and cables? Should I keep going a bit further to see if it balances out? Am I deluding myself ... and should I thus frog it immediately before I risk hurting something?
And which classes should I take at Stitches??? I've changed my mind so many times now, I don't know what I look like (quick, what tune is THAT a take off on?)
Nora posted the results of one of those quizzy things on her blog. It says shes 50% normal. I took the quizzy thing too. It says I'm 60% normal. It clearly does not know that I spent all of the functional time I've had today screwing around with a lace chart.
Worse yet... what I've been doing is simply copying from one chart into Knit Vizualizer so that I can combine the original design with my changes.
And no, I've no intention to ever claim this as my own....I just wanted to tweak what seemed to be little thing for Chrysopolis. I could have knit an entire clue's worth, hell maybe TWO, in the time it's taken me to get this correct on the chart.
Is this normal???
I didn't think so.
Clearly, they didn't ask the right questions.
But at least I get to resume knitting now.
Saturday was pretty much a bust. I had the sinus headache from hell, and pretty much all I got done was that fool chart.
I did, however, make some lovely progress on Sock de Mer. Once the yarn was dry Friday, I cast on happily, and between Friday night TV and breaks in the action on Saturday, I knit my way merrily through the bubbling cuff:
I'm really pleased with the way this yarn is working for this sock! It fits so much better than it did for the Blue Stocking sock I thought I was going to knit with it. At this point, I had a question for Anne. It was late.. but I sent it anyway. Then I read a few blogs, puttered about... and got an answer back before I went to bed!
I thought I'd go forward with Sock de Mer today, but, DH is actually asking for his socks... so I must keep up the effort there. I've turned the heel, and am on the home stretch of knitting plain for the foot. I did sneak it a bit more time with Sock de Mer before my hands gave out on the 0's today, I made it this far:
If only either of them were on something like 3's!
Here we are on Friday. On Wednesday I was supposed to tell you about Irtfa'a's progress.... and then yesterday, I was going to do that ... but there was rain and gloom and I just ... bailed. (Hell, it rained so much I was beginning to wonder if I'd need to bail for real).
I'm blaming work. Yeah, that's it. It was work. My favorite client has been needing my attention a lot lately. This is a bad thing for him, but a good thing for my budget.
At any rate, Wednesday night heralded Knitting with Mary and Elizabeth. It's been a while since we managed to have all three of us together at once. Mary was working on Chrysopolis. I clearly need to get in gear, as she's about to catch me. We'll be working on our new center together --- IF I finish fixing the chart that I screwed up.
In the days leading up to Wednesday, I worked on Irtfa'a, adding an extra repeat of the large feather pattern. But I managed to catch up to the place where Elizabeth is chartwise, and we worked onward together.
Zara is more curious than usual about the shawls ... perhaps its the life lines (that we DID actually put in -- aren't we good?)
Nora asked me about my claim to be beading things... so here's an extra shot of the beads:
My socks are progressing. Sort of. I'm still working out the right needle size for Rivendell. I think that what I'm going to do is just plain add some stitches and go back to the wee sized needles. I can't add an entire repeat (a whole 21 stitches) and even adding one more layer of those nifty wrap things all the way around will require adding 18 stitches. So.. I'm not sure how to get this done.
So, instead... I'm going to do some test knitting for Anne. It means that I finally have just the thing to do with my Fleece Artist Merino that I bought for the Blue Stocking socks. So, today, they went from this:
I really liked that toe. I kept thinking I'd find a toe-up sock that was just right. But, Sock du Mer is a top down sock... so I did this:
And it's now hanging from the fireplace drying.
Even though it's pretending to be spring... with sun even ... I've got the fireplace burning to hasten the drying process. My wee needles are waiting...
I'm eager to cast on for these socks. I've enjoyed watching them come to life on Anne's blog, and can't wait to begin knitting my very own. (And, of course, taking copious notes at every step to inform my designer of any problems or special joys that I encounter).
I'm really looking forward to this chance to knit something that I've agreed not to change AT ALL as I go along. I've been fussing with patterns all over, and half the things on my needles right now seem to be either radically changed versions of someone else's design, or wholly new designs. It's going to be good to just follow along without engaging the brain on how I'd make the pattern different.
I really DO enjoy doing that. Honestly.
So. This evening, during "Bad TV" I'll be casting on, and working my way through some sealike socks. Almost wish I still had the SeaWool to use for them. Then they'd REALLY be socks du mer.... but the color was not right at all. This color is perfect. I consider this to be an "I WIN" moment.
And.... I've finally chosen the pattern to use to Knit with Nora. And, since it's one of those Mystery Shawl Knit Alongs, it means that I'll have a double KAL to report for on Mondays!
I plan to turn some Great Adirondacks Serino into the Mystic Light Shawl. Today, I am apparently unable to get a photograph to show you why this yarn is so right for this shawl... but trust me. It is. It looks like they turned the Aurora Borealis into a rainbow dye and infused a this merino/silk blend with that lightshow from the sky. My photographic skillz are unworthy of this yarn.
So... there's the week's round up, as it were. Casting On looms ahead!
Alert the media.
My Google Reader list tells me that I've finally knocked down the blog posts waiting for my attention to two-figures. Yep. I'm under 100!!
of course, I stop reading for 20 minutes you bloggers will fix that.
I was going to offer lots of lovely pictures today... taken in the lovely sunlight I'd hoped to see. But it's been pouring all day.
No good light inside.
okay light outside... but too wet for photography.
Still, I'll offer up something later this evening, (or will try). There is, after all, some Irtfa'a to report on...
Oh no. It's another Meme.
I found it amusing. I tagged myself. I'll let you tag yourself if you want to. (I'm sure that I'm supposed to tag 7 people at the end, but I'm not gonna).
Before I yield up the answers to these seven times seven things -- I must confess. This was hard! When I popped it into the blog page to fill in, I was just sure this would be a quick and dirty post -- one to let me off the hook for a day when I've nothing exciting to report. What a fool I was! This was much more challenging than most. At least for me.
What wasn't challenging was making the decision to participate in the RavelRaiser fund raiser. Read all about it here . If you use Ravelry, as I do, and you find it useful (indispensable?) as I do, then before you buy another skein of sock yarn to add to the stash that is likely to eat your hometown soon, give "a lousy ten bucks" to support this incredible venture -- and help them get the new server.
Okay, back to the meme, and why it took me seven weeks to answer seven times seven lousy little questions.
It took me longer than I thought it would to come up with my "bucket list". Does this mean that I have no aspirations? And much longer to come up with seven things I will not do. I think that was easier pre-kids. There are so many things that you do for babies, toddlers, even small kids, that by the time they're bigger, you're inured. Cleaning up other people's vomit, for example. 15 years ago, I'd have said no WAY!. Now..... been there done that.
So. Even if you don't blog it, it might be an interesting thing to think about. Or am I just difficult?
Seven Things To Do Before I Die:
Seven Things I Cannot Do:
Seven Things That Attract Me To My Mate (okay, I found this hard - Seven things I LOVE about my mate -- easy to do. But what ATTRACTS me to him? Perplexing. I mean, I'm already here? What attracted me to him lo those many years ago when we first started dating? What entices me to go wrap my arms around him now? Besides the fact that I love him? It got me thinking about what the difference is, and then wondering whether that sort of semantic pickiness is just creating trouble for myself. So... here are Seven Things I Find Wonderful About My Husband (in absolutely no relevant order):
Seven Books/Authors I Love:
Seven Things I Say:
Seven Movies I've Loved:
It's about time for another update on my Mission Possible 2008 progress. I've decided not to bore you with repeated lists of the things I've not yet done or restarted, so this will only have reports on things that are finished (regardless of when), or have seen actual progress. The full list (with pictures) is available for viewing at any time in the Photo Album in my side bar.
I've found that it's challenging to take those old projects out of the closet and pull them into WIP status. More on that in a bit. First, here's my score sheet for the month:
As I did last month, I've put the original goal in bold italics, with the commentary that remains in simple italics. Where I've actually accomplished it, I'll strike it out and kill the bold (so it looks like
this); where I've made any progress, I'll put it in normal type. So --- here's the round up:
Finish the Pre-Columbian Shawl (originally started circa 1997,
frogged and re-started in or around 2001 or 2002) Finished by February 8, 2008
Figure out what I did in Willow 2" back so I can resume
knitting it. (note: the promise is to resume knitting... not to finish.)
Finish Mermaid .
6. Finish fixing the microfibre ribbon Tee
9. Finish all socks currently in progress :
The Spiraling Up Socks in Fleece Artist's Sea Wool Done
9b. Blue Stocking bail out in Fleece Artist merino
9c. The experimental (heel out) sock
9d (when you add new socks before the original three are done, are they part of the Mission?-- Harelquin
progress made here... I've worked a new kind of heel/foot gusset.
I'm not sure whether I like it, but DH says it feels fine to him.. Sock one is finished, and sock two is well on it's way. (Can I wipe out one of the old ones with this??)
10. Finish the sweater I'm knitting sans pattern out of Grignasco Spongy.
Progress made: I had to frog back a ways; way back when I started this baby, during a time when I had much less experienced in both knitting sweaters, and fitting them, and none at all in designing them, I'd done a dummy. I've fixed that error, and have progressed through the waist shaping and am well into the bust shaping. I'm only a few rounds from the armholes. I guess this means it's time to start making real decisions about the neckline, eh?
Finish the tee dress in ribbon yarn (Katia Ola) Frogged, and therefore DONE
I was sure that among the items on this list was the Noro Outtakes Scarf. It appears not to be there, but I'm claiming it none-the-less. I started knitting a seamans' scarf from the bits I took out of a Noro Jacket because I didn't like the way the one color jarred against the others. Finally, I was forced to admit that there just wasn't enough yarn... so I knit a hat instead:
I've yet to decide who gets to have and wear this hat when cold weather hits again. It's comfy comfy, but is certain to generate major hat hair --- and on me this creates a very frightening combination of flat and curly frizzy. I'm unlikely to keep it (but it feels goooood).
In consideration of goal 13, I've also managed to sell some books and magazines, but no yarn this time.. Alas, I still succumbed to the siren song of more yarn (that Malabrigo Silky Merino)
So. New and/continuing fibery goals for March:
1. Continue working on the above listed Mission Goals (focusing on fixing the Microfiber Ribbon Tee and working on Spongy, and otherwise focusing on numbers 9 and perhaps).
2. Go through the stash again, and put more stuff up for sale or swap.
Maintain a yoga schedule -- minimum three times a week. Work into
practicing at home as well as in class. (I've managed minimum two and
sometimes three times a week in March, but have fallen down quite a bit about doing it at home... and I certainly have not managed to make it part of my daily or even consistent routine.
I'm also going to try to Put My Foot (and Pocketbook) Down in April. The basic premise is that you buy NOTHING but essentials for the whole month. Food is okay, latte's just because are not. I only have any chance at all because I'm trying to start after J's birthday spending is done, and before C's begins. I know I won't make it the whole month, but I can take it one day at a time, and post a ticker sort of thing for how many days I manage to go without spending on things I don't need. So far, I'm at three days.... two of which I pretty much stayed home (but the internets provide all sorts of shopping opportunities...)
It's Monday. For ages now, that has meant that it's time for the report on Mermaid Mania. All I have to report on that front is that I've enjoyed wearing her. She's very comfortable. Even DH thinks she looks lovely.
But with that being all I have to say about Mermaid, it makes for a very short blog entry. I suppose I should cast about for a new KAL so I'll have something consistent to report about on Mondays. Theoretically, one of my lace projects could work for Knitting with Nora, but I'm thinking of casting on something new just for that purpose... and I'm not quite ready to start another new thing without finishing something on my long list. So, for now, I've no Monday KAL reports to give you. Instead... I'm resorting to the fine art of using other people's blogs to inspire my own entries.
Bobbi has issued a challenge of sorts for her upcoming blogiversary contest. While she's off on vacation (to England and Italy the lucky dog), we're supposed to tell her our favorite vacation stories. My response was so long, I thought I'd finish it out with a blog post of my own.
What a challenging question! I contemplated the "favorite" of the vacations I've taken with my family - as a child, and as an adult, with my kids, with my husband (a deux), alone, with friends, and of course, being a knitter, to Knitting Events.... they're so very different, and I've loved them for different reasons. As should come as no surprise to you whatsoever, I can't pick just one. And some aren't "favorites" ... more like "vivid"
When I was a kid, we used to pile in the car and drive from St. Louis to see Grammy Dot and Grampy Buddy in St. John, New Brunswick. Every trip, we'd take one day and drive out to a spot on the Bay of Fundy, armed with buckets and trash bags. We'd time our arrival there to match the falling tide, and would chase the tide out, picking dulse and periwinkles as we walked. Then we'd hurry back in before the tide turned against us, hauling heavy bags and buckets back to the car. One bucket would always be filled with sea water. Then, we'd take it all home, and while some of us carefully laid all the dulse out in the back yard to dry, Grammy would cook up the periwinkles in the sea water. We used regular sewing needles to pry the periwinkles out of their shells... and we'd eat for ages! Yum!
Of course, for each of these trips, we camped all along the way. Heck we took lots of camping vacations. They were wonderful! Why ever don't we do that now?? (oh, yeah, DH doesn't do bugs, or dirt, or sleeping without nice mattresses, good pillows and a work-out center). I remember catching frogs in the current river, and bringing dozens of them up to a cage we had at our campsite -- we kept them for about a day, then took them all back. Why, you may ask, did we have a cage at the campsite? Good question.... For some reason, that year Dad had gotten it into his head that he a) wanted a pet snake and b) ought to go catch his own instead of trusting a pet store. In that era, there weren't many pet snakes in the shops. So, Dad built this lovely snake cage, quite large actually, and brought it along in case he found a snake. We only found one snake that trip. It was a copperhead.
We were driving somewhere along the road into the campground at dusk. There, in the middle of the road, was a snake. Dad stopped the car. The snake stopped in the road. Now, we had in the car a snake-stick. This specially designed stick was supposed to allow him to pin the snake to the ground so that he could guarantee grabbing it in that magic spot behind its head that prevents snakes from whipping around to bite. We carried it in the car with us everywhere, just in case we came across the snake that Dad wanted to find to take home. So... Dad opened his car door, the snake stick rattled a bit. Dad got out of the car, and left the magic snake stick behind. He walked around to the front of the car ... the snake remained immobile. He looked, he called back "It's a copperhead", then turned and reached down, and grabbed the snake right behind the head. The snake writhed around a bit until Dad caught its tail with his other hand, and brought it to the car window, which Mom stoically did not close in his face. He showed us the dripping fangs, pointed out the pretty coloring etc. Mom gamely offered to tie her sweatshirt into a snake bag if he really wanted her to. (I remain impressed by this.... Mom did not like snakes. She clearly did not like this poisonous one, but she loved and trusted my Dad). My step-sister and I started declaring that we were going to get into unlikely places into which the snake could not reach us -- like the glove compartment. Luckily, Dad tossed the poor snake into the woods by the side of the road. The cage only ever held frogs until some time later when we bought a ferret who came to call it home.
I remember whittling a chess set with my father one year, as we'd forgotten one and wanted to play. We used branches from trees we'd found while walking in the woods.... We used birch for the white pieces, I don't recall what wood the "black" pieces were made out of. That was the same trip during which I learned how to bake chicken in a rock lined hole in the ground.
As long as I've been a mother, I've taken annual vacations that have involved me driving to visit my family (wonder where that comes from?). DH generally can't take that much time from work, so he flied out to meet us there for a bit, then flies home, while we linger on and visit more then drive home. I love these vacations. I actually enjoy driving my children cross-country to visit my parents, visiting friends and knit-buds and my father along the way, then staying with my mother at her house in Maine, lingering for weeks (literally) soaking up the family love and the relaxation and the gorgeous view out their window,
delighting in the girls' discoveries as they go to sailing camp or learn about salt water marshes....., and then visiting more folks on the way home. Last year was especially nice as we got to sneak in a trip to my Aunt and Uncle in New Brunswick too. I don't think I have a favorite trip, but I have some favorite memories ...
- Canoing with "Uncle Smiles" on a river near Damarascotta
Playing at Jessie's
Ferry rides across Lake Champlain
Canoing with Papa
- Kayaking on Uncle Brian's lake
Playing in Lake Erie with our friends in Ashtabula, visiting Diane T in New York, meeting The Ann Fietelson (of thr Art of Fair Isle Knitting: History, Technique, Color & Patterns) in her very own living room.....
And oh so many memories from their baby- and toddler-hoods, before I had digital camera.....(I'm going to omit all the yarn stores and pictures thereof, or we'll be here all night....
I loved the trip I took all by myself one summer, when I flew to Denver with a baby ferret, and stayed with my step-sister for a week in Boulder, then hooked up with a friend of my sister to drive to San Francisco, where I stayed almost as long with a cousin, then got a ride through a ride board to Portland Oregon, where I delivered the ferret to a dear friend (who had owned the little fellow's grandparents), and stayed for a couple of weeks before boarding the train to head home...I was so young and full of adventure -- I had a snow ball fight in May in the Colorado Rockies, I went rock climbing in Oregon, I did so much! and felt so independent and invulnerable... (I have no pictures digitized...)
I loved the anniversary trip I took with my husband to San Diego, while my parents kept the girls; it was so refreshing to have time for just us two... four whole days of not considering kids' needs, just enjoying each other (and the beaches and the zoo and the food and....) it was like we were dating again....
And I relish the family trip all four of us took to Belize, with the amazing condo right on the beach,
the perfect weather, the snorkeling trip where we saw sea horses in the wild, and the manatees, and the awesome sunset sail on the catamaran
where the food was amazing night after night....I think it was the best family trip we've taken yet.
And then, there was the trip with D, when she and I ran away to Disney World for five days, leaving our families behind. We had such fun! We went on "backstage tours" and rode the rides (Magic Mountain at night...), saw all the parks, spent an evening on Pleasure Island seeing Cirque du Soleil La Nouba... and we ate (oh my did we eat! If I hadn't walked so much, I"m sure I'd have gained weight).
And of course, there are my little knitting adventures -- my first ever to TKGA in Columbus Ohio where I met so many wonderful people (Tess, of Tess' Designer Yarns fame, walked C around in her stroller so I could shop -- I dutifully spent money at their booth on yarn I still have), and then Stitches East, and Stitches Midwest (in at least three cities now), and Maine Fiber Frolic and Michigan Fiber Festival, and .... I think my favorite may have been the Magical Moebius Weekend with Cat Bordhi last year. But then again, that's the one I snuck in like a surprise for myself -- with little notice or planning...
And as each one came to a close, I found myself thinking... can't we just stay HERE?
And when I returned to my home after each one, I so enjoyed sliding into my own bed, in my own house, with my cats purring beside me, (and sometimes with the dog happily sleeping at the foot of the bed).
|What ShadowDancer Means|
Success comes rather easily for you... especially in business and academia.
Some people find you to be selfish and a bit overbearing. You're a strong person.
You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.
You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.
At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.
You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.
You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.
Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.
You are very intuitive and wise. You understand the world better than most people.
You also have a very active imagination. You often get carried away with your thoughts.
You are prone to a little paranoia and jealousy. You sometimes go overboard in interpreting signals.
Well, I can certainly live with that description of me. I wonder if it's got any basis in reality.
What it doesn't tell you is that I'm a person whose family can accumulate enough leftovers in the fridge to fill all of these plastic containers (and leave them until they're inedible),
and still have a refrigerator still looks this full after we've cleared all those leftovers out.
Note the lack of space for knitting in my lap?
See ... there... how am I supposed to work on any lovely lace when I've got all this adorable catness in my lap? I mean seriously?
Look at these guys:
Who can resist??
All I was able to do was go for a less challenging project
It's the Noro Outtakes
Scarf Hat. The scarf was a bit too much of an ambitious plan for the yarn I have left, but it's clear to me that I'll be able to finish the hat. I'm doing a variation on the Marsan Watchcap.
I actually wished I'd found the pattern before I gotten through so much regular ribbing that I didn't want to frog again... I rather like the twisted rib she used. Mostly, I just like that I've found a hat that works with what I've done so I can work that as a simple blind follower. I CAN do that.. sometimes. Usually it takes test knitting to get me to just do what I'm told. But from here on out, I'm going to do what I'm told on this hat...
I am the sort of person who can do that. Really....
You'd think that a weekend with 86 middle schoolers would be enough for one woman during any given 30 day period wouldn't you? and that having done that sort of Chaperoning duty, a sane knitter would decline any additional chaperoning opportunities that presented themselves for months thereafter.
But in my case, evidently, we're wrong on that score.
Today was J's birthday. It was also a class trip to the Lincoln Museum in Springfield. J decided that she really wanted me to chaperone. Inexplicably, I said yes.
I said yes even though I knew that this would involve a 90 minute journey with 75 5th graders on one of those lovely yellow school buses in which the designers claim the benches to have been designed for elementary school kids to sit in three across. I shared my seat with the boxes that held everyone's lunch.
And once again, I am impressed with the good behavior of the kids in my kids' classes. I had steeled myself for a noisy bus. I had charged my iPod so I could mask their insanity with my preferred sounds. I never needed it.
We got to the museum, had the usual fussing about, and then were able to tour through the exhibits nicely -- though not quite fast enough. The exhibit depicting a slave auction, in which a slave owner held onto a boy child, after selling his parents to two different people slowed us down a lot. It had incredible emotional impact. After we went through Lincoln's life from birth through the election, we came back out into the rotunda to get pictures of the kids with Lincoln's family, who happened to just be standing around ...
These four were my charges. And yes, one of them is my kid:
That's better of her, all cozy with one of the Lincoln boys (I've forgotten which... Tad??) surrounded by her friends.
We ate lunch (OUTSIDE???!!!! in 40 degree weather.... whose plan was THAT??), and then returned for the second half of the tour, where we entered the White house, with a short visit to women's fashion of the day (and the dresses of Mrs. Mary Todd Lincoln's social rivals), and progressed to the civil war. I particularly like this fellow, just leaning on one of the pillars at the front of the White House...
I'd love to show you more pictures of the scenes they had set up, but we were allowed to take pictures only in the Rotunda area.
We got home at the usual time, fetched C from school, ran an errand, then went home to the television -- where I foolishly introduced the girls to the Jetsons (from the library)
Eventually, the girls half-sister LJ arrived from Chicagoland, and we had a delicious dinner (J had her own choices, the rest of us ate real food) and presents and cake and all the regular hooplah. All in all it was a good day.
Only to discover that knitpicks smaller size ones generate a sock that's too small to fit over that lovely wide space in the foot where your heel is. I love it, but it will never fit onto my foot. Sigh. I frogged it right back, and cast on using the larger size ones. I'll go not quite as far before I test it again. At least I'm getting good practice for these wrapped sections. I'm still adoring the Piece of Vermont yarn that's making the socks. I couldn't have designed a better colorway for the socks named after the Elves' home.
Today, the Harlot launches her new book in Toronto.
She's invited the Toronto knitters to go out into Toronto to scare the rest of the natives by doing inexplicable knitterly things in public --including (but surely not limited to) photographing socks in a bunch of local Toronto places and things for a sort of sock - photo bingo, for which there will be prizes. (Steph is not one for limiting people, last I checked).
Many of us, trapped far from Toronto, thought it would be fun to play along in our own local venues. (You can see photos from a bunch of intrepid inexplicable knitters here)
I am one of them.
I had big plans. I did. I'd thought of a bunch of places I could take a sock -- to really show it the town. And I figured out ways to take pictures that would both fit the inexplicable knitterly sock photo theme without necessarily exposing exactly where I live to the poeple who out in random internet-land who don't actually know me. I had a pretty big list too.
And then I woke up. And it was cold and gray and did I mention cold.
My motivation to roam all over town taking sock pictured withered on the vine.
However, I DID start a new sock just for the occasion. Meet Rivendell
I first learned about Rivendell in one of Stephanie's posts. Such is the power of the Harlot, that the poor designer was compelled by all of our requests to release this pattern in advance of the book in which the pattern is going to appear. Thus, it seemed appropriate to start that sock today, in honor of Steph's latest book. I'm sure I'll buy Rivendell's book too, in the end.
Rivendell went with me to the gym today. Fitting... since her early rows involve horsing things around in ways I'm not used to. I was going to take her picture looking out over all the machines, but couldn't see a way to do it without including random exercisers who might not WANT to be shown on the internets with a baby sock.
Then Rivendell and I went to a men's clothing store. DH wanted my advice re the fit of some new pants, since I've told him I'm tired of seeing him in baggy butt slacks. I should have taken Rivendell's picture there. But didn't. It's not a notably local place, what with being a national chain and all.
The wee sock thought we'd find Stephanie's new book there already. It wouldn't listen to me when I said I was sure it wouldn't be there, what with today being Launch Day and all.
It wouldn't listen to Harlequin either (he went along).
No new books there either. But that's okay. We'll get one soon. I promised.
Where did your socks take YOU today?