Monday, September 30, 2013

Shake it off, Shakey!

My Dad didn't have any boys. My Dad is a competitive spirit, he's Midwest, old school, a little misunderstood at times (as we all are), and a good man. My Dad was a Little League Dad. He used to hit ground balls at us over and over again, till we weren't scared, and getting the glove down was a reflex. He'd nail a line drive at us, just to keep us on our toes, and like all Little League Dads, when we were bruised, beaten,benched, or dirty from falling down or getting knocked down ... again, he would say, "Shake it off!"

And we did.

We found our spine, our focus and not only did it, we wanted to do it, and do it well. He said, "The philosophies of baseball can be applied to many aspects of life." I truly believe this. Unlike a lot of my friends, I'm not necessarily thinking of the rules of the game, or the stats and averages, but the work and practice to get to the game.

So when I find myself feeling a little drawn to the darkside, either of my knitting or own human nature or just wearing the unjustified grumpy pants of life, I must say to myself, "Shake it off!"

It doesn't mean what I feel isn't valid, it just really isn't a feeling I should be defining my game by.

Thanks Dad.

*Sorry I didn't make The Kid play baseball. I blame bad parenting and his franco-american side. Soccer is the global sport ;)

Friday, September 27, 2013

Back to Knitting

Thank you everyone for your kind, kind words and wishes for my health. I laid off the Zumba yesterday and stayed home for dinner with a bunch of tween boys having a nerf battle (!!!)

I am taking your advice and even as I feel much better,  I am not pushing myself too hard, so I don't relapse. I saw the kid sneezing, again this morning ...

We are at the edge of September and I have a few finished object photos for you:

Remember this lace shawl? I finished the knitting a while ago, but I finally blocked it (hot spam I didn't think that would happen!) You guys weren't kidding when you said it would grow when I soaked it.

The Entrechat! (only one button, so I knew this one would get done, no hot spam or damn for anyone). Super cute and fun construction.

I have progress on my sock!! I was this far when I ripped it out, almost to the toe, I feel good about this. I do. It looks so much better than the first time around.

I'm hoping to shape the toe and finish off this sock tonight! Then we can see if my proportions worked out.

Happy Friday my friends.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Sick Days

I succumbed to the cold I nurtured my Petri Dish son to health from.

I came home from work on Monday at lunch. That morning, I thought, "I'm okay, I just need to get going." But in fact, I began to feel worse, my congestion instead of being relieved was worse. My ears hurt, the pressure was making my left eye water and I was dangerously close to honking my nose like an angry mom-goose. I went home, and tried to leave my co-workers with a few less germs.

Once I got over the denial, I gave into the calls of my couch. I stayed there, trying to nap, but my headache was just too bad, my nose and throat too angry, so I watched t.v.

My husband got Kon Tiki from Netflix. I really enjoyed it and have been pushing it on all my friends and coworkers (now it's your turn internet!) In fact I enjoyed it so much, I made The Kid watch it after homework time yesterday. He thought it was pretty good too. :) I now plan on reading the book. My husband wants to watch the actual documentary that was made during this epic adventure, it won the 1951 Academy Award.

I stayed home yesterday too, still not a complete wreck, but I lost my voice (much to the chagrin of my family) and really, I wanted to get better, not worse and not be the martyr that is chockful of cooties at the office.

So I thought, hey I'm going to be home resting, I should do ... stuff at the very least a load of laundry and some knitting.

But I really didn't have any energy for non supine couch things  until the afternoon. And then I thought, perhaps I should feed the family. I think because I hadn't really slept more than an hour or two at a time the 3 nights prior, I was just exhausted.

The knit will come.  But right now, I need some tea.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

In the knit of it.

Knitcrastinator, Knit fiend and Knit obsessed.

Every project for me is so close and yet ... so far.

I am wrapping up a few pieces for Andi's KAL/CAL. There are these things called buttons that I keep putting off, putting aside, shoving in a ziplock bag under the bed ... that need to be sewn on.

I finished the Baby Sophisticate, even weaved in the ends except ... I didn't sew on the buttons.

I'm about 2/3s done with my Hitchhiker. I'm trying to still love it since it requires no button. I like it with the sidewalk chalk teeth, but really? I want it to be done by the end of the month.

That leaves me with 2 other items for the KAL/CAL. I really want to finish my first pair of socks. At the very least, I need to complete ONE sock, for personal validation reasons. I am more comfortable with the little needles. But to finish even one sock means, there is a good chance that  the Lacey Stole will go back into hibernation, again.

But I did  finish (sans the ONE button) that secondary shrug Entrechat. (will post photo later) This project was not part of the KAL/CAL, but sometimes, I stray from the goal line like that. I know, I get crazy! And I have to say, I really enjoyed this pattern. Fun, cute, and interesting construction, just like it was pitched on the KAL/CAL favorite pattern message board (great discussion topic Andi!). I recommend no cocktails when you go to fold and join the sleeves. I might get all Andi and Kepanie crazy and try to modify this thing and make it with long sleeves. Yeah, okay probably not...

Because I must now turn my attention to hats/beanies. Knitspiring Odyssey has a knit along, goin' on too.
 Beanie-a-Long with Me 001 (640x303)
I know I can get some instant gratification from some hats, at least more sooner gratification than say another shawl.

I'm still in love with the Autumn Whirlpool Hat, so I printed it out and everything. Then I saw Andi's post on the Knit Along featuring her WIP Cocoon, which looks so lovely and wooing in her picture. So now I just need to decide which I cast on this week, as a reward for sewing on buttons. (This is a form of self motivation that may or may not work)

I also think this whole "Fear and Loathing of Buttons" or maybe just "Irrational Feelings About Me and Buttons" phase has brought on a change of sweater pattern scenery for me. Usually, I cling to the cardigan, like the adult cubicle security blanket it is. But no, let the crazy out. I want a pullover! I want stripes! I want to get the Madtosh out! I want "Tea with Jam and Bread"!

How are you doing with your knits? Are you knitting along? on your own? Are you feeling crazy with your Wednesday or your knitting or your knitting on Wednesday?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Adventures in Miscommunication: It's Me, Not You, and It doesn't mean what you think I mean.

This is like one of my son's homework reviews, where I say, "Did you read what you wrote? Who is your audience? If you take yourself outside of your own experience, will you understand what you said?"

So my last post, I talked about my elementary school book distraction, and how I'm up to my armpits in books. What I failed to explain is that I'm working on this Classroom Leveling Library project at my son's school. Essentially, I am trying to coordinate volunteers to go through every single book in every single classroom, look them up in online databases and give them an Alphabet level and a genre according to Fountas and Pinnell standards. All books are given sticker labels and all book titles, author, #of copies are inventoried in an online spreadsheet for tracking purposes.

This is my last year at the elementary school, and I'd love to see future classes benefit from this teaching methodology that the teachers are so excited about and just beginning to implement. This year, is laying down the infrastructure. That's me!

I'm not alone, but it's a lot of work, and it's a lot of books. I try to encourage people to come into the school and work, but for many of us, it's easier to take a bag home due to our schedules. It is a long tedious process. Something like knitting a bed spread.

So I apologize that I made it sound like I was reading a lot. I wish I was, in fact I did order another Flavia de Luce mystery. But really, I just want to find some time to knit.

What are you hoping to find time to do? What do you wish you expressed better?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

There is yarn in my life.

Old photo, but it makes me happy. I miss you yarn. I like you cheese.

There is yarn in my life, but really, there are a lot of books.

Not like reading books, but school books. Not for my learning, but for elementary school kid's. It's an on-going project, and though I keep telling myself, realistically Ellen, this won't be done until the end of the school year...

I can't stop. I keep bringing home books. I keep searching, labeling and sticking and hauling on the MUNI bus and trains (okay, sometimes I get a ride up and down the hill from Mrs. B). My husband silently holds out pieces of scotch tape for me to reinforce alphabet labels on the spines. My son, shakes his head when sometimes he doesn't even bother asking for the bed time tuck-in. What used to be, "Just let me finish this row." is now, "Just let me finish this book."

I try to cut myself off between 9:30 and 10pm to allow myself a little knitting time. Sometimes this is just 30 minutes of knitting in the round.

Reknitting a sock is just not that exciting, but I'm glad for that. Tube knitting, it's really just meditation in disguise. Though, I honestly am nervous for when I have to turn the heel. PLEEASE let me have the right number of stitches to pick up this time.

I received two lovely balls of sock yarn in Kathy B's fall swap. I love the colors in sock yarn. Thanks to one of my swap partners Nancy, I also discovered her Wyoming Breezes blog. I really enjoyed the nostalgic feel and the swatches of knitting. I love the idea of doing a blanket with mixed yarns of a tonal theme. It seems Nancy is a huge charity knitter. I have definitely slacked on this. Maybe after the school project I will return to charity knitting ...

I finished the knitting AND the weaving of another Baby Sophisticate. However I need to slap some buttons on this thing. I was whining to the ladies at Princess Animal/Serendipity about it when I picked up some beautiful sweet georgia sock yarn for the swap, and they basically craft smacked me and said, "You just need to block out the time, sit down and do it."

So true.

So obviously that means I won't even look at it again till the weekend. Baby is due in October. I got time. (infamous last words).

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Reading Recap: The Kid's Version

This summer I proposed "read new books" and "read outside your usual genre" to my son, also known as read something Mom told you to. Shown are most of the books he read, not including some that have walked off and any "new" graphic novels. Graphic novels were treats for books completed.

I asked him for a summer recap, forgive the monosyllabic style of interview:

Me: So what were you thinking when I told you I would be assigning you books that you had to read, aside from what you wanted to read?

The Kid: bummed that I would have to read stuff I didn't want to.

Me: What was your favorite, or favorites?

The Kid: The Artemis Fowl books and Hatchet by Gary Paulson.

Me: Why?

The Kid: What?!? Because they were Cool and interesting.

Me: What book surprised you the most and why?

The Kid: The Giver, the ending, it's weird.   (Dad: as weird as you? The Kid: weirder than you, dad)

Me: Was there any book you would absolutely NOT recommend?

The Kid: no

Me: So is there a new genre or kind of book you would now like to try?

The Kid: um I don't know.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Long Weekend Winner(s)

As promised, I am posting The Long Weekend Winner today for a token of my happiness and affection for all the kindness of the interweb.

Our winner #9 is Knit & Purl Mama! She gets the Knitscene Accessories magazine and a set of ringlet stitch markers! K&PM I will email you today for your mailing address and chuck it off to you this week! Thanks for visiting!

But perhaps it's the red ribbon winner in me, (There was one girl in particular I could never seem to beat on my local swim team as a kid) but I feel the need for one more token! So #4 SapphireBlue from Work, Knit, Study, gets a sweet set of rubbery Herdy sheep head stitch markers as well. I hope they make for some good knitting times!

Thanks to everyone who pops in and leaves a comment or not. I hope the weekend was good to you and yours.

My Weekend Rush

The weekend has got off to a positively busy start.

Friday we were trying to get out of work on time for another overdue meeting of the "Not So Secret Knitter Dinner".

Alas, we lost one to dog sitting responsibilities (Daquiet is a very responsible animal lover.)

But then it was instant chatter, teasing and fun times. We went to Radius Café which we will work into the rotation. I ate a little too much of the macaroni and cheese with bacon (hangs head). We shared everything as usual and took a snap.

The next morning I woke to the alarm at 7:20. The Kid was not being picked up until 9am and I didn't have to be at the school until 10. But though there were things to do, I wanted to not rush. I wanted to drink a whole cup of coffee, cook some sausages, and do the dishes I had left out the night before (shh don't tell my mom). Mrs. B. and I worked most of the day at the school with MM, and the 2 of us continued into the early evening at her house on a volunteer project. I couldn't resist at home and worked between 10 - midnight a bit more. I think I caught the end of the Les Miserables movie. Hmm, it seemed, pitchy, shallow sounding. Not as much singing resonance as I would expect? Meh.

Sunday we went to the USF Dons men's soccer match, ran a few errands and had a tasty and fun dinner at a friend's house with two other families. It was a city indoor version of a Labor Day Weekend BBQ. I suppose.

2 days down and what about all the ... stuff! The projects, the knitting, the laundry I had been planning? Time to overcompensate!

Well, we went to a matinee and out to West Lake Joe's for lunch. We forced the child to go grocery shopping with us, and then rewarded his brattiness (am I the only mother who does this when she shouldn't) by letting him play with his pal. They went to go look at the smaller boats for the America's Cup while I experimented in the kitchen.

We watched The Pioneer Woman in a family bed morning and The Kid said we should take a crack at her Chicken and Noodles recipe. So we did. Or I did, and he played video games with his pal.

I wanted to bake something non chocolate, so I did the old snickerdoodle bar. 

But I put too much flour in it this time. It was dry/sandy to my horror, after already packing some up to the neighbors in the flat next door and Little Peach's family. ugh.

My mixed fruit (clear the fridge) pie attempt, even though the dough wasn't from scratch... the filling was slightly more successful. However the texture/cooking method/time on the dough needed work, pointed out by my Manfriend. sigh. No picture of that, because it was a hot mess. I attempted hand pies, but it was messy and angry, so I cut around the scraps to attempt a lattice.

Well, when all was done, I was exhausted (yes I do this to myself!). I did not pick up anymore of the school project. I had a glass of wine with an episode of Luther. Then, I had another glass of wine, and ripped out my sock, and tried again. For some reason I was having trouble casting on for the number 56. By the end of my second episode of Luther it was midnight and I was only 7 rows in. How'd that happen?

One would think that this is where my long weekend ends, but alas, my son woke up at 3am with another migraine. We were up until 4:30, but no puking this time. (I blame bad parenting, not enough fluids and too much sugar, and we have not been monitoring his dairy intake very well.) We all overslept this morning because I still had the weekend alarm on ... but he was singing, off-key so all is normal.

I hope your hopes and dreams of the weekend were fulfilled and you had lots of fun, whether you were rushing or relaxing:)