Wednesday, January 18, 2006

back in the saddle

    Oh, it feels good to be back in classes. It would feel even better if I had gotten to sleep before 1AM this morning!     Last night was Intro to Islam; professor seems a little timid, but very knowledgeable. I didn't think his voice would even be audible on my voice recorder, but it was. Picked up the main textbook today and ordered another one last night (turned out that the BAM club price and free shipping was less than the price plus shipping). The rest I'll get from the library or borrow.     Today we were off early... well, actually, we were off late, but I managed to get #2Son to his 8AM class on time. I just didn't get to stop for coffee! So I stopped on campus for a pumpkin muffin and decaf (NOT at Starbucks!), except there were no pumpkin muffins. They were the seasonal choice which is no longer a choice. Bummer. They were really good. The banana-nut just aren't as good.     My classes today -- Religion & Healing, History & Systems of Psychology -- were with former, and favorite, professors, and several former classmates as well. In only one of my three classes is there a non-traditional student. I decided to drop the yoga class (credit, not recreational) -- I'll try to start going to one of the rec. periods.     Got settled into my research carrel, too. Man! It is SO quiet back there I feel like people can hear me swallow! Also worked a shift in the library. A pretty quiet day, all in all. I'm relaxing tonight because I have no classes tomorrow and hubby will go off to work, so I'll have the day to read/study.     Biggest problem I have at the moment is getting hold of the woman who said I could borrow the textbook for my psych class.     Knitwise, I bought the 2006 Pattern-a-day Knitting Calendar last night at Sam's Club (and included the 365 Knitting Stitches in my BAM order). Now, I'm going to put a few more inches on the rayon/funfur scarf before bed. LC

Sunday, January 15, 2006

enabling friends

    Just a quickie before midnight. Had a wonderful weekend, again, with friends in Jackson... did some knitting, did some reading, did lots of eating and visiting! Unfortunately, didn't do a lot of sleeping--at least last night while everyone else was! Woke up at 3am and couldn't get back to sleep. Then took a two-hour mid-morning nap and slept most of the way home late this afternoon. Not the best way to get to spend time with friends and my sweetie.     But I came home with gifts: a ball of luscious rayon chenille that I just had to get on the needles tonight. I knew it would go well with some "Sandstone" Fun Fur in my stash. But I also didn't want to hide the beautiful peachy-tan color of the rayon, so... for your viewing pleasure: Image hosted by     I am only using the Fun Fur along the sides of a center eyelet panel, in a diagonal scarf (i.e., when working the purl side, increasing on one side and decreasing on the other). Oh, yes, I rewound about half the rayon from the outside end into a pull-ball so it wouldn't be tangling quite so badly. It is silky and shiny and slippery, but really beautiful. Thanks, Rissa! And for the cotton chenille, too.     I worked far enough (making about four false starts) to take a picture that I hope will show the pattern well enough. LC

Thursday, January 12, 2006

the little voice that is my mother

    For the past three days I've been knitting facecloths with some Rowan Fine Cotton Chenille that I purchased a couple years ago in San Antonio. My sister wanted something speical to give her sister-in-law; I thought chenille facecloths would be nice.     I used this pattern and made three; two for the sister-in-law, and the other one for my sister. I was pretty sure I didn't have enough left for a fourth, so I started one of these with the plan that I would just knit until I ran out of yarn. It was wee hours of the morning when I was finally sleepy enough to go to bed. The little voice told me 'you ought to go to bed' to the thought of doing just one more round.     Should have listened. Found a mistake this morning working the fourth row passed where I quit and went to bed. I should have finished long ago, but in addition, I had to work the last round (the bind-off) three times before I had it right. First time, I did one round too many to have enough yarn for bind-off; second time, I didn't have enough yarn to finish the bind-off round; third time was a charm. Cotton Chenille Facecloths     I like doing these facecloths. I think I'll make some more to have on hand for gifts. I have a large hank of navy, plus I have this friend with a really large stash..... LC

Monday, January 09, 2006

loving knitting

    I have had several good day knitwise. First, I finally finished the underarm seams and all the yarn ends on the top I made with the hemp yarn this past summer (tidbits). Now to get it blocked!     Today I wound a 6oz hank of Classic Elite Inca Alpaca into a ball with the yarn winder and swatched for gauge. I started with US6 (one size smaller than recommended), but I didn't care for the openness of the stitches at 5/inch. Switched to US4, am getting 6/in and like the fabric much better.     One of the many nice gifts I have received from my friend, Rissa, is a computer program that designs sweater patterns. So, I want to get it on my computer and see what kind of sweater I can make. I have 22.5oz of brown (and .5oz of persimmon), which I hope is plenty for a mid-hip length cardigan/jacket.     I'll finish the swatch tonight and then go back to the green alpaca/silk. LC

Saturday, January 07, 2006

home comforts

    Even though I despise cold weather and hope never again to have to live much further north than I do now, I have to admit that it is nice to have a fire and fireplace. After several days of high 70-degree weather, it has dropped low enough that we need a fire to keep from having to run the furnace. Waking up in a chilly bedroom and coming into the living room to find a warm and beautiful fire in the fireplace is very comforting.     As of this morning, I have ten more sleep-in mornings before I will have to get up early for 9AM class. It has been relaxing for the most part, though I have accomplished little that I planned. It doesn't appear that I will have to purchase a lot of books this term; that is good news. As much as I looked forward to the semester break, I now am looking forward to class beginning again.     I am nearly finished with the second skein of BlueSky Alpaca & Silk in this lace pattern and I am worried. It is rather short. Not having a lot of experience with wool and/or blocking, I can only hope that (as I have often heard)blocking will resolve the length problem. I really love the pattern, although it is sleeve-less and I hope to put at least a small cap sleeve on the top. I have three skeins of the yarn remaining, so my plan is to work the next two skeins into the body and save the one for sleeves.     I am sorry it has been so long since I have posted pictures. Restoring all the little things on a computer when you have to reformat always seems to take forever. I read somewhere that the urgent things of life keep us from doing the important things. If I was going to make a resolution for 2006 it would be that I would make time for the important things... LC

Monday, January 02, 2006

catching up

    Another holiday season finally over, and one in which I am sure I have once again disappointed my entire family (sans spouse). I forget to call. I am late with gifts: I don't like to shop -- crowd avoidance, wrap -- laziness, or have to ship them -- in general, I just dislike the whole ordeal. Oddly, I don't have this reaction about gift-giving and friends.     However, to me it is much more important to reach out throughout the year than on particular (and somewhat arbitrary) days. It would be fine with me if we didn't "do" Christmas at all. My sister is visiting from Hawaii and I made a small Christmas dinner for us. But as my children have grown up and especially since my mother died in 1999 (16 days before Christmas), the holiday spirit just seems to pass me by.     The week between Christmas and New Year's was a total wash... when I wasn't at work, I was home in bed feeling awful. I did manage to read Howard Becker's Writing for Social Sciences, and begin his Tricks of the Trade. I have not done enough 'chores' around the house though. Post-semester blues, I guess. Just can't get motivated.     Speaking of the semester, I did manage to make the Dean's list. My only B was in Spanish. Now I have only 12 required hours to fulfill my degree plan. Part of me is ready to get back to class, but I'm sure it will be here before I know it!     I broke all family traditions yesterday: no black-eyed peas, no cabbage, no bayberry candle. We had to return a movie to Blockbuster -- amazing how many stores were open -- and we had burgers at Hardee's because even at 2pm the restaurants were packed! My tree is still up (not even half decorated this year), though I don't think I will leave it up until Twelfth Night as is my custom. Pehaps I will have better 'luck' by not following traditional supersitions!     The old year went out and the new year has come in with a minor heat wave: it has been in the high 70s and low 80s here for the past several days, and not dipping below 60 at night. It would be nice, except the humidity is high. We've also had just a bit of rain. I guess it is pleasant in a strange sort of way. I love living in the South in particular for the warm winters, but this is too warm (actually, just too humid).     Knitwise, on New Year's Eve, I decided that I did not like the way my stockinette stitching looked using the BlueSky Alpaca & Silk, so I ripped it. All of it! Thanks to having the ball winder Rissa gave me for Christmas, I got it all wound nicely and quickly. Then I grabbed a pile of knitting magazines and in the first one found something in a similar gauge. I didn't really swatch, so it will probably be too small, or I won't have enough yarn, but maybe I will get lucky. I think it was actually after midnight when I started stitching -- I hope that will be propitious.     Happy New Year to all . . . LC