Sunday, September 24, 2006

And If That Wasn't Enough...

I'm joining Socktoberfest!

I always seem to have a pair of socks on the needles, so it seemed fitting. A la the Yarn Harlot, I have a pair of traveling socks which go with me everywhere--work, stores, piano lessons, church, meetings, etc. Joining along with the other sock knitters out there just lends credibility to this compulsion of mine.

Go over to Lolly's blog and read all about it! Then, join in and pick up your circs or DPNs and cast on a pair with all of us!

Yesterday, I went to a class at my LYS to learn how to knit a teddy bear. I think I may be too smart for the class. I didn't learn anything new, but I got two patterns out of it (I also got a pattern for a cute puppy!). I'm thinking bears might be great Christmas gifts for our four nieces who are all aged 9 or under.

If I start now, they'll be done in plenty of time, right? Let the insanity begin!

Button Collection

Please pardon the dust as I build my button collection for my sidebar!

I do not want to be a bandwidth thief, so I decided to post all my buttons here and then use them for my sidebar. I know there must be an easier way to do this, but as a semi-literate html user, I'm trying my best to figure out the whole process.

Here are all the places I visit on the internet:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

We Were Robbed!

Any good college football fan knows the rule about onside kicks needing to travel at least 10 yards before being recovered by the kicking team. Apparently, the PAC-10 officials are not good college football fans, and they ignored this rule on Saturday during OU's game against Oregon. Their error in allowing Oregon to have the ball instead of rightfully turning it over to OU directly led to OU's supposed loss on Saturday. The PAC-10 has allegedly apologized to the Sooners. Last year's Holiday Bowl is way behind us--get over it already, Oregon!

I personally believe the game should be expunged from both team's records since Oregon apparently can't win without help from their refs, and OU was a victim of some kind of blatant bias. If necessary, both teams should replay the game with some non-partisan refs. Unfortunately, the NCAA and the Big 12 don't agree with me. The Big 12 officials are being gentlemen and are accepting the loss by reminding the fans there is no precedence for expunging a game in cases like this. Well, maybe we should be the first to set one!

Anyway, during this act of highway robbery, I made fantastic progress on the first Trekking sock. I finished it off Sunday evening and cast on for the second sock. No second sock syndrome for me! Actually, I want nothing more than to be done with this pair so I can start those Hoya Socksa socks I have on the brain. I've also been making some good progress on the mohair travel shawl--I'm well into the short rows now in the first half. I can't wait to get started on the second half so I can see how the Russian grafting works in putting the two pieces together. The truth is, I'm just itching to use Scout's yarn, especially since the Indie Swag Club will be sending even more sock yarn my way!

I'll post pics of the finished socks when the second ones come off the needles. In the meantime, I'll be preparing myself to become a fan of whatever universities are playing Oregon for the rest of this season...Go Sun Devils!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Let the Games Begin!

The oregano socks are complete at last! I love them and really want to keep them for myself, but I don't wear much green, so they will be handed off to my friend at church in the morning. I know she will just adore them! Everyone who sees them tells me they are beautiful, so it must be true...

Brenda's pattern worked very well with the colorway--you can still see the twists in each cable and the detail in every lacy inset. The lace insets even inspired me to try designing my first pair of socks. I have some of Scout's sock yarn in a colorway called Storm Surge that contains lovely shades of the blue and grey of my alma mater, Georgetown. My new pattern idea includes some pointy lace insets reminiscent of Healy Hall, so I think the pattern will be named "Hoya Socksa" in honor of the school.

Let's pause for an educational moment:

The following is borrowed from the Georgetown University New Student Guide.

“What Rocks” at Georgetown University

No one seems to know exactly when or how the term Hoya Saxa was first used at Georgetown. Many years ago there was a team at Georgetown called the “Stonewalls,” and it is suggested that a student applied the Greek and Latin terms and dubbed them “hoya saxa”—what rocks! Hoya has since become the nickname for Georgetown’s athletic teams and students.

Hoia is from the Greek word hoios, meaning “such a” or “what a.” The neuter plural of this word is hoia, which agrees with the neuter plural of the Latin word saxa, meaning rocks; thus we have hoya—substituting the letter “y” for “i.” Before 1900 every Georgetown student studied both Greek and Latin, so there was no need to explain in print what the expression meant.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog entry...

My Black Bunny Fibers indigo laceweight arrived this week. I intended it for Icarus, but the pictures in Interweave show it in very fine gauge suri alpaca. Instead, I may return to my original Print O'The Waves plan to showcase Carol's beautiful blue dyework. The waves just seem more fitting for the stormy blues and greys in my yarn (more of those GU colors!). I am looking for more suggestions though, so if you know of a great pattern for 880 yards of yummy laceweight, please let me know!

The Trekking XXL socks have been frogged yet again, and this time they have been reborn as a pair of plain vanilla top-down socks. The dark Trekking colorway wasn't letting any pattern I tried to show up, so the latest incarnation is just stockinette stitch. They will be my movie and t.v. socks for a while so I can concentrate on the show. Through all this, I learned I am just not a toe-up girl, because the style wasn't working for me. I know there are toe-up devotees out there who claim it is the best method imaginable because you can use up all your yarn, but I am like Wendy. I am just more satisfied by starting from the cuff, turning into the homestretch at the heel, and anticipating the decreases at the toe which signal the completion of a sock.

I was a very responsible middle school math and science teacher this week. I used my time wisely yesterday (both of my Science classes had tests and my homeroom had P.E.), and I wrote lesson plans for my next two units in Science and my assignment sheets for next week. I also graded all of this week's assignments last night before I finished off the oregano socks. This is very important, because I now have the rest of the weekend to do nothing but knit, knit, knit! I don't think I have ever managed to do that since I started full-time teaching. I guess I just needed the proper motivation provided by my fiber and pointy sticks!

I'm off to play with my yarn!

And, oh yeah: Go Hoyas! Go Gators! Go Sooners!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


So, this morning was our first staff meeting of the school year. (The ones before school starts don't really count, because this is the one you actually have to be in your place with a bright, shining face at 7:30--yuck.) I took the oregano sock with me to the meeting. It had to be done, and it's a good thing I did. I absolutely needed something to do while I had to sit still for so long and to look attentive. Socks will definitely cure what ails you, and for me it must be Adult ADD.

I pulled the sock out again during a break between classes. My students love seeing the progress on the socks. They had no idea I had finished sock #1, and they were amazed that I have passed the gusset and am in the home stretch of the foot on sock #2. Young minds are so impressionable!

A few of my students knit, and a few are interested. I have told them to bring their needles to school so I can help them or teach them, but so far I have no takers. I see that my conquest of the classroom will be slow.

At this morning's staff meeting, I received a personal goals worksheet. I'm supposed to list all my personal and academic goals for this school year. Do you think I should list "turning my students into full-fledged knitters" under academic (because I know knitting can be linked to the curriculum somehow) or under personal (because it's part of my plan as an evil knitting genius to take over the world)???

Sunday, September 10, 2006

The Invasion Has Begun!

I am inundated by a flood of UFOs. Non-knitters may think I have started to believe in aliens, but most knitters know about this common problem. I am declaring war on the UFOs, and I am living in a self-imposed exile with my projects which need completion. There will be no casting on of new garments until these lovely items have exited the workbag.

The first Black Bunny Fibers Oregano sock has been completed. I spent yesterday afternoon and evening working on the leg of the second sock. This afternoon, I will be working the heel flap, heel turn, and gusset. I love Brenda's pattern, and I am thinking of using it again to make myself a pair of socks in a colorway I adore. I have other projects, however!

Here is your first glimpse of the Mohair Travel Shawl:This project has been underway for about two weeks. I have finally accepted that I must actually go to buy at least two more balls of Kid Merino just to finish this lovely cloud of pink goodness. I called Bonita Knitting yesterday, and they are setting aside the last four balls in this colorway for me to pick up after work tomorrow. I am thrilled to bits that they have some left. I suspect I will now have leftover yarn, but I think it may become a lacy scarf if I do. Isn't the edge lovely???

This is my zig zag scarf. The pattern is my own design. My apologies if it's really an un-vention and you've seen it before. I spent a couple of hours one evening playing with the yarn and figuring out how to make a short row, garter stitch scarf which I wouldn't mind wearing. The scarf in progress is the result of my labors with the needles, a notebook, and a pen.

The scarf came about because pink yarn was on sale last week at Two Sisters & Ewe, and I just had to pick some up. If you use the sale yarn to make a breast cancer scarf and then donate your completed scarf back to the store, they will sell it at the Susan G. Komen Three Day Walk this fall and give you store credit for the amount of money you spent on the yarn. All proceeds from the scarf sales will go to the walk. I couldn't resist the opportunity to help out, but it does mean I have yet another project on the needles. The Roo is working on a scarf of her own. I'll try to post a picture of hers when it is nearing completion.

The newest project is a toe-up trekking sock. I keep frogging it and re-starting it, but this time, I think it may stick. I intend for it to be one half of a pair of braided cable socks for me. I'm not holding my breath though, because this is the 4th or 5th incarnation of this particular sock.

My reward for finishing all these UFOs will be casting on the Clapotis. I am truly itching to start it, but I know I won't really enjoy it unless it's the only thing I am working on during that time. I don't want to be distracted a bit by anything else when I finally start.

And finally, we have the DCA's completed Fuzzy Feet. I finished knitting them weeks ago, and I finally got around to felting them in the wash last weekend. The weather has turned a bit cooler over the past couple of days, and he has been seen wearing them on occasion. He says they are toasty, which was the general idea. I would make a pair for myself for this winter, but I just don't want to face another pair of socks knit on size 10 needles. It's just a bit too wonky for me.

School with my new class went very well this week, and I am enjoying teaching all the math and science. It looks to be a truly marvelous year!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The Summer Light Fades

It's official. Today is the last day of summer vacation. Tomorrow, I return to my classroom to face 29 students of various ages and learning levels and teach them to love Math and Science as much as I do.

I had knitting plans for today. They were great knitting plans. I was at my desk at 8:40, and I knew I had just enough time to do all the final planning and arrangements for tomorrow and the rest of this week so that we could go home in time for lunch and an afternoon of knitting relaxation. (The kids went along today since it was supposed to be a short day.) I'm just starting to get into the groove of finalizing my Bible plans for the year when the intercom goes off at 8:45 and informs us that the staff is having prayer at 9:00. "Hey, no problem!" I think, knowing prayer is usually about 30-45 minutes and that's how much of a time cushion I gave myself. Two hours later after our prayer walk around the school, my "No problem!" attitude had faded in the face of being way behind schedule for the day. I was forced to take the kids and all my planning home to do in the afternoon, and the knitting fell by the wayside.

I know there's a great lesson in this experience about managing my time better and making sure all the last minute things aren't really saved for the last minute. I also really know the reason for today was to teach me the importance of prayer and of fellowship with other believers, but the grouchy, sinful, whiny part of me really wants those two hours back. It also kind of irks me that we were not informed of this last week so I could have planned better and not had as much to do today. I am, however, somewhat comforted by the fact that I was not the only stressed out teacher on the hill this morning.

I got most of my planning done that I wanted to have out of the way when I was at home and when I had to go back to school for "Meet the Teachers." However, I only did a couple of weeks instead of the whole month of September--the rest will just have to wait for the weekend.

I'm still in summer mode, and I already do not like how my work is interfering with my knitting. I have a feeling this week will be a painful withdrawal experience as my time with my needles is severely hampered. Detox, here I come!

It's time to go play with my wool on my last night of freedom from papers and students...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Stash Is Born!

The DCA's black socks are finished. Pretend there's a picture of them on the page. He (or more likely our cleaning lady) has stashed them I know not where, so they were unavailable for their appointment with my camera. I grafted the last toe on Tuesday evening and then immediately cast on the toe-up socks in Trekking XXL. The Trekking socks provided much entertainment during a computer training period about the school's new web site on Wednesday. BUT, new sock yarn arrived on Wednesday, and they were quickly tossed aside.

The latest star of my stash is Black Bunny Fibers sock yarn in the Oregano colorway. I cast on for them Wednesday evening using Brenda's Pembrokeshire Pathways pattern. My in-laws are visiting this week before school starts next week, so we hit Sea World on Thursday and did the obligatory tourist thing at the Moose's request. I spent the day walking and knitting around the park. I got lots of interesting looks, but I wasn't bored while we waited for shows and rides. Sometimes, sock knitting is the best entertainment you get in an amusement park! These lovely socks are destined for my friend whose favorite flower is a green carnation. The colorway has every color possible from her favorite bloom, and I thought of her while knitting it on Thursday.

I almost threw the BBF socks aside on Thursday, because I hit the motherlode in the afternoon mail. My shipments from Blue Moon and Lisa Souza both arrived, and I'm enamored of my new fiber! I took the skeins in to my LYS today and wound them on their swift and ball-winder. The staff love the colorways, and I think I may have become a certified sock yarn enabler. Clockwise from the top they are: Lisa Souza Max in the Wild Things colorway (I have two other skeins too, and they will soon yield a Clapotis), Blue Moon Socks that Rock in Highway 30, Lisa Souza Sock! Merino in Joseph's Coat, more Sock! Merino in Mardi Gras, and Socks that Rock in County Clare. Feel free to admire my treasures. I know I sure do!

Today's mail yielded a little something from Wendy of Knitty D and the City. I correctly answered the Ben on a Bench question in her blog and am now the proud owner of some truly beautiful stitch markers. I love them! I might put making stitch markers on my list of things to do--ok, probably not. Thanks so much, Wendy!

And last, but not least, for your knitting enjoyment, I have FOs.
These bags I knitted up back in June are finally and completely finished. I spent the afternoon weaving in ends and sewing on i-cord straps while we watched the Sooners beat the UAB Blazers. They are from the free sample pattern at the Philosopher's Wool web site. The bags also visited the LYS today, and they--or something like them--may become the star of a Fair Isle class in the near future. The pattern is a great introduction to the Fair Isle technique. If I didn't already have so much I want to do, I would probably try adding a sweater to the queue.

It's time to go back to those Oregano socks--or maybe the travel shawl!