Monday, December 31, 2007

I'm here to tell you that all is well with the world. Puppy is chewing on a bone instead of me or yarn, I've watched all episodes of Fantasy Island from comcast's On Demand but in the "Free Movie" section I found this: - Santa Claus Conquers the Martians- truly the funniest not supposed to be funny movie I've ever seen! The earth children have some hand knits I'd like to see in better lighting as well.

Anyone interested in extra posts, do a little snow dance for Lydee and I on Tuesday night. Are we greedy or what? the snow dance link is pretty funny if you have some time

Sunday, December 30, 2007

p.s. the exercise button

p.s. anyone who wants to use the me on the bike mini button to indicate their own exercising, you may copy and paste. I think that would crack me up.

Here there and everywhere. Mostly here.

The Ten Project Challenge has a certain appeal to me but I'm not much of a joiner and I am a compulsive yarn buyer. I don't have the vast stash that I've viewed on Ravelry but I do feel guilty about neglected stash. Combine those facts with the added need to save up for my own Mac Power Book (the one that got me started blogging is a loaner and may have to leave it's happy home in the next year) and a little stash control would be a wise wise thing.

All that being said, I think I'll list some knitting goals for the coming months. I'll try to be realistic.

1. Mittens to match the as yet unseen stocking cap.

2. A cardigan (with Misti Alpaca chunky-the reward yarn of the holidays)designed by me using the reverse side of a slipped rib stitch and garter stitch for interest. What you see is the back. The sleeves will have an equal amount of WS slipped rib. Depending on the way it pulls or doesn't pull, the front panels may be all slipped rib. Garter collar, set in sleeves. We'll see.

3. A finished or frogged tangled yoke.

4. Finish the Classic Elite Oregon vest without being intimidated by the zipper. Every time I go to the yarn store, I'm drawn to this fiber and every time I'm drawn to it, I realize I have a UFO out of the very same yarn. Doh.

5. More socks, as my collection is dwindling thanks to some dropped stitches and puppy teeth.

But wait, you're wondering what the hell is up with the button at the start of the post? We got one of those cool indoor trainers for the bikes. It is assembled with bike in a secret quiet room in the house. In an effort (at least for a little while) to keep myself accountable, each time I've made use of it for more than 3 minutes and happen to be blogging, I'll put that little picture at the beginning. This way you'll know how the old exercise resolution is going without me going on and on about it. I thought about making a little "hey I didn't get off my lard ass" button as well but I'm trying to keep this positive and with few rules. Not even timing myself yet. Just ride the bike and win a prize.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Keeping the puppy busy, secretly trying to design a sweater with chunky misti alpaca, finished the stocking cap- will post pictures once it is a gift received and you can see it on the recipient.

Kind of glad there's not more to report.

Monday, December 24, 2007

May You Be Healthy

May You Be Happy

May You Be Safe

May You Live With Ease

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Overheard in the Rite Aid (CMUS)

...Let's get here these. She always has a headache.

So glad my shopping list is short.

Friday, December 21, 2007

what a wonderful world

I don't have the diversity that Yarnhog describes in in a recent post, but identified myself as more or less Jewish until now lately I think I'm more Buddhist than anything else. This means that as colleagues try to pin a religious label on me so that they think they can understand me, I'm considered by them (because I'm not Christian and I HAVE to be something) "Jewish."

That being said- I'm not so much anything, take no stand regarding the religious practices of others and am just a speck of dust in the wind.

The following is not so much a religious observation as it is one of the basic "Got a clue? Not so much" moments observed recently.

5th grade- had a display of Christmas Around the World decorations on the wall outside of their classrooms. Pictured with several colored menorahs was the sign, "Christmas in Israel."

A colleague gave me a Christmas card (just so you know- I'm happy to get them. I send them on occasion- they're usually more "holiday/winter" themed. I got no problems with them- even the creche/Mary/Jesus ones. I don't expect others to cater to my weirdness.) However- in an attempt to be politically correct this colleague wrote "Happy Hannukah" inside a card with Mary and Jesus on the front. It just blows my mind.

I'm not out to educate the world- especially the grown-ups. If I say anything I fear it would seem that I was getting all religious on their asses and that is also not my intent.

File this under the label- "catch a clue"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

No $4M Buyout for this Music Teacher

If you follow Big East college football, you are aware of the feelings of rage and betrayal in the state of West Virginia at the recently announced departure of WVU Mountaineer football coach Rich Rodrigez to the University of Michigan. (Husband and I are both WVU alum.) It is indeed the talk of the town. In fact, no one has been talking about the weather since Sunday. We're so mad, we don't care what the weather is.

This morning I joked with faculty and staff (after listening to some morning radio)that at the a.m. showing of the Winter Holiday Program I was going to put an end to all rumors regarding the buyout of my own music teacher contract. Everyone laughed, but a few teachers (who's judgement I trust) suggested that it was such a hot issue that it might be best not to bring it up.

As the principal gave me the beautiful Christmas flower arrangement at the end of the afternoon show, she also handed me the paper pictured below. Signed by all faculty, it is a petition opposing a buyout of my current contract so that I might go to Michigan.

Not sure how well the funny transfers for those of you who don't follow the whole college football scene but the fact that all faculty and staff were willing to sign a pretend petition to keep me away from a $4M contract I don't have was worth a post. I mean come on, Lisa even signed her REAL name (Alicia.) She NEVER uses that name unless she really means it.

Another great part of the day was a visit from poly_dactyl who drove 2 hours (one way) over Appalachian mountainage and through the coal fields with 9 week old Benjamin David to see the show. It's always so great to have a music teacher colleague around who will give you an honest assessment. (or at least one you can read between the lines in the gentlest way with.) And now that I have a puppy, I almost know how to play with a baby.

Hey blog friends, if you decide to leave me for Michigan, I might be able to have a real life friend or two.

I'm also considering posting one of the most energetic versions of "Nuttin for Christmas" that I've heard to date. Here's your chance to vote for or against blog content. If I get 15 requests, up it goes.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 a handbasket

Signs of the above..

Today during a slurred speech microphone moment in front of 300+ kids I'm pretty sure I said the word "shit." oops.

Husband the Great is home and not well. Sure sign that he is not well is him saying "Do you still love me even if I'm sick?"

Hence, I did not go to knit night. Oh so not the best day. For the next two weeks, knit night will be on the Eve of holidays to come so that means nearly a month without a fix. See slurred speech slip above.

Knitting continues in spite of the fact that the puppy very much loves pulling finished and unfinished knits around and being chased. I've tried tricking her by hiding chaseable knits. She so knows the difference.

As a result, fine knitting has been set aside until she pulls it together and lots of loosey goosey what if knits are likely to follow.

The first wip to post is the stocking hat that had great aspirations and needles that were too large. Mostly it looks like the upchuck that happened in the audience this afternoon. I'm guessing that fine "booclay and it's boocles" isn't going to frog so well. There are great possibilities in the yarn/texture combination. I just haven't found them yet.

Also on the needles is a booga bag made with some yarn from the 30% off treasure chest and some leftover from the everlasting gobstopper messenger bag. It's either going to be really cool or it's going to suck or it will be somewhere in the middle. I'm considering it an i-cord tutorial since I've never tried that before.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

On Carols

I love language and languages. Playing with words? Sign me up. Figuring out the connections in the Romance Languages? I am SO all over it- even if only in my amateurish way. There comes a time, however in the life of the music teacher when you've "Got to do What You've Got to Do." regarding Latin and 5th graders.

Them: WHY do we have to sing Oh Come All Ye Faithful in Latin?

Me: Because it's what people do, it's cool, it sounds good, people will think you're geniuses, and it will make the song longer.

After pointing out Fideles and relating it to "Faithful" and hence a possible connection to the dog name "Fido" and reminding them that when we sang that song in Spanish and it had the word bienvenidos and how it means welcome and how cool is it that it's almost the same as venite meaning "come" in Latin (and secretly remembering the French verb venir but being smart enough not to give too much information), I had to resort to mnemonics and cracking myself up.

Adeste Fideles
no mnemonic required-they're the first words.

Lae ti triumphantes
The Lady and three elephants or as they preferred the lady is on fire-don't ask me how.

venite venite in Bethlehem
o.k. so the venidos thing might have worked

Natum Videte
they totally came up with this one-they somehow believe its saying "don't date 2 people"

Regem Angelorum
This was the hardest line and I ended up using "Regis is a drunken (rum) Italian angel."

Venite Adoramus Venite Adoramus Venite Adoramus
repetition is the key to all things- they made the adore and adoramus connection as well.

Yes, I did. "Let's come adore Dominoes Pizza."

Sign that the name Fido is no longer en vogue- after the above comparison, one student raised her hand and said, "I saw that name for a dog in a book I was reading. I thought you said Fiddo" (with an i as in lid.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What? an FO

Hey kids! I knit some mitts. I made the pledge at Knit Night on Tuesday that I would finish these before the next knit night. I'm sure that they all saw it as the not so disguised excuse to buy more yarn next week that it was.

In spite of floods, leaks, early dismissals, cancelled Christmas shows, and a puppy that can't yet distinguish sticks from the yard from sticks on the left hand side of the couch , I present some mittens from the Ann Norling mittens on 4 dpns knit in some Lamb's Pride.

In looking at this picture- I perhaps realize from whence Love Of Green came. The afghan beneath the Best Puppy Ever was crocheted by Granma almost 40 years ago- it's seen it's share of Wizard of Oz's.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Damn, I'm old

Here's the thing- as the music teacher, you tend to get tech upgrades only when someone else gets something new. "Auxillary personnel" get the leftovers. This explains why the t.v. in my classroom looks like something similar to the one pictured. Today- after viewing the Nutcracker, I asked a kid to turn off the t.v. and he had no idea what to do.

knit night 432nd edition

A list of new post-knit-night-knowledge along with credit where credit is due.

1. If you go to this site there is graph paper to design your own norwegian style mittens. (Debbie)

2. It takes longer than 45 minutes to design mittens.

3. A 48'x10'x10' cistern holds approximately 35,000 gallons of water. (Marc)

4. A Wallace candy cane christmas ornament can go for as much as $499 on ebay. (Patty)

5. Elastic thread will fix the gigantic issues going on with the burnt orange stocking cap.(Debbie)

6. When doing complicated black and white stranded-checkered sleeves to a golf sweater, be sure to read the pattern. Add a stitch at each end of the sleeve-not just at the beginning. (Chris)

7. When in the company of someone who is just learning about number6, there is an ache in the pit of your stomach even if it's not your own knitting and you may have to walk around and look at yarn to shake it off.

8. Tonka makes a metal fire truck that you can hook up to the garden hose and toy fire hydrant and have loads of summer fun with. This same truck- not so good for the furniture. (Claire)

9. Part of the First Sock Syndrome described in the previous post comes from thinking I look like one bad ass knitter when using dpn's. Last night's solution was to buy a pair of size #1 Lantern Moon dpns, certain that with such great needles, I'll be sure to redo that Lana Grossa sock.

10. If you're feeling guilty about casting on too many socks, buy some Lamb's Pride wool in a shade of green that adds to your green obsession, some size #8 dpns (seriously I didn't have that size-can you believe it?) and cast on some mittens. They feel like socks in so many ways only without the guilt.

And finally an observation on the knit night phenomena. Each conversation builds upon the previous ones so that by the time 7:30 hits, you've reached that blissful state of laughing even though no one's said anything particularly funny- you just know it could happen.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Mutating Virus

I would like to suggest that here in this household Second Sock Syndrome (SSS) has mutated and become most vile. It is now First Sock Syndrome. I have such a lovely (if small by comparison) collection of luscious sock yarns. The aficionados among you will recognize Olive Lana Grossa, 2 flavors of Trekking, some mint-colored Berroco Ultra Alpaca (on 6's for a fast knit), some lemony-lime Koigu, and my recent destash purchase from A.D.D. Knitter on-line 100 (or something like that) in the cool multi-colored variegated black.

You may also notice that several of these fine beginnings have no needles-no scrap yarn in them. Want to start a new sock? Just yank out the needles from the ones you haven't finished. Early treatment of this syndrome included buying more #2 dpn's. Come to find that treats the symptoms rather than the disease.

Should I be contacting the CDC" in Atlanta or is this just an isolated incident?

Also, go say hey to poly_dactyl. She's a real life friend who knits but has had her hands full turning 30, having a baby, and finishing her Master's degree in the last 4 months. She just started a blog- I want her to get as addicted as I am, so leave a comment or ten. Thanks!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Blame Ruth- she tagged me

Ruth tagged me with the seven weird things meme.

I'm not tagging- (it's a bonus weird thing- I never played tag in grade school- too much pressure)

1. I seriously believe that at any moment I choose, I could become a chorus member in a Broadway musical. (just the chorus member- let's be realistic

2. One time while watching Mary Tyler Moore, Phyllis came on the screen saying "hi, hi" and I burst into tears.

3. I also believe that at any time now (actually any second) I'll be able to speak and understand Spanish and Italian.

4. Sometimes it's easier to describe the mood I'm in with a number. Today is 38. 74 is a bad day. 63 is a good one. 494 sucks. Given space limitations, I can't reveal the quality of all numbers, but if you need to know, just ask.

5. I think it's really cool that I can look at my fingers, decide to move them and then they move. It feels like a magic trick.

6. I prefer rainy napping days over sunny weather days.

7. There's always a pattern of some sort (numbers-stitches-piano keys) going on in my head.

I changed my mind- if polly_dactyl and Lydee want to play, tag, you're it.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Wicked Cool Photo Shoot

As promised- I was able to snag GHB to snap a Wicked picture. Note the matching jewels made and mailed by the mama.

Time to go do stuff.

Get The Ball!

So if this takes 100 years to load, just ignore it- I'm trying out Bloggers Video upload to see if there can be action shots of The Liza Jane B.P.E.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Ice on the Roads

We had the worst possible kind of snow today. The kind that starts just as you're leaving for school. It's too late for them to cancel and too late to call a sub. Except I called one anyway because my mental health is worth more than a day of watching the student teacher teach. This means I played "hooky" today. The panic attack was precipitated by thoughts of the curvy icy hill. Husband reassures me that I'm not a loser for bailing on the day. Anyone else who would like to do the same would be doing me a great service.

Batteries are charging and I'll snag same husband for a photoshoot on the Rowan Big Wool sweater and the Spam-A-Not Wicked. Both unbocked fo's that are getting closer to the ideal sweater.

WIP Update- (again maybe some pix over the weekend)

Berroco alapaca socks in worsted weight on size 6 needles because it's the best way to keep the feet warm and man, are they quick. One down, one to go.

Stocking cap for my favorite parent volunteer- not my favorite wip right now. I had such grand hopes. I think I'll take it to knit night for some tweaking. It may be that I just hate novelty yarn-boocles-or burnt orange. Possibly all of it.

Wicked Part II- finally taking that periwinkle handspun I bought in May and am hoping to make a long-sleeved wicked with it. I just trust the sizing on the pattern.

This is the first December I've had a blog. All the secret "cant post" stuff and all. Is there then the government holiday phenomena (like the post office after they get a Monday off, you get twice as much mail on Tuesday) after the gifts have been given?

Thursday, December 06, 2007

aren't these cool?

Yea, so since I haven't taken any pictures of recent finished objects, I'll share Debbie's (KNQ) awesome finished mittens.

I think they're pretty amazing. I wish I hadn't promised that I wouldn't take credit for them.

Furhter notes on the boucle. For what it's worth, I pronounce it booCLAY. I pronounce my made up word like it's spelled- boocles. And along with the picture of the fabulous mitts came the advice to PURL the booClay to get more boocles in front. I should have figured that one out given my understanding of knit and purl.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

nitte nytte and what do you know of boocles?

Thanks to Marc (henceforth known as Mr. Nitnite) and his camera phone for pictures to post. Stupid dead Nikon batteries.

Had you not noticed? I love knit night. So much so that I rarely spell it correctly because it is so sacred. There were fewer of us last night but when you walk in that place you're just smiling inside even if there's nothing funny because there is such a chance for things to get funny and that's funny all in itself. My job is done if I manage to say something that would cause someone who was eating to spit food out of their mouths-actual food not required. Food Spew Action? Check.

I bought some burnt orange wool and some matching variagated (sp?) novelty yarn to stripe the stocking cap. Tonight's knitting question. Is there a way to knit with boucle (in the round) that has the boocles on the outside instead of beautifully adorning the inside? I tried pulling the boocle through and not pulling the boocle through (I'm pretending that the balls on the boucle are called "boocles".) The next thing I'm going to try is maybe knitting in the back of the stitch and twisting it. It would be much easier if someone who already knows how to do it could help.

two more words for Thursday

Snow Day

knit night blogging when (if) the puppy ever naps.

Two Words

Snow Day

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Is it just me or..

every time you wear a finished object do you walk around chanting "feel my sweater, I made it."

Wicked is off the needles. It needs to be blocked but I wore it to school anyway because the weather was permitting.

It's most very cozy in spite of a wide variety of crossover/cable ribbings. For those of you looking forward to a pocket- you'll have to look elsewhere.

What annoys me most (and I'm hoping that blocking will solve this) is the fact that the bottom ribbing is done in moss stitch and is rolling up like a t-shirt rag. Wonder why it's moss stitch ribbing on the bottom.

Next plan in my head is a stocking cap for my favorite parent volunteer coordinator. She loves wacky hats and will make a most excellent blog picture. There's reason enough to knit one.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Six minutes to post.

I must leave for my job in six minutes.

On my mind today- Secrets. You've got your "secrets", your "Secrets" and your "SECRETS."

secrets around holiday time- appropriate-fun-exciting-etc.

SECRETS of any other kind- as in "don't tell, they can't handle it, I can't handle them knowing"- are diseased. A lame attempt to maintain control over a situation that isn't controllable. Those who keep them for others, a lame attempt to exert Power over those not in the Know.

What can you say about secrets and the damage they have caused? Or maybe what about the secrets and the joy they have brought? Talk amongst yourselves. 30 seconds left...

I have 2" of crossover rib on a short sleeve and can declare Wicked finished. Come to find I did the ribbing wrong on the neck, not looking close enough at the pattern before diving in. Given it's top-down-ness, I think I'll grow fond of it.