Tuesday, January 10, 2017

New Year, New Knitting Challenge - Come to the crazy side (we have yarn)

Boy, I've been terrible about posting here this past year!  Of course, I've spent a lot less time playing on Ravelry in the past year also, so maybe that makes sense.

I  believe I mentioned in an earlier post that last year I participated in the Eat.Sleep.Knit Yarnathon, in their group on Rav.  Of course, I didn't really start doing anything until April or May, so I didn't do as much as I might have, but I did complete a really cool blanket that looks fabulous on the couch in my living room, and is really warm!

See - here it is on my bed.  Really pretty, right?  Anyway, I had a lot of fun trying to make my knitting projects over the past year fit into the Yarnathon structure, so I'm going to do it again this year.

The theme this year is Candyland (last year it was Space), and they have a really creative artist on staff who has made some adorable graphics for the different teams, as well as for the prizes and different games, badges, and knit alongs.  And I had a lot of fun chatting with the others on my team, and sort of virtually working together to finish projects and support each other. 

And I think I may be slightly insane, because they are doing another blanket knit along, and I'm gonna knit another crazy blanket!  At least I'm not doing the fingering weight version, although it is absolutely gorgeous.  I'm making the worsted weight version, and I think I might have an actual chance to finish it, because I'm starting in January, and taking it s-l-o-w!  (We'll see how that works - probably I'll finish it, because I'm knitting along with a bunch of other people, and there are prizes and stuff for certain finishing milestones.  Unlike the sock yarn mitered square blanket I started for myself YEARS ago, and have only got about 12-18" of the queen-sized blanket done!)

Anyway, the blanket is called Persian Dreams, and it is lovely!   Here is a link to the version of the pattern I am doing (it's a Ravelry link).  Come join the insanity - it's a lot of fun on the crazy side!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Knitting Along

Oh, so long since I posted!  But this month, I participated in a knit-along in the Eat.Sleep.Knit group on Ravelry, and I had a lot of fun!  I don't think I've ever participated in a KAL before, and having the deadline really pushed me to finish my socks on time. 

Of course, the fact that Eat.Sleep.Knit has a year-long yarnathon, with teams and prizes for milestones (yardage knit, etc.) doesn't hurt.  When I join in the Tour de Fleece or the Ravelympics/Ravellenic Games, I'm just knitting and spinning along for the fun of it and to challenge myself - there is no one else who benefits from my participation.  But with the yarnathon, in addition to individual prizes, the winning team all gets a prize, so we all benefit. 

Which means that I'm planning a few more knitted and crocheted birthday and holiday gifts this year to go along with yarnathon challenges (as well as a few gifts for me! Like these socks).  And, as much as I like to support local yarn shops whenever possible, I still shop online occasionally, so I don't feel too bad about it.  They have some nice yarns that I can't always get locally, and they ship really fast, and there is always the shopping at midnight benefit - can't do that with a LYS! 

For now, the Tour de Fleece starts in a few days, and the Olympics start in Rio in about a month, so I have some planning to do for those.  And in the meantime, I have a few more KAL's to join!

Sunday, February 8, 2015

New Pattern - Finally!

I showed a glimpse of these fingerless mitts in my previous post - the first prototype is what I had on the needles last August when we went to the lake, and is what you can see in the picture there. 

I've been working on these off and on for about 3 years, and since my last post, I have finished both the prototype and the written pattern, the pattern has been test-knit, and it is available on Ravelry.  I'm so excited!  This is the first pattern that I decided to charge for from the start (I recently decided to charge a nominal amount for my previously free Mayday Wrist Distaff pattern on Rav as well - it's only $1, so I don't think it will break anyone's bank). 

I call them Lakeshore Fingerless Mitts (Ravelry link - the pattern is also available in my Etsy shop, Mandarella Knits).  I feel like a new parent.

Take a look:

Sunday, August 24, 2014

The Tail End of Summer

Well, here it is, almost the last weekend of summer, almost the end of August, and only a week until Labor Day and time for the Boy to go back to school.  Kids in the district where I work come back to school this Monday, so the Boy gets a week more vacation than I do.

For the last 5 or 6 years (approximately), our family has spent this weekend at a YMCA camp in Lexington, Michigan with other families from our synagogue.  It's a nice way to wind down the summer and reconnect with friends we don't get to spend a lot of time with the rest of the year, mostly because of kids' schedules and other commitments.

The cabins are pretty rustic, but the location is beautiful - right on Lake Huron.  I get to spend a lot of time knitting and reading, and I usually bring a drop spindle as well, which always draws some attention and questions from adults and kids alike.

This afternoon I'm sitting on the deck of the dining hall, taking advantage of the camp's wifi, drinking mediocre coffee, and working on a fingerless glove pattern inspired by our time here.  I'll post more pics and a pattern link when it's ready, but for now, you can enjoy the same view I get to enjoy:

Doesn't that look tropical?  Michigan in the summer.  Happy end of summer to you all!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Where the Wild Things Are

So, for the past 3 weeks, I've been driving the Boy down to Wayne State for a summer day camp program through the Engineering department.  He seems to have enjoyed it, but the back-and-forth has been exhausting me.  I'm spending about 3 hours a day in the car, and I've had lots of time to listen to music (found some new artists that I'm enjoying) and looking at the graffiti.  And Detroit has, in addition to the typical tags on seemingly every other building, some very nice public artwork.

The ones that inspired the title of this post were the ones that got me started really looking:
 This one is on Woodward Avenue, just north of the Davison, and he feels to me like he is kind of guarding the neighborhood.  This area is really struggling, all the buildings along this stretch of road are burned out and falling down, but this creature looks pretty happy and ready to take on the world.

This one is on the side of the building that houses the Russell Bazaar, on the east side of the I-75 service drive.  Someone put a lot of time and love into this beast, and I think he is pretty spectacular.  Can't call him graffiti - he is definitely a mural.  My son really loves him.

 Here is a closer view.

And a few more murals that I always enjoy seeing when I go into the city:

 It's hard to take pictures while I'm driving, so I had the Boy take some of these - he didn't do too badly! 

There are lots more examples in the city - these are just a few that caught my eye.  I love these expressions of the beauty that lies just beneath the surface of the city.  There is some truly lovely architechture in Detroit, but these are ordinary buildings that are elevated to art by someone's vision and effort.

I'll post more as I find them.  But here is one more that the Boy took on our way north out of town on our last day - this place looks really intriguing: 

It's not the best picture, but this is a chiropractic/alternate therapy clinic and vegetarian cafe.  I might need to stop in some time!  Their website is here.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Quick Update...

Wow - hard to believe that I haven't posted here in over a year!  I guess life just got busy.  I signed up for another year in Pontiac schools and, while this year is slightly less stressful than last year (since I have my CCC's now, and theoretically know what I am doing), it is still frighteningly busy.  Caseloads are through the roof, and there isn't enough time in the day to see all the kids and do all the paperwork and testing that I need to do, so I end up bringing a lot of stuff home.  sigh

Knitting is what has been keeping me sane - if I wore slogan t-shirts anymore (haven't worn them in years), I would definitely want the one that says "I knit so I don't kill people."  So true!

I've been a shawl knitting machine this year - I joined a shawl knitting group on Ravelry - 12 Shawls Forever - and am trying to knit 12 shawls over the course of the year.  I'm close - I have 9 completely done and blocked, one being bound off currently, and 2 on the needles.  We shall see if I can manage to finish the last 2 before the end of the year!

The boy's Bar Mitzvah was last month, and it went very well.  I was kind of sad because my little sister had some health issues and couldn't come out for it, but I'd rather she stay healthy than get on a plane when she is already not well, so we dealt with it.  Hard to believe that he is 13 already - it seems like just yesterday he was my (not so) little baby, and here he is almost as tall as me and reading Hebrew like a pro.

He did such a great job! I wanted all my family and friends to be there to see him!

I'll try to post some knitting pictures soon - I have a bunch of new stuff on my Rav project page, and a pattern for fingerless mitts that I have been working on (off and on) for a while now that I really need to finish!  I think this will be one that I actually charge for - I hope people like it!  It's a very textural fabric, inspired by the rocky shoreline of Lake Huron at the camp we go to every summer with our synagogue.

I'm currently working on getting the cuff just right, but they are hibernating right now, while I try to finish up my shawls and some holiday gift knitting (other fingerless mitts for my niece in Phoenix).  Soon, my pretties.  Soon.

Friday, October 12, 2012

It's been ... One Week

First week on the new job is officially over, and I'm still here.  There were moments when I had my doubts that would be the case.  But I now know what my caseload will be, and brought home a TON of files to go through to start to get to know the kids and plan what I want to do with them when I start seeing them. 

I have about 20 students with ASD, and the rest of my kids are regular ed language and artic.  I am going to be busy! 

It feels very odd to me when I wake up in the morning and remember that this isn't just a semester-long gig - I'm not a student anymore, and this is real life.  I don't stop working with these kids and get a re-set in December/January.  It's been a couple of years since I could think like that, and it's going to take some getting used to.

Also learning a little bit about the school building I'm in - for the first 3 days this week, it has been absolutely freezing in the building, then yesterday they seemed to turn on the heat and today it was swelteringly hot in my office (I have my own office!  I'm so excited!).  Also, internet service was down in the building today (which I'm told is a regular occurrence), and it stopped working while I was in the middle of writing an electronic IEP that is due tomorrow.  Fun.  Oh, well, I can only do so much, and I did contact the mom today, so we are all good.

Tomorrow I go to renew my CPR certification (the contract company requires it, since they place a lot of people in medical settings, and I figured it was a good idea to have it anyway), then I'm going to spend my weekend getting up to speed with about half my caseload.  Maybe I'll bring home the other half next week.  Wish me luck.

No knitting to speak of this week, although I did add a couple of squares to my sock mini blanket while I watched the vice-presidential debate last night.  I don't know if I'll ever finish that blanket, considering how rarely I work on it, but I just love the idea of it so much that I keep pulling it out periodically.  I do need to make the boy some new mittens for this winter, and I guess I should get on that, since the weather has turned very definitely cold.