Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Group Project - Bah!

I hate group projects! I hate relying on other people for my grade - it always seems like I end up doing the lion's share of the work anyway (if I want to make sure it's done right!), and there is always at least one slacker who is totally not reliable in the group and I feel like I have to babysit them, if I don't want them to pull everyone's grade down. Arrrgh!

Obviously, group project due tomorrow (Morphosyntax), and I've been e-mailing everyone in the group to make sure they all have their parts done (my parts have been done for a week and a half). The girl who is putting the summary together should have it to me later tonight, so I can go over it and print it out and put it in the folder with everything else. Then I can sleep. After I read some more A & P.

This week has been all about reviewing for finals, and working on my letter of intent, and asking my professors if they will write letters of recommendation for me. I always feel so pushy doing that, but I guess they expect it, so they don't seem to mind too much. At least I'm getting A's in all their classes so far - we'll see how I do on my finals! I think one class could slip if I'm not really diligent.

I've decided that I really like my Normal Language professor - he's very nice and straightforward and approachable. When (not if - I'm thinking positively here) I'm in grad school down there, I hope I have him for a few more classes at least. His class is the one I'm doing best in, as well - I missed 2 questions on one exam, and that is the only score I've gotten from him that hasn't been perfect. Kind of frustrating, actually - they were the kind of stupid mistakes you make when you are overconfident, and don't double-check your answers. I think I've learned my lesson there. But that means I won't be getting a 4.0 in any class this semester. Oh, well.

Also trying to work on Christmas/Hanukkah knitting, during study breaks. I'm on the second sock of a pair for one of my nieces, and I want to make a shrug for my mom, and a hat for my sister's fiance and a shawlette for my sister (although I won't be shipping that, so it doesn't really have to be done until New Year's Eve, when I fly out there for her wedding). And another small shawl/scarf/something like that for my sister-in-law's birthday, which is January 2. Not a lot of time, but most of them are small projects, so should be doable.

Also got two travelling scarves today, for the scarf group I'm in on Ravelry. Those shoudn't be too involved, once I find the right yarns and stitch patterns. One is a lengthwise scarf in fingering weight, so that might take a little bit longer - maybe 6 or 8 rows at 500 stitches per row! I don't think I'll be able to finish that in one sitting, like I did the last one I worked on.

Husband is in Cleveland for training and company holiday party, so I have some peace and quiet now that boy is asleep. I think I'll go study now.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

When it rains, it pours!

I got my new roof last week! It's very nice, and I've been celebrating the lack of buckets in my living room all week. But I still have water on my floor!

Tonight has been rough at my house - I was on the computer before dinner, working on my letter of intent (applying to grad school and all that - I have to have something to give my professors to induce them to write me a good recommendation!), when I heard a crash from my son's room. I jumped up and ran into his room, asking if he was okay, and what the crash was. He said he was swinging his bag of chess pieces and hit the side of the fishtank.

Now, this is a 10 gallon tank that has water in it, but no fish currently. The last fish jumped to its death a while ago, but I've kept the tank running until my son decides if he wants more fish. I guess the answer to that is no, now. When he hit the side of the tank, he cracked the glass and actually broke out several large chunks of glass. fortunately, the missing pieces were above the water line, and the crack was only oozing water slowly, so I was able to go to the basement and get a bucket, and start siphoning the water out in an orderly fashion.

Of course, while I was doing this, my husband was washing some dishes, and I heard him start cursing from the kitchen. Naturally, he didn't check the disposal before running it, and missed the metal measuring cup that had fallen into it. The handle put a 3" hole in the side of the disposal, and water poured all over the kitchen floor (as well as flooding the cabinet under the sink).

Here is a photo of the hole - lovely, isn't it? Son and I went rushing into the kitchen with towels to mop up the water, and husband gets to spend a few hours tomorrow going to the home store and buying a new disposal and then installing it. Oh, joy!

Broken fishtank is now out at the street waiting for the garbagemen to take it away, and my dishwasher is waiting until tomorrow to run tonight's dishes. But at least my roof isn't leaking anymore! Now, if only we could as easily fix the leaky bathtub, I wouldn't have to listen to complaints every time my son has to shower instead of bathe!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I Should be Studying Right Now...

I have an audiology midterm in two days, and it's 10 pm on a Sunday night, and I'm on the computer updating my stash on Rav and writing in my blog. What's wrong with me? Oh, well, I'm doing well in audiology anyway.

Last week didn't feel very productive at all, and I'm hoping that I can get back on track this week, before I actually fall behind. It shouldn't actually be too hard to do, since DH is in Chicago this week, so I don't have to turn the TV on all week, and I'll be able to study quietly every evening after I put the boy to bed. I'll still be up til midnight or 1 every night, but at least I'll be getting stuff done!

And, I'm getting some of my holiday knitting done on my study breaks - finished one of the socks I'm making for one of my nieces this morning. So that's going well, too.

AND, we should be getting our new roof within the next week or so - I'm really excited about that. No more buckets in the living room! Yeah! Of course, that just means that I have to have the next thing on the list fixed next, which at this point is the boiler - once the roof is sound, if the guy needs to go up on the roof to sweep the chimney (which will probably need doing, 'cuz it hasn't been done in forever), I won't worry about him falling through or sliding down on the crumbling shingles. Then I can worry about why my bathtub has started leaking into my basement (the last time boy bathed - it'll be showers for him for a while!). I'm not looking forward to having to fix that one (although I hate my bathtub with a burning passion, and would love to have a new one, I don't see that happening any time in the near future. Maybe after I get my master's and a good-paying job as a SLP. Then I can fix it. Or, I can buy a new house and just demolish this one, which is what it deserves).

Well, that's my stream of consciousness rant for today. I feel better now, even though no one will read this, for getting it off my chest. Thanks for listening.

I'm off to study now. Wish me luck on my midterm.

Oh, here's a picture of the yarn I was spinning last August - my friend never called me when he was in town, so I never got it to him and I still have it. Next time I talk to him, I'll ask if he wants me to send it. I made him a knitting needle roll for his birthday, too, which I didn't get a chance to give him. Oh, well. Here's the pic anyway. I made three skeins, totalling a little over 200 yards. I think he could make something nice with this. I call the color "Forest Pool".

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Flaw in My Thinking

I see now the flaw in deciding to start this blog when I did. I am so busy with classes and reading/studying, plus trying to keep up with laundry and dishes (never mind the vacuuming - that can wait until Thanksgiving break!) and helping my son with his homework, and meeting with his teacher, and all the other things that don't get done if I don't do them, that I don't have time to post! (I know, lots of people go to school full time, and work full time, and have families, and still manage to keep a clean house, but I'm apparently not one of them!)

On the plus side, I am rocking the A & P and Intro to Audiology! I was really intimidated by those classes when they started, because they both involve a lot more science-y stuff than I am usually comfortable with, but I got my first Anatomy & Physiology test back last Thursday, and I only missed 2 out of 64! 97%! The prof told us that scores ranged from 30% to the high 90's, so I did okay! And I felt really good about the Audiology quiz last week, too. Really good. I'm looking forward to getting that one back as well. Plus, my A & P book finally came from Amazon this week, so I actually have my own book to read from now, rather than relying on the copy in the library for 2 hour blocks or photocopying the chapters I need to read. I hate to spend money on that when I've already spent over $100 on the book.

Things are working well on other fronts as well. All the positive thinking I've been doing is starting to pay off - I really need to put the vision board back up and get serious about it. Boy chose his preferred band instrument today, and brought home the music folder with all the info about where we can go to rent instruments (most of the local music stores have rent-to-own programs, as I'm sure they do everywhere kids take band and orchestra). But, the instrument my kid fell in love with the from the first day of band (after 3 years of telling me he wanted to play the drums) is the Baritone horn (or, as Boy calls it, the "Bini Tuba", because it looks like a mini tuba and starts with a B). And, as luck would have it, the baritone horn is the only instrument that our school provides for the students - not only do I not have to rent one this year, but they have enough instruments that he can have one to keep at home to practice on, and one to leave at school to play there! The band instructor said something about the size, but I can't imagine it is bigger or harder to carry than a cello, so perhaps they do that with the larger string instruments as well (I don't know, as I didn't get the rental sheet on the string instruments).

The Universe is smiling on me this week.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

You Spin Me Right Round...

So, I'm doing some spinning for a friend - I've never spun on spec before, but at least he wasn't really picky about what he wanted.

I gave him some handdyed handspun last summer for his birthday, and he so loved knitting with it that he requested more. The guidelines were three skeins, green, and handspun. No weight, no specific colors, nothing. He said that he loved the last skein because it was unique and didn't necessarily match anything else, which I chose to take as a compliment (I'm sure it was meant that way, really).
Last year, when I was just learning, I had some mystery wool that I inherited along with the spinning wheel, and it was undyed, so I spun undyed bulky, lumpy yarn. Then, I decided to play with dyeing too, and bought some Wilton's paste dyes. My friend loved it.
This year, I have a boatload (thanks to my husband's trip to Stonehedge Fiber Mill and his theory that more is always better) of light grey Corriedale roving, and I have dyed four 2-oz balls of it in various shades of green, brown, and blue/teal.

That's actually not a bad representation of the colors. I think it's spinning up pretty nicely:

I just have to hope he likes the weight he is getting, 'cuz I like to spin finer than what I gave him last year. I'm trying not to spin it too fine, or I'll never finish it! I think it will be somewhere in the DK/light worsted range.

Monday, August 10, 2009

A New Venture

Well, this blogging thing is completely new to me, and I'm not at all sure how I'll like it, or whether anyone will bother to read it. I guess I'll think of it as a kind of on-line journal, and see where it goes from there.

First thing I want to do is add my first ever knitting pattern. I've been working on it off and on for a while, now, and finally have it in a format that I'm happy with. I'll upload it to Ravelry next, and activate my designer page so I can add more as I have them. That's pretty exciting for me.

It is for fingerless mitts, which I call "Evenstar," because they are an updating of my "Arwen" fingerless mitts available in my Etsy shop. Here is a picture:

Sorry it's a little dark; I've been told I have perfect color vision, but I have never mastered lighting.

Evenstar Fingerless Mitts

These flirty, ruffled mitts are perfect for tea with the Fairy Queen! (They are based on the original "Arwen" fingerless mitts in my Etsy store:

Abbreviations and Techniques Used:

CO=Cast on
K2tog=Knit 2 stitches together as one
K1,P1=Knit one, Purl one ribbing
PM=Place marker
St St=Stockinette stitch
M1L=Make 1 left (Use tip of left needle to pick up the loop of yarn between the last st on the left needle and the first st on the right needle, going front to back. Knit this st through the back loop to twist the st and close the hole. Makes a left-leaning increase.)
M1R=Make 1 right (Use tip of left needle to pick up lthe loop of yarn between the last st on the left neede and the first st on the right needle, going back to front. Knit this st through the front loop to twist the st and close the hole. Makes a right-leaning increase.)
Cable Cast-on=*Slip the last st on right needle to left needle. Insert tip of right needle between the last two sts on left needle, wrap the working yarn around the tip of right needle, and draw loop through. Place the resulting st on the left needle. Repeat from * for desired number of sts.


Yarn: 100 - 110 yards worsted weight yarn. Mitts shown were knit using Cascade 220 "Quattro".

Needles: US7 (4.5mm) circular needle for ruffled cuff, either long enough to do "Magic Loop" method (32" or longer), or a short sock needle (9"-12")
Set of 4 US7 (4.5mm) DPN's (or continue with the circular needle if you're more comfortable that way.
Set of 4 US6 (4mm) DPN's (or US6 circular needle, again, if that makes you more comfortable.)

Stitch Markers
Waste Yarn
Tapestry Needle

Gauge: 5 sts/inch in st st, on larger needles

Size: To fit a Ladies' Medium/Large hand comfortably (approximately 7"-8" around)

Cuff: Using US7 circular needle and long-tail cast on, co 152 sts. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the sts. PM.

Rnd 1: Knit
Rnd 2: * K2tog. Repeat from * (76 sts).
Rnd 3: Knit
Rnd 4: Repeat rnd 2 (38 sts).
Rnd 5 & 6: Knit

Switch to US6 DPN's and K one more rnd.

On US6 DPN's, work in K1P1 ribbing for 2". Work one rnd in st st. Switch to US7 DPN's and work one more rnd in st st.

Thumb Gusset: K across 19 sts, pm, M1L, K1, M1R, pm, K to end of rnd. (Increase rnd: K to marker, slip marker, M1L, K to next marker, M1R, slip marker, K to end.)

Increase in this manner every 3rd rnd 4 times, then every 4th rnd 1 time (13 sts between markers).

On next rnd, K to last st before marker, slip that st to R needle knitwise, remove marker, & place thumb sts on waste yarn. Slip last st back to L needle & K2tog, K to end of rnd. (36 sts).

Work in st st until hand measures 1 1/2 " from top of thumb opening.

Picot Eyelet Bind-off: Switch to US6 DPN's. BO one st. *Using Cable Cast-on, CO one st, then BO 3. Repeat from * until all sts have been bound off.

Thumb: Using US7 DPN's, arrange held thumb sts on 3 needles. K around, picking up and knitting 2 sts to cover the gap at the top of the thumb opening. Work in st st until thumb measures 1". BO all sts.

Finishing: Weave in all ends and block.

And there you have it - Enjoy! Of course, you may print one copy of this pattern for your own personal use, but please don't distribute or sell this pattern, or sell any items made from this pattern without the express permission of the designer (me).