Goodbye 2005, Hello 2006

Totally stolen from inspired by Crazy Aunt Pearl...
"I am a list maker....I make lists when I am stressed out, tired, lonely, bored, busy, frantic, drinking coffee, watching TV....Sometimes I make lists of things I have already completed just so I can draw a thick line through them and feel very accomplished. I hope you make lists, too, because I truly believe there is nothing a list can't cure. Just the very act of making the list makes you feel better. Like you are ON TOP of this thing! You have it under control! You have... A LIST! "

My 2006 List of TO-DOs and TO-DON'Ts

Money Things:
• No more late fees at the library. I mean, really. That is just sad.
• Stop buying stuff that I don't need.

The Size Of My Ass:
• Eat healthy stuff
• Get active - do yoga or pilates, use the weights, the balance ball...
• Drink more tea (start drinking white, drink more green)
• Drink more water.
• Use less sugar.

Personal Good Stuff & Leaving The House:
• Every day, choose happy over sad, free over constrained, liberated over abandoned, and laugh a lot. Wake up the next day and repeat.
• Plant a successful garden - tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, other flowers from seed!
• Go on a trip. (Crayola Factory with Betsy, Washington DC before Jen leaves)
• Visit my grandma, at least call her often and send her lots of happy mail.
• Stop procrastinating. Just stop it already.
• Moisturize. Constantly. You know you need it (especially when hubby says "I can tell where you lotioned and where you didn't!) And it doesn't matter if you can't reach. Ask for help.
• Floss.
• Make a dentist appointment.
• Get a new girlie doctor
• Get a skin scan? Something to make sure the moles and freckles are ok and not bad.
• Host Easter dinner for the families.

• Work hard. Make deadlines a day early.
• Look at all the options.
• Have a positive attitude. Especially at work and with all co-workers. Suit up, show up and act as if....
• Send thank-you notes
• Send mail. Lots of it. Cards, postcards, notes.
• Be on time with mail as needed (holidays, birthdays, etc)
Make Resolutions List and check it monthly to strike things out.

Knitting & Crafts:

• Make Nana chemo caps (Shedir, Berocco Chincilla, & __________ _
• Make a sweater. Wear the sweater.
• Make the Mac & Me ruffle scarf.
• Make the rainbow scarf from LMKGM
• Make socks. Wear the knitted socks.
• Learn to embroider (You already have the Sublime Stitching Starter Kit, and Stitch-It-Kit)
• Use the sewing machine. Even if it's only to make stuff for Jackson.
• Learn to crochet.
• Get good at crochet to attempt amigurumi.

Finally... The Not-To-Do List:

• Don't say "yes" to things just because someone springs them on me at the last minute. Instead, say "Let me think about it and get back to you."
• Time is sparse, life if short. Don't waste it on useless things, people, memories, obligations.
• Don't worry about stuff I can't change anyway.
• Don't expect other people to live by my values.
• Don't compromise my values for anyone.
• Don't choose the known over the unknown just because it's comfortable.
• Don't waste time on stupid stuff or mean stuff. Frequently ask myself "Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?"
• Don't minimize success.

To list is to live. To list online is to live out loud!


Fiber Godmother Question / Survey

Fiber Godmother Questionnaire
I really want to get back on the wagon with RAOKs and swaps (craftster or otherwise!)

General Fiber Questions:
What are your fiber-related hobbies? (Knit, Crochet, Spinning, Needlepoint, etc.) - Knitting. But one of my New Year's resolutions is to learn crochet / amigurumi and embroidery
How long? - I taught myself to knit about 4 years ago
Which are you *most* into? - knitting, but I drool over amigurumi and Sublime Stitching!
How would you classify yourself in this craft - beginner, intermediate, advanced? -
intermediate, I guess - I'm comfortable with the needles, but I still have a lot to learn!

What is your current fiber-related obsession? -
tiny things - I made many mini-sweaters, I'm trying to find a great cardigan!
What are your favorite items to make? - I enjoy socks, when they fit! Bags and scarves are fun because guage does not matter as much
What are you making right now? - on the needles I have flower washcloths, knitty's bobblicious, and I'm working on shedir as well

What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? -
I enjoy playing with my sewing machine, looking at fabrics, planning projects

About the fiber:
Your favorite yarn(s) (brand or type)? - I recently discovered how wonderful Rowan yarns are! I adore noro and koigu too. But no favorite favorite.
What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? - scratchy
Is there a yarn you've been dying to try? - Manos, Cascade Eco Wool, Blue Sky organics, Trekking sock yarn, LobsterPot yarn
Are you a fiber snob? - I don't think of myself as such, but as I have said before, it's equivalent to buying candy at the drugstore and then going to Dylan's candy bar in New York City. One place is much more fun and expensive! But you can satisfy the sweet tooth with some selections from the 2 for 99 cents section!

About the tools:
Hardwood, Bamboo, Aluminum, Plastic? - anything but susan bates
For knitters: Straight, DPN or Circular needles? - depends on the project
Favorite gadget? - I don't know that I really have any gadgets
Anything you've been wanting to try? - I just ordered myself a swift and winder

About you:
Do you pamper yourself? Or do you generally come last? -
I have been known to splurge on myself, small scale (origins products rock!)
What does an ideal day off/free hour consist of for you? - exactly what I want to watch on tv, catching up on blogs, knitting and my puppy asleep in the sunshine
Are you allergic to anything? - pollen
What is your family situation? (Partner, spouse, kids, etc.) - husband
Are you owned by any pets? - Jackson, my mini dachshund puppy

Your favorite color(s)? - blue-purple-green-grey
Any colors you just can't stand? - I tend to stay away from pinks and orange but that doesn't mean I can't stand them, I guess I haven't seen their beauty yet
What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.) - citrus, light floral
Least favorite? (Maybe you're not "allergic," but it makes you want to die) - heavy florals, almond
How do you feel about candy? - Have you read "Candy and Me: A Love Story" - that's my life!
Any dietary restrictions? - nope

Is there anything that you collect? -
I used to, but I am trying to stay away from it now
What is your favorite holiday? -Thanksgiving

Do you have an online wish list (e.g. Amazon, Things I Want)? If so, share the link. If nothing else, it will give your Godmother more ideas about your likes/dislikes. -
There is a link, in my sidebar
Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? -oh yes
What kind of music do you like? - Barenaked Ladies, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Dave Matthews Band, Tori Amos, Indigo Girls, The Killers
Any special requests in case your Godmother wants to make a CD for you? - I'm open to new things

Favorite movie(s)? - Say Anything, High Fidelity, Singin' in the Rain
Any "fan" stuff? (e.g. Firefly, Wonder Woman, etc.) - Muppets, Hello Kitty


Happy Christmas!

This is a Christmas to remember. Not only is it the first one without Grampa, it will be my first Christmas without seeing my dad. My Nana is down in Florida visiting her daughters - my dad and uncle are flying down today to surprise her! Very cool - so we all met up yesterday - my dad / mom / brothers / uncle - prior to the usual "Christmas Eve" festivities at my Mom's family.

Today the plan was to got to Dan's parents, exchange gifts, then go to Long Island to see Dan's Grandmother and go up to see my mom / brothers when we got back. This morning we arrive at Dan's mom's and she tells us she's sick and not going with us to Long Island. We're waiting / chatting when Dan's brother calls - he's got an emergency plumbing issue. Plumbers are called, and dan's dad goes to check things out - there's sewage and leaky pipes and it's not good.

So our plan has changed to not go to Long Island, and we're going up to my mom's earlier than expected. Holidays are crazy. This is why I like Thanksgiving the best - everyone is just meeting to eat!

I have started my last project of the year - knitty's bobblicious - only one row of bobbles on each end - I dislike my large metal needles - and the yarn (Lion Brand Wool Ease Chunky) slides around on them too much!



It seemed back in August, that we would never make it to the start of Christmas vacation. And yet, here we are. Today is such a blow-off day at school. I should have brought in my knitting - I've got two sweater ornaments to seam up / make sleeves for and a flower washcloth to finish. And also, the snow-mouse for my mom. But otherwise, the only Christmas knitting not done is the hats for my Nana... I will work on them and get them to her when she returns from Florida.


Things I Like

So, I'm avoiding grading and correcting, all while looking really important and busy as the kids are making parachutes! I can not wait for Christmas vacation!!!

I don't watch SNL anymore, this is hysterical (Chronicles of Narnia Rap!)

I'm really enjoying the cast-on podcast Good music too.

Last night, Heide hosted a cookie swap - it was nice to get out and meet some new people - I knew some of the gals from the knitting nights, but I haven't been in what feels like forever! School is just so time intensive. It was fun and the cookies were soooooo good!

I like more things than that, but I guess I don't know them readily...


Last Minute Brilliance

I'm a nut. Truly. Last night before I fell asleep I thought about how wonderful it would be if at Christmas Eve (big party for my mom's side of the family) I made each family a set of those mini-sweaters / egg cozies (see here, here, here or even Last Minute Knitted Gifts) and a garland type one for my grandmother with everyone on it! I have yet to make even ONE, so I doubt it would happen but it would be a nice family tree sort of idea to start in the summer time when it's hot. I think I will do some...

It's Christmas, of course there's a dog in a Santa hat somewhere!


Snow Day - FO!

Thank goodness the weather people got it right today - no school for me! We all slept in and took it easy. Even took care of the Christmas cards :^) Yay! I've got a big list of knitting "to-dos", and now I can cross one of the things off - Flora is done! I think it's a little fidgety to figure out the buttons, but the recipient will like it, I'm pretty sure. I liked this pattern enough to buy more yarn in blues to make one for me!

I've been struggling with Shedir. THere's something funky going on with my cables. I just don't see the pattern emerging. Are there any lefties who have knit this successfully? I want to gift it to my Nana. I'm also going to make her the berocco chinchilla head hugger / chemo cap pattern. But I think the shedir pattern is so pretty!

Jackson has taken to getting himself to very high places. Including tables. And he seems to like wearing his new Land's End sweater.


Happy December!

School seems to be back on the upswing. The parents are nutty (one kid was one point off the honor roll and the 'rents were down my throat!) and the kids are worse, but overall it's been okay. I'm trying to ignore a lot of baloney.

Last weekend for our anniversary, Dan got me tickets to see Barenaked Ladies at Mohegan Sun! What an awesome show! They give such a great performance - always. And this was a great mix of their hits, plus one new one (which was very cool) and Christmas / Hanukkah songs. Check out their Barenaked for the Holidays album!

In knitting news, I picked up a ball of Rowan Calmer to make shedir by girlfromauntie I had been trying it with some leftover Classic Elite Inca Alpaca, which I may finish and keep for me. But I think that for my Nana, the calmer might be better - there are less gaps in it - want to keep her head warm. So far I like the calmer, and I like bamboo, so I feel so far it's going better, but I haven't yet gotten to row 15 yet - that's where I am on the Classic Elite version and I think I messed up.

I think I should join the Naked Stix in 2006 KAL - I'm almost scared to count!


Being a teacher

I haven't blogged in a very long time because school has sucked all of my energy. Report cards, report card conferences, lesson plans and trying to have a life inbetween. And right now I'm venting. I'm in such a funk right now.

This little piece makes so much sense to me (from craigslist)
"How is it that summer vacation is nearly here and you are going to be out of my life for good? Being your teacher has been so hard. You have cursed me out, called one of the girl's moms a "fat slut," given me the middle finger, beat up J (he switched classes because of you), told me your mom was going to punch me in the face, threatened to take down a huge floor to ceiling pipe and hit us all with it, refused to do all of your math (and writing and reading and art),made the music teacher say "if he is in my class again I will quit", almost made Ms. D quit because she would rather quit than be your para, stole my special marble behavior improvement system, stole my money, kicked P in the back, tried to hit your para with a door, called out the correct spelling of each word as I called it out for the spelling test (jerk), sharpened your pencil during read aloud with the express purpose of stabbing the kids, talked about all of the kids mothers and fathers, and, as they told me, you talked about their "whole families," made F a bully for a few months, made W a bully (he is NOT your cousin, I checked), you wrote in crayon on the chalkboard and you put crayons in the heater, which was smelly. And your mom, who called J a pussy and threatened to make a really nice teacher lose her job, and never asked for your report card.....You just suck, it could have been a great school year but you ruined it. You are a bully, and you don't deserve a free education. All of the kids are glad you left but when I see you in the hall I shudder to think what kind of person you will grow up to be. I can't believe you are only eight years old"

I want to quit. I want to make a post to postsecret but then I would feel guilty about it. I've got administrators that come up to me and tell me I can't have my kids line up in the hallway before I leave the classroom because THEY can't be quiet. Dude, they aren't quiet when I stand next to them in the hallway. They are rude, accusatory, disrespectful, and have such egos that I am required to stroke even with massive failures. How is this going to prepare them for a chance in the real world? And these are the poor urban minority kids, I'm fairly sure the rich kids would not be much different. I do what I can to help them, to see how cool science can be even if they aren't going to use it - I don't care about that - I just want them to admire or appreciate the nifty ways the body works, or how science is all around them. I want them to try.

If I quit am I letting them down or me down? I'm a good teacher. I know that. I know my material and put a load of energy and time (in and out of school) into my work. And what do I get? Mostly rolled eyes, shoulder shrugs and mentions of "thingies" and "yea whatevers". My grandfather was a really bad kid who turned out to be an awesome person - I need a device to see what will happen to these kids 25 or 50 years from now. Einstein didn't do so hot in school. What will they thin

On the other hand, there are days when I get kids come up and give me a hug after a lesson or a day (it's rare but it happens). There are some kids I can laugh with. Some kids that have nonstop excellent questions. And then you see things like this, that just make my heart soar:
this or this

On a more positive note, Dan and hosted a really nice thanksgiving dinner at our house for both sides of the family, and had a great reunion with highschool friends and celebrated our one year anniversary! There is plenty in my life to be thankful for as I am blessed. Work is just a big drag right now.


Back-tack II (I'm behind)

Yesterday I received what is possibly the best package EVER! All the way from Hawaii - cliostreet / Emily sent me the coolest bag (I love love love the owls and the colors) that has all kids of pockets that were stuffed with things. Really - go check out the photos on her site, because it's just stunning. She incorporated my yearning to learn amigurumi, and my dog! Very impressive! Even my husband says so!

I am late in sending / finishing my own back-tack II for my person, and Emily, you
have inspired me to even take a little more time to make it even better!

And for a bit of randomness, because I'm tired and don't feel like moving away from the computer:

[A is for age of first kiss:]15
[B is for booze of choice:]margaritas, beer
[C is for career:]Education - Middle school science teacher
[D is for your dad's name:]Stephen
[E is for essential items to bring to a party:]camera
[F is for favorite song at the moment:] Mr. Brightside by the Killers
[G is for favorite game:] Trivial Pursuit
[H is for hometown:]Guilford, CT
[I is for instruments you play:]Used to play the flute
[J is for jam or jelly you like:]strawberry
[K is for kids?]I have about 90 of them every day and I get to give them back. My own? Maybe someday.
[L is for last kiss?]a few hours ago
[M is for mom's name:]Kathy
[N is for name of your crush:]Brad Pitt
[O is for overnight hospital stays:] none
[P is for phobias:]snakes (sorta), confined closed crowded spaces
[Q is for quotes you like:]We can complain that rose bushes have thorns or we can rejoice that thorn bushes have roses.
[R is for relationship that lasted the longest:] my current one, with my hubby Dan
[S is for sexual preference:]yes
[T is for time you wake up:]6:00AM
[U is for underwear:]yes
[V is for vegetable you love:]broccoli, potatoes
[W is for worst habit:]procrastination
[X is for x-rays you've had:]Teeth
[Y is for yummy food you make:]stuffed shells, pizza bread, bean & pepper soup
[Z is for zodiac sign:]gemini


Happy Halloween!

In anticipation of tomorrow just being a really crazy day (there's school and Monday's are always draining, and Halloween - we're taking Jackson to our mom's for treats!) Here's my "Award-winning" Halloween dachshund! Seriously, at the Dachshund Rescue Halloween Event today, Jackson won a prize for his costume! I don't know which place yet, but he did get a new harness!
He's a construction worker (Thank you target!)
Everything looks good here!


A little bit of everything

Where did October go? Suddenly October is gone and it's time to turn back the clocks (do it tonight before you go to bed!) School is still wild and crazy. I am having a lot of difficultly with classroom management of 4 boys in a fifth grade class (the rest of the class is ok). I went to a science teacher convention last week that was so very cool! And there can be science & knitting: knitted digestive system and knitalong!

My knitting has been sparse mostly because of work and Jackson - he is always trying to find a warm lap to sit in, and then he decides to try and eat the skein of yarn, the needles the work is on or the project itself. A little tricky. I'm in the middle of making my back-tack partner's project, so that's going to be a little late... I got an email from My back tack person, and she also sent me this really cute origami link: http://www.mollysmall.com/mollysworld/humor/Dachshund.pdf Cute!
While I was picking up knitscence at Barnes & Noble yesterday I spotted Puppy Knits - it's a smaller book than I thought it would be, but very very cute! I almost bought "Posh Pooches" - it was a little kit that had dog-topped knitting needles. The photos of the chihuahua on the front was just too silly. And speaking on silly, here's my dog in a sweater (acrylic, walmart brand) - hey, he shivers!


Needle Exchange

Romy was my Needle Exchange buddy. She rocks!

There's an awesome skein of CottonCheneille in a lime green, knitpicks Shadow (lost lake) and the pattern to use with the yarn and the needles to knit it up with! How excited am I to finally try out knitpicks yarn? Very! And to try lace? The pattern is beautiful!! The elephant clip is so funky - I love it and will use it often! I hope this goes for another round :)

If you're a fan of Kermit you may want to look away... apparently Jackson has not yet realized what a kind soul Kermie is! Frog Legs!


TV Secrets

I will easily fess up to watching crap tv - give me real world and road rules any day. But did you know that I adore Felicity? I may have watched one or two episodes in its original run, then caught reruns and then end of the series during grad school... It's like Dawson's Creek but without the big words. And Ben always talks in a whisper - it's kinda soothing. And now, it's being rerun on WE which I think is why I feel like it's this icky little secret...

Another tv blessing is that we now get DIY hopefully now I can catch knittygritty! And tomorrow I even have the day off - I'll catch it in the midst of grading / lesson planning / puppy playing.


'scuse my ends

Knitting has been going, slow because there just are never enough hours in the day, but it's going. I've got flora just about finished. Going to hunt down buttons tomorrow, yay! I used the exact wool cotton called for and it's scrumptious (jimmybeanswool.com currently has some wool cotton on sale! I may need to purchase more!) And I used kidsilk haze - also gorgeous. I'm pleased with it so far - truly a quick knit as it is only a neck warmer.

I'm about ready to try and rechart the DNA scarf pattern (I'm a lefty). Still working on clapotis#2.

And I'm going to put out the requests: 1) Go see In her shoes 2)The purple scarf that Maggie wears? Probably so simple, but I want the pattern / I want to make it - I'm especially interested in the fringing at the bottom. 3) Read all that Jen Weiner writes - she's a great author, funny lady and excellent blogger :) I went to one of her book readings and she was just fabulous.

I'm trying to be better with my sewing machine - I made a Batman wrap thing for Jackson, now that the weather has sufficiently kept my noes and toes frigid(!!!), but it's too small. Imagine that, my tiny dog, and i make something too small!


Weekend (& Yarn Help Needed)

This sums it up:

Last night we went to the Durham Fair - always fun. Today we ran errands and planted bulbs for the spring. And now, resting. I should try to get a little jump on lesson plans, but I really just want to knit!!

And since this is most likely the last really warm (shorts) weekend, here's a shot of my successful sunflower plant (I had to replant them twice due to bunnies)

And on to the help - I am planning to make Flora (KnityFall'05) for my brother's girlfriend for Christmas. I'm looking at yarns at jimmybeanswool.com. I have found the Rowan wool cotton in Rich&Berry. I'm looking at the Rowan Kidsilk Haze (instead of Crystal Palace Kid Merino, because I could buy them all at once) - but which color? Blushes? Splendor? Liquer? CandyGirl? Please help me decide!


Quotes from the couch

We're sitting here watching Trump's "Apprentice" and during commercials, as I'm checking on my 0923485-23904762456729-38475n bazillion bloglines, my hubby makes a very astute observation.

I never knew that knitting could be so much more than the act of knitting. It’s reading about knitting. It’s writing about knitting. It’s buying knitting.

And I replied (trying to be equally brilliant, but surely falling short)

Unravelling a skein of yarn opens up a whole new world.

And now hubby is quietly smirking at my attempts to be witty and amuse you all :)

There's good tv on this fall - Arrested Development on Monday, Gilmore Girls on Tuesday (and the love of my life likes Supernatural), Martha's Apprentice & Lost on Wednesday, Survivor and Trump on Thursday. Wow.

Knitting is slow going, but I'm starting to work on Christmas presents. The list seems to be at least a meter or two! I did find a cute sewing project to try and make a little wrap thing for Jackson. But it won't be girly like it sounds.

Have you checked out Dani's yarns for sale? Beautiful! I'm saving my pennies...


I'm here

Piled underneath everything it seems. Being busy is better than being bored, right? I've gotten some great mail! Christina sent me a really cute e-card, and my SP5 angel revealed herself - Ina was my wonderful wonderful pal. Even the way in which she packaged the items - so thoughtful! This was my best SP exchange yet! The last package arrived on Saturday - 4 balls of Debbie Bliss merino chunky, cocktail monkeys to make this, Mike and Ikes (chewing does relieve stress!), a postcard frame (which now has a photo of Jackson in it) and several NJ postcards. Thank you thank you again!

I was the SP5 to Chele - I don't know if she figured out it was me or not... I was delayed in getting out her last package - it's coming, I promise!!

I missed out for SP6, but I have signed up for the Needles Exchange - I had so much fun with the first one, and met a really cool knitter (Hi dani!). My questionairre? Surprise me! Poke around my blog, I often mention what I like :)
I did get burned in the first one (never received anything) but have decided to try Back-tack again, as I like a challenge. I'm hoping too to do more with the RAOK's now that I'm not truly SP-ing.

Knitting wise, I've finished two parts of a bone to felt for Jackson. Speaking of the little devil, we took him out in public yesterday - he's got all his shots, so why not. It included a trip to Petco, where I bought him a sweater jacket(to cover until I make one), and the groomers gave him a gold shiny bandana - great! Now I can cut the big ones down to size - he's hard to find things that fit!! Pictures below :)

(new jacket... he really doesn't look like an elephant in real life!)

(laundry day!)


Someday we will look back and laugh

Today is not one of those days!

People are still recovering from Katrina - how am I supposed to even dare to compare my little life traumas and drama to that? I'm not comparing them, today was just sucky.

It started over the weekend - a mistake on Dan & my part and I had a mishap with the clippers while cutting his hair. Today, my father in law was at our house to let the furnace guy in to clean / service. He also took brief care of Jackson - let him out to pee / poop, play etc. Dan come's home and Jackson is nowhere to be found, yet the door to his room is closed?! He was upstairs in our bedroom, under the bed. He chewed up my cell phone charger and one of my fuzzy feet! He also peed upstairs. Could have been a lot worse (we're lucky he didn't choke or electrocute himself on the charger at the very least!)


By the by, the executive director still has his position, thanks to our very vocal parents who demand respect.

And said executive director dropped it on me this morning at our meeting how the students should do a science project related to Katrina - great, I can do that, it's just now that's one more week before I really get going on the topics I'm supposed to teach. And projects can be like pulling teeth some times. If you're a teacher, do not use the yahoo group for lesson-plans - there's a lot of drama there homeschool vs real teachers and it's getting nasty!

creature comforts sent me the most beautiful gift tags - she has more in the CraftRevolution's etsy shop

And the person I've been spoiling for SP5 (I have to send out her last package!) sent me a treat! Beautiful stitch markers! How sweet was that?


Nutshell Update

Here's the short of the long story that is causing all sorts of high drama at my school. The board is looking to remove the director. The school has a major deficit, the financial officer hasn't been doing his job properly, the board has not been doing their job properly and have been very sneaky. It's very convoluded and weird, and this will pretty much split the school. The concern last week was in part to 1)not having a school calendar and 2)getting the contracts signed. So I have my job for the year. School will start on Monday. It's high drama, lots of nasty name-callings and gossip. Sheesh. It's going to be an interesting year - the stress levels at school feels like report card time, or even the end of May, and still, we've yet to have our first day with the kids.

I'm trying to get the cds that I owe done by tomorrow so they can go out on Monday.

I've got to send out secret pal packages too.

I've been working on the Friday Harbor sock - in the yarn that is called for, love it! But I am thinking that I need to start on Jackson's sweater, and possible a few felted dog bones - a fellow teacher at school gave Jackson a great new toy and I want to properly thank her.

In stressful times, we all need a laugh - check out these toons (be advised, they are crude, rude and there's swearing)
Look for "everybody farts"


Chaos already

I've been back at school this week. Major multiple crisis doings. Everything is questionable right now. And the kids aren't even there yet!

And, I'm way behind on the knitters cd swap.



I am so close to being officially done with my Sitcom Chic - I ran into a problem though and right now I'm just avoiding doing anything! I was picking up stitches along one front, and was only able to pick up 66! The pattern calls for 101 - I figured it would be ok, and went on to knit, purl and bind off - and the front edge PUCKERS! damn. I don't know what to do - blocking is not going to fix this. Anyone want to fix it for me? How in the world do you pick up that many stitches? I feel like I picked up all that I could - not skipping or anything.

I started working on the Friday Harbor sock for the KOTR knit along - holy cow these needles are TINY! I'm not using Mountain Colors yarn, maybe I should be? I find that when I'm working from the chart - I feel like I'm messing up somewhere, but it's too hard to tell right now - I'm still stuck on the fact that the needles are so tiny!

AND somehow my computer is running through molasses!! Ick. Wordperfect is barely loading. The internet is slow. I've run my updates / spybot / McAfee... Groan.

However, I did get a wonderfully color-coordinated package from my SP5 -

Crochet needles, cotton yarn, learn to crochet book, jellybeans (!) and candy bubbles from Dylan's Candy bar (I love that store! I have wanted to try these!!!) Thank you soo much!

And a thank you to Julie - she sent a beautiful yellow origami paper crane - I hope it brings me some better luck! Speaking on cranes, I used to make them constantly - even out of starburst wrappers or trident gum wrappers! I learned origami in 5th grade and always loved it! I read about Sadako and the thousand paper cranes constantly. Here are some other neat-o origmami links:
A cherry blossom origami tree (from Crafters coast-to-coast, beautiful!)
oriland (wow!)
Crane Necklace

And just for smiles, Jackson's first outfit - I will be making him something, I think I found a good pattern in Dogs in Knits, but until then:


Jackson / Samples

We have been trying to get Jackson used to the idea of 1)playing by himself and 2) staying in his "room" (our laundry room, with his crate, toys, papers) while we leave the house. So far, it's been successful for very short periods of time, or we return to find some poops. Today we set him up with kongs, lunch, water, papers, toys, and his buddy and the dryer running. We came back about 2 hours later and he was resting inside his crate (!) and there were no poops (!) and one of the kongs was still full of treats! Wow. There's hope for this puppy. Now, if only the biting/mouthing would let up.

I signed up for three months of the sampler and the first on arrived today. Very nifty!! I've got a kitchen table now covered in little gifties! You can see the "sneak peek" on the sampler website, but my package included the following, listed in the order I picked them up from the table - it's all so awesome!!
*earrings, ismelllightning.com
*stickers, sini_puu
*bloom yarn flower, artangelsite.info
*black linen / baroque pearl choker, maizehutton.com
*soap, naikid.com
*tooth fairy / make a wish pillow, onelittlemonkey.com
*vanilla sea salts, wrong-number.net
*glass star pin, lauren-urban.com
*stationery, demarcodesigns.com
*corn card, youngandwithit.com
*loopy loom bracelet, turtlekisses.com
*stripes button, robottle.com
*orange magnet, orangecountycrafters.com
*key chain, designedbyrj.com
*cupcake button, retrobugs.com
*postcards, fernhousestudio.com
*pencil mini note, glamscience.com
*handmade gift tag, buy4square.com
*flower / bead set, amypetersstudio.com
*book badge, jlrfashions.com
*postcard, katsmeowshop.com
*yarn samples, midnightskyfibers.com


You got good mail today!

I did! I almost forget sometimes how much I sign myself up for! There were packages for me :^) SO, first off - Thank Yous are in order!
Cynthia sent me a great package for the Gimme Some Needles Exchange (and there's going to be a round 2!) You know, I had forgot about this one! She sent me "addi Natura" circular needles - I had no idea such a thing even existed!! And a bamboo crochet hook! Wow - I don't think that i'll ever go back to my metal ones! :) This will be the tool on which I practice my crochet and amigurumi skills! I have purchased the artful yarns / colorful yarns for others but not for myself - so I'm excited for the chance to work this up into something beautiful - it's gorgeous in shades of purple, mustard-gold, and blue!

I've also received CDs from Lindsey (along with treats I've already gobbled up! and a nifty crafty item - to make origami stars out of paper strips! Those will go in my classroom), Sandy, and Erin - I'm very excited about this new cache of music to hear, and each of these chicas seems very cool from their blogs - I'm sure their music will back that up!

Yes, there has been some knitting - the picture shows a sleeve in progress of the sitcom chic, but I've actually attached the sleeves. I'm hoping that in my left-handedness, that my K2TOG and SSK for the next 9 rows work out alright... I really enjoy knitting with the cotton ease - it makes a nice fabric.

And, last but not least - a cute photo of Jackson!(Not especially great focus, but I like his expression!)


Beaders / Needle Exchange Q's

In the process of organizing my crafty area, I've come across some crafty things that I am not going to use - haven't used them in over a year, and am not likely to use them again. I'm offering them up for a trade! I'm looking for yarns, Rebecca magazines, Japanese Craft Books, etc. Make an offer!
Since these are all bead related books, I've got beads to include as well! Let me know what colors you like. Nice beads, delicas!
The Magic Amulet Bag
Glass Bead Artistry (Ondori)
French Beaded Flowers I: A Guide for Beginners
The Beaded Bracelet

I'm signed up for the Needle Exchange, but have been late in posting my answers to the survey:
1. What do you like to knit or crochet? (socks, sweaters, etc.) Knit anything, learning to crochet (I really want to do amigurumi!)
2. What fibers do you like? I like stuff that's soft. :) Koigu is great, Noro is dreamy, and Inca Alpaca is heaven!
3. What type of needles do you use most often? I love my bamboos!! I do use addi turbos to do socks on two circulars
4. Do you like to knit in the round? Yes
5. Do you use a magic loop method or any other we should know about? Are you interested in learning a new method? I haven't yet tried Magic Loop - I'm curious!
7. Do you have a favorite place that you shop online? (knitpicks.com, knitpixie.com, jimmybeanswool.com....)? Knitpixie is great, but I'm slowly making my list for a first knitpicks order!
8. Do you want to be surprised? then erase all your answers above and write surprise me!!! The info is here so you know more about me, but I'm game for a surprise!



It's been a while since posting, but we've been in the middle of puppy-dom and furworld. Working on house-breaking and getting Jackson to self-soothe... It's a slow process. My finished Clapotis is headed out to Nana today - I gave her a heads up to expect a package, but didn't tell her there was a handmade gift inside :) I've cast on for Sitcom Chic in Blueberry Cotton Ease. So it's good, really. And the shoreline stitch-and-bitch has been meeting occasionally again! Fun times.

On to the subject of the post -
Caitlyn kindly sent me Weekend Knitting - it's awesome!!! These are just the sort of projects that I need!
Lisa and I swapped, the Loop-d-Loop book for some Lambs Pride yarn - such a delicious color!
Deb sent a new chew toy to Jackson! Thank you so much! Impressive, that he was here less than a week and already getting mail :)

And since we can, here's the little weiner:


Finished Object!

Yay! I finished Clapotis!, see? The yarn is Classic Elite Inca Alpaca, #1107, Camacho Periwinkle; no plans to block it. It's lovely, if I do say so myself. I want to wrap it up and send off to my Nana, who is currently udnergoing a series of chemo treatments, but I worry that the wool will bother her skin? I really enjoyed knitting this up (thanks KateGilbert!)and am considering doing a one or two others for Christmas gifts. Those however, will have all stitches properly dropped - do you see my mistake? I'm good with it though, I'm not perfect, neither is my work. I am curious for other yarns to use - this was a special treat - I've been poking around the blogs for options, I'm itching to try something from knitpicks - any suggestions?

Next up, I have yarn to work on Cozy as well as SitcomChic or I could give crochet a shot, seeing as how I am accumulating lust for amigurumi

Actually I should work first on the cdswaps I signed up for and the needle exchange... Decisions, decisions...


Purling Puppy

I can now truly be a part of Purling Puppies (if I'm accepted!) because Jackson came home yesterday!

So far so good - he's paper trained, he's eaten, drinking water, is always looking for a lap to cuddle, is full of licks / kisses, and last night (the first night) really wasn't too bad - I got up around 3 to check on him. He was awake, but not whining. We're in love!



Ok, so we thought that we would be able to get Jackson on Friday (the 15th) - I get an email tonight asking if we could be there around 11 on the 22nd? Um...

So somewhere there was a miscomunication. I'm waiting to find out if we can get him on the 15th... he'll be 7 weeks, so maybe.

It would really stink to wait another week!


SP5 - Thank You!

I was pleasantly surprised by a box in with my mail today - I opened it up to a "5" (much like the sp5 button) postcard on top, then a lovely note describing the "Kawaii" goodies inside -
Froggie candy dispenser!

Puffed wheat treats, Seed munchies and assorted candies! I could barely contain my excitement to try them all until my husband came home! We tried them all, as I squealed and oohed and aaahed over the packaging! The poifull were my favorites - they're like jellybeans!

A beautiful notepad and Hello Kitty microwave cake mix! In the shape of hello kitty herself!! How cool! Lucky for me there are pictures on the back of the box - the only thing I'm not sure about is the time - 1hour or 1 minute? Hrm.

And yarn (my camera phone battery died as I was taking pictures~oops) - it's gorgeous - blues / greens / purpley goodness.... I'm thinking maybe something felted? Maybe an ipod holder? I haven't yet decided...

Thank you pal so very much!!


Time Warp

Wow. So, it looks like we'll get to bring the puppy home next Friday!!!!!! Very excited, very nervous, very curious as to what this will be like!

Ever read someone's blog and learn from them? I did that tonight with Caitlynknits - she posted about her clapotis / weaving ends in early (don't do it!) So I learned from her, great - that's what's helpful about blogging. But then, I returned to working on my clapotis. Finished a row, purled the next, went to drop the stitch, kept working then realized I should have placed a marker! oops. So it's tink, tink and lrup, lrup. Groan. Oh well, at least I caught it early.

Madagascar was such a cute movie! There weren't nearly enough penguins in it!


Puppy excitement

Two new photos of Jackson - he's about 5 or 6 weeks old, and we'll be bringing him home around July 22! eee!

I treated myself today to a manicure / pedicure - very nice! But now, I'm hesitating on picking up the knitting (especially even though the inca alpaca sheds slightly)... there's always later on tonight. After Madagascar - can't wait to see it!


What day is it?

Now that I'm on vacation, and Dan's been home this week, I am confused as to what day it is. It kinda feels like a Saturday, but it's Wednesday - I know this because the shows on tv are better :^)
I've been netflixing Sopranos - man I love that show! And then tonight, Christopher is on Law & Order while Jesse L. Martin is filming rent (I forgot he was the original Collins)

I've made some pretty good knitting progress - my Rebecca eyelet wrap is blocking. I cast on and started a Clapotis with some Lovely IncaAlpaca - I find it sheds slightly, but not to any extent that I think I'll mind when it's finished. I'm enjoying working on this pattern - if it comes out nice enough (and quick enough) I may make a few more as Christmas gifts.
I've joined a new swap:
I've always enjoyed mix tapes / cds. I love poking around ArtoftheMix.org

And there was a mix-up with sp5 (things happen, no big deal), but someone else has stepped in and made contact and even sent the cutest e-card! Thanks so much!!



It's a lazy weekend, so why not "window shop" along the 'net? Through thimble I found links to many great sites that I didn't know about before! Check them out! And then, go see redcurrent for even more links!

the happily handmade giveaway - visit some great sites, sign up for their mailing lists and you'll be entered to win goodies!

thewalrusandthecarpenter.com has the cutest little owl notecards!

glamscience.com has knitting notecards and enclosure cards! So if you give away your knitted item you can include a note about care / fiber content, etc. Nifty.

I want my puppy to have a leash / collar from Lindsaydesigns.net

I just started listening to knitcast.com - very fun, and did you know that there is also Craftypod? Excellent.

My other latest finds of inspiration on the web include:
Creature_comforts, wool felt & penny rugs, Juju loves polka dots, and MollyChicken.

Still looking to trade Loop-d-Loop...


Trade for Loop-d-Loop?

I recently picked up Teva Durham's Loop-D-Loop book and unfortunately, while it's a stunning book, it's just not for me. So I'm offering it up out there for a trade - I'm willing to trade for yarn, Japanese craft books, Rebecca magazines, etc... I'm open to ideas!

I've been meaning to blog for a while - I've been spending my first week of summer vacation out and about going to shops that I rarely get the chance to vist. My two local JoAnn Fabric / Craft stores have lots of Cotton Ease on clearance ($3 / skein) - if you're in need let me know, I'll go check it out for you - but I picked up some wool-ease chunky in the Nantucket shade (hopefully for a sweater...or something). At the Yarns Down Under sale I picked up Rowanspun DK that I want to use to make Rogue - this is my first Rowan purchase - I'm very excited!

I've been working on my sewing skills as part of the backtack project - I'm still working on my package to send out. I think I'll end up doing one or two more things then sending on the materials that I didn't use along with the finished products to the recipient... I have to email her to let her know it will be shipped out next week... I'm behind!

A big THANK YOU to Leah, of knittin pretty for a great package - I forgot that I had sent her my address! She sent yummy chocolates, green tea, notecards and stitch markers in my favorite color- blue!! Here are some pictures:


Shrug help

Calling my fellow bloggers - I have a wedding to attend in two weeks. I think I have found the dress - black / white / skinny straps dealio, very cute. I was thinking that I should make a shrug to cover my shoulders if the AC is on too much, or to cover my shoulders in church... I really want to use white Filatura Di Crosa Elena - I have six skeins. Usually I'm ok with guage. I thought that I could do the Ribbed Shrug from Interweave, but now I don't know - I'll work on a guage swatch, but in the meantime - are there other suggestions? I ordered the one skein wonder (thinking to make that in black) I've also been poking through the patterns on the shrug KAL, and I like shimmer from knitty.


Summer Time!

I've been quiet this week on my blog, letting Jackson entertain those of you who stopped by :) And that's okay, because it's been a week! My 27th birthday was on Monday - it was low-key and enjoyable. Dinner at my favorite restaurant, Mary Englebreit books for the home, mini ipod (previously received), "B" floor mats for my car, and this:
- all my costume crew experience is coming back to me :) It's helpful for working on the back-tack projects too.

Tuesday was the last day of school for the students, Wednesday the last day for staff. Woo-hoo! Thursday I ran around doing errands (finally updating the bank stuff following the wedding) Friday was more of the same. I'm catching up on old soprano's episodes while plugging away on the Rebecca Wrap. Now it's the weekend and boy is it going to be hot! But tonight, we're going to a local Lobster Fest! Yummy.

The mailperson is hopefully delivering my package to my SP5 today, and they brought me Scarf Style, Loop-d-Loop, Knitted Toys and 7 Day Afghans

In giving my garden a second try, a Thank you goes out to Tori for sending me several seed packets! I'll keep you posted on the progress!


Too Cute

eeee. just looking at this picture makes me giddy :^) not bad for pre-birthday cheer! Introducing... Jackson

Action Shot


School's almost out - yippee! The 8th graders graduated last night - I've known these kids two years now and I'm glad to see them off. Mon / Tues are half days for the rest of the kiddos, and we have to take down the classrooms and staff has to go in on Wed, but that's all! I've been teaching for two years - wow.

Yesterday before graduation I went out to the yarn store to pick up some yarn for my SP5. I drooled over most everything else in there and wanted it all but promptly forgot what yarns were needed for any upcoming projects. I really should list the projects / potential yarns.... hrm. Another summer project. On top of learning to sew / finishing my back-tack project, developing lesson plans for grades 4 - 8, learning to crochet (my ebay amigurumi book arrived! That was fast!!), reading, gardening, getting puppy-fied.

I really loved the Blue Sky Alpaca's Organic Cotton - it's so soft!! That would definetly be on my wishlist. Along with the Kidsilk Haze - the store had a little cardigan style item done up in that and it was so pretty, airy, lacy. I need to keep cracking on my rebecca wrap and then maybe make a second one in that? I don't know, maybe.



So, we're getting the puppy - and his name will be Jackson! He was too precious!! We'll get him towards the end of July.

I've been working on my back-tack project - it's slow going, as I'm hand sewing everything... can't decide yet on a sewing machine, but I do like this one (and am thinking about treating myself as an end of school treat) that I found through NotMartha.org

I've been sucked into the san-x stuff - everything from here and I MUST learn crochet so that I can attempt this:

I bought a book on ebay because I can't resist the amigurumi!!
one english version of arigurumi

Google "convert crochet patterns to knitting patterns" turned up this:
from eHow.com

cute japanese craft site

EEE - the "In Her Shoes" trailer is on ivillage! Yay!


Nutshell Update

Very little knitting being done lately. This is due to the following reasons.

*School has been very crazy over the past week - the first grade teacher died last friday - complications from cancer, she was sick for about the last 2 months (that we knew about) - my school is a very close community. This coupled with my grandfather's passing and my Nana's current health issues, it's been very hard to deal. The funeral (homegoing celebration) was today at the Seventh-Day Adventist church - quite a culture shock for my irish roman catholic background.
*School is also starting to wrap up - finals this week (somehow amid the chaos) - somehow either I misplaced, or someone took two exams - I was grading and realized I was missing two students! gah. not good.
*My nana had a big operation this week, but things are looking ok for the moment. Chemo is going to happen, but it is not as bad as it could have been.

*I've been spending a lot of time researching puppies and dachshunds! This little guy will be ours! We're going to visit him on Sunday!

*How cool are all the fabrics going about in the back-tack swap? I love what I received from yarnstorm she's got a great blog - awesome embriodery! Thanks so much! Again, I adore the fabric, and will be sorry to send it on!

And on a random library note - how annoying is it that netlibrary.com doesn't work with the ipods?! Sure, there's audible.com (from where I got The Ivy Chronicles it's just okay, the narrator's voice is a little annoying) but this was supposed to provide me more. Groan.



So I thought I was making progress.
So I thought I finally was doing the chart right.
So I looked at the sleeve last night and thought, "something looks funny", but maybe I can fix it....

I did BO1, k2tog for all 13 rows of the binding off / decreasing!! I think you're only supposed to do it a few times, followed by the rest of the 13 times just doing the BO1 or k2tog on one end (and the slip 1, knit 1, psso on the other)

Here's what I misinterpreted:
When work measures 6cm bind off for sleeve cap at each end 3 sts. once, then 1st. on every 2nd row 13 times as foll:
at beg of row work edge st. and k2tog; work to 3 from end of row, then slip 1 k-wise, k1, pass slipped st. over, edge st.

I did. I BO 3 st at one end and less than that at the other. GROAN. Phooey.


Dirt lover

I can not quite put my green thumb on what it is, but there is something very satisfying about gardening. My dad has gardened forever, and I always tried to help. Lucky me, some of all that practice paid off :) Currently I'm successful at getting some seeds started! I am trying to be patient as I wait for the morning glories, sunflowers, and other things to get much bigger!

I've been making slow and steady progress on the Rebecca wrap - I really want to finish it if only to say I finished it!! There are so many projects to be attempted!!

I found out today who I have for SP5 - I'm looking forward to making contact. For the person who has me, I'm re-posting and editing my previous survey answers:
(me, in a nutshell)

Becca - a lefty, self taught knitter. Currently has the following works in progress (yarn is bought / on the needles): Rebecca #29 eyelet wrap cardigan, a prayer shawl for my Nana

I like to think I'm not a yarn snob, as I do use lion brand (it's not all bad!) and red heart, but I have seen what else is out there. It's like going candy shopping at CVS and then candy shopping at Dylan's Candy Bar in NYcity.

My allergies are seasonal, to pollen, but *knock wood* they haven't been bad this year.

I have a wish list on amazon.com.

I have a massive sweet tooth. Jelly beans / mike-and-ikes are my favorites.

I adore the blue-green-purple range of colors.

I live with my husband - we've been married 6 months. I teach science to students in grades 5 - 8; I actually started out planning to be an environmental chemist, but got burnt out in grad school. I worked retail for a year (at a fabulous stationery shop, i've been there on and off for 6 years) and went through an alternative route program to get my teaching certification (done!). I love being a teacher - it's the hardest thing I have done yet, and I can't see myself doing anything else!

Quickie Favorites:
Movies: The Princess Bride, Singin'in the Rain, Rebel without a Cause, Say Anthing, the Muppet Movies
Music: Barenaked Ladies, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Dave Matthews Band, Alanis Morrisette, Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, 80's music - I listen to pretty much everything except country (yes, I'm mp3 compatable)
Actors John Cusack, Tom Hanks, Brad Pitt, Nicole Kidman, Renee Zelwieger
Misc. Hello Kitty, Paper, stickers, Becky Kelly, Kate Spade, Origins, Bath-and-Body Works, Bamboo Needles, Chad Pennington, basketball, environmentally friendly stuff, Burts Bees

I am into photography, doodling, stickering, gardening and interested in trying most DIY things.

My life dream is to always be content with what I'm doing, to see the lighter side of life, to not forget to laugh (at myself) and to always try my best. In that vein, I would like to own a home, plant a garden, raise a family of happy children, continue to make my family proud of me, and have pets!

Favorite yarns? Currently I adore lamb's pride. I love Koigu. I recently learned how wonderful Noro is.

I don't really like the eyelashy / overly furry yarns.

My knitting obsession is starting projects. And the magazines.

I really enjoy socks, now that I have it down.

No needle preference, although I will say that now that I know how to do socks on 2 circulars, it's hard to go back to dpns (I keep pulling out a needle that has stitches on it)

Bamboo rules.

My oldest UFO is the purple cardigan sweater - the yarn was bought in 2002, I began working on it in '02-'03 and completely frogged it and started over. The button holes are messing with my head.

Animated characters I like: Hello Kitty, Sanrio, San-X, powerpuff girls, strawberry shortcake, muppets

Favorite animals are rainforest poison dart frogs.

Favorite holiday is thanksgiving.

I had a massive frog collection going, but I'm trying to limit it.

I would love to get back issues of Rebecca (I have the home and the one before that, with the eyelet wrap, but no others).


ipod, i blog

Will it ever charge?

That's Patrick next to my early birthday present - a very slick electric blue ipod mini! It's very cool, although it seemed to take forever to charge up! Anyway, today we're fully functioning! We've also got an iStation so I can have music in my craftroom or whereever I may be.

Knit wise, I've tossed aside the sleeve for the Rebecca wrap that I was working on (mistakes and all) and started the sleeve over. I've got to make this one work because I'm out of balls of yarn - the others have pieces waiting to be frogged before that yarn can be used!! So it goes.

Nana news: she's back in the hospital. She was feeling uncomfortable, so she called the doc and went in to have more fluid drained. Big operation next week, followed by chemo. It's looking like it is ovarian cancer. bugger.


Google Images Meme

This seemed like a cute thing to do - no one passed it on to me, I took it. Open invitation to take from here, as I've added a few things:

The place I grew up

The place I live now

My Name:

My grandmother's names:

My Favorite food(s):

My favorite drinks:

My Favorite Song (currently):

My favorite candy

My favorite animal

My job

More later...
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