Two-fer Tuesday

Three posts, but two good things -
A new Lime'nViolet podcast and new Gilmore Girls.

And we've settled into Veronica Mars too.
So, good on that.


I paid my library fines.
I was heckled by the librarian.
I don't like my local town library.

I propmptly requested several items through interlibrary loan, including Oddball Knitting and Knit 2 Together.

Science Nerd

In a break from the knitting stuff (which of late is small. I'm trying to get a guage swatch for the hourglass sweater using some yarn from hopyard; making Dan a pair of socks - I made him try on the monkey socks and told him I wanted to make him a pair - he's gung-ho for them now! and i finished a scarf for him out of misti baby alpaca chunky - yummy!) today I'm indulging my inner science nerd. I'm coming around on my decision to get out of teaching and shift focus to science museums as a creative educational opportunity... or go back to entry level science lab jobs. Either way, I've seen some good stuff today 'round the web, thought I'd share:
**My graduate work utilized Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to study particulate matter on tree leaves. Maybe I should have looked beer?
**The SEED: ScienceBlogs are great to have in bloglines - a taste of science each day. Like this gem, that Dan and I were just talking about - caffeine in food: Buzz Donuts
**Cafepress has some great items for science nerds and a cute penguin graphic that shows the penguin wearing a shirt that says I Love Pluto and holding a sign that says next they'll be saying I'm not a bird... (um,here it is
**Love these bumperstickers (also found via the SEED:ScienceBlogs):

I miss the lab.


FO - Monkey Socks

Monkey Socks
Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter.
These are currently my favorite socks ever! They knit up really quick - I did the legs of each first and I really think that helped! The pattern (found on knitty.com) is great - I used Fleece Artist Basic Merino yarn in the "Rainforest" colorway - love it!! I also did them on two circulars, which for me really is fast fast fast!

Plus it helps that on Friday I didn't have school because it was too cold! So, I finished them up on Friday and wore them out on Friday night.

Two pairs of socks in a month, wow.


Work Rant

I'm a teacher. I teach middle school students science. For the most part I enjoy my work. Today, I don't. Rude rude rude behavior. Entitlement issues. Whining. Bad parents. Threats.

And all I can do? Repeat my directions again. Clearly. Calmly. Never let them see you cry. Today just sucked. And I'm at the end of my rope. I am not cut out for this nonsense. For the amount of positive feedback and interactions I do have I don't know if it's worth it to continue.

And I can see the side of things that it sucks to be a kid in middle school. Minority and economic issues aside, being a kid is no treat either.

I want to do something different, but am afraid that I will look to be the selfish one for leaving kids in need.



Me and My favorite scarf

Me and My favorite scarf
Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter.
This photo was taken in the car with my cameraphone. I took it so I would have proof of actually wearing hand-knitted items! Actually, I'm still at work now and am still wearing the scarf!

Doesn't it look like I'm daydreaming about knitting? I was listening to a knitting podcast.

Last night I finished one green sock (yay!) and completed the heel flap and turning-of-the-heel last night. Tonight I think I'll be working on the gusset. But, I have big dreams of organizing my stash by potential project - maybe over my Feb.vacation (can't come soon enough!), but that may prove to be too much. I am now convinced myself of the idea that I must make blankets as gifts! Use the cotton classic for one, noro for another, and the bags of yarn from the Hopyard Spinnery sale and third! Log cabin, mitered squares and maybe lizard ridge?? And, an Arwen Cardigan - I have an abundance of Berrocco Pleasure yarn in a beautiful blue.... Gah. Overambitious? me? Always.


FO! and a Swap

I was successful in my intentional sweater knitting for the dog:

I followed the pattern / chart from a Japanese dog sweater book that I linked to in a previous post. The yarn is Lamb's Pride Worsted in Limeade, Persian Peacock and #18 (it's a softer sage-y kinda green), knit up on size 7 needles, cast on Tuesday (I think) and finished it up Saturday night. Of course, he doesn't like to wear it - he sulked at my feet, but I think it looks good on him. I have tried to make him wear much worse!! :)

Friday was a rather crappy day at work, so it was nice to come home to a package from Jennifer who was my swap partner for the Knit Mitt Kit Swap. Look at these goodies:

She sent so many goodies, including a fabulous bag that I have hanging on my chair already full of a few projects, that I forgot to take a photo of. She included 3 skeins of her yarn which is just stunning! And directions to make fingerless gloves, thrummed mitts (including the thrums and extra!!), candy and pez, and the Stitch and Bitch calendar which I really really wanted but haven't been able to find anywhere! She rocks!! Thanks so much!!


Bleh. Frustrating FO

First off, the Finished Object. I knit up the Malagaiter from magknits.com. I used Malabrigo and knit the larger size thinking everthing would be grand - and perfect for the upcoming winter that seems to have finally come to CT. Actually, it seems to have come everywhere BUT my town. Cities that don't get snow / ice usually are walloped and we get rain. Yuck...praying for a snow day tomorrow, but a delay would be nice too. Anyway. I seamed it up and pulled it on my head. And pulled. And pulled. I couldn't get the thing on my head! So, in times like these you find a suitable recipient. Given that it's just me, Dan and the dog, guess who got it?

Jackson is a wonderful sport. It also can be worn Survivor Buff style

I've decided that since the stuff I've knit ends up on the dog anyway, I'll try and knit him a sweater. Maybe it'll fit me when I am done. I really like a few patterns I've seen in this japanese knitting book so now I'm on the hunt for online translations / charts / tips...

Today was a stinky day at work (it's no fun to have middle schoolers yell at you and lie right to your face). So on my way home I treated myself to a Cinnamon Dolce Frappacino - ignore the nutritional information as that takes all the fun out of it. It was tasty.

Think snow. think snow. think snow.


Dachshund walk

Dachshund walk
Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter.
Winter finally started to show up and now everyone in southern New England is going to complain that it's too cold! I tried to get Jackson outside for a walk - at least it was sunny today! But he was not having it - not even with his jacket on, he was ready to high-tail it home. I think I'll put off sock knitting for a night to try and finish the malagaiter - I'm sure to need it by the weekend!


Sheep Shirt

My geeky side (which is both sides mind you) loves this:
f(x)=sheep(x) m - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Sure, it seems like calculating sheep in order to reach the funtion of sleep, but as a knitter, it must have something to do with knitting and yarn, yes?

I have ordered a couple of shirts from threadless in the past - love them.

Monkey WIPs (and a rant)

I've been working on my next pair of socks, Monkey (knitty.com). Inspired by another blogger (whose name escapes me right now) I knit both legs first on this one. Now that I'm working on turning the heel, it seems like they'll be done in no time!

If you're feeling a hankering for a scary movie, given that New England is nothing but grey lately (though maybe there might be a glimpse of snow tomorrow morning??) we watched 2 really creepy movies this weekend. Stay Alive which while creepy was better than expected. And, scariest movie I have ever seen, The Descent. I am mildly claustrophobic, but this sealed the deal on me ever going spelunking (not going to happen).

I had today off from school, so I went out and did a little shopping. Target was fun, but offered less than I was hoping for. At Kohl's I found plenty on sale (yay) but when I got up to the register, the cashier did not offer a greeting, had me empty out my bag of items ("You take those out of there" seriously. she said that!) and kept complaining about how hot she was - I was buying a sweater, and she kept saying "I doubt you'll get a chance to wear this".... Grr. Then I went to CVS to make some reprints of old photos. I couldn't make a picture of a photo of my brother and I (circa 1985? 1986?) because it was some dumb Sears studio print. I understand the need and purpose of copyright, but, there are no more of these photos! And even if my mom could remember where / when the shot was taken, the chances that the photographer is still there is slim to none. I think there should be some exception on these sorts of photos. gah. /rant


1000 Cranes

I learned how to do origami in the 5th grade. I have dabbled in it for as long as I can remember. There is something soothing about making those creases / folds in the paper and ending up with something so delicate...I remember reading about Sadako and the 1000 Paper Cranes... I make them for the kids out of starburst or trident wrappers... I'm actually helping out at the church of several of my students for them to earn a "Honors" in origami... I found the following through nipperknits.com, how can I pass up a knitted crane?.
(quoted from nipperknits)
"So, here’s the plan. Have you heard of the senbazuru? This is a group of 1,000 paper cranes. There’s a legend that completing a senbazuru in a year or less is a prayer for long life and health. Also, in Hiroshima, it is a prayer for peace because of Sadako Sasaki. I’ve been inspired by my friend Ryan doing his last year and by the knit not war [link updated] knitted cranes effort. I want to use this year to fold my own senbazuru as a meditative effort. I think if I can meditate on what it is I want while folding these cranes, it will give me the mental focus I need to make a difference in myself. Everyday as I fold cranes I will think on what I want my life to be like. As I fold cranes I will focus on specific changes I want to make and things I need to do to make a difference in my life. I’m changing my behavior, for the good to be sure, but any behavioral changes are incredibly difficult. I know I’m going to need help, that’s why I’m thinking the senbazuru is the way to go."
Brilliant. I'm going to knit up one to see, but I would really like to pledge ten.


Yay for Socks!

These socks I've decided I want to enter as my "Blue Monday" socks in the January "theme" for Socktopia - I flew through knitting these socks - amazingly! I was so stoked to be done, but I made one too short for my foot! This is the second time I have done this! Gotta learn to actually measure / try it on!! Anyway, in a great show of how my knitting confidence has grown - I unknit my mistake:

And fixed them with success! Dachshund approved.

I used the "Sell your sole" pattern and Speed Demon Yarn by Sweet Georgie (Berry Colorway).
However, I find that the heel bothers me some - not alot, but enough to know that I think I'll use a different heel next time. It kinda puckers, as Jackson points out:

I want to call these "Blue Monday" even though they are mostly reds / pinks / purples - that's like the fun of the weekend, and the subtle blue striping (and a little pooling) is the nagging feeling that you will have to return to work.

I don't really "get" myspace.com, but I am fascinated with it - today I found one of my friends from elementary school!



Actually, it wasn't blogger that ate my first attempt at this post. I was trying to get a photo to show support for the Jets and Chad:

And the game has been a big groan. Oh well. Not being a huge football fan, I'll recover.

The original intention of the post was to discuss the weekend. Betsy was home (but now she's gone back down south) and lucky for us, it was the weekend of a big sale at Hopyard Spinnery. We had been to her fall sale and each stuffed a bag. This time though, we split a bag which worked out great. Here's Betsy full of delight at our finds:

Actually, the photo only gives you a limited view of what you have to poke through - that is maybe 20 - 25% of the bins - and they are full! We tried to have a system to work our way through the bins - and I'm sure we provided much entertainment to the other customers as we exclaimed "Ohh! this is a happy bin" and "I keep picking up this color - the rule is you have to get it when you pick it up more than once right?" When we sorted our goodies, we realized that we had opposite selections. Betsy had a ton of tame, mild stuff. Mine, was wild. I bought YELLOW! Unusual, but I made an effort to stay away from blues / purples, but a few jumped into the bag...

And, she had some new stuff - Bo Peep's Sock Yarn! -

After that we took a ride to Yarns Down Under - Betsy needed buttons and I had a gift certificate. When we walked in we met Ellyn Cooper - nice lady, nice yarns! There was a trunk show going on! I ended up getting a skein of her yarn with the intention of making the sand-dollar-spiral-scarf (I know that isn't the name...) from Knitting Nature. I picked up some needles, Cables Untangled (beautiful!) and two patterns to go with the yarn that the hubby got me for Christmas:

I finished my "Sell your sole" socks using the Speed Demon yarn from Sweet Georgia - in less than a week, I have socks! That's a new record for me! Photos later.


Bogus Breakfast

Bogus Breakfast
Originally uploaded by nutmegknitter.
And it got worse from there. I love the 100 calorie packs of food - satisfying, yet keeps me in check. Muffins are my downfall. I was so excited by this - I was hoping for something like the Baby Goldfish but all I got was 2 regular minimuffins. Grrr.

And, at lunch, I tried one of thesetuna tubs - it tasted like tuna so that's okay, but I felt like I was eating cat food!

I'm trying a new recipie for dinner, so I'm a little nervous.

Knitting wise, I finished a pair of socks using the speed demon yarn, but I didn't measure the foot properly, so it's too short / tight! Groan. On football sunday I'll frog and redo. I want to start a new pair so badly - for socktopia and the sock marathon.

I'm also loving the malabrigo I'm using to make a malagaiter, but I hate the needles (Al Susan Bates)... Oh well.


"Leek-y Chicken With Couscous"

I made this for dinner. Going to try and also use my cookbooks more this year - gotta try something different.
Book: Rachael Ray Express Lane Meals
Looks: Yummy. Browns / greens.
Smells: Yummy...kind of a tart / wine smell. The couscous smelled good too.
Tastes: Just okay.

First time to have leeks. Didn't love it and didn't hate it, but it would be a long while before I make this again. I would make couscous with chicken stock (how is it different from broth anyway??) instead of water. Golden raisins in the couscous were ok.

I started my photoblog for a photo a day! Becca's Focus - check it out!

Year Behind, Year Ahead

I think 2006 was a pretty good year. I accomplished quite a bit with knitting and gardening. Dan and I celebrated our 2nd anniversary. I spent a lot of quality time with my friends. My family can talk about Grampa with more smiles and less tears. Nana looks and feels better. We hosted Easter and Thanksgiving and other parties. The dog started to behave himself a little better even!

Looking ahead to 2007
Money Stuff:
* Watch it. Save it. Avoid buying useless space taking stuff.

Health & Body:
* Do yoga. Write it down on the calendar to keep track.
* Drink more water. Keep filling the SIGG / Nalgene bottles in the fridge.
* Go Green with more products.
* Go organic with more products.
* Use up what you have before buying the next bottle of lotion, soap, etc.

Personal & Getting Out:
* Travel (Ireland, here we come!)
* Grow an even bigger / better garden.
* Take a photo everday (keep a photoblog for the photos)
* Floss (Make dentis appointment)
* Moisturize
* Stop procrastinating.
* Follow through.
* Scan skin.
* Send mail.

Knitting & Crafts
* I've come up with an list of the online patterns I want to work through.
* Sort through the books / magazines.
* Keep on crafting.
* Crochet (and amigurumi)
* Embroider
* Use the sewing machine
* Complete the KALs and post pictures!!

Reviewing from my post this time last year (05-06) - short form...
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.
It's still sad. I just never went back to the library. Plan to remedy this
• Stop buying stuff that I don't need.
Accomplished marginally. Briefly.

The Size Of My Ass:
• Eat healthy stuff Getting better
• Get active - do yoga or pilates, use the weights, the balance ball...Didn't really do this
• Drink more tea (start drinking white, drink more green)Kinda did
• Drink more water. Sometimes
• Use less sugar. didn't happen

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.Went to DC twice!
• Visit my grandma, at least call her often and send her lots of happy mail.
• Stop procrastinating. Just stop it already.Still an issue
• 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. Still an issue
• Floss. Perpetual disappointment
• Make a dentist appointment. After the nonstop dental insurance issues with Dan, I have avoided this task. I know there will be cavaties.
• Get a new girlie doctor
• Get a skin scan? Something to make sure the moles and freckles are ok and not bad.Must Do
• Host Easter dinner for the families.

• Work hard. Make deadlines a day early. Working hard, but deadlines suck
• 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)
• 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.
Give Life, Donate Blood