Friday, May 30, 2008

Beautiful morning!

Oh - what a beautiful morning! Here's dawn on the LAST DAY OF SCHOOL! YIPPEE! Now my graduate work has to kick, so I can finally finish! (well, if there's no photo, then you'll know that DSL is still blocked...poop...poop...poop...)

M-I-L update: She's out of the hospital and in a rehab center. She'll be there for a couple of weeks. If things go well, P & A & I might go down to visit her next week.

Knitting update: I managed to convince myself that I did something wrong on the Baby Surprise Jacket, so I ripped back about six rows & am picking up again. Poop. I hate it when that happens!

Tree guy: He was here & tagged three trees. I can't wait for him to start b/c this is NO FUN without photos. Giving up and posting....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"New" projects, internet frustrations & new camera!

After looking at the sales inserts in Sunday's paper and cruising the internet for deals, I went to W'boro Monday morning to buy a new camera. When I got to store #1, I found out that the camera I wanted was only available at the great price online. At store #2, I found two cameras that were acceptable, and decided on one - whew....wait - not so fast! The store had no more in stock, so not wanting to settle for the second choice, I pressed on. At store #3 I found diddly squat, so back to store #2 I went and purchase this:

Since I started posting my knitting projects on Ravelry, it's amazing how often I use my camera. I really miss the Canon and have contacted them again about the recall. It might take a phone call to get things moving. Maybe I'll have time on Thursday, when I'm not teaching.

So, the "new" project is the Baby Surprise Jacket I found lurking in my closet awhile back. I started knitting another one for Baby Steiner, but realized I never finish it in time for the shower, so I dug out the pattern and found that I'd left good instructions for where to re-begin - so I did. I only have about ten more rows to go! Hooray! My only concern is that I'm making it on size 3 needles and it looks like it will be on the small side. Baby Steiner is coming in August. I hope the baby will have a chance to wear the jacket before outgrowing it!

Thursday afternoon, a tree guy is coming over to look at two trees out behind our house - One is a maple which leans toward the house & has limbs that block our TV and internet satellite. In fact, I'm trying to post this using dial-up right now - and I'm not having much luck. Photos take a long time to upload on dial-up, so if this post has no photos, you'll no why - poop. The bigger problem is when DH is home, his work must be done via internet. No internet = no work = bad business. I sure hope the tree guy can help us out.

Cats are funny people. Here's Halloween giving me a goodnight hug - he frequently does this. Just as I'm getting ready to go to sleep and if I'm on my side, he'll climb up and straddle my arm and hug me...well, I think he hugs me! Wonderful kitty, don't you think?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Good things - Bad things

Good thing: I'm pleased to say that our visit to Sentara Heart Hospital in Norfolk was great! Mom was sitting in a type of reclining chair when we arrived. She was talking and laughing with us. It was good to see her progress. No one really know how many mroe days she'll be there, but we're assuming that she'll need to go to another type of transitional facility until she gets stronger. I think she's getting stronger each day. That was good to see!

Bad thing: The hospital had valet parking and while our car was parked about 100 ft from the hospital entrance, and being watched bu a valet - my OLD digital camera was stolen. I'm so bummed out! anow I have NO camera , so this post will have no photos. Tomorrow I'm going out to buy a cheap one until the Canon gets fixed. Photos to come, I'm sure!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday night - WOOT!

Hooray! It's Friday and I'm celebrating with a glass of wine - then I'm gonna knit. It's been a great Friday evening so far - dinner finished at a decent hour - boys distributed to various locations and now I'm ready to sit back and relax just a bit. Another Friday evening highlight was talking to m-i-l on the phone. She sounds good and we're planning to drive down to see her tomorrow. Today's post-open heart surgery highlight was getting out of bed, with help from the P.T., and walking a little bit. I hope and pray that things continue to go well for her!

For anyone who keeping track - I've just posted a photo of yet another yarn choice for the Ribbon Lace Scarf. This is the third one - I can't seem to find a yarn I like. This is Regia Bamboo and while I love the colors, I think it might be a bit busy for the ribbon lace. What do you think? The previously posted Noro Sock didn't make it very far. In fact, if I can find the receipt, I'll return it. Yuck. I didn't like knitting with it. The Regia Bamboo, on the other hand, is super soft. It might work out - who knows? Apparently not me!

Just for fun, here's #1 son with first cat, White Socks, on his tummy. White Socks is a big boy - he's always been tall, but has settled into his 14th year by spreading...kind of like his mom. White Socks was #1 son's first pet. We got him when Nick was in Kindergarten. The boys describe White Socks as "the best kitty ever". Of course , I think that's Halloween - he's such a mamma's boy!

It's time to go sit and knit a little bit - maybe cast on for the Cindy Knitter's KAL -Happy Friday and happy knitting to all!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Winding down....

...this is not the same as "unwinding". Nope - not at all - in fact, as far as school in concerned, it's exactly the opposite. This week for example, we are administering S.O.L. tests in our school, the first graders are practicing for our "May Day/Field Day" celebration and today they are on a field trip; the Kindergarteners are practicing for their promotion ceremony; the 5th graders are jockeying for cafetorium time because they want to practice for their promotion ceremony; everyone's scurrying to get inventories done & orders placed for next year & websites updated & supply lists published. Right now, it doesn't seem that everything will fall into place by next Friday, when we teachers will wave good-bye to the students - but it will -it always does!

M-I-L update: the 8:00 p.m. Wednesday up found her sitting up, with help of course, and asking Jake & Diane to find her a "red Popsicle". She's off the respirator, obviously, and so far, so good! I'm going to Ben Franklin this afternoon to get some Noro Sock yarn for the Ribbon Scarf mentioned in the previous post and while I'm there, I'll get my dear m-i-l a little yarn treat to give to her when I see her! Thanks be to God that she's doing well!

....later that day....
I'm just back from Ben Franklin in W'boro. Couldn't find any yarn for m-i-l, so I'll stop in C'ville on the way down to see her or maybe by Knitting Sisters in W'burg. Anyway, here's the Noro I got for the scarf - sure do hate the texture of this yarn, but I'm assured by multiple people that it softens beautifully when it's washed.

Finally, speaking of winding down or up or wherever - the little treat I ordered for myself arrived yesterday. I'm taking it to Janice's this weekend to let her hold it hostage until AFTER my project presentation on June 30.

It's a Cascade Little Si drop spindle and 8 oz. of merino so I can learn to spin. Of course, I did not ask for advice on this purchase and have since learned that merino isn't really what i should start with - so Janice will find me a snippet of something else - once my project is done and she's ready to give it back to me - maybe this will motivate me to go ahead and finish - it's worth a try, don't' you think? Goodness - I hope so!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Knitting in order to breath

M-i-l's surgery lasted from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. yesterday. The valve replacement had to be tinkered around with since Mom's valve was unexpectedly smaller than the replacement. Then the doctors decided they should do a triple by-pass instead of a double one. She's in I.C.U. and has made it through the first 24 hours. They've taken her off the ventilator and are allowing her to start to wake up. She is in pain, of course. The next 24 hours are critical - we're all praying that her pain can soon begin to be managed and that there will be no bleeding or infections. She's the best m-i-l ever - I hope we can see her this weekend.

Knitting in order to breath...well, that kind of says it all, doesn't it? I remember once, around year #2 in my teaching career, I had a student who - bless him- managed to vex me enough that I excused myself from my lesson - history, I think - and sat down, took out my sock, and started to knit. That was the year I had taught a number of my 5th graders to knit, so they understood. It was knit or throw things - I think I made the right choice. So now, it seems the busier I get, the more I want to knit. Is it procrastination? Maybe - but not totally. My rector once told me, after he asked me to be Junior Warden, that if you want to get something done, you ask a busy person. So my knitting is just starting to work its way into the rhythm of my busy life. I think it's actually helping me get through the demands of the end of the year, grad school, and m-i-l's surgery. Hooray for knitting and as E.Z. would say, knit on with confidence!

Speaking of knitting on - this is the Ribbon Lace Scarf from spring 2008. I want to make it for my graduate school advisor as a thank you present. So here I am, adding another WIP to my list - like I need another one. I'll look in my yarn stash and see if there's anything hiding that might knit up nicely into a scarf - 10 in. x 80 in ...on size 3's...that's a lot of knitting. Maybe some nice Noro sock yarn! I'll check it out this weekend...or maybe this - Claudia Handpaints - hmmm... this could be nice! Photos to come, I'm sure!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

The things parents do

It's dark outside and a little chilly for mid-May...and DH and I are up with son A., getting ready to drive to C'ville to work at a concession stand at U.Va.'s graduation. The money we earn will be applied toward his trip to Europe next spring. Son P., still in bed, is on the waiting list for the trip - really - we can't afford to send one child to Europe, so P is pretty much resigned to not going. When you have children, no one tells you about all the choices and dynamics that constantly interplay. It's makes for some interesting times, let me tell you! So, we'll work outside today from 7:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. No place for knitting or reading - just selling stuff to U.Va. graduates' parents & families.

It's going to rain. Photos to come, I'm sure.
Well, it didn't rain - at least not much - but it was windy and cold. We considered wrapping up in the extra banquet table clothes that were hanging around! Have you ever tried wrapping up roses in gusting wind? Not so easy! Fortunately, the U.Va. parents were patient. At my stand, we sold over 250 roses.

We figured that there were about 6,000 students graduating from various schools today. Here's a sea of them on the "Lawn" - all of those black caps are just a small portion of the graduates.

The University of Virginia was designed by President Thomas Jefferson. Here's one of its famous serpentine walls.

So, there was no time for knitting during the day, although I did take it with me, just in case. After dinner, I'll read my homework assignment and then knit a little on the dog sweater I'm making for my m-i-l's charity knitting group.

Tomorrow is her surgery, so with each stitch I make, I'll say prayers for her. May she be blessed with the Lord's healing.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Blocking Day

Today friend Janice & I finally blocked my MS7 shawl - Imbolc by Renee Leverington at Goddess Knits. It was a beautiful day for blocking - just a bit windy and low humidity - so we laid everything out on Janice's porch and started pinning & stretching - pinning & stretching.

A couple of breezy hours later it was all done! Here's me in my first lace shawl! After the unpinning, we celebrated with the season's first gin & tonic - yum!

First son Nick is home from college , G.M.U., and we're in the process of making him a bedroom in the basement. He spent a little - just a little - time today scraping the walls so we can put "Drylock" on it - it's a moisture barrier. Not that we've ever had water seeping through the basement walls, but better safe than sorry, I guess. I hope we can do this quickly because he's sleeping in the living room and that's getting old for all of us - poor Nick...I hope he knows that we love him lots because we're making him a NEW ROOM even though we gave his old room away to one of his brothers - too many b-i-g boys, not enough bedrooms - sigh.

Here's a closing shawl shot - thanks to Janice's husband, Ken! I look like I have butterfly wings - maybe it's time to fly away!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Post -Mother's Day Post

Yesterday, P, A & DH & I drove to W'burg to visit DH's parents - specifically my m-i-l because 1. it was Mother's Day and 2. she's going to have open heart surgery in a week. One of DH's brothers and his wife were there, too. The two of us daughters-in-law made spaghetti & a salad & heated up yummy garlic bread for dinner. It was a nice visit, even though dear m-i-l is nervous about her upcoming surgery - so are we! After dinner, we sat around and tried to talk about normal stuff, but also talked about surgery concerns. I wish all seven of m-i-l's children could have been there to celebrate the day with her...and to show their concern and their love. I'm glad we went to visit & today I got a nice email from m-i-l, thanking us for preparing dinner and for the stuff we gave her.

My m-i-l is a knitter. Her Ravelry page says that she's been knitting for 66 years! She started knitting before she married my f-i-l and kept on knitting while he was stationed overseas during WWII. She has told me stories about knitting socks for him. She continued knitting while mothering seven children. About 13 years ago, one day she developed a bad pain in her hand. Turns out it was sudden onset rheumatoid arthritis. After that, she couldn't knit anymore, so she gave me all her stuff. About a year or two ago, she started knitting again. It was the combination of several things: 1. her arthritis pain was manageable 2. she got a new dog & 3. we visited Knitting Sisters and she decided to make dog sweaters! Well, of course she had to buy all new stuff! (hooray for her!) This week, she is trying to finish her Kaffe Fassat Regia socks so she can wear them in the hospital. She's on the second sock, so I'm sure she'll be done in time. I hope and pray that her surgery goes well and that she'll recover in comfort - I'm looking forward to sharing more knitting time with her and making lots of doggie sweater for the Heritage Humane Society. Hugs to the best m-i-l ever!


Here's a brief knitting update for me - the new Cindy Knitter KAL yarn arrived. I'm going to do a swatch in just a minute to check my gauge. Here's the pattern & yarn - Knitpicks Shine in
Bachelor Button.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Central Virginia Girls meet & knit

...well, only three of us plus Judy's mom were there - so four - but it was still a very nice get-together! We met at the old Batesville Store
& had yummy coffee & treats. (the link is not a store link, but will give you a little history about the store & area). Here's a group photo - I'm wearing the not-really-a-ten-year-sweater:

We had "show & tell". Janice showed us the yummy Wollmeise yarn she just bought from a nice person on Ravelry -

I'm on a hunt for some, too, but can't find any except on E-bay. If any of you blog readers have access to Wollmeise Superwash Sockyarn, I'm interested in purchasing some. I can't seem to catch up with any using internet resources - it sells too quickly!

Here is Judy's project and her mom's wonderful beaded shawl - the first half has 2000+ beads. Yikes, that's a lot of stringing!!

Finally, here's the second panel of my project - the Shawl with cables by Linda Cyr.

It's an easy pattern, so I could knit, drink coffee, & eat my yummy muffin without messing up the pattern.
Despite our few numbers, we had a good time - I hope more CVG's can come to the next one!

Friday night knitting & weirdness

Last night while DH was watching the Washington Nationals lose on T.V. and the 16 yr. old twins were listening to music at the semi-local coffee shop/book store, I was knitting....and watching "chick flicks". I watched Murphy's Romance with Sally Field and Jim Garner, and then I watched the last half of the latest version of Jane Eyre - the one with Ruth Wilson and Toby Stephens. I love the Guardian's review on the DVD jacket....."style, substance, and just the right amount of heaving bodices..." I like the "heaving body" part. It's very tastefully done.

I knitted through the movies and finished the last row of the first section of the Shawl with Cables, put it on a holder, and started another section.

Here's what they look like together.
I still like how the Tonalita is knitting up, but the pretty light pink has not made another appearance. I guess I feel asleep while DH was out picking up the boys & shuttling home some of their friends. It's hard to stay up late on Friday nights, especially after dancing pretty much all day with my music classes. Music is a very physically demanding job. My predecessor told me that, but I had to live it to understand - as with everything in life. So, last night I was pooped!

At 12:50 a.m., the doorbell this is unusual. We live in a pretty rural area - up on a hill - and are bordered by cows, pasture, & woods. If we squint, we can sometimes catch a glimpse of our nearest a doorbell ring at 12:50 causes a bit a of stir. DH went to the door, followed by me, carrying an unused golf club (actually they are all unused right now, but that's another story). DH clicked on the porch light & guess what? There was no one there. We turned on the outside floodlights and headed back to bed, first checking to make sure that our teens were tucked in and accounted for. They were. So after a little discussion and checking off possible suspects, we drifted off to sleep....and the doorbell rang again. This time we heard the little poop running off the porch. This time, all the floodlights were turned on, and this time, I called the Sheriff's Office. They sent a deputy out right away and he searched the area.
The whole thing is most likely kids pulling pranks, but I really hope they don't come back tonight or in the future. I'm planning a little surprise for them if they do!

Here's Halloween this morning. He & White Socks were outside all night. Lousy attack cats. We're going to have to work on their guarding skills!
Because we were up throughout the night, we are treating ourselves to a big breakfast. I can hear DH mixing up the eggs right now. That's my cue to put the turkey bacon in the microwave & get the toast, I'm out of here - yum - comfort food.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Life's rollercoaster

...I don't want to get off - I just want it to slow down a little.
This time of year is crazy anyway with school stuff winding down & all - but throw in a sickness or two, a concert or two, financial arguments with institutions of higher learning, an unexpected job decision, and starting two new classes and you'll have something that feels like an out of control roller coaster. That's what I've been dealing with for the past week and a half.
Here's how some of it has resolved:
  • Sickness - I'm better, but still have an inner ear thing going on. As soon as I get a chance, I'll go back to the ENT & ask him to make it better - please
  • My m-i-l is scheduled to have open heart surgery next week. We'll drive down to visit her for Mother's Day this weekend. The surgery is a real worry!
  • Zephyrus is done for the year. I'm loving Sunday evenings at home!
  • Shenandoah straightened out the financial mess, although they say they never received the registration I mailed AND faxed to them....give me a break!
  • I have decided to return to regular education - leaving music. I'll teach 5th grade Language Art & Virginia Studies again....maybe a section of math.
  • New classes have begun- - here's what they are
  • I'm also collecting practicum hours. I have to have 170 by July. I'm organizing summer school sessions for the high school and my elementary school, rewriting a section of our student handbook, and sitting in on discipline issues.
I'm also doing a little knitting. The Cindy KAL will start next week. I ordered new yarn from Knitpicks b/c I did not like the first color - too dark.
Here's the Shawl with Cables...I'm done with the first panel!I wish the Tonalita had a little more of the light pink color. I thought it would reappear, but it has not yet. Anyway, it's knitting up nicely!Time to head off to school. It's rainy Friday, so the kids are sure to be nuts! Wish us all luck!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

For all you Ringsurfers

I've recently joined three blog groups by Ringsurf: ChoralKnitters - because I am a singer and a knitter; Knitting Bloggers - because I am a knitter and have a blog (duh) and; Epsicopal Bloggers - because I am Episcopalian - and a blogger. Thus far my blog posts have mostly been about knitting and wanting to knit and a little about my singing and a little about my grad school stuff. I really have not written anything about church. So here goes....I am member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Greenwood, Va. I sing in the choir there and occasionally, knit prayer shawls - see below - (had to get knitting in there somehow!)
I also help out with our church's monthly food distribution - I do the paperwork. We distribute food boxes to about 130 families each month. Emmanuel is a loving, vibrant parish. Our family is blessed to be part of the Emmanuel family.

So - I knit in church. There are lots of us choir-knitters at Emmanuel - well, at least four or five. We usually work on prayer shawls, but if it's close to Christmas, some of us can be seen trying to finish up a project before the Holidays hit or working on other stuff if we're between shawls.
I'm between shawls right now, so here's what I'll be taking to church next:
This is the Shawl with Cables from Vogue Knitting On The Go: Shawls. The pattern suggests Noro, but mine is from Trendsetter Tonolita. I love the colors and it's very soft. In fact, it's calling to me right now, so here I go to sit & knit a bit. TTFN - !

Monday, May 5, 2008

Not-really-a-ten-year-sweater done!

OK - so I counted back & I think it's only a five year sweater...maybe six - BUT it's done! I couldn't sleep until I sewed on the last button & took some photos. It will be cool enough tomorrow morning to wear it to school!

On to the next ZZZ project....I think it will be the De Colores jacket made of Noro Silk Garden. I only have a few more strips to do & then lots of seaming...yuck, I hate seaming.

Apparently I also hate writing up graduate projects because I haven't done anything lately towards finishing mine. Someone better come over here & hide my knitting needles & block Ravelry on my computer! I'm hopeless!