Sunday, March 25, 2012

Stash-Bust I Must

Wow! Another gorgeous week in West Michigan. The temperature was in the 80s a couple of days here in Grand Haven. To celebrate this summer-like weather I have decided to knit a scarf. Yep you just read that. Actually I’m stash-busting, which in the knitting world means using yarn you bought once upon a time either for a project you never made, or because it was sooo soft, or because you were in a new yarn shop and had to buy something, or because the colors were too beautiful to pass up, or because it was on sale and yarn is NEVER on sale, etc. You get the idea. On a side note to the definition of stash-busting, the knitter’s significant other may know about the stash but usually has NO IDEA how much cash is tied up in it. There is no need to disclose this information. Think of how upset he or she might become. There is no need to inflict this sort of anguish on a partner. Best the knitter suck it up and carry the load alone. It’s the right thing to do, really. Sometimes, ignorance really is the kindest way. 

 Here are a couple pictures of my scarf. Click for pattern information: Ravelry
My scarf is knitting up nicely. I started it on Thursday and am probably about halfway finished. The colors in the indoor picture are the most true, but I had to get outside and enjoy this weather, so why not take a picture in the backyard? I am loving the way the colors are coming out, and yes, the yarn is Noro. Silk Garden Sock to be exact. Imagine me having “extra” Noro laying around. All I can say is it’s hard to let go of your first yarn love. I’m using size 5 needles with sock yarn so the texture is coming out lace-ish or meshy. The colors and texture will make for a great Spring scarf, assuming Mother Nature lays off the fast forward button and we have some Spring weather.
Of course, I had to buy a book of patterns with which to stash-bust. Such are the mysterious nuances of knitters and their stashes. My new book is titled: Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders edited by Judith Durant. The book contains 101 patterns using sock yarn. There are patterns for everything from socks to baby sweaters to bags to mittens to shawls to home decor, etc. I’m using the phrase “home decor” loosely here, some of those patterns are a little out there. Anyway, I picked up the book at my local yarn shop and as you can see have several pages marked for future stash-busting projects. I even color-coded them by type of project. 

Here’s a picture of the book should you want to pick up a copy.
Finally, this fine weather is bringing some May flowers before they've had their  April showers. I am joying see crocuses (or is it croci? too lazy to consult a dictionary) in bloom, which I never see due to the abundance of rabbits and deer in my city. I guess the weather is confusing the wildlife too...
Here's a picture of crocuses/croci in bloom.
Back to knitting for me, then off to bed. It's a school night after all. Have a great week and keep in touch :) Christina

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Yep, Spent St. Patrick’s Day Afternoon at the Beach!

Wow, what a weekend here in West Michigan. Carpe Diem! Beach weather Saturday and Sunday - and it looks like more is on the way. Spent St. Patrick’s Day afternoon at the beach. Definitely a first for me in my, ahem, 40-ish years of living here.

Here’s a picture of feet - mine and a friend’s at the beach yesterday.

Here’s me dipping my toes in the Big Lake. Yes, it was cold!
Here’s a picture of the beach scene in Grand Haven St. Patrick's Day afternoon.
Some brave, for lack of a better word, souls were even swimming. Gotta love teenagers! After an afternoon at the beach and a brief stop at a local watering hole, I spent a lovely evening star-gazing with a new app, SkyView, in flip flops in my backyard. In March! Have to keep typing that because it is beyond belief. Sorry, no pictures of the constellations. Could be my iphone camera or it’s operator, (probably the latter) but the pictures were black with a few dots. Nothing to blog about, oh wait, I just did.
Oh, and about my knitting. I finished a pair of socks for my Aunt Karel. The pattern is called Windjammer Socks by Jennifer Tepper Heverly. Found the pattern in a book I checked out of the library called The Knitter's Book of Wool. The pattern was pretty fun. My first chevron experience, and I love to knit cables. This pattern has both. You can click here for more pattern information. Just have to soak the socks in Eucalan to soften them up. And, of course go out to dinner to gift them :)
Here’s a picture of Aunt Karel’s socks modeled by my daughter, Shelby.
Finally, I’ve been reading Russian Lit again. I’ve forgotten how much I enjoy this genre. First, it’s challenging so I can’t let my mind wander. And, it’s Russian so it’s filled with the rich history and unique nuances that are Russia. I love that Russian authors are so blunt - never hesitating to call a buffoon a buffoon. Almost forgot to mention that I’m reading Dr. Zhivago. I’m about 37% of the way through, according to my Kindle. Spent a few hours in the sunshine with this book collecting tan lines. Yes, tan lines! In March! Sorry, am I overdoing the March weather thing?
Anyway, I’m always in the market for a good book, so I’d love to hear about the pages you’re perusing. As always, thanks for reading! ~ Christina

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Springing Ahead

Ah, the weekend we lose an hour of sleep for some reason I have long forgotten but I’m sure made sense to some number of bureaucrats at some point in time. Last year I learned that Russia has cancelled Daylight Savings Time because, among other reasons, it confused the cows with respect to milking. Just a little something to think about.
I missed a week of posting and so will catch you up on what I’ve been up to. I have found a new yoga studio and have fallen back in love with the practice. Oh, how I’ve missed the balance, the peace, challenging my body, the connection to the Earth, interacting with other people who practice yoga, feeling strong physically, etc. I could go on and on and on but will spare you. Anyway, very happy to be back.
I also attended a conference for a couple of days on using technology in the classroom. I gleaned many new ideas I can’t wait to try out on my unsuspecting 6th grade students, who I have missed and am looking forward to seeing tomorrow! I enjoyed spending time with colleagues outside of school too, something I don’t get to do very often. While wandering through the exhibition booths and shamelessly indulging in the free chocolate, I had time to take a picture with Sparty. And, since Michigan State won today, and I have a Spartan daughter, here’s the picture...

Here's a picture of Sparty and me
Finally, I've made HUGE progress on a pair of socks for my Aunt Karel. This is the project that I’m knitting using yarn from my grandmother who passed away last Fall. I found a great pattern with cables and chevrons so ditched making up my own pattern, for now. Anyway, the pattern is called Windjammer. You can link to pattern information via Ravelry here. It’s another pattern I’m knitting using a library book.

Here’s a picture of the first sock. 
I just need to finish up the foot on the second sock, another 50 rounds or so, plus or minus. The best part of the project will be giving them to my aunt, as that will involve going out to dinner.
So, I have been springing - into losing an hour of sleep, into getting back in shape, into sharpening my teaching skills, and into finishing a project. I would love to hear what you’re springing into knitting or otherwise.  As always, thanks for reading! ~ Christina