Friday, May 30, 2008

Week Recap

Wow, it has been a very busy week. I'm still without a personal home computer so I have been jetting to my parents house, the library, and using my cell phone to check my email. None are optimal of course. My parents live on the other side of the county which, normally, wouldn't be too much of a problem except that I live in one of the largest and most populated counties in the state. On a good day it takes only 30 minutes to get to their place. A good day happens on Sunday afternoon around 3:00. On a normal day it takes an hour to get there. Normal days are much more frequent. And posting at the library is the worst. I always feel like people are looking over my shoulder as I try and read personal emails or update my facebook status. I only went there once this week when I had exhausted all other possible routes and absolutely had to check my bank account. I did sign up for one day of internet usage on my phone. It could check my email, tell me the weather, and not much else. But at least I got the notice about one of my private lessons needing to be rescheduled. I've once again made it back to my parents house though and this makes for a much nicer posting experience. I've just spent the better part of an hour checking other blogs that I read. I haven't touched Ravelry yet but I'm going to have to because I need some patterns to take with me on vacation next week.

Yes, next week I will be at the beach on vacation (or holiday if you are from outside the US). I'll be in South Carolina in a secluded little town with my parents, brother, and my brother's girlfriend (the ever charming and lovely BB). I had a really tough time trying to decide what to take as far as the knitting goes. Thanks to the extended editions of the Lord of the Rings trilogy (and the 6 disks of extra, behind the scenes info) I finished the Honeymoon Cami. If the previous statement seems a bit nerdish to you, have no fear. My dear friend AG has been (and continues) to harass me about how much of a dork I am (this from the guy who played D and D growing up and watches Lost religiously). But it is very cute and, most importantly, wearable. The yarn wasn't very forgiving so if a stitch looked wonky when I was knitting it, it stayed a little wonky after I blocked it (Which really just involved me washing it in the washing machine and throwing it over the shower rod in my bathroom. But I like that it turned out fine after that. I like things to be durable.). I'm just pleased as punch that I made something that I can actually wear. It got put in the bag for vacation wear. So, anyways, back to the projects... I threw in the rest of the cone of Texas Cotton (used for the cami) because I'm participating in the Summer of Socks and I haven't started a pair yet. Then I threw in some stash gifted sock yarn that I used to make some magic slippers thinking I would try another pair of those and maybe some sort of wee little socks. I also started (and have almost finished) another vest/sweater for Warm Woolies. I say vest/sweater because I took the pattern for their simple vest and I'm going to try and add sleeves. I attempted the first one (this, of course being all of my own devising without a pattern or any real guidance) by using 8 lives stitches and some picked up stitches around the arm hole. But the stockinette ended up on the inside of the sleeve. Which would have been good if I had been working it inside out, but I wasn't. I got as far as turning the sleeve inside out and then the thought of trying to pick up those stitches again made my head hurt and I realized it was 10:30 at night the day before I was supposed to leave for my parents house and a week of vacation and I hadn't finished packing or cleaning and decided that vest/sweater could wait. Well, it's waiting for me in the bottom of my knitting bag. Next to a bunny hat kit I picked up in Savannah. And the perpetual pink sweater (of doom).

Today, after I squared away my knitting, I spent time running all around town and prepping for my leave. I had to make sure that someone covered my private lessons, that my apartment sitter was lined up, that there were plenty of (very) detailed instructions about everything from how to feed the cat to how hot the water gets (I have an obsessive compulsive disorder, so sue me), and that all the orders I filled for Eat Sleep Tweet got mailed off in time. On a side note: I really like this new job. I can't wait until it becomes a little more involved. I got a little taste of it this week but eventually there will be a mini warehouse in my apartment. It's very good for the organized, logistical side of me. Now I am ready to relax. I will (thankfully) have internet next week that I will check on a regular basis and maybe even post. Unfortunately, I won't get to put the pictures up yet. Once I get this new computer I'm going to do about 15 all picture posts of (k)nifty things that should have already graced these pages.

Monday, May 26, 2008


I'm stopping by to wish everyone a happy and safe Memorial Day. And please, while you are out enjoying your freedom by boating and grilling out, remember the people who made and are still making it possible for you to enjoy that security.

I stayed at my parent's house last night because we are going to my aunt and uncle's lake house today. Therefore, I have some internet access. I've been able to check email and facebook so I decided to update the blog a little.

I'm over half way finished with the second gauntlet/mitt. These are a really quick knit if you can manage to work on them all the time. However, I have issues with knitting monogamy. I've been spending most of my time lately working on my tank top (Honeymoon Cami) for the summer. Maybe I'll finish it next week at the beach and be able to wear it.

On a totally different note, I did the Los Angeles Times Crossword puzzle this morning and almost solved the whole thing (I was 2 words short). W00T!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Time Marches On

Today the office is very quiet. There are no children running in to ask for bathroom passes, no squawking renditions of hit Disney tunes, nothing. Yes, school is over. I'm now biding my time waiting to file permanent records and have my assistant principal sign my "End-of-the-Year Checklist" which notes that I have indeed cleaned out all my worldly possessions and turned in my TV remote. Bliss.

I've spent most of this morning transferring files to CD and jump drives and researching Mac Books. See, on Friday I have to turn in my school laptop. If you will remember back a few months, there was an "incident" involving my personal, at home, laptop. Since every time I think about "that day" I throw up a little in my mouth, I have avoided thinking about replacing Old Blue. I knew I eventually wanted to switch to Mac. They have a lot of great features for the artsy, music types of the world and they have become a lot more user friendly. However, I'm a little stupid about what exactly I need. I know what I want the new computer to do but it's trying to figure out which one will make it all happen that is the issue. So, sometime next week I will be making a trek out to the blessed Mac Store and picking the brains of a Mac employee (are they considered iEmployees?). I suppose I will have to get a new printer and all that jazz as well. We shall see.

In the meantime, my blogging is going to be sporadic at best and, in all likelihood, picture less. I would like to let you know that the Honeymoon Cami marches on as anticipated and, should a new Mac arrive, there will be picture proof that it does indeed exist.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Karma Sucks

For those you who thought I would escape unscathed in my tirade against postal workers yesterday, you were wrong. In the span of less than 12 hours my cat, who has been puke free for almost 3 weeks, barfed not once, but twice. And the second time was at 6:15 this morning while I was trying to sleep. Not to mention she pranced across my sternum at about 3:00. Why she couldn't just jump off her side of the bed is beyond me. How she managed to throw up twice in less than a day, well, I know why that happened.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Truly Vexing

There are some things in life that leave me truly scratching my head. Technology can be one of these things. Today however, I managed to finally figure out how to work my RSS feed successfully. You want to know how to make an RSS feed work please do not ask me. I pushed a lot of buttons, cursed a lot at my computer, and relied heavily on information I found on RSS feeds on Ravelry. It was like a mini tech support. I know that the only way my RSS feed is working is shear dumb luck.

There is something else that vexed me today though. The United States Postal Service. Perhaps if you live outside the US you are fortunate enough to have a more operational postal service than we do. In America the Post Office is a thing of the past (well, almost). They are notorious for being slow and inefficient. And I got to be a part of that joy this afternoon.

I went to drop off some letters that were of some import so I needed to send them through certified mail with a receipt. I tried the automated postage machine but couldn't quite get it to do what I wanted so I admitted defeat and went inside to wait in the line. On a side note, there was a woman at the automated machine that had about 20 packages, all of different sizes, that she was trying to send. Thankfully, she was letting other people cut in front of her as needed, but seriously?!?! At 4:30?!?! Why not come back at, say, 10:00 p.m. The thing is open 24 hours. But I digress.

The line inside the post office wasn't too bad, maybe about 6 people ahead of me. Unfortunately, I had to listen to Who Wants to be a Millionaire? on the tv while I waited (I hate that show). Things are moving along pretty well for awhile until we get to the 2 people ahead of me in line. Then everything just stops. Not like, we're moving slowly, or a teller had to leave for a minute...No, I mean, dead stand still stop for 5 minutes. This doesn't seem like a long time but when you have already been in line for 5 minutes and you have a headache and just want to go home and lie down, 5 more minutes is an eternity. A few minutes later I realize the problem was that one of the tellers had closed her window. I mean, she's sitting there messing with her computer but there is a sign that says "Next Window Please." By now the line is, literally, out the door. The place closes in 5 minutes. Why in the name of all that is holy would you close your window?!?! No wonder you people have a reputation for being incompetent cows!!!

Thankfully about 3 more minutes passed and the line started moving. On another side note: I know my times are totally crazy and probably don't make sense, it didn't really make sense to me either. All I know is that when I left I had been in line for almost 20 minutes. The worst part of this whole ordeal though is that I had left my knitting in the car very foolishly thinking this would be a quick process. I really only have myself to blame.

So, when I (finally) made it home (and after a nap and a quick trip to the gym), I knit.

This is my Honeymoon Cami. Coming along quite nicely thanks to 2 nights of knitting while watching Lord of the Rings (I'm a dork, I know).
And, I have cast on and started working on the second gauntlet.

I started this one this morning. Thanks to a day full of assemblies I was able to make a lot of progress on it.

Tomorrow: Only one more day of work (with students) and, hopefully, no more run-ins with inefficient government agencies.

I do want to say I that I don't truly think all postal service employees are incompetent cows. I just want to point out that some people do not make the best choices when dealing with customers. Or maybe the whole US postal system is jacked. I know how government agencies are. I work for one. And probably the most screwed up agency there is. So, if you work for the postal system and feel I have taken a personal jab at you (which, I hope you realize, I am not) and you want to call me a lazy, uneducated prick, feel free. I work with middle school kids so I have a pretty touch skin.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Good Intentions Should Count for More

I had every intention of posting yesterday but Blogger was down so I was forced to wait until now. This is ok however, since I discovered something about my gauntlet.

This is the picture from yesterday of my Elvish Gauntlet:

Notice anything maybe a little odd? The little peaked part that should lie nicely at the fingertips is lying nicely at my wrist. Now I would swear on a stack of Bibles that I followed the pattern correctly. But it came out upside down. Then I started thinking, Mitts are like socks. Socks are worked from the top down. In this case the "top" is actually my fingertips. I've been trying these on backwards. If that is indeed the case the opening for the thumb should have come after the lace pattern not before it (as I had done).

Luckily this was an easy fix. I just put the gauntlet on the other hand. Problem solved.

And it doesn't make the lace look "wrong" or "weird" in any way (at least not that I can tell).

But then I got to thinking, what if I had read the pattern wrong? I thought when you read lace patterns in the round that you read them from top to bottom and right to left, every line, like so:
But then I worried that you read them the "normal" way, like below:
Needless to say, I'm going to knit the other gauntlet starting with the ribbing first and then the lace, working the lace just as I did for the first one. If it's wrong, well, I had the intention of it being correct, and I think that should count for something.

Tonight I'm going to work some on a new project (yes, I have second gauntlet syndrome).

This is half the needed stitches for a Honeymoon Cami. I'm not going on a honeymoon (or getting married for that matter) any time soon but I like the pattern. I just hope the yarn knits up tight enough. Don't need to be scandalous with this!

And I want to leave you with my new most precious gift.

This was knit for me by one of the little girls in my knitting class at school. She finished this in one day. I saw her knitting it one morning and commented that she must have multiple projects going at the same time. She very slyly commented that she had just started this one and that she did indeed have other things she was working on. And then the next day she gave me this as a farewell gift (it was our last day of class). Needless to say, I almost cried. I guess being a knitter I can appreciate the work that goes into receiving a hand knit item. Even if it is just a small little purse. So very sweet. I could not have asked for a better going away gift.

The rest of tonight I will be watching The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and knitting my tank top. I think I have seen this movie about 15 times (I saw it 4 times in the theater alone) and can quote it pretty much line for line (even the extended edition) but I absolutely love it.

Monday, May 12, 2008

So True...

I laughed when I read this. I needed this after the day I'm having (lots of unnecessary drama). Enjoy!

The Recipe For Melissa
3 parts Nonconformity
2 parts Devilry
1 part Inspiration

Splash of Tolerance

Serve over ice

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

Now that Mother's Day is over and my mom received her gifts I can show you what I've been working on for the past few days: a set of three cotton dishcloths.

Round dishcloth
Simple square dishcloth
Wheatfields dishcloth
Close up of the Wheatfields
Wrapped for mom
I used Rowan All Seasons Cotton and a US size 6 needle for all three. They took 4 days to finish. I'm quite proud of my quick work. I can't remember all the details of the patterns but they all came from the same collection and they are on my Ravelry page (Ravelry link).

I spent today cleaning house and napping. Early this evening I cast on for some lacy gauntlets. I'm still working on the mitered squares but I need something to break up the monotony a bit. I plan on knitting the mitered squares when I'm at work or out and about and knitting the gauntlets when I'm at home. I'll have more pictures soon but I'm a little tired tonight so they will have to wait.

Also, in other news, I have a new job! Yes, I'm still going to be teaching 1st grade and, yes, I still teach private music lessons (wait, I didn't tell you about that one? oops...), I'm just adding another hat I will wear. I'm going to be helping a friend of mine with his on-line store called Eat. Sleep. Tweet. If you are a fan of Twitter you should check it out. If you're not you should check it out anyways, it's pretty cool. I'm going to be in charge of shipping and distribution. Basically whenever you order something from the site I'll be filling your order and sending it to you. I'm looking forward to this new endeavor. It will earn me a little extra spending money...which we all know equals more yarn :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Sometimes I come home really late from work.
Yes, that is p.m.

Sometimes, even though I'm not coming home until late, I stop at the grocery store just to pick up my cats favorite cat food.
She loves salmon.
Sometimes making taco salad helps you relax.
Notice there is nothing remotely green in my taco "salad."

Sometimes eating a cookie or two helps.

I hear a good stiff drink works too. Or both.

And knitting...well, knitting always makes you feel better.

Super secret Mother's Day knitting.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Secret Knitting

I'm so counting down the days until school is out. Today had some interesting, trying moments. It started this morning when I was trying to help a friend out and I ended up catching some unexpected slack for it. It wasn't anything illegal, or even very big (in my opinion) but I still got an earful. And then at lunch we began discussing what was going to happen for next year and all hell broke loose. New teachers going to be hired without any one's knowledge, having new classes in reading and math that no one wants (especially the kids), and the dreaded block scheduling discussion. I really feel badly for everyone. For some reason more problems with schedules and hiring seem to come up in middle school than in high school and certainly more than in elementary school. I think we as educators need to stop thinking about what is most convenient to us and start thinking about what is best for the students. Unfortunately, there are people who teach who don't really have the drive that is needed for this field. And this isn't just a problem for the public schools, it happens in the private schools too. Don't think just because you pay more for your kid's schooling that the teachers want to be there any more.

Needless to say I took a nap, worked out, and then settled in to knit when I got home.

What do you get when you take this yarn...
Rowan All Seasons Cotton

and these needles...

Boye needles US size 6

and knit it up? This of course!

Oh, wait, you can't tell what that is? That's because it's part of my mom's secret Mother's Day gift. I have pictures of the finished project on Ravelry where my dad can't spy and tell my mom :)

I'm still working on the mitered square blanket but I've taken a little break on it to finish this Mother's Day gift. See, here's a recently finished square.
It needs a fraternal twin but it will have to wait for just a few more days. More teaser pictures tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Slowing Down

I'm finally able to slow down a bit now that the crazy week/weekend is over. This weekend I helped my mom celebrate her birthday and went to a friend's wedding. Yesterday we had a big fundraiser dinner for our band. The only major events I have on the horizon are 2 concerts next week. Then we are basically done. I'm so looking forward to the summer and some time off to relax. For now though I'm just going to chill on my couch under a blanket with my kitty and watch some tv. I'm also starting a super secret mother's day project that I'll post about after the weekend. And I'm still knitting on the mitered square blanket but that's not too exciting so I think I'll save the picture posting for a day when I'm a little more rested.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Finding Solace

So, I'll be honest, tonight could have been much better than it was. I suppose finding out that there is a shortage or people in a line of work that you just (a little unwillingly) left* and also finding out that someone who you thought (and hoped) like you had suddenly changed their mind and no longer was really that into you...these things kind of put a damper on being 100% happy.

I really was all set to come in and just fall into bed and try and sleep off a not so great evening. But on the way home I started thinking about the good things in my life. You know, to try and pump myself off a little. And one of the good things in my life is knitting.

I find solace in knitting. It's something I can do without fear of any real outside scrutiny (besides the occasional, "You're knitting?" comment) or failure. And knitting for charity might be the best thing I've been plugged into in a long while. I feel like I'm really helping someone who needs it.

All this thinking made me want to share my thoughts with the world (or at least the internets world): I'm feeling bummed but I know I'll pull through. And in the process I'll knit a bit. For example, some mitered squares for a blanket.
And part of another one.
We here at Casa de Singleton are really into the mitered square thing and may be for awhile. However, I did want to share that today I found out that my vest was chosen as a featured photo for the Warm Woolies Seed Stitch Center Panel Vest (or the Jan. vest-o-the-month, which ever you prefer). That makes me feel like a little bit of a pseudo celebrity. Can I make a button that says "I'm a Ravelry Pseudo-Celeb"?

*This is not a reference to leaving my job as a band director. I have other side jobs (dealing with music) that I have done for almost 6 years now. One of these side jobs is what I'm talking about.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Time Out Coach, I'm Burning

This has been my week since Monday's post.

Tuesday: Run (literally) out of work once children are dismissed for bus call. Go to dentist appointment. Decide to get car's emissions inspected. Decide may need cash to have car inspected. Go by bank. Discover ATM is being serviced. Drive across town to other ATM. Decide too far away from shop and too tired to have emissions test done. Go home. Hang out with newly groomed (and clearly uninterested) cat.
Finish knitting 2 mitered squares for blanket.
Lay out clothes, money, and lunch box for visit to new job in the a.m. Remember must get up early for said visit. Collapse in bed.

Wednesday: Wake up early. Spend day at new school observing the fun that is first grade (including field day!). Go to Guitar Center to pick up drumsticks to teach lessons on Thursday with. Run into old friend. Chat. Go have car inspected. Skillfully avoid having to count money for fundraiser dinner with co-teacher (ok, so he called and cancelled but still...). Go to grocery store. Come home and make dinner. Watch tv and knit 2 rows on new mitered square. Decide to take a wee little nap at 7:30 p.m. Awake at 9:30 and reluctantly drag self from couch to bathroom to get ready for bed. Collapse into bed.

Thursday (today): Wake at normal time and begin getting ready. On way out the door try and juggle very big trash bag, old box (for trash), box of teaching supplies, computer in case, knitting for class at school, and work bag with miscellaneous junk. Decide to take 2 trips to car. Get to work and run a percussion ensemble rehearsal for 45 minutes. Unpack bags of junk needed for the day. Teach music type stuff. Teach 2 private lessons after work. Run home. Feed cat. Change clothes. Drive across town to Mom's birthday dinner #1 (we like to celebrate birthdays for about a month. My mom's actual b-day is this Sunday). Come home. Blog.

What is slated for the rest of the week:

Friday: Field day at my school (=hours in the sun). Teach 2 more private lessons. Have late dinner with N.D. Collapse into bed.

Saturday: Bike ride or workout in the early morning hours. Meet with A.G. about possible job helping with his business. Drive to parent's house. Get addresses for a proposed mail out/fundraising for Moldova effort. Ride to Athens. Watch UGA baseball game (weather permitting). Come home. Collapse into bed.

Sunday: Church. Come home. Lunch. Nap. Drive to Lake Hartwell in North Georgia for wedding at 6:00 p.m.* Drive home in the late evening. Collapse into bed. *Note: The possibility that I will actually go to this wedding is still up in the air even as I type this.

Reasons why this may be a difficult rest of the week:
1. I will be exposed to so much sun the probability of me getting sunburned is very high.
2. I need more sleep than I can schedule. Notice the amount of collapsing into bed that I am/will be doing.
3. I'm still not sure there are enough hours in the day to accomplish all I have to do. I have not even scheduled in things like paying bills and ordering supplies that I need for teaching my private lessons.
4. I went and left my knitting bag at work today.