Saturday, January 31, 2009

25 Random Things

I got tagged in two of these on Facebook so I'm posting this here for all to enjoy. Feel free to play along...

1. My best friend gave her little girl my middle name, Mae.
2. My middle name is my great-grandmother's middle name.
3. I knit (duh) and dye my own line of yarns.
4. I study Renaissance martial arts (fighting with swords).
5. I broke both my arms within an 8 month span when I was 5.
6. I was a gymnast through part of middle school and high school. I had to stop due to persistent pain in my knees.
7. I can play every instrument in the band and orchestra plus guitar and piano with varying degrees of proficiency.
8. I used to collect wind chimes.
9. I don't drink carbonated beverages.
10. I like to travel.
11. My likeness is being used in a British children's book on historical martial arts (I'm a ninja and a gladiator).
12. I'm cold natured.
13. I usually eat the foods on my plate separately (ex: I will eat all my mashed potatoes before I eat my steak).
14. I really like to read and probably own over 400 books (many are in storage at my parent's house).
15. My favorite drink is Irish breakfast tea. I drink it every morning with lots of sugar and little milk.
16. I spent 2 weeks last summer in Moldova doing missions work.
17. The first time I traveled alone was last summer when I went to Moldova.
18. I double majored in music composition and music education for a year in college. Then I went back to just music education.
19. I played softball for 6 years when I was younger (ages 6-12).
20. One of my dream jobs would be conducting a major symphony orchestra.
21. If I wasn't an elementary school teacher I would probably be a paleontologist.
22. I'm fascinated by mythology. I once knew the names of all the major Greek gods and goddesses in Latin and Greek and what each did. I could probably still rattle off many of them.
23. In high school I took the National Latin Exam and received the Maxima Cum Laude award (second place) twice.
24. I was on a national award winning independent (non-college) indoor drumline in college.
25. My grandparents got me a mini four wheeler when I was about 8 years old. I used to ride it all over their property until I outgrew it when I was about 16 (it wasn't that mini). I would love to go ATVing again.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Susie Anti-Social

I find my weekend once again full of social engagements. Friday is knit night at my place, Saturday I have a training meeting at church and then going to see Stomp!, Sunday is a Super Bowl party at a friend's house. Don't get me wrong, I like seeing my friends, but too much of a good thing is a bad thing. I need time to myself. Looking back at the past few weeks I have been to 3 knit nights, 2 gymnastics meets in Athens, a knit in to make Stitches South decorations, the Cirque du Soleil show, ARMA training, 2 meetings at church, and taught private lessons. Not so much time to myself. I just want a day to sleep in and do nothing. I do love knit nights, and I really like gymnastics. And the meetings at church are for missions stuff and leadership stuff which I find interesting. I like all these events, however, looking ahead to next week I have to teach private lessons 2 days, 2 knit nights, and another gymnastics meet on Saturday. And a wedding shower Sunday. Thereby, I'm hereby declaring February 14th my day off! How ironic, Valentine's Day. And I'm single. I guess it was going to work out that I was by myself any ways. Le sigh.

The new Vogue Knitting magazine is bringing me some comfort in these times of social distress.

I'm loving this:
This woman is swaddled in 10 pounds of bulky knitted scarf. My dream of bathing in yarn may actually become a realization.

And if that's not enough for you:
CABLES! I <3 cables.

And if that's still not enough:
A whole article on bulky yarn (guess what my fav type of yarn is...).

Complete with ads for super bulky yarn.
Doesn't this woman look so ecstatic to be wrapped in a bulky sweater? I know I would be!

Here's some uber skinny women in crazy bulky knitting dresses.
Practical? Not in the least but these...
Actually attainable. Not so into the yellow sweater (not a big fan of the bobble) but the scarf...Yum.

...cables! A sweater dress! Fab! And if there aren't enough cables on this dress how about a sweater totally covered in cables?
I really like the snowy whiteness of these too though I'm not sure "white" is my "color."

There's a fab jacket that I'm seriously thinking I need to make.
Or I could make this blanket/wrap.
It's knit with 5(!) strands of worsted held together on broom sticks (ok, on size 32s but close enough). By the way, where do you get 24" size 32 circulars?

I love looking through the patterns and seeing most of the pictures of the yarn look like this:
Did you notice that this bulky yarn is to be held doubled to make a lace scarf? Suddenly I love lace.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Yesterday I almost ran away. I seriously looked at airline tickets to the other side of the country. But when I saw that it's almost $800 to fly to Seattle I rethought my running away thing. I wasn't going to run away forever, just for a week. Enough time to recoup. Alas, it's not to be. Well, not this month any way.

Yesterday was one of those days where if you stop and sit still for even a minute you might end up bawling your eyes out. Two of my students decided that they were going to talk for the entire day. It didn't matter if I reprimanded them, punished them, or moved them 10 feet from each other, in a matter of seconds they were yakking away again. In general my students were all out of control. And then the fact that I had to stay after school for so long and go to these boring PTA things (sorry any PTA moms but you gotta see it from my side-I'm with your kid all day, I know what's going on) made it all the worse. I truly was surprised when I got home by 7:30 and my favorite TV show was just coming on.

This morning I was awoken by a call at 5:30. That's a.m. Before the sun is up. And not by someone I know, it was a restricted number. I don't know which is more kooky: 1. Someone accidentally dialed my number from an unlisted number (who dials numbers anymore? I thought they were all in address books...) or 2. I'm in an unlisted person's address book and they accidentally dialed me or 3. That there are people up making phone calls at 5:30 in the morning.

I was a little freaked out, a little annoyed, and a little worried today would suck as well.

Then I woke up and remembered today was Wednesday. Knit night. No private lessons to teach. Hoozah!

I thought it would be appropriate to try and make up for my lame blogging skills by putting a better post up today. Hopefully it's somewhere close to the acceptable range.

Here's a better picture of the top down raglan basking in the fading glow of an overcast sky.
There are some funky things about this raglan. For starters, the tops of the sleeves are too poufy for my liking. I should have decreased a few stitches right away. Also, the decreases for the sleeves in general took too long. I think the length turned out ok but in the future I think I'd do decreases every 3 rows and knit a few plain before I got to the ribbing. It was a good learning experience though.

And this is what I was able to accomplish with the Aubergine last night (and a little bit this morning before work):
I started the ribbing of the Torino Bulky Pullover. I'll should be able to get to the body tonight.

I'm hoping that after yesterday things will be calming down a little bit. I have to determine some good "mental health days" to take off before Spring Break though or I might get a little batty. I'm also hoping, in the near future, to gather a list of "wants" from friends and family and slowly begin chipping away at it. I know of at least 3 scarves, a hat, 2 sweaters, an afghan and a baby blanket. Some have more pressing deadlines than others (like the baby blanket, delivery dates are a pretty finite thing). In the meantime I'll try not to have a nervous break down. At least not in public.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Technology Night

Tonight was PTA night and Technology Night at the school. I had the pleasure of having to stay after school for 2 and half hours to hear a 15 minute PTA meeting and then walk around for 15 minutes until I could sneak out the back door.

Luckily I made it home in time for TMZ, my favorite celeb gossip show.

While I'm watching I'm weaving in ends for this:
The raglan sweater with the generic top down raglan pattern for Warm Woolies. There's a lot more ends to weave in than I'd like to admit. Once I'm finished with this I'm using this:
Cascade 109 in Sapphire and Aubergine
To cast on for a Torino Bulky Pullover.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thursdays are for Dyeing

The steam pot is flowering.
Today both of my private lesson students were super ill so they cancelled on me. I jumped on the rare moment of freedom to dye some yarn. This is the first time I've been able to dye since November I think. I did two new colorways. I think they might be a little too close in color for my preference but you never know what people will like.

I must say that I have missed dyeing. The odd thing I missed the most was the smell. There is a distinct aroma that wet, dyed wool has and it was good to have the fragrance wafting through the apartment again.

I can't wait to see how the yarns turn out and I will be sure to post pics here when they dry.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

An Open Letter and More

An open letter to my cat, Penelope:
Dear Penelope,

Please stop puking right by the front door. I know that you don't always like the food that I feed you but enough is enough. Also, I know that you puked up water this afternoon. You're just being difficult now. I know that you think doing this will make me more likely to buy your favorite foods but really it just makes me want to throw you out in the below freezing temperature. That is all.

Your Growingly More Disgruntled Mother
Penelope has taken to running around whenever I try and take her picture. She probably knows that the evidence these would contain would be condemning.
Ok, other stuff:

I had knit night last Friday at my house.

My friend BK choose Bella's Mittens as her second ever knitting project. She's ambitious, and doing great, I might add.
I helped her work our using DPNs for the first time (with splitty alpaca none the less).
Those pictures are only funny if you're read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

As with any good knit night we had some "inspiration."
Later that weekend (Saturday to be exact) we had snow flurries (pretty hard to see in this picture but it happened).
Because it was a long weekend I stayed up until 2:00 a.m. on Monday morning to finish my Burnished Tunic! I'm so excited about this and can't wait until it finishes drying so I can seam under the arms and wear it. The temperature has been hanging out in the 20s and low 30s (Fahrenheit, that's -6 to 0 Celsius) so it would be nice to wear something so warm.
I used Shepherd's Wool in Beaches doubled throughout on US size 11 needles from Boye NeedleMaster kit. I tried it on before I washed it and blocked it. It's super warm. I think I could go to Alaska in just this sweater and be ok playing out in the snow. Ok, maybe not that warm but definitely good for the weather we've been having around here lately.

Backing up just a little, on Saturday I went to a knit in at Kay's house (she owns an online yarn store in the area and invited me to knit night on Wednesday's and has taken me as a guest to the Atlanta Knitting Guild). The knit in was to help create centerpieces for Stitches South. I picked up a kit and have been knitting now and then on this:
It's destined to become a giant pink and white Calla Lilly. I'm excited that I'll be able to contribute to Stitches but knitting with 4 strands of yarn is killing my hands! Luckily that makes the knitting go super fast.

The Warm Woolies children's sweater continues to grow.

I'm off to lay some warm wool across my lap and knit!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Lets Do the Time Warp Again

I know I've been very bad about blogging lately so let me go back in time and try and catch up a little.

Last week was full of knitting goodness. At some point I received my shipment from WEBS of their closeout yarn I had ordered. Something of a late Christmas present to myself.
Cascade 109 in beautiful purple (or Aubergine as it is listed).
Smooshy blues (I'm too lazy to go look up the names but I think the teal color on the right is Summer Pool or something equally as dazzling).
More of the Summer Pool (or whatever it's called).
A nice burnt orange.
Some Cascade Bollicine Revolution in fun, punky colors.
Simple blue.
And a nice tan to compliment the blue.
I think there are 5 more balls of the Revolution coming, they were on back order.

In addition to yarn there was lots of knitting. If you remember about a month ago I got in touch with a woman who ran an online yarn store here in Duluth. She invited me out to several groups and I'm happy to report that I went to both the local knitting group and the larger, more official Atlanta Knitting Guild meeting last week. I will say that it is a little odd to be one of the youngest people in the room. I went through that when I first started teaching but many of the people I taught with were only a few years older than I was. Sure, we had people who had been teaching for 20+ years but there was a decidedly younger crowd. In the groups I went to last week I was definitely in the minority. Young knitters need to unite! We need to be going to guild meetings. We are the future of knit wear! :::Steps off soap box:::

So, yeah, there was knitting.

The Burnished Tunic got one sleeve.
And I worked a lot on this sweater for Warm Woolies.
This is my first top down raglan and I used a little sweater calculator that I found on Knitting Fool to help me come up with the pattern. It's a little vague and I can see how a knowledge of top down sweaters would be helpful. Or you can be like me and throw caution to the wind and simply learn as you go!

On a non-knitting note, I just finished this book tonight:
I cried. I'll admit it. It was sweet. A perfect ending to the series. Even if you don't like vampire stores there is so much to this that isn't about vampires.

Also on a non-knitting, totally random note, I had to show these pictures. Last week my class read the story of the Gingerbread Man. I gave the kids some cutouts and let them decorate them so they could re-enact the story. Most students came up with something like this:
But one of my students did these (remember these are 1st graders):
Batman and the Joker. Amazing. This was, not coincidentally, the same kid who had the dirty sock in this desk. I can hear the phone call now...

Monday, January 5, 2009


Problem: Deciding you don't need a pair of DPNs as the pattern suggests.
Non-Solution: Thinking you'll just wing it with a circ using magic loop method even though you're not a huge fan of magic loop.
Outcome: Frogging a sleeve twice. Much praying that somewhere is a craft store in the immediate area with a pair of size 11 DPNs. A sleeveless sweater.
Problem: Not being able to knit on the sweater that you are this close to being finished with (ok, maybe not this close but close enough to taste it).
Non-Solution: Eating chocolate and cursing. Also contemplating starting a second sweater.
Outcome: A ruined diet and neighbors who complain about the "Sailor upstairs." But you get to fondle yarn.
Cascade 109 in Aubergine

I suppose the night wasn't a total waste.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Not Resolutions...Goals

Resolutions sound so...resolute. Therefore I'm making goals for 2009. Goals have a little more flexibility to me. They can change if need be as long as the general theme stays the same.

1. Walk at least 3 times a week. I've already started this somewhat so hopefully this will be easy to maintain.
2. Cook at least twice a week. A little harder considering I don't like to cook for just myself but I'm going to try.
3. Knit more for charity. Easy since Warm Woolies is starting a new campaign.
4. Branch out socially with my knitting. Hopefully another easy thing to do thanks to being put in contact with a local knitter who has good connections in this area.
5. Be more social in general. This can be tough for me since I'm an introvert but I want to make it a point to hang out with my friends at least once a month.
6. Be more involved at my church. My life group now meets on Sunday nights so I'll be free to work in the preschool area.
7. Go on another mission trip. I want to go to Romania this summer and work in an infant hospital and orphanage.
8. Dye at least twice a month for my store.

I think this is a good start. Since these are goals I can add to these as needed. Now a quick recap from the last week or so...

First there was a trip to the Georgia Aquarium and took a backstage tour. My mom, my aunt, my cousin Brianna, my uncle, and I got to go through all the inner halls of the aquarium and then we went to the top of the tanks and got to see the whale sharks and belugas. There were about 100 pictures that I haven't really shifted through. Maybe tomorrow...?

On New Year's Eve I went to Buckhead with some friends to an Irish Pub. Last week I managed to convert my friend SB to knitting. Here she is in the back of the car on our way downtown. Serious commitment. Did I mention she finished this scarf (that she started that night) the next day? Yeah, she's hooked.
I made a cowl in one night. I rocked it at the pub.
Here's a full length picture of the cowl but you still can't see the cable pattern very well.
Yesterday I finished an Unoriginal hat that I had started at the end of last week.
I love the pattern, I love the yarn (Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm, bulky cormo), I love the color, I love the fit. Perfect "grown up" hat for wearing on the playground with the little ones.

I used my new Boye needlemaster set to make this hat.
I love these needles. I like the sharpness of the needles and the joins are nice and tight, no snagging (unlike some of my other needles :::sigh:::). Maybe I'll start a new sweater tomorrow with them.