Monday, September 30, 2013

It Used To Be So Easy

It used to be so easy keeping up with a Blog. That was before I stumbled into a full time job along with the small business bookkeeping & tax returns I do to support myself, before the job. And then try to take on a third year University course after 10 years of not, well, something has to give. Lucky for me, the job will probably end a month sooner than last year due to the awful weather we've been having. Money will be tighter sooner but maybe I'll have time to do all the stuff that's left over from last year!!!  
And the course. I have found to my surprise that it ain't as easy as it used to be - don't tell me Estrogen controlls brain function tooooo??? - but maybe that's just because I haven't done one in eons. E-Courses take a lot more time on the computer & a lot more reading.

This all cuts into my knitting time. And listening time. I bought the latest Sue Grafton audio book - W is for Wasted - and I'm still trying to find the time to listen to part 2!  I also bought the latest Kathy Reichs book too - both are favorite authors which makes the data entry go faster when I'm chained to my office at home. With all the rain out there these days, sometimes I wish I were still chained to it. Saturday, the rain was coming down sideways in huge gusts at the school. Luckily, there was no afternoon class or it would've been cancelled due to the high winds. The office shack is on a platform 7 steps in the air - flood zone thing - & rocked with every huge gust. I got lucky myself around 5 and managed to get out, get the fence closed & locked & get in my car in a calm spot before the next battering started!! It became a drive-thru chicken evening because I was NOT going to get out of my dry car & run through the rain at Safeway .  .  .

All this explanation does not mean I haven't done anything. I did finish that last pair of socks & start a new pair. Boy, I can tell I'm not working with Kroy anymore. I knit 3 pairs in a row in Kroy on my 2.5mm bamboo skewers which made a pretty skookum pair of socks. Thick & comfy. This Phildar yarn I'm using now is being knitted on 2.25mm circs & I feel like I should go down to a 2.0mm. Very thin yarn but feels okay when knit. It should fluff a little when wet the first time. Just not Kroy, that's for sure.

I had to dig out my old sweater since it's become quite chilly in the evenings - time to get that furnace filter I guess, cause we'll be turning on the heat soon!! But, as I said, I had to dig out the old sweater & I'm thinking I'll be needing one everywhere soon. What I really need is a hoodie for outside & a big simple wrap inside. I've really been eyeballing that loose, open WIDE Jacket - it's actually billed as a summer jacket - but I think it would do nicely as a comfy wrappy house sweater. It's actually a big rectangle that goes around the body with the ends open down the front with a big wrap collar that extends down the front. The sleeve is just a cuff that falls around the elbow. I see no reason why the cuffs couldn't be extended a little. I think it would look great in handspun & shouldn't take much time to knit. I may die of boredom knitting a huge rectangle of popcorn stitch but I think it will be big & loose & snuggly enough for curling up on the couch this winter .  .  .  .

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Where Did the Last Two Weeks Go?

I don't know where the time goes anymore although I suspect it slips away like a sneak thief when we aren't looking. Napping takes up time. So does commuting. And reading text books when you should be knitting takes up a lot of time especially when you can't remember what the hell you read the day before & have to do it again.

I am plodding through my course. Plodding being the operative word. The Tutor finally sent me an email to ask if I was still IN the course. I had to confess that I spent three weeks checking the mail for the portion I thought was missing. I opted for the On-Line edition of this course figuring I'd still get a work book or something to tell me WHAT to study & in what order. I'm a DumbAss Newby apparently. I eventually found the workbook on-line in something called 'Blackboard' which is the new University standard teaching method for all e-courses. I'm soooooo glad I opted for the physical textbook because I need something to scribble in!!! Anyhooo - Blackboard posts assignments, exams, quizzes, chats, other student's comments & monitors the TIME you spend on-line! Ouch. So, I'm plodding along as I said, checking into the 'classroom' & doing my best. And even beginning to like this way of doing things, I just have to get used to it!!  I've done all kinds of Open University courses over the years but it's been lonely because other than the Tutor, you never talk to anyone in the actual course. This 'blackboard' has real potential. Too bad I'm doing a 399 level course with on-going registration. Seems we get a new student every two or three months .  .  .

I'm also plodding along with my socks. I go to work & come home debating nap or dinner. Nap often wins. By the time I eat, it's bed time again. But, I've turned both heels on the latest Kroy socks - the one with Pink in them - I'm sure I was a Princess in one of my previous lives because I love anything Pink, Purple or Red. Quit laughing. I also love silver - not gold so much although I love the rusticness of small gold nugget rings, cuffs & earrings but silver with pink or turquoise stones really turns me on!! Stop dreaming Sharon!! I'd love a matching set of silver filigree cuffs .  .  .  . 

This time of year forces me to knit.And spin. Next month is Touque Month so this month, I have to finish a sweater for me. I have one half finished hanging on the Office door on a hanger. I hung it there to remind myself it must be finished. I love it. It's light & warm & comfy. And handspun by me. But,fickle broad that I am, I have a new love or two. I found the WIDE JACKET by Bergere of France - a lovely side to side simple stitch on large needles. It calls for a rustic yarn in thick & thin. Just a simple rectangle with a shawl collar picked up & knit after. It looks like they used a popcorn or blackberry stitch - the purl 3 in one stitch on WS & knit 3 together on RS - so dear to the hearts of Aran Sweater knitters. There's no actual sleeve, just a cuff, but the sides are so wide that the cuff falls just about the elbow. I can't see why you couldn't extend the opening just a tad before the cuff if necessary. I figure it's just a bit of knitted fluff to get through the late Summer/early Fall evenings or to cuddle into over your pjs in the mornings. Probably takes a few evenings to finish.
And then there's AGATA at Oh my. Agata caught my eye & I was done. It takes yarn with long runs of color - the only one I can think of is that NORO which is kind of scratchy. But, isn't it gorgeous??? It just screams for handspun. I have a lot of stuff spun up with purple & even some magenta in it .  .  .  a skein is a long run of color, don't you think??

Sunday, September 01, 2013

And the Kids are back to School, yeah!

Not much that's Fall like out there today or yesterday! The Sun is out & Summer's made a fine return. I love this time of year when it's still warm & lovely during the day but crisp & cool in the evening - wish we could get a couple of months of this weather before the rain sets in. All the kids are safely behind walls & you can finally shop or just sit at Starbucks with a tea & read in peace & quiet. I love September.

Meanwhile, back at Home - the doctor thinks I may have walking pneumonia. No wonder I'm so tired! 'Course, that explains the coughing fits - the last two bought up toenails!! I swear! And the constant fatigue. Seems I have Silent Reflux, big time. And filling my lungs with stomach contents at night when I sleep. So I'm back on another little pill with fewer side effects than Nexium. It also costs less than half!! After a couple of days on the pill, I felt so much better I couldn't believe it. And that kind of confirmed the diagnosis. In fact, I feel so much better that I have to pace myself so that I don't overdo & 'Hit the Wall' so to speak. A couple of times, I've just broken out in a sweat & had to STOP. NOW. And go to bed for a nap. But things are getting better. Being sick all the time really depressed me but now that I know what it is & what I have to do, my head is back to normal as well.

Now that Normal is back, I've been producing socks like mad. Winter is not too far off really, so I've been replacing all the thin socks in my basket with nice thick Kroy socks. Here's two of the three pairs I've completed in the last month & the new pair that are a little farther along than this picture shows but not quite finished. I wanted to finish as many as possible this summer because  I've even got a couple of sweaters on the go that I intend to finish this year too.