May 31, 2011

Faulty Memory

The tan Burger King vest?

It's grey.  I'm not sure if I should blame Joanie, or if this is my faulty memory, but there it is.

You can see that this one was well loved.  Grey, and well loved. 

I showed Mike the tan replacement vest I'm working on. . .he loves it.  It's not grey, but hopefully it will be loved just as much.  Ironic that it's called Dr. G's MEMORY vest. . .and I couldn't even remember the color he wanted!  The back is done, and I'm almost up to the armpits on the front.  My Father's Day deadline might be reachable.

That is, if I can hold off on casting on for my June KAL with Matlie. . .Juliet is calling, but I need to finish two things before I let myself cast on.  If only I had another long weekend, I know I could find two small things to finish and then I could cast on guilt free!

If you live nearby, and are interested in an act of service, a friend is in need.  Having been cancer free for just under three years, it has appeared again.  Meal delivery is all she's asked for at this time.  If you'd like to commit a Random Act of Kindness, please sign up here. Think of it as paying it forward. . .that Karma thing can kick you in the ass.

May 26, 2011

I'm Besotted

It's true love.  Meet Dr. G.

May 25, 2011

A F.O.

Do you know what this pile of yarn means?

Yup. Ends woven in, washed, and dried, and even on my body today!

A new sweater.

Pattern: Zoes Tee

Yarn: AllHemp

While I'm not entirely unhappy with it, I sure wish I would have knit a gauge swatch. . .that would have eliminated the miles of ease that it has. You'd think I'd do this for EVERY project I make, but no. Sometimes I think I know better than the universe.

Also, did you notice how the cable leans a little to my left side? I'm not really sure what happened there. My guess is that maybe the yarn had a little too much energy in it. If a yarn is not evenly plied, it can pull a little to one direction or another. Usually you'll see this in handspun yarn, but occasionally it happens in commercial yarn too. Often, if you notice it earlier than I did (I didn't see it until it was totally off the needles) you can rip back and pull from the other side of the hank or ball of yarn. Sometimes the way you carry your yarn adds a little extra twist to it as you knit, so you could try carrying the yarn in the opposite hand. My project is done, and except for a few close friends and my gentle readers, I don't think anyone is going to comment on how my cable and lace lists a little to the left. What I may do is try to "set" the sweater with a blast of steam from my steamer. I'm sure it won't be perfect, but it will likely improve the appearance somewhat.

My general rule is to finish two projects before starting a new one. I remembered that I finished this Fear of Commitment Cowl last week, and technically, I ripped out a mitten I began this winter changing it from a U.F.O into stash. That counts as three, right? I can cast on the Dr. G's vest tonight, right? Can I? Can I?

I'll keep you posted. I still have some baby sweaters to finish. . .not to mention the vests.

May 24, 2011

Dr. G's Memory Vest

Last night at my knitting class Fritzie and I were talking about knitting a vest.  My Father in law asked for a replacement to his ancient Burger King Manager's vest.  I'm not really sure how to compete with a tan, plaid, acrylic vest that is well worn, and was free to him.  It's not exactly this bad. . .but you can imagine, can't you?  Keep in mind, he's 88.  I cannot safely say that he'll be hand washing his new, hand knit vest.

I think I've found the yarn I'll use.  It's a wool/acrylic blend.  Tan with flecks of the perfect Burger King red and yellow with a little blue thrown in for good measure.  As I mentioned yesterday, I have projects a plenty to finish up.  And yet, he's asked about it.  More than once.  Honestly, my typical holiday knitting strategy is to plan, knit a bunch of things, avoid what I really need to knit, and then stress out when Thanksgiving hits.  For Mike, I think I'm going to need a new strategy.  I need to start now.  He's interested in a new vest.  He wants me to knit one for him.  I love that.  When someone not only admires your work, but asks you to make something for them, and then inquires about it. . .it's time to follow through.  I need to cast on, and allow him to watch the process.  I think that will be part of the present for him too. . .to be able to see the yarn, and then watch his vest grow in front of his eyes.

So, as Fritzie and I talked last night, she mentioned Dr. G's Memory Vest.  I cannot tell you how much I have loved Kirsten Kapur's other patterns.  I cannot express how much I enjoy cables.  I'm hoping this is going to be as quick of a knit as other's have mentioned on Ravelry.  I'm also hoping I have enough yarn to make it work.

The pattern, if you're interested is sold for a great cause.  Kristen's dad had Alzheimer's, and she asks that you donate directly to the  Fisher Center for Alzheimer's Research.  You can find the details on her blog at the above link.  I made my donation today, and may find myself casting on before I finish all of my other projects.  I'm just that excited about it.

May 23, 2011

End of the World? Or just end of the school year?

As I headed out of town for a workshop on Saturday, several friends texted me to find out what my plans were for The Rapture.  Did I have dog care arranged for Toshi?  Did I leave a will?  Where would I be?  I was somewhat speechless as I had no idea the world would be ending so abruptly.  I guess I really do live in a cave.

Working at a high school, I tend to think of things in terms of our calendar.  Right now, we've begun senior finals, and as much as we love our senior class, most teachers are looking for the relative peace that will come when they leave at the end of this week.  We'll have a couple of weeks with the remaining students and then final exams.  This time of year seems to really speed up for me.  I have to have a sort of exit interview with all of my graduating seniors, prepare their exam, continue teaching and holding IEPs for the students who remain, and it seems like I'm constantly submitting grades and paperwork to ensure that no one graduates or leaves our building with a textbook that belongs to us.

I love this time of year with my students.  As a caseload teacher, I have the opportunity to develop more intimate relationships with a handful of students and watch them grow over the four years that they're here at our school.  I look fondly back and pictures of scrawny fourteen year-old boys and shy girls that walk in as freshmen, and compare them to the young adults that will walk across the stage at graduation next week.  As much as anyone who isn't their parent can be, I swell with pride at their accomplishments.  For some, it has been a hard road to struggle through high school with a learning disability, for others it's been socially difficult as they try to understand how to navigate friendships with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  I can say that they've all grown in ways that I would never have imagined four years ago.  I'm so proud to be able to say I've been a witness to their process.  I hope that I've helped them achieve their goals, and taught them skills to move independently through the world on their own.  Sometimes I think we, as teachers, lose sight of these amazing experiences that we have with our students as we slog through the final push of the semester.  These are the times that make me proud to be an educator, and the things I need to remember when half of my class shows up without their homework on a dreary day in March.

In the midst of all of this busy-ness I was totally unaware that I should be preparing for the ever-after.  I've been cleaning my classroom and working through some designs and finishing some UFOs. . .Toshi would have been scrounging for food on her own should the predictions have come true!

Tonight is the last class for my May group.  We've enjoyed an influx of students this month that have all brought interesting projects, and have inspired me to finish up some projects that require a little TLC so I can begin some new ones!  I have less than 100 yards of hemp to knit up, a few ends to weave in, and I'll have a new summer t-shirt that I started way back in August intending for it to be a fall wardrobe addition.  Two vests just need some button bands and they'll be done too, those I thought would be good spring additions, but now that we've had a few warm days they'll have to wait until the fall to be worn.  I have two socks, but sadly, they're not a pair. 

My goal is to spend the better part of this week cleaning up loose ends in the knitting world so I can begin a KAL with my friend Matlie.  We've done well recently when we decide to knit the same pattern, and encourage each other along the way.  A friend at our guild meeting was wearing a beautiful sweater that was on both of our to-do lists, and we we too jealous to not knit one for ourselves.  It's knit in a bulky yarn, and should work up quickly--but we're both trying to decide if we should use a cotton yarn for more likelihood to wear it in summer air-conditioning, or if we should use a wool (I've got Cascade 128 superwash in my stash) and plan ahead for the late fall.  (We'll be knitting Juliet, just in case you'd like to join us!)

So, I guess my post is just to let you know that I'm still here.  Still knitting.  Still blogging.  Hope to hear from you soon, and see what you're working on!