Saturday, December 24, 2016

Great googly moogly...and a new direction.

Great googly moogly. 2011. That's the last time I posted anything here. Holy cow. Well, took over a lot of the original function, i.e. storing details about knitting projects. I'd like to move this over to more of a repository for creative writing.

 Back in junior high, I thought I wanted to be a writer, but by the end of high school, my interests had shifted to teaching. Looking back, I so wish I had taken more creative writing classes at Ball State. I did get my degree in teaching and taught for three years--almost five if you count the year subbing at North Newton and the 6 months subbing at Brownsburg, Plainfield, Avon, and Mooresville after moving to Hendricks County. If I ever went back to school, it would be to study creative writing. I have lacked confidence that I really had anything original to write about and didn't want everything I produced to be derivative, but when I consider so much of the writing that gets published, I see very little that is truly original. I think to some extent it all consists of basic stories and themes that are just recycled through different viewpoints. So maybe I should try my own.

 My junior year of high school, the English teacher did a unit on creative writing--poetry, short stories, descriptions, character development. At the end of the year, we were presented with a book of selections of our class's writings. This was preserved in the bulging scrapbook my mother compiled for me and presented at my graduation open house. I came across it several years ago and enjoyed the story I had contributed. I thought it made a good outline for the first chapter or so of a novel. I have considered expanding it since then, and I think I will place those attempts here. Maybe someday they will grow into something more. I had thought I would transcribe it here as is, but I see how thin on details it is. I will see how I can improve it, little by little.

I finished reading through the entire book of selections, and I have to say, we were pretty awesome. It's so interesting to look back and recognize how bright we all were. Sometimes I feel I am not nearly as smart as I used to be. Perhaps everyone feels that way as we gain the wisdom of age and look back on the cleverness of our youth.

Monday, June 13, 2011

iPod Touch Cozy

Call it a cozy, a sock, a case, a protective bag, whatever. I improvised this for my husband a couple years ago when he got his Touch, but managed to not write it down anywhere. For my birthday I got a Touch, and of course I need a cozy, too! So here is the recreated pattern.

Materials: Bernat Felting (Patons SWS) less than a skein; probably any feltable wool would work
Needles: US 10 (6.0 mm) long circular for magic loop OR 2 circulars OR dpns
Sizes: ; two sizes
Gauge: 4sts per inch; size of pouch AFTER felting and before adding closure 2.375 in. x 4.5 in. (5 in. x 3.5 inches)

Using Judy's Magic Cast On, cast on 20 (36) stitches (10(18) on each needle). Begin knitting in the round by your preferred method. Work in stockinette until pouch measures 5 1/2 to 6 inches. Bind off. You're ready to hand-felt the pouch now before working the top/closure. (Pouch to this point used 24g/33 yds. of yarn.)

I recommend hand-felting: it really doesn't take that long and gives you the most control over the finished size. Machine-felt this only if you're really going to babysit that machine and check your cozy for size every couple minutes! Fill one sink or large bowl with HOT water and a little dish soap. Fill another with COLD water. Neither of these need to be very deep, just enough to submerge the item. I make sure my HOT water is very hot by using the hottest water that will come out of the tap and then adding some boiling water to it. I definitely advise wearing thick rubber gloves like you would wear for washing dishes! Take your cozy and plunge it into the hot soapy water and rub it vigorously between your gloved hands for a while, 30 seconds to a minute at the most for this first plunge.
Once you've agitated that thing for a while, squeeze the extra water out and then plunge it into the cold water. You can agitate it if you like; I'm not sure if the cold water agitation matters. The shocking is what's important.
Already starting to look a bit fuzzed. On to more agitation in hot--rub, rub, rub vigorously--squeeze and then plunge in the cold.
DSCN1873.JPG Lather, rinse, repeat and you'll quickly start to see the individual stitches disappear. You need to start keeping an eye on size at this point.
DSCN1875.JPG Stitch definition is pretty much gone and I think it's about the right length. Roll the item up in a towel and squeeze so you can be relatively sure it's just damp when you get it near your iPod/Phone; I hear they don't like water!
Length looks just about perfect at this point! We'll be adding some length in the finishing part, but for now we need to let the pouch dry completely. This one might be a little wider than I'd like, but it will allow room for the earbuds to be snug in there too. If you don't want as much room width-wise, cast on 34 or 32 stitches. If you want more room at the top, knit till it's 6 inches or longer. I quit when I did because I was running out of yarn and in fact finished the top with another colorway of SWS.

Once the cozy is dry, pick up an even number of stitches around the top. This can be a little difficult, but with a sharp dpn and maybe the help of a crochet hook, you can do it without too much trouble. Knit 5 or 6 rows, depending on how much room you want at the top. On the next row (k1, k2tog) all the way around. Knit the next round. You now have the eyelets for the drawstring. If you were lucky in the picking up round, you ended up with an even number of eyelets, but I've only managed this 1 out of 3 tries; two of my cozies have an extra hole. Bind off.

Cast on 3 stitches. Work an i-cord to your desired length. My blue/green one is about 12 inches. Weave in ends and thread the cord through the eyelets. Enjoy your iPod/phone cozy!

And for the amusement of those who know me well and know of my limited proficiency in the arena of Maths, I present my scratch paper:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Time for something new

It's been ages since I posted anything to this blog. Ravelry does so much of what I originally did here. It tracks everything about my knitting projects, not to mention the groups inspire half of what I'm doing anyway. I'm particularly devoted to the Harry Potter Knit-Crochet House Cup group. Basically, the founders of the group put together a way to bring knitting smack into Hogwarts. All the members playing in a particular "term" are sorted into the four houses. Each term is three months long. I've already played two terms, so this term I am a third-year Gryffindor. There are six "classes" for which we may submit items knitted, crocheted, or spun during the month. This month, for instance, I submitted homework in Transfiguration (transfigure your ravelry queue from a disorganized mess to an organized project planning resource), Divination (figure out which type of palm you have and make something to keep yours warm), Potions (focusing on aconite, craft something either dangerous or that would delight Dumbledore), Arithmancy (an item illustrating the Droste effect), Charms (the rictusempra charm--craft something to tickle someone or that tickles the professor's funny bone), and Defense Against the Dark Arts (make something that represents a resolution you know you can keep). Each assignment earns 15 points for Gryffindor house. I'm also attempting two OWLs this term: Arithmancy, multiples option in which I propose to finish 8 individual socks in three months; and Muggle Studies in which I attempt to knit a sweater to help me blend in with the Muggles. Each completed OWL is worth 150 points for the house. There's also Quidditch going on, but I haven't played except in my first term. This whole idea is fabulous, and I so much enjoy taking part. I know it's somewhat silly, but as a fan of Harry Potter, I can't help but love it.

In life in general, my son with autism continues to perform well academically and struggle somewhat behaviorally and socially. He's such a smart little stinker. His latest obsession is with Star Wars and Legos and the combination, Lego Star Wars. When he's not wanting to play it on the Wii, he's making ships and setting up elaborate scenes with his Legos. It's interesting to us that his favorite character of the entire saga is Anakin. Because he watched the movies from Episode 1 through Episode 6, he gets that the whole thing is about Anakin, not Luke and Leia as it always seemed to those of us who started with Episode 4. The Clone Wars show on the Cartoon Network helps with that, too, of course, since Anakin and his padawan are the heroes of that show.

Now that the kids are home from school for the day, I really must end this post and get on with the homework battle. I'll post some pictures of my HPKCHC homework when I get a chance.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Oh dear Lord.

It's been almost 5 months...ahem...scratch that...more than 9 months since my last post. (I've started this post many times.) A lot has happened both knitting-wise and otherwise. My Daddy passed away. Since he'd retired, he played Santa Claus for the local hospital where he volunteered, for the Salvation Army, and for various friends around town. He died on Dec. 6th, the Feast of St. Nicholas Day. I don't think I will ever be able to express how much I still miss him and always will. If I write very much more on the subject, I'm liable to dissolve into a nasty, snotty mess so that will have to be enough said on that subject. Obviously, the holidays were less than jolly, though much bad behavior was excused with "Daddy would have wanted me to do that." He was quite a joker. I have been doing relatively well, but then my birthday came and Father's day, and I found myself in another very sad place thinking about him A LOT again. I know it will hurt less eventually, or that is what I tell myself anyway. The lit up crystal thing was a gift from our playgroup. He had played Santa Claus for the every one of the playgroup's Christmas parties.

Moving on. Let's see what else I wrote back in January or February when I started this post.

Knitting-wise I've been VERY busy since September, but some of the things posted in September haven't really changed all that much. That pillow cover is still in about the same spot. The frou frou cardigan is only about 1/3 of the way through the sleeves which isn't much farther at all. The Mystery Stole, aka Swan Lake stole, was completely abandoned when I decided I needed the needle it was on and discovered that about 2 inches worth of stitches had been dropped mysteriously while it was languishing in its project bag. Since the repair of such is likely to require complete absence of children in the house, lots of time, and possibly much cursing, it is completely in time-out for now. EDIT*** Not anymore! I finished that sucker. I'll put pictures of it in the next post. It's up in the closet and I don't want to drag it out right now.***
The baby socks and the slipped-stitch rib socks were finished. I have pictures of the baby socks, but not the slipped-stitch rib socks. They were low ankle socks as requested by my MIL. They were meant to be a birthday gift, but, as they weren't finished until after New Year's and her birthday was Dec. 4, they were quite belated. ***Here ends the text I started originally. Jeez, I never even described what's in these pictures! There are Rose's purple felted clogs on the top left, Mom's socks on the top right. Directly to the left is Jess's felted purse (a Sophie bag), and to the right are Tommy's not-so-horcrux socks. He wanted ankle socks so I had to modify that pattern. Now let's see if I can get some more Christmas present pix in here cuz there were lots more!

Ok, these are Shadow Box socks from Knit Socks! They are just plain old Wool-ease in heathered rose or something like that. Below the Shadow Boxes is the One Row Scarf in some Debbie Mumm yarn from Joann's. I don't remember the name of the yarn or the name of the colourway. It was pretty cool. Next we have some dishcloths for my stepMIL. One is the petal dishcloth and the other is a crocheted star dishcloth also from the Dishcloth Boutique.

I am going to quit on this post for now. I can't remember what else I've worked on since Christmas--other than finishing that Mystery Stole and countless socks--so I will post again soon. I promise! Hey, I have spinning stuff to post too (yes, I've been assimilated) so I really will post again soon. ;-)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Works in progress and things I forgot

There are some things in progress and a few items that slipped my mind when I was posting yesterday.

Let's start with the Finished Objects. First up we have a Gryffindor bookscarf. I joined the Harry-thon Knitalong group on As we reread the novels from 1 through 7, we have projects that go along. There are three options for each year, but I chose to go with a Hogwarts: A History project which just required something in house colors, something about Hogwarts, or even school supplies. I didn't want to take on a big project so I was delighted to find the pattern for this bookmark.It is knit in a tube on size 0s using DMC Pearl Cotton 5. It was the first thing I'd ever knit on size 0 needles so it could count as a First-years Boat Ride (something you've never done before) project too. I haven't quite decided on a project for year 2.

Next we have my slight dishcloth binge. This is the Petal dishcloth from dishcloth boutique. I had this yarn with which I'd started a garterlac dishcloth, but I just didn't enjoy it. I don't think the yarn is particularly pretty or anything. So I just wanted to use it up and be done with it. Petal is actually the one that used up the very last. I had to use some extra orange cotton to finish it off.
This was the first cloth I started to try to use this up and get it out of the stash. I've made 3 or 4 of these now. It's the Four-corners dishcloth from Abigail at 1870 Pearl. The pattern is in her sidebar.This is a granny's favorite dishcloth that has been on the needles for a long time. I started it to help a friend learn to knit. I finally started decreasing it so I can get it off the needles. I'm tired of carrying it around in a half-finished state. Here ends the dishcloth binge. For now.This is the current state of my Mystery Stole which all mystery-stole-knitters now know as the Swan Lake stole. I've been stuck a few rows from the end of clue 3 for far too long. It's just a pain because I really can't work on it with the kids around. There's too much chance of them bumping me and knocking stitches off the needles, not to mention trying to referee their spats while trying to keep my place on the chart. I've had to do surgery on it a couple times already when a stitch got dropped a few rows. It was very nerve-wracking and I don't want to have to do that again!I'd like to take a break here for a short rant about blogger. They REALLY need an "undo" button, much like the one in Excel, where if you accidentally delete something, you hit "undo" and it's back. While trying to get rid of what appeared to be a space, I deleted the granny's favorite photo and had to re-upload it. What a PITA! The ability to drag and drop the photos in the compose view is definitely an improvement (or a neat discovery if that's something you've always been able to do), but an "undo" button would be great too.

This WIP will be a pillow cover. It's from Speed Knitting. I've been looking for something to do with this yarn for years now. It didn't want to be a Big Sack Sweater. It didn't want to be a Very Cropped Top Hoodie. So far it's doing all right as the pillow cover. We'll see if it behaves and actually gets completed. I have something like 8 skeins of this yarn so maybe I can get two pillow covers out of it. The pattern is pretty mindless since you knit across on the right side then k1, p1 across on the wrong side. My hands apparently don't like the bulky yarn though; I'm having a little bit of a tendonitis flare-up and my hands just feel tired when I'm working with it. The yarn is Wool-ease chunky. I've lost the label so I don't know the colorway.
This is my Froufrou cardigan for MEEEEE!!! I made one as a Christmas gift last year and have wanted to make myself one ever since. The yarn is Wool-ease worsted in Forest Heather which is actually a much darker green. I can not get the color to photograph true. Anyway, it's my crochet project for when I need a break from all the knitting.

Other things going on in my world right now: 1. Ds is doing great in kindergarten. I was so anxious for him and it turns out he's doing fine!
2. My dad's doing ok. Still on chemotherapy and his appetite is therefore suffering. It's hard to get him to talk much lately so I usually try to talk to my mom sometime after I talk to him to find out what's REALLY going on. Turns out he fell six times last week. SIX! He's very stubborn and I know it's humbling to have to use the walker, but if he doesn't use it, he falls! He has to learn everything the hard way. Now he's using the walker more and falling less.
3. My dd started preschool and loves it. She has two little girls she hangs out with the whole time. Having her in preschool two mornings a week and ds in kindergarten every morning has given me a few precious hours to myself. Ah!
4. The addition is finally coming along! After being completely stalled for two whole months, we had to fire the first contractor and go with a more reliable one. Unfortunately, besides being difficult to contact, the first contractor also seems to have cut some corners so some work has had to be redone. *sigh* We're definitely learning some life lessons on this project. Currently, the exterior is almost completely done and the interior is getting close. Drywall has to be finished, repairs to the existing house drywall need to be done, trimwork and doors hung, electrical finish work (i.e. put the fixtures and switches in), then the carpet will be the very last thing and it will be livable! Woo hoo!
5. I am eagerly awaiting my package from my Footballalong group swap! This is my first ever swap, and I hope it is a good experience. I enjoyed shopping for my spoilee. I hope she likes what I sent her! I had an email from my spoiler the other day saying she hadn't made it to the post office by the deadline, but she'd be sending it out that day. I'm stalking the mailbox! I'm in a couple of fantasy leagues related to this group too. I think I'm 1-1 in both of them.
Keeping my housework and laundry under control is about all else that's going on around here. Wow. Two updates in two days. Don't get used to it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Finally a real update!

This will be a photo heavy post. I know I said I'd update Monday and Wednesday mornings because of the lack of children those mornings, but I'm finally getting around to it now. I actually updated Ravelry yesterday too so it helps that I already have all my photos ready to go.

It has been a knitting-busy summer; I've just had lots of other stuff going on too. I didn't join the Summer of Socks, but I have done a lot of sock knitting. Below we have the Feather and Fan Socks from Socks, Socks, Socks. I mentioned these back in May and June. I didn't finish them till the end of July.
Speaking of July, at the county fair my Monkey Socks won Champion in the Adult knitted clothing category. The yarn is Mama E's C*eye*ber Fiber Softee Sock in the Mean Girl colorway. I absolutely loved this yarn. I can't decide what to do with the leftovers.Because of the way you move pictures around in this, things are in kind of random order. These are the most recently finished socks. They are Priscilla's Dream from Favorite Socks. The yarn is Knitpicks Parade.
These are Ruffled Ribs baby socks from the Better -than-Booties Baby Socks pattern from Interweave Knits. One down, one barely started, but they go fast. They're tiny.
In progress we have the slipped stitch rib socks done toe-up. This is one of the six-stitch patterns from Sensational Knitted Socks. If they turn out ok they will be a birthday or Christmas gift for my mother-in-law; if they don't turn out as well as I hope, they'll be mine.These are the Waving Lace Socks, also from Favorite Socks. The yarn is Schaefer Anne. I don't know the name of the colorway. My dear sweet husband bought this yarn for me on his recent trip to Nashville. Since I didn't get to go, I told him he had to bring me back yarn. I told him, "Just walk in and tell them you need handpainted sock yarn. They'll help you out." When he picked this out, it was still in the skein. He's disappointed with how it's knitting up; it was REALLY pretty in the skein, but he doesn't think it's as pretty with the colors all jumbled up. I still think it's pretty and it's certainly heaven to work with. I'll be buying me some more Schaefer Anne!

Getting back to the county fair, these entries also did well. My Sherwood sweater made for my ds last fall. I might pick up the edges of the arms and knit some more length onto them so he can wear it this winter too. It won Reserve Champion in the children's knitted clothing.
My Sophie Bag I made last fall won Champion in the felted/fulled category.

There has been some stash en- hance- ment, but I swear it wasn't my fault! The Tofutsies on the right was a birthday present. I started a pair of socks with it, but didn't care for how it was pooling so I'm waiting for it to tell me what it wants to be. I'm considering another pair of Monkey socks because I really enjoyed that pattern.

The rest of these yarns came home from the Knit Out and Crochet 2007 held at the Metropolis Mall in Plainfield. The Tuscany Grande was in a scarf kit door prize along with size 17 needles. The Fleece Artist Sea Wool was actually someone else's door prize. I was teaching this extremely nice older lady to knit--actually "reminding" would be a better term; she had knitted before--and she gave me her sock kit door prize as a thank you for teaching her. I thought that was extremely nice of her and it was completely unexpected. I've heard a lot of good things about Fleece Artist, but this is the first time I've even seen it. I am trying to resist winding it into a ball because then I'd just want to cast it on and I have too many projects going right now. (I'll address WIPs in the next update.) I don't know the name of the colorway, but I'll probably try the pattern that was on the label. There were also some extremely bendy sock needles in the kit, but I don't like dpns so I may never use them. I can not be blamed for the Caron Fling on the right. It was in the registration package. It will probably make a perfectly nice scarf for someone for Christmas.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Screw it.

You know what? It's been a long time since I updated, but I don't care. Screw it. I don't have much time to spend on this today either. I'm slating Monday and Wednesday mornings for official updating with pics and everything (both kids will be in school those mornings...BWAHAHAHA!). Really, I've had a whole lot going on this summer so blogging just hasn't been a priority.

In catching up with the blogs I read on google reader (love that!), a couple of them had lists of either things for which they were thankful or silly little things that make them happy. Here's my list of 5 things for which to be grateful today:

1. I'm healthy. No major aches and pains to complain about. No diseases as of yet. Woo hoo!

2. My kids are healthy. A little quirky perhaps, but on the whole very healthy little boogers. If only they'd eat veggies. *sigh*

3. I am married to one of the best men ever. Really, I don't think I tell him nearly enough how much I appreciate him. He's truly one of the best people I've ever known.

4. Knitting/crocheting. It's rhythm relaxes me and makes everything seem right. And if it's not working I can always frog the project and knit/crochet it again or turn it into something totally different! Case in point, the Big Sack Sweater which was frogged to become the Very Cropped Top Hoodie which has now been frogged to become a pillow cover without a fancy name. (Maybe I'll provide links if I feel like editing this post tomorrow. Don't count on it.)

5. Knitting podcasts. Laundry is folded much more quickly and painlessly if I can zone out to a podcast while I'm folding.

What 5 things are you thankful for today?