Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Again with the Snow

I went to a ski resort last weekend with seven other women, all teachers or school employees and we had a total blast! Some skied, some of us went to knitting shops, all of us laughed and talked and ate, and on Sunday, we all went tubing. So. Much. Fun. Here are a few photos:

The weather was cold and gorgeous and a wonderful opportunity to wear as many hand knits as possible!

This one was taken outside of The Needle Lady knitting shop and the Mudhouse coffee shop on the Charlottesville Mall; serious knitting discussion going on here.

But the amazing news is that it is snowing again!

And you see that red zone on the map? That's where I live, which means we are expected to get a foot of snow, which is practically unheard of around here. Today was our rescheduled teacher workday, and our new semester, which is already late getting started, will probably be postponed until Monday! Which means I'll be getting a lot of knitting, napping, and reading done. Thankfully I stopped by my local video store and rented the second season of Homeland. And yes, that means I don't have Netflix. I like to do things the old fashioned way.

Hope you are warm and toasty and safe, no matter where you are!


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Snow and Sand

Our district gave us another snow day due to the icy roads. The temperature never went above 25 degrees yesterday, so even though much of the snow melted in the sunshine, the back roads are still unsafe for the school buses. I took advantage of the sun and absence of wind to walk down to the beach.

The front of the yard has lots of cover for the birds; even though you can't see them in this photo, there were a lot of them flitting about.

Snow and sand is an interesting color combo.


The water looked the same though.


Gracie and I enjoyed some bonding time.

And Melissa sent me this photo of her wearing a hat and scarf I knit for her, and the sweater and mittens her sister knit for her. She looks pretty toasty, doesn't she?

Keep warm!


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Day, Slow Day

Living where I do, any snow at all calls for a snow day, and today we got one!

It may not look like much to most people, but our area has so little snow experience that our school buses are not prepared to drive on the uncleared roads and therefore our students aren't safe, so as silly as it may seem, it really makes sense.

Silly or not, we teachers always love a snow day, even if it plays havoc with our exam schedule. So I slept late, puttered around, and took a morning nap. I think I may still have a bit of this upper respiratory virus hanging on, so even though I feel like I've wasted part of a beautiful day, it is what it is.

Now for some knitting and comfort food eating. Oh, and kitty snuggling. Gracie is happy to oblige.


Friday, January 17, 2014

January Blahs

Not surprisingly, since I work with eighty students a day, I came down with the nasty virus that includes a very sore throat, voice loss, aches and pains, and a killer headache. I worked with the sore throat and missing voice, much to my students' combined glee and horror, since I sounded like a dude, but the headache slayed me and I came home early yesterday and spent about twenty hours in bed. Hopefully the three day weekend will see me through the end of this and I can get through exams next week without any issues.

Not even knitting much with this headache, just a row or two on the Hitchhiker. Gracie kept it warm for me last night.

She is such a funny cat; I've had her for an entire year now and she has really come out of her shell.

She looks like a little Buddha in this pose; she is never very far from me now. Stephanie said that she reminds her of the New York Public Library lions, as she is usually perched on the arm of the sofa, almost as if she is protecting me. So very sweet.

We had a bit of the East Coast fog this week, shrouding my school one morning last week. We may get a dusting of snow tonight; fingers crossed!


Sunday, January 12, 2014

January Knitting

January is a great time for knitting. A time to try new techniques, start projects without deadlines, and most importantly, at least where I live, the best time to wear all the wool goodness. We had a big drop in temperatures this past week and I loved it. Unfortunately, it's warmer now, and as a result, I now have the head gunk and sore throat that I get when the temperatures go up and down like a roller coaster.

But I was able to hang out and knit most of the day yesterday and I worked in my newest project, Paisley Cuffs, which is my first stranded color work project. It's a great beginner project and while I've made my share of mistakes, the ripping back is painless because it's such a small project. I love the colors I chose and I love that I'm using stash yarn. (The grey is Noro and the purple is Manos) I also got to use my pretty new stitch markers, bought from fibre space on the trip to DC we took a couple of weekends ago. I love pretty stitch markers and have a ton, but these are my favorite, because they are pretty and very lightweight, an awesome combo.

Haven't finished these mitts, mostly because I don't really like them. Can't decide if I should rip back or not.

This is my "knit when I don't have to pay attention" project, so it's not moving fast, but that's okay with me.

And even though I have these three going, and plenty more UFOs in the craft room, I'm getting a bit of startitis. So much knitting to do, so little time!


Friday, January 3, 2014

Settling In

I went back to work on Thursday, and despite wishing we had more time off, I think it was a good way to ease back into it. I felt rested and prepared, and both days went smoothly. I only have about three more weeks with these students, as we are on a four by four block schedule, and then I get a whole new group of students for the second semester. There are pros and cons about this system, but I think on the whole, the students benefit from it, as it allows them to focus on only four classes per semester.

I'm reading A Year of Living Consciously; I've read it before and found it to be very helpful, but since it's been quite a few years, I thought it would be a good thing to do again. This time, I'm keeping a little notebook of key points, words, or reflections. So far, I've read it in the morning, and then again right before going to bed, and I think it's a good way to internalize each day's concept.

I'm working on a pair of handmitts, using the Fleur-de-Lis Wristers pattern by Tanis Gray. The pattern looked intriguing, especially the ruffled cuff. I'm using Noro Silk Garden instead of the recommended Cascade Yarn, because I'm trying to use what I have, but unfortunately, I didn't realize I only had one skein, so I ended up buying a second skein this afternoon. If I had realized it before I started, I would have used one of the multiple skeins of Kureyon for the mitts and the Silk Garden for the ruffles. Oh well, good intentions and all that.

Meanwhile, I have a big batch of granola using the recipe from Alana's book baking in the oven, filling the house with the sweet smell of cinnamon, and the whole weekend stretching in front of me. Life is pretty good, isn't it?


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Christmas Knits

I didn't give a lot of hand knits this Christmas, but I did make a few. This is the Fortnight hat by Jared Flood, made in Shelter that I bought from Loop when I was in Philadelphia in July. I started it in July and almost finished it, but when I ran into a problem, I ripped it back to the garter section and set it aside until after Christmas. Once I picked it back up, I finished it in no time. This photo is preblocked and while I don't always block Steve's hats prior to giving them to him, with Shelter, it's definitely necessary to block, otherwise the yarn won't bloom properly. I must say, I don't love working with Shelter as much as some people seem to do. It always feels like it will break too easily, especially when working with cables. But I do love the end result.
This photo is outside on the drying rack after a soak.

This is a hat I made for my oldest stepdaughter, using Dragonfly Fibers blue Faced Worsted yarn in the color Riptide. I used Declan's Hat pattern because it looked very Irish to me, and Lindsay loves all things Celtic.

This yarn was very soft and easy to work with, but I blocked it anyway, to make sure it was done correctly.

I gave Melissa a hat I made from the book, New England Knits. It is the Brattleboro hat, using Dream in Color yarn and although I finished knitting it in 2012, I didn't do the button band until the end of 2013, when I rummaged through my UFOs. Melissa loved it.

The last gift I made was a Gap-tastic Cowl for my cousin, using Plymouth Yarn's Baby Alpaca Grande Glow in red and cream. It's such a soft yarn to wear next to your neck.

Maybe that's why I didn't feel too stressed about holiday knitting this Christmas.

Now it's pure wish knitting time; can't wait to pick out my new project!

Happy New Year!

Edited to add: just went back and counted projects finished in 2013, and my total was 27! Not too shabby, even if many of them were one skein projects.