Saturday, August 25, 2007

Migraines Again

I hate having migraines. I feel that days of my life are being stolen from me. This week was one of those weeks. I got a migraine Monday afternoon & it never really left until Friday afternoon. I take a preventative medicine which has decreased the number & strength of migraines. I also take Imitrex when I get a migraine. My doctor advised me to limit the Imitrex to 200 mg per month. This month, I took 350 mg. That damn migraine just wouldn't leave. Only for a couple of hours it was severe enough that I was completely unable to function. Most of the week I was unable to concentrate for more than a couple of minutes at a time. Now, I get to spend my weekend catching up on all the work I didn't do this week.

I got a substitute & took Friday off of school. I can't really teach while taking Imitrex - I start saying everything the opposite of what I want to say. It would be funny if it didn't confuse the students so much. On Thursday we were watching a video on the 13 colonies. I kept saying that Connecticut was in the Southern Colonies & Virginia was in New England. I really know better than that. The wrong words were coming out.

I was able to finish one of my Under Cover Squares for August. O-wool is really soft & it's nice to switch to size 10 needles from my size 1.5s. Just 4 more repeats & a toe left on my second Monkey sock. Two Christmas gifts down - a few to go. Yes, I have started my Christmas knitting but I'm not pressuring myself this year. What gets done, gets done. Others will wait 'til next year.

For all of you Harry Potter fans. Dharma Fey (from Socks in the City) has a sock club started called Potter's Covers. It's 7 shipments of sock yarn. The colors are inspired from the 7 American book covers. She has 2 payment plans - including a monthly plan. For more information go to her Etsy site.

Also, have you heard about the Chore Wars Group started by Lime & Violet? Chore Wars started as a way to motivate families to do their chores. Well, L & V created the Lime & Violet Yarn Raiders. It has motivated me to keep my blog up to date ('cause I get experience points), try new things & finish that object. If you aren't a Yarn Raider yet there's more info at the L & V website. My yarn raider name is Needles, a studly, Level 8 shaman. I wanted to look different than everyone else. If you join, let me know your Raider name.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Booga Bag

At first I had mixed feelings about Noro Kureyon yarn. The colors were very intense. This is colorway 170. Isn't it beautiful?

As I wound the skeins into balls, I was disappointed with how the yarn felt. It was itchy & scratchy. Only 1 of the 3 balls didn't have any breaks in the yarn. One ball had 3 breaks in the 90 yards. Very frustrating. . . .

When I was knitting, I was surprised that the Kureyon is listed as a worsted weight. Parts of the yarn was nearly as thin as sock weight & other parts were super bulky. Those parts reminded me of unspun roving. Did I get a bad batch or is it a "design feature" of this yarn?

The last picture is my finished bag. It is supposed to be a Christmas present but I want to keep it. It took 2 complete heavy duty wash cycles to get it felted. All of that washing made the bag nice & soft. I think it would still be itchy directly against my skin.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Loopy Sock Club - Fall

A couple of weeks ago I received the fall shipment for The Loopy Ewe Sock Club. I love the colors of this sock yarn. It is a custom colorway by Claudia Handpainted in the Loopy Ewe colorway. Sheri always makes her packages fun. You don't know what will be included in the shipment. This time it is cider, an accessory bag, stitch markers and a fun poem. She had to change the loopy kisses to peppermints during the summer. If you haven't ordered from The Loopy Ewe & you like to knit socks or lace, you really should check it out. TLE has the best customer service - period. Search the net. I've never seen anything bad posted about TLE. Many of the products she carries have been recommended by her customers. Plus, I really like the fact that she includes a personalized note in every order. You can earn store credit (every $250 in purchases earn a $25 credit) and on your 6th order you become a Loopy Groupie. If you go to her store from my blog & place an order, I can get earn credit. So, go check her out.

Last weekend I started a Booga bag. I think I was the only knitter who hadn't made one. It has been felted and is blocking. Hopefully, I'll be able to finish it tomorrow. It was a fun & quick knit. I can tell why it has been so popular.

I finished the first of my traditional Monkey socks last weekend. It took me a while stop the first round from slipping off the needles. Once I got past the first round, I enjoyed using DPNs. This sock is a Christmas gift. My water bottle agreed to model the one sock.

I didn't have any problems kirchenering the toe. I stitched very loosely. Then I put the sock on my fist & tightened it until it was the correct tension. It is Cherry Tree Hill in Martha's Vineyard. I used size Knit Picks size 1.5 DPNs. Martha's Vineyard was one of the first sock yarns I purchased. I swatched a couple of socks with it but the pattern just made the yarn look muddy. I also tried a plain knit stitch sock & didn't like it. Monkey socks seem to bring out the best in varigated yarns. I don't think it is possible to make an ugly Monkey sock.

My 10th grade English teacher would be upset if she saw all the times I use the word I. Too many sentences start with it as well. Using different words to start my sentences will be my goal for the next post - too tired to worry about it now.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Crazies

My month of crazyness is almost over. The beginning of a school year is always hard for me. I spend the week before I go back working in my room - most of it is nervous energy. Students are always surprised that teachers have the same worries & fears that they do before school starts. Will my students like me? Are they nice? etc. Of course, 8th grade students won't admit that are nervous too.

We had a week of training before school started. Teachers are the worst students. I'm amazed at the number of teachers that will sit & talk & play around when someone else is presenting. They would never allow that kind of behavior from their students. I tried very hard to be a model student but this last training was really boring. There's nothing worse than sitting through someone telling us what makes good teaching while they are doing the exact opposite! At least we learned what not to do!

I love to plan for the school year. But, I never seem to do the same things twice so it's a lot of work especially since I change things a couple of times. I'm a bit of a perfectionist. For the last 5 years, I've been the math department chairperson. This year I'm the department head for social studies. So, I not only need to plan my school year, I have to plan out stuff for the entire department. I enjoy doing it but this year was more challenging because I found out a couple of days before school started that I'd be chairing social studies. I had to race to become famliar with the texts and supplemental materials. New teachers were wanting help & I felt so unprepared. The first week of school was spent planning my lessons & making sure everyone in my department had the stuff they needed.

By the second week things are starting to settle down. I always spend several hours preparing for Back to School NIght. I am more nervous talking to parents than I am talking to kids. My planning helps me feel better. So, tonight's the night. After 8 tonight, things will settle down for me.

With all of stress starting the beginning of the school year, I've had several yarn & knitting related purchases. I'm dreading what hubby's going to say as the packages & then the credit card statements start to arrive.

Enough of the whining. On to the knitting content.

I received this month's package from the Under Cover Club. What a beautiful shade of blue. Two sets of point protectors were included with this mailing.

More stuff later.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

I got to meet Cookie A.!

Last month my husband treated me to a special day with Cookie A. Cookie's class was held at Unwind, a yarn store in Burbank. I enjoyed the class - it was on designing socks. She seemed a little shocked that we all wanted our pictures taken with her & that some of us wanted her to autograph her patterns. She really knows her socks!

Unwind is a comfortable store with a back table to work at or it has several oversized chairs to fall into. They had a variety of types of yarn but a limited supply of sock yarn. Of course, I had to walk away with

Trekking Pro Natura Sock. Sorry about the bad picture. I'll retake them when I have better light.
I was disappointed that they didn't have any Cascade 220 because I wanted to whip up some stuff from Charmed Knits.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Working Hard - Almost No Knitting

Well, I missed yesterday's WIP Wednesday. I've been working 12-16 hour days to get ready for the new school year which starts Monday. I've completely rearranged my classroom. I've also cleaned out my 8 closets, 3 bookcases, & 8 file cabinet drawers. In the process, I threw out over 30 bags of trash. It's nice being able to open a closet without having things fall on my feet! I'm a packrat & that's what can happen when I stay in the same room for 9 years. I should have taken a before & after shot of the closets. I'll post a picture of the classroom once everything is ready.

I've made some progress on my Halloween sock while knitting under the table during teacher trainings. I also had a disaster while working on the 6th repeat of my Monkey sock. I accidentally pulled out one of the DPNs holding stitches instead of grabbing the empty needle. Oh course, I had to do it on one of the yarn-over/decrease rows - not the plain knit rows too! I managed to get the stitches back on the needle but now have 17 stitches instead of 16. So I've got to figure out which side of the decreases came undone. I've only been able to do about 20 rows of Clue 4 on Mystery Stole 3 in the past 2 weeks. I really like knitting lace but I can only work on this pattern when the house is quiet & I can't have interruptions.

Since I didn't post last Friday, here's my DD modelling her Adara Shawl that I blocked last week. I love how it looks but it is a little too narrow for me. It fits my daughter perfectly. She's been wearing it in the house even with the 100 degree weather.