Wednesday, August 30, 2006

So Much To Tell. . .

Firstly, these are the first Mystery Sock socks to come off my needles.
The original plan was to make a pair of knee socks for Hannah. I even had them cast on and worked beyond the ribbing. But, she had lost interest by then, so I bought some yarn for myself, dadgum it, and made some socks that I wouldn't abandon. The fun part here was the really, truly random color striping, ending with my favorite color combinations on the sole. But, one of the KAL hostesses, the helpful MSUBulldog, pointed out that I can prop my feet up on a table, and the people sitting across from me will get to revel in the beauty!

My last Secret Pal parcel has been sent on its way; I'm anxious, as always, to hear what she thinks, and to see whether we'll continue to stay in touch. I've had overwhelmingly good luck with swap partners so far, and have no reason to think that won't continue.

Speaking of which, my One Skein spoilee, Jo, continues to amaze and delight me with her friendship and gratitude. Yesterday, I received a box full of goodies from her, some even meant for Hannah! (She remembered remarks I'd made about her love for Japan. . .) I have photos , but, seeing as it took me almost an hour to upload the 2 sock pictures today, I'll wait and show them to you next time.

Funny how I feel sorry for Briton when these packages arrive. (And I promise, I'm not fishing for anyone to send him anything.) There's always stuff for me, usually something for Hannah, maybe even something (like Jo's felted catnip mouse yesterday) for the pets. And he gets to watch us open stuff and ooh and ahhh. He swears it doesn't faze him, but I wonder. . .

I've finished my funky scarf last night. Very proud. It isn't due until October. I think I'm ahead of the curve on most of my exchanges now. Rox's DishCloth Shufle is the trickiest of them all, because, as you all know, it's hard to knit just one dishcloth and then move on.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Righting the Ship?

For reasons which defy my abilities to explain and describe, since the repair of this computer, I have been completely non-chatty. Almost silent, even. So, my pattern of blogging here and on MindFull on alternating days has been destroyed, and my children have been endlessly asking me if I'm OK.

I guess so.

Been knitting, of course. I'm participating in a whole slew of swaps, and trying to get out in from of as many as possible. My Funky Scarf is coming along very nicely, and I'm putting together dishcloth ideas for the Shuffle. I'm also making a very open openwork shrug, and closing in on finishing my first pair of socks for the Mystery Sock Knitalong.

Too, I'm trying to wind down the quarter by composing a Final exam, readying the last pacakage to my Secret Pal, answering a small stack of pen pal letters, and wondering if Jade, Rox and I can pull off a November meeting in Atlanta. When I asked Hannah if she'd like to meet Jade, she sat straight up and said, "Yeah!" (Only her delivery was less italicized and more "DUH, Mother!")

Off to wash dishes before the Emmys. (I'm only watching because I heard Hugh Laurie is supposed to be a presenter. And, we like Conan O'Brien.)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Let's Not Talk About the Breakdown, OK?

Because life really does go on.

The irreplaceable Rox is hosting the DishCloth Shuffle, and pairings are out. Both my gifter and giftee are in Australia. Rox knows lots about me --- maybe as much as anybody in BlogLand --- but I don't think she knows how much I adore Australia. Way to go, Roxanne!! This is going to be fun all the way around.

My OneSkein exchange experience has been terrific. The person to whom I was sending things, Jo, has been effusive in her praise and so warm in her welcome that I cannot help but want her as a friend, and I am looking very forward to continuing our relationship.

As Secret Pal 8 draws to a close this month, I am working on putting together the last gift for my spoilee. My spoiler, as you all know, and have seen, has been wonderfully friendly and creative, and, on the one hand, I am sad that no more of those wonderful parcels will be coming my way. On the other hand, I am so anxious to discover who she is so I can thank her by name!

In other news, I'm close to completing a hat and booties set for one of my students, who is due in just a few weeks. I, at long last, finally decided on a pattern and some yarn for my Funky Scarf partner. And, as you can read at the blog, my Mystery Socks are at a standstill for the moment, but will start up again shortly. They will be for me, and I will love them, no matter what.

School reaching an end, and all my students, more so than any group in memory, seem to be having a horrible time. The work load that some of these teachers are laying on them in atrocious; I can't help but wonder if they (the teachers) are trying to put out an I'm-so-awesomely-smart-and-powerful vibe. When the students are ground down, I am, too, as I am so dependent on their input. But we'll all make it. Always have.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Could It Be Any More Trouble?

Once again, my home Internet connection fails me. There was a significant and lengthy thunder/lightning storm yesterday afternoon, during which we turned off the computer. However, when we turned it back on last night, we could not get through to AOL. Just kept getting a busy signal. I fiddled with Auto-Fixes and Help Tips for a while then, and then again this morning. Nothing. So, I'm at school, letting you know that we are in yet another compter-induced morass.

And I wanted to rave about my One Skein recipient, Jo, who has been effusive in her praise and willing in her friendship. And I wanted to talk about dishcloths made and baby hats started and books finished and all sorts of stuff.

But, it will all have to wait. For I don't know how long. Which is no way to begin a new week.

Friday, August 18, 2006

So this is me, pretty much, in knitting and in life, trying to do something while someone hovers over me saying,

"Whatcha doin', Mom?"

"How much longer are you going to be?"

"Can I have a turn after you?"

**various whines, interpreted as, "Hey --- I need to go out over here!"**

(And to think, we were all anxious for our babies to talk. . . )

Congratulations to the lovely, generous, kind-spirited Craftylilly for her successful blog move. Stop by and wish her well; she's a lot of fun!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Bring In Da Funk

As this post will address funkiness, thought I'd show you the latest mitts to come off my needles --- as I said, and you can now see, they're a mite big for me.

Also, finally, my tattoo shows up in a photo. Tilt your head slightly to the right, and you will be seeing it correctly. (Look at you all out there, tilting. . . This is fun!) I look at it upside down all the time, but still hold on to its meaning. It is the Chinese character for "center." A reminder to myself of where I need to stay. It also, as an extra bonus, contains the initials of an awful lot of people who are, and have been, extremely important in my life. That, I didn't realize for a couple of days. But it makes the whole thing more meaningful.

And now, for the one who will be making my Funky Scarf:

Let’s get the allergy part out of the way. Are you allergic to any fibers? None.
Do you prefer any fibers over others? I like softness, like alpaca, cashmere, and I'm crazy for banana silk, but I don't expect anyone to go to that sort of expense.
Thinking back to Scout’s post about what funky means to you, post an image of something that you think is funky!

(I realize this is a "who," but I've always considered Carly pretty funky.)

Would you prefer funky yarn or a funky pattern?What are your favorite colors? Pattern, I think. Though yarn is terrific. I'll leave it to the knitter --- surprises are great! Favorite color is purple, but I really like tweed and heathered yarns. Any color but orange.
What is your favorite piece of art? I am embarassingly art illiterate. But I like Picasso's sketches (the rooster, the bouquet passing hands.)
What colors would you never have up close to your pretty face?Would you prefer an actual scarf or a cowl?When you wear a scarf do you prefer a wider/shorter scarf or a thin/long scarf?What is the climate like where you live?Would you prefer a functional scarf (to keep you warm) or one just to funk-up your wardrobe? To repeat, I don't like orange. I'd prefer a scarf; I like long scarves, on the thin side. Here in Northeast Georgia, it's fairly warm year-round, but it does get cold enough for scarfery. I wear them a lot for accessories, not just warmth.
What else would you like your partner to know about you? That I'd like her to be comfortable with what she knits; don't try anything intimidating. The pleasure of the work shows in the stitches, and is felt by the wearer. And, that open to any additional questions!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Found on Susie's Blog. . .

1. First Name? Kim, not Kimberly.
2. Were you named after anyone? No, though I used to suspect Kim Novak. (She was the only other Kim I knew of.)
3. Last time you cried? This morning, on the way to work. Listening to a song.
4. Do you like your handwriting? Yes. I'm proud of my lower-case e's, and the fact that I do not ever dot my i's.
5. What is your favorite lunch meat? Corned beef.
6. Do you have kids? Yes. And, differing with Susie here, mine are the world's most wonderful.
7. Would you be friends with you if you were someone else? I have honestly thought about this a lot. I don't think I'd be impressed with me at first. But if I gave myself a chance, I think I'd like me. I have all of my same interests!
8. Do you keep a journal? Nope; I blog.
9. Do you tend toward sarcasm? Tend toward it? I'm parked there!
10. Do you still have your tonsils? No. But never wait until you're 27 to have them removed, like I did. Labor pain, I've sort of forgotten. Tonsillectomy pain, I remember.
11. Would you bungee jump? No, thank you.
12. What’s your favorite cereal? Grape Nuts? Banana Nut Crunch?
13. Do you untie your shoes before you take them off? Not usually.
14. Are you strong? Not physically, but I've discovered I am emotionally.
15. What is your favorite ice cream? Peach. Or anything with caramel or toffee.
16. Shoe size? 8 1/2 - 9.
17. What do you like least about yourself? My moodiness.
18. Who do you miss the most? Daddy.
19. Do you want this sent back to you? Nah; people can play along on their blogs if they like.
20. What color pants and shoes are you wearing right now? Black pants and no socks.
21. The last thing you ate? A handful of potato chips.
22. What are you listening to right now? An episode of "House" on DVD.
23. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? I would hope to be a rich, deep purple, but I suspect I'd be some type of blue.
24. Favorite smell? Gardenias, Burt's Bees Apricot Baby Oil, Crayons, Mown grass, Honeysuckle.
25. Last person you talked to on the phone? Briton.
26. First thing you notice about someone of the opposite sex? Hands and forearms.
27. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Well, it wasn't sent, but, yes, I like Susie a lot.
28. Favorite drink? Dr. Pepper.
29. Favorite sport? Football.
30. Eye color? Blue.
31. Hat size? Big. I used to know, but have forgotten. Hardly-anything-in-any-store-will-fit-me big.
32. Do you wear contacts? Yes.
33. Favorite food? Lobster.
34. Scary movie or happy ending? Happy ending, if it's not obvious and/or cheesy.
35. Last movie you saw at a movie theater? "Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest."
36. What color shirt are you wearing? Navy. (Hey, I'm home for the day; I don't need to match.)
37. Summer or winter? Autumn. Not even a contest.
38. Hugs or kisses? And the giver is. . . ?
39. Favorite dessert? Flan or creme brulee.
40. What books are you reading? Lolita, Mad Mary Lamb and The Devil Kissed Her.
43. What’s on your mousepad? Muppets: Fozzie, Kermit, Gonzo and Animal.
44. What did you watch on TV last night? NFL Sunday Night Football.
45. Favorite sounds? My children's genuine laughter, the ocean.
46. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles. Though I really like Charlie Watts.
47. The furthest you’ve been from home? New York.
48. What’s your special talent? Don't have one, I don't think.
49. Where were you born? Nashville, Tennessee.

I started this at school, while I ws killing time waiting for class to start. When I got home, I found that there's a questionnaire for the Funky Scarf Swap for me to fill out, too. You lucky, lucky people --- you're going to get to find out all about me here!

Failed to mention the 6th birthday of our beloved Lily Potter Dean. Happy Birthday, Bug.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Computer madness today, as the first message I got upon sitting down here this morning was that AOL could no longer load. That led to tracking down the AOL disc, reloading everything (after deleting enough stuff to make room) --- and the rest of the day, nothing has really worked as it should. Whether it's all the button-pushing of the last 14 hours, or Blogger's usual temperament, I can't get any photos to upload.

But I have been working: finished my project for Lolita in Knit the Classics. Made a "sock for hands" --- a fingerless mitt pattern from this year's Page-a-Day calendar. It's cute, and easy, but surprisingly large. Even with fingering yarn and small needles.

Just got my partner for the Funky Scarf Swap (button to your right). When I finish here, I'll head over to her website, read a bit about her, and start making plans.

Would like to thank Rox for her very nice shout-out on her blog. She deserves every good thing and every good gift that comes her way.

And, as to the recent events in London, you can read about what just two little people are willing to do at MindFull.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A Homeowner's Best Friend

Dark rain clouds on the horizon. Why, you ask, are they a best friend? Because this home is presently without air conditioning, and rain would help out SO much.

The entire unit has to be replaced, and I am sitting here, with every fan we own turned on, hoping the repairs can be made tomorrow. There is a separate unit for upstairs, so the kiddos are staying cool, but the animals and I stay down here, where it is baking.

Before the heat settled in (as in in the house), I made yet another pair of fingerless gloves. Don't these remind you of those pastel mints in silver dishes at weddings?

And though this isn't the greatest picture, this is the needle cozy bestowed upon me by my Secret Pal. I'm sorry the lovely turquoise band around the top and the delicate little dragonfly aren't clear, but they are both so pretty, and I am, again, so touched by SP's creativity and ability to delightfully surprise me.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hate to move Mr. Rickman away from atop the posts, but blogging must go on, I suppose.

(Been waiting quite a while for that poster to show. I have sort of a collection of the celebrity "Read" posters hanging in the den, and am anxious to add this particular mug. Although the book disappoints. I didn't like Catcher in the Rye. Didn't see what all the fuss is about. So what will Alan and I have to discuss when he comes to my Fantasy Dinner Party?)

Secret Pals have been very, very good to me. Elaine has become a treasured friend, Bethanie --- God bless her --- sent me a gardenia plant, for crying out loud! And this round's Pal has given me some terrific, and terrifically creative gifts, including one that arrived yesterday: a needle cozy in bright rosy-pink and turquoise, with beaded flowers and a crystal bead dragonfly. (I'm flopping on the description; will post a picture another day.) So cute, so different, and so deeply apreciated. Thank you!

Finished a hat yesterday --- one big enough to keep for myself. Began my Knit the Classics project. Was going to start my Mystery Socks, but couldn't find my size 2 circulars. And I've a dishcloth to make, for Rox's Shuffle, despite her continuing to poo-poo my adoration of Mr. Rickman.

(See how I circled it back to him? I've got it bad.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

I'm suddenly seized with a raging, powerful desire to. . .

. . .


(What were you thinking?)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Happy Times at the ol' homestead today. I finished two knitting projects, got a wee bit of shopping done with Hannah, watched a little NASCAR, and now, in just a matter of moments, John Madden and NFL Football are back!

There can never be any doubt that I am My Father's Daughter. If there is something on TV which involves keeping score, or declaring a winner, or a ball of some sort, or a referee, I'm likely to watch it. Football is tops among the Watchables. The longest stretch of the year, as far as being this sports fan, is from the Super Bowl to the Daytona 500. Don't like baseball anymore, though there is no sight like topping the ramp in a stadium and seeing a diamond appear in front of you. Coming into a football stadium, or a basketball arena --- not the same. But, past that wondrous feeling, baseball holds no charm for me.

So, I'll sit down tonight, with my lovely delicate knitting, and wait for some heads to crack.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Heat, Crowds --- This is a Day Off?

Don't know if your community has experimented with Tax-Free Days. They usually come as school begins, and cover mostly things students would use. Unfortunately for me, our printer ran out of ink on this, the second of four TFD, so I had to get-out-among-them to re-stock.

Now, if it were Price-Free Days, I could understand the behaviors I saw today. But, it's only the tax that's coming off your bill, lady! Really --- you'll get your spiral notebooks! No need to bounce your baby around (unbelted) in the shopping cart, sideswiping people. And then boring holes through them with your eyes because they dared grab (and EVERYONE was grabbing) a pack of markers before you. Dear God, what are people thinking?

I had to come home and lie down with a cold compress. For real. And look at this hat, whose colors I am mad for. Too bad for me, my head is on the gargantuan side, and this one won't fit me. But I've got more yarn and more patterns. I'll get one.

Currently on the needles, a gift scarf and a pair of half-fingered gloves for myself. Plan on selecting one more thing to get going on over the weekend. I'm part of the Mystery Sock Knitalong, but that hasn't kicked off yet, nor has Rox's Dishcloth Shuffle. Got ideas for both of them, though.

C'mon weekend!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Works Every Time!

If you want something done, ask a group of knitters.

My inbox number was in double digits this morning, in response to my request for the Patons Karma Two book. I now know where to get one. Thanks to everyone, especially Carrie, Elaine and Rox. (Who will be hearing from me shortly.) You all went above and beyond, but that's what knitters do, isn't it?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Did I Get Everything Done?

Hannah has to be at Freshman Orientation at 8:30 this morning. Parents are invited to stay, but I have to split (I am a child of the Sixties) to get to class. She, and her 400+ classmates, will be dismissed at noon. My class goes (schedule-wise) until 12:05. So I am going to have to cut the thing short to get back, find a parking place, and pick her up. I get there, find said space, find her, find she wants to have a friend come over for the afternoon (Briton is already doing the same), find that she and friend want Chick-fil-A. Wait for a while in the CFA drive-through line, get food for all, come home, have time --- barely --- to change before Briton's friend arrives.

I don't remember actually being any of those places, or actually engaging in any meaningful activities while there. Mostly, I remember driving, and getting in and out of the car. I remember moving a lot, but I don't know if I've gotten everything done today that I needed to get done today. Ever get like that?

This is my baby and her best friend of I-don't-know-how-long. Look out for the Class of 2010!

In other news, I have looked high and low for this pattern book:

I bought the yarn for the cover sweater, having been told that the pattern books would be in "shortly." That was months ago, and I cannot find a copy of this book anywhere. Why doesn't Patons sell direct?

Anyway, if anyone out there can find this, and wouldn't mind picking up a copy for me, please let me know. I'd be happy to reimburse all your costs, because I really would like to make this.